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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]


I love Paul Graham’s comment on Dan Weinreb’s Why Did Symbolics Fail? article. Complexity has driven me nuts for years. I don’t comprehend why everything has to be so complex. It’s as if there’s a secret cabal someplace that figures it has to be hard, it’s computers. Thank God for Steve Jobs and his ability […]

Lisp Machine VM

I’ve been wondering why no-one has put together a proper Lisp Machine VM. By that I mean a VM that runs in something like VMware Player. It would allow anyone who needs one to simply launch a Lisp Machine. I do realize the original Lisp Machines, like the Symbolics 3600 I coded on decades ago, […]

February 2018
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