Old Software Never Dies…

…it just keeps byte-ing.  All of a sudden, with payroll and government financial systems being stressed, large institutions are desperate to find COBOL programmers.  Foolishly, they pensioned off all those crusty old codgers, instead of keeping a few on staff to tinker and optimize and untangle all the old code running payroll and inventory andContinue reading “Old Software Never Dies…”

Holding Steady Will Not Sustain Us

Over at American Digest, Van Der Leun gives us a “view from the trenches” that tells us how to Reopen America: Holding Steady won’t be enough to save us. It won’t be nearly enough. To save ourselves we have to find a way to save that couple’s small restaurant. Their restaurant is one — onlyContinue reading “Holding Steady Will Not Sustain Us”

Oh, and in my spare time, I invented TeX

Writing in Quanta, Susan D’Agostino has a fascinating interview with the computing-est of all computer scientists, Donald Knuth.  Who continues his Everest-like trek up his monumental Art of Computer Programming.  This (intrinsically) never-to-be-completed opus to the mathematics and techniques of algorithms was, for many of us, the first introduction to formal analysis of algorithms andContinue reading “Oh, and in my spare time, I invented TeX”

Captain Tom Shows Us How It’s Done

Captain Tom Moore, HMRA (retired), cooked up the idea of a 100-lap charity fundraiser to celebrate his impending 100th birthday.  100 laps around his garden, with a walker (he IS 99). His goal was £1000 for the NHS. Word got out.  Right now he’s raised £13 million. In a just world, Captain Tom’s birthday celebrationContinue reading “Captain Tom Shows Us How It’s Done”

College Ain’t for Everyone…

…and I’m no longer a Voice in the Wilderness saying so.  Writing in the Washington Examiner, Michael Barone says American higher education has been in serious trouble for the past two decades. Yes, it’s true that American universities science and technology departments lead the world, and the (increasingly unscientific) social sciences and (often inhumane) humanitiesContinue reading “College Ain’t for Everyone…”

WuFlu and the Urban Chicken Movement

San Antonios have become chickenistas!  Lots of folks are hoping to avoid egg shortages by raising their own chickens. “When we get them in, it’s been a mad dash for the chickens,” said Cathy Sullivan, who works at Strutty’s Feed and Pet Supply store in Spring Branch. “We’ve had shipments of 300 to 350 perContinue reading “WuFlu and the Urban Chicken Movement”