In this article, I tackle the classic question engineers developing software for custom integrated circuits (ICs) grapple with constantly: How do I test my software before the hardware team gets me a working silicon chip?No ‘one size fits all’ solution is provided here (look for that alongside my pet unicorn); instead I detail an easy-to-use yet powerful approach to solve this problem for a particular development scenario.If you are developing software for ICs and you or your team does any of the following:Develops on Linux or WindowsUtilizes continuous integrationLoses time dealing with merge/integration issuesthen read on. If not, keep reading anyway, as this methodology can be used effectively in a variety of situations.Background and Approach‘Why CI is important’ article for an in-depth look for why continuous integration is so important when developing software. Developing software for ICs, however, adds another layer of complexity in choosing … [Read more...] about Continuous Integration
Excel with python
To inspire the youth to deal with mathematics and programming, it’s important to have role models, both good and bad. It seems then that the efforts of two students from Rice University, Chris Brown and Sam Shadwell, provide an excellent example of this. Their recently released TrumpScript is a heavily modified version of the Python programming language, created in 20 hours during a hackathon. And as you probably guessed, it’s based on the Internet’s favorite presidential candidate: Donald Trump.Small tidbits of Trump’s political views and his character can be found, not necessarily discretely, strewn about in TrumpScript. Numbers with a value lower than 1 million are not allowed to be used in the code … because bigger numbers are better, period. This language also prevents users from using import statements. So there’s no foreign code in these programs, because who’d want to promote digital immigration? In addition, the programming … [Read more...] about TrumpScript programming language wants to make Python great again
Spam, spam, spam. It’s almost impossible to avoid.The average daily volume of email spam in the last month was 250 billion messages, according to Cisco’s SenderBase spam overview. That means spam email accounted for more than 85 percent of global email traffic.Where did we get the term spam from in the first place? And how did it become so widely used?As a term for junk email, spam entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 1998, and soon took over as the primary definition. It is currently listed as a noun meaning “Irrelevant or unsolicited messages sent over the Internet, typically to large numbers of users, for the purposes of advertising, phishing, spreading malware, etc.” and also as a verb meaning “Send the same message indiscriminately to (a large number of Internet users).”But how did we get there? To start, it helps to skip down to the second entry: “A tinned meat product made from mainly ham.”All you can eatHormel Foods … [Read more...] about Why do we call it spam? Blame spiced ham shoulder, Monty Python and Usenet
Programming Students participating in the Designing and Administering Large-Scale Systems Institute in April 2017. The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) has a long, rich history of providing training in advanced computing to researchers and students on and off The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) campus. From the beginning, TACC has taught the basics of high performance computing (HPC) and scientific visualization. One of the center's goals has always been to inspire and educate the next generation of computational scientists and technologists, and that mission has taken a leap forward with the re-designed TACC Institutes, launched this spring.The TACC Institutes have their genesis in the Summer Supercomputing Institute first offered in 2007, which brought scientists and engineers from academia and industry to TACC to experience the training the center provided during the regular semester. The training was packaged into a one-week program so people could travel to … [Read more...] about A New Paradigm for Training in Advanced Computing
Cloud Computing To wrap up our programming topics mini-arc, I'd like to invite you to investigate a relatively new interpreted programming language, Ruby. Unlike many other scripting languages, it was designed from the ground up to be object-oriented. The impact of this object-oriented heritage will be obvious as you examine its functionality. click the images to enlarge Typical Program Start menu created by the Ruby One Click Installer languages. These influencers included Perl, Python, Java, Smalltalk, Eiffel and Ada, among others. Perhaps even more important than these was Matz's personal goal of designing a language that was both easy and fun to use. As he's said before, "It allows you to concentrate on the creative side of programming, with less stress." An indication of this sense of fun may be found in the language's name, as Ruby is the birth stone for July, following June's Perl.if and while statements, but it allows more flexible use of them by allowing … [Read more...] about The Glistening Ruby: An interpreted scripting language with an object-oriented heritage
The ultra-cheap Linux computer on a circuit board has its roots in the classroom. But the bare-bones computer, dubbed "Raspberry Pi," has potential to teach industrial embedded programmers some new tricks.Raspberry Pi, a US$35 credit-card-sized computer sold without keyboard or monitor, runs several Linux distros and can hook up to a mouse, keyboard, HDTV and Ethernet. It went on worldwide sale last month and quickly sold out. It supports Python and Perl programming languages.But the tiny computer will not replace its fully endowed hardware alternatives. And several design decisions could well limit its performance."It's an advanced, innovative circuit board. It's similar to a Beagle board maybe. It's not unlike other Linux PCs. It's good at some things. It's a little slow at others," Eben Upton, director of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, told LinuxInsider.The Raspberry Pi computer was supposed to be a computer for kids. But its initial audience clearly is comprised of computer geeks, … [Read more...] about What Does One Serve With Raspberry Pi?
