MakerLisp Machine: an eZ80 CPU card running bare-metal Lisp


Hello, Hacker Ladies & Gentlemen!

Please join us for another round of talks on Lisp and Scheme topics.

We'll be at Hacker Dojo in Santa Clara.

We'll start with a long-form talk by Luther Johnson on his work on MakerLisp and the MakerLisp Lisp Machine. Here's the abstract:
The MakerLisp Machine is a portable, modular, computer system, designed to recapture the feel of classic computing, with modern hardware.

The machine centers on a 2” x 3.5” CPU "business card", based on a 50 MHz Zilog eZ80, which can be used stand-alone, or plugged in to a 2” x 8” main board, for expansion to a full computer system. A laser-cut wood enclosure holds a small keyboard, an LCD monitor, the circuit boards, and a prototyping area with a breadboard for electronics experimentation and development.

The system software is 'MakerLisp', an open source implementation of a 'bare metal' Lisp, for Maker/DIY projects. MakerLisp has the Scheme evaluation model, Common Lisp-style low-level macros and primitive functions, and C language arithmetic and standard library functions. The system is written in portable C, and just-in-time compiles a tiny core Lisp language to SECD VM instructions. All higher-level forms are provided via Lisp functions and macros.

In this talk, we'll discuss and demonstrate MakerLisp on the machine, reviewing the language feature and implementation choices that were made in order to support an expressive and extensible dialect of Lisp, with good performance, in a small system.
You're welcome to speak, too, if you'd like. The rest of the talks will be five-minute "lightning" talks, with five minutes of Q&A after each. The group is a friendly audience, and we'd love to hear about your work or hobby project, so please give a talk. The more, the merrier! If you'd like to give a talk, either let us know in advance through, or just tell me when you arrive.

After the talks, we'll mingle and have snacks.