December 31, 2003

Scheme Meetup

Via Jaap Weel on the CRACL mailing list, a scheme “meetup” in LA.

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Lisp Multimedia

Rainer Joswig has catalogued his various videos, scanned brochures, and lisp code.

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December 30, 2003


Kevin Rosenberg is working on an IRC logging bot using the cl-irc IRC client library. You can take a look at the resulting logs (including #lisp).

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iChat AV

John Perry Barlow likes the audio features of Apple's iChat.

I really like iChat. I know not everyone does (they probably need to turn off the balloons), but the interface seems very polished to me, in lots of little ways. The integration with Apple's Address Book application (if a buddy's screenname is listed under one of your contacts, that person's real name shows up in the buddy list along with the picture you've associated with them) and Mail (it displays a little indicator next to messages from people who are logged in and available via iChat) is nice. It even uses rendezvous to support chatting on a LAN without a central server, which is pretty handy in conference-type situations. Overall the UI is really pleasant to use.

And, like John Perry Barlow, I was impressed with how completely painless the audio chat feature was to use. There was no latency, and the audio quality was good.

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I'm spending the holidays in LA this year, and it's been great.

Christmas day in particular was a lot of fun. And weird. Definitely a little weird.

I woke up in a bed. Not too weird so far.

A girl was lying next to me.

Was that weird because there was only one? Was it weird because she was hot? No. Because one of the things that makes her hot is that she's the only person I know (besides me) that uses the word “preternaturally”? No. Was it weird at all? No, sorry, actually this whole paragraph is a weirdness dead end.

It was a little weird that the house we woke up in was a famous person's house up in the hills north of LA, which were covered in fog on Christmas morning, and that the beautiful house was filled with crazy, crazy things, including me and this girl, and that we had chinese food and then went to Barney's Beanery and ate Irish nachos and chicken fingers and had martinis and a little kid beat me and my friend Jeff at air hockey again and again, which I guess is probably a pretty fun thing for a kid to do on Christmas.

A fun thing for adults to do is see Bad Santa on Christmas day, which we did. After the movie there was a brief interlude of cake and pie at Mel's Diner, just enough food to fortify us against the kinds of activities we engaged in immediately afterward at Coach and Horses. Jeff claims the bartender wrote her number on his arm, and I guess I want to believe that happened because it's a pretty cool way for one of my most favorite (and slightly weird) Christmases ever to have ended.

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Lemonodor was down for a couple hours yesterday. Actually it was up, but for some reason nobody could get to it from the outside world. I don't know why.

Lemonodor was also down for much of last night and this morning, but that's just because I really needed the grounded plug adapter the power strip is plugged into. Sorry!

I do think occasionally about using a real hosting service, but I guess I'm just too cheap.

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December 29, 2003


Miles Egan's lython puts a lisp-like sexpr syntax on top of python:

(def foo (a)
     (print "one")
     (print "two")
     (* a 5))

It generates python bytecode, and even includes macros:

(defmacro tmac (a b)
  (* ,a ,b))

(print (tmac 1 2))
(print (tmac (+ 1 1) (+ 2 2)))
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December 24, 2003


It looks like Markus Fix has been running a lisp-oriented weblog, lispmeister, for a couple months.

See his posts on seeing a CADR lisp machine (wish the photos were larger), open source Open Genera and Greenblatt-style code.

Also, I spent a little time cleaning up the CLiki Weblog page.

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December 20, 2003

Back on the List

I didn't know until last week that had a disk crash and the openmcl mailing lists were wiped out. I wondered why things seemed really quiet on openmcl-devel.

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8th Grade Notebook

call me by john parot

My friend John is in an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

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December 17, 2003

Orbitz Raises $316 Million in IPO

A company with Lisp software at its heart raised $316 million today.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Online travel company Orbitz Inc. raised a higher-than-expected $316.7 million on Tuesday in one of the most anticipated initial public offerings of the year.

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Andreas Fuchs has ported ITERATE from the CMU AI repository to ANSI lisp: “In short, the ITERATE macro is an extensible, more flexible and more lispy replacement for LOOP.”

Andreas' port, is available under the MIT license at

Straightforward collecting:

(iterate (for (key . item) in alist)
	 (collect key into keys)
	 (collect item into items)
	 (finally (return (values keys items))))


(iterate (generate i from 0 to 6)
	 (for (key . value) in '((a . 2) (zero . 10) (one . 20) (d . 5)))
	 (when (>= value 10)
	   (collect (cons key (next i)))))

	  => ((ZERO . 0) (ONE . 1))

When other languages, with non-uniform syntaxes, add a feature like this the language developers add new keywords, users are forced to upgrade, and a flurry of articles are published on how to use the new facility. Sad.

Posted by jjwiseman at 09:48 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

December 16, 2003

Achieving States of Wonder in Los Angeles

stereo floral radiograph by albert g richards

My friend Joanne calls the Museum of Jurassic Technology a “really fucked up” museum.

Other people have called it (using less technical language) “deeply enigmatic”, which is appropriate for a museum whose purpose is to “reintegrate people into wonder.”

I know they reintegrated me into some really cool Christmas shopping. Which worked out well, as they could use a little extra money right now.

