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Farewell, Scientopia! Hello goodmath.org!

I've decided to leave Scientopia, and go off on my own. Details about why can be found at the new site, goodmath.org. Update your links! The new RSS is here. All of the existing posts and comments have been moved over. I'm shutting down comments here, but you're welcome to come on over to the new site and continue any open conversations!

Hello World in ARM Assembly Language

Since K&R's book on C, it's become traditional to start any tutorial on a new language is to present a program that prints "Hello world". For ARM assembly running on Raspbian Linux, that traditional program looks like: .global _start _start: MOV R7, #4 MOV R0, #1 MOV R2, #12 LDR R1, =string SWI 0 MOV R7, #1 SWI 0 .data string: ...

Everyone stop implementing programming languages, right now! It's been solved!

Back when I was a student working on my PhD, I specialized in programming languages. Lucky for me I did it a long time ago! According to Wired, if I was working on it now, I'd be out of luck - the problem is already solved! See, these guys built a new programming language which solves all the problems! I mean, just look how daft all of us programming...

On outing in the sciblogging community

I'm coming in to this a bit late, but since I really do care about the online science blogging community,I still have something that I want to say. For those who don't know, there's a complete horses ass named Henry Gee. Henry is an editor at the science journal Nature. Poor Henry got into some fights with DrIsis (a prominent science blogger), and...

Oy Veh! Power Series, Analytic Continuations, and Riemann Zeta

After the whole Plait fiasco with the sum of the infinite series of natural numbers, I decided it would interesting to dig into the real math behind that mess. That means digging in to the Riemann function, and the concept of analytic continuation. A couple of caveats before I start: this is the area of math where I'm at my worst. I am not good at...

Bad Math from the Bad Astronomer

This morning, my friend Dr24Hours pinged me on twitter about some bad math: Attn @MarkCC: http://t.co/ijzQZpM2lm (Sum(NatNums)= -1/12 bullshit) h/t @NeuroPolarbear@BadAstronomer Shame on you, @Slate. — Dr24hours (@Dr24hours) January 17, 2014 And indeed, he was right. Phil Plait the Bad Astronomer, of all people, got taken in by a bit of mathematical...

The Latest Update in the Hydrino Saga

Lots of people have been emailing me to say that there's a new article out about Blacklight, the company started by Randall Mills to promote his Hydrino stuff, which claims to have an independent validation of his stuff, and announcing the any-day-now unveiling of the latest version of his hydrino-based generator. First of all, folks, this isn't an...

Leading in to Machine Code: Why?

I'm going to write a few posts about programming in machine language. It seems that many more people are interested in learning about the ARM processor, so that's what I'll be writing about. In particular, I'm going to be working with the Raspberry Pi running Raspbian linux. For those who aren't familiar with it, the Pi is a super-inexpensive computer...

More Basics: Compilers, Programs, and Languages

After my "what is an OS?" post, a couple of readers asked me to write a similar post about compilers. Before I can answer what a compiler is, it's helpful to first answer a different question: what is a program? And here we get to one of my pet peeves. The most common answer to that question is "a detailed step-by-step sequence of instructions". For...

Boot all the computers!

Moving on from last weeks operating system post, today we'll look at how a computer boots up and loads an operating system. Let's start with why booting is a question at all. When a computer turns on, what happens? What we're using to seeing is that the disk drive turns on and starts spinning, and the computer loads something from the disk. The question...

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