Forth Version 1 Runs Again

Some people love Forth and some people hate it. However, you usually think of Forth as something running on a little computer such as an 8-bit microcomputer. When [Chuck Moore] developed the system back in the 1960s though, it ran on an IBM 1130. [Carl Claunch] took a scanned listing of the original code and got it running once again.

There are actually a few blog posts with details. Luckily, Forth is pretty simple — especially the core parts. However, there are a lot of differences from a modern Forth. The most obvious is that the dot keyword starts a definition and does not print the top of stack. However, internal details are different too — the system, for example, stores characters in packed EBCDIC — an ASCII-like code used by IBM computers.

Oddly, [Moore] used Forth to write code that would allow the big computer to help design carpets, although the project was ultimately unsuccessful. However, the language, which grew from [Moore’s] private card deck library, was much easier to use than the machine’s preferred FORTRAN.

The group working on this has released the original scans and promises a machine-readable version soon. Don’t have an IBM 1130 to run it on? Sure you do.

If you want something more modern and smaller, you have a choice of Hackaday-approved projects. There’s the cheap Blue Pill route. Or, go cloud, and run it in your browser.

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