• 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."

  • Issue #26: Hardware

    Breaking The 3 GHz Barrier

    My first serious attempt at understanding computer hardware happened during college, in 1994. One of the labs consisted in wiring a 4-bit processor to a series of switches and a LED display. The objective was to make a very simple operation: starting from zero, make the display increment one digit every time the switch is activated. Or, as it is commonly know, to make a bare bones half adder.

  • Issue #26: Hardware,  Library

    Peter Norton

    Some successful computer books have earned memorable nicknames. There is the "K&R" book, the “Gang of Four” book, and, to please generations of board and role game players, there are also the "Wizard Book", the "Dragon Book", and the "Dinosaur Book". There's the "Camel" book and the "Pickaxe" book. And then, with a decidedly more corporate look and feel, let us talk today about the "Pink Shirt" book, officially titled "The Peter Norton Programmer's Guide to the IBM PC." More corporate, yes, because the PC was after all a business machine coming from a business corporation.