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  • shag 9:34 am on July 20, 2009 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , , , old timers   

    the rocket experience 

    snoop dogg, talib kweli, and buzz aldrin, together at last.  just heard the song on the radio today.

  • rajbot 10:10 am on November 26, 2007 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , codewarrior, dreams, hypercard, mac, macsbug, mpw, , old timers   

    Memories of Programming the Mac, Pre-OSX 

    Last night, I had a dream about programming the Mac back in the old days, before OS X. The more I think about it, the more I think I’m still dreaming. Did this stuff really happen? I remember:

    • MPW, the Macintosh Programmers Workshop. The old mac didn’t have a console, or even run.exe. We had MPW, which gave us a commandline of sorts. We could access cvs using MPW. It is still being distributed by Apple.
    • MacsBug. The low-level debugger. Its hard to believe this is all we had. We loved it. DebugStr() was the poor Mac Programmer’s console. My SE/30 (and all Macs) had a “Programmer’s Key” that would invoke MacsBug. If you didn’t have MacsBug installed, the built-in MicroBug would come up instead. Apple still distributes MacsBug. Fortunately, I’ll never need it again.
    • Vague memories of Projector, which was Apple’s version control thing, and Jasik Debugger (The Debugger)
    • MrC. This was Apple’s C compiler. We used MPW to compile our code with MrC. Even if we used Metrowerks to initially write the code, MrC was what we used to compile the engineering builds. Back in the the day, the shipping versions were actually compiled by a *third* compiler, from Motorola, which ran on an AIX box or something.
    • Metrowerks CodeWarrior. I loved CodeWarrior. It was blazingly fast. It has a source-level debugger, which often ignored my breakpoints. It had a great IDE. It had a great Editor. The project files had a .┬Á extension, no joke. I bought my first copy of CodeWarrior in 1995, at the student rate, using the proceeds of my first real programming job (which is where I met peliom). CodeWarrior still brings back warm memories.
    • BBEdit. I’ve been using BBEdit since forever. It doesn’t suck. It makes me happy, in a security blanket kind of way.
    • Pascal. The Mac Toolbox interface was originally Pascal. Pascal was *the* way to write mac apps way back when. I tried to learn Pascal before I learned C, but never got anywhere.
    • Think C and Think Pascal. Compilers sold by Symantec. I learned C programming using Think C on a SE/30.
    • EvenBetterBusError. I don’t remember BusError, or BetterBusError, but EvenBetterBusError sticks in my mind. I don’t remember what it did, or why I needed it, but I think it was a System Extension.
    • System Extensions. Marching across the screen on boot up. Little friends there to make your life better. The thing people noticed when booting OS X for the first time was that their little friends were all gone.
    • Inside Macintosh. This was the Mac API documentation, originally in Pascal. A giant set of bound volumes, or available in electronic form. I think they were in HelpViewer or DocView format or something..
    • Pascal strings. You still needed them for DebugStr and window titles and such. c2pstr() was often used.
    • PlayMPEGInWindow(). I don’t remember if this was the exact function name, but peliom and I were trying to display MPEG video, and when we tried to see how QuickTime programmers did it, we found this function, and it cracked us up. So easy! When peliom and I both ended up working at Apple, we ended up working directly with the guy that wrote PlayMPEGInWindow(). Small world.
    • System7 Pack. SpeedyFinder7. Greg’s Buttons. These were crazy programs that modified the system in crazy ways.
    • Talking Moose.
    • Hypercard. A programming environment that was way too easy to use. Kids could write awesome, fully-functional programs. It was obviously too powerful, and had to be killed off. One day I found out the guy who worked across the hall was the guy that wrote the HyperCard parser. I was in awe.
    • MoreMasters(). You had to call this several times at app startup to allocate master pointers. Really.
    • WaitNextEvent(). You had to call it in your stupid event loop. If you didn’t, no other apps would get scheduled on the CPU.
    • The MultiFinder. WTF? Finder->Special->Set Startup->Start Up System with MULTIFINDER!!!
    • The Chooser. Background Printing. AppleTalk. I never understood the Chooser.
    • RAM Cache. Built right into the System 6 Control Panel.
    • Command-I Get Info. Increase the Application memory size.
    • Option+”About this Mac”. You can see the sun setting over the hills in Cupertino. When I worked at the lab with peliom, we made a video streaming app, and I rendered a 3D version of this scene using Bryce for our About Box. I wish I still had that around somewhere. When I got to Apple, I saw this same view out of my office every day.

