Lazy Reading for 2011/07/31


Posted in the past, for the future.  I always build these up over the week, so if the links seem dated (as in more than 24 hours old), that’s why.  My commentary will add the flavor.

  • This NYT story about Dwarf Fortress has been linked lots of places, but I want to point out the one paragraph:

    Growing up, Tarn was enamored of Dungeons & Dragons and J.R.R. Tolkien, but he has never been a lockstep member of the geek culture so much as a wanderer on the fringes. He didn’t read superhero comics as a kid, and later, he never became obsessed with the “Game of Thrones” books, say, or with “Lost.”

    Are you over 35 or so?  Then maybe you remember a time when there wasn’t a designated ‘Geek Culture’.  It’s something specific to a period in time, like when pay phones were still common, or when people were on average still thin.  It strikes me that the interviewer assumes that a computer programmer should become consumed with a TV media event; that it’s part of what makes them what they are.   It’s as if all accountants need to have brown shoes, and all artists have to wear berets and ‘get’ abstract art.  Maybe I’m just hipster complaining.

  • “...while Bell Labs’ parent company AT&T flatly refused to believe that packet switching would ever work” – Have I linked to Shady Characters before?  I think so.  Anyway, this is part 1 about the @ sign, and it’s of course talking about email and the early days of the Internet, back when it was the ARPANet.  Be sure to check the references at the end of the article; it contains gems like this ad for a 65-pound portable TTY.
  • Tim Paterson has a blog.  DOS is his fault.  Worth reading, for the early hardware details.  (via ftigeot on #dragonflybsd)
  • Removing the Internet’s relics. An article about how FTP should die.  It will…  once there’s no place where it’s needed.  Like gopher!
  • Comparisons like this are usually cheesy, but this one made me laugh: Text editors as Lord of the Rings locations.
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  1. […] unrelated link of the week: Shady Characters, a typography/history blog I’ve linked to before, has a book out.  If you liked those links, you know what to do […]

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