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Category Archives: Software

Choosing ordered distinct random integers


This is a response to a puzzle posted by Daniel Lemire. On first reading, I missed that Daniel wanted an ordered set, so offered a ‘shuffle’ algorithm. On second reading, noting the power-of-two bias in the benchmark, took advantage and offered a ‘cheat’ algorithm, as an upper limit. The ‘cheat’ algorithm does not generate all […]

Another Lisp flashback


Reading up on Dependency injection in the Spring Framework. Class-binding is late-assigned in XML (mainly). Spring uses another (different) interpreted language, derived from JSP expressions. Reading up on the Standard Template Library for C++. Class templates are written in this semi-interpreted template-script with tricky semantics, rather different from C++. Right. This is doing badly a […]

Segregation – Partition the problem


My question (in 2002) to Steve Theby, who originally told this story: You were part of a project deploying a large database application. Response/processing times were not reliable or predictable until each computer was dedicated to a specific kind of transaction. At least this is my somewhat hazy collection. Steve’s answer: Yes…I did work on […]

Story based reasoning and interviews


Roger Schank (a prominent AI figure) gave a talk at UCI several years back. His notion was the humans do not naturally reason deductively, rather we use something he called “story-based reasoning”. In fact most of human communication is in the form of “mini-stories”. This upset the deductive AI people to no end, but to […]



A list of programming languages is not very informative, so I compiled this list. (Right. Like this page really has a serious purpose.) 1973 – First program in Fortran 1974 – First program in Basic 1978 – First program in Pascal 1979 – First program in Lisp 1983 – First program in Modula-2 1984 – […]

Example of certificate creation with OpenSSL


If you need to create certificates for a test setup, the online examples and O’Reilly OpenSSL book examples – while instructive – seem rather awkward and obscure. The fault lies with OpenSSL (otherwise a great piece of software) and the mash of parameters between the configuration file, the command line, and interactive entry. The mash […]

User interface fail – in a research building


Went to a seminar at UCI on advanced user interfaces, in a new/fancy building paid for by a local billionaire. This is what i see – in the building used for seminars – when I go to UCI, usually for a talk related the user interface design. This panel to call the elevator is in […]

Cable companies and bad software


I have Internet, phone, and cable TV through Cox Cable in Orange County, California. Cox does an excellent job as a cable and Internet provider. On the other hand, the Cox website has always looked pretty, but worked poorly. (This does not really matter at all, as the important bit is that cable/internet service works […]