    That’s all for now. I’ll leave by thanking all those responsible for gcc and gdb. And UNIX. Thank you.

  • rajbot 3:08 pm on November 22, 2007 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , old timers, pie, prayer, Thanksgiving, , WilliamSBurroughs   


    A Thanksgiving Pie, made with the apples from our apple tree:

    A Thanksgiving Prayer, by William S. Burroughs:

  • rajbot 1:58 pm on November 18, 2007 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , email, knuth, , old timers   

    Only One More Year of Email! 

    Prof. Knuth on email:

    I have been a happy man ever since January 1, 1990, when I no longer had an email address. I’d used email since about 1975, and it seems to me that 15 years of email is plenty for one lifetime

    I’ve been using email since 1993, and I am so done with it. One more year, and then I can pull a Knuth.(via)

    • may 3:19 pm on November 18, 2007 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I hated email for a while too (mostly b/c of spam) but now I filter most of it through gmail and only get 1 or 2 spam msgs / week in my inbox. Gmail is awesome – it really works!

      Also, I started to like email again once I separated everything. One email address for friends and family only (no lists or other random things). One email address for work. And one for when you have to sign up for or purchase anything online.

    • rajbot 4:56 pm on November 18, 2007 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      That’s crazy. I have never given my gmail address to anyone, and it is *full* of spam. I get 100 messages to my gmail inbox every day, all spam.

      I’ve spent hours clicking gmail’s ‘report spam’ button, and I keep getting similar messages in my inbox. gmail has the worst spam filter I’ve ever seen.

      Also, for a search company, they sure suck at searching through my email. I get thousands of messages that have ‘Ra,’ in the subject line, and I want to delete them en mass, but gmail doesn’t notice the comma in the search query, and a search for ‘Ra,’ results in a bunch of matches for ‘Raj’. idiots.

  • rajbot 5:15 pm on June 25, 2007 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , old timers   

    Something for you to listen to: Manuel G├Âttsching’s E2-E4 

    E2-E4 is an experimental piece written by Manuel G├Âttsching in 1981, commerically released in 1984, remixed into a hugely
    successful club track in 1989, and re-released last year. I hadn’t heard this groundbreaking electronic album until I stumbled upon this AskMe!

  • rajbot 3:12 pm on May 28, 2007 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , , old timers,   

    B-Day Cupkakes at El Rincon! 

    Bob was in town for my B-day, and Tyrone’s band SABRETEETH happened to be playing at El Rincon, so we went out for birthday drinkies.. May and Peliom surprised me with CUPKAKES!!!, which we ate in the back of the truck, due to an extremely loud opening band.. photo linky!

    Created with Paul’s flickrSLiDR.

  • rajbot 5:38 pm on April 24, 2007 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , old timers,   


    I remember seeing Mammenschanz on the Muppet Show when I was much younger… It was the strangest and most surreal thing I had seen at the time, and memories of a creepy long-limbed spider-person has been hiding in the back of my brain for a long time. I stumbled upon this MetaFilter post and the memories came rushing back.. So, apparently the Mammenschanz are real and not some kind of half-remembered wonderful nightmare.

    The Muppet Show was amazing. I wonder if kids’ shows these days are of the same caliber…

  • rajbot 12:02 am on March 22, 2007 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: old timers   

    Review: Anthro Keyboard Tray 

    a1.jpgI spent *days* hunting for the perfect keyboard tray, and couldn’t find any decent reviews. Then peliom told me he was getting this keyboard tray from Anthro, so of course I bought the same one. Here are my thoughts:

    • It installs quickly. 20 minutes drilling 10 holes and screwing it in. Unfortunately it comes with hex screws, which I didn’t have a drill bit for, so I had to screw them in by hand.
    • You can’t just push it up and down like a higher-end model; you have to loosen the spring hinge first.
    • It’s built solid and glides smoothly, but it doesn’t use roller bearings and wobbles left/right a bit in the slide track.
    • The mouse pad can be relocated to either side. I removed it entirely because I use a TouchStream.
    • The wrist guard is stuck on with a bit of glue. I ripped it off because resting your wrists on anything is bad if you have RSI.
    • It costs $220, which is a bit less than the others I was looking at.
    • I am much happier with it than without it.
    • If you have RSI and don’t have a decent ergonomic setup, talk to someone about it ASAP.

