When
· Naughties
· · 2005
· · · August
· · · · 02 (4 entries)

The Bodleian · The big library at Oxford is named after its founder Thomas Bodley, whose admirably-short autobiography may be purchased in the gift shop. We had an excellent guided tour; herewith illustrated notes on the colour of fairy tales and the history of cataloging ...
 
Donkeys · We visited The Donkey Sanctuary in Devon; it’s a nice place, follow that link and read all about it, and if you’re anywhere near, drop on by. But this entry is just two cute donkey pictures, that’s all; no larger lessons or technology metaphors. [Malcolm Rowe writes to let me know that “Devonshire” is at best book language, at worst ignorant-tourist talk. So “Devon” it is; anyhow shorter is better.] ...
 
The Joy of Threads · I’ve had quite a bit to say here about how concurrent software, which is getting more important, remains brutally difficult—beyond the reach, some say, of many application programmers. I’m a little worried about negative spin, because if you enjoy programming, you should give concurrency a try; some of us find it especially satisfying. I can remember like yesterday in the undergrad CS course when I first understood what a “process” was, and then a few years later the same feeling when I really got threads. Yeah, it’s tough; you’ll find yourself debugging by print statement, and sometimes with a compile-run-think cycle time measured in minutes. But when you have the computer doing a bunch of things at once, and they all fit together and the right things happen fast, well, that’s some pretty tasty brain candy. All this brought to mind during our recent long weekend in the English countryside; it seemed entirely reasonable to me to sit in a quiet corner of the pub, or with a view of the ocean, and get a few of those compile-run-think cycles in. I can understand that not everyone feels this way, but to all the coders out there: this stuff is not only good for your career, it can be its own reward.
 
Lyme Light · Our long English weekend was almost entirely unlit by sun; but the colours and light of that countryside are worth looking at, even with grey overhead. This small photo-essay features Lyme Regis, a likeable kind of place ...
 
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