My Xula-2 board just arrived and I hope it does not meet the same fate as yours. I also have a papilo board that is gathering dust and a DE0 nano somewhere (at least I had a little more success with that - the Altera toolchain seemed more tractible but equally huge).
I have had a hard time getting started. I have no doubt that an open source toolchain will be a great step forward in lowering that barrier and I'll probably have a play with that in good time, I especially liked the idea of playing with the j1a forth CPU.
In the mean time I'll be using the overwhelming xilinx toolchain. I chose the xula board because the Xess website seems to have some good "get you started" documentation, the image download tools are python based, the xilinx LX25 has some great clock/PLL resources that I wanted to use and I did not want to run into problems fitting my design into the ICE40.
It's mostly excuses though, I really should have had better results with the boards I have after all this time...
He has said some interesting things, especially about the national debt. He's not stupid and while I think he would be a lousy president (more bent on retribution for any perceived sleight some foreign leader made against him - we'd be at war with Britain over something a tabloid prints within a month) I am glad he is in the race.
Sometimes the crap he spouts helps me understand my own positions better, helps burst me out of my liberal bubble every now and again (it's hard for the news sites, that track my preferences and only feed me news that they think I'll like, to keep the Donald out) and at least he's not as creepy as Pat Buchanan.
OK, so build a new system, a superset of MUMPS that adds the needed functionality but continues to support the legacy code as well as some newer, better syntax.
That way you can transfer in all the old crap and replace it bit by bit over some time. I'm sure I've even seen technology that analyzes executables and re-factors them - perhaps similar techniques could be applied to the old MUMPS source. Sure it's hard, but with $9B and several years I'm sure a handful of CS guys at a university department could achieve something truly exceptional.
"Can you program?" "Well, I'm literate, if that's what you mean!"