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Thu. 5 Aug 2004 16:19:44 -0400 (EDT)

While reading one of your web pages:


I noticed a few typos I thought you might want to correct.

In the sentence:

Each character of a message being sent was preceded by
a stop bit, and followed by a stop bit, which made it
slow by today's standards.

I'm pretty sure the first "stop bit" should be "start bit".

In the sentence beginning:

In the field of telegraphy, Baudot also left a portion
of him name to posterity in the form...

The part "him name" should be "his name"


Nice work on that page, by the way.

Excellent historical perspective, good depth, pleasant style.

- Bill


Dear Bill,

Thank you very much for the feedback pointing out the two errors in my article on the history of character codes. I corrected both of them the other day. Unfortunately, it is extremely easy to do such things when you have to write and then edit your own work.

Sincerely yours,
Steven J. Searle
Web Master, TRON Web


Thu, 21 Aug 2003, 01:19:20 PDT

Hi, I'm a collage student who's interested in TRON, and I
would like to use TRON on my PC after reading about
TRON in Komputek PC magazine. I would like to know
where I can download TRON OS for my PC. Or should
I buy a CD? Is TRON OS available in English or Indonesian
language? What kind of utilities are included in TRON OS?

Thanks for your kindness,


Dear Mr. Alienist,

Thank you for your interest in the TRON Project, and welcome to TRON Web.

I do not know how the TRON Project was described in the Komputek magazine article you referred to, but TRON is a very broad term that covers a large family of operating systems. The TRON operating system that is available for loading into personal computers based on the IBM-PC/AT architecture is called BTRON. At present, Personal Media Corporation is marketing a commercialization of the BTRON3-specification operating system called "Cho Kanji 4," which comes with a suite of bundled applications.

Two foreign language kits are available for this operating system: English and Esperanto.



Unfortunately, translations of the user manuals are not available in either language at this time, so you would probably have to use it together with a person who is capable of reading Japanese. An added burden would be the price, 25,000 yen via direct sales from Personal Media's Sales Department, which is probably very expensive for people in Indonesia.

Cho Kanji 4 comes equipped with a word processor, drawing program, e-mailer, two types of browser (BTRON Basic Browser and Mozilla), a spreadsheet program, a card database, printing and communications functions, and the powerful MicroScript programming language. Naturally, it also has utilities, such as a clock, calculator, dial-up adapter, etc. But what it is really famous for is its ability to use an unabridged kanji character set. This is supported by a powerful character search utility. In that sense, this operating system would be perfect for a librarian in Indonesia in charge of a large collection of Japanese books.

If you would like to know if and/or when a complete English-language software package will become available for purchase, I suggest you contact Personal Media's Sales Department. Their e-mail address is:


There is, by the way, no freeware or open source version of the BTRON operating system available for downloading from the World Wide Web. On the other hand, an open source version of the micro-ITRON4.0-specification real-time kernel, TOPPERS/JSP, is available for downloading from the following Web site.


If you are a computer science student who does embedded systems programming, this may interest you.

I hope I have answered your questions above. If not, please feel free to contact me again.

Sincerely yours,
Steven J. Searle
Web Master, TRON Web


Mon, 28 Jul 2003, 01:26:43 +0530

Dear Steven,

Thanks for your response, given especially that this is a weekend.
I really appreciate this.

I'm curious about two things:

1) Given that you use a *BSD like license, generously sharing your know-how
with no conditions, haven't you had situations where someone took an existing
source code/source stream, modified a little, and copyrighted it in their name
and/or interests, using the law to forbid the TRON Association to move in
that specific direction? If so, how did you overcome such things, and/or, why
aren't you considering a GPL or LGPL type license?

2) More than two decades ago, when I used to tinker with early form of
computers, I often heard of the rise of the MSX operating system from Japan,
which then mysteriously disappeared. This was circa 1982 to 1985. Is TRON a
re-incarnation or something of MSX?

Thanks in advance.


