You are Bad at Entropy.

Presenting a very old game, entitled: Man vs. Machine. Or, why Man is not a Particularly Good Source of Entropy.

Why Skin-Deep Correctness — Isn’t, and Foundations Matter.

Among the advertised features of Apple’s latest OS update, three in particular caught my attention: “auto-save”, which claims to wipe out the abomination of volatile-by-default documents; “versioning”, which claims to introduce document version-control into the Mac’s normal operations; and “resume”, which promises to re-load a user’s work-state whenever an application is re-started.
On the surface, these [...]

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 [...]

The Libertarian Power Grid of the 1890s New York City

The image on the left is the original 1890s NYC grid of power and telegraph cables, built by a hodgepodge of competing wire-running firms. A blizzard blew all of it down, causing chaos. After this, the city decreed that all cables are to be buried and passed regulations governing how it is to be done. [...]

Posted in: Hot Air, Memory, SoftwareSucks by Stanislav 19 Comments

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

The Linked List and Modern Architectures

The linked list is a less-than-welcome guest on modern machine architectures, for reasons which are well-known.
I am trying to determine if the difference between current cache and main memory speeds (as well as other concerns) have made CDR coding attractive again. It has traditionally been considered a no-no on any machine lacking hardware-assisted tagging. I [...]

Posted in: Lisp, LoperOS, Memory, SoftwareArchaeology by Stanislav 2 Comments