Scoping changes for HawkFloat

If you are not familiar with HawkFloat , see Part 1 and Part 2 of my introduction to this project.

I learned years ago that no matter how long you research, plan, and document a new software library or application, you REALLY do not know what will happen once you begin to code. HawkFloat is reminding me of this, even though it seemed to be a straight forward library,

I just have the header and a skeleton source file so far, but already I have realized that the Haccumulator for the multiply-accumulate will just need to use Hdouble, and full support for Hdouble will not be implemented. What prompted these changes? Continue reading

Sound and mice and CDs, Oh MY! My new DOS build part 2

In Part 1 I installed MS-DOS 6.22 on a Matsonic MSCLE266-F motherboard with a VIA C3 2000+ CPU. I also got a CD-DVD drive working so I can easily burn files to a CD-R disc to load more software until I get networking installed. I also had mouse support for working with DOSSHELL.

I do want to play games, however, so my next step was to get the sound working. Finding a DOS driver for the VIA sound was not hard; right on the Matsonic generic driver CD that came with the motherboard was a Sound Blaster emulation driver. Easy I thought! So I loaded the driver into the config.sys file, added the proper SET command in the autoexec.bat file for games to find the Sound Blaster emulation, and rebooted. I then ran the sound diagnostic program, but no Sound Blaster was found. Continue reading

DOS is dead? My new DOS build.

I had a Matsonic MSCLE266-F motherboard with a VIA C3 2000+ CPU I purchased back in 2004 just sitting around in a case. The motherboard is actually a Pentium III board with the C3 CPU permanently installed. I used it as a low power home server, and for a while ran a Linux router package with an extra network card. But for the last few years it was just gathering dust, and I recently decided to dust it off along with my latent DOS skills. Yes, I decided to dig out my old 3.5″ floppy disks and load plain old DOS on it!

The C3 CPU is not fast by today’s standards, but it is VERY fast compared to the 80486 CPU my last DOS computer had before I went with Windows 95 and later versions. I installed a single 512 Mb stick of DDR memory, a 40GB hard drive, one each 3.5″ and 5.25″ floppy drives I kept around ‘just in case’, and a CD/DVD drive. MS-DOS 6.21 installed easily, but then the fun began. Continue reading

When more is less – video can hamper spontaneity

I am going to put my day-job hat back on for a few minutes. As a Caltrans Public Information Officer, I handle a variety of things, which includes being the unofficial videographer. I subscribe to Streaming Media to help in this aspect of my work, and the June/July 2012 editorial by Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen is titled When More Is Less (It does not appear on their website yet).

Briefly, Eric relates an experience attending a concert in New York performed by a young rock band. While the concert was very good and energetic, he could not help but wonder if the fact that the concert was streaming live, and would be available on demand later, caused the band to limit what they communicated that night. He had hoped to hear some new songs from their about to be released album, but instead just got a standard set with a couple of newer songs.

This got me to thinking about my personal experiences in recording events at Caltrans. Continue reading

Why I do not read software patents

I am not going to go into a long treatise on how messed up the patent system is here in the United States, or why MOST software is math and should not be patented in the first place. No, I will only address how I try to protect myself as a programmer.

The first reason I do not read patents is that if I were ever sued, and lost, I could be held responsible for triple the damages because it could be determined to be willful use of a patent. While ignorance is not a defense, the potential triple damages are just not worth it. Continue reading