Happy Birthday, Chip!

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  • Dave HeinDave Hein Posts: 5,295
    edited October 8 Vote Up0Vote Down
    cgracey wrote: »
    ... I'm calling around today, trying to find somebody with some pigs who can take about 300 lbs of waste.
    So the sausage will be coming later. :) Sorry I couldn't help myself. I'm flashing back to when I was a kid growing up on a farm. My dad would raise a few pigs every year, and after they had grown sufficiently we would load them up in the pickup and take them into town to the meat locker. Most of the meat was kept at the meat locker, where we would go every so often to get some pork chops or other cuts of pork, but my dad would bring home a washtub full of ground pork. My mom would season the pork, and mix it up real well before loading it into a sausage press. I remember helping as a young child, where I would put the casing on the outlet of the press, and then coil up the sausage as the press filled it. I didn't have the job for long because I didn't coil the sausage fast enough, and the casing would burst. One of my older siblings took over the task, much to my relief. Man, I'd like to have some of the sausage right about now.

  • cgraceycgracey Posts: 8,030
    edited October 8 Vote Up0Vote Down
    KeithE wrote: »
    The question is how you got all of that tortilla related equipment in the first place. Did it come with your walnut farm?

    There are videos of tortilla machines on YouTube that you might find interesting. I haven’t been to Chevy’s in years, but they used to have them.

    The mini doughnut machines are fun too. My kids enjoyed the one in old town Sacramento.

    Seven years ago, I got the idea that making tortillas would be really neat, so I started looking for used equipment to buy cheap and refurbish. After two years, I had everything needed to make corn and flour tortillas, with a room in the barn to house it all. We'd make tortillas for fun, but I never had the bandwidth to start the intended business because of Prop2 work. After that bypass operation, I conceded that maybe I should just sell it all, since I'll probably never have the time to deal with it. A sales guy from J.C. Ford had been asking me for a while if I'd like to sell and I finally told him I would. So, he went out to find a buyer, for a commission, and he got one. The deal is pending now, but I'm somewhat regretful, because I'm feeling a lot stronger these days and I hate to give up on the whole effort. I told these people I would sell them the machinery, so I'm stuck, unless they back out. I've been hoping they would back out, or maybe not get their loan, but I've also come to realize that this corn line is just too much machine for my space. It needs a lot more room. When everything is in place and running, it's like being in a submarine. It's tight and frantic, with lots of noise and fire and things going wrong, all of the sudden. It's fun, though. Huge mess to clean up, afterwards, but I think that can be mitigated by better practices.

    Making tortillas from just corn, water, and lime is very tricky and they are very perishable, but they taste great and have a nice texture. Everything you buy in the store is full of preservatives and made from powder designed to run on machinery. The preservatives throw the flavor way off, but over time people think that's just how tortillas are supposed to smell and taste. 'Kind of like how Lady Gaga = music.

    So, I'm in a holding pattern now. If the machine sells, I want to retool to make jälkiuunileipä, which is a Finnish whole-rye sourdough bread that is really nice and nobody knows about. If the tortilla machinery stays, I want to get it working perfectly, through more practice.

    Here is a video from a few years ago that I posted on one of the forums here:

  • cgraceycgracey Posts: 8,030
    edited October 8 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Here is something I looked at years ago, but wouldn't fly, at the time, because of then-lacking NSF and other approvals:

    http://www.tortillamachinesforsale.com/

    These machines are made in Mexico and are extremely inexpensive. A single-row flour or corn machine is only $7,000 USD. They are said to be pretty good quality, but it can be hard to get parts in the USA. The looming issue is that there are lots of exposed sprockets and chains and hot surfaces that OSHA wouldn't like. Those things can be remedied, though, with some sheet-metal work.

    In Mexico, a tortilla factory likely has big roll-up doors that go to the outside and are open all day long. These tortilla machines are fine in that situation, without exhaust hoods. In America, you need to keep your food production inside TWO doors, which means you can't be venting to the interior airspace. More expense.

    I like the idea of their hopper-based corn tortilla machines. This is a very old method of production. You can adjust for any size and thickness of tortilla, since there is no cutting die like the roller-based machines use. You wouldn't have all the tackiness problems that can flare up and render the roller method unworkable when your masa is not perfectly cooked and ground.
  • So that video is all in your own barn? That’s a lot larger scale than I expected. If you sell it could you potentially scale it way down and get similar quality? Traditional home made style?

    What’s the shelf life? Days?
  • I was in one of those brewing supply shops with a coworker once, and overheard a conversation that a customer had with the staff. He was basically asking what they did with all of the beer that they brewed. Don't they end up with too much? A guy with a big beer belly joked that he never seemed to have that problem. Another said get some more friends. Chip - if you take up beer brewing I expect some serious problems with oversupply. The previously mentioned coworker liked to try brewing Belgian ales, and there was a serious undersupply problem there. Good stuff.

