Sunday, September 06


Daily News Stuff 6 September 2020

Obvious Plant Edition

Tech News

  • HP Basic has a lot of commands.  Just building a spreadsheet merging all these versions of Basic into one is exhausting.

  • The HP Omen 15 has the Four Essential Keys.  (Tom's Hardware)

    In fact, it has a regular desktop cursor key layout instead of the largely useless numeric keypad.

    It also has a Ryzen 4000 APU, two socketed DIMMS for up to 64GB RAM, and two socketed M.2 NVMe devices for up to however much storage you can afford.  The expandability and the standard cursor keys make for a great developer machine.

    It has an absolute swarm of I/O ports, including HDMI, mini DisplayPort, three USB-A 5Gb ports, one Type-C port, headphone jack, SD card, and wired Ethernet.

    Graphics are provided by an Nvidia GPU with options from the 1650 Ti up to a 2070 Super Max-Q which sounds like a season of Pretty Cure.

    Battery life on the model tested by Tom's Hardware was only 6 hours, where the Asus Zephyrus G14 got over 11 hours.  The Asus model only has one DIMM slot and one M.2 slot available, and lacks the FEK, so choices have to be made.

  • A PDP-11/70 emulator.

    Not a download link for an emulator, but the whole thing running right there on the web page.

  • Snap sucks.  (Uncertain Jatan)

    Log in to a recent Ubuntu installation.  Type df.  Who the actual fuck thought this was a good idea?

  • Bronze age Europeans couldn't drink milk.  (Science Magazine)

    To be fair, they didn't have Milo.

  • 64K Basic is 2MB.  (Basic-Lang)

    It's a stripped down version of Basic with no I/O facilities apart from PRINT, LOAD, and SAVE.  That's a little too stripped down, really.  Written in Rust, so at least you know it's written in Rust.

    Wikipedia has a list of Basic dialects.  There's slightly more than an infinite number of them.  But if I can find one suitable for writing a compiler, it will make it easier for me to build a self-hosting compiler of my own.

    Chances of cramming everything I want into the allocated 128k of ROM are slim, even though I can redefine the hardware at will to make the software easier.  I'll just make a prioritised feature list and when the ROM is full, it ships.  It will support loading additional functions from disk files - HP Basic does this with LOADSUB ALL FROM "graphics.bas" for example.

That's Enough Internet For Today Video of the Day

Disclaimer: I'm only up to G and already have 159 commands, plus 47 event handling commands from skipping ahead to O.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 09:13 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 437 words, total size 4 kb.

1 FEK:  I've been messing around with custom keyboards since June, when I got a Planck.  A lot of people using 65%-and-smaller keyboards eschew arrows for vi-style hjkm movement, sometimes via a modifier.

Posted by: Rick C at Monday, September 07 2020 04:38 AM (eqaFC)

2 The problem is that common editors and IDEs already require key combinations like ctrl-shift-home.  That's bad enough, but it is at least consistent on every full keyboard.

When those keys are missing, though...  Was it ctrl-shift-fn-up?  Ctrl-shift-alt-right?  Ugh.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, September 07 2020 11:09 AM (PiXy!)

3 Not the regular modifiers like control--layers.  As an example, go here: and look (the Kyria is a split keyboard you assemble yourself).  You hold down one of the keys marked LT2, either Esc on the left half or space on the right half (in either case they're thumb keys), and that shifts you from layer 0 to layer 2, and now if you hold one of HJKL you get vi-style movement.
I've modified mine to swap space & tab because I found it easier to use.  Also, note that you get both delete and backspace as thumb keys.

Posted by: Rick C at Monday, September 07 2020 11:31 AM (eqaFC)

4 Oh, right.  While I can see the appeal of that style of keyboard, I want pretty much the opposite.  For my use, every commonly used function should have its own dedicated key.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, September 07 2020 12:08 PM (PiXy!)

5 I hear ya.  Splits and 40%-and-smallers are partly an attempt to avoid or mitigate RSIs; one of the ideas is "no key is more than 1u away from the home row position".  To do that you have to have layers.

Posted by: Rick C at Monday, September 07 2020 12:41 PM (eqaFC)

6 The boss is looking at new laptops for developers this year. The expansion potential there makes a compelling case—there's nothing wrong with our current laptops, except that 16gb of RAM is no longer enough in the modern day, and we're all running out of SSD space now.
A coworker of mine is pushing snap hard for some of our embedded projects. There's some value to it in that field, but it also seems like we're spending a lot of time figuring out how to do things with snaps that are trivial if it's just, say, a systemd service running on some ordinary Linux flavor.

Posted by: Jay at Tuesday, September 08 2020 10:40 PM (0jVI9)

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Apple pies are delicious. But never mind apple pies. What colour is a green orange?

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