koldfront

Babbage... #Overground

🕡︎ - 2000-03-01

I fell over this quote the other day:

"On two occasions I have been asked [[by members of Parliament!]], "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."

By Charles Babbage, whom I would now considerably less about, were it not for the online Encyclopædia Britannica...

I just learned that Macs don't have the glyph for "half" (this one: ½). So when you use that glyph on a webpage (that is ISO-8859-1-encoded) it displays as a star, *, in Mac-browsers. It seems to be because Macs use their own mapping of glyphs to numbers, and that mapping doesn't include the 1/2-glyph! In the future everybody will probably use the ISO-standard that is equivalent to Unicode (of which ISO-8859-1 incidently is the 8-bit subset :-)), so it won't be an issue. Notice the use of the word "future" here. Charsets seems to have caused endless trouble and keep causing trouble. Sigh.

By the way: Search doesn't work on koldfront.dk. It has nothing to do with the downtime of this week - the script I was using just plain refuses to work. It dies when it tries to index all the pages. Some strange database-problem. I'll have to find a replacement some day.

This is freaky: the Oracle of Bacon, a page that given an actors name calculates the Bacon Number - the distance via actors to a movie that Kevin Bacon was in. I can't find anyone with a Bacon number higher than 3!

Ars Technica has an more thorough review of MacOS X DP3, focuses on the Aqua interface. A lot of bickering about the new dock and the changes. Some screenshots that suggest lots of eye candy for new Macen. I think it's cool that Mac users finally get decent multitasking and process-separation. Another move towards good unixy inners in desktopsystems.

I don't remember what Sylloge is, but I think I kept the address because the design was kind of neat ((TM) Kevin Costner :-)) - oh yeah, Sylloge has a 5k-webdesign contest - design the prettiest page in less than 5 kilobytes total. I will be looking at the contestants to steal good ideas. I like minimal webdesign :-)

Checking out the pages of the judges of the 5K-design contest lands me on this: Sleep Late! A manifesto for late-risers' rights. I haven't read it yet, though :-)

The Ad Graveyard is fun...

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