You can now view these demos in your browser!

m4vga is a technique/library for hacking the STM32F407 to generate high-quality analog color video signals with just a handful of resistors.

I wrote the C++ version between 2012 and 2015, and rewrote it in Rust in 2019 to put my money where my mouth is.

I did this because it was an immense technical challenge. Read on for details, including links to a series of blog posts I wrote examining the code in detail.

Learn Rust the Dangerous Way

LRtDW is a series of articles putting Rust features in context for low-level C programmers who maybe don’t have a formal CS background — the sort of people who work on firmware, game engines, OS kernels, and the like. Basically, people like me.

I’ve added Rust to my toolbelt, and I hope to get you excited enough to do the same.

  1. Why Learn Rust the Dangerous Way? Introduction and ground rules.

  2. You can’t write C in just any ol’ language: translating a grungy optimized C program into grungy optimized unsafe Rust.

  3. References available upon request: how Rust references are different from pointers, how they are the same, and why we care.

  4. Measure what you optimize: taking a hard look at an optimization based on uninitialized memory, and converting it to safe code that’s just as fast.

  5. A more perfect union: considering alternatives to pointer casting, and how to write safe wrappers for unsafe operations.

  6. Making safe things from unsafe parts: finally converting most of the program to safe code, and making sure that the unsafe bits are safe-ish.

  7. Let the compiler do the work: a bonus section that looks at how we’d write the program idiomatically in native Rust, and rely on auto-vectorization to make it fast.

Web Demos

Here’s a collection of WebAssembly graphics demos and effects I’ve written. Most of these are trying to pack the most pizzazz into the smallest number of bytes.