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Advent Calendars day 7


ROOL forum

On Friday, I posted a message to the ROOL forum saying that I had made my bucket list desire of posting 10,000 messages.
Truth be told, I wanted to post that message on the 1st of April. But I write too much rubbish, so missed that by about four months.

I have not been back to the forums because, well, let's just say it would be much more peaceful if I just don't participate.

Why? Well, let's just say there's a person who has a lot of ideas and "appears" (in scare quotes) to be a prolific coder, who - to my knowledge - has not posted any code. Well, after all sorts of reasons for not being able to make his creations available to the world, some people have been helping him in that respect. And let's just say that as this was starting to come together, an SSD media failure wiped out the last week of data (back to the last backup) and this appears to be blamed on how often the C compiler accesses the media. I don't think I can shoehorn "let's just say" into this paragraph any more, but let's just say that you probably don't need to bother trying to read between the lines to find the subtext. Let's just say it's a bloody great anvil falling out of the sky...

Yeah. Better not mention that when I'm working on a program, I work incrementally doing something and testing it before doing something else. So it's not hyperbole to say than in a day's worth of coding, I might rebuild the project thirty or forty times. I don't run a managed code versioning system (I take snapshots in zip files) so I find it is simpler to do one thing at a time rather than "all the stuff I want to do and testing at the end". It also means if there are side effects or I get sidetracked by something, I can follow it through while I'm thinking about it.

So, unless he's buying his media in Poundland, it's not the compiler. If the media was trashed, I would consider checking that the power supply is up to the job. In my experience, flash media is more sensitive to fluctuations in power than the entire rest of the system. I had a problem with trashed SD cards in the beginning with my Pi1, which simply went away when I got a better power supply than a phone charger, and switched to a decent USB lead. The computer didn't crash or act weird, but the Free Space Map got corrupted and other shenanigans that remdered the media useless, because it suffered the lack of power in a way that the ultra-efficient ARM simply shrugged off.

But... I'm prepared to eat humble pie here... but my personal belief is not that there is no code.
Rather, that there never was.

So, I'll just stay a lurker for now. Anything else... isn't worth it. I've just discovered "Motherland" on Prime Video. I can spend some time watching that, and not pointing out the bleedin' obvious like "it has to work every single time without exception" (yes, really) is the working definition of what programming is about. We intend our code to work every single time without exception. Sometimes it doesn't, that's the debugging part of things. Which is fun if you're insane or a mental sadomasochist. These days, debugging all to often seems to be an afterthought done once users have reported that stuff doesn't work. Hello Banque Postale, are you listening? Okay, enough. Time to watch some weird witches in an alternate history...


That reminds me. It's Monday. Time for my weekly check with DiscKnight... <clicky><clicky> "Disc is good".


Dehumidifier in a cold kitchen

The temperature in the kitchen is dropping, as is the outside temperature which dips below freezing at night. I think it's about 6°C in there right now.
Accordingly, the idea of using a cooling element to attract water runs into a rather obvious problem:
Ice ice baby
Ice ice baby

In the back of my mind, I'm wondering about an 8266 board and two temperature sensors (one for the cold side, one for the hot side). I'd like a 1602 LCD to report status, but might have to just do that over WiFi as there aren't enough pins. Maybe. I don't know.
But it would be cool to have the thing turn itself off when it freezes, and back on again once it's warmed up, don't you think?

I probably ought to first see if I can flash Lua on to mine. It'd be a lot simpler if I can write code in Zap and push it over to the device via serial link.

Later... Hmm, 8266 BASIC looks interesting. Though, it appears that my smaller (8 pin) board may not have access to any ADC functions...



