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"Have a look at all free operating system projects: they really only support amd64, armv7 and aarch64. Gee! Sometimes they pretend to support a few other experimental platforms. Or other platforms which have not been tested in years and are only cross-built because they are not self-hosting anymore."

I'm pretty sure the NetBSD[1] and OpenBSD would dispute that statement. OpenBSD even compiles its ports directly (not cross compiled). Both projects benefit from these architectures by finding bugs.

Also, although not a popular company, Oracle just introduced a new SPARC and given Oracle's behavior, they wouldn't do it unless it had a profit and a future.

1) look at one of their exhibits, these folks believe in running on anything including toasters

This was written by Miod Vallet a couple days ago. He was the main nonstandard arch developer for OpenBSD and resigned last week. So, the context is that the author was one of the few leaders of the Luddites and considers it a lost cause.

Kinda of figured, and for a lot of stuff, I don't disagree with the sentiment, but I still think it has value.

My biggest frustration with the alternate chip vendors is the total lack of a simple ITX / ATX motherboard with a chip, expandable memory (preferably ECC), and a standard set of ports. Even ARM is problematic at this.

I am mystified at how hard it is for a chip vendor to produce a motherboard.

Of course toasters run ARM these days.

ARM's probably the processor architecture least suited to making toast.

Agreed. An IBM POWER8 seems to be optimal for that. You may even end up mining a bitcoin if you set it to dark.

Cortex-m0 wouldn't be utterly insane, but yeah. An avr or pic or z80 would fit better :)

I used to agree, but there's now extraordinarily cheap cortex-m0 chips available too.

E.g. Freescale Cortex M0 for $1.09 in singles: http://www.digikey.ca/product-detail/en/MKL03Z8VFG4/MKL03Z8V...

Cheapest AVR (ATTiny4 for $1.36) http://www.digikey.ca/product-detail/en/ATTINY4-TSHR/ATTINY4...

Cheapest PIC (PIC10F200 for $0.60) http://www.digikey.ca/product-detail/en/PIC10F200T-I%2FOT/PI...

They're all at least in the same order of magnitude. And in my experience, arm-none-eabi-gcc is a way nicer development experience than MPLab or AVR Studio. avr-gcc is decent once you get it set up properly.

Right, but how hot does it get? I like my toast brown and crisp.

Hah, I have only once managed to get one hot, but its ability to simultaneously execute code was seriously compromised!


Why do you think so?

ARM has notoriously low energy dissipation due to low voltage.

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