Bare Metal micro:bit

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Twenty experiments in low-level programming

This book describes a series of experiments in programming the BBC micro:bit at a low level.

Chapters will appear one-by-one in coming weeks, starting with some experiments with programming the micro:bit in machine code. If you want to follow along as the book grows, you should get a micro:bit and either a Raspberry Pi or a Linux laptop, and begin with the appendices about hardware and software setup. The hardware setup instructions include some modifications to the micro:bit that will come in handy later, but you don't have to do them before beginning with the first experiment.

Feedback is very welcome, and you can send me e-mail at, or raise issues on the github page if you prefer:

Front cover

Part 1: Machine code programming

The first third of the book is about programming at the machine level: instructions, how they are implemented by a computer, and how they can be combined to carry put familiar programming tasks.

Part 2: Input/output devices

This part of the book is about programming I/O devices: how input and output happens by reading and writing device registers, and how we can use interrupts to make the computer respond to events.

Part 3: Embedded operating system

The last third of the book introduces micro:bian, a tiny embedded operating system based on message passing, and uses it to organise programs that contain multiple processes interleaved with each other.


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