June 30th, 2021—
Operating systems are pieces of software that control hardware and software systems within a computer to allow for task scheduling, resource management, and concurrency. Popular OSes included Windows, macOS, GNU/Linux, and Raspbian, but all of these are incapable of running on extremely small processors such as the ATmega328P. That is where ZARDOS, which stands for “Ze ARDuino Operating System,” can help. It is an OS that runs primarily on the Arduino Mega, although its creator says a minimum version can also run on the Arduino Uno.
At the most basic level, ZARDOS communicates with a Minitel 1B or 2 terminal over a single DIN-5 cable via a serial link. Once running, the Arduino board can read in and execute new software via a “cartridge” system, as well as host a filesystem on an SD card. The OS also lets users add a PS-2 mouse, speaker, and videotex printer, which means this device is quite the throwback to the earlier days of home computing.
ZARDOS is a very impressive pieces of software for the Mega, and it will be exciting to see just how far this project goes in the future. To learn more, check out its site here.