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Real Life Debugged » Software

Tag-Archive for ◊ Software ◊

Reminiscing: My Very First Computer - the Atari 800
Friday, February 20th, 2009 | Author: lisaksimone

I wrote my first program on an Atari 800 (yup, that dates me both as a fossil and as a neophyte within the ranks of true nerd-dom).

While surfing for someone completely unrelated, I tripped across a really cool place called the Obsolete Technology Website. What a fascinating view into computer technology from the 1970’s through about 1993.

DEADBEEF and Kids These Days
Wednesday, February 11th, 2009 | Author: lisaksimone

Someone should write an “Ode to 0xdeadbeef.”  For a couple years, I taught an embedded systems class at NJIT and used deadbeef to initialize memory and find memory leaks and the like.  My graduate students were initially confused that hex was useful for anything beyond binary conversions and writing ASCII characters to a display.

They tittered at cafebabe, feedf00d, and babe2bed.  Poor deprived children.

I always taught wandering through the room, and repeatedly tortured these unwitting victims with random demands, “What is 2ˆ16?  Why is it magic? What’s the hex value for ‘0′ and why is it a good one to memorize?”

From their initial stunned expressions, I could tell they secretly doubted the usefulness of such games, and wondered if Professor Simone was simply nuts.  To my joy and happiness, they caught the bug and starting bringing their fun words to class.

Denton Gentry wrote a fun “looking back in time” entry (aptly named “[0123456789abcdef]” ), reminiscing when discovering new words was a cool sign of superior nerdhood.  And nutty Professor Simone never thought of 0×0ddba11 or 0xf00f.  Ah, opportunities wasted.