2013 August Meeting


Jos’h, Gaelan, Leo, Dann, Mark, Andrei

Preliminary chatting

Leo briefly talks about r3-mode

  • github here
  • Slight improvements over rebol.el, even half-finished as it is
  • Tries to use a background REBOL3 process for as much as possible
  • Jos’h: Karl Sassenrath wrote a REBOL parser in REBOL (which Leo will look into and possibly use)

Jos’h talks about FNFAL

  • Slides here
  • A custom language Jos’h is developing
  • FuNctional Fixed Arity Language
    • The name comes from the assault rifle of the same name, the bacronym and language came later
  • Two types of things: functions and operators
    • “functions” are unary, prefix things that return something
    • “operators” are binary, infix things that return something
    • variables are unary functions that take anything and return their value

Postliminary chatting

  • Who would attend an Erlang conference on a weekend?
    • No consensus with a sample-size of 8
    • Depends on the weather (not this August ’cause it’s beautiful, probably in November because it’s usually shit)
  • Dann talks about ICFP Programming Contest
  • Segue to “Bill Gates’ Programming Challenge”
    • The task was to create a multi-window display with different things happening in each window
  • Jupiter Ace 4000 - the first computer that included a Forth implementation on the ROM
  • Jos’h has surplus SGI boxes in toaster cases
    • From before they went stupid. And then bankrupt. And then bankrupt again.
      • Their doom was when a bunch of their engineers left to go found NVidia
    • Startups tend to have this profitability bell-curve
  • Segue to startup discussions
    • “The thing that ended ‘Beer Friday’ was the construction of a beer pyramid consisting of 75 cases in one day”
    • “We’ve got a beer fridge, the LA branch has a keg, and their marketing department apparently had their own bar”
  • Jos’h mentions Eptech, a manufacturing tradeshow
  • Chaos Computing conference, reverse-engineered the 6502 and implemented it in JavaScript
  • Hy
    • A Lisp-like that compiles to Python’s bytecode
    • Gaelan’s dungeon master (deliberately ambiguous whether dice or ballgag) is the writer
  • Long-standing human tendency to use obsolete tech long past any reasonable limit
  • Harris RTX 4000 is a rad-hardened chip with a hardware-implemented Forth
  • Nuclear power apparently eventually degrades computer-grade plastic and causes bits to stick (don’t ask how we know this)
  • Computer History Museum in the old SGI building
  • LambdaPi project - a Scheme/Lisp-based operating system for the Raspberry Pi computer
  • LHC data processing has some interesting constraints. They need to do a lot of processing (on the order of 100TB/s), so they need to use very simple and intense data processing techniques to keep up with the flow