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Adventures in Engineering
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2007-02-05 18:00
  Subject:   A 3-Instruction Forth for Embedded Systems work
  Mood:der ubernerd
  Music:Front Line Assembly - Digital Tension Dementia

How many instructions does it take to make a Forth for target development work? Does memory grow on trees? Does the cost of the development system come out of your own pocket? A 3- instruction Forth makes Forth affordable for target systems with very limited memory. It can be brought up quickly on strange new hardware. You don't have to do without Forth because of memory or time limitations. It only takes 66 bytes for the Motorola MC68HC11. Full source is provided.


I remain skeptical of the practicality of Forth in a large-project, multiple-programmer setting. But as an embedded ROM monitor, Forth is fantastic. This idea is pretty cool, and I may have to bust out my AVR programmer and try it.
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Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2007-02-05 18:14
  Subject:   Map, Filter, Reduce: the Cliff Notes version.

A vast number computer algorithms can be expressed in terms of map, filter, and reduce operations.

* Map takes a list and a function and transforms each value by applying the function to each value.

* Filter takes a list and a predicate function (i.e. a function which returns a boolean value) and returns a new list containing only values for which the predicate returns false.

* Reduce takes a list and an associative function which combines two elements to produce a new value. The function is applied consecutively to values in the list pairwise until a single value is reached.

All three functions can be easily implemented in parallel. This observation forms the basis of the Google map-reduce project.


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Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2007-02-05 20:47
  Subject:   Scarborough: "If you are a true conservative, there is no way you can support staying the course."
  Music:RatM - Year of tha Boomerang


I've been saying for quite a while now that Bush and the NeoCons who dragged us into Iraq are, well, not exactly Republicans. That they do not, in fact, represent the actual values of "true Conservatives." (If you'll forgive me for using such a nebulous, poorly defined term.) It's nice to see several on the right waking up to this fact, and beginning to see how completely they were duped. It's doubly nice to see them actually thinking about the troops, and acknowledging the obvious fact that, why yes, the Bush Admn's policies are bad for our soldiers. Though as Patrick Buchanan quite astutely points out here, almost none of those idiots inside the beltway seem to have figured any of this out...

In other political news, watching Duyba's recent (and hilariously transparent) attempts to throw his own party under the bus have been an endless source of amusement for me. (Quoth Garfield: "People don't want "nice." People want "consistent."")
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May 2015