Dear LinuxLingam,

The TRON Project originally began as an "open architecture movement." What this means is that TRON Architecture specifies the "framework" of the various operating system subarchitectures, i.e., ITRON, BTRON, CTRON, and MTRON, but not the complete source code. Accordingly, the first implementations of the widely used ITRON kernel were "proprietary operating systems built in accordance with an open architecture." Simply put, the original goal of the TRON Project was to create open standards with open APIs, which is not to mention an open HMI, while allowing for competition among various computer hardware and software companies.

However, in the early 1990s, it became clear that it would be nice to have open source implementations of micro-ITRON and micro-CTRON as reference models for engineers and as training platforms for students and technicians. Thus these were developed and made available on line for downloading via the Internet. The original open source micro-ITRON was based on the micro-ITRON3.0 specification and was called "ItIs." That is no longer supported, but the open source TOPPERS/JSP kernel, which is based on the mciro-ITRON4.0 specification, is still available for downloading from the Internet.

One of the problems that was encountered with the open architecture concept, particularly the original TRON concept of "weak or loose" standardization, was that there were minute differences among the various commercial ITRON implementations. Thus it was impossible to develop a standardized ITRON development environment. It should come as no surprise, then, that the T-Engine project has taken this problem into account and has developed a standard kernel and monitor, T-Kernel and T-Monitor, which is supported by both a standard open development environment and commercially available development environments. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that the T-Engine project puts the TRON Architecture on a par with proprietary operating systems developed elsewhere in the world.

As to companies overseas taking TRON ideas and copyrighting or patenting them, this is not a big worry. The TRON Architecture is protected by copyrights, and anyone applying for a copyright or software patent for ideas that were originally TRON ideas risks having his copyright/patent rejected or overturned on the basis of "prior art." This is particularly the case in the U.S., where intellectual property rights are based on the concept of "first to invent," not "first to file." Of course, lately in the U.S., the U.S. Patent Office is granting U.S. companies software patents for everything under the sun. I was shocked to learn, for example, that a U.S. company was granted a patent for frames and other persistent interface elements. Frames and other persistent interface elements have been around since the days of HyperCard stacks.

The reason the TRON Project doesn't use either GPL or LGPL licensing is that embedded systems developers do not like to share their know-how with their competitors. You have to keep in mind that no one makes big bucks for supplying real-time kernels and/or applications for embedded systems, and what little there is in the way of profit would vanish if everything had to be made open. Frankly, that would lead to the collapse of a lot of little software houses in Japan. And so, it is for that reason that the TOPPERS/JSP license agreement resembles the FreeBSD license agreement.

As to your question about MSX, TRON is completely different from that, being a "total real-time architecture for ubiquitous computing environments." If I remember correctly, MSX was developed in the mid 1980s by Microsoft Corporation as an operating system for 8-bit game machines that were going to double as personal computers. Many large Japanese electronics makers climbed aboard this project, undoubtedly believing that Microsoft would develop a kick-ass operating system, but the game market was taken over by a small company that had virtually no software experience and developed a game machine based on a proprietary operating system. That company was Nintendo. Prof. Sakamura likes to tell relate this fact to Japanese businessmen who think Japan doesn't have what it takes to set software standards.

I hope that answers your questions. One thing I wish you would tell your readers, most of whom I assume are programmers, is that there is a place for them also in the TRON Project. Several times I have read in the opinions of Japanese BTRON enthusiasts that they wish Indian programmers would write applications programs for the BTRON operating system. If there is someone on the Indian end to push on this idea, there might be someone on the Japanese end to pull on it.

Sincerely yours,
Steven J. Searle
Web Master, TRON Web


Sun, 27 Jul 2003, 01:49:08 +0530


I saw a link to an article on TRON posted on the linux-delhi mailing list.
I was quite impressed with the software and the architecture.

But, what's the license? I can only understand it is free-of-cost and is
"open source," but I cannot easily find links to the actual license.
Please let me know.

