February 22nd, 2005

krazy koati

What a funny thing to do 'cause I'm feeling very pink

So why has the AppleCentre got a bowl of oranges next to the cash register, just behind the iPod Shuffle skins? Well, it's a Chinese New Year thing, an obvious but appealing symbol of prosperity, like the red bunting all over everything the past few weeks.

It's hard to resist saying that they're there for comparison, though.

I attended a talk about a new system that seems a lot simpler than the talk devoted to it. They're streamlining the requests from secondary schools and junior colleges for guest speakers and laboratory instructors from the university. The Powerpoint presentation had seven pages; the Dean's representative stopped at page five and said that was enough, then later showed page six. Page seven, from the thumbnails, looked blank.

One of the goals is, ``Active participation and support in initiatives that deliver strategically valued outcomes'', which may be put in any Powerpoint slide, anywhere in the universe, anytime, with equal semantic contribution. I don't think people write those sentences. Powerpoint just congeals them by shuffling around phrases people don't use.

Trivia: The Gemini capsule computer had 4,096 memory addresses, each of 39 bits, themselves divided into three ``syllables'' of 13 bits each. Instructions could be in any syllable; data could only be in the first or second syllable. Source: Computers in Spaceflight: The NASA Experience, James E. Tomayko, NASA Contractor Report 182505.

Currently Reading: History of the Second World War, Basil H Liddell-Hart.