Open Firmware

http://www.openfirmware.org/

Open Firmware is essentially a specification for a largely machine-independent BIOS based on the AnsForth standard that is capable of probing and initializing plug-in cards that have on-board IEEE-1275 compliant Fcode in their ROMs. It was invented by MitchBradley? to aid in debugging recalcitrant hardware at Sun. It is found in Sun, IBM, PowerMacintosh, and OneLaptopPerChild systems.

Sun has now made their implementation OpenSource: OpenBoot.

An effort to create an OpenSource open firmware exists: the OpenBIOS project - http://www.openbios.org/. While not being completely done, it has successfully booted Linux and MacOS (9 and X).

It also has a theme song (sung by the inventor of OpenFirmware, MitchBradley?): http://playground.sun.com/1275/misc/ofwsong.au

See also: Writing Fcode 2.0 at [BrokenLink] http://docs.sun.com/ab2/@LegacyTocView?&toc=SUNWab_157_1%3A%2Fsafedir%2Fspace3%2Fcoll1%2FSUNWabdds%2F%2Ftoc%2FFCODE%3AFCODE%3Aclose;bt=Writing+FCode+2.x+Programs&Ab2Lang=C&Ab2Enc=iso-8859-1 [BrokenLink]

ForthLanguage code moved to ExampleForthCode
As of 2006, the new Intel (x86-64)-based AppleMacintoshes use Intel's ExtendedFirmwareInterface? rather than Open Firmware. One was able to give a PowerMacintosh owner a harmless but most amusing scare by holding down Command-Option-O-F when booting his computer... (see http://www.kernelthread.com/mac/osx/arch_boot.html).
Mar 2011 --

"The IEEE-1275 Open Firmware standard was not reaffirmed by the OFWG and has been officially withdrawn by IEEE."

Does this mean the project is essentially dead?
CategoryForth

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