Since my last edition in March, I've been refining the design of Videlicet: a script I hope will aid in maintenance of digital art collections. Although I haven't yet finished work, it is near completion, as you can see in this abridged snapshot: http://www.mediafire.com/file/l0mh2dac75t63wl/TK-GreatestHits-2017-06-15.zip Presently, the only available functionality is a label-maker. Soon, it will be a label maker with tentacles. (Full disclosure: tentacles are metaphorical in nature, and the program is so described for the sole purpose of setting up this joke about octo-pythons.) Hopefully the finished work will be available to you by this July, at which time I will issue the complete edition. In the meantime, here are some computer-related trivia. Factual computer tidbits, each in 80 columns -- the canonical console width. (These are with considerable reference to FOLDOC and the Jargon File.) We say "computer" about machines these days, but it once meant one who computes. Computer machines are a kind of difference engine. They calculate math rapidly. The first such difference engine is attributed to Charles Babbage. The first reprogrammable machine, however, is reputed to be the Jacquard loom. Source code is a series of instructions telling a computer what to compute. Source code is interpreted by a compiler that translates it to assembler code. An electronic calculator is, in abstract, an infix notation algebra compiler. Assemblers translate human-legible mnemonics into computers' "machine language." Machine language, an abstraction of electrical potential (EMF), is binary code. The Volt, defined by the IEC in 1983, is the unit of electro-motive force (EMF). Metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) are logic circuits. Logic circuits encode inverse Boolean algebra: NAND, NOR, and NOT. Computer programming languages evolved to assembler mnemonics from machine code. From assembler, programs further evolved to high-level language (such as C). Very high level language (whatever that means - perhaps interpreters?) was next. Modern computer programming reads much like calculus. (C.f. ASM = arithmetic.) Object-oriented programming arranges data in nested structures, then computes. Functional programming computes with nested functions, then arranges the data. File systems are tree-like data structures encoding allocation of disk memory. Compressed archives use something like LZMA to squeeze redundant bytes in files. Non-volatile memory (disk space) lasts longer than volatile (RAM). Harddisk capacity is measured in Gigabytes. They're magnetic platters or EAPROM. Magnetic storage functions by "reading" and "writing" magnetic fields. Electrically alterable programmable read only memory blows fuses & antifuses. Operating systems handle tasks, as process scheduling, incidental to human use. Mainframes ("clouds") have one central OS; the clients are dumb terminals. Dumb terminals have no independent processing or storage capability. Personal computers, by contrast, have processing, storage, and an OS. Graphical user interfaces (GUIs) are the modern point-and-click metaphor. Command line interfaces (CLIs) are the "antiquated" terminal console metaphor. Computer networks are any set of computermachines "speaking" to one another. Sessions are by way of protocol. The Worldwide Web uses HTTP over TCP/IP. The Internet & WWW evolved via cookoffs: see the Requests for Comment. Bandwidth on the Internet has increased from baud to megabytes per second. All computing resources can be served on a network, bandwidth permitting. ^- Senator Ted Stevens' famous "series of tubes" quote was accurate, BTW. Human interface devices are a material tool humans use to interact w/ computers. Graphical computer displays evolved from oscilloscopes etc, to CRTs, to LCDs. Cathode ray tubes work by shooting electrons at a phosphorescent matrix. Modern television-size liquid crystal displays contain millions of circuits. CPUs handle arithmetic and logic. These days, there are 4 of them on one chip. Frequency of a CPU's oscillation is measured in Gigahertz. For example, 2.5 GHz. The chip's clock speed (oscillation) determines how fast it computes. All arithmetic can be computed by adding: by 1 only, too, I think. Ones Complement and Twos Complement are binary encodings for negative numbers. Microchips are printed circuit boards (PCBs) that execute various functions. The chips on a mainboard are connected to one another by a bus ("omnibus bar"). Computer hardware is the aforementioned assemblage of circuit boards. "Firmware" (between hardware & software) is on-board (on-chip?) control logic. Computer software is some instructions compiled & ready to run: a core image. "Bootstrapping" a computer refers to a story about a man who flew in the air. The Basic I/O System of yore was supplanted by the Extended Firmware Interface. Personal computer workstations are sometimes called "boxes," due to their shape. Alan Turing's model of a finite state automaton is a supposed computer. Emulators, or virtual machines, are also logical computers.
