Mechanics of FLUXBABBITT.

The public discovery of FLUXBABBITT, a modestly-clever American spy gadget – that may or may not have been “fired in anger” yet – has provoked the usual flood of media garbage (“JTAG is a Chinese back door! Threat or menace?”) What follows is some basic investigation regarding the plausible workings of this device, based only [...]


By now, I imagine everyone with the slightest inkling of an interest in electronics has seen this scandalous tidbit:

To anyone who has received this generous gift from his Government, I offer:
4 Bitcoin for either of the above, in working condition. 1 Bitcoin for a dead or untestable unit.
Serious inquiries only! Please attach two high-res photographs [...]

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.

A Country of Which Nothing is Known but the Name.

If you came here via a search engine, you were probably looking for Pierre Cartier’s wonderful mini-biography of the mathematician Alexander Grothendieck – from which I shamelessly stole the title. Please go straight there. Otherwise…

“And so no one, except for two people, enters the top floor of the Aedificium. …”
The abbot smiled. “No one should. [...]

RIP Douglas Engelbart.

Douglas Engelbart – perhaps the last of the great American inventors – is dead. The newspapers are keen to remind everyone that Engelbart invented the computer mouse, but they are largely silent on the matter of his having personally created almost every one of the concepts we think of as part of the standard [...]

MicroWriter Redux.

I have decided to publish some of my “archaeological” work from last year on Cy Endfield’s MicroWriter.  The original objective was to produce a cycle-accurate emulator.  I do not currently have the free time to complete this project, so I will post my results here for anyone who might care to pick up the torch. [...]

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 [...]

The Five Types of Technological Standard

Technological standards may be usefully divided into five basic types:

4 – Standards arrived at by consensus.
Examples: Common Lisp.
3 – Standards imposed by dictatorial fiat.
Examples: Russian railroad gauge.
2 – Standards imposed through sudden, overwhelming, and indisputable technological supremacy over the previous state of the art.
Examples: Arabic numerals.  Sildenafil.
1 – Standards which inescapably [...]

Tim Daly on Symbolics Lisp Machines

Tim Daly on Symbolics and the elimination of the Compile-Pray-Debug Cycle:

“The Symbolics machine (its kittens all the way down…) gave me the insight that one of the most important parts of programming is the time it takes to “close the loop”. Start from the point of failure, find the failure in source code, fix the [...]

Posted in: Lisp, NonLoper, SoftwareArchaeology, Symbolics by Stanislav 1 Comment

Symbolics Open Genera

Better screen shots from other people:
Ralf Moeller
Rainer Joswig