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Ed S @EdS@mastodon.sdf.org

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The Euler spiral: a mathematical history
Article by Levien, Raph
In collection: History
The beautiful Euler spiral, defined by the linear relationship between curvature and arclength, was first proposed as a problem of elasticity by James Bernoulli, then solved accurately by Leonhard Euler. Since then, it has been independently reinvented twice, first by Augustin Fresnel to compute...
URL: raph.levien.com/phd/euler_hist
Entry: read.somethingorotherwhatever.

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@natecull i don't know if you will find this interesting or not, but did you know there is currently an outstanding proposal (which looks like it will probably find support) for encoding PETSCII into unicode: unicode.org/L2/L2017/17435r-te

Big surprise in hypertext: the Mac version of Myst was written in HyperCard! As noted in the discussion about the new in-browser ViperCard (vipercard.net/ ) on Hacker News, at

via a post on G+ in the Retro Computing community
which is where you'll find me, most days.

This news from 1993, when lots of interesting things happened, and the 80s were so much more recent.

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Free business idea: a domain parking service for people who want to retire a website but want to keep it online and out of the hands of SEO spammers.
Take a one-time static snapshot of the site when it is parked. Serve that very cheaply as static files. Pay for it either by charging users or by running ads against the domain and its content. Ads will be more lucrative, but obnoxious.
Inspired by Matt Haughey's experience here: a.wholelottanothing.org/2018/0

I'm seeing a bunch of wizards in their library with their grimoires, muttering about how people think it's just magic, but really it's lots of study and protocol stacks.

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I had this ancient thinkpad, and it didn't have wifi. It predated wifi.

I had a dialup modem for it, and a dialup internet connection that I used when I was at my moms, or at my grandmothers, but it didn't work at my dads. I don't remember why. Maybe I didn't have a phone line in my bedroom. (converted basement.)

Anyway, this was ~2005.

Dad had a 3 megbit DSL connection in the Compute Room, and I Wanted It.

I was running DOS at the time, because I was using this ancient computer.

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@jk There are a few small mistakes here and there (eg it was more like a cadr machine than Symbolics) but it's overall a fascinating read.

There's a blog dedicated to exhuming hacks that lie deep within emacs if you like that kinda thing. emacshorrors.com/posts/baud.ht

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@moz imagine, if you will... an 8-bit architecture from the 70s, hacked up into a quasi-16-bit architecture in the 80s, used to save on manufacturing costs for a game console in the 90s

this is technology

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@amz3 Back when I was in college there was one person who had a GNU / Linux machine. That was in 1993. I didn't pay much attention until around 1994. I did the "floppy dance" for a bit until a friend gave me his old Transameritech disc with Slackware on it. It took me a few more years booting back and forth between Windows and Linux before I decided that I wanted to stay with Linux full-time.

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My Grandad's advice for safe driving was: "Always remember you're controlling a potentially lethal weapon". I think it helped me to take driving even more seriously.

Perhaps it's good advice for us technologists too...

"Always remember you're programming a potential platform for bullying and harassment".

"Always remember you're designing a potential system for mass surveillance".

"Always remember you're deploying a potential tool for mass social unrest".

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I think the 8-bit guy has a point here about "old computers did it better".

I've so far not had to look up much about how to run that old Acorn Electron I just came by because of the manuals and books it came with 🤓


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As a bit of retrocomputing fun, here's a build of #retro #forth for DOS. Requires 32-bit protected mode; I haven't managed to build a working 16-bit executable yet.

forthworks.com/retro/download/ or gopher://forthworks.com/9/retro/download/RETRO-DOS.ZIP

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A crazy (wonderful) man recreated this (3 decade old) iconic Commodore 64 print ad. Just awesome.

The other pictures on his site are pure beauty. Sexy photo shoots with classic computers.


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Picking a new computer:

1998: "Everything's twice as fast as it was last year! So much choice! So many options!"

2018: "OK, so which of these fucking things is the least broken?"

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composable gui thoughts, ideal OSes, forth. Show more

"The only person more dangerous than an electronic engineer with root privileges is a programmer with a soldering iron."
from the discussion/war stories at
("Programming in the 1960s")

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Meltdown patch impact • System monitoring graphs from a large AWS deployment blog.appoptics.com/visualizing #linkblog

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Oh my word. This isn't quite what I'm looking for (the ability to laser cut a case which basically a Mac Classic or SE/30) but it's quite something