say what you like about Soviet Russia, nobody in the west looked at the PDP-11 and thought "hey, we could make a home computer out of this!" - even though, you know, they definitely could have done

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electron
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UKNC

i wish i'd picked up (and been able to afford) an Amiga 600 when they were new. not so much because i have any particular Commodore allegiance, but because i just love the way they look... even more so than the 500 or 1200, i think they're easily the cutest of the Amigas

uk pol, benefits, indirect sui mention, 320 words 

not raising benefits by inflation, at a time when inflation is a car crash, is disastrous enough

but my fear is that they'll come after housing benefit. in 1997, one of the benefits changes they announced was that no single person of any age would be entitled to more than a room in a shared house (having said that no single person under 25 was a few years earlier). it never came to pass, because Labour won the intervening election and swiftly cancelled the change; and even George Osborne didn't reintroduce it (instead he raised the cutoff age to 35). but these fuckers could well reintroduce it.

but its impact would be worse than it sounds. there just aren't that many shared houses available, and given the choice, landlords would far rather rent them to students. they're also much less secure than actual homes.

but the worst of the impact will be on people in my position - single folk renting homes predicated on getting a 1-bedroom rate of LHA. not only will most of us be priced massively out of our current homes and forced to work out how the hell we'd fit into a single room again (which basically comes down to how quickly could we sell everything we own), but even those of us who can just about afford to stay will be up against frit landlords, who still - because the tories never passed the promised ban on no-fault evictions - have no bar on simply evicting every tenant on benefits and refusing to let to any new ones.

and on a personal note - i simply *cannot* share a bathroom, or a kitchen, or in fact personal space at all. it gives me uncontrollable anxiety, and - to be blunt - not feeling like i can go to the loo when i want makes me physically ill. so if i can't find somewhere affordable to live, i might as well stop.

it's always... something - what's that feeling exactly midway between amusing and horrifying? - when someone decides to bolster their old 8 bit machine with an ESP32-based widget. like, "how much more computational power have you just added onto this thing's bus than it has itself?"

especially for something like a ZX81, where the ESP32 could run a complete emulation of it and still have (lots of) cycles to spare (though i'd rather see what someone could do implementing Sinclair-ish BASIC directly on the ESP32 tbh)

@millihertz Indeed, people's fascination with and misunderstanding of the halting problem has, I think, done the computer industry a lot of harm.

We ought to be using formal methods a lot more but at least one of the blockers is that if you say something like “and it should check that the program doesn't have infinite loops” people say you can't do that for general programs. Indeed, you can't, but we don't write general programs; most of the software we write is quite simple and quite simple proofs would suffice to show they have useful properties (like not hanging).

I've not looked into the matter at all but I suspect that a lot of the optimization code in modern compilers is already close to the level of power needed. After all, there's not much between optimizing out assert statements and program proving.

I want an IDE which colours red the assert statements it can't optimize out.

Please don't preorder/buy a digital edition of the live coding book coming out at the end of Nov on MIT press. It's open access and will be freely available as mobi, epub and pdf. They're also selling digital editions separately (despite us paying an open access subvention with public funds).
The ebooks will be free to download, edit and share under a CC-BY-SA license on their website, but hidden under the 'resources' tab. We're discussing how to make this clearer..

everyone knows about Agner Fog, right? agner.org/optimize/#manuals

at some point he's going to have to start doing the same for ARM cores... that'd be useful information!

speaking of bad magic:

qjs > print [1,2,3]+[4,5,6]
"undefined4,5,6"
qjs > print( [1,2,3]+[4,5,6] )
"1,2,34,5,6"
undefined
qjs > a = [1,2,3]; print a + [4,5,6]
SyntaxError: expecting ';'
at <evalScript>:1
qjs > a = [1,2,3]; print( a + [4,5,6] )
"1,2,34,5,6"
undefined

two questions: what's so fundamentally different about the third one, as opposed to the first? and where did the side effect of print go in the first one?

and that's why the halting problem is so formulated. what it does is perfectly reasonable: it halts on a program containing an infinite loop, and goes off into an infinite loop on a program that doesn't. it's general: it can be fed any program (specifically, any Turing machine's input tape). and if the mathematical system were complete, it would be decidable, even given its rather strange result conditions.

but of course, it isn't, and that's easily demonstrated by feeding it its own input tape.

it absolutely doesn't mean that it's impossible to detect infinite loops in programs. it means something much broader and more fundamental than that. it means that mathematics, as a whole, cannot be considered complete, because it can express problems that it cannot decide.

two other mathematicians approached the same question in different ways at the same time. Alonzo Church formulated the lambda calculus. the other was a fellow you might have heard of, called Kurt Gödel.

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everyone misunderstands the halting problem

it's not a demonstration that you can't make a program that determines whether there aren't any infinite loops in the program input to it. that's easily resolved: propose a program that never goes into an infinite loop, whatever is fed to it, and feed it to itself. no contradiction.

the precise formulation of the halting problem - that whatever the program it is given does, the checker program does the opposite - is vitally important, which gives you a hint as to what it really means. it means - and this is what Turing intended it to mean - that there exist some problems that are intriniscally uncomputable. and Turing's interest at this point was not so much in computation, but in determining whether or not any mathematical system could be complete. his Turing machines were a thought experiment of a system which could compute any computable problem - essentially the simplest possible potentially-complete system.

so contradictions glare. →

seems to me that the problem with any programming language is the strangeness of its magic

Javascript, apparently, has a lot of magic, all following its own unalterable (but somehow poorly-defined) rules. so do Perl and PHP

C++ lets you write your own magic... to a point

Forth and Lisp don't have magic at all. they have nuclear technology ;-)

oh goodie, it's the season of hot takes about machine intelligence which insist on doing things that would be regarded as barbaric if applied to the question of animal intelligence

one of the more delightful(/s) things about the Z80 is the fact that POP xx takes fewer cycles than INC SP; INC SP

you have to stare long and hard to wonder how that happened.

(the 8080 executes them in the same time, 10 cycles, but POP is still a byte shorter)

if your editor doesn't use vi, emacs, CUA or Wordstar (or at the outside, Brief) command bindings, and it can't easily be configured to, then why?!

Holon Forth has one of the coolest text-based interfaces I've seen.

It's like a Smalltalk browser.

It would be really cool if GForth had something like that.

Even if it were GTK based.

ooh, my first edit notification!

well, not mine. a toot that i boosted.

re LB: and let's not forget, the readability of assembly language

"The C Programming Language -- A language which combines the flexibility of
assembly language with the power of assembly language."

a post about clicking noises from hard drive
bunch of replies saying it's fine
suit urselves lmao i'd be in panic mode

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