Whyrl (whyrl) wrote,

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Wow. A lot can happen in a week.

Start with today, I suppose. Slept through my alarm yet again. Parental wakeup. It's actually vital for those days I have to be on the bus by 7am. Once again, I was late for the bus, and I still managed to get there before the lecturer.

Then I realised I'd forgotten my pencil case. DOH!!! Heh. There it is, right where I left it, sitting on my bed. So I had to pay more attention in the tutorial and try to actually memorise what was presented. A question on memory structure (ie how to address several blocks of memory), a design for a modulo 5/7 counter to be implemented in an FPGA (lookup tables, a design that used a counter and a FSM, and another design that counted down in steps of 5 (or 7) until it was less than 5 (7)), and there was something about distributed memory. Blargh.

Digital Design practical. That was interesting. We had to program a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). My lab partner's VHDL code wouldn't even compile (he'd copied off my buggy code from a few weeks back), so we used mine instead....which compiled first time! :D He made a comment like "Showoff". :> All I'd done was copy the template code they'd provided and added in the blanks, with the help of a syntax highlighter for TextPad. We spent the next half hour working our way through figuring out the Xilinx Foundation software for the FPGA (which incidentally has an uninspiring and buggy user interface), about ten minutes wiring up the FPGA development board, and another 45 minutes trying to troubleshoot a problem. As it turned out, it was because we didn't wire up the reset input. :P Aaargh. As soon as we wired that up, it worked perfectly. *groan* There were a few question marks over the Xilinx software because it had assigned a special pin to one of our outputs. In the end, we ran the program five times and the last time it didn't assign any special pins, so that was ... weird. You'd think the program would be repeatable.

Software Process lectures were on Software Safety and Quality. First was by a guest lecturer, and the material was interesting. Wish I hadn't been late for it. :P He presented some case studies of software going wrong, including Ariane 5.

Caught a bunch of thesis seminars afterwards, partly out of interest but mostly so that I could meet my quota of five seminars. Left after seeing four of them, but that's fine because I'm already recorded for one other and I saw two when I presented mine, although I forgot to get my supervisor's signature. He can't say I haven't met my quota, though. :D I might see a few more this week. I'll see if I have the inclination and happen to be free on campus at the time.

Dropped by the lab before I went home. Caught James at the door, and yes, Richard was in. I said hello....okay, I implied hello. I said things were going fine and returned his duct-taped crossover cable. He enquired if I had the router set up at home, and I said yes. Then he asked how I was going with it. I told him I'd managed to compile a Flash ROM and upload it to the router. He was actually impressed. There's a fair bit of fiddling involved in simply getting that far. There's issues with the router connecting to the network and setting up the development environment (compiling uClinux kernels under Win2k). I told him there was a problem with telnet and he said yes, he remembered the student last year had the same problem and they couldn't fix it. Tough, he said. It's not essential and there are ways around it. I said the web configuration still worked, which is GOOD. Wish I knew how to connect a terminal up to a serial port, though....
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