More Universities Should Shut Down Their Computer Science Programs
IBNIZ (Ideally Bare Numeric Impression giZmo) is a virtual machine and a programming language that generates video and audio from very short strings of code.
The Valve Employee Handbook [PDF]. An oral history of computer gaming, with Sid Meier (Civillisation I - V, Pirates!, Railroad Tycoon) and Ralph Baer (Pong, the Simon platform), from Vice TV's Motherboard. Also: interviews with classic computer game programmers: Eugene Jarvis (Robotron: 2084, Defender), Jeff Minter (Gridrunner, Revenge Of The Mutant Camels, Gridrunner, Llamatron) and many more, together with the Giant List of Classic Game Programmers. (Previously, a decade ago).
In the main link in griphus' post this morning, there was this little aside: "In 1957...a physics student named Don Knuth built a program for the IBM 650 to help the 1958 Case Institute of Technology basketball team win the league championship." Yes, THAT Don Knuth. Here's a young Don with the team and the IBM 650 (capable of making 50,000 calculations a minute!), and here he is talking about it. [more inside]
Wired called them, digital graffiti and John Carmack spoke of them at QuakeCon 2011 but they remain little known. A recently released full-length documentary (download) gives a portrait of the creative digital subculture from 80s to the present day. [more inside]
The Hacker Shelf is nice crowd-sourced guide to (legally) free books on various computational and mathematical subjects. The topics page gives you an idea of the breadth of material available.
"Vitamin R goes straight to the head. Ruby will teach you to express your ideas through a computer. You will be writing stories for a machine. The language will become a tool for you to better connect your mind to the world." Slate compiles the mystery of _why. (Previously).
The Kaspersky analysts over at Securelist uncovered some interesting things deep in the bowels of the code of a trojan. The hooks of the trojan are written using standard, well known languages and interfaces (C++, DLLs and such), but the payload, upon analysis, seems to be written using some heretofore unknown programming language. Can you figure out what language the Duqu trojan is written in? (via Lambda the Ultimate Programming Blog)
"Tech’s latest boom has generated a new, more testosterone-fueled breed of coder. Sure, the job still requires enormous brainpower, but today’s engineers are drawn from diverse backgrounds, and many eschew the laboratory intellectualism that prevailed when semiconductors ruled Silicon Valley.... At some startups the pendulum has swung so far in the other direction that it’s given rise to a new 'title': brogrammer."
The Control Revolution And Its Discontents - "the long process of algorithmisation over the last 150 years has also, wherever possible, replaced implicit rules/contracts and principal-agent relationships with explicit processes and rules."
"Rosetta Code is a programming chrestomathy site." Each page describes a programming concept or task, then lists how it's implemented in dozens of programming languages. Useful for learning a new programming language, especially if you're already familiar with how to do it in another language.
Open Source for You, or "Your Day Job Sucks, Make Programming Fun Again". Stephen McDonald, creator of Mezzanine, shares his experience of "what it's like contributing to open source".
Within Minecraft’s blocky world, he has spent about 100 hours so far on a re-creation of Azeroth, the enormous setting of Blizzard’s massively multiplayer game, World of Warcraft (WoW). His name is Ramses. Here's an interview he did with Games Beat. You can see his forum posts here. And there are pictures. [more inside]
The complete story of the collaboration between Asher Vollmer and Greg Wohlwend on Puzzlejuice. [more inside]
Discover bytebeat. A new genre of algorithmic music has been developed by demoscene coder viznut, a.k.a. PwP. Sharing genes with chiptunes and facilitated by bitwise operators, bytebeats are decidedly non-traditional music created by short, programmatic formulas. Read about computationally minimal art, the aesthetic that spawned bytebeat. Try your hand at composing (some helpful examples). Read an explanation of how the formulas work. A few more pieces.
"Google turned off Code Search earlier this week." Google announced Code Search's impending departure last October (to unhappiness). Russ Cox, one of the original authors of Code Search and one of the head Go engineers (previously and previouslier) has published an explanation of how Code Search worked, and enough code that you can run similar queries on your own machine.
When Iñigo Quílez isn't hard at work at Pixar, he's active in the demoscene, creating 4KB programs that render incredible procedurally generated scenes. He also writes tutorials on both video and audio synthesis, but arguably the coolest section of his site features live-coding videos of him improvising both audio and video rendering code that will make any experienced programmer feel wholly inadequate.
This month, Python won "Best Programming Language" in the Linux Journal's Reader's Choice Awards 2011. If you're not convinced, Python Facts explains little simple things that make Python great. [more inside]
It's long been thought that there is a high incidence of autism (and autism-related disorders like Asperger's) in IT fields. Now one company is looking to turn that into sales. [more inside]
repl.it is an online environment for interactively exploring programming languages. Supported languages.
