Friday, October 28, 2011

Apple Television

Here’s why Apple’s TV needs to be an actual television, and not just a cheap add-on box from Dan Frommer, @SplatF.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Citrix claims it will make virtual desktops cheaper than real ones

by Jon Brodkin at Ars Technica.

I think a lot about cloud computing and I'm ready to go (pretty much) all in.  Actually, I'm already there to a large degree.  However, when I think of possibly needing to run Windows (I don't expect to), I usually think of needing to get some VM software, a Windows license, and software to boot up at least a virtual Windows machine.

It hadn't occurred to me, really, that a service could provide Windows machines on demand.  You could have a fully running, personal, persistent desktop, or an ephemeral Windows machine on-demand, or even just a virtual app that runs, popping up a virtual Windows VM underneath it, again on-demand.

Confessions of an iPhone User Who Recently Switched to Android

by Cullen Roche at Business Insider.

Yes! HAL from ThinkGeek (for iPhone 4S)

From Mike Elgan.

Does Anyone Use Twitter Any More?

Brian asks.

I use Twitter a lot, mainly for reading.  I essentially abandoned RSS for Twitter some time ago (> 1 yr but I forget how long), so essentially all news I read is  via Twitter.

Because tweets act like they're ephemeral and seem to act even more so over time (they aren't really but it can be hard to dig up your old  tweets), I've backed off to blogging for any message I really care about, and even some that I don't.  All of my blog posts go to Twitter via Feedburner.

In the past, I thought Twitter was extremely powerful since it provided an instant communication infrastructure for almost anything you wanted to do on the Internet.  The buzz over that seems to have died down.  I don't know if it's really old news but I'm sure there are so many examples on either side of that question, it's probably not worth debating.

So, I use blogs and Twitter for almost anything I want to say to groups of people or in public.  If you read those two sources, you can see almost anything I've said.  For other places like Facebook, Google Plus, I forward the blog and Twitter posts on to them.

On rare occasions, I do post or reply in other places.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ice Cream Sandwich on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Announced yesterday.

Ice Cream Sandwich is the name of version 4.0 of the Android operating system.

Movie Being Shot on Marietta Square Today

The stars are reported to be Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller but they won't be there today. See the

Siri Security Flaw

from Business Insider, SAI: Tools by Dylan Love.

Even if you have a passcode set to keep your phone inaccessible to other people, Siri's default setting is to ignore this. By holding the home button to activate Siri, anyone can bypass whatever preventative measures you have in place.
Don't despair—it's a simple fix. Start up Settings and navigate to General/Passcode Lock. Make sure that the “Siri” option is set to “Off.” That's all it takes to disable Siri while a passcode is in place.

Your Next Camper

Via @GuyKawasaki from The Designer Pad:  A Suite on Wheels for all of the campers in our family.

These other posts there are also interesting.

Size Does Not Matter

Living in 500 sq ft. The Bedroom

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011



unzip *
mkdir BIN
make pdp11
cd BIN



PDP-11 simulator V3.8-1
sim> set cpu u18
Disabling XQ
sim> set rl0 RL02
sim> att rl0 unix_v7_rl.dsk
sim> boot rl0
New Boot, known devices are hp ht rk rl rp tm vt
: rl(0,0)rl2unix
mem = 177856

# cat /etc/passwd

# ^E
Simulation stopped, PC: 002306 (MOV (SP)+,177776)
sim> exit

So Long, Dennis Ritchie

Inventor of UNIX.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


How is it that I've never heard of, or noticed, NGINX until now?

The Mythical Man Month

by Dhanji R. Prasanna at Rethrick Construction.

I vividly recall my first week at Google. It was in Google's old office in Sydney, high up on the 18th floor of a triangular skyscraper. The views from virtually everywhere in the office were breathtaking. And inside, the walls beamed the warm glow of those wonderful colors so familiar from a childhood playing with Lego--Yellow, Red, Blue and Green.
Fast-forward six months and Google was in a lavish, new office with Walkabout fully underway and around 35 strong. The trouble, I am sure, began a lot earlier but this is when I started to really feel it. First, there was the dreaded endless meeting--they lasted for hours with very little being decided. Then, you started having to push people to provide APIs or code changes that you desperately needed for your feature but that they had little to no interest in beyond the academic.
Of course I enjoyed my time on Wave like no other time in my career. It was equal parts frustration, joy, defeat and passion. I don't regret a single moment of being associated with it. It remains a wonderful attempt at creating something unique, exciting and incomparably bold. Nor do I want to ascribe blame to anyone on the team or Google at large. I just want to point that even the smartest, most motivated and talented people in the world--with a track record of delivering success--are alone not sufficient to overcome complexity that creeps up on you. Maybe we should have known better, but we didn't.

In the end, the man-month as a scalable unit of work is hubris worthy of a Greek tragedy.

The iPhone 4S

by John Gruber, Daring Fireball.

No, Facebook Is Not Ruining Your Grades [STUDY]

by Sarah Kessler at Mashable.

All Facebook activities do not have the same relationship with grades. Posting status updates and using Facebook chat generally mean a lower GPA, while checking to see what friends are up to and sharing links suggest a higher GPA. In other words, social Facebook activities were correlated with lower grades and information-related Facebook activities were correlated with higher grades.

