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.
posted by philipy
on Mar 15, 2012 -
the £22 ($35) computer
was launched today and sold out immediately
. It is intended to encourage children to develop a better understanding of computers and get involved in programming. The design is based on a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC with no keyboard or other frills; it's meant to run Linux.
posted by Segundus
on Feb 29, 2012 -
On December 4, 2005, the computer chess community was astonished by the initial release of a free, downloadable chess program named Rybka 1.0 Beta, which within days took a sizable lead on all then-existing chess program rankings, surpassing all commercial programs, including renowned engines Shredder, HIARCS, Fritz and Junior.
In early 2011 sixteen chess programmers, many of whose programs were direct competitors of Rybka, signed a letter wherein they asserted that Rajlich copied programming code from another engine, Fruit, authored by Fabien Letouzey and released to the public in June 2005, about six months before Rybka 1.0 Beta.
A four part analysis of the
International Computer Games Association decision. (full paper in pdf
) [more inside]
posted by rider
on Jan 6, 2012 -
Those of us who enjoy old-school chemical photography often need to calculate f-stop and exposure times. Of course you can use a ginormous table
but there exists a solution from a more elegant age in which the sky can be purest blue above a very narrow old street. Marvel at Kaufmann's Posographe
, a wonder of the analog age.
posted by LastOfHisKind
on Dec 30, 2011 -
are simple electrical components that turn on an electromagnet with a small current to trigger a switch for a circuit usually capable of handling a larger current. For example, a relay can be used by a 5 volt DC microcontroller to turn on a 120 volt AC heating element in a rice cooker.
Since relays can be used for logic
, they can also be the primary components of gloriously clicky computers
for details on the last one). [more inside]
posted by mccarty.tim
on Nov 5, 2011 -
Tabletop: Analog Game Design
- A commons licenced book containing a series of essays about digital and non-digital games from some esteemed boardgame veterans: "Much has been written about the videogame revolution, [...] In a scant thirty some-odd years,
we’ve grown from nothing to one of the world’s largest entertainment
forms, grossing tens of billions annually [...] Works that discuss the evolution of the game industry from an historical perspective generally talk about the connection between the pre-digital
arcade and the earliest digital games; I’ve even heard some claim
that “without the arcade, videogames would not exist.” This is, of course, bosh..." [more inside]
posted by Cogentesque
on Aug 24, 2011 -
is proud to announce a product you
may have a personal interest in. It's a tool that could soon be on your desk, in your home or in your child's schoolroom. It can make a surprising difference in the way you work, learn or otherwise approach the complexities (and some of the the simple pleasures) of living." [more inside]
posted by Ahab
on Aug 12, 2011 -
is a system for installing and keeping updated over 300 free programs (both open and closed source) on a Windows machine. All of the programs are portable meaning that they can run directly off a USB key without installing anything additional on the computer (this is very useful if you’re working on a computer where you don’t have administrative rights). The programs are organized into the following categories: audio, CD/DVD, education, file management, games, graphics, internet, networking, office, security, system utilities, and video. One great feature Liberkey has is the ability to temporarily change file associations
. Here is the full list of programs
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear
on Jun 4, 2011 -
Over the past 30 years, designer, writer and Principal Researcher for Microsoft Research Bill Buxton
has collected input and interactive devices whose designs he found "interesting, useful or important. In the process, he has assembled a good collection of the history of pen computing, pointing devices, touch technologies, as well as an illustration of the nature of how new technologies emerge." This week, he unveiled his collection
at the Computer-Human Interaction conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. An extensive gallery has been posted online with images and notes at The Buxton Collection
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on May 11, 2011 -
Many people have described the popular freeform game Minecraft as "kind of like Lego
", so a few enterprising stop-motion animators have decided to jump on that idea.
posted by The Whelk
on Mar 26, 2011 -
Rock-Paper-Scissors: You vs. the Computer
. "Computers mimic human reasoning by building on simple rules and statistical averages. Test your strategy against the computer in this rock-paper-scissors game illustrating basic artificial intelligence. Choose from two different modes: novice, where the computer learns to play from scratch, and veteran, where the computer pits over 200,000 rounds of previous experience against you."
posted by bwg
on Mar 6, 2011 -
Chasing Pirates: Inside Microsoft’s War Room
- From the special thread that Chinese factories counterfeit in mile-long spools that adorns software authenticity stickers, to near-perfect bootleg discs leaving microscopic evidence of their factory origins, to Mexican and Russian gangsters who are dealt with very carefully, the NYT covers Microsoft's multi-pronged, international war on piracy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Nov 7, 2010 -
Russia Uses Microsoft to Suppress Dissent
- Adding to its long-running series
on corruption and abuse in post-Communist Russia, the New York Times has reported on Russian authorities using the pretext of software piracy to seize computers from journalists and political dissidents critical of current policies. In a surprising twist, lawyers representing Microsoft have been found working with Russian police, despite reporters and NGOs providing evidence of legitimate software purchases. An official response
to the NYT piece suggests impostors claim to represent Microsoft in Russia, and notes the company's offer of free software licenses to these and similar groups.
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Sep 12, 2010 -