The current project was started in 1992, as very little of the developments which started in 1984 and 1989 could be effectively used ( though, of course, the experience gained was very valuable ).
In a way, the starting point for Merlin was the August issue of Byte magazine about the Smalltalk-80 object oriented language. It showed that computers could be made simple ( and even fun ) to use - very different from the CP/M style computers that were popular back then.
IBM introduced the PC
The idea of a Smalltalk-like computer for the masses went from day dreaming to action when the Pegasus Project ( which developed a computer for children and schools ) was started.
A microkernel, message passing Unix project was started at LSI - USP ( project SINDE )
Apple introduced the Lisa, making Windows and Mice industry buzzwords
It became clear that using Pegasus as a scaled down version of the more ambitious goals was resulting in a unsatisfactory hybrid, the project was split in two ( Pegasus died out a little later ), with the Smalltalk computer renamed to Merlin
Several alternatives were considered for the hardware and a bytecode-less Smalltalk was designed. Later the Smalltalk method names were translated to Portuguese and the "blue book" implementation was translated to C.
The Brazilian Congress transformed the "Reserved Market Policy" into a law by an almost unanimous vote
Apple introduced the Macintosh, the "computer for the rest of us"
The Merlin I prototype was designed and built
Digitalk introduced Methods, the first commercial Smalltalk ( for the PC )
"Inova Tecnologia e Informatica" was founded in association with Softec ( a leading PC maker in Brazil ) to develop Merlin
The Merlin II prototype was built in record time
Merlin OS, a very simple operating system, was written to help debug Smalltalk on the Merlin II
The Merlin III was designed and built. It was a dual bus 68020 machine - it had both NuBus and 8 bit PC slots
First a QNX port to Merlin III was canceled as well as the Smalltalk effort, being replaced by new OS design written in an Objective-C like language. Then the hardware project was scrapped, and the software was moved to the PC AT
Xerox spin-off Parcplace was created to finally do something about Smalltalk
"Self: The Power of Simplicity" paper was published at OOPSLA
The association with Softec came to an end
The project was restarted at LSI - USP.
The detailed design of Merlin IV was finished
Self 1.0 was released at Stanford
A 64 node machine was built at LSI ( MS8702 )
The Self project moved to Sun
|The project was restarted once again. This time as a "home-grown computer"|
The "Reserved Market Policy" came to a eagerly awaited end
Self 2.0 was released
The Merlin IV Prototype runs its first programs
the first lines of tinySelf in C were written on a DOS machine
Self 3.0 was released
The first Merlin IV prototype stopped working ( the stress to the board of constantly replacing EPROMs proved to be a problem ). A second prototype was built
Merlin's Web pages at LSI - USP let the world know about the project
Work on tinySelf was restarted, this time on Linux
Self 4.0 was released
I would like to thank the people who have helped Merlin in the past: