Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Popular science books about computing

There’s a common aphorism in academia: You don’t really understand a subject until you teach it. This isn’t entirely true, of course, but being asked questions can make you think harder about what you know and what you don’t know.
I’ve found something similar in writing a popular science book. And I’ve realized a bit more.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Justin Bieber is a Literary Giant

End here. Us then. Finn, again! Take. Bussoftlhee, mememormee! Till thousandsthee. Lps. The keys to. Given! A way a lone a last a loved a long the riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Everything old is new again

I wrote this back in 2008 and then took it down; here it is again, slightly updated.
Have you ever come across the notion that the world of computers is changing very rapidly? Me too. This theme runs constantly through discussions of computer and communication systems today: we'll need these upgrades; our systems will be obsolete within six months; we can't conceive of what our grandchildren will be doing with computers; and so forth.
Not surprisingly, though, really good ideas  the kind that lead to revolutionary change   are rare. General conceptual threads in computing can often be traced back to a strikingly original idea, and what we sometimes find is that our great new discoveries are what smart people have been talking about for quite some time. Here are two examples.