28 August 2008

Progress report

Cyrus Farivar reports on the accomplishments, intended and otherwise, of the One Laptop Per Child project.

27 August 2008

Memory lane

Deirdre Blake reposts a status report from 1995 on the draft COBOL 97 standard, which introduced object-oriented features into the language.

22 August 2008


Not pretty, but gets the job done: I passed Microsoft certification exam 70-528.

19 August 2008

Top box

I'm in the process of migrating articles from an internal wiki to a new platform (I much prefer the one we're leaving, and I prefer MediaWiki to both, but it's not my call). Anyway, I stumbled over an entry that I wrote a few months ago about top box and bottom box statistics. Top box analysis, as far as I can tell, is fairly popular in the market research industry. It's often used with measures of customer satisfaction. It's a simple tool, but it hasn't received a lot of rigorous academic attention, so there isn't a lot of information available online. And, unfortunately, the only way to search for it is with "top box -office -set".

08 August 2008


Dan Wohlbruck has started a series of columns on his early days as a programmer in the 1960s, starting with training on the IBM 1401 system. The 1401 used a model 1402 80-column card reader-punch for input and a 1403 printer for output.
Once the card was read, where in memory are the 80-columns of data placed, you wonder? In positions 1 through 80, of course. The 1401 mapped the first 333 positions of memory for card input (1-80), card output (101-180), and a print line (201-332). The 333rd position of memory could be used for printer channel control. If you are scheming how to use those leftover positions from 81-100 and 181-200, you are ahead of the game.

05 August 2008

Exam prep: 6

Microsoft has reopened the window for its Second Shot program. This time around, there's no limit on the number of exams you can take.