File System

The block file system is the traditional forth file system. It has the major advantage that it’s very simple to implement on any hardware. The logic and beauty of forth is that by the time you have read the datasheet for a device you have it working... if the datasheet is accurate. The traditional forth file is a block of sixteen 64 character lines which are referenced by number. Forth was designed to work on a system with very little RAM and a small disk drive so you had words which compiled certain blocks into RAM when you wanted to use that program. Then you executed forget and loaded the next program from block memory using a word that knew which blocks that program was stored in. Many MCUs today are several orders of magnitude more powerful than the machines forth originated on. [reginald.beardsley]

Mecrisp-Stellaris Block Implementation


Block Storage Hardware


In 1987 I added a 3.5” floppy disk to a Embedded Forth system running a Rockwell 65F11 Forth chip. I didn’t write the code, I only built the hardware which used a floppy controller chip and a generic floppy drive. It worked fine, but these days one would use a SD Card.


3.5” 1.2MB Floppy Drive, circa 1987.