About chip design and low-energy programming. If there's something else you'd like to hear, send me an email.
I've moved to a small house in Wellington, NV. A sagebrush desert. GreenArrays got me a new computer with a huge monitor. Chip design proceeds.
I've given several talks about the GA144. Photo's from one.
I am all smiles and happy to focus on my work with GreenArrays' incredible chip.
Drove to Mesquite NV. A nice town, but not what I want. Fantastic drive north on I15 through Virgin River Gorge. Still thinking about Wyoming.
Forth Day was last Saturday. My Fireside Chat went well and I can start preparing for next year. Videos are available on YouTube.
No progress with Leckrone.
I'm thinking high and flat, with horizons. I may install a telescope and instrument it with GreenArrays' chips. I want a small house (300 sqf) which I can't find. So I'll build a 20' dome house?
Settlement discussions with Leckrone proceed. Agreement fluctuates. My guiding principle:
I was the first on my block to get an iPhone 5. I'm learing to use it as my primary computer. This will make me portable on my planned walk-about.
However, it will make it difficult to continue this blog. I've been criticized for the difficulty in using my colorForth keyboard. That pales in comparison to learning the iPhone keyboard. I've been typing html using Window's Notepad. Perhaps I can find an equivalenet text app.
GreenArrays has received more chips. Some 35,000 in inventory (That's 5,000,000 computers). Buy now and avoid the Christmas rush.
Stefan is visiting GreenArrays from Switzerland for a few weeks. He'll be producing app notes, thus earning another Eval board.
Hot August nights in Reno/Tahoe.
Didn't NASA do a fine job landing Curiosity? The photo of it descending by parachute is marvelous.
I mentioned in Eval blog that I'd quit keeping time. Figure as I'm sort-of retired, clocks don't matter. I get up at dawn and to bed at dark.
It's not really possible to avoid time. I can see the sun move across the sky and have even calibrated a post in the parking lot as a sundial. And my car insists on informing me, though why does it care?
Just came back from a hike on the Tahoe Rim Trail. Went north from the summit of NV 207. I thought I'd been there before and it had been disappointing. But I was mistaken: I've not been there before and it was wonderful. A lovely trail winding up and down thru granite boulders with occasional views of the Lake. Now where was I confused by?
I've updated my Eval Blog. I'll keep etherCode there.
You can view PTO's records as Greg did (Our government makes it easy):
Alliacense features '148 as an MMP patent:
I've been busily documenting more etherCode. Which leads to writing more to be documented.
It'll be a beautiful July 4, a good time to write code and avoid crowds. On a hike on Mt Rose last Friday, I encountered 27 people and 5 dogs.
And some more etherCode. I guess I'm in a documenting mood.
Drove to Palo Alto yesterday. Conferences with lawyers and others in the on-going dance with Leckrone. Some positive developments; some signs of progress; some symptoms of delay. Drove back on CA88; very pleasant evening drive, once I'd cleared Stockton. Encountered 7 deer; even with brights, they're really hard to see.
I've some fresh thoughts and plans for GA144. It is truely a game-changer. Anyone who is intrigued by the notion of having 144 computers to program should investigate. It's completely different from having a room filled with PCs. And with 2 chips on GreenArrays' Evaluation Board, you have 288 computers. Programming one a day, it'd take a year to do them all - once.
Our 2nd floor office has a deck/corridor facing east for access. It minds me of the quarterdeck that Hornblower and all captains of sail would pace. I pace to work out the kinks of sitting, admire the weather and scheme. Today, all 3.
John Galt found the fountain of youth which he wanted to bring down to men. Only he never came back... because he found that it couldn't be brought down.You'll have to read Atlas Shrugged to appreciate this really obscure reference.
I've got a new pair of Five Fingers shoes. They have green trim, suitable for working at GreenArrays.
As I write, Greg is presenting a paper at the Dark Silicon Workshop, explaining our low-power technology.
I just finished reading John Ross' book Unintended Consequences about freedom. Recommend it highly. He included St. Crispin which I've added to my poems.
I just fetched a Coke from the office fridge. Getting low; I'm going to have to restock. In college I helped run a concession that provided Coke to my fraternity (Gamma Pi of Kappa Sigma). Seems I was always fetching bottles and loading the cooler. Got free Coke, though. 50 years later: cans for bottles. Nothing's changed, 'cept nothing's free.
This follows some experimentation: I compared Pandora, Slacker and Amazon MP3 Cloud:
By leaving me on his website, Leckrone is fraudulently claiming some continuing association or endorsement. IntellaSys' products are ancient history, dating from 2008.
Big storm coming. I've got to shift some firewood.
I'm happily programming our Eval board. No time to document what I'm doing, but I've one layer of a printed circuit board displayed, can read SRAM and Flash and am closing on the etherForth display. etherForth is my name for the software environment I'm creating for the GA144.
I trust everyone is aware of the pending Jupiter conjunction with Venus. Quite a show in the evening sky.
