Lispian Random meanderings on whatever catches my fancy

Asylum Seekers
Asylum Seekers

One book I constantly reference is Alan Cooper’s The Inmates Are Running the Asylum. It is an excellent book explaining the difference between what a techie sees are how software should function versus what a normal person sees and wishes software would do. It all boils down to the difference of putting the onus on […]

Bemoaning the State of Information Security

I’ve been in the field of computer security for nearly 25 years and the same old stuff still bugs me. The constant desire to foist security requirements on the end-user is unbelievable, and unwarranted. Security is, at best, an esoteric field and one that most end-users are not sufficiently well versed in to be able […]

Idiots confound me

I read this article re: Warner Bros. bemoaning the $0.99 rental price Apple wants to charge customers per episode. Perhaps I’m dense, but at 24 episodes per season that works out to approximately $24 to simply rent it. Not own it. Rent it! For a few extra bucks you can actually buy it on DVD. […]

Why’d It Take So Long???

First off I should let anyone who cares know that I’m a UNIX guy from way back. I started using System III and subsequently System V from AT&T in 1983. I used BSD on Vaxen in the 80s as well, where I found Rogue and spent way too much free time battling characters (literally ;-)) […]

According to some … the universe is 20 years old

Just a bit of a rant today. I’m getting more than a bit tired of hearing from reasonably intelligent people that they can’t find a given piece of research because they tend to have this odd belief that the entire universe is but 20 years old. Twenty years old? What, are you nuts? I’m sure […]

Things That Bug Me

Of late I’ve noticed a substantial change to some of the sweets I like. They’ve all taken on a decidedly unpleasant mouth feel and flavour. At first it was Goodies. They were one of my favourites, but they’re now oddly textured. They’re sandy and the taste is all wrong. This happened right when they were […]

15 Stupid Google Interview Questions

Well, the title from Business Insider is actually “15 Google Interview Questions That Will Make You Feel Stupid” but I like my title better. And to show you they’re stupid questions, here are my answers to these interview questions. 1. How many golf balls can fit in a school bus? Why would you care. You’d […]

Things Kids Don’t Get These Days

I always find it interesting when one of my kids asks me about the lyrics to one of the songs I listen to. Two of late came up. Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio by the Ramones and Panama by Van Halen. The lyric “Do you remember lyin’ in bed / with the covers […]

More “Things That Drive Me Nuts”

I don’t know what “genius” figured having corporate parties after business hours or on weekends was in any way a good idea. How is it a good idea to ask your employees to take an evening out of their lives to spend even more time with the coworkers in some enforced “fun” filled venture? It’s […]


How I wish the media firms would come to their senses and realize that the consumer isn’t their enemy and that what the consumer wants is convenience. I really would love to rid my house of DVDs, CDs, magazines, etc. and have most of that stuff digital. Books, at least for me, are the sole […]

Of Mice and Keyboards

Going on more than 30 years of dealing with keyboards I’ve gotten fairly picky. Same holds for mice. Keyboards, that major interaction device with the computer, is something a lot of people are very passionate about. I know I tend to get more than a little agitated whenever I have to go buy a new […]

The Lack of Generalists

I came across this article titled The Last Days of the Polymath. It’s an excellent article that got me thinking about my day job. I’m a generalist, though, ironically, my title proclaims me a specialist albeit in an artificial construct called “complex solutions”. Generally, what I do is think about the problems our clients inform […]

Anti-Religious Tourette’s

Probably the best description of what most irritates me about Dawkins is his constant harping on his dislike of religion. Randy Olson in his review of Dawkins’ latest endeavour points out how bad it has become, asking “But in the end, you have to wonder why Dawkins wastes so much time trying to argue with […]

Julie & Julia

Just watched Julie & Julia today with the wife. Very good film. I quite enjoyed it. And though I’m not a fan of Meryl Streep I found her portrayal of Julia Child wonderful. The entire way the film wove Julia Child’s life in with Julie Powell’s was excellent. Well worth seeing. However, I’d love to […]

Seth Godin on Social Networking

Over at Brand Infection they have a snippet by Seth Godin on Social Networking. I’ve often tried to express my disdain for social networking but never was able to put it quite as properly as Seth Godin does. The short video is well worth watching. The crux of the video is this message: Networking is […]

Why We May Never Have IT Security

I’ve been asked repeatedly why security is so bad. For years I’ve just ignored the question, figuring it was pretty obvious to anyone who spent more than a few seconds observing IT. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not obvious. Most people don’t get why IT security is hard and getting harder and […]

Wanna know why the US has problems?

Well, I’ve heard stupid things said before, but this takes the cake. Media Matters: O’Reilly’s Fuzzy Canadian Health Care Math And then some wonder why some Americans are totally lost when it comes to doing simple things, like arithmetic. Life expectancy isn’t based on the fact they have 10x as many people, or we have […]

Things that drive me nuts about people

People tend to drive me nuts. Maybe I’m just a bit too anal, impatient, difficult or particular, but the thought processes of some people is utterly baffling. I’ll put forward one thing that still drives me nuts: mattresses. I’ll get to a few others later in the post. I have had to, over my lifetime, […]


I’ve long been complaining — some would say bitching — about how verbose it is to code in many languages today. In many cases I am sorry witness to people programming in C/C++ or Java and writing thousands upon thousands of lines of code only to end up with a piece of code that coudl […]

Ph.D.s, Focus, and the Loss of the Infinite

I’ve been trying for a long while to put into words why I became disenchanted with the Ph.D. process, and why that was one reason — though not the overriding reason — why I terminated my pursuit of a doctorate. But today, sitting back and reading a bit of Thomas Aquinas I came to a […]

Why I Hate Programming

I had a chat with an old friend last night about a bevy of CS things and we came to why I haven’t programmed much the past decade or so. It’s not that I can’t. I had to for one of my Ph.D. courses. It’s just that I find it too low bandwidth. It’s a […]

No More Programmatic Verbosity

I’ve been disillusioned with programming languages for a long while. I started coding in the 70s and more than 30 years later here I am in a funk about programming languages, but I do see rays of light. First, let me tell you about the languages I like: C Pascal Algol Lisp Prolog Scheme Python […]

Why no mid-size Mac Pro?

There are a lot of mysteries in this universe, not least of which is the way Apple builds their computers. They have computers like the Mac Pro which is wonderfully assembled and easily expandable. Then you have the iMac which is a sealed unit and a bitch to upgrade, other than memory. It seems some […]

10 Years Too Early

Over at Musings of a VC in NYC there’s a new article titled “Only Ten Years Too Early“. Man that brings back some memories for me. 10 years ago I began my startup. It’s no more, but the technology we worked on is finally becoming accepted. In fact, the amount of interest mounts constantly. 10 […]

February 2018
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