2009 September 16 10:20

I wanted to share pointers to a few Freescale HC08 parts I’m excited about. One thing about their 8-bit offerings is that there are a zillion different families of parts, and wading thru them can be a chore. Here are three worth checking into:


This family is quite new – introduced in early 2009, I think. It’s their “low-end” USB offering. Though it’s a bit limited compared to its peers in terms of I/O – no ADC, limited timers – it makes a great, cheap way to connect to USB. The kicker: the price. An S08JS16 is $1.65, quantity one, direct from Freescale.


This is their mainstay USB offering. This family is amazing. USB and loads of I/O. Some highlights:

And the cost? Another big surprise. The S08JM32 is $2.65, quantity one.


The QE is Freescale’s ultra low-power family, but it’s also a good all-rounder. Unlike the JS and JM, this is a 3v family – which is true of most of the S08 offerings.

Also unlike the JS and JM – which only come in surface-mount packages – the smaller (4k and 8k) QEs come in DIP form, and the DIP16 version is pin-compatible with the older S08QG family.

Some highlights:

Again, the cost is a nice surprise. A QE32 in LQFP44 package is $2.33 quantity one, direct.

One other point. The JM and QE are so-called Flexis parts, which means that there is a pin-compatible (in the larger pin-count parts anyway) version with a ColdFireV1 32-bit core and the same 8-bit peripherals. Assuming you haven’t written your entire application in S08 assembler, it’s an easy upgrade path.

The 32-bit parts are surprisingly inexpensive as well.

2009 September 16 02:02

Maybe I’m becoming a big geek again, or maybe I’m going completely crazy.

A couple of nights ago two things happened that made me doubt myself. First, I was editing this shell script and as I was staring at the page I suddenly thought, “this is beautiful code!” I’ve never liked shell scripting, but somehow, just then, I felt a warm glow looking at that code. I don’t know. Go figure.

The other was that while reading this intro to Git’s objects, and trying to “follow along”, I found I didn’t have a zpipe executable on my machine... so I went looking for one. Found the zlib homepage (which is hilarious and excellent) and from there found myself wandering over to the PNG (ping!) homepage, and starting to really appreciate not only the lovely features of PNG but also Greg Roelofs’ nutty humour... I spent a good while geeking out about PNG’s features and trying to think of fun arty projects I could do with it PNG files, rather than just making buttons and icons for the web.

I got super-stoked about a file format. This too made me wonder.

Have I completely lost it?

PS: You have to build zpipe yourself. Get the source from zlib.net.

2009 September 15 14:38

Wanted to document a bash echo bug. GNU bash, version 3.2.17(1)-release (i386-apple-darwin9.0) has a bug with “echo -n”, if bash is invoked as /bin/sh.

But GNU bash, version 3.2.48(1)-release (i686-pc-linux-gnu) – which is what’s on my Arch Linux box – works fine.

When researching the bash echo bug online I found not only this confirmation of the bash bug but also this expression of frustration with git push. I commented on Hans’s blog, but decided I should write about effective use of git push, and how not to shoot yourself.

The documentation for git push is confusing, at best.

2009 September 12 20:33

I’m going to make a heterodox assertion: Git is simple! And you should start using it. Today, if not sooner. I’ll try to explain why.

2009 September 09 21:04

This site “officially” live again after a long absence. It’s running wildly upgraded (heh) wiki code that I’ve spent the last week, night and day, working on. You can read more about the wiki code.

I’ve changed the way some of the URIs works, and I haven’t edited the pages yet, so there are going to be broken links and such, but I wanted to “toss this all online” again.

The site is running on my desktop machine (a Mac – go figure!), so it’ll go down “nightly” – though of late that’s been from shortly before sunrise to a few hours after that. I haven’t been sleeping much. ;-)

I’m using a (somewhat fragile) Git backend, but I’m excited to be Officially Done with Subversion.

I’ll report more news as I have it. Enjoy!

See earlier journal entries at