29 December 2010

2,000 calculations per second

3-minute TV spot for Remington Rand's Univac (inserted into an episode of What's My Line?, if I'm not mistaken).

Why does the script for every live TV commercial from that era use "You see," as a transition?

24 December 2010

Plastic fantastic

Andy Carol has built an emulator of some elements of the Antikythera Mechanism out of LEGO bricks. A slick video by John Pavlus shows an exploded view of the contraption's operation. Carol's own page explains how to make a gear ratio of 19 when all you have are gears of 1, 3, and 5.

Seems like everyone is on the Antikythera Mechanism bandwagon. Soon, I expect to see an emulator based on a North Korean card section, filmed as part of an OK Go video.

15 December 2010

A candidate for the WTF HOF

At a previous job, one of our initial screens for a job applicant was to throw her or him a Code SOD from The Daily WTF (with the explanatory setup removed) and to ask to applicant to explain what the code did and how to improve it. Today's snippet would be perfect for that exercise. You don't even need to understand much PHP to see that the algorithm is crazy mean bull bad, and that there are so many ways to make the code better.

06 December 2010

Is more

Dmitry Fadeyev reports on several CSS preprocessors, including LESS. On my current assignment, we've had specialists to take care of everything but the most trivial CSS, so I don't need one of these tools right away. But I expect that a project will come up in the future where I'll have to do my stylesheet fiddling.

03 December 2010


Looks like there are some new goodies on display as part of the Computer History Museum's first "permanent" exhibition. Harry McCracken follows Steve Wozniak on a sneak preview tour.

(Link via The Code Project.)