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Re: Re4: robotic laser welder

by ginseng (Pilgrim)
on Jul 31, 2001 at 01:31 UTC ( #100980=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re4: robotic laser welder
in thread robotic laser welder

I agree wholeheartedly. It looks like the LM629 will move the positional control layer down into hardware, and works like a specialized DSP. Ideal. I'm sure the application is becoming pervasive enough to justify high volume production of specialized silicon.

I'm all in favor of offloading to coprocessors. It's been a fascination for me since reading the thesis that described the Connection Machine in 1986, and realizing that two or three processors are probably more within reach for me than 65,536 of them ;) I still want a i960 coprocessor card, even though i no longer have a computer that is slower than the i960...

The problem is, IMO, that the interesting work is being done on the coprocessor, not on the glue program. If Perl is simply connecting the user to the hardware, the program might be mundane. (I'm the same way with Internet programming. I want to implement business logic, not build interfaces ;)

I haven't gotten into exception handling greatly, but what's wrong with using {..} or do {..} rather than dying? Ah, I may be re-eval'ing the whole block, as you said. Yes, I way to say, handle this exception this way, as we would with signal handling. (Can one define new signals?)

Continuing as if nothing happened and relying on the operator to extricate the situation is not too trying, though. I don't know how Smalltalk handles that, but it doesn't seem to need a special code construct, to me. But I am not a language designer, just a code mechanic.

You seem to have the skills and tools to get into hardware, right? I've done that at jobs, generally where I had someone nearby with hardware expertise to watch over my shoulder. I've prototyped PIC systems and the like (8051, etc.) and designed some circuit boards, but I really don't like hardware. It's one of those things that gets my hair falling out. (Like the week I spent trying to figure out a software bug that only happened when the flourescent lights were off...turned out to be a UV-EEPROM without it's window cover on...I didn't clear that particular register while initializing the program.) At any rate, I envy people who are good at hardware, and have put together good tools for working with it. They aren't stuck (like me) with making do with what's at hand.

'Course, if I really made do with what's at hand, I'd probably take my old EISA RAID controller and have fun with it's coprocessor, complete with a meg of memory...

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