June 29th, 2007

To be is to perceive

In honour of Mr. Dog's return from The Queen's Veterinary School Hospital, Cambridge (presumably so named because of its specialism in 9 foot shape-shifting lizards - Prince Philip has to be sent somewhere) I am working from home. My work PC is (a) building our fine software (b) running another program loading data laboriously into a SQL Server Express 2005 server which is (c) running on a virtual machine under VMWare.
I am getting the presumably entirely false feeling that the PC is coping far better with this than it would were I actually sitting at it. Surely I am just imagining this because I am in a more relaxed environment and can't hear the disk churn? Or is there some bizarre reason I can't think of?

(fun LJ spell check suggestions - VMWare = Vampire, Firmware, Wetware, Vapourware...

you can imagine children of geeks or sinister children in a tea-time SF / fantasy series using that as a skipping rhyme 'Vampire, Firmware, Wetware, Vapourware, Vampire, Firmware, Wetware, Vapourware')

A dance to the music of mainframes

http://www.ausersmanual.com "Inspired by a recording of an IBM mainframe computer which Jóhann’s father, Jóhann Gunnarsson, made on a reel-to-reel tape machine more than 30 years ago, the piece was originally written to be performed by a string quartet as the accompaniment to a dance piece by the choreographer Erna Ómarsdóttir." (via The Inquirer)

The IBM 1401 is the machine that seems to have largely replaced the IBM 407, the last of the tabulators. The programming languages RPG and FARGO were designed to be easy to migrate to for people who programmed tabulators (by plugging wires into plug-boards). Tabulators are fascinating things. I have an old Wiley book on how to program them. Its pedagogical style is rather weird, not how one would do things today.