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Second ZSLUG meeting. With emphasis on the S (in ZSLUG).

Date: Tuesday 5th of April, 2011
Time: 7pm onwards
Venue: Office of Teclo Networks AG, Alfred-Escher-Strasse 27, 8002 Zurich.
Map: Google Map
Directions: Train to Enge and then walk one block.
Speaker #1: Christophe Rhodes, ‘R: Data analysis and visualisation in an almost-Lisp’
Speaker #2: perhaps

We’re still not entirely sure if we should go with a second speaker for next meeting. Although haste is of the essence of course since next meeting is only five days away. The last time we had two full-blown talks and it really was a bit too much. People had to leave early, and the whole deal was perhaps a bit demanding on the good ole attention span. So either one speaker or we’ll edge a bit closer to lightning talks.

And there’s the threatening matter of the luminous light that is Christophe Rhodes gobbling up all and sunder. Which always carries with it the danger for any speaker to be sucked up and disappear into some unnamed void from which she might never return.

Amongst others Lisp compiler godfather and funny story-teller Rhodes has of late developed himself as the wizard of R. This funny language he gobbled up and let pass through his veins. He made it his own and then exerted his power to let it do as he pleased. Before long he had modled the essence of the universe, but then thew away the code in frustration as he grappled with the fact that he could only observe. His personal story of this (power) trip and much more, including perhaps the result of some SLIME hackery to make a SLIME – R hybrid-monster do stupid pet tricks and fetch his newspaper.

Come all and sundry. We’d be honored.

Cheers, the ZSLUG team.


Meeting #1 report + audio-und-slideware of Hans’ talk

So we had a very lovely evening yesterday at the ZSLUG revampening. It must have been the FPGA raffle, because the attendance was a bit above expected. Around 25 people dropped by, from as far as Munchen and Lisbon. Far more people than the catering department had dimensioned for.

We got both Hans’ slideware and recorded his talk, which was about his rocky road towards trying and put a big ol’ Lisp machine on an FPGA.

He brought up some cool stuff. Listen for yourself:
MP3: here!
Slideware: here!

00.00 -> FPGA introduction
Start at slide 3: The quest for a new Lisp machine

16.22 -> Hans’s personal dabblings
Start at slide 20: From CADR through SECD to rekonstrukt

31.50 -> Questions (not always clear voices due to microphone proximity, or rather lack thereof)

Then it was FPGA give-away time. A Xilinx board if memory serves well. The green board from the slides. We managed to catch several participants on cheating as they scribbled their name twice or trice on little white pieces of paper, but in the end it was Joshi who got his name drawn out of the soup-plate. Another hacker set up for boundry-diffusion greatness.

After the excitement settled down, Luke let loose upon an unexpected public TCP diagrams explaining the difference between TCP behaviour in fixed-line networks vs mobile networks. Walking us in detail back and forth between client and server, and pulling us into the murder mystery of what could have happened with those lost tcp packets (think I just stole that analogy from the bufferbloat hubbub of late). Because it is a fascinating world within the two lines between client and server. One can think up a thousand scenario’s on what might have gone wrong.

We didn’t make it that late though. Tummies were rumbling, and we managed to get the last scraps from the kitchen of the tapas place around the corner, and left nodding politely as they turned the hard bright lights on us.

Thanks people for a great night! Hope to see you all soon.

ZSLUG-ng meeting #1

(reminder and update on ZSLUG-ng meeting #1 next week. New: Second speaker, the group has it’s own blog-space, and most importantly, an FPGA board raffle at the end!)

Title: Zurich Lisp & Stuff User Group (ZSLUG) rebirth!
Date: Monday February 7th, 2011
Time: 7pm onwards
Venue: Office of Teclo Networks AG, Alfred-Escher-Strasse 27, 8002 Zurich.
Map: Google Map
Directions: Train to Enge and then walk one block.
Speaker #1: Hans Hübner on Creating computers from (almost) scratch using FPGAs, VHDL and Forth.
Speaker #2: We were a tiny bit lazy/busy finding a second speaker, so Luke is gonna do a talk on using Lisp in processing millions of packets a second inside mobile operators networks.Then: Wander off for food drink and conversation somewhere nearby.

Updatey bits: Now find the dedicated ZSLUG blog at I (Ties) am playing with the idea of doing some writeups of the nights. I always enjoyed Bill Clementson’s post-meeting writeups. And perhaps even attempt to capture it on video, even though I know how painful that usually turns out to be.

As you can see above, Luke is gonna do a talk about his new telecom startup thing. Will he show how CL shreds in the mobile space, or will he shred CL? He’s a fickle (dynamic; I mean dynamic) chap, so you never know. Be the first to hear, right here in Zurich.

And! We’re gonna do an FPGA raffle, possibly with Hans’s rekonstrukt Forth borg-system already on it.

Original announcement text from Luke’s blog:
Interested in Lisp and Zurich? You’re in luck! The first meeting of the reborn Zurich Lisp & Stuff User Group (ZSLUG) is just for you. Luke Gorrie and Ties Stuij have taken it upon ourselves to revive this meeting as part of our broad new effort to put Zurich onto the Euro-Lisp map.

ZSLUG is above all else a Common Lisp meeting. We’re aiming for a 50/50 mixture of Common Lisp with other delicacies such as Smalltalk, Forth, Erlang, VHDL, R, Scheme, and anything else that’s likely to delight the Lisper palate.

We’re excited to already have confirmed prominent Common Lisp hacker Hans Hübner as speaker, and we expect to announce a second speaker before the meeting. Follow us on @zlisp if you want to keep up-to-the-minute!

Everybody is welcome at ZSLUG. The meeting will be very informal and you can be as social as you want to be. The default language is English and no registration is required, but a tweet to @zlisp to let us know you’re coming would be greatly appreciated!

Historical Note: ZSLUG is our rebirth of the Zurich Scheme & Lisp User Group created by Jose A. Ortega Ruiz who has since moved on from Zurich. We switched from Scheme to Stuff — sorry, we’re not Schemers!