Month: May 2009

The Ibycus mainframe

By: | Post date: May 20, 2009 | Comments: 5 Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Information Technology
Tags: ,

In re: TLG: Ibycus The Ibycus computer was what Thesaurus Linguae Graecae data crunching got done on throughout the 1980s and 1990s. It was the stuff of legend, an HP 1000 customised in David Packard Jr.‘s garage, with spelling and format checkers and text editors in assembler, that crunched through tens of millions of words […]

Bid Time Return

By: | Post date: May 17, 2009 | Comments: 2 Comments
Posted in categories: Australia

The cleanout of my books complete, I’m slowly trying to rearrange them into place in my garage. There’s a couple of duplicates that have been mercilessly discarded—I didn’t need both the 3rd and the 5th edition of O’Reilly Javascript book, or two Perl in a Nutshell books. One might further argue that I don’t need […]

“Nick Nicholas”

By: | Post date: May 13, 2009 | Comments: 5 Comments
Posted in categories: Personal

Surnames, they’re a labile thing. Not everywhere is Iceland, where your patronymic lasts a generation; but not everywhere has the self-same string of letters identify a lineage for a millenium, either. Crete switched to a new patronymic suffix en masse, -akis, in the mid-19th century. Well, the Christian Cretans did. The Muslim Cretans didn’t, but […]

Cavafy and his chickens

By: | Post date: May 6, 2009 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Greece

Found this today in the Greek blogosphere, and name-checking it for the English blogosphere: reminiscences from 1964 of an Egyptian colleague of Cavafy at his desk job in the Irrigation Dept, Alexandria, who was his underling and succeeded him when Cavafy retired. The original newspaper publication of the reminiscences has also been digitised by the […]

20-to-01: Screw You, Channel Nine

By: | Post date: May 5, 2009 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Personal

There’s plenty a thing I’ve missed by not following network TV in the past decade. There’s plenty more that it’s just as well I’ve missed. My blood boils, my pores distend, my hands wrench into a strangling motion at the shlock, the pettiness, the smugness, the sanctimonious rejoicing at others’ misfortune, the proof of the […]


By: | Post date: May 5, 2009 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Personal

This should have been more traumatic than it was, but: Saturday I was at my parents’, sorting through my books that had ended up over the years in boxes in their garage, to determine what would stay (and go to my place), and what would be dispensed with. It should have been more traumatic, but […]

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