[svfig-announce] Meeting July 19,2010

Kevin Appert forther at comcast.net
Wed Jul 21 18:15:53 BST 2010

--- SVFIG Meeting, Fourth Saturday, July 24, 2010 ---

The meeting will be held on the FIRST OR second floor of Building 550 
(aka Peterson Building. Directions and map links are below.


Enter the building from the Panama Mall side.   The door is labeled 
"Building 550 - Mechanical Engineering Design Group".
If there isn't someone from SVFIG at the door to let you in, call the 
cell phone number on the sign.

The Official SVFIG Announcement Editor's Parking Lot Recommendation is
the lot near the intersection of Teresa St and Morris Way.  There are
other, closer lots but this one is easiest to navigate to.

There is no public Wifi.  If you had a one-day password last month it
will be the same this month.  For a new one-day guest account (if you 
didn't get one last month) email Dave Jaffe at: <dljaffe at stanford.edu>

For late-breaking updates, check the web site:

At each lull in the action, between talks or before breaks we will be
inviting folks to give short 5-10 minute 'quickies'.  If you'd like to
tell us about something, let Kevin know at the meeting and we'll reserve 
the time for you or take your chances that nobody else will grab the slot.

09:50 --- Coffee and a Chat

10:00 --- STM8S-Discovery Board --- C.H. Ting
"Many of you might have gotten STMicroelectronics' STM8S-Discovery 
evaluation board free at this year's Embedded Systems Conference. It has 
an 8-bit microprocessor, the STM8S105C6T6, and a USB link. I looked into 
it and found the microprocessor is similar to the 68HC11. So I dug up my 
68HC11 eForth implementations and am trying to port it over. I will 
report my progress. I hope to have a working eForth on it for 
demonstration at the meeting. STM is selling this board at $10. At this 
price, I can tolerate all the shortcomings in this chip."

11:35 --- Quickie

11:45 --- Twenty-FORTH of July Barbecue
Ting will grill, we will enjoy!
If you're a vegetarian, email Kevin at forther_at_comcast_dot_net  We're 
planning to have a box or two of Boca Burgers or something similar but 
other suggestions are welcome.

This month we'll go around the room and each introduce ourselves and 
tell the coolest new product, lifehack or tool we've seen lately.  Like 
this exciting new way to round off slotted screws: 

13:30 --- EXPERT SYSTEM FOR ENGINE ANALYSIS  --- Dennis Ruffer
       Most of us recognize that HAL-9000 was 1) Hostile and 2) not
written in Forth.  Dennis will describe a non-hostile expert system he
wrote many years ago in Forth to diagnose automobile engines in
instruments built by Allen Group - Test Products Division.
     Here is an example of the sort of target system:
      This is Dennis's patent: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4373186.html

14:30 --- Quickie

14:35 --- Break

14:45 --- Quickie

14:50 --- Learning to Play With the FPGA --- Kevin Appert
"I'm trying to get started, probably with VHDL, probably with Spartan 3 
or 3E.  I'd be grateful for advice."
*VHDL vs Verilog
*pros and cons of various development boards
*best books to buy/borrow
*other member's spare books or boards to beg, borrow or buy
*is anyone interested in forming a study group?
*who can I email for help?
*group project to explore and/or update John Rible's CPU class

15:05  --- Topic Grab Bag --- Everybody
We'll talk about something, here are some thoughts:
(Post topic suggestions to the email list or bring them to the

*** Where are We Going With This?
We'll talk about things we could do to promote Forth and form
groups to accomplish tasks or designate individuals.

***More Skype speakers?
Leon?  Charles Curley?  Mitch Bradley?  The program committee
could use a little help!

*** Why Forth?
There's a discussion thread on the email list dealing with this
very question.  Join in there or at the meeting and tell us good
reasons to use Forth, things you tell others about the language,
your sales pitch to the boss or customer.

***Old Forth Programmer-again
This guy posted to the list about his oscilloscope project.  Anyone
know how to talk to the Mac serial port?

***Remember 1988?
In 1988 FIG teamed up with others to present the first and only "Real 
Time Programming Convention".  It was interesting in several ways:
*  It wasn't called "Forth Day" and some of the content was <NSF>
*  It was in Anaheim, at the Grand Hotel
*  The really cool "World's Fastest Programmer" contest
*  Jef Raskin was the banquet speaker.
* There was substantial vendor participation, advertisements in the 
program and an exhibitor area with 20 companies listed.
      The program has been scanned, now with scanny textey searchy OCR! 
  Have a look!  Dave posted it at http://www.forth.org/conferences.html

***New on the SVFIG Email List
There have been a couple of interesting discussions on the list.

Leftovers --- Humor on the Web
If there's time at the end of the meeting and nobody wants to step 
forward and talk about anything technical, we'll look on the web for 
humor.  We'll review a few webtoons, watch a few snarky YouTube videos 
and we may even watch the entire 1957 classic "What's Opera Doc" 
Bring your favorite humorous items from the web!  Hilarity will ensue.

16:00 --- ADJOURN

Please note that the times listed above are precise but not
accurate.  We might go a little long or short on any agenda
item or shuffle things on the fly with abandon.  If you're
desperate to see something at a particular time, please let
us know!  Remember that there are bugs in any non-trivial
SVFIG meeting announcement.

The schedule above may be reformatted or line-justified but
please transmit verbatim or not at all.   Any font you like is
alright with me.

No Newsgroup posts or other media distribution this month please!

There is NO Public Wireless Internet access at Stanford.
Email Dave Jaffe <dljaffe at stanford.edu> to request a one day
guest account if you don't have one from last month.

Coming to SVFIG:
* FORTH DAY in November 2010!

* Bring speaker suggestions TO EVERY MEETING!

* Mitch Bradley's Forth in C (somebody needs to volunteer)

* Blast from the past - a discussion of John James' CRC from his Xmodem
implementation as enunciated in "Forth Dimensions".

* Furthering the Cause of Forth - John Rible
IntellaSys has imploded, or something.  We'd be pleased to hear about
John's new outreach project when formulated.

* Engineering TV
Fifty engineering topic channels. Four new episodes per week.

* BOTBASH 2000 --- Video
A cheepie video of  a May 2000 robot rumble in Mesa Arizona from these
guys:   http://www.battlebots.com/
Is it a hollow threat or emergency backup filler material?


Check the SVFIG web site at http://www.forth.org/svfig/
for last minute changes to this schedule.
The most up-to-date meeting information is at

Many thanks to our wonderful Webmaster, Dave Jaffe.

Preliminary agenda along with schedule updates and
discussion may frequently be found on the SVFIG email list.
To subscribe send email to geoperry_at_gmail.com

Please let us know if this isn't your preferred email address for the
SVFIG-Announce mailing list.  Thanks for your patience.

Please suggest a speaker or present at a SVFIG meeting.

Please do not attempt to reply to svfig-announce at ...
send instead to forther_at_comcast.net


Enter the building from Panama Mall. (In the event that the building 
door is locked, there will either be someone on duty to let you in
or a cellphone number to call.)

Google Maps does NOT work very well on the Stanford campus, use this
map:  http://ucomm.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/map/

Or the Searchable Stanford Campus Map:

There is open parking on weekends. Park in any A or C or metered space,
no coins needed even if there's a meter there.  The Official SVFIG
Announcement Editor's Parking Lot recommendation is the lot near the
intersection of Teresa St and Morris Way.

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