wasting time, building a watch, staying off the streets

It’s Back! ― A Review of the Synchronar 2100 Mk IV “and a Half”


About This Review

I wrote this review back in March 2003, and Guy Ball was kind enough to publish it on his website Unfortunately, his excellent site ceased to exist some years ago, so the original review is no longer there. I even failed to locate it with the wayback engine at

Since I have the impression my review attracted its fair share of attention at Guy’s site, since I did put quite some effort into writing it, and since I happen to have saved a copy, I thought it would be a good idea to publish it again.

…and here it is!

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“Summer Break”

This blog works! Some other projects have needed some attending to in the past months, but the pressure to perform—and blog!—has grown as fast as the temperatures have fallen.

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One Book too Many?

About an hour ago I finally finished reading Practical UML Statecharts in C/C++. Now I feel the pressure to perform, to dream up clever state machines, to turn my newly acquired knowledge about the QP framework into brilliant swaths of statechart code. Mainly, I feel the pressure to do all that and report back to you.

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A Note on Forking Philosophers

As noted previously in this blog, I am currently in the middle of a stretch of Practical UML Statecharts in C/C++ dealing mostly with implementation details of the framework. As expected, this has enabled me to speed up my rate of  progress considerably. I am now on page 556, in the middle of chapter 11.

By all means, do not call my selective reading “skipping” parts of the book. That sounds like I am skipping a geography hour or something. I would rather prefer the phrase “result adapted knowledge aquisition”.

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Nerd Humor Samples

I am still busy reading Practical UML Statecharts in C/C++ by Miro Samek, and have just finished chapter 7. Desperately trying to brighten up this blog, despite the fact that I may need a few more months to finish this book, I will provide you with some humorous highlights picked from the end of chapter 7 and the first page of chapter 8. A note of caution: The highlights presented below are only amusing to dyed in the wool, bona fide nerds. If at all.

Example 1

On page 384, the author writes

Many MCUs indeed allow such an atomic transition to the sleep mode. Other MCUs support multiple levels of disabling interrupts and can accomplish low-power transitions with interrupts disabled at one level. Yet another class of MCUs doesn’t provide any way of enterening the low-power mode with interrupts disabled and requires some different approaches. Refer the ESD article “Use an MCU’s low-power modes in foreground/backround systems” [Samek 07b] for an overview of safe sleep mode transitions in various popular MCUs.

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