I feel good today, having gotten a solid night's sleep. I've had a new BPAP machine for 2 nights now and it works: I sleep, once I stop thinking about my breathing. It has significantly increased pressure to prevent sleep apnea - 17 vs 11 cm H2O. That's on inhale; less on exhale to make it possible. A beautiful, silent machine from ResMed with smooth pressure changes.
Then there's Leckrone: He has filed a Cross-Complaint to my lawsuit, charging:
I thought I'd mentioned it before, but I guess not: the plot centers about a case in Chancery (court of Equity), Jarndyce and Jarndyce. It concerns an inheritance which has been in dispute for many years and which is ultimately consumed in court costs.
This paragraph struck my attention:
I encountered a fine quote from George Bernard Shaw: "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."
My laptop is fixed, thanks to the experts at Tahoe Tech . The power control chip needed to be reset. No charge.
Interesting talks about Forth on Saturday morning, as usual. GreenArrays' hands-on demos went well in the afternoon. Must have been 50 people competing for prizes. My computer died, but I borrowed another and talked for an hour. Chinese dinner was great. Then we met with a potential customer. Busy day.
Saturday is Forth Day, an annual gathering put on by Silicon Valley Forth Interest Group. It's an all day affair at Stanford, lunch from C.H. Ting, ending with a dinner.
GreenArrays will present our technology in the afternoon. We'll be showing Simulators, Eval boards and soldering techiques. Anyone wanting to visit with GreenArrays' or Forth people is welcome.
I'll give my Fireside Chat late afternoon, talking about Video, Simplicity and Life.
Meanwhile I've gotten RGB video working on my Eval board, displaying an octal memory dump. Rock steady image, whereas the Haypress Creek image jittered. Have an effective on-chip algorithm to route messages between nodes. Now I'm programming a colorForth editor and compiler. Much fun.
I've connected a 3-key pad and am working on RGB 1024x768 video. I've retired my Haypress Creek board and am porting its software to Eval.
So I'll morph the Haypress Creek blog to Eval. It may actually be useful although GreenArrays' app notes are the official reference.
We've abandoned hope of a settlement with Leckrone. Awaiting court date.
GreenArrays will be shipping Evaluation Boards shortly. Full team has been testing chips and boards and preparing documentation. Chip test currently takes a minute for exhaustive tests on 144 computers and 88 pins. Failed chips awaiting retesting to determine yield.
You recall my Haypress Creek board with 9 S40 chips totaling 360 computers. I'll be replacing that with an Evaluation Board that has 2 GA144 chips totaling 288 computers. I look forward to actually using all those computers.
I've been invited to give the Keynote Speech at a Forth conference in Taiwan in February.
I've posted a new primer to colorForth. Some of you may be interested.
Strange how ideas mature. My life is certainly bizarre enough to warrant a book. In fact, that's been suggested. Even that I write it. But never seriously.
Now it occurs to me to take it seriously. I have a story to tell. I even have the time to tell it: GreenArrays is selling product. I'm designing a new chip. But I can design faster than we can sell.
Actually, I can think of several books. The first should cover the last 10 years. If that works, I can move backward (and forward) and wander into philosophy.
So, I need to research writing and find a publisher. And I suppose a lawyer, since I plan to name names. Failing a publisher, I can publish on the web.
My biggest problem will be to write an entertaining story. I want to attract a wider audience than previously-interested people. I suspect there's a lot of interest about Silicon Valley. And that's the setting of my story.
I've written one book, which is posted here. It took me 2 weeks - the notice I gave when I left Mohasco. This one deserves more time - I'm guessing 6 months. In retrospect, I've spent the last 3 years researching it. So it's pretty much ready to write.
Wish me luck.
Testing 144 computers/chip is the most impressive application we've coded to date. It requires testing 32 instructions, 128 words of memory, 8 registers and many data paths for each computer. As well as 262 communication ports and 80 pins for the chip.
There are 2 chips on the test board: the test Master and the Unit Under Test. The current configuration has Master talking to a PC and relaying instructions to the UUT. These instructions are routed about UUT, executed and results reported to Master. Takes about a minute for an exhaustive test.
Next step is to store the tests in Flash and have Master sequence them. Only results are reported to PC over a relatively slow serial link. Will take about a second.
Ultimately another test board will test 4 chips at once on Automatic Test Equipment at the packaging house.
This testing is of value, since we are finding bad chips. A variety of bad bond wires, broken traces, stuck bits and slow transistors. Yield is yet to be determined.
GreenArrays is preparing to test and ship chips. polyForth as well as eForth now runs on the GA144. polyForth will run the test procedure: pretty much a 100% test of nodes, instructions, memory and pins.
Nothing much happening with litigation.
I just finished Zwiebach's A First Course in String Theory. An excellent undergraduate text. Sadly it confirmed my feeling that string theory is not worth my further study. It is consistent with relativity and quantum mechanics, but has as many assumptions, conditions and parameters as the Standard Model it hopes to explain.
