Monday Links from the Lockdown vol. DXXXIV Monday Links from the Lockdown vol. DXXXIV
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    Default Monday Links from the Lockdown vol. DXXXIV

    Take a break from cowering behind your front door screeching at the Waitrose delivery driver to “Leave it by the gate” and remember to turn off screen sharing with ClientCo while you read this lot

    • Everything on 'Naked and Afraid' Is Real—and I Lived It - Dogsledder Blair Braverman swapped the Arctic for South Africa when she entered a gameshow in which contestants are dropped in the wilderness, naked and with virtually no resources: ”Trembling, I grabbed our empty pot and slid down the bank to the riverbed. Watch me get trampled by an elephant while my partner’s dying and nobody cares. Watch me run into the sunlight and faint… I couldn’t decide if I was livid or terrified, and that’s when I saw the snake.”

    • Scientists are leading Notre Dame’s restoration—and probing mysteries laid bare by its devastating fire - Christa Lesté-Lasserre meets the scientists of France's Historical Monuments Research Laboratory working out how to restore the 850-year-old cathedral: ” The space, normally sweet with incense, was acrid with ash and stale smoke. Light beamed through voids in the vaulted stone ceiling, cutting through the gloom and illuminating piles of debris on the marble floor. Yet the scientists, called in by France’s Ministry of Culture to inspect the damage and plan a rescue, mostly felt relief—and even hope.”

    • Film Noir - Stuck at home facing the terrifying prospect of interacting with your family? The Internet Archive has a vast range of collections of all kinds of stuff to keep you, and them, entertained, such as this collection of over 200 classic noir movies: ”Expressionistic crime dramas of the 40s and 50s: tough cops and private eyes, femme fatales, mean city streets and deserted backroads, bags of loot and dirty double-crossers.”

    • Left on the shelf - Writer Lucy Sweet is sampling the products left in the supermarkets after the panic buyers have carried away their stockpiles, such as wine in a can: ”Nice. It's what you say when someone you know is talking about putting an RSJ in their extension and you haven't been listening… it was the only booze left in Sainsbury's after the locusts came, so it looks like it's Nice or nothing.”

    • VD at the Movies: Public Health Service World War II Venereal Disease Films - If film noir isn't your thing, maybe the US National Library of Medicine's film archive will do, covering as it does a wide variety of topics including VD: ”In the case of the film designed for lay audiences, Syphilis: Its Nature, Prevention, and Treatment, a later reference to it by a PHS staff member termed it ‘amateur’ in nature. He also noted that although it was useful in its time, it had become outdated and outmoded by 1940… The fact that this film was ‘in great demand’ in 1938 may be more a reflection of the paucity of good VD education films for lay audiences than of the quality of the product.”


    • Sounds of the Bodleian - If you work better with just a little background noise that isn’t intrusive, this is perfect for being stuck at home yet still expected by clients to do stuff. It’s the sounds of the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford. Simple choose your reading room, hit the ► button, adjust the volume to a suitably low level, and pretend you’re researching your doctoral thesis

    • The Woman Who Held Hitler's Teeth - A strange tale from 1945 Berlin: ”In the days following the end of WWII, translator Elena Rzhevskaya was tasked with a bizarre job: protecting a jewelry box containing the only irrefutable proof of Hitler's death.”

    • The Knowledge - Barclay Bram on the people trying to get the green badge that qualifies them as a London cabbie: ”Examiners will play games with students – when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in September 2008 there were reports of examiners telling students, ‘Take me from Lehman Brothers to the nearest jobcentre.’… ‘I got a point that had never been called before,’ Kingsley told me, ‘it was a place called Satan’s Whiskers; it’s a little bar – grimy looking place on Cambridge Heath Road. It was something she may have thought I couldn’t pull, but I pulled it.’ There was obvious pride in his voice.”

    • Inside a Titan missile guidance computer - Ken Shirriff has found another interesting old machine: ”This computer, called the Magic 352, is a 20"×16"×9" black box weighing 80 pounds, surprisingly heavy for something used in a rocket… On the left are seven circuit boards with TTL digital logic. In the middle are two core memory modules, each holding 8192 words of 24 bits. Two memory electronics boards are next to the memory. At the right is the computer's switching power supply.”

    • Ron Cobb - ”Ron Cobb, the artist, cartoonist, film designer and writer lives in Sydney, Australia… [He] has contributed production design to the films: The Last Starfighter, the aforementioned Conan the Barbarian, and Leviathan. He also contributed conceptual designs to other feature films, including Dark Star, Alien, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Real Genius, Back to the Future, Aliens, The Abyss, Total Recall, True Lies, The 6th Day, Cats and Dogs, Firefly and Southland Tales.” Lots of interesting galleries of his work here; this drawing of Dark Star was ”sketched on a napkin over coffee with Dan O'Bannon at the House of Pancakes L.A.”



    Happy invoicing!

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    Further to the missile guidance computer, therein is mentioned "The missile that couldn't fly straight".

    It's on page 17 of

    DTACK GROUNDED #23 -- September 1983
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    Naked and afraid, that's me right now WFH.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorStrangelove View Post
    Further to the missile guidance computer, therein is mentioned "The missile that couldn't fly straight".

    It's on page 17 of

    DTACK GROUNDED #23 -- September 1983
    “Is FORTH still too slow, even on the 68000? A new compiler produces 68000 machine code for low level functions for the ultimate in speed.” I assume this was inlining the code for low-level functions. When I implemented FORTH on the Atari ST I thought of doing that, but it wasn’t needed for the game I was writing - most time was spent in the sprite routines, which were written in heavily-optimised assembler anyway.

    I also investigated whether to use an indirect-threaded implementation, in which definitions are compiled in memory into lists of pointers to the code fields of referenced definitions which are then loaded into a register and jumped through, or direct-threaded, in which they’re compiled into actual indirect jump instructions through the code fields of the referenced definitions which are then executed directly. It turned out they took the same number of clock cycles and the latter used four more bytes per referenced definition, so I went with the former

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    I also investigated whether to use an indirect-threaded implementation, in which definitions are compiled in memory into lists of pointers to the code fields of referenced definitions which are then loaded into a register and jumped through, or direct-threaded, in which they’re compiled into actual indirect jump instructions through the code fields of the referenced definitions which are then executed directly. It turned out they took the same number of clock cycles and the latter used four more bytes per referenced definition, so I went with the former
    Absolutely no idea what all that means but I did find it strangely arousing.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    “Is FORTH still too slow, even on the 68000? A new compiler produces 68000 machine code for low level functions for the ultimate in speed.”
    I thought you might like that.

    Innerestingly enough, the earlier bit serial Titan guidance computer used drum memory instead of core.

    Odd, though I, won't the heads crash in a vacuum?

    But "they" thought of that, presumably, and pressurised the enclosure.

    (I'm assuming that drums use flying heads like a hard disk).

    (I'd forgotten that drums are head per track, specifically in general).
    Last edited by DoctorStrangelove; 23rd March 2020 at 18:50.
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    The knowledge one reminded me of when the viz character cockney took the test. And gave a much longer route for tourists....
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