Saturday, March 15th, 2008


http://www.acm.vt.edu/~clint/download/imagedump/police-brutality-thumbnail.jpgHandicapped woman (cerebral palsy) in wheelchair gets ticketed for not having a driver’s license, threatened w/future arrest. Utterly ridiculous. So if there are no sidewalks in town, would that imply that pedestrians walk in the street as well? So where are handicapped people supposed to go? Who else has to pay for a license just to walk/roll one mile to work? Would a bicyclist need a license?

http://www.acm.vt.edu/~clint/download/imagedump/apple2-and-disc-drive.jpgCOMPUTERS: “Eliza” programmer dead: Moment Of Silence: R.I.P. Joseph Weizenbaum.

The guy who made Eliza is dead? Maaaan. That sucks. I heard about this from Ryan’s blog. Before you could download on the internet… Before you could download from a BBS… before you could even connect to another machine… They would publish books full of printed programs. You would “download” them by driving them home, and then typing them in. As some computer science professors are fond of saying, “Never underestimate the bandwidth of a truckload of CDs driving down the highway.” Indeed, a few years ago there was a study, and it was found that Netflix alone transmits as much data as 25% of the entire internet. (Data has exploded since then, so this percentage is probably lower now.)

So — When I was 6-7, I spent pretty much a MONTH of what was possibly my summer vacation, spending hours each day typing up the Eliza program into my Apple2+ (48k memory). I wanted to chat, goddammit.
Then when I was done, for some reason I decided to type “NEW”, which cleared the program currently in memory. Then saved my work over the filename I’d been saving to. So, I saved an empty program over my one month’s typing.

Suffice to say, that was probably the first time technology broke my spirit (I think socially it was already broken by then).

I did download Eliza later, and remember it well.

And don’t forget Dr. Sbaitso, of course. I even once received a forwarded VirginiaTech PhoneMail (voice mail that you could forward) of Dr. Sbaitso reciting a dirty limerick (I have it on mp3, and it happened on Sep 25 1992 at 9:30PM). (more…)

http://www.acm.vt.edu/~clint/download/imagedump/beowulf-smallshot.jpgI’m not sure why everyone said they didn’t want to see this… possibly because it did incredibly well at the box office? I’m not sure why everyone said it was awful… The standard instant hatred of anything “animated”, especially adaptations?

Of course, Carolyn & I were blissfully unaware of the movie even existing, until we acquired it in high definition (720p). We also didn’t know it was CGI! They outdid the CGI on Shrek — and on any other movie we’ve ever seen. It took us a good 5-10 seconds of seeing human beings speak on the screen to even realize they weren’t actually human beings — beating the previous record of 1-2 seconds in Final Fantasy. (Shrek has a cartoony style which makes these things quite obvious.) By the way, check out Ryan’s review here.
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