An oldie but a goodie: David Bennabaum on learning how to program and be a sys admin at his high school in his youth.
"Dana is playing Bill Clinton literally breastfeeding puppies—that was our introduction to America."
GQ: Teats Out: An Oral History of the Rise and Fall (and Rise) of "The Dana Carvey Show." "Steve Carell. Stephen Colbert. Louis C.K. Charlie Kaufman. Robert Smigel. Some of comedy's greatest minds got one of their biggest breaks on the short-lived but much-loved "The Dana Carvey Show." Fifteen years later, in this exclusive oral history, the players recount the brief but fertile life of a truly unusual show", all eight episodes of which are available on Hulu. (Previously) [more inside]
When I was watching "children's programming" in the USA circa 1970s I had Romper Room Captain Kangaroo Sesame Street Electric Company Zoom Great Space Coaster Kids Incorporated ... as well as Patches&Pockets (Previously) [more inside]
Why developing the acclaimed video game L.A. Noire was a seven year nightmare for its 100+ (uncredited) developers that resulted in an investigation by the International Game Developers Association. [more inside]
"I can tell you right now there is no I in A.I., and nor should there be." Veteran game programmer Mike Diskett (Syndicate, Magic Carpet, GTA IV) offers his thoughts on response mechanics, and how fuzzy logic can fail to account for the fog of war.
Hacker Typer - Now you can look like you're doing something important on your computer, like you've always wanted to! (hit hack and just start bashing at your keyboard)
Embarassing Bodies, your one-stop clinical revulsion shop! Is it painful? And does it ooze? Pus and blood? Yep, that sounds nasty. [warning: NASTY] [more inside]
The J programming language is kind of like a super calculator (it’s been described as executable mathematical notation). It was developed by Ken Iverson and Roger Hui and is a successor to APL (and there’s no need to buy a new keyboard). The language is free and open source, and works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. A series of books and articles on using J are also available to download. To whet your appetite, here’s an article on using J to find the eighth ten-digit prime number that appears among the digits of pi.
Emacs Artist Mode (screencast) allows you to use the mouse to draw squares, lines, and other shapes in plain text, or even paint. I'm not an emacs user, but I thought this was pretty cool. Even better, you can use an open source Java tool called ditaa to transform ascii text into a full-color graphic. Needless to say, users of other IDEs want this.
Forty years of incredible programming from Ontario's public broadcaster now viewable on the Web at The TVO Public Archive. Samples include: Imprint 1993: Leonard Cohen talks about his poetry and music. The Education of Mike McManus 1977: Timothy Leary talks about what freedoms the drug culture wrought and reflects on his own role in bringing about these changes. Talking Film 1980: The Cinema Of John Huston offers anecdotes about Orson Welles, Humphrey Bogart, and Truman Capote. Allan Gregg in Conversation 2007: Carol Off/Alvin Toffler, authors of Bitter Chocolate and Future Shock. [more inside]
Rediscovering WWII's female "computers". While researching a documentary in Philadelphia, filmmaker LeAnn Erickson came across two women with a story she'd never heard before: thousands of women with advanced mathematical skills employed as "computers", working day and night during WWII to supply soldiers in the field with precise ballistics algorithms. Some of those women also went on to program ENIAC, the first general-purpose computer (previously). Erickson turned their stories into Top Secret Rosies, a documentary released to theaters last year and to DVD this month. One of those programmers, Betty Jean Jennings Bartik, spoke at length to the Computing History Museum in 2008. [youtube, 1:07:19] [via]
Want to be a coder? Productivity-porn site Lifehacker has posted its 4.5-part "Learn to Code Nightschool Course." [more inside]
The 'GDC 25' Chronicles: A Quake Aftershock. Shortly after the release of Quake in 1996, former iD employee Michael Abrash gave a talk detailing many of the technical hurdles that had to be resolved in making the game. For its 25th anniversary, GDC has put up video clips of two segments (1 2) as well as audio of the full talk.
“There are two ways of constructing a software design. One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies. And the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies.” - C.A.R. Hoare, from the Top 50 Programming Quotes of All Time.
In today's example of kids smarter than you and I, Wired follows the exploits of two teens competing at the International Olympiad in Informatics.
Geometry, Surfaces, Curves, Polyhedra (many of which are beautiful) l Google Earth Fractals l fractals and chaos. [more inside]
Programmers Who Defined The Technology Industry: Where Are They Now?