Jason J. Gullickson

Jason J. Gullickson

Project Update August 2020


I’ve been working on the pprocedural universe creation aspect of my space exploration game and it’s been a fun change-of-pace from the gameplay programming. It’s fun to have a toy project that is just complex enough that I can switch gears when I start to get worn-out on one aspect and then switch- back when my interest or curiosity is revived.

I’ve also been using the project to expand my Python skills and although it’s not there yet, I’m working on structuring the project so that it can be a properly-installable Python program when it’s complete enough to be playable by others.

I’m also considering “porting” it to the RC2014 as a BASIC version once I get all of the experimentation out of the way (and I come up with a reliable way to save and load BASIC programs on my RC2014).

Preposter.us 3

Over the years I’ve made a couple attempts at refactoring Preposter.us (the software that runs the blog your reading now), but I’ve struggled with getting it done. I’ve grafted-on a lot of bits to the original ~200 lines of code and while it’s messy, it’s also reliable, which makes it hard to justify messing around with it.

However, Preposter.us was written in Python 2.x and upgrading it to 3.x is overdue, so I’m taking a more serious run at getting it done this time. I’ve also become a significantly better Python programmer since I first started the project, and I’m leveraging these skills to make the next version easier to work on.

I don’t have any major new features planned, just improving/finishing the existing features without adding any new bugs. I also need to document some of the less-obvious existing features (podcast support comes to mind) and sand- off numerous rough edges that have accumulated over the years.

New kind of computer

This one needs a name. I’m staring an ambitious project to design and build a new kind of personal computer. In spirit it has a lot in common with the first generation of personal computers but the goal is to leverage the flexibility of software to the extreme, and provide flexible, accessible hardware customization/expansion when the limits of the software-defined components are reached.

I have a lot more to say about this project in an upcoming post, but for now I’ll enumerate some of the current design elements and leave the rest to your imagination:

  • Pocket-sized form-factor small enough for one-handed use

  • “Thumbwheel” pointing device and three physical “mouse” buttons

  • FPGA-oriented architecture (software-defined CPU, I/O, networking, etc.)

  • Modular expansion/customization “bus” with a simple SPI-based interface for additional sensors, radios, interfaces or whatever you can imagine

  • Free and open-source software down to the CPU, open-source hardware for the rest

This will be a long-running project. It will encompass many ideas I’ve accumulated over the last few decades that I think I’ll have the time and inspiration to materialize over the next few years.

Miscellaneous Hacking

The rest of the month was filled by a handful of other little projects that I’ve [ posted about earlier ](https://jasongullickson.com/blog/how-i-use-my-25-radio- as-a-police-scanner.html) this month, as well as activities that don’t really fall into the “project” category (it is summertime after all...)