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Member Since 01 Apr 2002
Offline Last Active Dec 06 2012 09:53 AM

Topics I've Started

Still Broken Book Entry: Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools

06 December 2010 - 03:13 PM

The page (and, presumably, the DB entries) for Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools is still broken after this and this.

Broken Book Entry: Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools

01 July 2010 - 06:03 AM

The page (and, presumably, the DB entries) for Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools is still broken after this.

Game-Friendly Virtualization Software?

23 October 2009 - 01:37 PM

I've recently become interested in the hardware virtualization support that is present in modern processors, but I've hit what seems to be a rather large roadblock: relevant software seems almost entirely oriented towards server applications. This is a problem for me because my interests aren't really related to servers, but rather to running multiple OSes simultaneously in a desktop environment. One thing that is important in such a setup is that the "guest" operating systems can (when I desire) access the full hardware of the machine to perform resource-intensive operations like running a modern computer game. All the hypervisors within my reach (Xen, MS Hyper-V, KVM, VirtualBox, VMWare _, maybe a few others) seem to run the guest operating systems with an emulated VGA (or, for the higher end, sometimes VESA) video adapter, a poor (if present at all) sound card, etc. These things might be great for a server that uses virtualization for load balancing and fail-over capability, but it's horrible for a hobbyist that wants to tinker with such things as device drivers and alternate OSes. On the other hand, using "regular" VM software that sits in a guest OS of my choice does allow me to use the full computer resources in the host OS, but it eliminates the ability to run "real" device drivers and means I can't test resource-intensive software on multiple OSes since the guest OSes will have the same (or worse) emulated hardware as hypervisors provide. I could use an actual whole-system emulator to overcome the device driver issue, but they run even slower than traditional VM software. Are there any virtualization solutions that provide most of the benefits of multi-booting without the inconvenience of actually rebooting all the time?

Should corporations have rights?

10 September 2009 - 07:21 AM

Lately, the issue of corporate political spending has come under scrutiny due to the "Hillary Documentary". In fact, it's made it all the way to the supreme court. [Google News] When I first heard the issue framed as a question of free speech, my first instinct was that, despite my distaste for the idea, "of course" corporations should be allowed to exercise free speech, and creating media is a form of free speech regardless of the message, (dis)information, etc that is contained in the media. I then realized that my feelings on the issue are not so clear. While I believe every person has an unalienable right to free speech, I'm not so sure I feel corporations do. To me, it seems counter-intuitive for an alienable entity to have any unalienable rights. It also seems against the idea of a right to have multiple versions with different basic properties. Any lesser version of a right that can be mutated or revoked depending on circumstances seems to actually be a privilege. Rather than supporting the right of free speech for corporations, I think I support the privilege of free speech for corporations. What are your thoughts on the idea of corporations having rights?

Genetic Programming with RedCode

27 June 2009 - 03:21 AM

As I stated in my journal, I just recently discovered an awesome programming game titled Core Wars. I've been playing with the it for a week or two, and I've decided to write my own evolver for the game. Many different types of mutation are obvious, but I'd like to discuss other methods of evolving. It seems to me that RedCode is uniquely difficult to represent in a way useful for quality crossover or other graph-based approaches because of the way each instruction can modify the next (or previous, etc) in a way that makes the program as a whole act like an almost-atomic unit. Do you have any ideas on how operators other than mutation could be implemented in a way that provides useful results any significant portion of the time (vs making a program take a huge step backwards)?