Winter is coming

Collapse OS aims to soften the blow. It is a z80 kernel and a collection of programs, tools and documentation that aims to preserve our ability to program microcontrollers through civilizational collapse.

@neauoire I can't thank you enough for sharing this! I have been waiting for years for the Z80 homebrew community to get past its obsession with CP/M. This is the coolest thing I can possibly imagine having come along to answer that wish! If this plays nicely with machines with ROM at the bottom of the address space (which it sounds like it *should*!) I'm definitely going to give it a spin...

@solderpunk 👌 I'm glad I could help. I'd love to see your experiments with this.

@neauoire The bit on "scavenge-friendly electronics" at is such a refreshing thing to hear somebody else say!

@solderpunk @neauoire

hmmm i don't want to give up lisp/scheme if i don't have to. i'll need to do some digging to see if there are any lisps that run/ran on 8-bit machines that i can use for reference.

nothing against z80, but wouldn't the system be more adaptable if it isn't hardware-specific?

@xj9 @solderpunk LISP or BASIC on c64 is fun, but it won't be very efficient compared to asm.

@neauoire @solderpunk

as long as its *efficient enough* that's a reasonable trade-off for portability i think. modern lisp compilers are certainly capable of C-level performance, so it stands to reason that you could get acceptable performance out of a lisp compiler on 8-bit machines.

@xj9 @neauoire I am very open to the idea that the Z80 is not the best platform for this project, or even that this project's hypothetical scenario doesn't make a lot of sense. I'm just very excited because (i) I've designed and built a Z80 machine before, and know the asm, (ii) I've been quietly wondering about a salvaged-electronics future for years, and (iii) my hobby electronics has been in a rut for years waiting for "worthy" project ideas.

@solderpunk @xj9 @neauoire Whereby "worthy" I mean "project ideas which acknowledge that electronics manufacturing is energy intensive and environmentally destructive and even if 64 bit ARM CPUs are dirt cheap and ubiquitous and don't use a lot of power to *run* (once made), it's still kind of insane to treat them as limitless and disposable, for trivial purposes to amuse oneself or satisfy some idle curiosity".

@solderpunk @neauoire

i'm primarily trying to figure this one out

hardware is part of it, because it needs to run on something. ideally something that is cheap and easy to reprogram. the networking and crypto hardware do set something of a minimum requirement though.

@xj9 @neauoire For the record, improving individual autonomy and providing alternatives to massive, centralised, commercial infrastructure are definitely things that I feel can be "worthy"!

> preserve our ability to program microcontrollers through civilizational collapse.

This sentence fragment can be interpreted in two ways...


What I want to know about is the ability to fab wafers after the collapse.

Good research project to see the smallest architectures one could fab at home now.

We need to be able to make z80s.

@teknari @neauoire there is no way that will happen. if civilization collapses nobody will be able to make computer chips for a long time. you need an entire pipeline of supplies, workers, materials, transport etc. to produce even the most crude pre-microprocessor kind of thing.

@teknari @neauoire personally, i'd rather work to try to prevent collapse.

and maybe hedge in some simple ways (like trying to record general knowledge in a resilient way for people to access in the future)

i don't know about trying to build microprocessors in a post-apocalyptic bunker. i'd probably have bigger things to worry about, i dunno.

@cancel @teknari I think that the path toward recovering from a collapse and preventing a collapse are pretty similar.

@neauoire @teknari yeah. i guess some of it comes down to details.

"how can we lower the complexity of chip production, or create a new design for a useful simple one, and be able to replicate its production process in other places"


"i definitely need to prepare to try to make z80s in a basement"

@gendor @teknari @neauoire article seems like an incomprehensible ramble. i don't get it

@cancel @teknari @neauoire He's basically saying the 10,000-year clock (from the Long Now Foundation) is by rich people, for rich people. And that they're not working to prevent to collapse, but trying to figure out how to profit from it. Wealth shields you from the worst effects.

@gendor @teknari @neauoire it's a clock in a mountain... it's useless and just there to make you think about time. it's not useful on its own.

@neauoire @cancel @teknari Yes, very cool! Much better experiment in long-term thinking than an expensive clock in a mountain 😂

@cancel @teknari @neauoire Have you come across Sam Zeloof's work on making ICs in his basement? I'm wondering how long it will be before we can fab RISC-V chips at home.

@gendor @teknari @neauoire if society collapses he won't have any of those chemicals or electricity

@gendor @teknari @neauoire but it's still cool! but i don't think it's relevant for something like trying to do computing after the apocalypse.

@cancel @teknari @neauoire I agree that it will probably be easier to scavenge for existing microprocessors than trying to find the raw materials to make your own, but I wanted to point out that you could potentially fab your own chips at home.

@gendor i think i would be spending my time trying to help rebuild society so that things could be manufactured again, instead of trying to build one or two of my own in a basement before running out of supplies

@gendor but, like i said, i think this is still cool and a good idea to prove and show how it can be done.

@gendor i think being able to show that processes can be replicated and have the knowledge transmitted to other people and understood is really important

@gendor @cancel @neauoire

Now that is what I'm talking about!!!!

It looks gorgeous as well <3

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Merveilles is a community project aimed at the establishment of new ways of speaking, seeing and organizing information — A culture that seeks augmentation through the arts of engineering and design. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.