(Title is a line from _Monty Python’s Flying Circus_.)
Frigid northern Idaho winters be the times what try gender-nonexclusive souls:
A nifty Python script & some data recovery have been my only accomplishments
as naughty pictures of Amaterasu hastened the thawing of my heart. Boi~ng!
Today’s the day I will write of myself in the third person.
But first, I will link you to my work and some auxiliaries.
This will take some time.
I must warn you: My portfolio is now sexually explicit, because I have recently
assembled portions of a dossier documenting my life to date.
If you’re too young, why not go play Narbacular Drop instead?
So, the PARENTAL DISCRETION caution is no longer entirely sufficient. Instead
you are advised that the work is ADULTS ONLY: don’t even touch it if a child.
The “Adults Only” category applies to ALL of these links, which are external to
WordPress, and the content hosted there is not necessarily endorsed by either
WordPress or the external host. Which is good for them, because it’s naughty.
I have at last retitled the archives with less confusing file names, and I have
rearranged the directory structure to be more sensible and easier to handle with
the unzip (manual section 1, by Info-ZIP) decompression utility: because each
archive contains similar directory structure, extracting them all into the CWD
will produce a less confusing output. Warning: Windows 10 will fail to extract
some of the files due to long filenames. 7zip (incl.) and unzip don’t do this.
If you download all the archives, you’ll need several hundred MB to decompress.
I’ve done what I could to ensure that all the megabytes are permissible by law,
but censorship laws in my country (USA) are restrictive and becoming more so…
If you wish to maintain a strictly lawful archive, then delete the banned books.
Actually, you might like to just delete everything, on the off chance that your
local apparatschik might declare you mentally ill due to unapproved thoughts.
A standalone version of MLPTK (0.7 MB / 0.2 MB), in case you have no time for the larger archives:
My complete portfolio is, owing to recent (and, I hope, conclusory) additions from auld lang syne, 22.8 megabytes. Compressed, it is 12 MB:
(New: duplicate file culler in Python, MLPTK’s “roman” module, & naughty chats.)
Syntax-highlighted illustrations in candy-colored HTML format are available (23.8 MB uncompressed / 3.3 MB compressed):
My book, “Yawnie’s Whole” fills about 1,100 A4 pages (13.3 MB / 7.1 MB), and I have corrected the typesetter malfunction that caused images not to appear in their respective chapters:
(These are the Ice Capades.)
Another 5,000 pp document my past (27.2 MB / 14.9 MB), and I have corrected the typesetter malfunction that caused images not to appear in their respective chapters:
(These are the Buttscapades.)
The companion curriculum (“Relevant Works By Others”), now its own archive (64.5 MB / 31.1 MB), contains the indispensable Berkeley Utilities and a diverse assortment of other excellent resources for programmers and Windows users:
Recently I’ve been exploring elderly volumes.
Here are some other curios I won’t be distributing after this time:
34.4 megabytes of finely crafted TrueType fonts (9.4 megs zipped):
A Windows compilation of the SWFTools suite version 0.7.0. (32.5 MB / 5 MB):
A selection of episodes of the out-of-print children’s television series, Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM, not AoSTH; 100.8 MB / 98 MB):
A miscellany, including other out-of-print works (58.3 MB / 35.4 MB):
The combined size of all the downloads is about two hundred Megabytes.
Think not that those ten archives contain the Owl of Thebes; for, gentles all,
the foregoing hyperlinks were created with the courteous assistance of MediaFire
— a file host serving via Hypertext Transport Protocol. You may have observed
their advertisements on the interstitial page: I haven’t yet clicked one, but I
guess they might be OK — if not, then wouldn’t BBB complaints have been filed?