Why don't you also put a button on the home page that links to complete
details of the license of TRON, please?

In the real world, I am a contributing editor to the Hindustan Times newspaper
and wish to write briefly on TRON in a subsequent article in the newspaper,
if space, time, and the editor, permits.




Dear LinuxLingam,

Thank you for your interest in the TRON Project.

For your information, the TRON Architecture is not covered by the General Public License that was created by the Free Software Foundation. The research results of the TRON Project are offered free of charge to the rest of the world, and the rest of the world can make use of them in any way they see fit. The only stipulation is that they not be called TRON if the person or organization using them decides to make changes to them. In the legal sense, the TRON Project is closer to the FreeBSD movement than it is to the GNU or Linux movements. Naturally, since the ultimate goal of the TRON Project is to create a computerized society using a unified architecture, it would be best if everyone followed the TRON specifications closely.

A translation of the copyright statement for the µITRON4.0-specification TOPPERS kernel is available on TRON Web. Here's the URL.


The TOPPERS project Web site is here.


You can download the source code for the TOPPERS/JSP kernel from there. However, please keep in mind that the TOPPERS kernel is not the same thing as the T-Kernel that powers the T-Engine development platform. T-Kernel is an ITRON implementation that is designed to operate in conjunction with the eTRON security architecture on a standardized hardware platform. The source code for T-Kernel is scheduled to be released at the end of 2003.

By the way, you might be wondering why companies bother to join TRON Project organizations if the specifications and/or source code is offered for free. The answer is that the companies that join these organizations are able to help to create the architecture, and they also get to obtain the research results several months before they are released to the public. So in the end, they receive something in return for their membership fees, which keep the TRON Project going.

I hope I have answered your question.

Sincerely yours,
Steven J. Searle
Web Master, TRON Web

P.S. The "Fundamental Concepts Governing the TRON Project" are as follows:

1. The computer architecture TRON originated by Dr. Ken Sakamura is an open computer architecture. The TRON Specifications are made publicly available to anyone in the world.

2. Copyrights to the TRON Specifications belong to the TRON Association. Anyone is entitled to utilize the TRON Specifications in developing and merchandising products conforming to the TRON Specifications.

3. The TRON Association has been established as the core organization for the purpose of preparing the TRON Specifications, conducting conformance testing, and otherwise promoting the TRON Project. Membership in the TRON Association is open to anyone in the world who shares in the objectives of the TRON Project and agrees to observe the TRON Association rules.

These were taken from p. 143 of the Proceedings of the 11th TRON Project International Symposium, which were published by the IEEE Computer Society Press.


Tue, 12 Nov 2002 11:19:21 +0900

Dear Mr.Steven J. Searle:

This is Yamazaki writing from Osaka/JAPAN. Thanks a lot for introducing my site at your following pages.


First of all, I must tell you that my name (on your pages) is incorrect. My name is "Masayoshi Yamazaki", instead of "Masahiro". And, my site has been moved to the following URL, since I've changed my Internet provider.


( My former site is still alive for a couple of weeks. )

I'd much appreciate it if you'd kindly revise the URL on your pages at your earliest convenience. Many thanks in advance. I'm closing here. Have a nice day.

P.S.: I can speak Korean a little, but I've deleted the BBS for Korean, since there's almost no access from Korea.

Yours Sincerely,
Yamazaki, Masayoshi from Osaka/JAPAN
mailto: yamazaki@kwanghwa.to


Dear Mr. Yamazaki,

Now, I know I'm getting old. To see your name on your Web page, and then write something else--this is a sign that my mind is no longer functioning like that of a young man! Please forgive me. I will correct this immediately.

By the way, I am a Korean language specialist who has lived and worked in Korea. In fact, I was working at a Korean company in Seoul prior to returning to Japan in 1997 to start TRON Web. Thus I can tell you that there are people in Korea who are interested in TRON. In fact, some of them have studied under Prof. Sakamura.

