Lispian Random meanderings on whatever catches my fancy

Watching the KLOCs

I’ve been a computer scientist for over 30 years. That’s a long time no matter how you cut it. And across those years I’ve come to accept somethings, such as the fact that the difference in capability between any two given computer scientists can be an order of magnitude. I’ve also come to accept that […]

Automated Takedown of NASA’s Curiosity Landing

This is just gobsmackingly retarded. You’ve got YouTube automatically taking down videos via some algorithm. Why this should be even remotely considered a good idea is beyond me. There is no way an algorithm can discern strictly based on a pattern whether or not something truly infringes on another work. And to then put the […]

Microsoft Surface

It’s rare that I get at all excited about a piece of hardware, but Microsoft’s Surface has me pretty excited. The reason? Not because it’s a tablet. No. Not that. That’s a “who cares” type of thing. No, it’s for what I think it is, for what I’ve been asking for for a long time: […]

Rant: “Social” Software

Too many interruptions, that’s what seems to be my life of the past 10 years. Since 1995 I’ve definitely noticed many more interruptions to my daily routine. Email is something I’ve been using for more than 20 years and was easily manageable — until everyone else discovered it. Then came cell phones and the web, […]

Legacies and Folklore

Last night a good friend of mine died of a massive heart attack. He was 56. He was found with the phone in his hand, obviously trying to call 911. His wife found him that way when she got home from work. It makes you wonder what your life is really about, what you’ve done, […]

Entrepreneurship: Unwavering Focus

One of the things that our VCs went on an on about was focus. Focus on the bottom line, focus on spending, focus on employee morale, focus on the competition, but mostly focus on the vision and attaining that vision. Focus, focus, focus. It’s easier to say than it is to do. There are just […]

The Move and the Big Start

Returning to my recollections on Texar, we come to the latest installment on the aspects of being an entrepreneur at Texar. An investment from VCs in the bank and visions of grandeur. That’s where we were in the Spring of 1999. We needed office space and found 3500 sq. ft. of it in the west […]

Top Computer Scientists, Ever

I was going through papers as I try to clean up 30+ years of computer science clutter and came upon this list I made back in 2004. It’s a list of the 22 most influential people in computer science, in my opinion. James Anderson [all things security, reference monitor, Multics] John Backus [FORTRAN, Algol, loads […]

RIM No More?

Although I’ve never wanted a RIM device I’ve appreciated what they offered way back when, mainly the 90s when it was a very handy device for sales people or those on the road. An easy way to stay connected. But I could never own one because the device made little sense to me as a […]

I Wonder…

If the cost associated with complaining is eliminated does that mean that negative reviews become worthless?

Lasagna Code: Redux

I write here as sort of a pressure release valve. It seems that my little rant on Lasagna Code got some attention. I read through the comments. It seems most get what I’m on about. But I figure I might as well be a bit clearer, in case any of those posters revisit. Yes, I’m […]

Lasagna Code

Anyone who claims to be even remotely versed in computer science knows what “spaghetti code” is. That type of code still sadly exists. But today we also have, for lack of a better term — and sticking to the pasta metaphor — “lasagna code”. Lasagna Code is layer upon layer of abstractions, objects and other […]

RIP John McCarthy

The creator of my favourite programming language passed away yesterday. Lisp is, in my view, the best language ever devised. Sadly, too few in the computer industry realize or comprehend this fact. Lisp, and its descendants such as Scheme, are beautifully consistent programming languages wherein the programs and the data are defined identically and as […]

RIP Dennis Ritchie

Dennis Ritchie passed away this evening at the age of 70. I doubt it’ll get the play in the papers that Steve Jobs death did even though Ritchie’s impact was greater in my opinion. For those unfamiliar a brief writeup on Unix and its founders. Rob Pike posted a note re: Ritchie’s passing. A true […]

Ambient Overload

Nicholas Carr talks about Ambient Overload. A fascinating take on “information overload”. Instead of it being a “failure of filters” it’s instead the success of filters that we’re seeing, allowing information of interest to flood our screens and inboxes. I’d not thought of it that way, but I think he’s right. We can find just […]

Info Glut

I’ve been cleaning out the house slowly. Sort of like an extended Spring Cleaning. And as part of this chore I’ve decided to clean up my office and my computers as well. I’ve been storing all kinds of shit thinking it might one day be useful, that I may make some sort of artwork from […]

Things I Miss

I’m coding seriously again for the first time in years. And I can’t believe how much I missed it. There’s a certain joy in writing a program seeing it work, and solving a problem. When it’s an entirely new programming language it’s even cooler. But as I start programming again I realized I truly miss […]

Lots of Irritatingly Silly Parentheses

That’s what many people I know think of when they hear my favourite languages are all Lisp derivatives such as Scheme or Clojure. They usually follow that up with a statement indicating that there are just too many brackets in Lisp. For a while I’ve wondered about this and after a little bit of study […]

Rules to Live By

If you are or want to be an entrepreneur, go read The 11 Harsh Realities of Being an Entrepreneur. Definitely worth your time!

RIP: Benoit Mandelbrot

I recall reading about him in High School and then studying his work more in university and thereafter. He passed away today; his legacy will live on. Rest in Peace.

How About noOS?

We have NoSQL but maybe it’s time for noOS. I’ve talked about this with colleagues for a while. Many are old enough to realize why we have operating systems, but some of the younger crowd don’t. The reason for an operating system is to equitably share the resources of a computer. This made sense when […]


For the most part computers just aren’t that much fun anymore. I’ve come to this stark conclusion of late and realize that part of my general malaise regarding the industry is that my passion for and love affair with computers is over, or at least in the latter waning stages. When I first got into […]

Your Software is Crap, Get Used To It

I’ve rather grown tired of some software developers and companies who don’t seem to comprehend the simple fact that all software is crapola. And that the definition of a good programmer is one who knows his software is crap. By definition, a good programmer will immediately know a better way to do something right after […]

Blackpad … Playbook

I saw the demo of the new Playbook by RIM powered by QNX. It looks impressive. Which, to be honest, is exactly what I’d expect from the crew from QNX. They are truly an impressive bunch of techies who comprehend their market and whose software is superb. I’ve had the pleasure of working with QNX […]

February 2018
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