August 30, 2006

New Mailing Lists

john stapp, the fastest man on earth (and one of the craziest)

I get regular emails about HMPassphrase and occasionally someone has a question about Montezuma, so in order to better serve the hive mind and hopefully cut down on the number of nearly identical replies I send out I've created two google groups: HMPassphrase and montezuma-dev.

Posted by jjwiseman at 02:29 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 28, 2006

McClouds Sent Off

sky (and paul) at the mcclouds' sendoff

Last night was the last time we might see the McClouds in person for a while, but it will be easier than ever to follow the ins and outs of their daily lives.

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August 24, 2006

Lore on Cheap, Chintzy Robots

QTVR panorama of my kitchen in Chicago
playing with DoubleTake: my old kitchen.

From Lore Sjöberg: “The Age of Cheap, Plastic Robots” and “Cheap, Chintzy Robots: Part Two”.

On his girlfriend playing with a Furby:

I didn't have to worry, though, because after about 10 minutes of asking how it was, playing games and telling it she loved it, she told me, "I feel like I have postpartum depression and I'm trying to bond with a baby I don't care about." That's kind of a Turing test, right? Can you tell the AI from an unwanted infant?

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August 23, 2006

Robot Boat

Protector USV

From robot gossip, the Protector Unmanned Surface Vehicle:

The Protector is armed with with a Raphael stabilized mini-Typhoon weapon system and a variety of stabilized cameras, radar and navigation gear. It is described as 'highly autonomous' and can be controlled remotely from land-based or marine stations.

For some reason I think of robot boats as being cuter than most other kinds of robots. It would help if the machine gun were replaced by a water cannon... or a fudge cannon. “Peanut butter squad, attack! Cut the chatter, chocolate walnut five.”

Posted by jjwiseman at 12:10 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 22, 2006

John Porcellino in Utne

diary of a mosquito abatement man

John Porcellino had a little piece recently in Utne magazine about living in my hometown, DeKalb [via my friend Jill]. From “Bless This Mess: Fond recollections of a low-rent existence”:

Sometimes after work we'd go down to the Twin Tavern and drink beer, order onion rings, and wait for our sausage sandwiches. Men in flannel jackets and baseball caps sat at the darkened counter, a silent TV set flickering in the corner, unwatched. This was like a dream come true. We'd laugh and eat and step outside into the nighttime air, say so long with our bellies full of beer and good food, the moonlight shining bright through cold backlit white clouds.

The Twin Tavern had pinwheels in the urinals that spun when you peed on them. It just didn't get better than that.

His DeKalb era overlapped with my DeKalb era, and many of the places and people he mentions are familiar. So is the peaceful, low-rent existence that I eventually outgrew.

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August 16, 2006

Wet Hot Lisp Summer

Find within a condensed version of this summer's comp.lang.lisp, for your convenience.

The newsgroups comp.lang.lisp.franz and comp.lang.lisp.x are finally being removed, after almost 20 years.

Symbolics 3620

A Symbolics 3620 was put up for sale, as well as a MacIvory I & III with a Quadra 950.

Frédéric Jolliton posted a little implementation of Python-like generators based on the CPS transformer from Arnesi:

Some examples using the code below:

(defgenerator some-numbers ()
  (loop for i from 1 upto 3 do (yield i))
  (print 'some-message)
  (loop for i from 8 upto 9 do (yield i)))

Jeff Shrager posted links to his ILC 2005 paper, “KnowOS: The (Re)Birth of the Knowledge Operating System” along with slides and audio from his talk.

Jeff also posted a link to what he called the “world's best lisp job”, which looks to be designing underwater robots for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

rainer in bangalore

Rainer Joswig spoke at the Bangalore Lisp Users' Group. He appeared to have been a hit.

lisp machine font has recreated the Lisp Machine font.

Marc Battyani, Pascal Costanza, Arthur Lemmens and Edi Weitz announced the creation of the Common Lisp Document Respository (CDR):


The Common Lisp Document Repository is a repository of documents that are of interest to the Common Lisp community. The most important property of a CDR document is that it will never change: if you refer to it, you can be sure that your reference will always refer to exactly the same document.


There have been a number of attempts to establish a standardization process for Common Lisp after it has been officially published as an ANSI standard. The ANSI standardization was very costly and very time consuming (according to it took nearly 10 years and at least $400K).

The goal of the Common Lisp Document Repository is to be more light-weight and more efficient. We focus on one aspect of standardization: the ability to refer to a specification document in an unambiguous way.

I don't get it either, but maybe this is just the first step in their plan.

Posted by jjwiseman at 03:34 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Doing The Best With What You Have

nocturnal industry

A disk filled up on the machine running lemonodor a couple days ago. This led to the corruption of the comment database, which freaked Movable Type out more than one might predict. If you tried to post a comment you got at best an error message, and at worst actually broke the post you were trying to comment on so that it only displayed as a blank page.