    Also regarding Gaga - check out her singing with Tony Bennett or the Sound of Music performance. I'm not a "Little Monster" so no dog in this fight, but if you haven't seen them you may be surprised.
  • cgraceycgracey Posts: 8,030
    edited October 8 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Wow! I think Lady Gaga is talented now. I had no idea.

    About tortilla making, I think the bigger the machinery, the harder quality is to control, as the feedback loop is longer. It's like steering a cruise ship versus a small boat.
  • Hey Chip, I'm a bit late to the party but happy late 50th. I remain in awe at your work on the P1 and respectfully await what will come with P2. And yes, health will catch up with you; for my 50th three years ago I ran out my insurance deductible for the first time in my adult life and became the owner of a spiffy new stent. If I hadn't been spot checking my own vital signs out of hackerish curiosity I would probably be dead today. Also, you one-upped me on the monitors, it was barely a week after I got the 4K TV set for a monitor at work which had everyone oooohing and aaaaahing that you posted your pic of the three-4K triptych. Bitchin setup, I am properly impressed. Have not figured out how to justify it yet but I'm working on it.

    Thank you so much for all you've done and please keep doing it either forever or until it gets boring.
  • Localroger, thanks for your encouraging words.

    Sounds like you might be on a statin drug, like me. Check this out...

    For the month of August, I quit taking Lipitor because it was causing a lot of muscle soreness and making me really forgetful. After one month of no statin, I measured my blood cholesterol levels:

    TC = 188 (the lower, the better)
    HDL = 45 (the higher, the better)
    LDL = 114 (the lower, the better)

    Right after taking that test, my doctor gave me a prescription for Crestor, which I only take every other day. Today, after taking Crestor for one month, I measured my blood cholesterol again:

    TC = 100
    HDL = 55
    LDL = 29

    These are huge improvements and I haven't felt diminished, like I did on Lipitor. I think, as a matter of course, doctors prescribe Lipitor and only give you something better if you complain.

    This whole time, I've been on the same 99%-vegetarian, low-fat diet. Anyway, if anyone is suffering from Lipitor, it might be good to switch to Crestor. In my case, I take the generic version called Rosuvastatin, which is likely what anybody would be prescribed.
  • cgracey wrote: »
    About tortilla making, I think the bigger the machinery, the harder quality is to control, as the feedback loop is longer. It's like steering a cruise ship versus a small boat.

    Sounds like a process control problem that the Prop 2 would be ideal for. I remember helping a guy with a milk machine that formed milk cartons, filled the cartons with milk, and then sealed the cartons. The system was way more complex then I had imagined.

    Sandy

    Infantryman's Axiom; Always cheat, always win.
  • I remember helping a guy with a milk machine that formed milk cartons, filled the cartons with milk, and then sealed the cartons. The system was way more complex then I had imagined.
    This is where ladder logic shines. The top level is naturally parallel, which allows easy fine-grain subdividing of job. I'd spend the money on a brand PLC, hands down. You also get proven rugged hardware that way.

    It is an area I think the Prop would fit quite well - build a PLC based around the Prop. However, I don't feel I have the skills to create a decent ladder logic interpreter myself. I've never got my head around language construction principles, or the tools.

    I suppose the way to go is start with a hardware reference and background refresh code and hope I can entice someone to help with the higher level features.
  • I am just another Code Monkey.

    A determined coder can write COBOL programs in any language. -- Author unknown.

    The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this post are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.
  • jmgjmg Posts: 10,469
    edited October 11 Vote Up0Vote Down
    evanh wrote: »
    It is an area I think the Prop would fit quite well - build a PLC based around the Prop. However, I don't feel I have the skills to create a decent ladder logic interpreter myself. I've never got my head around language construction principles, or the tools.

    Yes, P2 should do this sort of thing very well. The new BIT opcodes can index a shipload of Boolean variables...
    I believe the usual MCU approach is to somewhat cheat, and they evaluate (scan) each ladder branch in rapid sequence, top to bottom, giving virtual real time.

    http://www.controleng.com/single-article/ladder-logic-105-plc-scanning/d358471c03cc2e5d39c93dc9c9e22c09.html

    That would mean a Ladder-to-Spin or maybe Ladder-to-PLC_Spin** for example, would be able to do the fast scan using the existing byte-code engine work.
    Web pages suggest 50ms is an often used 'get a better controller' slowest-limit for scan checking.
    P2 can of course, split critical or isolated scan zones into their own COG.


