Tumble Forth

Hello, my name is Virgil Dupras, author of Collapse OS and Dusk OS and I'm starting a series of articles that aims to hand-hold my former self, a regular web developer, into the rabbit hole leading to the wonderful world of low level programming. Hopefully, I can hand-hold you too.

The general goal is to broaden your perspectives on the subject of computing. I intend do to that through story arcs leading, step by step, to some nice and shiny objective. I also intend to work into a gimmick where in each episode, I get to tell one corny joke.

The target reader is a person who knows their way around programming, but is inexperienced in the area of low level programming. If you're the target reader but find some parts of this content difficult to understand, this is not intentional. In this case, or if you have any question or comment, please reach out to me at hsoft@hardcoded.net.


Articles are publicly available, but their writing is still fueled by monetary contribution. I figure that each story arc is worth about 2000 CAD, so whenever I reach that amount, I write a new arc.

If you appreciate what I write and would contribute to me writing some more of this stuff, please contribute.

If payment through Stripe doesn't work for you, reach out to me, we can work out other options, including snail mail.

Story arcs

Buckle up, Dorothy

In my “pilot” story arc, we peek in disgust in the abyss of modern software complexity and escape this dystopia by tumbling down the rabbit hole of low level development.

Starting from bare metal on the PC platform, we build a Forth from scratch, then switch to Dusk OS and then build a partial C compiler (just enough to compile our example code), again from scratch.

Table of Contents

  1. Buckle up, Dorothy
  2. Liberation through bare metal
  3. One sector to rule them all
  4. Words in the shell
  5. Do Look Up
  6. A tale of two stacks
  7. Baby's first steps
  8. The Unbearable Immediateness of Compiling
  9. From Dusk Till C
  10. Feeding the beast
  11. In the Eye of the Compiler