The Software

Open Source and Free Forever

A computer is nothing without software, and the rosco_m68k is no exception. It's early days for us, but your new computer kit comes pre-loaded with a pair of ROMs containing our simple-but-lovingly-crafted serial bootloader firmware. 

This takes care of setting up the machine, and supports loading your own programs directly over the serial link using the standard Kermit protocol. It also provides a whole bunch of ready-made system calls that allow your programs to do basic input/output and interface with the computer.

So whether you want to hit the hardware with some m68k assembly, or you want to run a bit of C, there's a ready-to-go runtime for you to build on.

For Experimentation

Your "Hello, World" awaits...

It's easy to get started with programming the rosco_m68k, thanks to comprehensive toolchain build instructions, a ready-rolled basic IO library and starter project. Simply clone the project (or download as a zip) from Github and start adding your C code.

If you're a seasoned developer, you'll be up and running in no time as the toolchain we use is based on industry-standard, open-source technologies like GCC and Make*. And if you're new to all this, we'll have plenty of step-by-step documentation and tutorials to get you started.

Our aim is simple: whether you're a beginner or an old pro, you should be able to go from bare-board to "Hello, World" in just a few hours, and we're working hard on a comprehensive set of documentation to help.

* Supported on macOS® or Linux, YMMV on Windows®.

For Education

A laid-back introduction to bare-metal

In a post-Moore's Law world, programmers can no longer rely on hiding increasing bloat behind ever-faster hardware, and the next generation of programmers will need to have a good understanding of how to do more with less. Whether you're an up-and-comer or an old salt, a better understanding of how a computer works is an incredibly valuable thing. Modern computers (even "simple" ones like the Raspberry Pi) make gaining that knowledge very difficult thanks to their complexity and a steep learning curve. Turning back the clock a few years can be a great way to separate the concepts of low-level and bare-metal programming from the insanity of setting up a modern machine. The M68K was one of the last machines to be designed for hand-made assembly programming, and is still one of the finest introductions you can get (in our opinion).

For Hacking

A machine that's truly yours

Experience the joy of hacking on a machine where you own every cycle - and it's on you to make each one count. Take complete control by burning your own firmware code to the ROM*, use the built-in interrupt-capable GPIO port and multi-function timers to drive your own hardware, talk to RasPi and Arduino microcontrollers via UART or digital IO, or even change the way the board works by rewriting the glue logic** - with the rosco_m68k, everything is within your control.

* EEPROM programmer required
** Requires third-party software download, support varies by platform