Next Meeting -
Saturday, December 15th

Cogswell College
1175 Bordeaux Dr.
Rooms 197A and 197B
Sunnyvale, CA  94089

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Wireless Internet access is anticipated (though not guaranteed) at Cogswell, so bring your wi-fi enabled laptop.

Security Notice

When attending SVFIG meetings, please be aware that Cogswell College now locks its doors on weekends. To facilitate your entry to the building, there will be an SVFIG member stationed at the door from 9:45am to 10:15am to admit recognized SVFIG meeting attendees. If you are attending an SVFIG meeting for the first time, please bring along a printout of this agenda to identify your interest in Forth and to gain admission. If you arrive after 10:15am, there will be a telephone number posted for you to call to alert someone of your presence at the door. The front door will also be checked at 20 to 30 minute intervals to accommodate individuals without cellphones.

Do not under any circumstances allow any strangers to enter Cogswell. Those who are authorized admittance have key-cards.

Agenda for December

09:45 --- Coffee and a Chat

10:20 --- Forth Day 2008 - Kevin Appert
Suggest a speaker or volunteer to speak!

10:30 --- What's Wrong with Forth Today? - Glen Haydon
Glen has seen the evolution of Forth since the days of the FIG-Forth model and has some comments on the twists and turns it's taken along the way.

11:15 --- What Were We Taking About? - All in attendance
If time permits, we'll discuss topics, seemingly at random, of technical or common interest. Some examples:

How Much is That Puppy Linux on a Thumb Drive?
Puppy is an older, interesting small Linux small enough to boot from a thumb drive. (Or was it Damn Small Linux?) Are there better, more modern thumb-drive implementations? How does one find, download, and install them? How big a drive is required? A brief tutorial on installing Feisty Fawn Ubuntu will be presented.

USB Ubuntu 7.04 Persistent Installation

The Allen Telescope Array
There is a "phased array" of 42 6-meter radio telescopes just north of Mount Lason. Perhaps Ed Thelen can be encouraged to talk about it in January.

Hat Creek Radio Observatory
Allen Telescope Array
Allen Telescope Array on Wikipedia

How Fast is It Anyway?
Is Firewire or USB 2.0 faster?

Repair and Restore using Live CDs
You can restore the bootstrap on a hard disk, reset the password, diagnose network problems, and a million other things. We'll talk about the Bootable Business Card, Finnix, and so on.

Noon --- Lunch
Some folks bring their lunch, some folks go to Togos.

13:00 --- Introductions, Announcements, Rumors, Random Access

13:15 --- The Object-Oriented Analysis of Morse Code to Text - John E. Harbold
John will present his very preliminary work (no PowerPoint slides), continuing with the Morse Code theme from Forth Day. The problem of translating Morse Code to text will be analyzed using the Executable UML method of Mellor & Balcer. The problem will be broken into manageable objects and the relationships between the individual objects. Objects can be passive or active. Passive objects are those that just have data and methods that access them. On the other hand, active objects have one state machine that responds to events. Only analysis - no design or implementation - will be discussed.

14:00 --- The SVFIG Film Festival

Shannon Systems - Funds Transfer in Forth - Larry Miller
In 1986 Shannon Systems was a start-up doing a dial-up modem secure (encrypted) funds transfer system. This was a pretty ambitious project, and the software was entirely Forth-based. Two "Famous Forthers", whom old-timers will remember, Mitch Derick and Linda Baker, were major contributors to this project. Larry will describe the system and show videos from "Completion Day" and "Demo Day".

Masa's Clip - Masa Kasahara
Masa has a video he'd like to show, but at press time it wasn't clear what it was or if he'll have time to prepare it.

Forth TV
We'll look for videos of Forth Day and other Forth-ish stuff on the web, such as: old TV appearances, You-Tube videos, Google videos, and highlights from Forth Day 2007.

You'll be Eaten by a Grue - MC Frontalot
We'll carefully analyze all the text-adventure references in the It's Pitch Dark video.

16:00 --- Adjourn

How you can help SVFIG:

  • Bring your speaker and topic suggestions to every meeting!
  • Your input for and participation in next year's Forth Day is always welcomed.

Coming to SVFIG in the future (hopefully):

  • Mathematica - Tom Gregory
    "I have been using Mathematica in a start-up and am still new at it. However, I could probably present a demo and discuss my reactions to how it compares with Forth."

  • WAV File and Soundcard I/O Software Using Win32Forth - Andy Korsak
    This software was written for amateur radio applications. Andy has suggested that it might be useful to look at his code in advance of his talk. Contributions to this work-in-progress would be welcomed. You can download and view his sound card software on the Win32Forth group (membership required), or here.

Please register your interest for these topics:

  • Viewing of Analog by Design shows hosted by Bob Pease - list of shows
  • The world's second Babbage Engine is coming to town. Maybe we can have a meeting at the Computer History Museum to take a look.
  • Review and discussion of recent postings on news:comp.lang.forth
  • Review and discussion of interesting Forth projects and many files at the Yahoo Win32Forth Group

Off the table:

  • There has been a lack of interest for a presentation by a representative from Gumstix.
  • There has been no success in contacting the author of Propeller Forth - written locally by Cliff L. Biffle
  • A tour of TechShop in Menlo Park is not planned at this time. If you would like to visit the facility, please make your own arrangements. Check out their talks, events, and instructional classes.

If you have anything you'd like to talk about in December,
please contact Kevin Appert.

Meeting Notes