Some time ago the on/off switch on my monitor failed - fortunately in the on position. Then I lost a desktop; a good one from MoonDog. Then another desktop; just a Dell. Then a laptop with all my archives. Finally, my printer won't feed - though it still scans - and I'd just bought ink.
Fortunately, I can draw upon GreenArrays' resources. But I'm down to no redundancy. My critical computer is a Dell with a legacy floppy. Lose that and I can't design. It's not cost-effective to repair computers, but that may become necessary.
Bitch, bitch, bitch.
I just read Packing for Mars by Mary Roach. If you want an uncensored view of the manned space program, I recommend it highly. She has a wonderful sense of humor.
Pandora just played my favorite song: Nelson Eddy singing Stout-Hearted Men. I'll propose it as GreenArrays' corporate song. Of course, men in this context includes women.
I'm happily engaged in redesigning our core computer. Hope to gain speed and simplicity.
My hands feel good today, so I thought to explain: The vertebrae I mentioned earlier are not responsible for the numbness in my fingers. It's plain old Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I guess 50 years of typing caught up with me. That, or driving or even reading heavy books.
So I wear wrist braces, apply voodoo cream and watch out for wrist flexure. I also have a device that stretches the carpal ligament. Seems to be helping, slowly. I want to avoid surgery, which relieves symptoms, but doesn't address the problem of tendonitis.
Spring has come. I'm wearing shorts and tee instead of jeans and wool. The low Mt Rose trails are clear of snow, so hiking season has begun.
Now we can properly characterize chips and boards from -70 to 180 C. And do some accelerated life tests.
Greg's prepared a data book for the GA144; it'll be on the website soon. It reports the measurements Greg, Maggie, Mark and Dean have been making on the production chips.
I've had several nice drives through the Nevada desert: the Sagebrush Ocean. Not quite spring yet. One option is to follow the American Discovery Trail: a cross-continent driving/hiking route that has been documented. In this area it seems to follow the Pony Express route. I tend to drive it until the road becomes impassable to my Subaru and then walk. Mountains are difficult this season: the snowpack is impressive.
Nothing much happening with the lawsuits. I think the next court appearance is April 18. I've submitted a settlement offer to Leckrone. He hasn't bothered to respond, which is no surprise.
A foot of snow last night. Spent the day shoveling out.
GreenArrays has received 1100 packaged chips; 150,000 Forth computers. More on the way. They work fine. Efforts are now to get the boards and software to test them. We have exhaustive tests planned that will take up to a second/chip.
My son Eric is looking for a job, as are so many. He's happy in Sierra City, but willing to travel. I've posted his resume should anyone be interested.
Had a nice walk yesterday in Carson City's Centennial Park. Rocky trail climbed volcanic hills but Five Fingers managed well. Last week I wandered about Washoe Lake State Park and got wet and muddy. These shoes do well down to freezing and up to an inch of snow.
This eForth uses a 1Mword SRAM for off-chip memory. SRAM is smaller but cheaper (as little as $6) than DRAM and illustrates our software ability to interface other parts.
Next Monday is my Federal Court hearing against Leckrone.
The bad news is: they weren't supposed to come here but to the packaging house. So they get to cross the Pacific 3 times.
Life goes on: I had a consultation with a neurosurgeon. My C5-C6 vertebrae are compressing my spinal cord. This is causing my fingers to go numb, especially at night. New worries tend to put old worries in perspective.
I saw the lunar eclipse at 11:15 last night through a break in the clouds.
Downside was that I missed the snowstorm. Not 5 feet as some predicted, but 2 feet so far. The ground is still warm, so there's a layer of slush under the snow. Tuesday night is supposed to be -3F. Hopefully I'll get enough sun to start with a warm house.
I mentioned the day April 13. Shortly after, I received a Notice of Default dated April 12. This with reference to a $2M mortgage on the land my house is built on. In December, Leckrone reneged on his agreement to pay that mortgage and I was forced into default.
I requested Mediation with the bank, as provided in Nevada. It has just been scheduled for November 29. Prospects are not good. I stand to lose $5M at foreclosure.
I spent last week at my deposition. I think it went well. Eight lawyers in the room at one point. The most fun was my train ride to Oakland on the California Zephyr. Recommend it highly. Also fun were the ferry rides to San Francisco.
It has snowed. I've turned off the irrigation system; light the fireplace on cool evenings. Need to change the water in the spa.
I've arranged that my Washoe County library card works in Douglas County and Carson City. And I can download books on loan. Thus widening my horizons.
On the lighter side, regarding my Five Fingers shoes: continued delight; more miles of hiking. My gait is changing: shorter strides, less heel strike, less toe-out. And I've not experienced any lower back pain. Somehow my soles are less sensitive and I can walk barefoot more easily.
So I bought a pair of sheepskin moccasins for cool evenings. Old Friend has no stiff sole; no heel. Very nice.