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    I find this unsettling. The world is tipping sideways. Who are you people? ;-)

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      Truly a one-of-a-kind institution. I am gutted that they are closed. In addition to the fantastic staff, exhibits, preservation work, and events, they offered off-site access to several restored machines including a PDP-11, DECSYSTEM-20, Western Electric 3B2, several VAXen, and a system running TOPS-20.

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        So by now everyone here knows I was/am a big Amiga guy.

        E was my favorite language on the Amiga by far. It started out as limited shareware (I can’t remember what the limitation was…a maximum number of lines compiled or something?). I remember how excited I was when the full version of E was released on some Amiga magazine’s coverdisk (Amiga Format IIRC).

        (I was almost certainly the only Amiga user in small-town east Texas in 1992. Those coverdisks were a lifeline.)

        E was my primary language on the Amiga for a while. I wrote a utility that would periodically flush unused modules from the Amiga’s memory and delete unlocked files on the RAM disk to save on memory. I wrote PEEK and POKE commands to do memory manipulation/dumping from the shell (the OS had no memory protection). I wrote a little mail program that read…I cannot for the life of me remember what it was called. The bundled mail format used by BBS’s back then. I wrote a little menu-driven choose-your-path text adventure (“The Rift”, which had all of the terrible writing that could be produced by an angsty teenager. It was pretty short but its plot was a fairly blatant ripoff of Dreamweb).

        E had a really nice system called EasyGUI (I think EasyGUI was also written by Wouter but I don’t remember). EasyGUI was a breath of fresh air on GUI programming. It was what passed for declarative back then (and it still pretty good today, IMHO). You used E’s fist-class list types to layout the GUI in nested lists-of-lists; the first element of each list declared the widget type and the remaining elements were arguments. It did automatic layout and handled resizing and font size differences (a real problem on the Amiga). If you had ever written a GUI in raw Intuition (or with GadTools, which was easier but extremely limited), EasyGUI was a revelation. EasyGUI got you 80% of the way to MUI with 10% of the code.

        E deserves a renaissance, a compiler for modern systems or something.

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          The bundled mail format used by BBS’s back then

          QWK packets?

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            YES! Thank you!

            Also…the fact that a user named “xmodem” gave that answer made my day. :)

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              that brings back so many memories…

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            Man, I’ve spent so much time writing in E. I still sometimes come across (and cringe at the quality) some old source codes of my small tools. All praise EasyGUI, I remember writing terrible “layouting” code in Intiution that always came out badly in different resolutions/fonts sizes. I was too stupid to grasp MUI, so EasyGUI was it for me.

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              You should be writing E in tine. :)

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                I remember when I discovered c:ed and wanted to wrangle it. It scared me from line editors for life. ;)

                Cygnus and later GoldEd were “good enough”. I even tried using Vim with GeekGadgets but the experience was meh.

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              Do you have any more links or information about EasyGUI? I’m not able to find anything except a Python project, which I assume is entirely unrelated.

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              …I want to do this now. I have so much unused coax in my house and Powerline works but not as well as an 867 Mbps 802.11ac single antenna link could work?

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                I’ve done a few point-to-point MoCA using adapters from GoCoax (2.5Gbps, newer) and Actiontec (1Gbps). The GoCoax are the only Moca 2.5 adapters I’ve found for retail sale.

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                  Wow, those aren’t cheap (the actiontec is $80/ea). How reliable are they at hitting the advertised speeds?

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                    I looked through my notebook and found the MAC’s and other info but not my iperf speed tests. I have them deployed around the house and when I wired them up (fresh runs of RG-6 with high quality connectors) I got the expected speeds. The GoCoax units are faster and step down to talk with the Actiontec’s that I already had from a previous project.

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                      Compared to running new cat5 wiring, it’s probably a great deal. I just did this recently, so I can’t comment on long-term reliability… also YMMV depending on the complexity and quality of your coax cabling… but for me, it’s got way better throughput and latency than WiFi. It works just like gigabit ethernet, and frees up the wireless net for mobile uses. I’m very happy with MoCA so far.

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                        I used MoCA in a prior house (middle floor of a 3 floor condo, so no easy way to run cat5) and got the advertised speeds and it was rock solid for YEARS.

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                      You might also look into MoCA adapters for converting coax to Ethernet, e.g. https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-set-up-a-coax-MoCA-network/

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                      If your work involves reading papers or books and/or collecting PDFs, I suggest trying out Zotero. People usually adopt it as a citation manager (it will automagically generate bibliography entries for you) but it includes tagging, folders, notes, and a range of other useful features for organizing ideas.