And here is a faux press release I’ve been working on since January…
(I have implemented the Trivial File Transfer Protocol, revision 2, in this milestone snapshot. If you have dealt with reprogramming your home router, you may have encountered TFTP. Although other clients presently exist on Linux and elsewhere, I have implemented the protocol with a pair of Python scripts. You’ll need a Python interpreter, and possibly Administrator privileges (if the server requires them to open port 69), to run them. They can transfer files of size up to 32 Megabytes between any two computers communicating via UDP/IP. Warning: you may need to pull out your metaphorical monkey wrench and tweak the network timeout, or other parameters, in both the client and server before they work to your specification. You can also use TFTP to copy files on your local machine, if for whatever reason you need some replacement for the cp command. Links, courtesy of MediaFire, follow:
Executable source code (the programs themselves, ready to run on your computer): http://www.mediafire.com/file/rh5fmfq8xcmb54r/mlptk-2017-01-07.zip
Candy-colored source code (the pretty colors help me read, maybe they’ll help you too?): http://www.mediafire.com/file/llfacv6t61z67iz/mlptk-src-hilite-2017-01-07.zip
My life in a book (this is what YOUR book can look like, if you learn to use my automatic typesetter and tweak it to make it your own!): http://www.mediafire.com/file/ju972na22uljbtw/mlptk-book-2017-01-07.zip
Title is a tediously long pun on "Pan-Seared Programming" from the last lecture. Key: mechanism to operate an electric circuit, as in a keyboard. Emporium: ein handelsplatz; or, perhaps, the brain. Empyreuma: the smell/taste of organic matter burnt in a close vessel (as, pans). Lignite: intermediate between peat & bituminous coal. Empyreumatic odor. Pignite: Pokémon from Black/White. Related to Emboar & Tepig (ember & tepid). Pygmalion (Greek myth): a king; sculptor of Galatea, who Aphrodite animated. A few more ideas that pop up often in the study of computer programming: which, by the way, is not computer science. (Science isn't as much artifice as record- keeping, and the records themselves are the artifact.) MODULARITY As Eric Steven Raymond of Thyrsus Enterprises writes in "The Art of Unix Programming," "keep it simple, stupid." If you can take your programs apart, and then put them back together like Lego(TM) blocks, you can craft reusable parts. CLASSES A kind of object with methods (functions) attached. These are an idiom that lets you lump together all your program's logic with all of its data: then you can take the class out of the program it's in, to put it in another one. _However,_ I have been writing occasionally for nearly twenty years (since I was thirteen) and here's my advice: don't bother with classes unless you're preparing somewhat for a team effort (in which case you're a "class" actor: the other programmers are working on other classes, or methods you aren't), think your code would gain from the encapsulation (perhaps you find it easier to read?), or figure there's a burning need for a standardized interface to whatever you've written (unlikely because you've probably written something to suit one of your immediate needs: standards rarely evolve on their own from individual effort; they're written to the specifications of consortia because one alone doesn't see what others need). Just write your code however works, and save the labels and diagrams for some time when you have time to doodle pictures in the margins of your notebook, or when you _absolutely cannot_ comprehend the whole at once. UNIONS This is a kind of data structure in C. I bet you're thinking "oh, those fuddy- duddy old C dinosaurs, they don't know what progress is really about!" Ah, but you'll see this ancient relic time and again. Even if your language doesn't let you handle the bytes themselves, you've got some sort of interface to them, and even if you don't need to convert between an integer and four ASCII characters with zero processing time, you'll still need to convert various data of course. Classes then arise which simulate the behavior of unions, storing the same datum in multiple different formats or converting back and forth between them. (Cue the scene from _Jurassic Park,_ the film based on Michael Crichton's book, where the velociraptor peeks its head through the curtains at a half-scaffolded tourist resort. Those damn dinosaurs just don't know when to quit!) ACTUALLY, VOID POINTERS WERE WHAT I WAS THINKING OF HERE The most amusing use of void*s I've imagined is to implement the type definition for parser tokens in a LALR parser. Suppose the parser is from a BNF grammar: then the productions are functions receiving tokens as arguments and returning a token. Of course nothing's stopping you from knowing their return types already, but what if you want to (slow the algorithm down) add a layer of indirection to wrap the subroutines, perhaps by routing everything via a vector table, and now for whatever reason you actually _can't_ know the return types ahead of time? Then of course you cast the return value of the function as whatever type fits. ATOMICITY, OPERATOR OVERLOADING, TYPEDEF, AND WRAPPERS Washing brights vs darks, convenience, convenience, & convenience, respectively. Don't forget: convenience helps you later, _when_ you review your code. LINKED