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  • Orunmila

    The Ballmer Peak

    By Orunmila

    If you are going to be writing any code you can probably use all the help you can get, and in that line you better be aware of the "Ballmer Peak". Legend has it that drinking alcohol impairs your ability to write code, BUT there is a curious peak somewhere in the vicinity of a 0.14 BAC where programmers attain almost super-human programming skill. The XKCD below tries to explain the finer nuances. But seriously many studies have shown that there is some truth to this in the sense that
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    • 267 views
  • Orunmila

    Epigrams on Programming

    By Orunmila

    Epigrams on Programming Alan J. Perlis Yale University This text has been published in SIGPLAN Notices Vol. 17, No. 9, September 1982, pages 7 - 13.  The phenomena surrounding computers are diverse and yield a surprisingly rich base for launching metaphors at individual and group activities. Conversely, classical human endeavors provide an inexhaustible source of metaphor for those of us who are in labor within computation. Such relationships between society and device are no
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  • Orunmila

    Heisenbugs

    By Orunmila

    The basic idea behind this principle is that taking measurements influence the thing you are measuring. In microcontrollers we all get intruduced to this idea at some point when you are trying to figure out if the oscillator is running, and measuring it with a scope probe you realize - of course only after a couple of hours of struggling - that the 10pF impedence load the scope probe is adding to the pin is actually causing the oscillator, which was working just fine, to stop dead. In
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    • 265 views
  • Orunmila

    How long is a nanosecond?

    By Orunmila

    Exactly how long is a nanosecond? This Lore blog is all about standing on the shoulders of giants. Back in February 1944 IBM shipped the Harvard Mark 1 to Harvard University. It looked like this: The Mark I was a remarkable machine at the time, it could perform addition in 1 cycle (which took roughly 0.3 seconds) and multiplication in 20 cycles or 6 seconds. Calculating sin(x)  would run up to 60 seconds (1 minute). The team that ran this Electromechanical computer had o
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    • 816 views
  • Orunmila

    Using the CDC Serial port on the PIC18F47K40 Xpress Evaluation Board

    By Orunmila

    I recently got my hands on a brand new PIC18F47K40 Xpress board (I ordered one after we ran into the Errata bug here a couple of weeks ago). I wanted to start off with a simple "Hello World" app which would use the built-in CDC serial port, which is great for doing printf debugging with, and interacting with the board in general since it has no LED's and no display to let me know that anything is working, but immediately I got stuck. Combing the user's guide I could not find any mention of
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    • 766 views

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