Big terms, a popular thought, fortunostics, & AOL bashing
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 95 13:03:24 PST
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: Big terms, a popular thought, fortunostics, & AOL bashing
Excerpted-from: "DESPERADO #7 corvophagy to follow"
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom Parmenter)
Forwarded-by: Richard Mlynarik <email@example.com>
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Henry Baker)
I was reading an article by Karen Frenkel in the Comm. of the ACM,
July 1989, about "The Next Generation of Interactive Technologies", and
she quoted Nolan Bushnell in a keynote address to the Intertainment (sic)
"Ultimately, 'what we really want is to have a whole world linked by
400 megahertz fiberoptic cable with about a trilobyte of memory in the
basement of every home,' he said. Looking at the cost of memory and the
cost of bandwidth over the last 20 years, he postulates that 80 to 90
percent of American homes can have not a trilobyte, but a couple of
random access gigabytes within the next 20 years. If that happens,
software will provide the solutions, he said." [???]
OK, so what's a 'trilobyte' ?? I presume by the discussion that it
is greater than a gigabyte (10^9). Would he perhaps be meaning to
say 'terabyte' (10^12), or 'trillion-byte' ??
From my dictionary:
trilobite, n. any of the Trilobita, a group of extinct arthropods,
variously classed with the crustaceans or the arachnidans or as
intermediate between these, with a flattened oval body varying in
length from an inch or less to two feet, their remains being found
widely distributed in strata of the Paleozoic era, and important as
being among the earliest known fossils.
(I think that I have some trilobites in _my_ basement...)
From: the January, 1995 InterNetwork "The Manager's Magazine of Standards
and Interoperability", page 16:
"Digital Goes With Network Flow Control" (article about DEC's Gigaswitch).
Sidebar shows picture with caption "Digital's ATM Gigaswitch supports
1.1 Gigawatts of throughput."
(Must have one hell of a heat sink...)
At the Chestnut Hill Cinema they run slides filled with info-nubbins mostly
about movies. Apparently 81% of all films released in the last 50 years
contain the immortal line:
"Let's get out of here!"
81%!!!!! This must be the quintessential American thought.
Maybe it's because I ate Chinese last night, but I got a couple of
cc/ldr diagnostics today that sounded a LOT like what you'd read on
fortune cookie fortunes:
cc-172 cc: WARNING file = /u/xb/aagp/new_aagp/aagp_setup.c, Line = 185
No code is generated for a superfluous expression.
ldr-133 cc: WARNING
Unsatisfied external references have been encountered.
Doesn't it seem that the folks who write compiler diagnostic messages
moonlight as writers in Fortune Cookie factories? The same
terseness, the same mystical obscurity, the same vaguely
threatening equivocation. I almost expect the diagnostics to be
followed by winning lottery numbers.
I began to consider the confusion if diagnostics were somehow
mixed up with the fortunes. Imagine the reaction of a diner opening
up a cookie and seeing:
"Variable "buf" is used before it is assigned."
...especially if that is, indeed, the problem in the program he's debug-
ging at work! (Rod Serling, are you listening?) And imagine the popularity
of a compiler which provided _really_ useful information, like:
"The inflexible man forgets that the rice is harvested by bending."
every time it encounters a syntax error. The best idea, I think, is to
come up with phrases which could be used equally well either as fortunes _or_
"It is most unwise to build upon an undefined structure."
"The sow mates not with the bull; nor the int * with the char."
"Correct previous errors before persevering to gather objects."
"Ambiguous references presage Bus Errors; pause and reflect."
"The wise nightingale contains its new nest entirely within the old."
"Help! I'm a prisoner in an ADA factory!"
(hehe, just kidding with that last one) The sum effect of such an
effort would be to both improve the computer literacy and
programming ability of the general (well, at least those who
frequent Chinese restaurants) public, and to cultivate wisdom and
aesthetic tranquility amongst programmers, who sorely need it.
WHEN THE BLUE OF THE NIGHT MEETS THE GOLD OF THE DAY
Hey, those AOL people really suck don't they? And, at this very
moment, I don't doubt that AOL is full of people complaining about
all the AOL newbies brought in by paving the entire world with
floppies for ten hours of free AOL time.
In addition to crow, the next Desperado has a neat AOL hack.
Digital technology is the universal solvent of intellectual property rights
Copyright 1995, Tom Parmenter
© 1995 Peter Langston