### Archive

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

## Raspberry Pi!

Chances are you’ve all heard about this great new project already. If not, it’s basically a (very basic) computer system, all on a single circuit board about the size of a credit card. It runs on an ARM CPU at 700MHz, but it also has a respectable video chip which can apparently cope with 1080p video. Video output is by HDMI or composite video. It has 256Mb RAM. As yet, only the “development version” is available. It comes case free: you just get a board with all the components sitting exposed on it. But hey, all the better for modding, right?

Oh, and did I mention - it’s selling for around £21/\$35! That’s excluding sales tax, but still.

There’s no permanent storage on the PI. However, the version currently shipping sports 2 USB ports, an ethernet connection and an SD card slot. Booting is necessarily via the SD card: right now you need to image your own; when the “educational” version of the Pi comes out later this year, you’ll be able to get cards preinstalled with Debian and some other tools.

Otherwise, the Wiki is there to help, with growing instructions including the way to cross compile various Linux Distros on your main PC to run on the Pi’s ARM processor. When it comes to choosing an SD card, I’ve read that class 4/6 is the best choice (they are better than class 10 for lots of small files, and class 10 has issues with the Linux kernel). I’m planning on either an Integral or Transcend 8GB class 6.

Right now, it’s still difficult to get hold of the things. You just have to register your interest with one of the suppliers – Farnell Element 14 or RS Components. Then you’ll hear from them at the first possible opportunity. And due to the overwhelming popularity of the Pi (I heard Farnell sold out their initial stock within 3 minutes of availability), you should sign up for emails from both of them as soon as possible!

You may still be wondering if it’s worth the effort, low price tag or not. Well tomorrow, I’ll post again, and mention a few of the things you can (or can’t) do with it. And if you want to read more about it, head over the official website (or, of course, Wikipedia).

And in case you’re wondering. Yes. I have already pre-ordered mine

Categories: General, News

## Welcome to the Jungle – Herb Sutter

While you’re waiting for my next post, check out the introduction to a new piece by Herb Sutter. I’d subscribe to his blog if you haven’t yet…

Categories: General, News Tags: , , , ,

## C++0x Support Chart, and a Revision to Nomenclature

14.08.2011 1 comment

Image by The Bob Collective via Flickr; unrelated to post... just added for some fun!

Thought you might like to ssee C++0x support for various compilers. Here is a list for GCC, or you can check out this comparison, which features many of the major compilers: Digital Mars’, Intel’s, Microsoft’s, IBM’s and, of course, GCC.

You’ll see that GCC has better support than many, which is in fact why I’ve recently switched from Microsoft Visual Studio to Code::Blocks and/or Qt Creator. I might post a little more about my experiences thereof at a later date. In particular, notice that both MSVC and GCC support long long and nullptr (about which I posted late yesterday). Indeed, long long has unanimous support across all the compilers mentioned in the chart.

And what about the last part of the title? Well I’ve been continuing to say C++0x (and probably will still do so), but as we can expect it’s release sometime this year, I guess I should start saying C++11. Ah well, I probably won’t. That is all.

Categories: C++, General, Uncategorized

## Endeavour’s Last Journey

Image by Matthew Simantov via Flickr

According to my ongoing poll, you want me to blog about science more. So I decided to let you know about the space shuttle Endeavour’s last flight. It was to rendezvous with the ISS before performing such tests on new sensory and navigation equipment – called STORRM – intended to be used with NASA’s next generation of spacecraft.

Categories: General, News, Science

## Thorium Reactors

Categories: General, News, Science

## Diffraction, and Nanometre Order

In case you haven’t yet noticed my Flickr photo feed in the widget column, I thought I’d show you some of my more physics oriented photos.

They are all of the diffraction patterns (pretty colours!) on one or more CDs or DVDs. The set is called “Nanometre Order” as the gaps between the binary peaks and troughs on the disc surface are of the order of a few hundred nanometres. Thus visible light – electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength of about $3.5*10^-7$ to $7.5*10^-7$, i.e. ~350 to ~750 nanometres – is diffracted by these gaps. This, of course, obeys the diffraction equation $n\lambda=dsin(\theta)$, which features in some of the photos.

Below are a few of my favourites. Otherwise, just visit my Flickr page or the Nanometre Order set or slideshow. Enjoy!

Nanometre order - Two CDs

Nanometre Order - Three DVDs

Nanometre Order - Rewritable DVD

Nanometre Order - Two DVDs

Categories: General, Photography