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RubyConf 2004 sessions available (audio/mp3)   08 Oct 04
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We have made the .mp3 files (64kbs…downsampled from 192kbs) available of the sessions of the 2004 Ruby Conference. I added mp3 tags on all the files so they appear as an album (compilation) and the artist is the speaker. They are available from the RubyForge BitTorrent site. They are all in a single .zip file (…364MB)…there are a total of 20 mp3 files in the .zip:

Friday: 01-Welcome.mp3 02-RubyTraining.mp3 03-TestingWithRuby.mp3 04-Ruwiki.mp3 05-TychoPIM.mp3 06-HackingRuby.mp3 07-Alph.mp3

Saturday: 08-Narf.mp3 10-RubyOnRails.mp3 11-RailsDemo.mp3 12-RubyGems.mp3 13-YARV.mp3 14-TestUnit.mp3 15-Keynote.mp3

Sunday: 16-RubyOnWindows.mp3 17-Copland.mp3 18-CodeGeneration.mp3 19-Rubyx4DC.mp3 20-Closing.mp3


The torrent is:

If someone wants to get these, unzip and host them via HTTP that’s cool…we just don’t have the bandwidth :-) If someone wants them in 192kbs format, let me know via a direct email and we can work out how to get them to ya (its 1.4GB that way though).

                    Best, Rich

more slides   07 Oct 04
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Copland IOC/DI:


Retroforth 7.4   07 Oct 04
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RetroForth is a compact, open source Forth development system. It can be used under FreeBSD, Linux, BeOS, Windows, SCO OpenServer, or as an operating system. It is easy very easy to learn, use, and extend with standard libraries like SDL, and it can also be used to create tight, stand-alone applications.

Changes: This release adds quite a bit of new functionality. Support for aliases, filling memory ranges, and finding addresses of functions has been added. The native version has a serial console, serial port support, parallel port support, hard drive support, and interrupts. There are also two new ports using libc, one of which has support for using shared libraries. A few minor bugs in the conditionals were fixed.

R 2.0 is out   07 Oct 04
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R is a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics. It is similar to S, which was developed at Bell Laboratories by John Chambers et al. It provides a wide variety of statistical and graphical techniques (linear and nonlinear modelling, statistical tests, time series analysis, classification, clustering, etc.). R is designed as a true computer language with control-flow constructions for iteration and alternation, and it allows users to add additional functionality by defining new functions. For computationally intensive tasks, Fortran and C code can be linked and called at run time.

Changes: Many things have changed since 1.0. The R language has acquired namespaces, exception handling constructs, formal methods and classes, much improved garbage collection, generalized I/O via connection objects, and considerable improvements in the graphics area. The user workspace has been reorganized, and so has the set of packages that ship with R. Several "recommended packages" deemed indispensable in a statistical system are bundled. In addition, there has been a large number of more specific new functions, tweaks, and bugfixes.

Erlang R10B   07 Oct 04
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Erlang is a small concurrent functional programming language developed by Ericsson. It is being used by Ericsson as a systems programming language for large concurrent fault-tolerant distributed systems.

Changes: This release includes two new applications, XMerl and EDOC. It increases the maximum number of simultaneous processes to 268 435 456. It adds several nice additions to the language, such as "Query List Comprehensions". It provides performance increases and several changes to included applications.

Hal Fulton - Slides from my talk on Tycho...   07 Oct 04
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I also released v 0.0.6 on Rubyforge — a few minor changes.

Expressing Japanese in BNF   07 Oct 04
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Do you also feel like you would like to understand the Japanese Ruby postings? and

Vim cookbook   06 Oct 04
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Useful stuff about the vim — one of the two good editors on that planet.


CityBuilder   06 Oct 04
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CityBuilder is an attempt to automate much of the work involved in creating very large virtual urban landscapes. The system takes a street map as input, and produces street geometry and a scene graph containing the building models as output. The user has control over the types of buildings placed in the city through the use of image maps. The potential applications for this system include video game content (think GTA*), visualization, etc.

It is well known to most of those in the field of computer graphics that mountainous terrain can be generated programmatically. A good deal of research has been done in this area, focused for the most part on the use of fractals to generate landscapes. While these techniques produce some impressive results, they are restricted in the kinds of terrain that they can generate. For example, these techniques are not appropriate for the creation of urban terrain.

This is unfortunate, as there are many benefits to being able to programmatically generate urban landscapes. Many recent video games, for example, feature very large urban environments. Finding little research on the topic of urban terrain generation, I decided to create my own utilities for that purpose.

Note - I have recently been made aware that a very similar project was published at SIGGRAPH 2001, entitled "Procedural Modeling of Cities". That project made use of L-systems to generate the street topographies (mine uses a user-created node graph) and (from the description) is considerably more complex. I haven’t seen their output. If you’re interested in this sort of thing, you might want to take a look at their work, too.

With the CityBuilder system, there are three stages in the creation of a city. The first stage is to create the street map, the building models, and some miscellaneous support files used by the second stage. The second stage is where CityBuilder takes control. Street geometry is created using the StreetBuilder component, building models are placed in the city by the BlockBuilder component, and miscellaneous items like traffic lights are placed in the city by the ClutterBuilder component. The third stage is to fine-tune the output using a scene-graph editor or by hand-editing the output files. The city is then ready to be viewed.

ToonArchive - Tiger Map Server   06 Oct 04
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The Tiger Map Server dynamically generates road maps of the U.S. and serves them using a built in web server. The backend data files are provided by the US Census, and contain data for land, water, road, etc. across the United States. has taken the tiger map server and converted it to shapefiles, which are free to download.

The Tiger Map Server works as a simple httpd server. It connects to a port, and returns jpeg maps over http. The URL string specifies the lat/lon/scale as well as the width and height of the image requested. This design make it extremely easy to integrate the Tiger Map Server into existing websites or custom apps. As well as serving jpegs, the server can also return the raw pixel data. This is much easier to deal with in a C/C++ app, like my Car Computer project.


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