Thursday, August 31, 2006

Realtime Java

Today IBM announced the availability of our J9 based realtime Java VM.

The product is called Websphere Realtime and is a full Java 5 runtime which also contains a full implmentation of RTSJ JSR1 in addition to a true, realtime garbage collector based on IBM research's Metronome technology.

The technology is pretty impressive (ms level max pause with guaranteed utilization) and goes along way in making Java useable in complex time critical applications.

Being a full J2SE means it won't fit on my mindstorms robot yet, I would have to do a J2ME version (in my copious spare time) .

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

[|] == Powered by Smalltalk

In reference to the new suggested smalltalk logo [|].

I like it and given my recent actitities, it's nice it has some similarities to the emoticon for robot ( [:|]. ).

My only question is how to search for it in google or any of the others ?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Insane objects

Insane objects... (click on pic to see context).

Why yes, it *is* software from a toy company, how did you know ?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

It's a boy !

Our first robot came to life yesterday. So far it can move around, say things and basically do some simple things. The graphics programming tool is usable by my 9 year old son with no help from me which is pretty cool. Lest you all think we're robot geniuses by mistake, let it be known than the robot pictured is the exact starter configuration they have you build. We just followed instructions and here he is. No name yet but I'm thinking it will be something like destructo !

Next up will be pinchers and some sensors. I will also be screwing around with the bluetooth interface to see if we can get my cheap bluetooth usb dongle and the NXT development kit talking. I can get them talking to each other via the bluetooth software that came with the USB card but I cannot download programs from inside the development environment via BT.... Given they actually have a compatibility list I'd say the Mindstorm NXT seems to be picky about bluetooth. Standards eh ?

Monday, August 14, 2006

robot, fetch my beer please...

First we will tune our abilities with "bump into wall and turn" or "spin around" or maybe even "wave back when we say hi" but I'm sure eventually, with our new found robot capabilities, my son and I will be taking over the world!

Have to investigate the developer kits, and do a port of the J9 virtual machine, and then, a robot beer fetcher will be within my reach!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Pure programming joy.

Steve gets it. Joel gets it. and then gets it again.

Make sure you read Joel's to the end and then follow his reference to the Kindom of Nouns - well worth the click it will cost you to get there.

So, I really don't need to explain these things ... they did fine, but I want to add my two cents worth ...

First penny: if you're looking for a job implementing programming language runtimes and you only know Java... umm... I suggest you learn a couple more languages starting with C/C++ (so you know how programming carelessly can really hurt hurt hurt you) and then Scheme (so you learn about recursion, first class functions, continuations, and programs as data) and then finally Smalltalk (so you can experience true object oriented programming and pure programming joy).

The downside is you may be spoiled for lesser programming environments, and become surly and depressed once you understand the sad truth of the programming language landscape today. It's not all doom and gloom however, some people are doing something about it like this guy.

Second penny: Steve, Joel... yes, better employment opportunity, better programmers come from knowing other languages but you missed one thing, fun ... we could also have pure programming joy too.