# # More on self-modifying code
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More on self-modifying code

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© January 2005 Dirk Hart

(Traditional format)

Sun Jan 9 00:32:33 2005 More on self-modifying code
Posted by Dirk Hart
Referencing: /Blog/B1226.html

I first heard of self modifying programs years ago - it was frowned upon - but back then I was programming commercial applications. Then someone showed me Life, which was an interesting bit of interesting bits, but I soon lost interest.

More recently I read in EETimes about a guy in Scotland who programmed a FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) to perform a task by applying pseudo random changes to the 40-bit string that programmed the device. If I recall correctly the desired result was to correctly convert Centrigrade to Fahrenheit, which goal was achieved after some 4000 iterations. The resulting solution had some gates set up which were not connected to other gates, nonetheless when they were removed from the solution, it inexplicably stopped working. It seems to have been working pretty much inexplicably as well.

Anyways, here's a couple of interesting links:

http://www.cs.usu.edu/~degaris/papers/CACM-E-Hard.html
http://cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/notebooks/darwin-machines.html


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