Michael is currently certified at Journeyer level.

Name: Michael Dales
Member since: 2000-08-20 14:07:23
Last Login: N/A

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Homepage: http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/~michael


I'm a combination of a software and hardware engineer, though more of a softie if the truth be told. I've obtained a degree at the Department of Computing Science at the University of Glasgow, and am now a PhD student there, researching the combination of reconfigurable logic and microprocessors. I've worked for both the University on an Operating System project, helping add Posix complaince to the Nemesis OS, and produced a circuit testing tool for Xilinx Corp., which was released (though no longer available due to the chip it supported having been withdrawn).

Currently my main software project is a software simulator of the ARM, called SWARM (SofWare ARM). As a rule, code I write towards my PhD gets released under GPL - I've used so much free software that I'm interesting in trying to return a little.

In my spare time I drink too much coffee (man), juggle (balls and clubs), [skate|snow]board, and I'm in a small band, called LettuceHead.

See also the office in which I work - G141 - and the office webcam.


Recent blog entries by Michael

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Wheels and the art of reinvention

ksandstr said earlier:

Sigh. Will we ever learn?

Doesn't look like it does it? :) Not only are we bloating stuff up with XML where it doesn't need to be (and for some things XML is good, I just feel it's overused), but thanks to work on PDAs and even the GBA, the period between invention and reinvention is getting smaller :)


Found that of the two bugs I had fixed in VTWM, only one was a bug and the other was a user naivity error, as I'd failed to read the man page properly. Problem is that the fix (either my code fix or the configuration fix that I got from reading the man page) breaks my mail tool and fixes tgif. Bah. I'll need to try that one again.


Cool. Compiled up uCLinux with a patch from hanishkvc and it runs on SWARM. Excellent stuff. I need to go through hanishkvc's patches to SWARM, there's a few things I want to play with before I do a release. But, cool.


Bah. Must set aside an hour to work on this tomorrow.


Today was another interrupt driven day. I hate those.

Oh, and I got a free Acorn A5000 today :) Works fine; now I just need to find a copy of Chocks Away!


Someone sent my a large patch for SWARM (my low level ARM simulator written in He's done some good work adding a UART and LCD controller to SWARM and is apparently working on port uCLinux to SWARM. Unfortunately I discovered the down side of being a project manager - having to send code back as I found it didn't work properly. I'd love to put this guy's work in, and feel guilty about having to complain as he's done all thei wonderful stuff, but if I accept something that hasn't been tested properly into the tree then it looks bad on other that have pitched in. Hopefully the guy won't be too peeved and will send me a checked version so I can release the enhanced version.

On a similar topic I discovered VTWM is being maintained, and am now discussing my patches with the maintainer :)

Had a cold the last couple of days, so didn't do any work on my PhD, as that would require being able to think, and my brain feels like it's made of cotton wool at the moment. Instead I sat down and fixed two bugs in vtwm that have become increasingly annoying.

Both of the bugs related to positioning of dialog boxes. GTK dialog boxen tended to open at 0,0 on the first virtual desktop and the tgif ones would have their virtual offset added twice. So after poking about with the source this afternoon, I've managed to hunt it down and at least fix the symptoms. I'm no X expert, so I have no idea if I've done the right thing, but it seems to not have broken anything else. The annoying thing is that vtwm seems to be a dead project (last time I submitted a patch I got no ACK, and I know of others who have done so too). Perhaps it's time to set up a sourceforge vtwm project.

Anyway, my head hurts, so I must return to my course of leeches. If you have been, then keep doing so.


A frustrating day - interrupt driven. Managed to fire off a few simulation runs. Had some problems with my lack of Python grokking. [[]] * 5 didn't do what I thought it did :)

I have my 2nd year Viva in a few days. Worry time.


Did a bit more of gtk/python stuff. The list object doesn't seem to like having 1781 rows by 4 columns (the size of my inbox...). It took it, but the redraw was a bit sucky when resizing the columns. Not sure I like the GTK model, but it may just be that I haven't got the GTK mindset yet. I look back on my naive youth of MFC programming as halcyon days :)

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