Archive for January, 2006

Interesting dream..

Sunday, January 29th, 2006

I had a interesting dream last night – I was flying with my boss in a 8-seater overwing of some sort – we were flying over a bridge, although not a suspension bridge, and waves were crashing over the road surface of it – we were flying barely 500 feet up, and I kept feeling as if a wave was going to grab us at any time. Then one did, crashed over us and we were being pulled to the side and into a spin, and then my boss was trying to pull us out of the spin and was pulling like a 4G turn, and I kept yelling about how a overwing wasn’t going to handle a 4G turn and then the tail broke off (not the whole tail. I think the rudder was still there – but the li’l bits that stick out with the elevators were gone. I don’t think this is a very realistic failure mode for a overwing pulling too many Gs but it was a dream, what do you want?)

The next sequence was a remarkably realistic crash landing near a airport in which the plane ended underwater but still intact, my boss finding the black box (yah, I know, a 8 seater with a black box..) and the emergancy radio and then a skip to me in a airport trying to find a commercial flight somewhere and all was bedlam and no flights were going anywhere and I ended up on a bus to somewhere in europe.

And things kept getting weirder from there although not, thankfully, scarier.

The thing is, I am wondering if this dream means I have a subconcious fear of flying – I don’t think I’m afraid of flying – I’ve been thinking of buying a little two-seater ultralight if I ever get out of debt.. (fully enclosed and with instrumentation, but a top speed of about 120 and a operational ceiling of < 8k feet - apparently the license test for them isn't much harder than a driver's license test and they're easier to land than a hang glider). Now I'm wondering if I secretly fear flying - or else fear it in small aircraft - and just don't know about it. I've been up several times with my boss in a little Cessna trainer, and it seemed quite fun at the time. Ah, the inner workings of the subconcious mind, always interesting to get a glimpse at.

Bootloader footnote

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

The bootloader I published does not include the header files, and includes code for setting the internal osc against a 32khz crystal. If you don’t need the latter, be sure to strip it out. If you do need the former, email me at sheer dash panic at sheer dot us

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

1) I’ve updated my resume for those of you who care about such things. It’s at

2) Below please find a bootloader for a Atmel AVR AtMega8 which accepts a binhex file uploaded via windows terminal (or however else you would like). I’m releasing this code to the public domain at this point. Feel free to do whatever you like with it, or not, as appropriate. It could probably easily be modified for any AVR CPU

out SPL, ZL
out SPH, ZH ; set up the stack

rcall init_bld ; set up some hardware stuff
rcall idle_timer2_bld ; start timer2 ticking
rcall set_system_clock_bld ; setup the system clock for 7.2738Mhz

; check and see if there is a serial console present

rjmp bld_do_boot ; if no console, boot

ldi uart_char, XON ; send welcome banner
rcall uart_put_char_bld
ldi uart_char, ‘B’
rcall uart_put_char_bld
ldi uart_char, ‘l’
rcall uart_put_char_bld
ldi uart_char, ‘d’
rcall uart_put_char_bld
ldi uart_char, ‘>’
rcall uart_put_char_bld

rcall uart_get_char_bld_to ; get a char, or timeout and fall through
brts bld_do_boot
cpi uart_char, ‘B’ ; if ‘B’, then boot right now
breq bld_do_boot
cpi uart_char, ‘U’ ; if ‘U’, then go into upload mode
breq bld_do_upload ; todo: authentication

jmp ivec_reset

; ‘stubbies’ used to make short relative jumps work okay

rjmp bld_do_upload_crc_special

rcall bld_do_flush
rjmp bld_do_upload

rjmp bld_do_upload_err

; ******* Upload routine. Decodes lines of Intel Hex, writes them to the flash
; displays a error for bad lines

rcall bld_do_flush
rjmp bld_do_boot

; for now, fetch a line, check its checksum, report back good or bad, wash, rinse, repeat
rcall crlf_bld

rcall uart_get_string_bld
ldi uart_char, XOFF ; send XOFF in case this
rcall uart_put_char_t_bld ; takes a while
rcall crlf_bld ; debugging