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December 15, 2003

...according to

Dan Barlow is working on ...according to, “an unofficial Getting Started guide to SBCL on Linux.”

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December 12, 2003

Leica Digilux 2

leica digilux 2

Santa: I want this camera: Leica Digilux 2. (Seen at things magazine, thanks gavin.)

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December 10, 2003


the red team's hummer: sandstorm

This article in Carnegie Mellon News gives a little bit of information on CMU's Red Team, their DARPA Grand Challenge team.

Other critical elements are premapping and preplanning strategies. Red Team technology leader Chris Urmson describes them as “enabling capabilities for competing in the race. We'll be using 1.5 terabytes of data to generate high-resolution maps of the desert,” he said. “Our planning software will process the maps to classify the terrain, reach the waypoints, avoid difficulties, determine our speeds and optimize our route.”

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December 09, 2003

Las Vegas


I went to Las Vegas this weekend.

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December 08, 2003

Interlisp-D: A Friendly Primer

Rainer Joswig has a copy of the 248 page “Interlisp-D: A Friendly Primer”. It covers a lot, and is loaded with screenshots. Check it out.

(Also take a look at the video of InterLisp-D in action, including use of the SEdit structure editor.)

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December 04, 2003

The Gutter of Geek Marketing

audiovox marketing sucks

Robin Hunicke writes a little bit about women in geek advertising.

I actually find this sort of use of sex and portrayal of women in geek culture (or at least in the relevant geek subcultures: gaming, for example) to be very irritating, and one of the culture's least attractive qualities. It doesn't help that it's so ridiculously crude. I think the typical low rider magazine with ubiquitous bikini girls may be more subtle.

At last year's CES I was proud that the company I work for, Evolution, did not hire booth babes and didn't try to put female employees up front. Which was in stark contrast to much of the rest of the convention floor. (And E3 is on a whole other level of retardedness. Even the U.S. Army brought in some special forces for photo ops.)

Of course this isn't all that different from marketing tactics in other domains. I think what gets to me is that (i) it's particularly crude, (ii) it's in an area that usually prides itself on quality of content rather than presentation and (iii) there is a stereotype of geeks being salivating pimply losers hoping that a pretty girl will talk to them and you'd think that they might stay away from marketing images that tend to reinforce that idea.

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Another Eclipse Plugin

Nicolai Czempin is working on his own version of an Eclipse plugin for lisp.

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Game Devices

Alexander Repenning has code for using gamepads, joysticks, 3D mice, and other game-type input devices from MCL:

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December 03, 2003

Robotics at Comdex

PC Magazine has an article on robotics at Comdex.

There are some bits about Evolution in there, including this praise of our vision libraries:

Evolution Robotics gave me a copy of its ER Vision demo. The utility demonstrates how the company's visual recognition environment works. I can see why Sony picked the product and why these other robotics companies are so hot to use it. I installed the demo, and within minutes I was using my portable Logitech camera to train it on my face, my children's faces, and the image of a sneaker.

And this little bit:

...there is currently no agreed-upon OS standard for robotics, and Evolution Robotics may, as a supplier of robot SDKs for multiple vendors, be in a particularly good position to develop the first. Still, I doubt the company will succeed in that. There's simply too much disparate robotics research going on around the world for anyone to accept and adopt one consistent code as the base for a complex robotic system.

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Direct to Video

brian posehn and bob odenkirk

Last night I went to an awards show and almost spilled my drink on Bob Odenkirk and Brian Posehn.

It was a complimentary drink, so that wouldn't have been a serious tragedy.

I have a hypothesis: smaller awards shows are more fun.

A small show means that the big winners (Ridley Scott, James Earl Jones) transmit their acceptance speeches over wormhole ansibles or something, but it also means that everything is more informal and it's really easy to score multiple delightful little cheesecakes and gift bags (3x$500 off my next chartered private jet--SCORE!). It means seeing closeup a lot of stars who are on the fringes for one reason or another; sorta “big” stars on a downward trajectory (Jenny McCarthy, Natasha Henstridge), little stars on an upward trajectory (the two guys I almost stumbled into), or the actress who played my favoritest, whiniest character in Alien (Veronica Cartwright, who played Lambert).

It also means choosing a card (king of clubs) for Ricky Jay, and seeing him do a Max Malini-style trick while sitting three feet away and being completely astonished.

How do I get away with this?

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December 02, 2003


James Andersen has a java-to-lisp translator, java2lisp.

java2lisp is a java parser and rudimentary translator. its ostensible purpose was to translate a java application to serve as the basis for further work in lisp. as such, while the parser purports to be complete for java 1.1 syntax, the translation is still a work-in-progress. the java syntax derives from an grammar published by sun for use with antlr.

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Living in zmacs

Rainer Joswig has a copy of “Basic Tools for the Lisp Programmer”, which is a guide to the facilities available in Genera for editing, compiling, inspecting and debugging code.

Posted by jjwiseman at 09:55 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

December 01, 2003

CLiki 0.4.1

Daniel Barlow announced the release of CLiki 0.4.1.

The code has been restructured somewhat, it works with the latest Araneida and SBCL, and has some bug fixes.

Posted by jjwiseman at 09:15 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack