Category Archives: ITE 221

Rediscovering Project Oberon

Way back in the early 1990s, when I was browsing a campus bookstore for the first time in my life, I remember coming across a remarkable book called “Project Oberon – The Design of an Operating System and Compiler” by … Continue reading

Posted in ITE 221 | 10 Comments

Learning about Linkers and Loaders

Every programmer knows what a compiler does, right? Well, at least most of us pretend to know, although few seem to have ever dug into the details – but that’s okay, as long we know what a compiler is good … Continue reading

Posted in ITE 221 | Comments Off on Learning about Linkers and Loaders

Q330 Serial Port Communication

The Quanterra Q330 is a seismic data logger originally manufactured by Quanterra Inc., now a subsidiary of Kinemetrics Inc. The Q330 saw widespread adoption in the early 2000s. While it is not the newest Kinemetrics product anymore, there are still … Continue reading

Posted in ITE 221, Q330 | 2 Comments

SVG: An Image Description Language for the Web

In the early days of the Web, most browsers allowed exactly two formats for embedded images: The lossless Graphics Interchange Format (GIF), which was a good choice for logos, diagrams, and primitive animation loops, and the lossy compressed Joint Photographic … Continue reading

Posted in ITE 221, Web | Comments Off on SVG: An Image Description Language for the Web

Learning about CPU Cache

Practically every programmer, and most other computer users as well, know that CPU cache is that small but incredibly fast memory right inside or next to the CPU, which keeps copies of frequently accessed data, so that the CPU must … Continue reading

Posted in ITE 221 | Comments Off on Learning about CPU Cache

Is there a Future for Tape Backup?

As part of my job, I am sometimes confronted with backup issues as well as aspects of “data archeology”. For example, a while ago I had to restore some 10-year old data from our tape archive. Luckily, the tapes were … Continue reading

Posted in ITE 221 | 2 Comments

CPU Design for Tinkerers

One of the biggest steps in the history of computing was the integration of an entire CPU on a single chip. The so born microprocessor made the microcomputer possible, which would eventually bring affordable personal computing to the masses. This … Continue reading

Posted in ITE 221 | Comments Off on CPU Design for Tinkerers

On Unicode

Unicode, particularly Unicode in UTF-8 encoding, is the most widely used character encoding today. It has solved one of the most annoying compatibility problems of the 1980s. Everyone is using it. Yet its details are still often misunderstood. Back in … Continue reading

Posted in ITE 221 | Comments Off on On Unicode

Truly Old-School Computing

My very first computing experience was tinkering around with a friend’s Sinclair ZX81. That was around 1985, I believe. In a moment of nostalgia, I recently tried out a ZX81 emulator found on the Web: it made me re-live some … Continue reading

Posted in ITE 221 | Comments Off on Truly Old-School Computing

The Basic Unified Process

I have never worked on a large software team – in fact, most projects that I have been involved with, did not have more than two participants. Still, getting some insight into software development on a larger scale seems like … Continue reading

Posted in ITE 221 | Comments Off on The Basic Unified Process