HP71: Any suggestions to learn FORTH ?


Title says it all. I am a (relative) inexperienced programmer and want to start to use my HP71's FORTH module language environment to do some basic programming. I have the museum discs, my main problem is that I do not seem to be able to take the first hurdle, some questions:
- Where can I get (download ) a simple introductory course in FORTH
- Overview of programming elements/language structures.
- Example programs geared towards the HP71
- etc.

Any help would be very welcome.



How about google ?
A quick search for 'FORTH tutorial' returned various links:




There are many more, but these should get you started;-)

Even the HP-48 programming manual can be of valuable help,

since RPL is *very* similar to FORTH.

These can be downloaded from HP or www.hpcalc.org




I am also attempting to learn this non-intuitive language. The HP Owner's Manual recommends three references, Brodie's Starting FORTH, FORTH-83 Standard, Haydon's An Annotated FORTH Glossary. I downloaded the FORTH-83 standard from the internet; I bought "used" copies of the two books using Barnes & Nobel, and Amazon. Be careful when buying the used books because the prices ranged from $35.00 to $300.00!!! for the same title in similar condition. I bought each for about $45.00. Also the FORTH Interest Group web-site lists many links to tutorials and different versions of FORTH. I downloaded a copy of Pygmy FORTH for use on my PC. I have been very frustrated while trying to learn FORTH, fortunately I am retired and learning FORTH as a stimulating intellectual exercise. Good Luck !!!


Thanks to you both, I'll start with the online tutorials.


Starting Forth, by Leo Brodie, is a great book for beginning in Forth. It's very dated, but still excellent in most ways, and humorous. Unfortunately the only versions I've seen online were where apparently someone just re-keyboarded the whole thing, without the pictures, the bold and italics, etc.. The Forth Webring's address is http://t.webring.com/hub?ring=forth . You'll find a lot of good websites linked in there, including tutorials.

That was the book I started into Forth with, with the HP-71. Unfortunately the situation I ran up against was that the book assumed you had something to practice on, and the HP-71 Forth/Assembler module manual assumed you already had experience in Forth and only needed to know the things that were particular to the HP-71. The two were left pointing at each other. It wasn't ideal. In your process of learning, you're welcome to E-mail me with questions. I haven't done any Forth programming on the 71 in quite awhile so I'll probably have to do some review, but it'll be good for me! The 71's Forth implementation is not nearly as good as its BASIC implementation (especially when you include the user groups' LEX-file and other contributions to the BASIC); but since it's Forth, you can make a lot of improvements yourself, even without assembly.

After you get some beginning experience in Forth, another book that's good is Thinking Forth, again by Leo Brodie. He has relicensed this book under the Creative Commons license. Although unlinked to in the main page, you can get a copy of the Thnking Forth book at the following URL:


The pictures' quality is not very good, but it's all there, more or less in its original form.



Hello Garth,

a small addition:

The link


doesn't work this way.

You'll have to go to


then select a download mirror, and finally download the pdf.

For onscreen viewing, take the 'color' version,

because in this version, you can *see* the hyperlinks;-)



I have the original hardbound Brodie (amazon helped me)

But I save it from beeing used when I can

Therefore this stream excited me a lot, I could get a print that was not to be considered brittle...

I tried to do the down load from the sourceforge.net site and got diverted to a slew of mirro host.

I ended up in this domain


and I can't seem to find the title under Leo, Brodie, thinking, forth or anything else. I even tried FIG. What do I do wrong here? Any advice?



I figured it out - sorry it was too simple.

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