If you want to get Koreans interested in the TRON Project, why don't you do a Korean language Web site dedicated to TRON? In particular, why don't you create a Web page that shows speakers of Korean how to use BTRON? I'll bet that would attract Korean readers to your Web site.

Sincerely yours,
Steven J. Searle
Web Master, TRON Web


Sun, 20 Oct 2002 16:49:42 +0900


It is, maybe, the second time to send an e-mail to you.

I have some information to add to your abundant stuff of the web page. As far as I know, there are two personal web pages offering information on the TRON Project. The one is my page(http://member.nifty.ne.jp/shinm/index.html), and another is Masayoshi YAMAZAKI's. The latter is not included in your link pages maybe because it does not appear in the links of 'Yahoo!'. It is very kind of you if you add the link to his web site, for the people searching for the articles of the TRON Project.

On the other hand, the url has changed as below.



I am always looking forward to, and enjoy, your update of the web page.



Sun, 30 Jun 2002 21:45:25 +0200 (CEST)


My name is Malko Lézy and I'm from Belgium (besides France).
I'm working on my own Linux-based OS which I want hyper-user-friendly and
multi-cultural (Unix already being multi-hardware). I felt since the
beginning that Unicode was a bad idea for i18n but I rarely hear
about Linux programmers using something else and heard only criticism
about TRON before I recently fell upon your website (which got me excited
about the goal of the TRON project).

In fact, Linux offers me all that I need (even without real-time) but TRON
seems to bring a lot about internationalization and media format
standardization that I find ABSOLUTELY necessary. I would like to learn
those specifications to see if I could integrate TRON in my objects but
docs are still hard to find in english and I miss real counterpoints to see
how much it can fit in the object orientation (C++) I want to make.
If you can enlightrn me more, be sure TRON will find an echo by here. Why
not a brand new UTRON to make personal computing at the height of your
views (I love xBSD as well) ?


Dear Mr. Lézy,

Thank you very much for your e-mail. I am pleased to learn that people in Belgium are interested in the TRON Project.

As to your interest in combining Linux with TRON, let me say that this was proposed here several years back. There was a proposal to create a Linux compatibility layer inside the BTRON operating system to allow Linux and BTRON to share APIs, and hence development tools. Nothing seems to have come from that proposal, although GNU/Linux is used as a cross development environment for BTRON at present.

As to Unicode, I have written two articles about this, which you can find in the technical documentation section of TRON Web. Unicode originally started as a proposal to create a Basic Multilingual Plane for ISO 10646, which was supposed to be no more than 65,536 characters. When it became obvious this number of characters was inadequate--something that should have been obvious from the beginning--the Unicode Consortium introduced the "surrogates mechanism," which is based on inefficient four-byte character codes.

For the record, even outside the TRON movement, there is tremendous resistance to Unicode in Japan. Three large-scale kanji character sets, i.e., eKanji, GT Font, and Konjaku Mojikyo, have already been created here, and they can all be used on top MS Windows and Linux. In fact, some people have been using them for data input. It should be noted that none of these character set projects are directly related to the TRON Project, since the TRON Architecture only provides a framework for loading them.

To really find out about TRON high-level data formats, you have to read about TRON Application Databus (TAD) specification, which has yet to be translated from Japanese to English. Here is the index in Japanese.


On a related issue, Personal Media has recently released an English-language compatibility kit for its Cho Kanji 4 operating system, which you can see a screen shot of here.


You can now use the BTRON-specification computer with a Japanese, English, or Esperanto interface.

If you are truly interested in BTRON, my suggestion is that you visit a large Japanese electronics firm and ask them to help you introduce BTRON technologies to Belgium. Almost all large Japanese electronics manufacturers are members of the TRON Association, so they should at least be able to get you some help in locating a volunteer to translate and/or explain the BTRON specification to you.

I hope all of the above is useful to you. Please feel free to write again if you have any further questions.

