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Archives for January, 2023

Kings Lynn to Hunstanton

January 29th, 2023

Ever since my previous outing to Kings Lynn I’ve been itching to try to get all the way to the coast. I decided to head for Hunstanton and get the bus back but there didn’t seem to be an obvious path along the coast. Thankfully I Googled around a bit and found this very helpful post by someone who’d done the same route. Apparently there really is no public right of way and the sea wall is surrounded by menacing PRIVATE KEEP OUT signs. Being of a rather timid disposition and not wanting to get caught trespassing I decided to take the inland route, basically the one described in the last comment. That went through Sandringham (I didn’t bump into the king) and from there out to the sea.

Hunstanton’s claim to fame is that it’s the only town in the east of England where you can watch the sun set over the sea. And I was very lucky on this incredibly clear winter day to experience exactly that!

The sun setting over the sea, a rare sight in East Anglia

As for the town itself it seemed to have all the usual seaside attractions. However I would not recommend visiting after dark in January.

New NVC version 1.8.0

January 22nd, 2023

This is a major new release with many improvements and bug fixes, especially for VHDL-2008 features.

Download: nvc-1.8.0.tar.gz

This release is signed with my PGP key ID 74319F1A: nvc-1.8.0.tar.gz.sig

  • The --disable-opt and --native elaborate options which were deprecated in version 1.3 have been removed.
  • The JSON dumper which was unmaintained for several years has been removed.
  • VHDL-2019 mode can be enabled with --std=2019. Please note there is very limited support for this standard at present.
  • The new --no-save elaboration option skips saving the elaborated design and other generated files to the working library.
  • Added support for else and elsif in generate statements (#510).
  • Xilinx Vivado vendor libraries can now be compiled with nvc --install vivado.
  • LLVM 8.0 or later is now required due to deprecation of non-opaque pointers.
  • Altera/Intel Quartus vendor libraries can now be compiled with nvc --install quartus.
  • The nvc --version output now includes the commit hash if built from a Git checkout.
  • The new --gtkw run option writes a .gtkw save file for GtkWave containing all the signals in the design (suggested by @amb5l).
  • libffi is now a build-time dependency.
  • Negation of the smallest negative value of a type such as -integer'left now produces an error.
  • Default OSVVM version updated to 2022.11.
  • case .. generate statements are now supported in VHDL-2008.
  • Coverage implementation was reworked and now collects statement, branch, expression and toggle metrics (from @Blebowski).
  • The --make command is deprecated and will be repurposed in a later release. Use the new --print-deps command instead to generate Makefile dependencies.

Special thank you to @bpadalino, @tmeissner, @Blebowski, and @amb5l for sponsoring me!

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Kings Lynn

January 9th, 2023

I recently continued my journey north from Ely towards the sea, ending at the port of Kings Lynn (although it isn’t exactly next to the sea). I split it into three smaller walks using the convenient railway line that runs down to Cambridge. Although you could do it in in one very long day, the challenge would be more mental than physical owing to the interminably flat and featureless fen landscape.

Typical fenland scenery

There were a few highlights along the way though like this ruined church at Wiggenhall St Peter, and the lock and pumping station near Downham Market where I learned about the “gentlemen adventurers” who drained fens and fought with the local fen folk and their geese.

Remains of the church at Wiggenhall St Peter

My mum told me Kings Lynn was rubbish and not worth visiting but I found the quayside very picturesque. There’s plenty of information boards explaining the town’s history as a port and whaling hub, and its subsequent decline with the coming of the railways. I think I’ll come back again for a final push to the sea. Onwards!

Kings Lynn port