Girls Go Geek… Again!

Girls Go Geek… Again!:

Women had started to flock to computer science in the mid-1960s, during the early days of computing, when men were already dominating other technical professions but had yet to dominate the world of computing. For about two decades, the percentages of women who earned Computer Science degrees rose steadily, peaking at 37% in 1984.

The c64 was released in 1982 and marketed almost exclusively to boys. Wargames was released in 1983. Tron in 1982. This seems to match up with the decline of women in computer science.

AI Takes On Pac-Man

AI takes on Pac-Man - well, in fact it plays both sides. An annual competition challenges participants to write Java programs to control Pac-Man or the ghosts. It might not be chess, but it pits machine against machine, with algorithms going head-to-head as the AI ghosts try and eat AI Pac-Man.”

From AI Takes On Pac-Man

Reminds me of core wars. But the use of pac man is really nice.

The ultimate LEGO Factory

This year, we had two builders presenting their own “LEGO factories” at “LEGOWORLD 2010” at Zwolle in the Netherlands.
The most significant advancement when compared to their predecessors, is the capability to produce many different LEGO models, reading the model description from a digital file (LDD or LDraw, depending on the factory we are referring to).
To conclude, lets see just one panoramic view from the whole factory, which I estimate to span about 2m length.

From Week TechVideo, 2010 - The ultimate LEGO Factory

Lego factory.

The 100-year leap

I’m launching a project to finish Charles Babbage’s dream and build an Analytical Engine for public display. My hope is that future generations of scientists will stand before the completed Analytical Engine and be inspired to work on their own 100-year leaps.

From The 100-year leap

This should show up all those Steam Punk geeks with their home made goggles and brass cased iPhones.

Bad Program


If this is what you see when your program is running on a dual core machine, please don’t try and convince me that it multi-tasks. I don’t need to see the source. I don’t want to debate it.

150-Year-Old Computer Brought to Life

Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine No. 2, designed in the late 1840s, weighs five tons, is 11 feet (3.4 meters) long and seven feet (2.1 meters) high, and has 8,000 bronze, cast iron and steel parts.
150-Year-Old Computer Brought to Life [Slideshow]: Scientific American Slideshow

Needless to say, it doesn’t run Vista. I remember reading about this design in college. I didn’t think anyone could actually build one. Brings back memories of my attempt at an difference engine emulator. I joked that it would be an upgrade for the X11 abacus emulator I wrote.

Computer Checkers Program Is Invincible

Developed by computer scientists at the University of Alberta in Canada, Chinook vanquished human competitors at tournaments more than a decade ago. Now, in an article published today on the Web site of the journal Science, the scientists report that they have rigorously proved that Chinook, in a slightly improved version, cannot ever lose. An opponent, no matter how skilled, practiced or determined, can at best achieve a draw.
Computer Checkers Program Is Invincible - New York Times

Why am I reminded of the WOPR from wargames?

A Programming Language Like Playing With Blocks

Scratch is a creativity tool from the M.I.T. Media Lab that turns abstract programming concepts like recursion into snap-together puzzle pieces. It is like a multimedia sandbox, where children 8 and up are welcomed as media producers, following the same philosophical blueprint that inspired software projects like Logo and Squeak.
A Programming Language Like Playing With Blocks - New York Times

I played with scratch last night and was totally amazed at how good it is. First off, it doesn’t just teach “programming”. It teaches much of the principals of Comp Sci. Second, you don’t need to know anything about computer programming to pick it up.


Knowing that my software errors haven’t lead to the destruction of mankind does wonders for my self esteem. Well, they haven’t yet lead to the destruction of mankind.