[time-nuts] Programming of 5370B

Dr. David Kirkby drkirkby at medphys.ucl.ac.uk
Wed Jun 1 06:49:23 EDT 2005

Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:

>>Given my SPARC processor is Big Endian, whereas the Intel format CPU in 
>>Poul Henning Kamp's PC is Little Endian, it is perhaps surprising the 
>>binary data could be read properly on my SPARC.
> No, it's defined as a byte-stream, and my code treats it as such,
> so it should be sound on any byte-order.

That's good to hear and you now have confirmation, it does indeed work on a machine with a different 
byte order. Much software reading binary data does not.

Perhaps I'll compile it in 64-bit mode and let you know if its OK there, just in case anyone asks 
about whether your HP5370B code works on 64-bit machines. I think there are Solaris 64-bit drivers, 
and I guess it is possible the program would work quicker that way, although there is generally 
nothing to be gained in compiling for 64-bit on my 64-bit processor. 32-bit programs often work faster 
- smaller pointers, less memory usage.

I can't check your Open (sorry Free) BSD driver for the HPIB, but I guess you know that would not work.

>>you may be aware I had some difficulty locating the Solaris drivers for 
>>the GPIB board (National Instruments want more for them than I paid for 
>>the GPIB board and the HP53270B put together!!) Converted to $US, the 
>>drivers are around $750 or so.
> I told you a FreeBSD PC would be cheaper :-)

Not true, as I got the drivers free (legally).  A PC would have cost me at least £0.00 (for an old 
one) and the electricity something, so given my SPARC runs 24/7, the PC route would have been more 

Dr. David Kirkby PhD CEng MIEE,
Senior Research Fellow,
Department of Medical Physics,
Mallet Place Engineering Building,
Gower St,
University College London,
London WC1E 6BT.

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