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                        Great article! I was reminded of the “1-Bit Symphony” by Tristan Perich (2009). The physical version of the piece is a circuit built into a standard, clear plastic CD jewel case. Summary of the works with photos here: https://marijebaalman.eu/dafx/pages/1bitMusic.html

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                          Yes! I was given “1-Bit Symphony” as a gift about 10 years ago and blown away. I honestly was so mesmerized by the idea that polyphony could be achieved on a single pin. I’ve gone down a bit of a rabbit hole the last week after reading this article and have found that there is quite a bit more resources on this topic since the last time I attempted to look into it.

                          Dr. Blake Troise, (aka PROTODOME), the author of the the article, has an album on a chip as well. You can actually view the source code for the album here

                          Anyway, I’m glad you found some joy in the article as well :).

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                            If you want to fiddle with it, get the R7800 and put OpenWRT on it.

                            If you want to install something quickly and move on, a wifi extender (with ethernet to the RT-N66U) sounds like it’d be very cheap and low-effort. Can’t speak to specific models but good reviews appear to start around the €30 point.

                            Avoid PoE if you can (it generates quite a bit of RF noise).

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                              The uplink in my home is on the middle floor of a multi-unit building. I use PoE to connect an AP and a printer in a room on the opposite side of the building, one floor up. It’s not especially fast but it has solved the problem of providing continuous wireless access. I haven’t had trouble with RF in either Wi-Fi or 2m amateur radio bands but the building is relatively new (built in 2011). Maybe older wiring is leakier? I don’t recommend PoE but if you’re on a tight budget, the TP-LINK gear was cheap and reliable.

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                              @hwayne,

                              Seems like there are some candidates for your list.

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                                There are stubs of some really interesting histories here!

                                Originators of nearly half the list–pascal, struct, parts, eqn–were women, well beyond women’s demographic share of computer science.

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                                Out of control or supply/demand? If no one’s making them anymore, $100 for a 30 yr old piece of electronics in good working condition seems totally plausible.

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                                  Just clickbaity article.

                                  Ipod classics had a much higher price spike for less meaningful reasons.

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                                    That’s $100 “as-is” or broken.

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                                      It still doesn’t strike me as a completely bonkers price for not just classic but iconic computing gear, even if it needs some repair.

                                      Once the domain of basement dwellers, retro computing and retro gaming really have gone mainstream over the last decade. It wasn’t all that long ago, you could pick up a dusty but working Apple II or classic Mac at a garage sale for $5 or free as long as you agreed to also take an armful of toddler clothes on your way out. Now, most of the surviving ones in are collections and you’re not going to get working system with all of the peripherals for under the cost of a brand-new computer.

                                      (I have direct experience with the retro gaming craze after having recently sold off my SNES games that I bought new when I was a teen. I never dreamed several of those games would be worth hundreds of bucks a piece on Ebay!)

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                                      Agreed. In my view, the price of C64 equipment reflects the availability of working machines and the community of buyers. Compare recent C64 auctions with recent Apple2 auctions on eBay. I find that the prices of Apple products sold in North America are consistently higher than any other “retro” brand.

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                                        I feel like retro gaming and retro computing are now their own style. Bought purely for the aesthetics of the period and false nostalgia. Like steampunk aficionados buying up old electronic analog meters and brass plumbing fixtures for several times the actual value on eBay, they don’t care if it actually works as long as it looks cool.

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                                          Tbf there are still people buying them who just want to hack on them, without the nostalgia filter, such as me. (I’m much younger than the C64, so I can’t exactly be doing it for nostalgia reasons.)

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                                            I am sure that this is true for some folks but there are many, many people who are looking for working gear. Also, I see nothing wrong with buying a broken computer because you enjoy the aesthetics. It’s better than seeing these materials tossed in the trash.

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                                        Anyone know the “Snoopy calendar” reference?

                                        0044 Do you have a Snoopy calendar?

                                        0045 … Is it out-of-date?

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                                          Hey! Here’s everything I know about it – unfortunately, it’s not 100% revealing, otherwise I’d have made a pull request with this two years ago, but at least it’s something:

                                          Unfortunately what I don’t know is the source of joke in the Real Programmers text, otherwise I’d have made a pull request for this two years ago or so. I suspect that, at one point, it was a popular demo for IBM computers, or at least an usual “toy”. The Real Programmers text is sympathetic towards IBM systems and old-time IBM programmers, and the program’s age and presumably original language (FORTRAN IV) fit.

                                          FWIW, the calendar is actually pretty cute. A long time ago, when I was very young and had all the walls to myself, I actually had one of those in my room.

                                          A bazillion thanks to @varjag for the invite so that I can post this!

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                                            Thank you for this deep dive! Very tempted to update this for a little mini A4 calendar. :-)

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                                            This is all new to me.

                                            [1] https://bigironnewb.blogspot.com/2008/01/real-programmers-dont-eat-quiche.html

                                            [2] http://www.pbm.com/%7Elindahl/real.programmers.html

                                            The typical Real Programmer lives in front of a computer terminal. Surrounding this terminal are:

                                            … Taped to the wall is a line-printer Snoopy calendar for the year 1969.

