A different experience
If you are new to Oberon, the system might feel "spartan" in the beginning. Until you start to discover the great power hidden in it, and get comfortable with the mouse operation. Use the Help function for a walk through the basic operations!
You will love the responsiveness: system startup and compilations are done in a fraction of a second!
Constructing relatively large programs is possible if you use the "heap" mainly for structures of light-weight records/objects. Bulk storage of e.g. "sequential" data such as texts or fragments of text can easily be delegated to the (memory buffered) file system. Oberon's standard text system presents a fine example.
By virtue of the File-Device in Oberon Workstation, potentially large in-memory file buffers are allocated on the Mac host and provide ample space. Oberon software can use unregistered files that -in Oberon Workstation- never need physical disk access, until you decide to save to disk by registering them.
Special additions in Oberon Workstation
The application is kept fully compatible with Project Oberon, with the exception of the low-level file system implementation. Additions are "external" to Oberon, i.e. are implemented in the periphery.
- Oberon files reside in a Mac Folder. Enables file exchange, backup, version control ...
- entire-file memory buffering. Outside Oberon, in the Files Device
- Restore function. To re-insert pristine Oberon files
- on-the-fly boot image creation at startup, from a selectable principal module
- selectable inverted screen on Video Device (black background, or white background)
- 32 "board" LEDs, with formats: hexadecimal, decimal, trap-info
- 8 latched "board" switches, (switch is reset when read by Oberon)
- Alt Restart Once function. To test a secondary module hierarchy
- selectable simulated RISC5 speeds, down to 1 Mc/s, in Alt boot mode
- Power saving if Oberon is idle (for battery life)
- Date Device, providing the current date/time from the Mac host
- error detection. Bad instructions, memory limits, bad alignment, device errors etc. cause RISC5 to halt and the app to display an error message
The Oberon Project uses modest hardware specifications (1Mb), screen resolution (1024 x 768) and colour depth (black and white). This limitation is reflected in the Oberon Workstation application. It allows the application to use the Oberon software with minimal changes, and to keep it compatible with the Project Oberon 2013 hardware platform.
In this version of Oberon Workstation no network device is available but it is considered for a future release. There are no RS232 or SPI devices. If you plan to generate low-level object code or boot-images for a board, you need to replace the Input, Files, FileDirOSX and KernelOSX modules by the Project Oberon versions.