[fpc-pascal] Freepascal 2.0 for cygwin

L505 fpc505 at z505.com
Mon Aug 22 19:49:42 CEST 2005

>Most programmers today
>see some API or platform as their working base, which is IMHO like
>standing on a cloud - they don't see the transistors etc. Would they
>be capable to build a computer from scratch? A mechanical cash register?
>A hydraulic-based computer?
> But you can't make money with that comprehensive knowledge. And, the
> advance in electronics hides the disadvantages of current software
> structure with it's many layers, wasting time and memory, and
> sacrificing simple, understandable structures. A computer with 2 GHz,
> booting in 2 minutes, spends 240 000 000 000 cycles, doing almost
> nothing in a terribly complicated way. That's crazy if you see the whole
> thing. But who cares?

It may be useful when people get a clue that the desktop is not the only
useful computer. I see possibilites for things like programmable
breadmakers or programmable portable musical instrument boxes.

If I
could reprogram my breadmaker with some desktop software, to do an extra
10 minutes for a certain type of flour that didn't cook as fast - that
would be good. That would mean I wouldn't have to spend $300 on a new
one that did do the extra 10 minute cycle, let alone if there was even one available that did the extra cycle.
It could be as simple as hooking the breadmaker up to a USB port on the desktop, running the
freepascal compiler, and recompiling the open source linux breadmaker
operating system code.Right now, the only breadmakers you can get
(AFAIK) are pre-programmed, fixed ones.

If clever programmable musical instruments were out there, it would mean
that I could program the thing with some desktop software to contain 15
instruments from my soundcard soundfonts (simple wave files) to use live
on stage. There are pianos out there where you can embed soundfont instruments inside them.. so I guess
technology has already arrived in this area. Just that some people need to realize of its power still yet.
Essentially, embedding a soundfont inside a piano is basically an embedded system.

Cars:  if you could easily take out an eprom from your car and program it yourself for mileage (instead of
this would be useful. And I'm talking about documented, open souce methods of doing this.. not driving it into
your dealer and getting them to do it.

Or wrist watches. If you wanted to see the chronograph as the second option from your mode button, it could be
re-programmed. Maybe you don't even want a chronograph on your watch. So whipe out the operating system and
install a new one.

> There will be, in a few years, a stop in the increase of hardware
> performance, dictated by quantum theory. How will that change the
> software development process?

Will it increase power consumption too or does quantum offer power
savings? The fear I have is that people will be using 400W computers
which will cost them almost as much electricity as a small electric
heater (500-1000 Watts).

The first thing that needs to be ditched and thrown in the garbage are
DVD and CD Rom drives. The spin up time and lag time of these
inventions do not match the speed of today's processors. And they are
power hungry too. We already have USB drives, compact flash, SD,  etc.
which are now almost as cheap per megabyte as a floppy disk cost a few
years ago. (far off from the price of CD's per megabyte, still.. but CD's are junk from my perspective)

I wonder how many watts the human brain uses. Eventually computers should
run off things like sugar and alcohol, since we are such slaves to the oil/gas industries and resources. If we
could construct a computer that did not run off gas/oil/lithium/alkaline (i.e. sugar), we might even have
computers running around murdering plants with sharp knives just to survive. And other such scary things.

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