· 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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