Lispian Random meanderings on whatever catches my fancy

Lispian
History
On Fallacies of Faith
On Fallacies of Faith

I’ve been reading a lot of theology lately. I go in odd spurts. For a while it was all anthropology. Then it was all about writing mystery novels. Then off to Classical history. And lately, theology. And far be it from me to claim even mild expertise, but one thing that’s struck me is that […]

Time To Go To Mars

Yesterday a true hero died. Neil Armstrong, first man on the Moon, died at age 82. Being a Boomer born when all seemed possible the Moon Missions were just that, another huge possibility, something to attain. To this day whenever I look at the Moon I think of Apollo and the Moon landings. When my […]

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, […]

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 […]

Why I Have Serious Problems With Some Atheists
Why I Have Serious Problems With Some Atheists

This is not a rant against some of my atheist friends who are thoughtful and willing to think deeply beyond the limitations of science. This is directed at certain “new atheists” who, to me, espouse infantile arguments and show utter contempt and intolerance to any views but their own. I have simply grown weary of […]

Things I Don’t Get

There are a lot of things I just don’t get, such as renaissance fairs, reenactments of past battles and many other things. I also don’t get collecting old stuff and by old stuff I mean what most of us would call junk. So I find it pretty funny that I actually enjoy two shows about […]

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 […]

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 […]

Lest We Forget

My deepest thanks go out to our veterans who did so much so that we could enjoy our freedoms and liberties. Long may their sacrifices be remembered.

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.

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 ;-)) […]

40 Years Ago Today … Man Walked On The Moon!

I’ll leave it to the pictures to tell the story. You can see many more at the NASA Apollo site.

Pictures of the Moon Landing Sites
Pictures of the Moon Landing Sites

NASA just released some mid-resolution pictures of the Moon and the various Apollo landing sites. You can see the lunary lander module courtesy of a low Sun. In the Apollo 14 shots you can see the footpath created by the astronauts. Amazing. Here’s the shot of Apollo 14’s landing site with the footpath.

July 16, 1969
July 16, 1969

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we […]

Happy Belated Birthday Nikola Tesla

Google had a wonderful homage via their front page graphic the other day (July 10th) for Tesla’s birthday. What I’ll put forward is my favourite quote of his: Anything before 10am is an ungodly hour. Which is now backed up by research!

40 Years On and We’re Still Not There

Now I know what Moses felt like, wandering around the wilderness awaiting the promised land shown years earlier. As a computer scientist it saddens me to see that we’ve not fully realized what Engelbart was capable of demonstrating in 1968! Whenever I want to show people how sad our progress has been with computers, I […]

Our Digital Lives

This story brings back some memories from a few years ago. When we first got a digital camera I wondered about how long these formats would be readable. Today I see so many different card formats for cameras it’s silly. Then I think back to floppy disks and hard disks and all the different formats […]

The Morris Worm

Recently it was the 20th Anniversary of the Morris Worm. A number of articles have appeared discussing the worm. It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years. But the articles tweaked my memory and I remember quite vividly aspects in and around the release of the worm. And I remember quite well talking to Bob […]

Great quotes

I tend to love reading history and occasionally I come across a great quote. I’ve been reading about the early US off-and-on of late, mostly due to a fantastic biography of Teddy Roosevelt, and came across this quote of John Adams’: In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man […]

Mother Of All Demos

Every so often I post about this video. It is truly something everyone interested in computers should watch. Done back in 1968 it shows pretty much everything we have today. It does make me wonder why it isn’t used to squash a lot of software patents that were so obviously demonstrated by Doug Engelbart that […]

Built-in Term Limits

Over at the New York Times there’s a great article on built-in term limits for high-tech companies. But what it really is is a restatement of the Innovator’s Dilemma. It focuses on Microsoft and their dilemma of how to be #1 in the Internet Era. My belief is that Microsoft could own a new era, […]

Bummer: Charlton Heston Died

I’ve always been a fan of SF films, but some just stand out as my favourites. They include 2001: A Space Odyssey, Planet of the Apes (the originals), Soylent Green, Logan’s Run, Twelve Monkeys, and some of the Star Wars and Star Trek films, to name a few. But Heston helped bring SF films to […]

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