Dukedom for Sale.

Urbit “dukedom” [1] no. 24, “DYS”, belonging to yours truly, is hereby for sale!
Sold! Please enjoy your purchase, Mr. Gogulski!
Price: 4.5 BTC, payable to 15pWcAqagHf2EeFjapjWt4EhYWgL5fne7s. Sale ends on Dec. 31.
Anyone seriously interested should contact Curtis Yarvin, the author of Urbit, to broker the sale.
Alternatively: I’ve written a PGP-signed declaration of the sale. [2] You can simply send [...]

A Letter to Idiot Spammers.

Dear Cretins,
You will not succeed in guessing the password for this site. Kindly make better use of your botnet (e.g. mine Bitcoin) and go away.
Yours,
-Stanislav

Posted in: NonLoper, SoftwareSucks by Stanislav 5 Comments

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? [...]

Bitcoin, or How to Hammer in Nails with a Microscope.

“The enlightened, disciplined mind is the holiest of holies, a wonder among wonders. Upon the Earth – a grain of sand in the Universe, man is on the order of one-billionth of the smallest magnitude… And yet this particle in your mind’s eye, that lives but for sixty or so trips of [...]

Engelbart’s Violin

Computing pioneer Alan Kay tells us that a computer is “an instrument whose music is ideas.” This seems like a beautiful metaphor, until you realize that we have somehow ended up in a world where the profession of musician is nearly unknown.  To continue with this analogy, let’s imagine that you were a [...]

Programmer’s Editors, Illustrated.

Edit: The moral of the story, for those who didn’t get it, is that a serious programming environment ought to be an intimately-personalized affair, like eyeglasses or a hearing aid.  And that existing solutions fall laughably short of this goal.  Emacs, the supposed counter-example, is conceptually heavy and unbearably complex for everyday “civilian” use – [...]

Posted in: Hot Air, Photo, SoftwareSucks by Stanislav 11 Comments

Why Hypercard Had to Die

Update: Click here if you would like to try HyperCard yourself.
I was a Hypercard child – though our friendship was brief.
Our seventh-grade class was led into a room full of brand-new Macintosh Performas.  The day’s lesson was a crash course in the use of an uncomplicated yet marvelous program. With it, one [...]

Roman Lisp

You’ve met the Steam Lisp.  Now meet vitrium flexile, the Roman Lisp:

“… there was an artificer once who made a glass goblet that would not break. So he was admitted to Caesar’s presence to offer him his invention; then, on receiving the cup back from Caesar’s hands, he dashed it down on [...]

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 [...]

Of Lisp Macros and Washing Machines

Vladimir Sedach explains the purpose of the Lisp macro and comments on some of the reasons for its absence from “modern” programming systems:
“I used to like arguing over the Internet about this subject. There are many good technical and management/organizational arguments you can make for and against macros. What I’ve come to [...]