LISTS These are a treelike structure, or should I say a grasslike structure. I covered binary trees at some length in my fourth post, titled "On Loggin'." RECURSION The reason why you need recursion is to execute depth-first searches, basically. You want to get partway through the breadth of whatever you're doing at this level of recursion, then set that stuff aside until you've dealt with something immensely more important that you encountered partway through the breadth. Don't confuse this with realtime operating systems (different than realtime priority) or with interrupt handling, because depth-first searching is far different than those other three topics (which each deserve lectures I don't plan to write). REALTIME OPERATING SYSTEMS, REALTIME PRIORITY, INTERRUPT HANDLING Jet airplanes, video games versus file indexing, & how not to save your sanity. GENERATORS A paradigm appearing in such pleasant languages as Python and Icon. Generators are functions that yield, instead of return: they act "pause-able," and that is plausible because sometimes you really don't want to copy-and-paste a block of code to compute intermediate values without losing execution context. Generators are the breadth-first search to recursion's depth-first search, but of course search algorithms aren't all these idioms are good for. Suppose you wanted to iterate an N-ary counter over its permutations. (This is similar to how you configure anagrams of a word, although those are combinations -- for which, see itertools.combinations in the Python documentation, or any of the texts on discrete mathematics that deal with combinatorics.) Now, an N-ary counter looks a lot like this, but you probably don't want a bunch of these... var items = new Array(A, B, C, D, ...); // ... tedious ... var L = items.length; // ... lines ... var nary = new Array(L); // ... of code ... for (var i = 0; i < L; nary[i++] = 0) ; // ... cluttering ... for (var i = L - 1; i >= 0 && ++nary[i] == L; // ... all ... nary[i--] = ((i < 0) ? undefined : 0) // ... your other ... ) ; // end for (incrementation) // ... computations ... ... in the middle of some other code that's doing somewhat tangentially related. So, you write a generator: it takes the N-ary counter by reference, then runs an incrementation loop to update it as desired. The counter is incremented, where- upon control returns to whatever you were doing in the first place. Voila! (This might not seem important, but it is when your screen size is 80 by 24.) NOODLES AND DOODLES, POMS ON YOUR POODLES, OODLES AND OODLES OF KITS & CABOODLES (Boodle (v.t.): swindle, con, deceive. Boodle (n.): gimmick, device, strategy.) Because this lecture consumed only about a half of the available ten thousand characters permissible in a WordPress article, here's a PowerPoint-like summary that I was doodling in the margins because I couldn't concentrate on real work. Modularity: perhaps w/ especial ref to The Art of Unix Programming. "K.I.S.S." Why modularity is important: take programs apart, put them together like legos. Data structures: unions, classes. Why structures are important: atomicity, op overloading, typedefs, wrappers. linked lists: single, double, circular. Trees. Binary trees covered in wp04?? recursion: tree traversal, data aggregation, regular expressions -- "bookmarks" Generators. Perhaps illustrate by reference to an N-ary counter? AFTER-CLASS DISCUSSION WITH ONE HELL OF A GROUCHY ETHICS PROFESSOR Suppose someone is in a coma and their standing directive requests you to play some music for them at a certain time of day. How can you be sure the music is not what is keeping them in a coma, or that they even like it at all? Having experienced death firsthand, when I cut myself & bled with comical inefficiency, I can tell you that only the dying was worth it. The pain was not, and I assure you that my entire sensorium was painful for a while there -- even though I had only a few small lacerations. Death was less unpleasant with less sensory input. I even got sick of the lightbulb -- imagine that! I dragged myself out of the lukewarm bathtub to switch the thing off, and then realized that I was probably not going to die of exsanguination any time soon and went for a snack instead. AFTER-CLASS DISCUSSION WITH ONE HELL OF A GROUCH "You need help! You are insane!" My 1,000 pages of analytical logic versus your plaintive bleat.
(Here be an update, as of November 8th, 2016. Me old war wound be actin’ up too much, and I think these’ll be the last for some time.
Ahoy, mateys. Today be the nineteenth of September — ye’d be better knowin’ it as International Talk Like A Pirate Day — and I’ll wager that upon this fine occasion ye’d be askin’ yerselves: “where’s me booty? ”
Well, and I’d make a poor excuse for a captain if I couldn’t deliver ye at least that! (But avast: ye might be findin’ it somewhat unholy, and parental discretion be even more advisable than in previous revisions.) I have prepared for ye a fine trove o’ source code, the likes of which are fit for Kings. Although me mother be the only one likely to find it interestin’, I’ve also put the finishin’ touches on me preliminary sketch of a typesetter for me book: “Yawnie’s Whole: the Complete Yawnie, for the Yawnie Enthusiast.” These be available in three chests, or what ye might be callin’ “Zip Arr-chives,” which I be uploadin’ to Mediafire as per usual.
