Links

Links to things that I've found interesting.

This is currently a combination of some of my Pinboard bookmarks that I make public and my GitHub starred repositories. For now, I'm showing the latest 25 links.


Why the Apple II Didn’t Support Lowercase Letters

vintagecomputing.com

I recently asked Steve Wozniak via email about why the original Apple II did not support lowercase letters. I could have guessed the answer, but it’s always good to hear the reason straight from the source. Woz’s response was so long and detailed that I asked him if I could publish the whole thing on VC&G. He said yes, so here we are.

I Crossed Back Into a State of Denial

theatlantic.com

And what was my plan for quarantine and self-isolation in Canada?

That last topic occupied probably six or seven minutes. She asked where I would stay, who else would be there, how I would get groceries and other necessities. She took my email address and phone number. The entire process—including the wait time for the one vehicle ahead of me when I halted—occupied approximately 15 minutes. Over the following two weeks, I would receive daily messages by text or robocall to confirm that I was complying with quarantine rules. Once, I received an in-person call. I don’t know that there was really any follow-up beyond these contacts, but they reminded me that I had given a promise and that somebody cared whether I honored that promise.

Attention is your scarcest resource

benkuhn.net

In order for bullshit not to distract me for the rest of the week, I try to minimize my number of “open loops”—projects or processes that I’ve started but not completed.

This is sound advice. Working on it.

Let’s build a video card!

eater.net

In these videos, I talk about how VGA signals work and build a circuit that provides the correct timing of sync signals so that a monitor recognizes the signal and displays an image stored on an EEPROM.

The Truth About Bender’s Brain

spectrum.ieee.org

In the episode, “Fry and the Slurm Factory,” a character named Professor Farnsworth points his F-ray at the head of the show’s famously ill-tempered robot, Bender. It reveals a little rectangle, apparently a chip, labeled “6502.”

The 6502 was a beloved—at least by geeks—8-bit microprocessor created by MOS Technology in 1975. It was the chip that the scruffy-bearded, sandal-wearing Steve Wozniak used to build the Apple II in 1977—“The Machine That Changed Everything,” as PC World once put it. It was also used in the Commodore PET, the BBC Micro, and a host of other systems that fomented the personal computer revolution.

haimgel/display-switch

github.com

Turn a $30 USB switch into a full-featured multi-monitor KVM switch

cmod/craigstarter

github.com

An open source crowdfunding tool built on Shopify

vinayak-mehta/present

github.com

A terminal-based presentation tool with colors and effects.

wonderunit/storyboarder

github.com

✏️ Storyboarder makes it easy to visualize a story as fast you can draw stick figures.

Most Popular Internet Browsers 1994 - 2019

youtube.com

This video shows the usage of the top internet browsers in the period 1994 to 2019. Worldwide timeline of desktop web browser popularity.

Chadwick Boseman on Black Panther's accent

cnet.com

People think about how race has affected the world. It’s not just in the States. Colonialism is the cousin of slavery. Colonialism in Africa would have it that, in order to be a ruler, his education comes from Europe. I wanted to be completely sure that we didn’t convey that idea because that would be counter to everything that Wakanda is about. It’s supposed to be the most technologically advanced nation on the planet. If it’s supposed to not have been conquered – which means that advancement has happened without colonialism tainting it, poisoning the well of it, without stopping it or disrupting it – then there’s no way he would speak with a European accent.

If I did that, I would be conveying a white supremacist idea of what being educated is and what being royal or presidential is. Because it’s not just about him running around fighting. He’s the ruler of a nation. And if he’s the ruler of a nation, he has to speak to his people. He has to galvanize his people. And there’s no way I could speak to my people, who have never been conquered by Europeans, with a European voice.

dylanaraps/neofetch

github.com

🖼️ A command-line system information tool written in bash 3.2+

reMarkable

remarkable.com

Replace your notebooks and printed documents with the only tablet that feels like paper.

This looks incredible. It’s a bit much for me to buy sight unseen, but the Hacker News comments seem to indicate a good track record. While I love my iPad Pro, there are a lot of things about this that I wish it had.

Refrigerator Magnet Clock

instructables.com

I’ve always been fascinated by unusual clocks. This is one of my latest creations that uses refrigerator alphabet numbers to display the time.

Sixty Years of Green Eggs and Ham

brianjayjones.com

Generations of readers would look for hidden meanings and metaphors in its text—but for Dr. Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham was only ever about one thing: “Cerf bet me fifty bucks I couldn’t write a book using only 50 words,” he said later. “I did it to show I could.”

Young children would rather explore than get rewards

news.osu.edu

As expected, the adults learned quickly which creature gave the most candies and selected that creature 86 percent of the time. But children selected the highest-reward creature only 43 percent of the time.

And it wasn’t because the children didn’t realize which choice would reap them the largest reward. In a memory test after the study, 20 of 22 children correctly identified which creature delivered the most candy.

“The children were not motivated by achieving the maximum reward to the extent that adults were,” Blanco said. “Instead, children seemed primarily motivated by the information gained through exploring.”

A Nomenclature for Low-Code Users

colemanm.org

But the largest gap is that middle bunch of Tinkerers. Not only do they stand to gain the most from low-code tools. From my observations, that group is also the fastest-growing category. Every day as more tech-native people enter the workforce, or are compelled to dive into technical tools, people are graduating from Novice to Tinkerer status, realizing that many modern tools are resilient to experimentation and forgiving of user error.