Writings of a techie wizard
Fri, 02 Jan 2015
As you might have noticed, I haven't posted here in a while, and what with various things going on, I don't expect to be posting again for a while. Everything that's here now will stay, but I won't be adding any new posts for an indefinite period. I hope you've enjoyed what I've posted here, and thanks for reading!
Wed, 19 Jun 2013
Mon, 10 Sep 2012
Well, it's happened: I have yielded to the temptation to write my own blogging system, and I am now using it to write and publish this blog. It's called simpleblog, and you can find the release version on the Python Package Index here, or look at the bleeding-edge development git repository here.
Thu, 15 Dec 2011
Years ago, Doug McIlroy, the inventor of the Unix pipe, published a paper on techniques for computing the terms of power series. The paper talks about a number of key concepts in programming, such as "lazy" evaluation, that were not well supported by most programming languages at the time, which is why McIlroy spent a good portion of the paper describing an implementation of his techniques in a new language designed by Rob Pike.
Wed, 14 Sep 2011
This is a culture interlude, not a nerd interlude, although of course the kind of culture I'm about to focus on might well be called nerdish. A new production of Le Carre's classic spy novel, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is out. A short video of the cast at the premiere in Britain is here.
Fri, 05 Aug 2011
For non-nerd readers, I promise I won't do this very often, but once in a while I just have to get these sorts of things out of my system. Does anyone else find the following (from a transcript of a short Unix shell session) a little weird?
peter@localhost:~$ true peter@localhost:~$ echo $? 0 peter@localhost:~$ false peter@localhost:~$ echo $? 1
Tue, 19 Jul 2011
My alma mater, MIT, has always been in the forefront of Internet presence (since the Internet was, after all, largely developed there). Quite a few years ago now, the Open Courseware site was launched, which contains free online lecture notes, readings, past problem sets, and past exams for just about all of MIT's courses. To anyone who believes in the free sharing of knowledge, this is a great thing. But I found out today that MIT has gone one better; it also has DSpace, a site that makes MIT research materials freely available online.
When I got to the site and read the description, I immediately wondered: do they have theses posted? And of course the answer is yes; so here, for your reading pleasure, are my MIT theses, now available to the world courtesy of DSpace!
Mon, 13 Jun 2011
I've started this blog as an easier way to get my thoughts actually posted to the web, instead of languishing in the "pending" area on my home machine waiting to be put into the form of an actual "article" that could be added to my old site. I will still post full-blown articles from time to time, but I intend for this to be a place where I can just post quick thoughts as they strike me, without having to worry so much about how they're organized. We'll see how it goes.
NOTE: Right now there are no comments here, because that takes more work to set up, and the whole point of this is to minimize work for me. If you have comments, questions, suggestions, etc., please feel free to email me. I can't promise that I'll answer, but I try to be open to interesting discussions.
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by Peter A. Donis
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