This summer’s to-do list

It’s easier to produce this list than it is fo do them, but producing the list is also a means of holding myself to account:

  • Complete the code to translate a string into an IEEE754 floating point number in Riscyforth: I am now pretty clear in my own head what the algorithmic steps to do this are and while I doubt that my code will be much or even any faster than just calling the C library, I want to at least complete my code before considering alternatives.
  • Model recessive genes as a store of survival information: reading Simon Ing’s Stalin and the Scientists I came across the idea of recessive genes not as (always) debilitating mutations, but as potential stores of information that might enable a species to survive an evolutionary crisis – what might be a debilitation in normal circumstances turns out to be a saviour in extemis (eg think of a gene that meant you could survive with less water intake but which might make you less fecund – normally a debilitation, but when drought strikes…). I have written down some notes about modelling this in C++ (and I need to write some C++) so I need to get on with it.
  • Do another iteration of my “How to Program” book. Five years ago, between jobs, I wrote such a book – using Scratch to build Conway’s Game of Life. Rereading it now, it’s ok, but I never got around to publishing it and that means I can take the opportunity to edit and rewrite and get the formatting for an ebook format right.
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