Listing all posts tagged retro

People who hang out with me know that even though I don’t have any pets anymore, I am quite fond of street cats, always stopping to greet and (try to) pet those cute little killers. I am not that interested in that endless supply of cat pictures and videos found online, but I can’t but browse through any vintage photo gallery I come across. Lo and behold, both interests intersect in this gallery of 1950s London cats. Enjoy.

Jim Leonard’s (aka Trixter) 8088 Domination, a PC demo that makes use of some neat tricks to display fullscreen color video on a 1981 IBM PC. Keeping in mind that these thirty-three year old machines are orders of magnitude less powerful than today’s electronics, you can see how today’s software is incredibly bloated stuff built atop piles upon piles of abstraction.

If three decades later someone can figure out how to display video using a modest early model PC, what kind of applications will someone build, three decades hence, extracting every bit of capability from today’s computers bare metal?

xkcd made a beautiful tribute to Douglas Engelbart, who died last Wednesday. In 1968, in what became known as the 'Mother of All Demos', Engelbart did showcase most of the computing technologies we now take for granted. I’m sure LOLcats weren’t mentioned only because of time constraints.

Apropos PRISM, here’s A Paranoid’s Guide to Bugging from 1968, from the rather interesting tumblelog Babylon Falling.

I haven’t yet weighted on the US’ secret-ish pervasive surveillance operation as to me it seems pretty obvious and not-news. I don’t have a definite opinion on the value of privacy (or conversely, on the value of transparency), but the fact that well-funded government agencies read the same data Google and Facebook examine because their business model depends on it doesn’t seem like a surprise at all. PRISM to me is the very definition of cloud computing. Private companies might seem more trustworthy than secret services (and only if we believe they are more accountable), but a discussion about mere degrees of trust just shows how complacent we are about data privacy.