From Competitive Programming to APL, with Conor
The first half or so of this article was like reading an anthropological report of a strange culture far away: There were no
programming contests when I was getting started out in the field (1967-1976). I rarely had the kind of technical interviews
that Hoekstra went through,
and did not get any of the five programming jobs I held from 1977 to 1998 through such an interview.
I started reading more closely with
Conor: So, I heard about APL five different times between the year 2010 and 2019.
I started programming computers in February of 1967, when I was a junior in high school. After dropping out of grad school I began a
41 year career in information technology in January of 1977. I have seen a lot of computer languages come and go. So I read
5 Programming Languages
You Won’t Likely Be Using by 2030 with some interest. The only one on the list I had ever used was Perl. It was kind of fun, but
I did not get very attached to it 🙂
Meanwhile, some much older languages live on. Last year COVID-19 demonstrated how much the financial world still depends on COBOL:
Approach to Scanning Historic Glass Plates Yields an Astronomical Surprise. Technical details at
Precise Photometric Measurements from a 1903 Photographic Plate Using a Commercial Scanner.
Professional astrophotography used to be done on emulsion-coasted glass places. That was how astromical discoveries were made for nearly a
More than an estimated 2.4 million glass plates are out there in collections in North America alone. These were taken starting in
the 1890s right up until the 1970s, when CCD (Charged Couple Device) detectors started to come online for astronomy. Of these, only an
estimated 400,000 plates have been digitized to research quality
The team in this article has found a much cheaper way to proceed with this process, using
Confession: I got through a 41 year career in IT, mostly in banking and government, without ever compiling
or running a COBOL program. I recently saw
A very short introduction to COBOL, which describes how to install COBOL
on a Mac and how to compile and run a very simple COBOL program. So I tried this on Ubuntu Linux 20.04.
Irish Class, February 1, 2016
Rang Gaeilge, 1ú lá mí Feabhra 2016
|Cuireann duine snaidhm lena theanga nach bhfuasclóidh a fhiacla.
||A person ties a knot with his tongue that his teeth cannot loosen.
||He gets married.
|Beidh lá eile ag an bPaorach.
||Better luck next time.
||“Power will have another day” [“Power” is not anyone in particular]
|an rud nach binn le duine ní chluineann sé é.
||The thing that is not sweet [to the ear] is not heard.
The link between atmospheric CO2 and rising global temperatures cannot be dismissed as a case of “correlation and causality.” Continue reading
Found on a shelf in my garage:
Picture behind cut
…Which Has Achieved AI.
“….from the nightmares I have every time I get a new computer and my old one just gets set aside ‘in case I need it later.'”