peteg's blog

Some kind of progress.

/hacking/nixie_clock | Link

The controller for the nixie clock is ridiculously complex, given how many buttons the remote control has and the combinatory explosion of modes it can be in. Ergo the attraction of Esterel, the venerable imperative synchronous language that is supposed to nail exactly these problems.

The only publicly-available tools for Esterel are from the crusty old v5.92 distribution of circa 2000, which presumably occurred before Gérard Berry et al tried to commercialise it. [*] Fortunately for me, Tim has tried them out recently and demonstrated that they're not too crusty for my kind of purpose.

Up to now I've spent more time than I should doing the boilerplate, and am only just getting started on the controller proper. It is difficult to work out the architecture ahead of time, given how much of neophyte I am with the language. The system interfaces are pretty good, and it seems possible that one day I could run some of this code on an AVR.

I meant to say that Rob gave me a remote that works fine with the ts7250. I think he got it to control MythTV. It's quite nice, and the HID driver in Linux has been very cooperative.

[*] Well, there is also the Columbia Esterel Compiler, but it hasn't seen any development for many years now.

The Panic in Needle Park

/noise/movies | Link

An early Al Pacino, from 1971. Bleak, fairly soulless, a not-at-all Trainspotting take on a completely insular heroin scene in New York. The movie provides no reason for people to do drugs; simply they are addicts and have no moral fibre. It is a product of its time, I guess. Pacino is OK playing a low-grade shell of a hustler. His next role was Michael Corleone.

Stephen Vitiello: The Sound of Red Earth at the Sydney Park Brickworks in St Peters.

/noise | Link

I heard about this installation on the ABC news last night. It's funny how the spaces that the Sydney working man of fifty years ago sweated in have been turned into places of art, especially of this kind. Three of the old kilns have been resurfaced, with red clay, sand and dirt, that serve as the only visual entertainment for this attempt at capturing the sounds of the Kimberley. Perhaps it is immersive but as there is nothing to focus on, and very limited seating, it is difficult to linger.