Archive for February 20, 2004

Friday, February 20, 2004


Simon Stewart’s article about mocking generated some good discussion.

TiVo Remote

Jason Kottke:

Nice fluffy article in the NY Times about the design process that led to the TiVo remote control, complete with a thumbs-up (bing!) from usability quote-whore Jakob Nielsen. I like TiVo and all, but why does tech journalism have to be so soft all the time?


Nat Irons:

As soon as modern filters become reliable enough for mainstream adoption, people are going to treat them as killfiles. It’s going to cause havoc. It’ll be hilarious! But messy.

It’s been happening for a while, and I’m sometimes tempted to do it myself!

Cyclone and Curry-Howard

Kim Burchett:

However what I did glean from the discussion was that Cyclone’s straightforward memory leak detection algorithm doesn’t lead to a small, well-defined interface. Case in point: in order to implement a garbage collector they had to extend the runtime. It was a small function (only 5 lines of code) but nevertheless it was not possible at the user level. In effect, they had to introduce a new proof rule into the type system. That’s disturbing to me—it means the type system is incomplete. And these are smart people, so if it wasn’t complete to start with, that probably means it’ll never be complete.

Cocoa programmers might find that Cyclone’s regions look a little familiar.

Class-Dump 3.0

Steve Nygard has released a major update to his excellent class-dump utility for Objective-C (via Jonathan Rentzsch).

Writing Fiction

James D. Macdonald has posted lots of advice for fiction writers (via Jerry Kindall).

William Gibson, author of the influential but somewhat trashy Neuromancer, and famous user of ancient hardware:

“I remember [in the early ’80s] seeing posters for the small, semi-portable version of the Apple IIc,” he says. “Quite a lot of what I subsequently imagined in my early science fiction simply came from seeing that ad in a bus stop. I didn’t know anything about it technologically. I just thought if it’s that small and that nicely styled, everything is changing.