Sincerely yours,
Steven J. Searle
Web Master, TRON Web


Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 18:38:28 -0500 (CDT)


I happened upon your TRON website and find it fascinating. Are there any
places in the US where one can obtain a BTRON PDA? I'm specifically
interested in running Squeak on it.



Dear Mr. Reichow,

Thank you very much for your interest in the TRON Project. I was very pleased to learn that you find TRON Web's content fascinating.

In regard to your question, at present there is no place in the U.S., or Japan for that matter, where one can purchase a BTRON-based PDA. However, you can make your own PDA by merely installing the BTRON operating system in an IBM-PC/AT-compatible "palmtop computer," such as Toshiba Corporation's Libretto. Before you go down this path, however, make sure you check with Personal Media to confirm that their operating system runs properly on the particular model you wish to use.

Sometime this quarter, the T-Engine open development platform, which doubles as a PDA, will be put on the market in Japan. Initially, it will be fairly expensive, since it is aimed at developers, not end users. However, over time, it is expected to be priced at less than $1,000. The BTRON-specification operating system has already been successfully ported to this platform, so BTRON users will probably be able to purchase a plamtop BTRON device in the near future.

I looked at your resume [URL removed to protect privacy], and you seem to be interested in the ideas of Alan Kay. Please keep in mind that Prof. Sakamura expanded on Alan Kay's "communication machine" concept to include comunication with "intelligent [computerized] objects" in one's physical environment. Accordingly, programming in a TRON environment would require that you use a language that can handle distributed/cooperative processing among network nodes. I do not believe that the Squeak language is capable of that.

From Prof. Sakamura's view, the best stage of the TRON Project is about to begin. The basic technologies are almost all complete, and soon it will be time to begin experimenting with true network computing in which all sorts of computerized devices interact with each other for the benefit of humans. I hope that one day you will be able to join in this research.

Sincerely yours,
Steven J. Searle
Web Master, TRON Web


Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2001 09:39:17 +0900 (JST)

Web Master:

This is to inform you that the website
has been designated a Cool Site in the Netscape Open Directory

This is an impressive and comprehensive history of character encoding, and probably the most interesting site in its category in the Open Directory Project.

The site was only reviewed today and I'm pleased to recommend it as the Cool Site in this category for the time being.

Good stuff :)

Conrad Longmore

For a link to the category page, use:
<a href="http://directory.mozilla.org/Computers/Software/Globalization/Character_Encoding/"><b>Open Directory


Dear Mr. Longmore:

Thank you very much for recommending the TRON Web article on the history of character encoding as an Open Directory Cool Site. I will download and display the Open Directory Cool Site Award on that page along with the link when I update at the end of June.

By the way, there are lots of other interesting articles and news stories on TRON Web. Please feel free to look around.

Sincerely yours,
Steven J. Searle
Web Master, TRON Web


Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 20:03:51 -0400 (EDT)

Hi Steven (am I writing to Steven?)

I read your page "A Brief History of Character Codes" and I found it really interesting (I didn't even know about Baudot!).

I am currently writing an article on character encodings, XML and Perl for XML.com. I would like to link to your page, especially as it shows an unusual opinion on Unicode. At least I had never heard it voiced, I always heard the "official line" that Unicode shows that we (as in we Westerners) take Asian languages into account and that everything will be fine once we use it.

Is that OK with you?

A draft (which should become the final version by tomorrow) of the paper is at http://www.xmltwig.cx/encoding/encoding.html if you want to have a look (I am certainly not an expert in encodings, just an XML/ Perl hacker so there are probably some mistakes in my description of the situation).

Michel Rodriguez
Senior Programmer-Analyst, Electronic Services
IEEE Standards Activities


Dear Mr. Rodriguez:

Thank you very much for your e-mail message, and, yes, you are writing to Steven. The server that my Web site is on automatically forwards e-mail messages to me.

