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  • Blog Post: The Beautiful Simplicity of colorForth

    colorForth As much fun as hand packing instructions was in the last post , that was tedious. Let's move on to colorForth. Don't worry too much about what the code above does (prints "colorForth rocks!"). It compiles to this: Isn't the source beautiful? So colorful! The colors are not merely...
  • Blog Post: Programming the F18

    Programming the F18 As we saw in the last post , the GA144 chip is an array of 144 tiny computers or "nodes". We tend not to call them "cores" because they are really more independent than that. Programming these interconnected nodes is something like working with agents or CSP . Each is an instance...
  • Blog Post: Chuck Moore's Creations

    This is the beginning of a series: Programming the F18 Beautiful Simplicity of colorForth Multiply-step Instruction Simple Variables When I heard that Chuck Moore was speaking at Strange Loop this year I just had to go. His talk yesterday was excellent! I'm not going to summarize...
  • Blog Post: Speech Grammars in F#

    People say that Vim keys are a grammar for talking to your editor and that's exactly what they are. One weekend some time back I had fun making VimSpeak to see how well mapping English words to Vim keys would work. It turned out quite nice and some pieces of how it was built (in particular the grammar...
  • Blog Post: Memoization

    Don Syme blogged this quite some years ago but it just came up in a design review on my team this afternoon and it bears repeating. let memoize f = let cache = new Dictionary <_,_> () ( fun x -> match cache.TryGetValue x with | true , res -> res | _ -> let res = f x in cache.Add(x,...
  • Blog Post: Colemak

    I switched to Colemak a couple of years ago. I love it. Never going back. Not really any faster than QWERTY, but so much more comfortable. One issue though is whenever I jump on someone else's machine or remote into some server. I want to switch the layout but I don't really want to install anything...
  • Blog Post: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em

    I’ve had fun making the little DCPU emulator (past couple of posts: 1 , 2 ), but sadly, I’ve had no time to make a Forth for it. But hey, Matt Hellige has already done it ! I just took his GoForth and got it up and going. Just grab the image from here and load it up: let image = File.ReadAllBytes @"...
  • Blog Post: What’s a computer without I/O? Hot Silicon At Best…

    [FYI: Matt Hellige’s excellent GoForth runs on this ] I’m completely astonished at how quickly a community has sprung up around Notch’s DCPU-16 . In the first 24 hours there were already tens of implementations in various languages ( including mine ). Now there’s a web-based IDE , a whole C compiler...
  • Blog Post: Notch is Gonna Outdo Himself!

    [Note: I/O has now been added ] My son is completely obsessed with Minecraft . It’s an amazing game and the way he plays it, it really nurtures extreme creativity. I honestly haven’t been able to get into it myself but I was pretty intrigued by the ComputerCraft mod which allows you to script the game...
  • Blog Post: Turtle Graphics on the Fignition

    The Fignition board is a fun little piece of 8-bit fun I tell ya! I’ve been having a blast with it. It’s an ATmega168 with 8Kb SRAM and 4Mbits of flash with video out (there’s also a sound mod for it ). In this post I want to show off an implementation of Turtle Graphics I’ve...
  • Blog Post: 96 Line F# Emulator + 960 bytes of HP-35 Microcode

    [Part 3 of the HP Calc series ] In this post, we’ll create a 96-line F# emulator for the HP-35 calculator with which we’ll run the 960 byte (!) ROM image. As you may well know, I am a calculator freak. The 40-year-old HP-35 is an especially wonderful device; being the world’s...
  • Blog Post: Introducing the Cult of the Bound Variable to the Cult of Forth

    [The twelfth in a series of posts on the evolution of TransForth ]   It’s been quite fun playing with this Universal Machine from the Cult of the Bound Variable . In this post we’re going to continue the journey toward building a full Forth for this machine by assembling a Forth inner interpreter;...
  • Blog Post: Lego KinNXT

    I’ve been having some fun playing with the Kinect SDK and the Lego NXT kit . The protocol to talk to the Lego brick over Bluetooth is pretty straight forward. Below is a little F# module for most of the basic commands. I’ll fill out the full set soon and put it up on GitHub. Using this along with Kinect...
  • Blog Post: Programming a 2000 Year Old Sandstone Computer

    [The eleventh in a series of posts on the evolution of TransForth ] If you think coding with punch cards is old school, you should try using sandstone tablets! Legend has it that members of the Cult of the Bound Variable designed and may have even constructed a city-sized machine powered by falling...
  • Blog Post: Meta-Circular Chicken and Egg

    [The tenth in a series of posts on the evolution of TransForth ] This post may not quite be deserving of a wizard’s cape and 2001 Space Odyssey background music as when Sussman writes out Lisp in Lisp (at 34:34 - my absolute favorite SICP lecture by the way), but still… we are about to...
  • Blog Post: Going “Retro” and Loving It!

    Continuing my concatenative language kick, I’ve been having fun playing with Retro ( http://www.retroforth.com ) and couldn’t resist making an F#-based VM on which to run it. It is an elegant, minimal Forth with an important twist. What caught my eye is that it supports quotations and combinators...
  • Blog Post: Project Euler Problem #14

    Longest hailstone sequence with starting number under one-million. let hailstone n = Seq.unfold ( function 0L -> None | 1L -> Some(1L, 0L)                                     ...
  • Blog Post: Programming is “Pointless”

    Some may call it “pointless”, but I absolutely love the point-free tacit programming style . The level of brevity can be truly astounding! Some of the terseness comes from not having to mention parameter names all over the place and much of it comes from the relentless factoring that this...
  • Blog Post: Spanning Two Worlds

    [The ninth in a series of posts on the evolution of TransForth ] The dictionary we have at the moment is split across two worlds. The definitions are in Forth-world; packed into plain memory. But we still have the F#-world mapping of WordRecord s to those memory locations. let mutable dict = [] ...
  • Blog Post: Heart Transplant

    [The eighth in a series of posts on the evolution of TransForth ] They say that the inner interpreter is the heart of Forth and outer interpreter is the soul. It’s time to give TransForth a heart transplant! To really understand what we’re doing here, I’d suggest watching my...
  • Blog Post: Tearing Away the Scaffolding

    [The seventh in a series of posts on the evolution of TransForth ] At this point we have a reasonably complete Forth that’s pretty fun to play with. Like I said in the first post though, we don’t just want to build a Forth in F#. Stopping here wouldn’t be in keeping with “Forth...
  • Blog Post: : LOOPTY DO I . LOOP ;

    [The sixth in a series of posts on the evolution of TransForth ] There’s beginning to be more Forth than F# in these posts! The last major piece we’re missing in the language, aside from some compile-time trickery we’ll get into later, is the standard Forth looping constructs. We’re...
  • Blog Post: IF … ELSE … THEN

    [The fifth in a series of posts on the evolution of TransForth ] Sadly (or happily), we’ve come to a point at which we need to begin thinking like an assembly programmer in order to appreciate the mechanics of Forth’s control flow words. We’ll start by implementing IF …...
  • Blog Post: VARIABLE X

    [The fourth in a series of posts on the evolution of TransForth ] We’re getting very close to the point at which we’ll need to start moving closer to the machine with things like direct memory access. Implementing IF / ELSE / THEN , which we’ll do in the next post, will practically...
  • Blog Post: : REFACTOR TRIM BUILD ;

    [The third in a series of posts on the evolution of TransForth ] Now that we have Forth hobbling along, we can start to peel away the scaffolding. Some of the things we’ve defined in F# can now be redefined in Forth instead. As we go along, I think you’ll be amazed by just how little it...
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