By now, you should at least be passingly familiar with Python. One of the fastest-growing languages, Python has been gaining popularity for years and has reached a level of maturity that makes it a top choice for enterprise development.Companies from Microsoft to Google have embraced Python and are not only supporting its use, but also investing in its development. Google uses it to power some of the world's most scalable applications. Developers pick it up quickly and easily.Following are five reasons so many companies are embracing Python for rapid development of scalable, enterprise Web applications.There should be little doubt that Python is here to stay. Just look at the continually growing community around the Python project and its offshoots.In addition to a stable community, Python has a stable road map. Python's 2.x series has been well maintained and extended, while Python 3000 (Python 3) has been in development. Even though Python 3 breaks from Python 2.x in some significant … [Read more...] about EXPERT ADVICE 5 Python Pluses for the Enterprise
In the late 1990s, Terra Soft CEO Kai Staats was called upon to design and build a Web server, and he faced a unique dilemma. He wanted to use Macs, but the pre-Unix Mac OS of that era was just not reliable for mission-critical services.Staats was familiar with Linux and appreciated its stability; however, he didn't much fancy having to buy an Intel system to run it. So he ignored the conventional wisdom, bought Mac hardware, and then, with the help of his IT team, ported Linux to the PowerPC (in that case a Mac G3). Thus, Yellow Dog Linux for the PowerPC was born.Since its introduction, YDL has captured the attention of several sectors, ones that would like to use Linux yet would like to take advantage of the high-performance computing benefits that the RISC PowerPC architecture can provide.Last year, Terra Soft won a contract to build a sonar imaging system for the U.S. Navy through defense contractor Lockheed Martin that would employ YDL and Apple Xserves. The company's client list … [Read more...] about EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW Terra Soft CEO Kai Staats on Linux and the Mac
New architectures for data and logic processing are ushering in a game-changing era of advanced analytics.These new approaches support massive data sets to produce powerful insights and analysis -- yet with unprecedented price-performance. As we enter 2010, enterprises are including more forms of diverse data into their business intelligence (BI) activities. They're also diversifying the types of analysis that they expect from these investments.At the same time, more kinds and sizes of companies and government agencies are seeking to deliver ever more data-driven analysis for their employees, partners, users, and citizens. It boils down to giving more communities of participants what they need to excel at whatever they're doing. By putting analytics into the hands of more decision makers, huge productivity wins across entire economies become far more likely.But such improvements won't happen if the data can't effectively reach the application's logic, if the systems can't handle the … [Read more...] about PODCAST How Smart Can Analytics Get?
wattOS is a stunning example of really great things coming in small packages.wattOS is a lightweight and fast desktop Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS built around the LXDE. It uses the lightweight Openbox window manager as its default user interface.To credit this 8-year-young community of developers with birthing an energy-efficient Linux distribution is an understatement.It has phenomenal performance on older hardware that lacks resources. It installs on computers with as little as 192 MB to 256 MB of RAM, and it can throttle back with only 128 MB of RAM. However, it runs much better with double that amount.I initially tried installing wattOS on a 2005 edition of an HP Pavilion laptop that barely ran Windows XP. wattOS lit up that hardware better than Puppy Linux on a USB drive. wattOS was an excellent performer on much newer desktops and laptops sitting on my test bench. LXDE versions of wattOS should be able to run on any computer with a processor released in the … [Read more...] about LINUX PICKS AND PANS wattOS Energizes Aging Hardware