The Veteran Neophyte

Writings from another life

Posted in Uncategorized by Dave on October 28, 2014

These are links to the columns I wrote in the 1990s, while working as the technical editor for develop magazine at Apple Computer. develop was a code-level technical journal for Macintosh programmers, and I wrote a regular column that was intended to lighten up the otherwise fairly dry technical content of the magazine. Sort of “bathroom reading” for computer programmers.

  • Lisp, Color Icons, and Layers in develop 5. Learning Lisp, Dave learns some other stuff as well.
  • A Familiar (Inter)Face in develop 6. Chernoff faces, n-dimensional points, and simulation in the human (and canine) interface.
  • If I Had a Hammer… in develop 7. Kids, MS-DOS, wireless modems, collaboration, and computer binges. Disparate topics? Perhaps.
  • Don’t Fence Me In in develop 8. An experiment in wireless communication involving schoolkids and technogunk.
  • Silicon Surprise in develop 9. Computers are great for studying complex systems, but they also ARE complex systems. Self-referential fun and games.
  • Yeah, but is it art? in develop 10. Musings on what makes art art, and a program to make scanned photos into “paintings.”
  • Quantum Lunch in develop 11. Lunch with a brain researcher. Can thought and matter be separated? Do you care?
  • Digital Zoology in develop 12. Artificial Life. Too cool.
  • Tower of Babble in develop 13. Comparing programming languages to natural languages yields some surprises. One of my favorites.
  • Tiny Futures in develop 14. A report on a slightly scary conference on nanotechnology.
  • Through the Looking Glass in develop 15. A dip of the toe into the mathematics of symmetry, and a QuickDraw GX program to draw tesselations of the plane.
  • Abracadabra in develop 16. Searching for the source of that old elusive magic, Dave stubs his toes on some obvious truths.
  • Why We Do It in develop 17. Why programming is cool. Great for getting your significant other to understand why you spend all night in front of a computer.
  • Rubber Meets Road in develop 19. Edges make the world go ’round.
  • Nothing Comes from Nothing in develop 20. Creation-shneation, nothing’s really new. Then again, maybe not.
  • The Downside in develop 21. Sometimes programming really sucks. But I keep doing it anyway.
  • Paper Juggling in develop 22. You can invent new multi-person juggling patterns on paper, even if you’re not a juggler. Really!
  • A Feel for the Thing in develop 23. Is there still room for magic in computing? I hope so.
  • The Right Tool for the Job in develop 24. Are dynamic programming languages the Next Big Thing? Should they be?
  • Your Friend the Drill Sergeant in develop 27. Drill is a great way to learn some things, but it’s a lousy way to learn other things. Which things are which?