In regard to your request, by all means feel free to link to my article on character codes. Others already have--I discovered a link to that article at a Web site in Finland!--so please tell all your friends about it. The purpose of TRON Web is to inform as many people as possible about the TRON Project and the wonderful technologies that have been developed as a result of it.

The real expert on CJK character codes in the West is Ken Lunde at Adobe. He has actually written prolifically on the subject, and my brief article owes him quite a debt. Accordingly, if you are interested in the issue of processing East Asian languages on computers, it is best to drop him a line. Ken, by the way, is a linguist and a Perl programmer, so he may be able to give you some tips about programming in Perl in a Unicode-based environment.

Unicode, as you are no doubt aware, is an improvement over ASCII, but it is totally inadequate for processing Japanese. It
does not have sufficient characters to write Japanese personal names and place names. It also does not have enough
characters to create digital archives of Japanese culture. Accordingly, a lot of Japanese organizations are seriously considering
using TRON Code-based computers for their data processing needs.

The English-language version of the BTRON3-specification operating system was supposed to have been announced yesterday, although I have yet to see the press release. It is being marketed by Sennet Inc. (http://www.sennet.co.jp/), which has a U.S.-based affiliate called Global OS Corp. (http://www.GlobalOScorp.com/). The operating system runs on industry standard IBM-PC/AT-compatible personal computers and is bundled with application software.

Finally, since you are involved in IEEE standards activities, you might be interested to know that TRON Project Leader Ken Sakamura is currently the editor-in-chief of "IEEE Micro." I think his opinions are posted at on the IEEE Computer Society's Web site (http://computer.org/).

Sincerely yours,
Steven J. Searle
Web Master, TRON Web


Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 08:50:31 PDT

Hello ,

I tumbled onto your site after a chance look at PDA's and got a link from the Aplix site. Imagine my surprise when I found a link to an English site giving me more info on TRON. I have been trying to get a peek at Sakamura-san's work and looking at places where I can get code to do a porting exercise. I would be very grateful if you could get me to a place where I could download code to use for a port to a RISC platform. Issues are as follows:

compiler / assemblers tool sets
base test platform

I read with interest the article on the open policy of Linux ... but please note that this has been possible with the vision of Richard Stallman and also the initial exploratory work on MINIX of Dr. Andrew Tannenbaum. Today Linux is existing and expanding primarily because of toolset support from the GNU! It is a fact that Linus Torvalds has himself acknowledged this great contribution.

It is not that I am reducing the work of Linus and all the other people who have made Linux a success, but would like to share that such a base tool set would be required to move TRON to all people who want to port to other platforms.

Any info recieved would be appreciated.

Thank you .. kumar shyam


Dear kumarsa shyam,

Thank you very much for your e-mail. I am delighted to hear from another person overseas who is interested in the TRON Project.

In regard to your question about source code for a port to a RISC platform, freeware source code for both micro-ITRON and micro-CTRON are available for downloading from the Internet. In addition, there is a project currently under way to develop a freeware version of the BTRON operating system à la GNU/Linux, the "B-Free Project," but this not directly connected with the Sakamura Laboratory at the University of Tokyo.

The freeware ITRON, which I believe is what you are looking for, is called ItIs (ITRON Implementation by Sakamura Lab). It can be downloaded from the following Web page:


In addition, the micro-ITRON3.0 handbook has been translated into English and published by the IEEE Computer Society Press. The title is: micro-ITRON3.0: An Open and Portable Real-time Operating System for Embedded Systems - Concept and Specification. (micro is written with the Greek letter 'mu'.)

In Japan, the key man in the ITRON movement is Prof. Hiroaki Takada, who teaches at Toyohashi University of Technology, which is near the city of Nagoya. In the U.S., Mr. Jim Farrell runs a TRON Liaison Office, but I do not have any contact information for him.