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Casual Observer, 7th December 2020, 21:37
Let's just say said person claims to be in a medical facility. Let's just say there may exist certain reasons for being in said facility, should it exist, that may entail said person not even knowing whether or not said code exists at all!
John, 7th December 2020, 21:41
> there's a person who has a lot of ideas and... 
is apparently detained in some sort of medical facility that provides breakfast. I wonder if they're allowed cutlery? 
But I've been accused of frightening people off before, so I'm sayin' nuttin'! 
My lips are sealed. With duct tape.
David Pilling, 7th December 2020, 22:59
Around the first Christmas of Archimedes there was an advert for loads of desirable software which did not exist, some people sent money for it. I can't recall the name of the company. 
Is it the "if it is too good to be true it probably is" quote. 
Seemingly there are desiccant based dehumidifiers (proper, continuous running ones), have a slightly different performance than the fridge like ones - warm the room more. 
But looks like you have a new type there, set up a conveyor belt to take the ice outside. 
You can even get micropython for the ESP8266 
Back at the video avellana (Spanish) == noisette (French) == Hazelnut.
C broke my life, 8th December 2020, 06:37
John, 8th December 2020, 09:52
> /forums/12/topics/15975 
I see we have a rouge MakeFile in there. Having rouge files used to be Druck's prerogative, a favourite term of mine from the past! That pesky 'u' has a life of its own!
John, 8th December 2020, 10:32
Another of my favourites from the NewsGroups, strangely also "French-related" but in a different way, was the expression "Et viola!" to express a satisfactory outcome. 
But spellchecker-resistant as well! 
Gavin Wraith, 8th December 2020, 11:26
Rick, I sympathize with your observations about the ROOL forum. If I remember correctly, this is not the first time that we have been here. To say nothing is probably best. For me it takes time for the penny to drop. Multa tacenda. I see that others have come to the same conclusion.
Steve Drain, 8th December 2020, 14:28
To say nothing is probably best. 
Rick, 8th December 2020, 14:32
C broke my life - my god, you couldn't make it up... 
And poor Druck, valiantly trying to inject a dose of reality into the discussion.
VinceH, 9th December 2020, 00:31
I'm glad someone other than me has finally caught on! If you have the patience to trawl back several years through my Twitter history, you'd eventually find a tweet where I referred to that poster as a troll.  
He might be an unintentional one - i.e it's probably not deliberate - but his often very long posts seem to me to go nowhere and just waste people's time engaging.
Rick, 9th December 2020, 19:35
And in the latest roundup... 
* Over planning code sucks. If Airbus got a bunch of uni grads to over design their code, they'd have planes falling out of the sky just like Boeing. 
[and there I thought it was an endemic management problem
* Something to do with Western Design Centre that sounds (if I've parsed this one correctly) like an unholy mashup of an ARM and a 6502. Well, that would be a novel chip, I guess... 
* High level(ish) languages are bad bad bad. Writing stuff as a pile of hard to maintain non-portable assembler is good good good
I used to read the ROOL forums frequently. Currently I think I'm reading maybe three times a day (morning while eating breakfast, at work while on break, and in the evening). It can be interesting to try to work my way through the messages (in reverse order as Recent Posts does it) to discover that rather a number of the messages are this person replying to... their previous messages. 
Rick, 9th December 2020, 19:45
Just posted: "what magic power do you see C as having in this equation?" 
Clearly missing the fact that Linux is EVERYWHERE because it has minimal assembler glue between the OS and the hardware, so as long as the glue is written (often supplied by the manufacturer as a binary blob) and the compiler is competent, it's possible to bring Linux to a new platform. 
RISC OS, on the other hand, is a great mass of assembler that is quite specific to one single architecture. 
Linux was ported to work on 64 bit chips. Both x86 and ARM. 
RISC OS will need a complete ground up rewrite to work on anything other than AArch32. 
So it isn't so much about C's magic as the question of why the hell anybody is seriously contemplating writing core bits of an operating system in assembler in 2020. 
Especially somebody who, by their own admission, would rather hack out some code rather than do the boring spec/plan bit. I'd love to see that mentality applied to a filing system. ;-) 
Andy S, 10th December 2020, 00:18
I wish I didn't have the strange compulsion to keep reading all his posts. There seem to be just enough morsels of domain knowledge there to hook people into the arguments even though.. Well, I don't need to say it. In a community of volunteers, trying to lead them to a language choice for the OS that they don't share (as he seems to somewhat recognise) is rather quaint.
Not-A-Troll, 10th December 2020, 21:43
Not really the first time in 12 years, is it? 22672 7#posts-22671 
Rick, 10th December 2020, 22:34
Thanks for the links. Juicy! 
I looked myself. Didn't realise how far back they were. Gawd, I feel old just looking at that. I still remember giggling at the "THERE HAS BEEN MADE AN ACUSATION OF A TROLL", in bold capitals. 
Thanks again. 
Not-A-Troll, 10th December 2020, 23:04
"Didn't realise how far back they were. Gawd, I feel old just looking at that." 
Me neither and me too. 
"Thanks for the links. Juicy!" 
Not sure you should thank me. On the one hand I feel like I shouldn't post such things, but on the other, the discussions are overwhelming ROOL's fora and burning up people's time and patience. 
Rick, 11th December 2020, 06:30
He sent me a message on chatcube asking why I linked to a blank post! 
Not sure if it's his browser or his reality, but something is broken...
Not-A-Troll, 11th December 2020, 22:09
"Devels Advocate", I like that. 
Presumably someone who attempts to speak up on behalf of developers in ways that are unpopular.

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