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Yet two more Forth enabled P2 boards now available (the KISS boards) — Parallax Forums

Yet two more Forth enabled P2 boards now available (the KISS boards)

MaciekMaciek Posts: 466
edited 2021-08-12 15:42 in ForthSpace

Excellent news.

Fot those interested,
@ManAtWork has just announced the second edition of his KISS eval board with a promise of it being available at a very attractive price point very soon. He also announced a special, incredibly low price, for his original KISS board.
Look here for more details on the boards and here for the announcement.

In case you didn't know that already, the P2 chip has Peter Jakacki's TAQOZ Forth burnt in rom and all that is needed to run a fully featured TAQOZ RELOADED on a KISS v2 board is an SD card loaded with its _BOOT_P2.BIX image.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that the P1 runs Tachyon Forth, also authored by Peter Jakacki.


  • @ManAtWork
    An inexpensive Forth Board with a USB connector would be very nice.
    But frankly I have no idea what that board will be.
    It would be very nice if there was a single posting with the board description. Just a paragraph or two. Instead I have to slog though a long discussion thread to figure out what the board is.
    No thanks. Feels not ready for Prime time.
    I hope that helps.
    I am happy to edit this posting, when the sales pitch appears.

  • msrobotsmsrobots Posts: 3,459

    to clarify a bit ALL P2 boards currently available are FORTH-enabled.



  • PublisonPublison Posts: 12,060

    Good point Mike in case people forget the built in ROM.

  • And that is why a clear sales pitch is needed. Why or when is this board better than the low risk Parallax Eval Board?

  • PublisonPublison Posts: 12,060

    Curious, Which Parallax P2 boards are available in Europe right now, Mouser Digikey RS?

  • MaciekMaciek Posts: 466
    edited 2021-08-04 21:49

    @msrobots said:
    ... ALL P2 boards currently available are FORTH-enabled...

    YES, of course. You are absolutely right ! I fixed the title too.

    @Publison said:
    ...Which Parallax P2 boards are available in Europe right now ...?

    Both P2 Eval and P2 Edge are - Mouser has them listed in stock, as does Digikey. The later has the more attractive pricing on these items. Both excellent boards for what they are.

    Unfortunately, it so happens, neither of them meets my current needs.

  • @lozinski said:
    ...An inexpensive Forth Board with a USB connector would be very nice..

    The KISS board rev2 has a USB connector. Moreover, the specification of the original KISS eval board (rev1) is provided in the first post of the firs link I provided. Here should be easier to find.


    And that is why a clear sales pitch is needed. Why or when is this board better than the low risk Parallax Eval Board?

    Forgive me, but I do not understand what do you mean by what you said. Could you, please, elaborate or answer these two following questions?

    1. What information exactly do you expect the, as you call it, sales pitch, should contain ?
    2. How do you define the terms "inexpensive", "better" and "lower risk" ?

    This has happened to me many times already and I can share a little anecdote on the topic of me not understanding things.

    Here it goes:
    One day my boss asked me, on a very short notice, to prepare a summary report on the security assessment of a particular IT system for the management board. I took me five hours to select the most important findings and present them in a language the top management is used to and understands well. Shortly after presenting this said report to my boss I got it back with a note "too short, prepare a detailed one" and so I did. It was much easier to do a detailed report than a summary. And what a surprise - I got it back again, this time with a note "too long, nobody will read this". I was stunned for a split second but then I asked my boss if she would tell me what exactly is missing from the first report and what exactly is in excess in the second one. I never got the answer. I was never asked for such reports again. A win-win solution.

  • lozinskilozinski Posts: 76
    edited 2021-08-05 06:43

    First my comments on your boss,
    Then on your board.

    I did not get it, but my girlfriend instantly responded that your boss could not answer that question because she did not understand. She said: "They speak totally different languages and they need an interpreter. "

    But I speak both languages, so let me help you. Really there are two different mental models. Completely different. It is actually not a win win situation. You think your boss will not bother you. Your boss now thinks you are a Geek, who does not understand the customers. Your position in salary negotiations is now weaker. It is classic among the technical community, to not have a mental model of the other person's thinking. You really need to talk to your boss often enough to know what she is thinking. And you need to understand that she is tecnnically not competent to answer your question. And you need to keep in mind that she probably makes more money than you do. If you learn her skills, your salary will go up, first through negotiations with her, then by replacing her. She will never be able to learn your skiils.
    If you want to talk on the phone about this more, I am happy to provide advice. I miss meeting people at conferences.

    There are really two target markets. Electrical Engineers who want a cheap board, and forth developers who want an easy to use board. If you want to target a KISS board for electrical engineers, your existing documentation is perfect as is. The sales pitch I just wrote below (with USb cable) is for Forth developers who want an easy to get started board.

    Onto the specific issue. Here is the high level introduction. It will be slightly technically inaccurate, but it gives you the idea.

