Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sometimes you just want to have fun...

I got back from a small "vacation" on Sunday (went to Minneapolis, with my wife, for a trade show, and stayed to see family/friends I have there).

I'm having trouble getting my mind back on work, so instead of thinking about physics, microprocessors, and anything like that, go check out the Roller Coaster Data Base and make your plans.

Monday, October 20, 2008

One last spacey post...

It's time to talk about other things, but if you have any interest in space, please take the time to join NSS, the National Space Society.

And check out The Moon Society and The Lunar Project while you're at it.

Ad astra per aspera!

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Artsy side of life

One of the wonderful things about "old-school" science fiction is the wondeful cover art. Sometimes realistic, sometimes inspiring, sometimes lurid, and always eye-catching, how often do we measure current progress against visions of the future from the 1940's and 1950's (where's my flying car, damnit)?

If you have a week or two to take a trip down memory lane (and find some roads you never even knew existed), check out VISCO, the Visual Index of Science Fiction Cover Art.

And, for a wonderful way to randomly browse covers quickly, check out Jim Bumgardner's CoverPop of SF cover art.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Would you like a little science with your fiction?

Not surprisingly, I'm a science fiction fan.

Personally, my preference is for hard science fiction over
soft, though things like BSG are among my favorites...

But, for those of you who want to think about the science of the rockets, space travel, and such things, Winchell Chung has a wonderful website full of math and science that will keep you occupied for days, if not weeks.

Monday, October 13, 2008

M.A.R.C.H. back to the future...

Hmmm... I posted my first entry on the 9th, and it says it was on the 1st. Intersting...

I'm going to try to update this blog M W F. And this will be broken next week (Oct 22nd and 24th, 2008) because I will be out of town on business. If I can find a spare moment, I'll see if I can post something.

M.A.R.C.H. stands for Mid-Atlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists.

In "the good old days", computer programming meant you worried about how many bytes (not megabytes / gigabytes) you were using, how many machine cycles something took, and the I/O state of the system.

A lot like embedded programming today.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Well, since every else is doing it...

This blog will be less about my personal life, and more about things that I find interesting. There are billions of webpages out there, and no way to sample even a faction of them. But, as I "stumble upon" things, I'll put them here and maybe guide you to things that you will find interesting or useful.

I'm an "old fogie" of computers -- started in 1974 with teletypes over modems to a mainframe (HP2000C runing timeshare BASIC), other mainframe systems (CDC Cyber).

Eventually, I started programming microcomputers (notably Teraks in UCSD Pascal) and an S-100 bus system with a Seattle Computer Products board set (using SCP DOS version 0.1, serial number 11!).

After college, I worked at IBM, programming the space shuttle (which isn't the great job it sounds like), and later wound up doing anti-virus programming on the IBM-PC.

As time passed, I got out of PC programming and entered the embedded software world, which is actually surprisingly close to programming an IBM-PC in assembly -- you have complete control of the system, and have to worry about what is going on in hardware at the microsecond level.