Friday, May 19, 2006

The Third Culture

Science and Art and "The Third Culture"

Computers -since invented- have been an interesting tool for all. We mean now artists and scientists. This gave great opportunity for both to interact with each other. Artists are interested in great technologies and discoveries made by their mates (scientists). While Scientists are inspires by humanities and great meaning given by artists. So we have two cultures Science and Art. This will evolve the third culture.

We now will define the word science as the study of physical and experimental issues. So a scientist is a person who studies or teaches science.

While art is defined as beautiful things or a skill acquired to a person. It may also be the meanings of words, colors, pictures, nature, many things.

So the third culture tries to tie both Art and science.

Science fiction is an example of this third culture. Here the writer or the poet knows much abut science and art. But, he can use some words outside their context such as "black hole". This is never wrong. It never bothers scientists.

If Science and Art share the same problem, the main difference between them will disappear and will be only the style or the way of solving the problem.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Hackers' folklore ”Story of Mel”

Hackers' folklore

This piece of folklore ”Story of Mel” was written by Ed Nather in 1980 for his friend Mel Kaye a true programmer credited with doing "the bulk of the programming" for the Royal McBee LGP-30 drum-memory computer in the 1950s.

Real Programmers write in FORTRAN

Maybe they do now,
in this decadent era of
Lite beer, hand calculators, and "user-friendly" software
but back in the Good Old Days,
when the term "software" sounded funny
and Real Computers were made out of drums and vacuum tubes,
Real Programmers wrote in machine code.
Not FORTRAN. Not RATFOR. Not, even, assembly language.
Machine Code.
Raw, unadorned, inscrutable hexadecimal numbers.

Lest a whole new generation of programmers
grow up in ignorance of this glorious past,
I feel duty-bound to describe,
as best I can through the generation gap,
how a Real Programmer wrote code.
I'll call him Mel,
because that was his name.

As you see the author was fascinated by the old beautiful difficult days of programming where no compilers even assemblers. All programmers had to write their programs in machine language doing computations manually.

Then he starts to introduce his friend Mel a real programmer who he met in Royal McBee Computer Corp. Well the author Ed Nather was hired to write a FORTRAN compiler and Mel didn’t approve this as he said: "If a program can't rewrite its own code", he asked, "what good is it?"

This story is now regarded as one of the most famous pieces of hacker folklore.

Read the complete story:

Monday, May 1, 2006

Find out the Blind Spot

Find out the Blind Spot

Each of your eyes receives a different picture from the other. And the brain collects each of the pictures received by the 2 eyes and merges them into single 3 dimension picture which you see.

What happens if you receive only one picture?

Try this: I think you are in front of the computer about 50 cm. Close your right eye and concentrate on the cross mark in the picture below you see it and the black ball.
Now move slowly towards the screen and observe.

You will notice that at about 30 cm the black ball disappears.

Now what happens?

Each eye has a blind spot in the retina (The retina is a thin layer of cells at the back of the eyeball). This blind spot contains no photoreceptors (cells which receive the light).Thus, preventing the complete picture from getting to the brain.

So, Why is the Blind spot ?

This design allows a good blood supply close to the retina to both nourish the photoreceptors and help metabolize debris that accumulates there.

The other eye fill this black spot in most cases and even if the other eye doesn’t provide useful information the brain has mechanisms to fill in the hole. This filling in is why you see the white background.

Thanks god for great creation.

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