    The KISS evaluation board is a very inexpensive P2 board designed for Forth Developers It includes a P2 chip, running Taqoz Forth on all 8 cores. It has everything a Forth developer needs and nothing else. You just connect it to your computer using a USB cable, and start programming. No need to even install a software driver on the host computer.

    The reason it is a lot cheaper than the official P2 Eval board is because it has no SD slot, no video (onboard), No HyperRAM, only 1? 2? 4? headers (8 pins) where you can plug in any P2 accessory board. (And list all the other things on the official eval board that are not on this board. )

    And we now have a dedicated channel on the Parallax Forum for supporting Forth.

    The goal for this board is to make it really easy for Forth Developers. to get started on the P2.

    You can learn more about the P2 here

    Here are the board's technical specs:
    And then expand the following to English. You should not have any words that someone has to look up in the glossary.

    • P2 chip with 8 cores running Forth
    • 4 slots (headers) where you can plug in existing p2 accessory boards.

    • 3.3V LDO, 1.8V SMPS, 5V in Just drop this. Forth developers are clueless about voltages. Or at least explain the benefits.

    • 512kB boot flash ROM provides a huge amount of space to store Forth programs. Taqoz Forth only occupies 2KB of that space.

    • prog plug connector for programming (NO USB onboard) DUH. The whole point is to make it easy for me to use. I do not even know what a prog plug is. Where do I get one, How do I plug it in? I want to just plug in my USB and go.

    • If you want to add electronics, this fits on a standard breadboard. (Say a bit more)
    • The clock is driven by a 25MHz crystal, not by the P2 internal resonator, so the timing is more accurate. Why is that, I though thought you wanted a cheap board for Forth developers. This is something only an advanced person would care about.
    • It is really small, just 30.5 x 76.5mm (3" x 1.2") In contrast the official board is .

    Your homework assignment is to understand and document the market(s) your boss wants to target.

    And by the way this problem goes throughout the P2 documentation. All the details are there, but no high level introductory views for beginners. They should hire me to help them fix it all. Of course then no one would like me for always complaining. Bad enough as is.

  • MaciekMaciek Posts: 466
    edited 2021-08-05 14:20

    I very much appreciate your comments, thank you. I reread your post to be sure I understand the meaning of what you have said. Discussions are good. They broaden perspective.

    Let me the offer you an executive summary of my personal view.

    I do not agree with your assessment at all. Here is why:

    1. The boss, in this case, acts as a proxy and a translator between the management board and an employee. The boss needs to know, not guess, what is expected by the higher management and needs to make sure the employee understands the task he was being given to be able to deliver. That means asking questions at the management level and answering questions asked by the employee. I is of utmost importance that this process works flawlessly and each party knows and understands what needs to be done. And I am not talking of the technical details here at all.
    2. The money one makes is completely irrelevant here and has nothing to do with the fact if an individual is fit for the job or not. The quality of ones work is determined by ones competence.
    3. The report I mentioned was about important security findings and was to be presented at the management board level. There is no room for guessing here. You need to have hard facts and only the most relevant ones.

    In an essence - bad day (at best) or incompetence. I do not care.


    1. The KISS boards were created as an answer to some particular needs and these were: simple, versatile, powerful and as cheap as reasonably possible.
    2. They are not specifically targeted for Forth developers. They are targeted for Embedded Developers, no matter what programming technique or language they use. All the P2 based boards can run custom Forth (Taqoz).
    3. The KISS boards are neither better nor worse than other fine boards, be it the official Parallax boards or any other P2 based ones, that are also great. They just have some features other boards don't have or lack some features other boards have.
    4. Determining if one of these excellent KISS boards' variants fits some specific needs a given user might have is not up to the creator of the boards but to the actual user. Only the user knows, and sometimes that's not even the case, if a given board is right for his/her needs.
    5. To help the user choose the right board for this user's needs there has to be a detailed, but somewhat high level technical specification, listing all the important features so the average user can make an informed decision. The advanced user will always need to look for details and verify them closely. This high level technical information for the boards is readily available and I have provided links to it.
    6. Every embedded developer needs to be familiar with both the software and the hardware. The more such developer knows both aspects, the better, more productive developer he/she could be. This is much different with the majority of just PC software developers. For them the hardware is hidden behind layers of abstraction.

    In an essence - understand your needs and broaden the competences. Do not expect others to correctly guess your specific needs and do not rely solely on the marketing leaflets and sometimes unfair comparisons. Do your own research. Always.

  • MaciekMaciek Posts: 466
    edited 2021-08-12 15:43

    Update for those interested.

    The KISS boards, both variants, are available now for Europe and the v2 (with USB power and SD card socket) will soon be available in US.
    Look here for more details on the boards and here f or the announcement.

    I have also updated the thread title to reflect this joyful fact.

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