We believe the emergency is now over, and a backup comment database has been called to duty—which may mean that we lost some comments made in the past couple days. I apologize.

Posted by jjwiseman at 01:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 12, 2006

HTML Lisp Machine Manual

they're a little squeezed on airport space on st. maartens island

Via anarchaia, an HTML/hypertext edition of the 6th edition of the Lisp Machine Manual. “To read this manual, you need to use a browser that is capable of performing XSL transformations (Firefox, Internet Explorer and others).”

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August 10, 2006

Chickens and Waffles

neck's birthday at roscoe's neck's birthday at roscoe's

Last night was neck's chicken and waffle birthday.

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August 08, 2006

Street Trash of the Future (Now)

Well, I think it's weird that the other day I was getting into my car when I saw a postcard lying on the ground that looked at first like it was advertising some kind of Hollywood club (The Hangar!) or band but was actually about a new UAV.

1at uav postcard

1at uav postcard

If it wasn't in Michigan, maybe I could have gone to the opening.

Posted by jjwiseman at 04:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 07, 2006

A Closer Look At Characters

1942 map of Los Angeles

Pascal Bourguignon's brief introduction to text coding systems is on CLiki, with notes on support by various Lisp implementations.

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August 04, 2006

Don't Forget Giant Scorpions and Jan-Michael Vincent

Dave Walker: “when the world ends, the only things left will be cockroaches, rats, Keith Richards, and mangled text that has been escaped one-too-many or one-too-few times.”

(It's getting close to two years now since I posted about CLiki's HTML-handling bug.)

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August 02, 2006

Happy Birthday, Will


I think Will looks awesome at 50.

Posted by jjwiseman at 07:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Corman Lisp Update

I was a little worried when I was checking sidebar links the other day and I saw that the Corman Lisp Yahoo group hadn't had any activity since 2005. It always feels like some of the smaller Lisp companies barely scrape by and could disappear at any time. But then I figured out that Corman started their own web-based forum on their own website, and they seem to be in good shape:

Our business is going well--our formal incorporation completed today. We are now Corman Technologies Inc.

Our primary business these days is medical software contracts, and we have some excellent new opportunities there. We leverage our Lisp technology where we can, and spread the word about Lisp. The hospital product I developed for Eclipsys is enjoying widespread use and runs a Lisp engine (that I wrote) internally. While the software tools market is very difficult to make money in (with so many free tools out there, and loss-leader sponsorship by companies like Sun, Microsoft and IBM), the medical market is huge and growing. Hence our priorities.

But our Lisp work is what I will always be most proud of and we will continue to develop Corman Lisp and to support it as a key product and company differentiator. People in the medical informatics area are mostly familiar with Lisp and I generally find they are impressed by our work in this area.

Posted by jjwiseman at 07:09 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 01, 2006

Simple-streams Motivations

downtown LA

Paul Graham was responsible for ACL's simple-streams, according to Duane Rettig of Franz:

> He stated that he tried (in vain) to get a commercial version (up 
> front for $0 with pay off on the backend), but was unable to cut such 
> a deal at the time and was thus (more or less) forced into using CLisp 
> (possibly because it was faster at startup and such than CMUCL, and 
> starting up fresh copies for each access was part of the MO of the 
> architecture).  He definitely tried to get Franz to cut a deal, but 
> could not get it done.  Franz (in the persons of those who made such 
> decisions), has subsequently said that was a (big) mistake.  Of 
> course, that is in hindsight, but I believe it has fed into their 
> business behavior in moving forward. 

The problem was not a business issue - we were more than willing to 
deal- it was a technical issue; we were one of the earliest 
implementors of Gray streams, and PG's requirements were for something 
much lighter weight.  So he went with Clisp, which had a more 
simplistic stream implementation.  It was that failure on our part 
which sent us back to the drawing board to reinvent our streams 
implementaiton, which in turn resulted in Simple-Streams.  Ironically, 
almost everybody has Gray streams now ... 
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babes with guns

I trimmed away a bunch of the links from the lemon-colored sidebar. Dead blogs, dead mailing lists and other detritus have been removed. Fred Pyen, I miss metascene most of all. Email me.

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Belgian UAV Crashes And Burns

Two weeks after a Belgian UAV unit arrived in the Congo, one of their vehicles crashed and injured five people [via Vladimir Sedach]:

A drone flying over Kinshasa as part of EU efforts to keep Congo's historic elections safe has crashed, setting a house on fire and injuring five people, European military sources said.

It was a setback for the European Union military force, EUFOR, that was deployed in the central African state with great fanfare to protect civilians during Sunday's vote.

You can understand the FAA's concern.

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