                                            I think Snoopy was presumably one of the first ASCII artworks.

                                            EDIT: see also Fortran source [3] https://gunkies.org/wiki/Snoopy_Calendar

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                                              There’s a plausible reference in this 1982 essay, which is more than twice as old to us than the 1969 Snoopy calendar was to them. O_o

                                              [edit: forgot the link] http://web.mit.edu/humor/Computers/real.programmers

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                                              I love these self-mining inbox experiments. One of my favorites demonstrates how much email passes through gmail, despite best efforts to avoid it: https://mako.cc/copyrighteous/google-has-most-of-my-email-because-it-has-all-of-yours

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                                                corporate gizmos like that live forever…

                                                VBA is the oil that keep many company’s gears turning. It can’t die.

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                                                  It would be interesting to compare the life path of COBOL and VBA.

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                                                  I have always picked the “technically successful commercial failure” route, even as a child. The only exception was the Commodore 64.

                                                  I was big into the Amiga, BeOS, webOS (Palm)….and the Atari Lynx.

                                                  In the case of the Amiga, it was serendipity: we didn’t have a lot of money and my father found an old Amiga 1000 at an estate sale that was partially melted from a house fire and had a dodgy power supply and was thus being sold for only a few dollars.

                                                  For the Lynx, it was actually a really dark time in my life, and I would sit and dream about the Lynx, sitting at the gas station reading gaming magazines. I was 11 years old and we were basically homeless…but then my father was called up to active duty for the first Gulf War and that Christmas even though we didn’t have a home (I was living in a small motel room where my mom worked) I got a Lynx thanks to active duty pay. That game console was literally my lifeline for sanity.

                                                  (TMI I know, but when I saw the headline “a love letter to the Atari Lynx” I wanted to point out that I truly loved the Lynx.)

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                                                    Wow, I was with you early on having loved the Amiga, Palm and Lynx but that second half… Thanks for sharing that!

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                                                      Thanks for posting that memory. It’s a nice reminder that these little devices and programs and magazines (and now blog posts, podcasts, videos) circulate in unpredictable ways. I am sure that the folks who worked on the Lynx could not have imagined what it would mean to you to own one.

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                                                        Amiga should have taken over the world. It was a beautiful machine. I had a 500, 1200 and 2000 at various points.

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                                                        I briefly owned a Nokia N950 Developer phone and it was fantastic. All of the great details mentioned in the post plus a sliding QWERTY keyboard.

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                                                          I wish there was more to this story. This blog post is based on a report titled “2020 State of Software Engineers” published by the data science team at Hired. The report is based on analysis of hiring on their platform as well as a survey of 1,600 users of their platform. Without seeing either the underlying data or the questionnaire, it’s hard to interpret these results. I want to know more about the pre existing stereotype. Is it a person who stays up late drinking coffee and listening to heavy metal?

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                                                            I’m rather put off by the whole thing, myself. Stereotypes are inherently disrespectful of human diversity, and perpetuating them in a professional context is only harmful to individuals and to the profession. It saddens me to see IEEE promoting this shallow and unscientific ‘hot take’.

                                                            The data collected by such a study could indeed be useful to those looking to hire or retain engineering talent, but we’d need to see the questions, the distributions of answers, and as much context as possible about how it was collected. Then, we should compare findings across similar studies from different researchers and populations and times. That’s how real social science is done.

                                                            I don’t know, maybe the blog post is just an ad for the actual data set? It’s still in poor taste.

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                                                              Isn’t the point of this that the stereotypes aren’t accurate? To me, it’s less “create a new stereotype” than “recognize that your expectations aren’t accurate.”

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                                                            This is great. I would make an even stronger argument that teaching these skills is a matter of justice and equity. Making this material part of the core curriculum helps to level the playing field and lower the barriers to entry for all students. (It would also be great to see some of these skills taught in K-12!)

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                                                              I have one of these in my parts bin but never wound up building with it. Anyone have a fave project to recommend?

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                                                                I’ve been using Matomo (formerly Piwik) for a few years on hobby sites and it does the job for me. I am primarily interested in seeing referrals, bounce, and which URLs are being hit. https://matomo.org/

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                                                                  A beautiful tribute to the early web. Pairs nicely with Olia Lialina’s hypertext essays on the “vernacular web”: http://art.teleportacia.org/observation/vernacular/

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                                                                    A couple years ago, I started using JupyterHub in a Python course for first-time programmers in the humanities and social sciences. Notebooks are transformative tools for classroom teaching. In my world, the comparison is not between Notebooks and IDEs but Notebooks and special-purpose environments such as RStudio, MATLAB, and Excel. I like that Notebooks expose students to general-purpose programming while scaffolding many common “data science” tasks.