April 29, 2003

I'm Sorry, Dave

A very short overview of natural language processing for the layperson, by Lillian Lee. [via robots.net]

A nice, short introduction to garbage collection. Covers generational GC and performance issues. It's really a pretty good explanation. And it's from Microsoft. [I forget where I saw this.]

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April 28, 2003


Blah blah scheme who cares. But running inside the linux kernel is noteworthy.

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April 27, 2003

ILC 2003 Announced

Raymond De Lacaze has announced the 2003 International Lisp Conference, in New York, Oct 12-15.

There is no information on the cost of the conference beyond hotel rooms, and indeed the conference website is not yet up. One bit of info is that the proceedings will be available at the conference itself.

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April 26, 2003


The LA Lisp social group, CRACL, is meeting tomorrow at 7 at the Red Lion Tavern.

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I missed Dave Eggers, Sarah Vowell and They Might Be Giants at UCLA, which might be a good thing.

[they might be giants]

I also missed the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I love that their first release was a 13 minute long EP.

[karen o gives it all she fucking has]

Then there's Coachella, which I am missing right now. Beastie Boys, N*E*R*D, Queens of the Stone Age, Ladytron, and Sonic Youth. What a lineup.

However, thanks to squishy I did not miss the video for Beautiful, by Snoop, featuring Pharrell of N*E*R*D.

[pharrell and snoop]

I hope you're not expecting me to use Snoop slang or something now. At this point I don't think I'd be surprised if my mom called and said “Visit Chicago this summer, fo shizzle.”

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April 25, 2003

Daddy, Are We There Yet?

From Alan Kay's talk at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, the gist of which seems to be that the last twenty years of computing have been boring, and there's a lot of stuff from the 60s that's still beyond what we have today:

John McCarthy invented PDP1 interactive LISP -- a metainvention, the Maxwell's Equations of programming. Today is the 40th aniversary of the first interactive implementation by a 16-year-old Peter Deutsch. It was the first time a programming language became an operating system.

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April 22, 2003

Feral Robotics

Is this really that interesting?

This is way cooler.

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Mikel Evins is working on a text editor for authors, Alpaca:

it's a Mac OS X application that combines two very different kinds of features: a mac-like interface and all that goes with it, with emacs programmability and all that goes with it.

alpaca is written in common lisp using the cocoa application framework. i wrote it with openmcl. alpaca has a complete common lisp compiler built into it, and can be customized and extended using lisp code.

Update: Alpaca screenshots.

[alpaca screenshot] [alpaca screenshot]

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I saw Sepultura (and Voivod for one song) at Disneyland last night with my friend Mark, which was a little weird. Now I know that when a band is listed as playing at the House of Blues in Anaheim it really means you will be inside Downtown Disneyland and 50 feet from the Disneyland monorail.

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April 21, 2003


Lemonodor was inaccessible most of the day due to DOS attacks against my dynamic dns provider.

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April 18, 2003

America's Funniest Lisp Applications

I'm having trouble focusing on anything today. What a perfect time for usenet highlights!

Marc Mertens announced the release of Jabberwocky 1.0, a lisp IDE previously mentioned here.

Kent Pitman moved his “home page and [his] various Lisp-related archives from world.std.com to nhplace.com.”, which includes his Lisp Pointers columns and other technical papers.

Tom Knight used a pair of tin cans or something to let everyone know he put his lisp machine architecture thesis online.

[lisp machine network environment]

JP Massar announced that “A version of the Starlisp simulator (a simulator for the language Starlisp, a parallel programming language which ran on the Connection Machine, some 13 years ago now) is now available thanks to Franz's source repository: http://examples.franz.com/index.html.”

The Franz respository also includes code for forwarding NNTP, creating photo gallery web pages, downloading and installing Red Hat updates, etc.

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Authorization Assistance

Jack Gray on the Lispworks mailing list [via Rainer Joswig]:

I have worked for American Express on the Authorizer Assistant (AA) project since its inception in the mid-1980s. I've been told that AA is generally recognized as one of the oldest and most successful commercial LISP-based applications - and I personally believe that the prime reason for that success is LISP.

The AA project staff has been asked to reassess AA from top to bottom, with an eye toward developing a future direction for the application. (As you can probably guess, there will be pressure for us to consider a re-write in some environment other than LISP.)

And then he asks for testimonials by people using lisp in business. “The goal here is to demonstrate to our management that there is a viable segment of the marketplace that continues to see superior value in LISP.”

This old ComputerWorld article says that “The first prototype [of AA] took almost six months to complete and consisted of 520 rules (over the years, it has grown to more than 1,000 rules).” and “ American Express claimed it saved tens of millions of dollars per year using the Authorizer's Assistant. It did the work of 700 authorization employees...”

(Here I save you 6 seconds of valuable time by providing a pre-built google query.)

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April 17, 2003

Army Job Opportunities

The Army Research Laboratory is looking for lisp programmers [on the info-mcl mailing list, pointed out by Mike Hannemann]:

The Human Research and Engineering Directorate of the Army Research Laboratory has possible job opportunities for LISP programmers. We have summer internships for college students, post doctorial positions, and full time positions for the qualified individuals. The position would be at Aberdeen Proving Ground, which is located on the Chesapeake Bay in Northern Maryland. Pay would be dependent on the qualifications of the individual.

