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Archive for the ‘Tech’ Category


Lefty is moving to the Bay Area to start a new gig at Facebook – here is a guide I helped with in 1997, which should be called “Welcome to the Silicon Valley“. News flash: Nothing has changed; ironically, he’ll be working on the same campus Tom and I worked on when we were at Sun. We were all pretty proud when it was printed in Good Morning Silicon Valley, which really was the first thing everyone read in the morning.

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Written by Ry Jones

15 May 2012 at 19:50

Posted in Tech

I had forgotten

Picked up an iPod touch last night and loaded a bunch of podcasts on it; I had forgotten the best feature of playback on iPods: 2x playback. Christ, I hate people talking at 1x. Since I only use my Zune for podcasts, this is the end of that. Sad day.

Written by Ry Jones

8 May 2012 at 12:25

Posted in Tech

Switch begins

Plugged both the mini and my desktop into a DVI switchbox. Installing TF2 and DoD:S, then going to bed.

Written by Ry Jones

30 April 2012 at 17:59

Posted in Tech

Well, bye

I didn’t so much switch as Windows 8 is not something I want to participate in.
And so the conversion begins

That and multiple recent hardware failures caused me to re-evaluate spending time and money fixing my PC or moving on. I choose to move.

Written by Ry Jones

20 April 2012 at 12:05

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Tech

Oxygen, the magical fruit

Did you know production of liquid oxygen is really easy? Did you know liquid oxygen is paramagnetic? I knew neither of these things.

Written by Ry Jones

18 March 2012 at 5:33

Posted in Tech

AT&T film on waves

Neat film on wave systems and impedance matching. I dig the wave machines!

Written by Ry Jones

10 February 2012 at 13:15

Posted in Tech

On fame, or nearness to it

It sucks when you’re searching for someone that shares a name with a famous person; I wish there was a way to say “no, not that Famous Name” and have Bing or Google subtract all results known to be about the famous person. Also, searching for someone named after a place is almost impossible; worse yet when the last name is shared by someone mildly famous from that place. Imagine having gone to school with Indianapolis Payton or worked with Dallas Cuban; give up, the information you seek is lost in the chaff.

Written by Ry Jones

6 February 2012 at 11:23

Posted in Tech

Trigraphs, digraphs: part two

Nobody guessed in the comments, so I’ll go ahead and answer. Trigraphs were added to C89 because ISO-646 (“Invariant ASCII”) was not rich enough to express C.

The solution is an internationally agreed-upon repertoire, in terms of which an international representation of C can be defined. The ISO has defined such a standard:ISO 646 describes aninvariant subset of ASCII. The characters in the ASCII repertoire used by C and absent from the ISO 646 repertoire are: #[]{}\|~^ Given this repertoire, the Committee faced the problem of defining representations for the absent characters. The obvious idea of defining two-character escape sequences fails because C uses all the characters which are in the ISO 646 repertoire: no single escape character is available. The best that can be done is to use a trigraph – an escape digraph followed by a distinguishing character. ?? was selected as the escape digraph because it is not used anywhere else in C (except as noted below); it suggests that something unusual is going on. The third character was chosen with an eye to graphical similarity to the character being represented.

Since digraphs were out for C89, how did they end up in C99? They were imported from AMD1 (Amendment 1), AKA C95. Why were they added? Trigraphs are ugly.

C90 addresses the problem in a different way. It provides replacements at the level of individual characters using three-character sequences called trigraphs (see § For example, ??< is entirely equivalent to {, even within a character constant or string literal. While this approach provides a solution for the known limitations of EBCDIC (except for the exclamation mark) and ISO/IEC 646, the result is arguably not highly readable.

Thus, AMD1 provides a set of more readable digraphs (see §6.4.6). These are two-character alternate spellings for several of the operators and punctuators that can be hard to read with ISO/IEC 646 national variants. Trigraphs are still required within character constants and string literals, but at least the more common operators and punctuators can have more suggestive spellings using digraphs.

Not what I thought, either.

Written by Ry Jones

20 September 2011 at 12:33

Posted in Tech

Trigraphs, digraphs, K&R

In order to resolve a geek fight (not in my favor, I might add), I dug in and found out when and why di- and trigraphs were added to the C programming language. Without using a search engine, do you know when and why? Hint: the answer has nothing to do with keyboards.

Answer in a day or two, unless someone pipes up in the comments.

Written by Ry Jones

17 September 2011 at 21:17

Posted in Tech

New EDC knife?

I threw all my knives in the garbage when I saw knives that inject CO2 into your target. $400, too; what a bargain!

Written by Ry Jones

17 August 2011 at 0:38

Posted in Tech


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