[Chicago] Good readings on the history of computing

Jason Wirth wirth.jason at gmail.com
Wed Sep 25 12:56:19 CEST 2013


@Matt -- I have a copy of GEB that I got many years ago before I started
programming, back when I was studying philosophy.

@Carl -- The Erlang video is pretty cool. It seems Erlang is gaining some
popularity recently. I like hearing about different models of programming.
Python is quite newer than, say C.

@Andy -- I looked quickly at PEP8 before writing the email to confirm the
number, but I skimmed past the part about longer lines.

@Alex -- def. right about the punch cards. I've long known that it was
because terminals were 80 characters, but it never occurred to ask, why are
terminals 80 characters?

@Matt -- That book book is currently available used for $0.01 on Amazon.
Much cheaper than today's textbooks. In subjects that don't change much I
often find older textbooks more helpful than modern ones, which can "dumb
down" the material.

@Ross -- both look like excellent books -- sold!




-- 
Jason Wirth
    213.675.5294
    wirth.jason at gmail.com


On Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 7:53 PM, Ross Heflin <heflin.rosst at gmail.com> wrote:

> a client once recommended this to me.
> http://www.amazon.com/The-Soul-A-New-Machine/dp/0316491977
> I enjoyed it much
> and no list would be complete without Steven Levy's Hackers: Heroes of the
> Computer Revolution
>
> http://www.amazon.com/Hackers-Computer-Revolution-Anniversary-Edition/dp/1449388396
>
>
>
> On Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 6:00 PM, Matt Bone <thatmattbone at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> It's not an article, but here's a really old book I love:
>>
>> http://www.amazon.com/Interactive-Programming-Environments-David-Barstow/dp/0070038856
>>
>> I think it's interesting to see how little stuff has changed with
>> regards to how we actually write programs. This book includes articles
>> from notables like Stallman and Kernighan.
>>
>> I like this thread because earlier today someone sent me an article
>> with this quote:
>>
>> "The lack of interest, the disdain for history is what makes computing
>> not-quite-a-field." – Alan Kay
>>
>> --matt
>>
>> On Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 5:35 PM, Alex MacKay <chicagomackay at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> > Again, the 72 is based upon concepts of the 1950's and 1960's.  A old
>> punch
>> > card was 80 columns long.  The last 8 (73-80) was used for line
>> numbering.
>> > If you dropped the deck of cards, you could easily put the program,
>> data,
>> > back in the correct order.
>> >
>> > On Sep 24, 2013, at 5:07 PM, Andy Boyle wrote:
>> >
>> > Continuing the off-topic for a moment, for those who are unaware PEP-8
>> was
>> > recently updated to allow for longer line length:
>> > http://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-0008/#maximum-line-length
>> >
>> > "Some teams strongly prefer a longer line length. For code maintained
>> > exclusively or primarily by a team that can reach agreement on this
>> issue,
>> > it is okay to increase the nominal line length from 80 to 100 characters
>> > (effectively increasing the maximum length to 99 characters), provided
>> that
>> > comments and docstrings are still wrapped at 72 characters."
>> >
>> >
>> > Andy Boyle | Chicago Tribune
>> > News Applications Developer
>> > @andymboyle | andymboyle.com
>> >
>> >
>> > On Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 4:49 PM, Carl Karsten <carl at personnelware.com>
>> > wrote:
>> >>
>> >> On Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 2:40 PM, Jason Wirth <wirth.jason at gmail.com>
>> >> wrote:
>> >> > Python is a newer language
>> >>
>> >> [citation needed]
>> >>
>> >> It is over 20 years old.
>> >>
>> >> granted pep 8:
>> >> http://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-0008/
>> >> Created:05-Jul-2001
>> >>
>> >> But back to your question about why 79 chars, I think because many of
>> >> us (like me) use text based editors in text based environments like an
>> >> ssh shell that defaults to 80 chars.
>> >>
>> >> and back on topic, you may like this
>> >>
>> >> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCwRGHj5jOE "26 years with Erlang or
>> >> How I got my grey hairs"
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> --
>> >> Carl K
>> >> _______________________________________________
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>> >> https://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/chicago
>> >
>> >
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>
>
>
> --
> From the "desk" of Ross Heflin
> phone number: (847) <23,504,826th decimal place of pi>
>
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