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Tuesday 25 January 2011

I don't want to get onto a whole rant about how much technology has changed, and what I had to put up with as a youth while all you whippersnappers have everything and don't even realize it, but the fact of the matter is, I used to use dial-up terminals to write code.

No one has to do that any more, but if you are interested in experiencing what those times were like, or you are just into recreations of old technology, take a look at Cathode, a Mac terminal emulator that emulates all of the crappy aspects of real terminals that no one wants to deal with any more: curved screens, CRT fuzziness, power-line noise, vertical retrace burps, the whole works.

Cathode, emulating a curved-screen terminal

Looking at the VT100 skin immediately took me back in a Proustian recollection of coding days gone by.

Oh, and they have a terrific payment model: Cathode is free, but the annoying CRT glitches get increasingly bad over time unless you buy a license. Genius.

The Aporetic's living history

Tuesday 4 January 2011

Mike O'Malley is a history professor, and he's just started a blog called The Aporetic. The posts are more properly called essays, and they are fantastic explorations of history. I don't mean the kind of history you learned in school, sanitized tales about the march of nations. These are relevant complicated stories that touch on things you know, but dig deeper to expose the harder truths.

For example, Theodore Roosevelt was an individualist, but he was also contradictorily obsessed with race. The gold standard isn't such a great idea. Social Security was originally a jobs bill. Ben Franklin's tweets. There's no more information than there ever was.

Perhaps the most fascinating piece was his story about the racial recategorization of his great-great grandfather in the 1940's: Colored Me.

I look forward to more from Mike, he expertly shows how history should be done, how it connects us to the past, and how we can learn from it today.

Happy 2011

Saturday 1 January 2011

Happy 2011, everyone!

All five of us

All five of us

The past year brought a number of changes:

2011 will bring even more changes, and I'm looking forward to them!

BTW: The photos of us were taken by pro Jared Leeds for a nice piece about Susan that appeared in our alumni magazine.

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