Clear interrupts

:: life, nostalgia, technology

For some reason CLI popped into my head the other day.

CLI is the 808x instruction to clear maskable interrupts. If you’re writing a routine to service a hardware interrupt, you do a CLI early in your routine — to prevent another hardware interrupt from causing your routine to be re-entered. Neglecting this invites the most delightful form of bug, the intermittent bug.

Roland MPU-401

Roland MPU–401

We need a prior art database

:: patents, politics, software, technology

Last week I visited Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco. Mark Cuban and Minecraft creator Markus Persson had recently funded an additional staff attorney position, the “Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents”.

Considering this after I got home, I had an idea about an additional angle from which to attack this problem.

What if there were a sort of “prior art database”? Where people could submit and find information about first-use or discovery of techniques—whether patented or not?

Fear of Macros

:: macros, Racket, software

I learned Racket after 25 years of mostly using C and C++.

Some psychic whiplash resulted.

“All the parentheses” was actually not a big deal. Instead, the first mind warp was functional programming. Before long I wrapped my brain around it, and went on to become comfortable and effective with many other aspects and features of Racket.

But two final frontiers remained: Macros and continuations.

Ancient history

:: life, nostalgia

I played trombone and piano in high school. I played electronic keyboards (including a Moog Prodigy, my first synth) in a couple bands. I wasn’t a very good musician but I enjoyed it.

I went to Oberlin College 1982–1986. I did a major in philosophy and a minor in religion. Although the Oberlin Conservatory didn’t offer a major in electronic or computer music back then, I did a major’s worth of those courses. I took just two computer science courses: assembly language and Pascal. That turned out to be good preparation for teaching myself C later.


:: blog

In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m not exactly posting here, much.

This is not a firehose of information.

This is not a bountiful font of wisdom from which you can aspire merely to glean a glimmering glimpse of insight.

This is not a haystack containing needles such as the secrets to wealth, popularity, and whiter teeth.

This blog will not cause Comcast to send you a warning that you are about to exceed your 250 GB of unlimited data.

Why? Simply because (a) I don’t have that much to say, and (b) what I do have to say, I’m saying on Google+. That is my de facto “blog”, for now.

See you there.

Domain registrar switch

:: technology

My domain wasn’t working for ~24 hours due to my switching from GoDaddy to Namecheap. Although it’s possible to make that kind of switch with minimal downtime, in my case:

  1. It was an impulse decision on my part. (Finally got some time to reflect on GoDaddy’s support for SOPA. As well as the elephant killing and the tacky “babe marketing”. SOPA was strike three.)

  2. GoDaddy seemed to be dragging their heels releasing transfers.

  3. Namecheap seemed to be struggling with an unexpected number of transfers, inconveniently over the holiday weekend. (In fairness to GoDaddy, maybe their delay was at least partly due to the same reason.)

Fortunately it’s not as if is a hot destination for millions of fans. Or dozens.

Also, I wanted to mention that I did a couple live chats with Namecheap support and they were very helpful and quick.