Muli Ben-Yehuda's journal

September 9, 2004

the problem with reading blogs of MS developers …

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 9:11 PM

… is that you get to view such lovely code snippets:


My god, the ugliness.

Patterson and Hennessy, oh wow

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 9:07 PM

A new book was waiting for me at the library at work today. Normally, this would be a very happy event (I *love* new books), but right now, I’m pretty depressed. Why? Because the book is the third edition of Hennessy and Patterson’s Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach, and it is over a thousand pages of goodness-filled knowledge, and I HAVE NO TIME TO READ IT.

I wonder how far I’ll get with 50 pages every weekend for the next few months.

(For those of you keeping score, I am also reading Feynman’s Lecture Notes on Physics, and will be reading selected chapters of the second chapter of Introduction to Algorithms (Cormen et al) as soon as my copy arrives at the library at work. A new semester will be starting soon, too, with the associated work load, and there’s always Work).

Writing a long entry whining about lack of time for reading books has a certain delicious irony, too. I think I’ll go read my book now.

lisp, how I love thee

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 1:22 PM

It all started a couple of days ago. It was afternoon, I was working at the office and planning on a quick dinner somewhere before heading back to the office (don’t ask). One of my pleasures when eating alone is reading a good paper or book. I searched the web for interesting papers and happened upon this wiki, with its excellent Operating Systems and Lisp sections. Browsing the Lisp section, I came upon a link to Richard P. Gabriel‘s momentous essay on the Evolution of Lisp. I printed it out and started reading. I read it during dinner. I came back to the office and read it. I went home and continued reading it. While reading, I chased people and places and projects it mentioned on the web. I stayed at home yesterday, and alternately worked and kept reading it. It opened up many trails, and I wandered down them. A whole world I only had a dim inkling of before, the world of lisp, opened before my eyes.

Sometime around noon, I was filled with a strong urge to write some lisp of my own. I started with a small interpreter, but then decided to write something useful instead. As it happens, I’ve been using a hacked up Emacs TODO mode for a few months as a short-term memory replacement. It works very well, but has a few annoying shortcoming: it didn’t keep the “folding” state when exiting and reentering the buffer (the folding state is which items are hidden and which are shown, a-la outline mode), and it didn’t keep my position in the buffer when closing and reopening it. I set out to write some lisp to fix them, and within a few hours, did. It was a pleasure, and now I want more!

You can find the hacked todoo.el on my code page.

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