Posted by jjwiseman at 06:11 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 16, 2003

Light Light Light

Kevin Rosenberg is back after a months-long absence with some posts on SBCL multithreading and benchmarking.

Dan Barlow has been talking about POSIX and vim aesthetics.

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Saw Asesino tonight, at the Key Club. Guys from Static-X, Brujeria and Fear Factory, and apparently this was their first LA show. Brutal latino death metal was listened to, beer was drunk, and tits were shown. I love rock and roll.

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April 15, 2003

Down Down Down

The Earthlink DSL by which lemonodor is served was down for about 10 hours. It was the first major outage in a year and seems to have been Covad's fault.

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April 13, 2003


I saw the SEEMEN last night. “SEEMEN create situations where audiences are encouraged to Interact and operate their machines and robots. You get to run a machine that can kill you. IT'S FUN!”

[seemen's kali] [seemen's fire shower] [seemen's fire halo] [seemen's strap-on flamethrower] [seemen's computer contolled ring of fire]

Nobody was killed.

I saw a SEEMEN show a couple years ago in Chicago, where I talked a little bit with Kal Spelletich. He's a cool guy, and I remember him telling me about a party he went to at Rudy Rucker's place: “It was a total brainiac-o-rama, man.” (Hm, Kal mentioning that Rudy's dog Slug was threatened by the cops while they were protesting together plus Reverse Cowgirl's mention of the same dog makes me think that the dog running around last night was Rudy Rucker's... My god, am I now actually a star pet fucker?)

I'm always skeptical of the artistic value of this sort of thing, but when Kal starts telling the stories of why he made each piece I'm convinced there's something there. His concern for the audience is refreshing, too. He says things like “It was the most transcendent experience I've ever had; I made this so that people who couldn't see an island on fire could feel what it was like.” and “I discovered it was easy to freak people out with technology, but I wanted to do something that would make them feel empowered.” (Except when he says it he doesn't sound academic or pretentious; he sounds like he would be prescribed a heavy dose of ritalin if he were a kid.)

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April 11, 2003

Connection Machine Lisp

Connection Machine Lisp: Fine Grained Parallel Symbolic Processing”, via Luke Gorrie on ll1-discuss, who says “I was blown away by the novelty”

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April 10, 2003


CMUCL 18e has been released, and has a lot of new features and bug fixes.

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April 09, 2003

The Hundred Year Language

Paul Graham wrote an article based on his PyCon keynote: “The Hundred Year Language

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April 08, 2003

Robodex 2003

[robodex robot] [robodex robot]

Robodex 2003 is over, and there were a lot of cool, impressive and weird robots. So that means it's time for robot porn... (sometimes, almost literally). Extra credit if you spot the Evolution robots (which do look a bit out of place among the all the anime-styled house-sitting dinosaur bots and Astro Boys).

[Other Robodex posts: Guide book, DVD stills.]

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April 07, 2003


GRT is the beginnings of a lisp raytracer [via CLiki].

[raytraced box]

GRT started as a C project, but “The productivity boost of using Lisp over C is amazing! This way GRT will proceed much faster -- no more core dumps.”

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April 05, 2003

Weekend Reading

Gavin linked to this a while ago, and I still haven't finished it, but the section on debugging was good enough that I'd recommend it just for that: “How To Be A Programmer”.

And this alternate history of 80s and 90s pop music, in which Van Halen is an influential favorite of the critics and Nirvana was a metal band, is something I just want to have handy so that the next time I tell a friend about it I can find the URL.

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April 03, 2003

Easy Class Graphs with MCL

Toomas Altosaar integrated some of the existing class-hierarchy graphing tools into MCL's inspector.

[mcl inspector with class graphing]

He's got code for other inspector enhancements, too. The graphical inspector really is one of MCL's strong points.

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April 02, 2003


It may take me a while, but I do remember the promises I make. And I know you've all been waiting for the cat photo.

Joey DeVilla posted a good one the other day, but I think he's still got another in him.

[petunia want mouse!]
petunia want mouse!

Petunia's my favorite! And to preempt the emails: yes, this is available in desktop size. (All that gamma-type stuff makes a big difference for this photo--you'll lose out on the full cuteness experience unless you're on a PC.)

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April 01, 2003

Swissair: “Good Bye”

From #lisp:

rydis: Just in from lispm-hackers: Swiss Air, the company that's been buying pretty much all TI Explorers, and are still running a lot of planning software on 'em, has stopped flying, according to fuckedcompany.com.

Posted by jjwiseman at 08:04 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Mr. Kickass

Dan Moniz told me that TRS-80 had a new album out, Mr. Kickass.

[trs-80 kicks ass]

I haven't listened to it enough to know how good it is, but it definitely reminded me of how much I generally love the band. And as Dan said, how can you not like a band that has a song called “Terrible Monster Attacking Crew”?

Whoa, they're on a DVD, with N.E.R.D.? Must acquire. (I've been meaning to mention N.E.R.D., but there's not much to say other than that even though their album is a year old, I still listen to it on repeat constantly.)

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