clr XL
clr sample_cnt

ld uart_char, Z
cpi uart_char, ‘:’
breq bld_do_upload_ok
cpi uart_char, ‘F’
breq bld_do_flush1
cpi uart_char, ‘B’
breq bld_do_booty
cpi uart_char, CR
breq bld_do_upload
cpi uart_char, LF
breq bld_do_upload
rjmp bld_do_upload_err1
rcall ascii_to_bin_hex_bld ; convert first 4 bytes of input
; (should be length and high addr)

sts LINE_LEN, TempH ; save length in RAM
mov Temp2, TempH ; store byte count in temp register

sub XL, TempH
sub XL, Temp ; compute checksum

sts LINE_ADDR_H, Temp ; store high byte of address

rcall ascii_to_bin_hex_bld ; convert second 4 bytes of input

sts LINE_ADDR_L, TempH ; store low byte of address
sts LINE_TYPE, Temp ; store line type

sub XL, TempH ; compute checksum
sub XL, Temp

; fetch data, store in line

; hopefully data is even, but no guarentee


cpi Temp2, 0
breq bld_do_upload ; if zero length record, skip

dec Temp2 ; LENGTH is +1, from dec standpoint

rcall ascii_to_bin_hex_bld ; translate ascii to binary

st Y+, TempH ; store bytes (high)
st Y+, Temp ; store bytes
sub XL, TempH ; compute checksum
sub XL, Temp

dec Temp2 ; LEN was given in bytes
breq bld_do_upload_crc_special1 ; special case: odd number of bytes
dec Temp2 ; but we do words so need 2 decs
brne bld_do_upload_loop ; go around again?

rcall ascii_to_bin_hex_bld ; grab CRC
sts LINE_CHECK, Temp ; store CRC

lds TempH, LINE_TYPE

; ldi uart_char, ‘0’
; add uart_char, TempH
; rcall uart_put_char_bld

breq bld_do_upload

cp Temp, XL ; compare CRC to stored
brne bld_do_upload_err1 ; if it doesnt’ match, err

; matches, so program part

ldi YL, LOW(LINE) ; use Y ptr to access
ldi YH, HIGH(LINE) ; stored data for this line
lds Temp2, LINE_LEN ; Temp3 contains countdown
lds ZL, LINE_ADDR_L ; Z ptr is address in flash
ldi XL, LOW(BOOTLOAD_START*2) ; X ptr is max flash addr to write
ldi XH, HIGH(BOOTLOAD_START*2) ; keeps us from writing bootloader
; which would put is in NWRW state
; and be bad

cp XL, ZL ; check to see if we’re
cpc XH, ZH ; outside of the bootloader
brlo bld_do_program_loop_end ; do not program bootloader
; even if it is in file
mov TempH, ZH ; grab the page
mov Temp, ZL ;
andi Temp, 0xC0 ; skip off the byte address
; leaving only the page address

lds Temp3, LAST_PAGE_L ; compare against
cp Temp, Temp3 ; the last page that
lds Temp3, LAST_PAGE_H ; we used and
cpc TempH, Temp3 ; if it’s different
breq bld_do_program_skip_write ; then we need to write that page

; if we get here, then we must
push ZL ; preserve Z
push ZH

lds ZL, LAST_PAGE_L ; restore previous Z (page we
lds ZH, LAST_PAGE_H ; want to write)

rcall wait_spm_bld ; wait for SPM to clear

ldi Temp, (1<=? Then non-digit char, end


adiw ZH:ZL, 1
movw mp16uH:mp16uL, YH:YL

ldi mc16uL, 16 ; load 16
clr mc16uh ; into multiplier

rcall mpy16u_bld ; and multiply

add m16u0, XH ; Add current value to stack
clr XH
adc m16u1, XH ; carry as needed

movw YH:YL, m16u1:m16u0

dec XL ; This keeps us from
brne ascii_to_bin_hex_loop_bld

movw TempH:Temp, YH:YL
pop YH
pop YL
pop Temp2
pop XL
pop XH

; put a null-terminated string to the uart
; Z should be pointing to the beginning of the string in RAM
clr uart_char
st Z, uart_char

ld uart_char, Z+
cpi uart_char, 0
breq uart_put_string_done_bld
rcall uart_put_char_bld
rjmp uart_put_string_loop_bld


ldi uart_char, CR
rcall uart_put_char_bld
ldi uart_char, LF
rcall uart_put_char_bld

rjmp uart_put_char_t_done_bld

push Temp
in Temp, UCSRA
sbr Temp, (1<

Just in case OMCN or JC reads this..

