Stob has obtained access to the unpublished journals of a young British programmer who found herself assigned to the elite team that built the HAL 9000 computer during the 1990s.
StobThese days we hear a lot about luring the young away from happy, fulfilling careers and into the world of programming. The kids have been freed from the tedious yoke of the boring and 'Microsoft-heavy' ITC syllabuses courtesy of popular hero Michael Gove.
StobAre you lolling dolefully? Then I'll continue. The TV show Mr. Robot deals with the life and adventures of Elliot Alderson, a twenty-something New York devop and cyber-vigilante. He and his circle of chums, seeking to inflict revenge on a mega-corporation for a hushed-up industrial accident, stumble towards bringing e-civilisation to a sticky end.
StobPeter Wayner, a tech columnist, claims to have identified the seven most vexing problems in programming. According to his subheadings, these are: multithreading, closures, "too big data", np-completeness, security, encryption and identity management.
STOBPay attention, campers. I have conducted an impartial analysis of the post-Brexit landscape and identified a list of concrete, must-have programming skills for your edification.
StobHurrah! Summer is at last well under way, so how better to pass the weekends than pulling the curtains on the rainscape, lolling on the sofa and inhaling a few dozen hours of downloaded TV? I am aware that such an introduction sets up certain expectations.
StobEditor's Note: Verity Stob's Chronicles of Delphi [King James ed.] began in 1996. The most recent translations can be found here: The Sons of Kahn and the assembly language of the internet, here: The Sons of Kahn and the Pascal spring and here: Sons of Kahn: The Apocrypha.
StobOnce there were a million A&B stories on the Naked Web. Now there are a million-and-one.
StobFunctional Programming is the great paradigm shift that is sweeping through software development.
StobSome weeks ago, on the back of superlative-laced recommendatory posts like this one, I took myself off to the Fosse des Puces high art cinema to see The Imitation Game, the new biopic about Alan "Weird Al" Turing starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
StobLaud Satya Nadella stood at the leaded casement of his garret, contemplating the ominous, brooding sky to the south. The flag over the Maeiouster's Hub Complex barely stirred in the still air, so that he could not only see the sigil of his once-proud house - gules and vert oblongs accroupis sur a respectant brace, azure dexter and jaune sinister, of quatrocons, conjoined to the Mark of Registered Trade - but also make out the motto VENIT FENESTRAE (which, as everybody knows, is Old Visbasian for "Windows is coming") proudly emblazoned in the finest, most delicate Comic Sans that the T-shirt weavers of Old Redmond could fashion.
StobIn view of the ongoing security-holed far-too-open source situation, I have decided to convene an emergency meeting of ERCOCC, the El Reg Committee Of Competent Coders, to review what has occurred and how we should go forward.
StobWhat are you up, Verity? Ensconced in one of your comfortable, miles-from-any-critical-path projects?
StobSignificant anniversaries bunch together like buses. Three are assaulting me simultaneously, give or take a month or two.
StobI recently experienced a Damascene conversion and, like many such converts, I am now set on a course of indiscriminate and aggressive proselytising.
Stob"What better way to dispel the rainy gloom of an English summer," mused Ms Stob, in an introduction presumably written some time in March, "than a mass office sing-along to a selection of IT-themed pastiches?"
StobNow it has been scientifically demonstrated that we Delphi users are the happiest of all programmers, proper significance can at last be attached to the rare woes that occasionally break through our Stepford Coder personas.
StobReg columnist Verity Stob says she's uncovered the following string of eye-opening electronic missives between the International Space Station's crew members. First, some context:
StobWhen I heard, in a tutorial video, the multi-platform programmer's editor Sublime described as "the cool kids' code editor" (or possibly "the Cool Kid's code editor" - the speaker didn't enunciate his capitals and apostrophes very clearly) I was puzzled. As the goto (or, rather, the call-by-reference) consultant on Agile Harlem Shake in the northwest corner of our floor, surely no such assertion could plausibly be made without first interviewing me?
