Peter Higginson
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Welcome to my website

A bit about me

I live in Reading, Berkshire, UK with my wife Pam. I'm now retired but when working I was involved with Computer Networks of various types. Initially I taught Computer Science at University College London and worked on the early networks that became the Internet - important enough to have my name on this Birth of The Internet Plaque that was unveiled in July 2005 at Stanford University. Later I worked for various network switch manufacturers, including DEC and Lucent.

Photography is one of my hobbies and this site and the site I run for my local Line Dance Club "Steps 'n' Stetsons" is an extension of that. Most of the line dancing stuff is on that site rather than here. Pam and I enjoy both walking and ballroom dancing so you will find some photos of that on this site.

I don't get much time to update this site - please be patient.

Walking

We are members of a small informal walking group in the Hertfordshire and Essex areas. We try to meet monthly for a walk of about 9 miles with a pub lunch at the half way point.

Primary Schools

I volunteer in a local Primary School and teach final year primary pupils how to write programs in Scratch. Usually I give 4 lessons (so everyone does it) followed by a lunchtime club. As the last part of the club we use Microbits and program some JavaScript.

Secondary Schools

Some time ago, I wanted to show how a computer worked internally but did not like (or think accurate) any of the ones I found. So I wrote my own using a model computer called the LMC (Little Man Computer) as the machine code. Then some exam boards set coursework on the LMC and I suddenly got lots of users. Particularly as you can turn the model off and just use it as a simulator to run the LMC assembly language. You can find it here. After running it, click HELP for more information.

I was unhappy that the LMC was a model of a computer from the 1970's and wanted to do something more modern that was binary based and had multiple registers. At least one exam board is also now using an ARM like instruction set. So I have written a very simplified ARM like RISC Simulator that you can find here. It has lots of simplifications, like 16 bit words and instructions but at least brings us into this century. After running it, click HELP for more information.

I have also produced some other simulations in conjuction with Richard Pawson.

AQA Simulation

This simulation implements "only" the instructions that the AQA exam board uses in their examinations. There are vague areas in the AQA specification and I have had to make choices - such as a 32 bit word size and using ARM instruction encodings. The only serious extension is the inclusion of an indirect addressing mode. You can find it at www.peterhigginson.co.uk/AQA. There is also a project for this simulation written by Richard Pawson Write a complete Snake game in AQA Assembly Language.

ARMlite Simulator

In 2020, I released ARMlite in conjunction with a new A-level textbook on Assembly Language Programming written by Richard Pawson. ARMlite has more memory (1 MB), a cleaner interface, an extended instruction set (interrupts, subroutines, a stack etc.) and is much higher performance (1-10 million instructions per second, depending on your browser and computer). You can get the student version of Richard's book from the ARMlite documentation page or the teachers' version by registering with CAS.

Contact Me

Please use the contact page.