As for development environments, the current plan is to make Metrowerks' CodeWarrior the standard development environment for ITRON and BTRON, but when CodeWarrior for ITRON and BTRON will be released has yet to be announced. If you are familiar with the GNU development environment, then you might be interested in what Cygnus Solutions is doing. They have developed a freeware RTOS called eCos, which is ITRON-compatible. I believe that is supported with GNU-based tools. Please take a look at the ITRON home page for detailed information. The URL is:


Personal Media Corporation, which is the main developer of BTRON-specification operating systems, has been using GNU tools for BTRON development. In fact, they have provisionally released their GNU development environment for B-right/V, since Japanese factory automation engineers are very enthusiastic about integrating BTRON into ITRON-based production lines.

Finally, many people in the TRON movement are happy to see an open source/open architecture movement such as GNU/Linux attain such success. To many of us, GNU/Linux is a sister movement, albeit one based on different computing models.

If you have any problems or need further information, please do not hesitate to contact me. I love to receive and exchange e-mail.

Sincerely yours,
Steven J. Searle
Web Master, TRON Web


Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 11:10:08 +0800

Web Master San,

Thank you for creating and maintaining the site in English. It has helped me a lot into understanding uITRON.

I am from Singapore. Currently, I am using Hitachi HI7000 uITRON OS in a R&D project. Currently, I am trying to see and understand and broaden my view on how ITRON should be used.

Sometimes, I find that there is difficulty to find sites related to uITRON in English. Could you kindly give me sites that has Presentation Materials, examples and Technical Exchange of uITRON 3.0.

If you can host a technical exchange group in English for people who are interested and those who are into developing uITRON based products, I will much appreciate that as it gives us a place to discuss about ITRON itself.

Thank you.

Kwek Chu-Lih


Dear Mr. Kwek Chu-Lih,

Thank you for your e-mail. I am glad to learn that TRON Web is helping you broaden your understanding of ITRON.

As you may have noticed, the majority of the technical materials on TRON Web are related to BTRON. This is because there was almost no information available in English on the BTRON subproject prior to the creation of TRON Web in 1997. Moreover, there is a very large, well maintained English-language site dedicated to ITRON at the University of Tokyo. The URL is:


You may already know from reading TRON Web that the micro-ITRON3.0 specification has also been translated into English. It is titled "micro-ITRON: An Open and Portable Real-Time Operating System for Embedded Systems" (ISBN 0-8186-7795-3) and is published the IEEE Computer Society Press. (micro is written with the Greek letter "mu" in the above.)

I am planning to put some ITRON-related materials on TRON Web in the coming year. In particular, I want to post information on the new generation ITRON kernel, micro-ITRON4.0.

I do not know of the existence of any English-language ITRON technical exchange group, but I will ask if one exists. If it does, I will tell you how to get in touch with it.

Sincerely yours,
Steven J. Searle
Web Master, TRON Web


Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 17:34:32 -0800


I would like to thank you for all the effort that has gone into TRON Web. A while ago, I was searching for information concerning an obscure microprocessor, and stumbled upon TRON Web. I was amazed to discover a whole part of computing history that I knew nothing about, that I had never even heard mention of before.

I'm curious if you might know where I can find some information on the NEC V60-V80 processors. I'm interested in developing a software simulator, but I haven't been able to find any detailed technical information about them, and because I cannot read Japanese, I have to rely on English-content web sites (which is why TRON Web is so invaluable!). To make things harder, it seems NEC of America has no data on them, whatsoever. But I read they were 'TRON-like' (from the `Great Microprocessors of the Past and Present' website), and that's what led me to TRON Web.

Thank you for your time,


Charles Mac Donald


Dear Mr. Mac Donald,

Thank you very much for your e-mail. I was very pleased to hear that TRON Web has proved to be a valuable source of information for you.

As to your question on where to find English-language information about NEC's V60-V80 processors, there is an article on the implementation of the V60/V70 ("Implementation of the V60/V70 and Its FRM Function," pp. 22-36) in the April 1988 issue of IEEE Micro. I do not have any references for the V80.

Sincerely yours,
Steven J. Searle
Web Master, TRON Web