Hiatus

Over a year has passed since I posted anything here.

What’s been happening? I have changed job. I’m not overworked by any means, but I have found that I have less time and energy left for the frivolous, but stimulating, pursuits that inhabit this blog. This was not intentional, but it is not easy to climb back into the habit of regular writing once fallen out of it.

Some things I could have written about:

  • Making a very simple assembler for my CPU.
  • Beginning yet another overly-ambitious compiler project, for compiling simple programs into input for the aforementioned assembler. (Yet again, I’m stuck on register allocation!)
  • A VGA driver and a few demonstration graphics circuits (Verilog programs; I know we’re supposed to call them IP Cores but I can’t get past the fact that the legal concept of “intellectual property” has nothing to do with computer science or electronics: circuits it remains!) including some bouncing balls and a Mandelbrot fractal. The output image quality is poor because the FPGA lacks a good timing crystal. The Mandelbrot is low resolution because the FPGA has only a few kB of memory.
  • A raytraced reconstruction of the Antikythera mechanism.
  • Learning about climate science, heterogeneous parallel programming, combinatorial game theory and image processing in some online courses.
  • Finally getting a Raspberry Pi! It has a surprisingly high fun/cost ratio.
  • Teaching myself some Erlang. I really enjoy the mental sensation of learning a new style of programming, but I have not found a suitable project I can apply Erlang to. I am playing with Nitrogen with the aim to write a simple web app for playing videos, which runs on my Pi — on port 31416, naturally. The incumbent state-of-the-art method for playing a video is to ssh into the Pi from my iPad, and enter a omxplayer command to play a movie file located in a mounted directory.
  • Writing a program for generating Penrose tilings. For no particular reason, initially, but it does make a nice pattern to print on a Pi case (that’s a prototype).
  • Sundry rants about life, the universe and everything.

Now all I have to do is pick one of those projects and actually finish it, and then I’ll have something to blog about.

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