eniac computer from columbia u website

R & D Day


I had a long car drive so I figured I could use opportunity to follow up on three software projects that people had mentioned at RC, that I am NOT going to actually work on at RC, but I want to take a little look and see what is involved.

First up I checked out Nand2Tetris.  I had never heard about this before RC. It is a coursera class where you build a computer from first principles – from an Nand gate to Tetris.  If may revisit this class this summer, but I did the first week reading, downloaded the software for HACK (the virtual environment we use to build our computer, although we can buy the electronics and build a physical computer), and watched the videos. It’s all about abstraction and how each level in a computer is an abstraction of a lower level – even Nand gates are ultimately abstractions of quantum mechanics – FAR OUT!  The first chapter also quotes Proust and Aristotle  – be still my heart.

Next up I checked out phaser, an HTML5 game.  I installed it via npm, because you need to run a webserver to serve the json. There might be some other reasons, but I skimmed the directions. I am copying this from the phaser website, you can get up and running pretty quickly by defining your world in a config object (see below) and then implementing the methods.

var config = {
    type: Phaser.AUTO,
    width: 800,
    height: 600,
    physics: {
        default: 'arcade',
        arcade: {
            gravity: { y: 300 },
            debug: false
    scene: {
        preload: preload,
        create: create,
        update: update

I skimmed the github repo and the code looks well architected. I am going to keep this as a handy reference as I try and make my code open source ready.

Finally, I looked at Reveal.js, this is a presentation framework and it powers slides.com, Think powerpoint or keynote with markdown.  This is actually pretty cool, I think it would be nice to build tool that autogenerates reveal slides from comments.  or documentation.

I would have loved to have fixed my fast.ai setup but I have not been approved yet for the papersource instance I want to use.



Leave a Reply