• Issue #28: Programming As A Hobby

    Specialization Is For Insects

    There is a whole field called "Recreational Mathematics;" a moniker that might as well be replaced with "Mathematics as a Hobby." I personally enjoy dabbling in it a lot; I am mostly interested in number theory feats: Ramanujan's hypergeometric series and continuous fractions converging to Pi in the most weird ways are among my favorites.

  • Issue #28: Programming As A Hobby,  Library

    Michael Hiltzik

    Imagine that you are a fourth grader in California, in 1973. You were 6 or 7 when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon, and there were still astronauts up there just last year. On the radio you can hear Pink Floyd, Elton John or Led Zeppelin. One day your teacher receives an invitation for an experiment involving school kids in a laboratory somewhere in Palo Alto, a location 40 minutes south of San Francisco. Even stranger, the invitation comes from a well-known firm in the photocopier business.

  • Issue #27: Networking

    Issue #27: Networking

    Welcome to the twenty-seventh issue of De Programmatica Ipsum, dedicated to the subject of Networking. In this edition, Graham explores one of the most mysterious slogans of all time in the computer industry; Adrian recalls his first steps on the Internet with a capital letter; and in the Library section, Graham peruses two of the most important works of Steve McConnell, namely "Code Complete, 2nd Edition" and "More Effective Agile".

  • Issue #27: Networking

    Sniffing Packets

    I remember vividly the first time I saw somebody "online." It was early in a morning of December 1994, in the hallways of the "Sciences 2" building of the University of Geneva. One of my classmates, who worked part-time as a professional software developer, was connected to a terminal with glowing yellow text over a dark brown background. To my question about what he was doing, he answered with a simple "I am downloading stuff from Apple's server in California."