Saturday, January 21st, 2006

Could one of you please explain why my ‘saying’ was ‘I am not god’?

Also, does anyone remember what OMCN’s was?


For those of you keeping track..

Saturday, January 21st, 2006

I’m currently in South Orange County, CA..

A political thought..

Wednesday, January 18th, 2006

Perhaps, since the youngest voters have to deal with the consequences of any actions taken for the longest, we should have a weighting system for voting, set up so the longer you were going to be on the planet after your vote, the more it counted for. I realize this runs contrary to the conventional wisdom that the older voting public are wiser. However, I think it’s possible they’re also more cynical, more bitter, or more corrupted.

Just a thought.

I have a whole list of thoughts I had in the middle of the night the other night concerning how to make a open source, verifiable, trustworthy voting network. I’ll post them sometime later.

Wednesday, January 4th, 2006

Recently a talk-radio personality on a certain radio show that will remain nameless asked, ‘Where do rights come from?’. After very careful consideration, I’ve determined that they generally come from might.

That isn’t a particularly desirable situation, but it does seem to be how things are.

For example, what gives God the right to send me to hell, presuming that (a) there’s a God and (b) He/She/It* does such things? The ability to do so, is pretty much the only answer that I can come up with. What gives the legislature of the state of Utah the right to imprison a girl for having sex? Again, being armed with superior firepower is pretty much the only answer I can come up with.

I’m pretty disguisted with the universe right now. Yes, it’s got lots of beautiful little bits but people keep doing things to other people against their wills for no reasonable reason all over the place.

Another question one might ask is why is any of this any of my business? You could certainly make the case that Sheer isn’t affected by the war in Iraq – after all, I’m not that likely to be killed (my friend Chief Smoke could be, but after all he did choose to be in the Army and that is kind of a occupational hazard).

I guess the only answer I can come up with is that every time someone (like that aforementioned 13 year old who’s in jail for having sex) is wrongfully imprisoned, everytime someone innocent is killed, every time someone is treated unfairly, it makes us all a little less free, a little bit more in a position to huddle in fear inside our locked houses, more inclined to hide things, more inclined to trust our fellow man less.

In other words, I care because by being within a few thousand miles of the people who are wrongfully imprisoning that girl, I’m made less free. My soul is somehow vaugely tainted by her unhappiness.

I’ll be the first to support cops and other government figures when they’re stopping someone from stealing someone else’s belongings, or stopping someone from hurting someone else. But they should keep their laws off my morality. Let me state this as clearly as possible: it is not moral to legislate morality. It is not moral to enforce your morals on other people, and it is not clear that anything is morally ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ because I, you, or anyone else says it is. And even if something is immoral, well, imprisoning someone is immoral too. Do two wrongs make a right? Apparently in modern thinking they do..

I accept that I’m powerless. I accept that I can change nothing. I accept that all I can do is sit here and stare at the brokenness and wonder how on earth it got so broken. I accept that I’m probably a part of the brokenness – that by existing, I probably make things worse.

* = I’m leaning towards he, but only because it’s the majority opinion.

Gotta love utah..

Wednesday, January 4th, 2006–SexOffender-en/resources_news_html

This really irks me.

What business of the government’s – which is just a collection of people after all – is it if a couple of kids want to have sex? Yes, they should have been taught about the whole contraception thing, yes, they’re a little young.. but to lock them up for something that just about everyone wants to do? It’s beyond pathetic and somewhere deep into shameful. Whoever did the locking up oughta be the one locked up, in my view. Or, as Eddie from Callahan’s observed, ‘this world sucks.’

Well, okay, it could be worse. But this particular aspect of it sucks the big one.

Honestly, isn’t getting pregnent enough punishment?