Archives for October 2013

October 2013 (3)
« Sep Nov »

Like this Archive Calendar widget? Download it here.

Pre-loading images for a web page

I had occasion the other day to mess around with a particular web page. The page was designed to provide an overview of a particular topic (essentially a list of high-level headers) and that had detail sections that were hidden. The user had to click on a “more” button on a particular header to show its individual detail section. Not only that, but should a detail section be shown, the “more” button was changed to a “less” button, so that the user got a hint that he could close that particular detail section (at which point, the “less” button became a “more” button once more). […]


My second calculator: the Commodore SR 4190R

Yes, it’s another rave from the grave: a retro calculator from Julian’s past calculator history. This one is from 1976, so I bought mine after I’d finished school and before I started university. It’s the Commodore SR 4190R, made in England (take that, oriental factories!), and a more fabulous button-oriented jabberwock of a calculator is hard to imagine. And, unlike graphics calculators of the present day with their menus and pixel displays, this is “just” a calculator. […]


PCPlus 326: Turing and his machines

In August last year, I read Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges, which turned out to be an excellent biography of Alan Turing, especially so since 2012 was the centenary of his birth (I’d bought the Centenary Edition). Hodges is a mathematician and I certainly appreciated the way he described Turing’s inventions and mathematical insights. Despite (or in spite of) that, Hodges detailed Turing’s life and death in great detail, without causing the reader to flag and get bored. The description of the war years were extremely interesting, and the book contains the best account of the cracking of the Enigma Machine I have read anywhere. And, as always, whenever I read about Turing’s final days, I get angry at the mores and laws of the 50s (which, if you think about it, is a bit futile: it was what it was). […]