Recent blog posts
Today we take it for granted that computers can set type, but from the 60s to the 80s, most computers used either teletypes or character-based screens. The Xerox Star and Apple Lisa and Apple Macs, and PostScript changed this, but before them, typesetting was done using weird command languages that would send pages to special typesetters. The most well known setup was troff, which lives on in groff and in Solaris. The troff system used a computer typesetter called a CAT, and it wasn't a bitmap laser printer. It has these fonts that were spools of film that were photographs of letters. The font sizes were created by projecting the image of the letter onto the page at different sizes. I believe the rest of the process was like a photocopier - the toner goes on, and then is transferred to the paper, and fused.
I don't really understand what this article says, but it came up during a search of "n-dimensional nolan chart". A Nolan Chart is the diagram that libertarians use to try to convince you to join their party/movement. They seem to worship the chart, but it's kind of absurd: you can label the axes with any two qualities, and map all people along two axes. You can also make a "chart" in any number of dimensions. In democratic politics, you always measure all dimensions, but ultimately, the system is set up around voting, so all dimensions ultimately collapse along one dimension: the vote.
It's always a concern that an IMC can be taken offline. As the sites get larger, it's more of a challenge to keep it backed up and distributed. There's also the problem of software upgrades.
This isn't addressed to anyone in particular, but it's a common question: does software get old and wear out. They ask because their computers have gotten slower, or features have stopped working.
A ten second calculation to deter comment spam. It's an old technique called "hash cash" and has nothing to do with drugs.
MySQL on my server is fading out more often than in the past. i wonder what's up.
This is interesting. These headers are from an email I got. It passed through someone else's Barracuda Networks anti-spam appliance (starting at $700, plus annual fees).
Identicons are those odd graphics you see next to peoples' names in comments. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identicon
[Turns out there's a PECL extension for tainting: http://www.php.net/manual/en/book.taint.php
It's hard to concentrate when you're tired and cranky, so I wasted some time writing a simple calculator in several different languages.
I bought this several months back, and finally installed it on the Linux box. It works, sort of. ATSC (HDTV terrestrial broadcast) works fine. FM Radio does not. More info:
This post isn't for any specific reason, but it's been bouncing around in my mind for a long time. That higher levels of abstration is a "good thing" is given among experience hackers, people into functional programming, and people who write SQL. At least up to a few years ago, there was some hostility toward increasing abstraction, particularly from the anti-SQL set. I railed about this against and entry in a Symfony book. This is another review of the issue.
This is an outline I'm going to use to fix up a mass email script for Outlook that I'm working on.