    ** PLC_Spin would be a variant of Spin, that supports Named Boolean Variables, allowing pins and internal single bit node names to be referenced.
  • jmg wrote: »
    I believe the usual MCU approach is to somewhat cheat, and they evaluate (scan) each ladder branch in rapid sequence, top to bottom, giving virtual real time.
    Yep. And that's the fast method. Isolating each rung to simulate true parallel action would add a big processing burden. Not only that but the ordered execution is a procedural blessing. The only catch is when reediting at a later date it's easy to forget where the ordered rungs' resides. I sometimes add comments to remind me to keep certain rungs paired up.

    I once played with a tiny PLC that used function blocks in place of ladder as it's top level control. That was the slowest executing PLC I'd ever seen in action. I've seen chained contactors trigger more rapidly than that thing.
  • cgraceycgracey Posts: 8,030
    edited October 11 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Pedward stopped by the other day and he had a neat idea that is available in some PLC's and could be implemented in Spin...

    Live patching

    ...That is, edit programs as they execute, without having to restart them. I've thought that all we'd need to do is keep function addresses on long boundaries so that they could be atomically read and modified, and redirected to other routines. Then, we can tweak programs on-the-fly, which would be something new, for us.

    Imagine making an edit to a method and with one keystroke, it is updated in a fraction of a second and the new behavior takes the place of the old. That puts a new twist on programming, for sure.
  • cgracey wrote: »
    Pedward stopped by the other day and he had a neat idea that is available in some PLC's and could be implemented in Spin...

    Live patching

    ...That is, edit programs as they execute, without having to restart them. I've thought that all we'd need to do is keep function addresses on long boundaries so that they could be atomically read and modified, and redirected to other routines. Then, we can tweak programs on-the-fly, which would be something new, for us.

    Imagine making an edit to a method and with one keystroke, it is updated in a fraction of a second and the new behavior takes the place of the old. That puts a new twist on programming, for sure.

    Actual this is how debugging can/does work in Visual Studio. The live editing is not perfect, but usable.

    But after using it for a while I found out that - for my purposes - it is just a gimmick, not a real use.

    Might be different for a MC program.

    What I would like to see is a REPL in Spin. Like the old basic, just type in and execute.

    And @Heater.'s beloved JavaScript does things like that also, changing a definition of a function while the script is running. Nothing really new.

    I might mention tachyon also, where you also can change words on the fly...

    Enjoy!

    Mike

    I am just another Code Monkey.

    A determined coder can write COBOL programs in any language. -- Author unknown.

    The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this post are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.
  • Chip,
    That was called patching code decades ago when to compile a program took maybe 3 hours for a standard order entry program.
    My Prop boards: P8XBlade2, RamBlade, CpuBlade, TriBlade
    Prop OS (also see Sphinx, PropDos, PropCmd, Spinix)
    Website: www.clusos.com
    Prop Tools (Index) , Emulators (Index) , ZiCog (Z80)
  • Visual Studio has had "Edit and Continue" for quite some time now. You can make changes to your running code and apply them while it's running. Really handy for debugging and what not.

  • cgracey wrote: »
    Pedward stopped by the other day and he had a neat idea that is available in some PLC's and could be implemented in Spin....

    On that topic, does Spin2 have a native boolean type yet ? (ie allow individual bits to have a name, accessed using the boolean opcodes)
    eg 32 Longs can store 1024 core bits, and IO pins can have boolean names too...
    It was talked about, but I'm rusty on where Spin2 and the conversations got to in the end....

    examples of use, in PLC type designs :
    // Wirth Hll code 
    Relay6   : BOOLEAN AT OUTB.29;   // P2 port names
    Button3  : BOOLEAN AT INA.13;
    LocalVar : BOOLEAN;  // first spare BIT address
    
    // use examples
    
    Relay6 := NOT Relay 6;
    Relay6 := Relay6 OR Button3; 
    
    or asm
    
    Relay6    BIT      OUTB.29  ; same as HLL above
    TmpBit    dbit     1    ; similar to ds instruction 
    TmpBits   dbit     4
    ...
            CPL     Relay6    ; above in 8051 opcodes
    ;        
            MOV     C,Button3
            ORL     C,Relay6
            MOV     Relay6,C
    
    
  • Yes, people have been doing live patching in Javascript since forever. You can do it on tiny micro controllers using the Espruino JS engine.

    The trick is that in languages like JS a function is just a variable. So you can just change the value of that variable to a new function. On the fly.

    All this dates back to the beginning of high level languages with Lisp and continued with Scheme, Smalltalk etc.

    It's a bit more trick with compiled languages. Where everything is linked up into a binary blob ahead of time.

    How about a halfway house?

    We could have live reloading of individual COGS rather than the entire Propeller. We already have COG loading of course with cogstart/cogstop. It's "just" a matter of getting the new code in there and swapping it in for the old.



  • msrobots wrote: »
    Thanks for that. I do remember it and see I'd even posted in the topic. For some reason I'd thought it was a dead project at the time. I'll have another look ...
  • Hope you have a wonderful birthday, Chip!
  • Best wishes, good sir.

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