Links

Links to things that I've found interesting. This is currently a combination of:

For now, I'm showing the latest 25 links. There is an RSS feed available.


The truly epic BYTE magazine covers by Robert Tinney

lunduke.substack.com

There simply has not been computer magazine covers like this since. I’m collecting a few of my favorites here to help give all of you a taste of what 1970s and 1980s computer magazine art was like.

The Dead Code Diaries

madned.substack.com

The mystery program was my own, and I had no specific memory of writing it. In general though I did remember a time in my teenage years when I was learning to program, writing games for the TRS-80 that I had access to thanks to a generous neighbor (something I briefly discussed in my Radio Shack post). I just didn’t remember this one at all.

Vintage Byte Magazine Library

vintageapple.org

While Macworld and MacUser capture the history of the Macintosh, Byte nicely captures the history of the entire personal computer industry from the early days (Sept 1975) through July 1998 (just two issues shy of 23 years).

Here for your reading pleasure are the first and second installment of the Byte archives, now including the entire run of the magazine.

Mister Rogers's Simple Set of Rules for Talking to Kids

theatlantic.com

Fundamentally, Freddish anticipated the ways its listeners might misinterpret what was being said. For instance, Greenwald mentioned a scene in a hospital in which a nurse inflating a blood-pressure cuff originally said, “I’m going to blow this up.” Greenwald recalls: “Fred made us redub the line, saying, ‘I’m going to puff this up with some air,’ because ‘blow it up’ might sound like there’s an explosion, and he didn’t want the kids to cover their ears and miss what would happen next.”

Betty Reid Soskin is 100 and the oldest active park ranger

washingtonpost.com

When asked how it feels to be 100 years old, Betty Reid Soskin gave a subtle shrug, smiled and said: “The same way I felt at 99.”

[…]

During her ranger talks, Soskin encourages audience members to “always ask questions,” she said. “If I was still asking the same questions that I was asking 10 years ago, I would be showing no growth at all.”

Atari ST in daily use since 1985

youtube.com

This Atari 1040ST is still in use after 36 years! Frans Bos bought this Atari in 1985 to run his camping (camping bohmerwald). He wrote his own software over the years to manage his camping and the registration of the guests. He really likes the speed of the machine over new computers. And 6 months a year the machine is on day and night!

Augmented Reality Ducks

tyler.io

It’s an iOS app that analyzes video streaming from the camera and attempts to detect human hands. If it finds any, it then tries to distinguish the digits of each finger and, specifically, if the middle finger is raised. If it detects that, it takes the location of the offending finger and censors it with a 🦆.

speedyg0nz/MagInkCal

github.com

E-Ink Magic Calendar that automatically syncs to Google Calendar and runs off a battery powered Raspberry Pi Zero

In Case I Don’t Write Here Again

inessential.com

But I kind of think not, because there’s a bigger issue: I expect and hope that eventually I will no longer be a public person — no blog, no Twitter, no public online presence at all.

I have no plan. I’m feeling my way to that destination, which is years off, surely, and I just hope to manage it gracefully. (I don’t know of any role models with this.)

Anyway. In case I don’t write here again — in case these are the last words of this blog — thank you. I loved writing here, and you are why.

I can really respect that.

Preserving the Chrysler Electronic Voice Alert (EVA)

youtube.com

This video shows you an overview of the tasks involved in preserving rare speaking devices of the past before they are destroyed or lost.

The sounds you hear at the end are from the preserved data playing back in chipspeech’s TMS5110 emulation core.

Fight for Outside Perspective

allenpike.com

If you let your calendar be driven primarily by whomever has asked for meetings and whichever meetings were set to auto-repeat, your schedule will get more and more inward-looking over time. The bigger your company, the worse it is.

So here’s what you need to do: regularly review your calendar to ensure a healthy proportion of your meetings are with outside people.

Dabbling

exilelifestyle.com

The way I frame it, internally, dabbling is a maintenance task that helps me stay psychologically healthy, while also helping me avoid cognitive or habitual rigidity.

AndrewBelt/WaveEdit

github.com

Synthesis Technology WaveEdit for the E370 and E352 Eurorack synthesizer modules

Tiny tools and the ephemeral nature of digital art…

nathalielawhead.com

A friend of mine was talking about how emulation never really truly emulates an era. For example, if you wanted the full experience of SNES games, you would need an old TV, and sit on an old 90’s living room floor, and be surrounded by things from that era… all that being important because the console (system, games…) are products of that time. Can we ever really enjoy, or understand their significance, when they’re taken out of that space and just emulated in modern contexts?

alda-lang/alda

github.com

A music programming language for musicians. 🎶

The Descent to C

chiark.greenend.org.uk

You’re probably thinking, by now, that C sounds like a horrible language to work in. It forces you to do by hand a lot of things you’re used to having done for you automatically; it constantly threatens you with unrecoverably weird behaviour, hard-to-find bugs, and dangerous security holes if you put one foot across any of a large number of completely invisible lines that neither the compiler nor the runtime will help you to avoid; and, for goodness' sake, it can’t even handle strings properly. How could anyone have designed a language that bad?

To a large extent, the answer is: C is that way because reality is that way. C is a low-level language, which means that the way things are done in C is very similar to the way they’re done by the computer itself.

How 9/11 changed us

washingtonpost.com

It happened fast. By 2004, when the 9/11 Commission urged America to “engage the struggle of ideas,” it was already too late; the Justice Department’s initial torture memos were already signed, the Abu Ghraib images had already eviscerated U.S. claims to moral authority. And it has lasted long. The latest works on the legacy of 9/11 show how war-on-terror tactics were turned on religious groups, immigrants and protesters in the United States. The war on terror came home, and it walked in like it owned the place.

mgdm/htmlq

github.com

Like jq, but for HTML.

Beyond the good ol' LaunchAgents

theevilbit.github.io

There are other posts as well, which does collect macOS persistence ideas, but these are always one-off posts, and don’t try to be comprehensive on the long term.

With that I’m starting a series with the title Beyond the good ol' LaunchAgents and try to cover as much as I can. I will definitely cover even those which have been discussed somewhere else, so it won’t be always “new”, but the idea is that this can be a go-to resource on the long run.

Hammerspoon/hammerspoon

github.com

Staggeringly powerful macOS desktop automation with Lua

A Summary of Electronics

electroagenda.com

This text is a summary of electronics written for hobbyists or people with little technical knowledge. However, it is a rigorous summary of the electronics, so that a global but useful overview can be obtained. In addition, a summary of the electronics of this style also serves to review concepts to professionals or engineers who might have forgotten basic notions.

ProgrammingWithOpenSCAD/CodeSolutions

github.com

OpenSCAD code solutions to examples and excerises included in Programming with OpenSCAD: A Beginner’s Guide to Coding 3D-Printable Objects