Sold my guitar Thu, 13 Mar 2008

Sold the first guitar I ever bought today. I'm a little bummed about it because of the sentimental value it had, but I have to get rid of things to balance out getting new things. I'm trying to use mark and sweep garbage collection on my stuff. The unfortunate part is that I'm a very very slow CPU and it takes ages to do a single pass.

Register allocation... DONE! Tue, 17 Apr 2007

My compilers class is using the Appel book Modern Compiler Implementation in ML. Chapters 1 through 12 have a programming exercise that walks you through building a compiler in ML for a language called Tiger targetting the MIPS processor. It's pretty neat--Tiger has some funky things in it that make some of the pieces non-trivial.

After a week of programming straight (i.e. I get up in the morning, eat something, put on sweat pants, work on the compiler... go to bed) we got register allocation working using graph coloring. It does spills and coalescing but not coalescing of spills--that'd be really cool.

I'm really psyched! I think all we have left is some minor bits here and there and then it's done and we'll have a compiler for Tiger. I'm tossing around adding a random number generator to the runtime.c file so that I can implement a Dwarven name generator using Markov chains.

A friend of mine gave me his new album Digital Analog Heart and Soul a couple of weeks ago. I had it ripped on my hard drive and so that's what I listened to for the last 7 days of register allocator programming. The song The Fall is pretty cool--he's done it in concerts a lot.

Now I need to get back to my research project....

CD Baby Thu, 03 Jun 2004

I bought a couple of CDs at and this was in the confirmation email they sent back:

   Your CDs have been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with
   sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.
   A team of 50 employees inspected your CDs and polished them to make
   sure they were in the best possible condition before mailing.
   Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over
   the crowd as he put your CDs into the finest gold-lined box that
   money can buy.
   We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party
   marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of
   Portland waved 'Bon Voyage!' to your package, on its way to you, in
   our private CD Baby jet on this day, Wednesday, June 2nd.
   I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby.  We sure did.
   Your picture is on our wall as "Customer of the Year".  We're all
   exhausted but can't wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

That's so cool--I wish more places were like this. My experience with them so far has been truly wonderful.

Oh yeah Thu, 08 Apr 2004

There's a song entitled Oh Yeah by Yello. It's a great song and I listen to it sometimes when I'm in one of those awesome feeling moods where I'm actually accomplishing things and my todo list is getting shorter as opposed to infinitely longer. Anyhow, I was thinking of writing some of the lyrics down and sending them via email to a friend, but when I write it down, it's totally unrecognizable and certainly doesn't get across the general feeling of the song.

But, hey--some songs are like that.

I wonder if folks who listen to symphony music have this problem. Do they resort to poetical descriptions? Something like this:

   Rachmaninoff Prelude in C# minor is so beautiful--it fills my heart with
   joyous melancholy!

Do they ever text message each other?

   Yo! Rach PinCS rox!

It reminds me of this project I've had for a long time. I've always wanted to implement a barbershop quartet on a mud. How can I programmatically get across the difference in quality between an experienced quartet and one that's just starting out to the audience? That sort of thing fascinates me. Sometimes people ask me what I'm thinking about when I'm staring off into space. I'm probably thinking about barbershop quartets in mud-space.

David Berkeley Wed, 31 Mar 2004

David Berkeley is a friend of a friend of mine and I was privelidged to see him play a month or so ago and it was a really great set. Anyhow, I finally got around to buying one of his albums--it's a really great album and I highly recommend it.

AMAZON::B00008KA60::The Confluence

His web-site (with some tunes you can download and test out) is at

You can (and should) also get his cds at

Tossing around getting an mp3 player Thu, 25 Mar 2004

I'm tossing around getting an mp3 player again. My car only has a tape deck and the radio reception is kind of flakey for no apparent reason I can discern [1]. Also, I take the T around town frequently and it'd be nice to have a portable device that I can listen to at work, on my work commute, at home, on the T, and in other places.

I don't really need to upload my entire music collection. Having said that, I'm a mood-centric music listener and I have a bunch of different moods and it'd be nice to have at least 10 or 20 songs for each mood. Thus I've tossed around getting a hard-drive based player.

I'd rather have a player that doesn't require a fancy gui thingy on my host computer. Having said that, I realize those gui's are nice since they frequently build an index of the songs on the drive, so it makes boot up of the player much faster. I HATE Creative Labs Music Center (or whatever it's called). I've never used iTunes. I don't need something to categorize my life--just something to load songs onto the mp3 player.

I don't really care about size, but I'd like the player to fit in my pocket. I don't care about cool-factor. I don't care about user interfaces as long as I can select songs to play, play them, and skip songs I don't feel like listening to. I don't care about playing solitare or about organizing my life. A remote control would be nice but it's not necessary.

The battery has to last at least 6 hours and it's not acceptable for it to die in a year.

I don't want to pay a fortune. It has to be available at

And that's as far as I've gotten on this train of thought. Email willkg at bluesock dot org if you have ideas [2].

[1] - I could be parked NEXT TO the WBUR tower and all I get is hiss one day, but the next day it comes in just fine--heck if I know what the problem is.

[2] - I keep tossing around adding comments to my blog. I don't think that many people read it and want to comment on it and I don't feel like dealing with comment spam. Maybe I'll add it next week for a trial period to see if it works out or not.

Ugh Wed, 26 Nov 2003

If you're going to play the songs from The Wall, don't put your thingy on shuffle. I'd say it's a good idea never to shuffle a Pink Floyd album.