This doesn’t necessarily mean forgoing Facebook status updates and chat is likely to improve a student’s grades. Nothing in the study implies cause and effect. Instead, it seems that what’s important about Facebook in an educational context has very little to do with how much time you spend on it.

Watch Large Hadron Collider Collisions with an Android App

Open Source Matters By Rikki Kite. The Department of Physics at the University of Oxford releases super-cool, free Large Hadron Collider Google Android app.
The app downloaded quickly to my HTC Incredible, and nine buttons on the first screen display the app options: Explore the LHC, What is ATLAS?, ATLAS in 3D, Hunt the Higgs Boson, Stream 2-D Events, Stream 3-D Events, Web links, Credits, and Feedback.
The coolest options are probably the stream 2-D and 3-D event buttons. If the detector is currently taking data, events collected in real time at the ATLAS detector are streamed live to your phone. How cool is that?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dart: a language for structured web programming

From Google Code.

Today we are introducing an early preview of Dart, a class-based optionally typed programming language for building web applications. Dart’s design goals are:
  • Create a structured yet flexible language for web programming.
  • Make Dart feel familiar and natural to programmers and thus easy to learn.
  • Ensure that Dart delivers high performance on all modern web browsers and environments ranging from small handheld devices to server-side execution.

Dart targets a wide range of development scenarios: from a one-person project without much structure to a large-scale project needing formal types in the code to state programmer intent.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Snapshots of Life in a World with Steve Jobs

In 1977, I drove up Peachtree Street to Datamart on Pharr Road in Buckhead.  At the time it may have been the only computer store in Atlanta.  If it wasn't, there weren't many.  I clearly remember, not long after, when only three were listed in the Yellow Pages.  The IMSAI and North Star computers there were wonderful to see, but the star of the store I came for was the Apple II.

I remember seeing a lunar lander game, probably the first time I'd seen computer graphics on a screen and certainly the first time for color graphics.   I also recall a screen filled with BASIC code.  At some point I probably keyed in and ran a bit.

A few years later, my wife and I went to another computer store to see the Apple Lisa.  This was the first time I'd experienced a mouse and windows.  The simple icons on a black and white screen, with a menu at the top, were compelling.

When I started work at Emory University in 1985 we had two Macintosh computers in a computer lab that was two doors down the hall from my office.  In an handful of days we were unboxing a new LaserWriter.  The big three-ring binder, “Inside the LaserWriter,”  filled with loose leaf pages, and Adobe PostScript were a joy.

Just a few years later, my boss' boss had come from serving on the committee representing 25 universities that helped design the NeXT machine.  We received two of first NeXTcubes produced and kept one in our office.  My team named it Rubick.  Not long after that, I had a NeXTslab on my desk.  I was very fortunate to be able to put a NeXTslab, along with a PC and Mac, on the desktop of each of the five full-time professionals in my group.

The NeXT machines and NeXTSTEP were among the most delightful experiences I've ever had using and programming a computer.

Today, the Macbook Pro 13-in is one of the most beautiful computers ever made.  That's the portable system I use now.

I'll miss the moments like these.

Photo by Marie Matthews.

So Long, Steve Jobs

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Understanding Virtual Memory

An excellent web page.

“Our context for this discussion is the AICT Linux Cluster, which runs 64-bit GNU/Linux on AMD Opteron hardware. If you have a comment or question about the material presented, please send a note to”

Security Checklist for Twitter

Some best practices have nothing to do with your Tweets. The security of your Twitter account is crucial, especially when you have thousands of followers relying on you for trustworthy information. Please review this Security Checklist and bookmark the relevant Support pages.

Facebook's ticker privacy scare, and what you should do about it

by Clare Washbrook in Naked Security.

Remember, check your Facebook privacy settings early and often.  —KG

A Look Back at a 1966 Scientific American Article on Systems Analysis

by Peter Norvig.

As a teenager in the early 1970s, I enjoyed going up to the attic and looking through old stacks of Scientific American magazines. …the issue that had the biggest effect on me was the September 1966 on Information (which I read about 40 years ago).
In this essay I’ll concentrate on one article from the issue: Christopher Strachey‘s contribution on “System Analysis and Programming.” At the time I had seen only a few snippets of BASIC code—nothing more than a few lines. This short article by Strachey was my first introduction to a high-level programming language and the first non-trivial program I’d ever read: a checkers-playing program. When I rediscovered this article recently, I was surprised to find two things: (1) the programming language and programming style are thoroughly modern, and (2) there is a serious mismatch between the design and the implementation, or the systems analysis and programming as Strachey calls it.

Star Shells Show Sun's Fate

By Dr. Emma Rigby, Astronomy Now. “Giant dust shells around CW Leonis, an elderly giant star in the constellation of Leo studied by the Herschel Space Telescope, are providing clues on how our own Sun will behave when it nears the end of its life, around five billion years from now.”

How to Stay Safer and More Secure Online

From Google.

The Knowledge Navigator was set in 2011

@arnoldkim RT.  [VIDEO]    I was quite taken with this Apple video that came out in 1987.  At Emory, Jim will remember, we used to show it to freshmen during their computer technology orientation.

(An article is cited from 2006 as “five years ago.”)