StobEditor's Note: Verity Stob's celebrated history of computing was first published in EXE magazine in 1997, but has been unobtainable on the internets for several years. Now, thanks to the painstaking reconstruction of small pieces of parchment, and a small monetary inducement, we can now bring it to you as a Seasonal Treat. With added Annotations.
StobEditor's Note: Verity Stob's Chronicles of Delphi [King James ed.] began in 1996. The most recent translations can be found here: The Sons of Kahn and the Pascal spring and here: Sons of Kahn: The Apocrypha.
Google’s latest improvement to its web search has produced a catastrophic consequence. The Chocolate Factory now adds biographical information to the search result for a person, drawing on the fantastically accurate well of truth that is Wikipedia, and also adding Google’s best guess of an identifying photograph.
Stob SpecialIn the pub, with my editor. "Those sci-fi classics of the fifties," he mused. "Not the Hammer remakes - the originals. Are they really classics? How do they compare with modern Doctor Who? Are they even watchable?"
StobAs you have surely heard, it’s Alan Turing’s centenary this year, and the Bletchley Park museum is celebrating by releasing a game of Monopoly themed on the life of that mathematical genius. I’ll pause for a sentence or two here, while you let your boggle levels equalise, because, given Turing’s life story, this is a quite a bizarre concept to digest. For example, what are the Chance cards going to be like?
StobIPv4 addresses are a rapidly dwindling commodity [...] ICANN distributed the last big chunks of available IPv4 addresses to the five continental Regional Internet Registries earlier this year. The RIRs in turn are running out of supplies to allocate to ISPs and other network operators - El Reg
StobWhen I saw that my editor had written 'Metro isn't the problem: catapulting into Metro land (and back again) is', I said: 'There's an idea - I could do try out the Betj pastiche macro in my HTML editor'. And scurried out the door before anybody thought to stop me.
StobThe technical conference season is once more upon us. The speakers at these affairs spend a lot of time sharing their software design patterns and anti-patterns with us; as a regular attendee it seemed to me that we punters were overdue for revenge. Here is some of their own medicine.
StobSomewhere on the hard drive of every programmer-wannabe-writer’s laptop there is the first chapter of an unfinished steam punk novel. Here’s mine.
Stob'In his speech [...] the Education Secretary Michael Gove appeared to accept in its entirety the argument that ICT had become little more than training in office skills and something far more rigorous was required [...] While Alex Hope's slogan "coding is the new Latin" did not appeal to some, it must have appealed to the classicist in Michael Gove' - Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC website
Stob[We last heard from the Sons of Khan in 2010. The scriptures continue - Ed.]
StobEver since Richard Stallman hit the news ...
StobI defrosted my ideas box, and found several morsels which wouldn't make a whole meal in themselves, but nonetheless needed eating.
StobI think I mentioned that I was doing an Open University PGDip course in software development. (For those not familiar with the institution, the Open University has rightly been described as a sort of mental gym. You join with great enthusiasm; then, after three months, having attended just twice, you can drop out and ask for the balance of your subscription back.)
StobJust downloaded the beta version of English V3.31, and I have to say I am very excited about it. This is definitely going to be a feather in the cap of Anglophones everywhere, and way better than the notorious V2.99 release of French (or the 'deux point neufty-neuf' as it has become known). There's a ton of new features to talk about, so let me dive in right away with some toothsome details.
StobA website called MySpace is 'in a death spiral' according to Mr Robert Scoble, who attributes this unhappy state to its being implemented using Microsoft .NET technology, and because it is headquartered in Los Angeles, where apparently there aren't enough good programmers.
StobWhat better occupation, at this time of year, than to polish up one's IT skills with some background reading? What have the great programming publishers got lined up for our delectation in 2011?
StobDo you suffer from unsatisfactory projectile climaxes? Is your software construction methodology previous generation? Do you require the predictable outcome of pre-planning with the flexibility of iteration and the lightness of touch of partially de-hierarchicalised management approaches?
A 22-year career chronicling the world of computing programming counts for nothing, it seems. Columnist and author Verity Stob may be nominated for deletion from Wikipedia for not being "notable" enough.