I have been enjoying reading a blog by Ken at Sustainable Suburbia recently, and one post in particular sparked me into action. Not because of its main topic (although that is thought-provoking, too) but because of the mention of an odd early programming language named “BURP” (Basic Using Reverse Polish).
Sufficiently intrigued by this idea, I read around a bit, and decided that I would have a go at producing a version of this. There’s not a wide range of information about the BURP language or system, but there are a few articles from “Wireless World” magazine in the late 1970s and early 1980s which describe the design of both the BURP language and the “Psi-Comp 80” home computer which used it. The key to the system seems to be the National Semiconductor MM57109 “Number-Oriented Processor” which did most of the mathematical work, alongside a more familiar Zilog Z80, so I have started by getting to grips with this quirky co-processor.
Fell free to follow along with the development on GitHub.