About jgpfersich

I’m a software craftsman or software engineer, depending on the job. I’m also an aspiring professional musician under the stage name Jay Peach.


Well, they announced so now I guess I can talk about it.

According to their email:

Next Release: VA Smalltalk 9.2

This year Instantiations plans to release VA Smalltalk 9.2, which like version 9.1, has another large set of updates. One of these updates is a new Just-In-Time Compiler for our virtual machine technology that enables it to significantly outperform IBM’s legacy virtual machine.


Also:, of even more interest to me:

Innovation in Unlikely Places

As part of the design process for Instantiations’ new virtual machines, VA Smalltalk was ported to the ARM processor allowing it to run on IoT devices such as the widely popular Raspberry PI. In just under 4 hours, full product compatibility was achieved on a Raspberry PI due to the forward-thinking VM architecture. Because it’s the full VA Smalltalk product on an ARM-based device, all platforms share in the future improvements derived from this port.


I’ll be interested this Access VA Smalltalk for IoT devices with our Early Customer Access Program


Hey I finally got some feedback from my posting!

Mariano Martinez Peck said:

Hi John, I was just checking your sites and blog and it looks pretty cool and what you have been doing with single boards. I will stay tunned! I am personally interested in SoB , IoT, etc and here are Instantiations we also want to continue targeting that more and more. You can check yourself about that in mine, Seth Berman, and Instantiations official twitter and linkedin everything we have been doing.
So far we worked with Raspberry in particular. We added GPIO accessing and MQTT binding, and we already had since several years, minimal images (server running in 1.5MB), remote debugging, stack dumping (similar to Fuel stack dump) and many other features that are quite nice for IoT. (Some stuff redacted here…)  We have a long list of devices to try and probe the portability of our VM.
Anyway, if you are interested on learning more, lets us know.
And I replied:
I have to update my website because I also experiment with Arduino stuff (Uno, Due, and Mega 2560). In fact, I just spent 4 1/2 hours last night playing with the Uno. I must have several hundred buried in IoT gear, not even considering the ancillary gear I been collecting over the decades. I’d love to do more work with Smalltalk on these devices, if I only had more time…

OSProcess examples

Well, I finally got off my butt and created a package with examples of how to use OSProcess and CommandLine. It only has a couple of examples until I dig up more examples. I think I started using OSProcess back in Pharo 4. I find it easier to use than OSSubprocess because you can just paste commands from the shell into command: and waitForCommand:. The package is on Smalltalkhub.com and the particulars for Monticello are:

location: ‘http://www.smalltalkhub.com/mc/JohnPfersich/OSProcess-Examples/main
user: ”
password: ”

Pine A64 Dreams

Well, Raspberry Pi has some competition in the single board computer space, The Pine A64. There currently a Kickstarter project to fund a 64 bit computer with similar or more powerful specs.

The PINE64 CPU is a quad-core ARM A53 64-bit processor that runs at 1.2GHz.

The GPU on the PINE A64 is a dual-core MALI-400 MP2 and runs at 500MHz, capable of 1.1 Gpixel/s throughput. This means the graphics capabilities are slightly higher than the original X-Box’s level of performance.

PINE A64 board is powered by the latest 64-bit quad core ARM A53 CPU and delivers up to 20-30% better performance than other 32 bit open source counterparts.

Here’s a chart comparing some features on the competing systems.

Right now the only OS available is Android, but the company producing Pine A64 saying it’ll have Ubuntu Snappy and Lubuntu available, they just don’t say when. I preordered the $29 Pine A64+ with 2 gB of memory figuring that the additional ram will be useful. Eventually, I want run Pharo on it, but that may take some time.

Hello world!

There’s an interesting web site: called SMALLTALK ZEN about Web Development with Pharo Smalltalk and Seaside. Pharo Smalltalk contains the reference implementation of Seaside, a web framework that makes it easier to develop web applications. There’s an article on Wikipedia about Seaside and then there’s the Seaside web site.