Message Of The Day

Wed, 14 Jan 2004

07:08 [zork(~/octal/hardware)] cat LEDs.txt

Das Blinkenlights

So, in the IEEE room at the U of MN, which is one of the main hangouts for EEs at the U, they've got a collection of debris from former senior design projects. They clean up a bit more than I like, but wone thing I think they'll keep until someone uses them are the 5 8x16 LED boards that are wired up in a neat little grid. There was some talk of using them to create an animated sign, but few people associated with that project understood electrical scanning, so nothing much came out of it.

I have decided that I'm going to build a programmable sign using that and 74LSXX series logic. There will have to be some CMOS for the USB programming interface, and probably a 555 or 3, but mostly TTL, and probably a diode-grid rom for storing a default display when it's powered on.

It will be wire-wrapped, it will be insane, and that's the point.

06:59 [zork(~/mrbad/sona)] cat sona.txt

mi abu Sona

So, I'm a big fan of <a href="">constructed languages</a>. Like, y'know, <a href="">Esperanto</a> and stuff. Actually, I'm a big fan of all languages, but conlangs are fun and easy to learn since, being consciously authored by one or a few individuals, they lack that wild-eyed complexity that natural languages have. They just don't have that existentially nauseating feeling of something that exists beyond the human mind.

Where was I? Oh, yeah: I especially like <i>isolating</i> languages -- where the words of the language don't change for tense of verbs or case of nouns. And <i>agglutinative</i> ones -- where you build up words from smaller root parts (like "non-", "pro-", "-ly"). I guess I also am down with <i>minimal</i> languages -- languages with a really small set of root parts.

I was kind of into <a href="">toki pona</a> for a while, but then I got kinda bored by that language's primitivist mind-control. Screw you, toki pona! Stay outta my head! Then I started grooving on this <a href="">Earth Minimal</a> language instead. Just 220 words in the radical lexicon. But, y'know, it doesn't seem that well-thought-out. And the author is a serious crank. Yeah, you have to be a crank to make up a conlang, but not a real serious crank.

So <b>now</b> I'm totally digging on <a href="">Sona</a>. It's got 360 radicals, plus 15 particles, which, y'know, is not really all that much. It's short and sweet, but seems well-designed and aesthetically pleasing. I wrote myself a <a href="">language drill file</a> that works with the <kbd>quiz</kbd> program from <a href="">BSD games</a>. Soon I will be a genius of Sona! Bwahaha!

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