Wednesday, May 11, 2005

No new diagrams this week.

Nor for the next couple of weeks, I expect. I've been improving bcd [my CAD program; it stands for Ball Computer Designer] instead of using it.

When I was working on the huge ROM diagram [with all its thousand+ connections], I got so sick of connecting ports by hand that I ended up doing much of the work in the raw XML files in which I store my database. What with all the vim macros, search-and-replace regexps, and copy-and-pasting, I'm not sure I actually saved any time. Still, I think I made fewer mistakes that way than if I'd used bcd, and I had to do far less mousing.

It occurred to me that much of the work in such a diagram is quite mechanical, and could be done automatically by a properly-trained tool. Thus I've now added a connection-extrapolation feature to bcd. I make and select two connections, and it guesses where the next [and subsequent] connections should go. I'll probably do the same thing for ports and cell instances before I get back to work, as my next diagram will probably be the RAM. Think: like the ROM, but with half again as many components and connections. Whee!

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