Sunday, June 06, 2010

Ideas are dangerous things...

A movement starts with an idea. A revolution starts with an idea. An invention starts with an idea.
Ideas are volatile things.
...There are thoughts enough
To blow men’s minds and tear great worlds apart 
 My thoughts were in embedded systems for the past 4 years.  Four years ago I left behind large systems development.  I went minimal -- 8-bits in fact.  Improbable as it seems, I managed to get back into Forth development. I've spent the last 8 months writing Forth code on a 16-bit MCU (MSP430).  The project is ending and the product is about to be delivered.

My thoughts now turn to vacation.  But, once on vacation, my thoughts will wander back to computers. So, what's next?

I'd like to finish my embedded system CFT projects, but of course, my mind wanders.

My mind is wandering here  and here.

A while back, I read (and mentioned)  Reaching Escape Velocity (and Gonzo Engineering).  Steven Roberts suggests that you find your all consuming project and pursue it.

The problem is, I don't have such a project in mind.
Maybe my true passion isn't making things.

I love ideas.  I think I am a programmer (rather than inventor) because I often don't need to build something. Sometimes it is just enough to think it (and most importantly share it).  Ideas are like.

So, I am not sure what I am going to do next.
So whatever your hands find to do
You must do with all your heart
There are thoughts enough
To blow men’s minds and tear great worlds apart

There’s a healing touch to find you
On that broad highway somewhere
To lift you high
As music flying
Through the angel’s hair.

Don’t ask what you are not doing
Because your voice cannot command
In time we will move mountains
And it will come through your hands  -- John Hiatt, "Through Your Hands"

Friday, June 04, 2010

Posterous... BLoGnBOX

I stumbled upon Posterous and it sounds a bit like my BLoGnBOX.
Posterous came out in 2008; BLoGnBOX went live in 2006.

BLoGnBOX was never hosted but the concept is the same: Email to Blog posting.

Posterous recently announced Markdown support.
Markdown is very similiar to my own AFT.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

WikiReader Data Logger

A quick hack. Here is a data logger I wrote for the WikiReader that I use at work. It uses my previously discussed WikiReader Serial port hack:

160 constant max-line-chars
variable byte
create line-buf max-line-chars chars allot
variable lbcnt
variable fd
variable linecnt

\ Base logfile
: logfile s" log.000" ;

\ Create a new logfile with new 3 digit numeric extension 
\ (e.g. log.001)
: gen-logfile ( nnn -- caddr u) 0 <# # # # #> logfile + 3 - swap drop 3 cmove logfile ;

\ Does this log file exist or is it available (free)?
: logfile-free? ( caddr u -- f) r/o open-file ?dup if drop 1 exit then close-file drop 0  ;

\ Iterate through to a free logfile. 
\ We support up to 1000 log files before we fail.
\ (Need a failure handler!)
: next-logfile ( -- )  999 0 do i gen-logfile logfile-free? if unloop exit then loop ;

: wiki-logger ( -- )
    0 lbcnt !
    logfile w/o create-file ?dup if 
        cr lcd-." Can't create log: " lcd-.  drop exit
    fd !
    logfile lcd-type lcd-cr
    lcd-." Ready. Press any button to exit." lcd-cr lcd-cr
        \ sleep only between lines
        key? 0= lbcnt @ 0= and if wait-for-event then 
        key? if
            key dup line-buf lbcnt @ + c!  1 lbcnt +! ( -- c)
            10 = if 
                line-buf lbcnt @  2dup fd @  write-line drop
                lcd-type lcd-cr
                0 lbcnt !
        button? if
            \ A button was pressed so clean up 
            \ and exit.
            fd @ close-file
        ctp-flush   \ not interested
    again ;