Machine Organization – Game Boy Project /w Assembly

Machine Organization – Game Boy Project /w Assembly

Last quarter I took a Machine Organization class as part of my required studies at UW.  Machine Org deals with how computers (and other machines) translate between voltage changes coming in, to discrete 1′s and 0′s and finally towards maintaining state and running the software and other functions that are asked of them.  I like the class a lot, but completely hated the book (I’ll probably get around to reviewing that later).  The more I got entrenched in the minutiae, the more exciting it became.  I decided to try my hand at building a working Game Boy game in C and/or Assembly, and dumping it to a working cartridge to play on an actual console. (more…)

U-2 Caused Widespread Shutdown of US Flights Out of LAX

From the article:

“Reuters reports that last week’s computer glitch at a California air traffic control center that led officials to halt takeoffs at Los Angeles International Airport was caused by a U-2 spy plane still in use by the US military, passing through air space monitored by the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center that appears to have overloaded ERAM, a computer system at the center. According to NBC News, computers at the center began operations to prevent the U-2 from colliding with other aircraft, even though the U-2 was flying at an altitude of 60,000 feet and other airplanes passing through the region’s air space were miles below.”

One of the commenters on the post suggested the aircraft was flying VFR-on-Top, a set of rules governing how the ATC systems respond to potential collisions in airspace and warn aircraft (or operators) to move.  The system was only designed to respond effectively to aircraft using this specification below 18,000 feet, but the U-2 was flying at 60,000 ft.  Essentially every aircraft below that ceiling was “in the way” and the system overloaded attempting to parcel out commands to move those aircraft out the way.

(more…)

Azure based augment for gaming

Azure based augment for gaming

Here is a link to a Kotaku article about Microsoft augmenting a future title using the power of Windows Cloud (or Azure, or whatever they’re calling it these days).  I can only imagine that one of the sweeter deals of being an Xbox One developer is that you’ve got access to some of these services backed by Microsoft.  I know the game Titanfall mentions making some use of this (here). By offloading CPU intensive tasks to the cloud and “streaming” that data back to the client requesting it, you free up the CPU and GPU for more intensive rendering tasks.

That has to be a huge win for Microsoft!  Utilizing such a cornerstone of the Microsoft infrastructure hurts, especially if there’s no equivalent on the Sony side to touch. Unfortunately, I find almost no mention of this on the Net, and navigating the Channel 9 MSDN video site is an exercise in pain.

Filing away to follow-up and dig up more.

Setting up for C

Setting up for C

My last experience in development in “true” C was at least 10+ years ago.  This quarter for my Machine Organization class we’re getting down and dirty with some basic C operations as we develop in Assembly and execute some operations on a virtual ISA.  After spending so much time Java, I underestimated how much time it would take to jockey around my workspace and preferred IDE, Eclipse to get into C.

For most of my time in Java I’ve developed with Eclipse as my IDE, using the latest Kepler release after transitioning from Juno the previous year.  I find myself in the minority of people who like Eclipse, though I’m not doing most of the advanced visual things (Android dev for example) that either Android Studio, IntelliJ, or NetBeans really excel at.  At the end of setting up everything for C, I realized that I have a ton of preferences tweaked and set just so in the app.  Attempting to duplicate this across my two dev machines was a bit annoying but not insurmountable.

(more…)

Can Xbox One Be a Trojan Horse to Lure Developers? | Re/code

Can Xbox One Be a Trojan Horse to Lure Developers? | Re/code

Microsoft disclosed Wednesday that it plans to make it possible for developers to write a single program that can work across Windows, Windows Phone and, yes, the Xbox [One].

Dig it.  Can I predict another Microsoft purchase?  They’ll buy Xamarin which makes a great set of tools that integrate with Visual Studio to allow you to truly target one API and make it run on multiple devices.  My only gripe will be if they limit individual functionality on a per-device basis.

Can Xbox One Be a Trojan Horse to Lure Developers? | Re/code.

 

 

Effective Java (2nd Ed.)

Effective Java (2nd Ed.)

As a Computer Science student, I think we’re expected to hold a very large library of books.  Some are required textbooks for classes, and others are indispensable bundles of text that we just happen or or passed through the grapevine.  For me, this book is the former.  Effective Java by Joshua Bloch is one of the most indispensable textbooks I’ve ever read on the Java language. (more…)