Finally got Open Genera running

Symbolics OpenGenera

The Open Genera LISP development environment by Symbolics. It’s Brad Parker’s x86-64 port, running in a 64-bit Ubuntu 7.10 VM under VMWare Fusion on my Mac Mini.

For instructions on how to get it running, see here, here, or here.

I still pine after a real Symbolics Lisp Machine. Unfortunately, I can’t justify $1500 for a MacIvory board, an old 68K Mac to run it in, and the Symbolics keyboard with ADB adapter.

Fun with Images

I’ve been playing around with Autotrace, a program for converting bitmapped graphics into vector graphics. It’s really good for cleaning up scanned logos, drawings, and things like that.

I tried it out on the Symbolics logo.

The original:

The result:

Not bad… Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that well.
I also tried the IBM logo:

The original:

The result:

Ouch! It’s a nice “watercolor” effect though.

SBCL on OSX/Intel: Success!

SBCL build on an Apple Intel Core Duo iMac (Dual-core 2Ghz, 1G RAM):

//build started: Mon Mar 6 08:48:56 CST 2006
//build finished: Mon Mar 6 08:58:54 CST 2006
real 9m58.717s
user 8m50.595s
sys 0m31.261s

Thanks to Cyrus Harmon’s patch for 20060503 SBCL from CVS. I used CLISP (v2.37) to bootstrap SBCL from source, then recompiled it with itself just to make sure things were going to work.

gojira:~ mrbill$ uname -a
Darwin gojira.local 8.5.1 Darwin Kernel Version 8.5.1: Mon Jan 30 21:07:08 PST 2006; root:xnu-792.8.36.obj~1/RELEASE_I386 i386 i386
gojira:~ mrbill$ sbcl
This is SBCL, an implementation of ANSI Common Lisp.
More information about SBCL is available at

SBCL is free software, provided as is, with absolutely no warranty.
It is mostly in the public domain; some portions are provided under
BSD-style licenses. See the CREDITS and COPYING files in the
distribution for more information.

SBCL Build Times, Take Two

Built SBCL 0.9.10 this morning on the SPARC (E420R, quad 450MHZ CPUs, 4M L2 cache each, 4G RAM) and the x86 system (Dell SC420, Celeron 2.53Ghz, 1G RAM).

First, the Sun box (Solaris 9):

//build started:  Mon Feb 27 09:30:23 CST 2006
//build finished: Mon Feb 27 10:58:32 CST 2006
real    88m9.016s
user    81m11.700s
sys     6m24.700s

Then, the Intel (Linux, FC4) system:

//build started:  Mon Feb 27 10:48:04 CST 2006
//build finished: Mon Feb 27 11:04:15 CST 2006
real    16m11.196s
user    15m7.233
ssys     0m17.781s

No Open-source Lisp for OSX/Intel

UPDATE: (5/06) SBCL now runs natively on Intel-based Macintosh systems.

I upgraded to a 20″ iMac Core Duo (from a 17″ iMac G5) on Thursday night.

I then found out that neither SBCL, CMUCL, nor OpenMCL will run under the “Rosetta” PowerPC emulation facility. I’ve got a half-assed compile of CLISP working, but it fails one of its tests because I’m unable to install GNU libsigsegv (doesn’t compile on OSX/Intel). Tried to bootstrap SBCL with CLISP, but no go. I can use CLISP to bootstrap ABCL, but it’s not exactly what I’m looking for.

Out of the commercial Lisp offerings, Lispworks Personal Edition hangs on startup. I’ve not tried Allegro CL yet, because the eval/free version of ACL v8 isn’t out yet…

The Perils of JavaSchools

Joel Spolsky has written one of the best articles I’ve ever read, about the dumbing-down of Computer Science educations. Some schools have replaced languages like Scheme and ML with Java, and are now trying to make Java even *simpler* to learn.