Pinned toot

My name is Rob. I grew up a military brat, but my family is generally from the midwestern US.

I was a software engineer for about a decade, including a ~5-year stint at Square (the payments processor). I made the move to academia about 4 years ago, and I am currently working on a PhD studying programming languages at Purdue with Ben Delaware.

I'm an avid reader in general, and like science fiction in particular. I like to fence, although I do it less than I used to. I play violin and piano equally terribly, and I have a beautiful family who is forced to listen.

If you want a cool example of language change over time, or just want to feel old (it's a 2-for-1 deal): I'm reading a German translation of the first 3 books of the Sprawl series (apparently published before the 4th book came out), and in the foreword Neil Gaiman pointed out how the meaning of the first sentence of Neuromancer has changed drastically. It refers to the color of a TV screen tuned to a dead channel, and to most people around my age or older this is obviously fluctuating gray and white static, to a generation younger it's blue, and if my son reads this when he's older it'll be black.

The 21st annual Oregon Programming
Languages Summer School (OPLSS) will be held from June 26th to July 8th, 2023 at the University of Oregon. The theme will be "types, semantics, and logic" and is being organized by Zena Ariola, Stephanie Balzer, and myself. More details, soon!

A modern TNG would have Data saying things that are 80% true with perfect confidence, and Picard has to figure out which things to believe. Also there'd be an episode where Data becomes suddenly racist.

Show thread

Watching TNG in the era of LLMs is hilarious because the problem people have interacting with Data's AI is he's *too factually accurate*.

I think it's brave of PICARD to take the things that define STAR TREK, like the idea of crews of highly trained utopians using science and diplomacy to solve problems in a bright and shiny future, and just completely jettison all that to focus on people bickering in various underlit locations.

RT @JamieDobson
An old program tape with two clearly visible patches, on sections 250 and 260.

The punch card's error, as manifested by the punches, was patched in just the same way a bike tire is patched.

This is why we call it patching when we fix existing software.

I found this taped to the door of the geography department at GWU today and it brought me so much joy. A guide to figuring out when a map was made based on features. Zoom in. It’s amazing.

Amazing that gutting once-prime mall anchor retail space to make vast, mostly-empty "indoor amusement parks" is a viable business model.

we did it guys, we created a new gilded age

"By 2021, the top 1% income share has reached an all-time high of 27.4% much higher than the previous record of 23.9% in 1928"

And on the pedestal, these words appear:
"Wayback Machine has not archived that URL."
Nothing beside remains.

Show thread

shout out to whoever designed the "non-fiction" icon in Apple Books

Microsoft has always had a great philosophy around accessibility and introduced me to the idea of temporary disability. It’s a great way to broaden one’s perspective on how much impact making your product more accessible has.

ssh key file names should be x (public) / x.private instead of x (private) / x.public to make it much harder to accidentally grab your private key in the shell. This toot brought to you by I did that thing.

The Kickstarter for Shift Happens, Marcin's amazing book about the history of the keyboard just went live.

You want a copy. Seriously.

2000-2005: Blogs are great and so are comments!
2005-2010: Blogs are still great but comments are not.
2010-Present: What if we didn't have blogs but just had a website full of nothing but comments?

RSS is really an under-rated [largely unknown?] way to keep up with YouTube channels.

YouTube ~used to~ include the RSS links right on channel pages but these days they try and hide 'em (they're still there)

Feedly is my RSS reader of choice and it'll automatically add a channel just from the URL but if you need the actual RSS, they can be found with a little digging.

right-click, 'View Page source', ctrl+F to find 'rssurl' in the page source - it'll be formatted to look something like www·youtube·com/feeds/videos·xml?channel_id=bunchanumbers

Like any RSS feed, when your fav creators update, you'll see it come up close to real time. & you might prefer that over the YouTube home page or notification options.

So I've been building a 100% analog polyphonic synthesizer with an unique twist. To use only vacuum tube era technology from the 1930s.

Over 300 neon gas diodes create the sound you hear. Pretty awesome for technology from 100 years ago.

Still a work-in-progress, but I wanted to post a video of it with the innards spread out across the workbench. : }

I call it the "Neon String Machine"

#synthesizers #music #electronics #audio #synthwave

Life Hack: the way you’re doing stuff is probably fine. You don’t need the 8% increase in productivity

Show thread
Show older

A Mastodon instance for programming language theorists and mathematicians. Or just anyone who wants to hang out.