Archive for category: Programming Languages

My Fizz Buzz solutions…

May 26, 2016 | Programming Languages, Rants and Raves | By: Mark VandeWettering

Joel Grus blogged about a job interview where he was asked about the ridiculous Fizz Buzz question that apparently some companies use to weed out complete frauds from their job interview process. The task is to create a program which prints the numbers from 1 to 100, but where all numbers which are a multiple […]

Realization: I’m a dinosaur…

August 7, 2012 | Programming Languages, Rants and Raves | By: Mark VandeWettering

About once a year, I get the urge to push my programming skills and knowledge in a new direction. Some years, this results in some new (usually small) raytracers. Sometimes, it results in a program that plays a moderately good game of checkers. Other years, it results in code that predicts the orbits of satellites. […]

My first crude DCPU-16 simulator…

April 6, 2012 | Computer Games, Operating Systems, Programming Languages | By: Mark VandeWettering

A few days ago, I mentioned that @notch, the creator of Minecraft, had a new idea for a space game that he was beginning to work on. One of the features of this game is that your spaceship would be controlled by a simulated computer that you could program. He released a preliminary specification for […]

Arduino Basic

December 23, 2011 | Arduino, Computer Science, Programming Languages | By: Mark VandeWettering

Edsger Dijkstra, Dutch computer scientist and winner of the 1972 Turing Award wrote: It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration. While I have respect for his great contributions to the field, in my […]

Decoding a quadrature encoder just isn’t that difficult

August 2, 2011 | Programming Languages | By: Mark VandeWettering

I was shown some truly horrifying code that reported to decode a quadrature shaft encoder. It was just mind bogglingly stupifying that someone would go to that much work to write something so utterly horrible. Here’s the way that I think of them. A quadrature shaft encoder looks like a 2-bit Gray code counter. Instead […]

Shouldn’t we use programming languages with fewer bad parts?

July 11, 2011 | Programming Languages, Rants and Raves | By: Mark VandeWettering

I was reading that Stanford has begun teaching their introductory computer science course CS101 with Javascript. Despite a lot of the propaganda surrounding the web and a pretty good book on the good parts of Javascript, I can help but think that Javascript has some really tragic flaws. Dijkstra famously referred to PL/1 as “the […]

Book Review: Land of LISP, by Conrad Barski

April 26, 2011 | Books I Read, Games and Diversions, Programming Languages | By: Mark VandeWettering

I learned to program as a teenager back in the 1980s, starting as most of a generation of future computer professionals did. I had an Atari 400 at home, and learned to program using the most popular language of the day: BASIC. There were lots of magazines like COMPUTE! and Creative Computing that included program […]

How a geek tells his wife he loves her: an exercise in Python programming

October 17, 2010 | Programming Languages, Python | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’m away from my better half this weekend, visiting my Mom and brother. I scheduled this a few weeks ago, but shortly after Carmen was granted an entry into the Nike Women’s Half Marathon on the same weekend. Rescheduling the visit with Mom would have been hard, so I decided to go anyway, and missed […]

On random numbers…

October 6, 2010 | Computer Graphics, Programming Languages, Stupidity | By: Mark VandeWettering

While hacking a small program today, I encountered something that I hadn’t seen in a while, so I thought I’d blog it: My random number generator failed me! I was implementing a little test program to generate some random terrain. The idea was pretty simple: initialize a square array to be all zero height. Set […]

Direct use of the PostScript language

September 22, 2010 | Games and Diversions, My Projects, Programming Languages | By: Mark VandeWettering

As I have mentioned before, I sometimes find it convenient to write raw PostScript. I’ve used it to generate business cards, to make templates for laying out parts for radios and telescopees, and generating score cards and labels. Today, I had an idea for creating a large poster to hang in my office. It turns […]

10,000 Monkeys Typing…with a Unix/sh challenge…

July 27, 2010 | Cryptography, Programming Languages | By: Mark VandeWettering

I was testing some code that I wrote for analyzing cryptograms, and decided that the easiest way to do so would be to get some random text, drawn from the letters A-Z. A moments thought yielded this method, without even programming anything: tr -d -c A-Z < /dev/urandom | dd ibs=10000 count=1 The tr generates […]

Q: Are there any good, open user interface options?

April 21, 2010 | Computer Science, Programming Languages | By: Mark VandeWettering

Yesterday I was in our Atrium, and Craig had his iPad with him. I got into a discussion with him and Loren about why I thought the device was very cool. (I also told them why I had been actively discouraged from becoming an iPhone developer earlier, but that’s a story for a different time.) […]

Passing the Amateur Extra test by guessing…

August 3, 2009 | Amateur Radio, Math, Programming Languages, Python | By: Mark VandeWettering


The Next 700 Programming Languages

June 10, 2009 | Computer Science, Programming Languages | By: Mark VandeWettering

I learned that computer scientist Peter Landin passed away recently. Landin’s research helped refine the direction of my college studies, and was always a great pleasure to read. His derivation and explanation of the SECD machine served as the basis for a more mature and clear understanding of many aspects of programming languages and their […]

Haskell Workshop 2007

October 15, 2007 | Programming Languages | By: Mark VandeWettering

In a break with my recent focus on radio related topics, I return to another topic that I’ve enjoyed before. The 2007 Haskell Workshop has made videos of many of their talks available. Some of it looks pretty nifty. Enjoy! Haskell Workshop 2007 – List of Accepted Papers