  • rajbot 11:06 pm on January 31, 2007 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , old timers   

    The best WordPress theme ever! 

    This guy gave his WP blog a command-line interface! It’s really well done.. I love how even the graphics look like they are on a green monocrome display!

  • may 9:41 am on January 27, 2007 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , , old timers,   

    Don to Earth 

    donaldCrowdis.jpgOne of my favorite blogs lately is Don to Earth, written by Donald Crowdis who at 93, is one of the oldest bloggers around. I rarely come into contact with people who are older than 80 in my day to day life so I love reading his thoughts about things. He writes a lot about life and death. You’d think that would be morbid but he makes me laugh and I always come away feeling a little bit more grounded.

  • q 10:42 pm on January 5, 2007 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , old timers,   

    Things To Come 

    I was poking around the torrent world trying to find good public-domain movies to download and came across Things To Come at publicdomaintorrents.com. I was immediately brought back to 1997 when we threw a party of the same name. Of course, the name was at Raj’s suggestion. I vowed to hunt the movie down but I guess the internets weren’t what they are today. Anyway, here’s the flyer for that party:

    Things To Come Flyer

    The next party was called Metropolis. raj, xjn, non, and robi played while we watched the movie.

    metropolis flyer

    PS. this is my first time posting. I hope I don’t break the tikirobot.

  • peliom 2:05 pm on January 3, 2007 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , , old timers   

    Let’s Get Physical 

    Per today’s visit to Physical Therapy I am now the proud owner of a 6×36″ Foam Roller. You may recognize this object, the hated tool of the physical “therapist”, the Room 101 of stretching. A while back I used one to stretch my Iliotibial Band in the interest of less painful cycling. Stretching the IT Band kills … it’s best to do it at home because you are likely to start crying at the gym.

    My physical therapist assured me that the four foam roller exercises she is prescribing for me are not painful like the IT Band stretch. She says I have really bad posture and that is leading to this painful Shoulder Impingement, possibly catalyzed by hitting the riverbed when goofing of and diving in the Kings River. I do have horrible posture, no suprise there. Putting my back and shoulders into a supposedly “normal” anatomical position requires a lot of effort and is not a fun resting state. I have a super-stiff neck and upper back too, owing to my hunchback computer lifestyle. Hopefully these exercises will help.

    Just like every physical therapist and ergonomics specialist I have ever met, she expressed shock upon learning that I spend 14-16 hours a day in front of a computer.

    “Wow, that’s really a lot”

    I don’t get it … that level of computer time is an industry standard all across silicon valley. Why isn’t the PT industry in tune with that? I can see now why so many co-workers are triathletes. It’s not just about exercise … training at that level makes you pay attention to your body and keeps you in touch with sports medicine physicians that can be a valuable resource for this type of thing.

    Then again there are the chain-smoking, hard-drinking mexican web developers that I work with. I think I’m going to just get a cortisone shot and eat some candy.

    Link to AMF Should Impingement page

    • rajbot 5:03 pm on January 3, 2007 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      My one Alexander Technique lesson with Nick taught me a New Way To Sit, which really helps my bad posture and significantly reduces RSI pain I get while typing. When people used to tell me to ‘sit up straight’, I would use the muscles in my back/shoulders to straighten my upper body, which did not help. But I learned that simply ‘rolling forward on my sit-bones’ changes *everything*. It’s hard to describe, but really simple and I can’t believe I didn’t know about this all my life. I will show you next time I see you, but this might just be a rajbox thing, since I am oddly-proportioned..

    • may 6:26 pm on January 3, 2007 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      14-16 hours straight is a lot. i don’t think our bodies have evolved to sit for that long. i was doing that a couple weeks ago and now my lower back is totally killing me.

      i think training for some type of event helps me too because it makes me pay closer attention to my body and also more disciplined about doing things that aren’t so exciting (like stretching to avoid injury). plus i can also secretly pretend that i’m training to become an elite-kick-ass-ninja-fighter! (another childhood fantasy that comes from watching waaaay too many martial arts movies :-)

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