Me latest revision of MLPTK be here…
… and be comprisin’ not much different from the last MLPTK, again as usual, except that I were fixin’ bugs. I report with most contrition that Polyfac be a failure: I be tryin’ to return me attention to the other tasks I failed to complete this year.
If ye prefer to be tastin’ th’ rainbow, a set of syntax-highlighted HTML documents illustratin’ the source code be here…
… they scry as nearly as possible alike to me own development environment.
Would ye like me book? I be certain to update and revise it as time be passin’, but who knows if me accounts shan’t be commandeered in the interstice? If ye be at all interested, don’t hesitate: supplies be unlimited, but tempus fugit…
… and, someday, me literature be gone forever, as literature inevitably shall.
And there be little more to say about this revision, as I’ve prepared no new lectures since April.
In the meantime, have ye noticed how beautiful life can be sometimes? Quite apart from th’ hardship and pain, there be especial bounty of resources. If ye be readin’ this, then ye would be privileged to Internet access, which are a rare treasure: there be all sorts o’ literature & art to be found, plenty of amusin’ diversions, and certainly no shortage of comely wenches to descry.
Me meaning be: ye could probably spend yer whole lives havin’ not a thing but a netbook computer, occasional access to electrical power, and some sort o’ shelter to protect ye from the elements. A “sex tent,” if ye will: just be addin’ some wenches. Why, I can imagine that no few individuals upon this blasted globe could be livin’ their lives contented with a shelter and a wench — wenches of the world bein’ blessed not to be needin’ anywench else.
Childhood be another of those times. As I grew, I were witness to what some would be describin’ as the “Wild West” of the World Wide Web. Nearly every outlet of popular culture were findin’ its way into troves and hoardes shared worldwide by generous scoundrels (and belligerent litigious bilge rats) to an audience of hundreds of millions. The vast serpent of DHTML and jQuery had only just been sighted far afore, and the stars fated to portend swashbucklin’ adventure at every second of the compass.
There was, too, a massive population of reputable sailors upon the vast waters of cyberspace. I remember some of the finest: OverClocked ReMix, VGMusic. Angelfire, Tripod, and Geocities. Neopets. The Merchant Guild. 4chan. So many more motes be floatin’ in the eye of history that I cannot even recount. Ah, the world were bigger then, and me eyes wide in childlike wonder.
Well, and it were the best of times, but me swashbucklin’ days be sadly behind me. (Arr, insofar as I cannot swash without me bucks! Besides that, me galleon be in disrepair, and overhaul be veritably a tribulation. However, as usual, be sendin’ me no money, for I cannot guarantee that it shall ever arrive; nor could I be certain it would help if it did.) As it happened, although I were studyin’ me life’s work throughout me life, me attention were turnin’ too late to serious programmin’ (peradventure, alas!), and circumstances be such that I envision failure to accomplish writing the parts of me portfolio I’d intended to finish this year.
(Happily I were not askin’ for research grants, considerin’ me doldrums.)
I be in pain; and, in light of this, tried to pass along what few ideas I were able to sustain the concentration to write before I be entirely unable to do so. They be in me ephemerides, toward page 950.
The spring be another of those times when life be less painful than it’s usually. I tell ye there be nothing like the sensation of warm sunlight on yer skin for the first time in months. Which are even assumin’ ye survived th’ winter — in the frigid North, for example, ye might be a popsicle if ye aren’t careful.
And let’s be not forgettin’ lemons…
Ah, but me ramblin’ be more piteous than a scurvy dog.
Enjoy me work.
Here be a ninja update fer th’ new year, 2017.
Ever wanted t’ shred data? Here be a tip:
dd -if /dev/random -of /dev/sda
will shred your ENTIRE HARD DISK /dev/sda irreversibly.
The file system be destroyed the instant you hit enter. There be no confirmation.
Shred it all night long, then when ye wake in the mornin’ do this before work:
dd -if /dev/urandom -of /dev/sda
to drop a load on yer disk that be heavier’n fifteen spars on a dead man’s chest.
Seriously. This be how to erase yer disks so thoroughly even the C.I.A. shall never espy yer dirty secrets.
Sleep tight, mateys.