Don’t Blame the Mice.

Your kitchen is alive with vermin! Who is to blame? The cruel forces of nature? Or, might it be you – the fellow who scattered delicious crumbs everywhere; spilled honey a thousand times without picking up a mop once; and kept a mountain of old newspapers around for rodents to chew into nest liner? [...]

Kalman Reti, the Last Symbolics Developer, Speaks of Lisp Machines.

Boston Lisp Meeting; June 28, 2012.
Update: Here’s a mirror of the film. The Google copy appears to have been censored.

Going Nowhere Really Fast, or How Computers Only Come in Two Speeds.

Is there a ballpoint pen in your pocket?  How fast is it?
What do you mean, you don’t know? You didn’t ask the salesman?
There is indeed a maximum speed at which the little ball in the pen can roll and still leave a satisfactory trace of ink upon the page.  Would you pay [...]

Symbolics Open Genera

Better screen shots from other people:
Ralf Moeller
Rainer Joswig

Secrets of the Symbolics Console: Part 2

Let’s take another look at the console. There are several boards inside, but this is the only one which deals in custom Symbolics protocols (as opposed to the widely-known intricacies of operating a black-and-white CRT.)

The rough annotations are my own. Click on the pictures for super-size (~10MB!) images.
Once again, the Phase Encoded Video decoder board:

A: [...]

Secrets of the Symbolics Console: Part 1

The machine does indeed power up and run:

But this is not enough.
The console is a museum piece. While a Lisp Machine circa 1986 might last for a reasonably long time between repairs, a CRT of the same vintage likely will not. Moreover, it is a pain to have around, even if it were indestructible. Wouldn’t [...]

“Lisp, Lisp, Lisp Machine, Lisp Machine is Fun!”

Shards of Lost Technology, and the Need for High-Level Architectures.

The modern high-level-language programmer thinks (if he is of the thinking kind) of low-level system architecture as a stubborn enemy, or, at best, a harsh and indifferent force of nature. Anyone who suggests that everyday desktop apps ought to be written directly in a CPU’s native instruction set is viewed as much the same [...]

Dreams of a Sane Computing Platform

The aim of Loper is to build a sane computing environment on top of the ubiquitous yet nauseatingly flawed X86-64 architecture.  I believe that it is possible to abstract away its most damning shortcomings, such as the lack of direct hardware support for capabilities, orthogonal persistence, type-checking, and garbage collection.  However, wouldn’t it be nice if we were not [...]

Posted in: Hardware, Hot Air, Idea, LispMachine, Memory by Stanislav 2 Comments

On Mistrusting “The Right People (TM).”

“Throughout my life I have known people who were born with silver spoons in their mouths. You know the ones: grew up in a strong community, went to good public or private schools, were able to attend a top undergraduate school like Harvard or Caltech, and then were admitted to the best graduate schools. Their [...]