I've been having both a very busy personal schedule and some technical problems with both my PC and my site, hence no posts for a few days. Things are sort of running again — not quite the way I want them, but we're at least functional. Here's what's new.
The Fall Of The Hammer, Still Falling
I've been making fitful progress on The Fall Of The Hammer, fitfully enough that I suspect the book will need at least one more draft than I usually execute. Most of the time, my first drafts tend to be like someone else's second or third (or so I've been told), in big part because I perform a lot of toss-and-test beforehand. This time around, though, the work was in such a state that many details of its execution had to be modified drastically as I went along. I'll need at least one whole draft cycle to smooth those rough edges out.
I resurrected a project that I shelved in frustration some months ago, a toy programming language that uses Python and the LLVM compiler framework. The second verse for this was definitely not the same as the first, as I learned plenty from my original mistakes. I'm also keeping a blog about my experiences, updated irregularly, and not created with the software I use to run this place (hence the radically different style). Call it an experiment to complement an experiment. Maybe by the end of the month I'll have Conway's Game Of Life implemented in it again — that was one of the little mini-demos I included with the original incarnation of the language, and it's always a fun thing to use as a test case.
Poking around for other simple game-style demos to include with the language brought me to this page about the HP 2000 time-shared systems that existed in the 1970s. My high school had one of these, and a friend of mine and I spent countless lunch hours in the computer room hacking away at it. Primitive as it was, even then, there was something electric about working with it. Reminiscing about it also made me realize the development of a language parallels the development of computing in general: you have to begin with the most rudimentary pieces before you can even get to HELLO WORLD.
From The Other Side Of The Ocean
I got back in the saddle with Ganriki, my Japanese popular-culture project. Aside from a few things I discovered on my own, the launch of the Criterion Channel has given me so much material to work with, I can't ever complain again about having nothing to write about. Just about not having enough hours in the day to write about them. And who knows — maybe once I'm done KonMari'ing this office, I won't have that problem as much either.