March 13th, 2015


Funnily enough I had mentioned Terry Pratchett yesterday before the news of his death - I quoted Ansible on the subject of the BBC to Dr Cray (whom God preserve) and someone else

'Something for the Very Strange department; the BBC contacted us about doing a prime time series based on the Guards books. Things seemed to go well, although it appeared to me that up to that point only one person involved had read a Discworld book. Then we gradually moved into Fairy Land.... What caused me to crack was the question of the Bible. I am not going to let something like this happen without some input, if only to stop Nobby Nobbs becoming female. Much discussion ensued, and my movie agent suggested that the BBC and us create the Guards Bible – these style guides are quite common in the business. / It looked, therefore, like it would be all systems go until the BBC came back and said that while they would be happy to collaborate on the Bible, they would because of their charter have to have the final say, which means in effect: "everything will be set in stone, but we are allowed to have a sledgehammer." So the BBC is not getting Guards! Guards!. As my movie agent (who has dealt with some of the most voracious companies in the States) said to me, "How does anyone ever deal with the BBC?"'

This was in the context of the BBC's new 'Not a Rasberry Pi, not an Arduino' project the Micro Bits
I am amused that the BBC story describes this as giving children 'mini-computers'. PDP-11's all round, hic. Or maybe the plan IS to give every year 7 child a PDP-11/70.
Clearly this is very much an 'announcement' in the sense that nothing firm has been announced, ARM has more detail about it here
I have to say that I cannot really see either that the ability to make 25 LEDs flash on and off from a Python / C++ program will excite / inspire children. But then I am not a parent, a child or an educator.

I picked up the 2 early Pratchett SF novels before her was famous, they are amongst his best stuff. I have to say I sort of got bored with Discworld at about Pyramids though I think I have read Small Gods and one other maybe. Good Omens was certainly better than anything else by Pratchett or Gaiman, a true classic.

Meanwhile, did you know you can play Snake on the Kings Cross fountains?