This post is a belated comment on the FDL 2009 conference that I attended some months ago. I have had some things in mind for a while, but some recent podcast listening has brought the issues to front again. What has been striking is the extent to which FDL was about languages only to a very small degree. Compared to programming-language conferences like PLDI, there was precious little innovation going on in input languages, and very little concern for the programming aspects of virtual platform design and hardware modeling.
Today here at the MCC 2009 workshop, I heard an interesting talk by David Black-Schaffer of Stanford university. His work is on stream programming for image processing (“2D streams”). Pretty simple basic idea, to use 2D blobs of pixels as kernel inputs rather than single values or vectors. Makes eminent sense for image processing.
I just spotted a fun little application on Freescale’s homepage: an interactive demo of the fault tolerance functions of the MPC564XL dual-core microcontroller.
Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote a blog post about an adventure with delayed trains getting from Uppsala to Stockholm. As I said then, I am a train fanboy, preferring trains to most alternatives for most travel. Trains do have one big disadvantage though: when something goes wrong, you are unusually powerless and stuck. That happened to me last Friday. I spent some five ours in a dark train in a dark winter evening in the middle of the forest south of Laxå. Here is the story of that journey, and an observation about the impact of technology on our lives.
It was on a Friday the 13th, by the way. Not that I believe in that bad luck happens more on certain days, this certainly was an unlucky Friday (and very early Saturday).
Unless you have been living under a rock I guess the media deluge has made it clear that it was twenty years ago on November ninth that the Berlin Wall fell. Wow. Without a doubt the most momentous and important event that I have lived through. Not at all on the topic of this blog, but important enough to write some personal recollections about.