Saturday, January 31, 2009

Programming: Programming in assembler for Commodore 64

I've recently developed an interest in programming in assembler for the C64.

I've always been fascinated by programming in low level (I once programmed some tools in ASM for 80x86), and the C64 can be interesting, aside because it's been my first machine :-), also because it's relatively simple in the architecture and thus in its applications - of course, there is lots of trickery required for producing games. There are also many books on the subject.

I'm about to invent some kind of project for studying and applying the knowledge; in the meanwhile, I'll share the "starter kit" for whoever should have a similar, unusual, interest:

Didactic materials:


Note: In the ubuntu VICE distribution, the default positional keyboard mapping doesn't work properly on GB keyboards. Until now, I spotted two keys problematic keys, hash and double quotes; to fix them, edit (/usr/lib/vice/c64/)x11_pos.vkm and replace the old entries with the following ones:

quotedbl 7 3 8
sterling 1 0 8

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Development: Pomodoro technique

In spite of the very curious name, the Pomodoro technique is a very intresting and effective time management technique.
It's based on the use of a kitchen timer to mark 25-minutes intervals of study/work, with pauses between section; for this it can be useful to students or workers, where concentration is the core activity.

The core/theory of the technique is on the fact that a very productive approach to study/work is to strive to reach 25-minutes intervals of full concentration without internal or external interruptions, with the aid of simple technique to relegate the interruptions in separate time slices.

I found it to be really, really productive, especially because it automates/routinize (if accepted and done properly) the 'focused' state of mind, which can be more or less easy to break or destructure.

Unfortunately I found it to be really hard to put in practice because of the external interruptions, but I'm trying to modify the model to accomodate the inevitable. Really inevitable?

Essay: PDF format