Tag Archives: Global Warming

The Good Old Trash 80

I ran into a web site today showing the 1980’s Radio Shack catalog of the TRS 80.

My very first computer had been a Trash-80 and I remember having a lot of fun with it. One of the most difficult tasks for me to understand, at that time, had been the idea of an interpreted language, like that TRS-80 Basic.

Before that computer I had been mostly exposed to assembler and some high level language like FortranĀ  and PL3 on an IBM mainframe. This the idea of typing in human readable code and directly running it – without compiling and linking – was a strange concept to grasp.

The TRS-80 I had was far less sophisticated than the one shown in the above catalog, so I looked around and found a picture that matched better what I remembered:

I believe that I had the 16kB model but certainly no floppy disks – I saved my programs and data on cassette tape. With my difficulty to grasp the concept of interpreted languages the first program I bought was an assembler. I was quite some work to get anything done with this setup:

  • Insert the cassette with the assembler and load the program
  • Edit and assemble the code, keeping source and assembled program in memory
  • Insert a new cassette into the recorder and save the source file
  • Insert a different cassette into the recorder and save the assembled program
  • Load the assembled program (overwriting the assembler in memory)
  • Running, testing the assembled program and writing down errors
  • Rinse and repeat

This lengthy procedure trained you to really think ahead and consider all possible errors – it took too long to ‘just try’ something. In this regards those interpreted languages are much easier and train programmers to be much sloppier.

Bigger part of the internet now is based on such sloppy work – whenever you have a php file it is more or less interpreted like the old Basic in my Trash 80. I once read – and it made a lot of sense – that we would do a lot to avoid global warming if we would compile all those billions of lines of php code into machine code once and then execute that on the server. All data centers around the world could be scaled down considerably if each line of php code would not have to be compiled over and over and over again, thus saving energy for the processors of the web sewer and the energy for cooling them.

Maybe, then the web could run onĀ  a couple of TRS-80s.

Irena Sendler v. Al Gore

Irena SendlerGot this very interesting and heart-warming story of Irena Sendler presented in an email today.

Here first the story, then I will tell what impressed me most:

There recently was a death of a 98 year old lady named Irena.

During WWII, Iliana, got permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist.

She had an ulterior motive…

She KNEW what the Nazi’s plans were for the Jews, (being German). Iliana smuggled infants out in the bottom of her tool box she carried, and she carried in the back of her truck a Burlap sack, (for larger kids). She also had a dog in the back, that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in, and out of the ghetto. The soldiers of course wanted nothing to do with the dog, and the barking covered the kids/infants noises. During her time and course of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants. She was caught, and the Nazi’s broke both her legs, and arms, and beat her severely. Iliana kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out, and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it, and reunited the family. Most of course had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes, or adopted.

A while back Iliana was up for the Nobel Peace Prize….
She LOST.

Al Gore won, for a slide show on Global Warming.
Check it out: www.irenasendler.org

I will say nothing about the story itself as I have decided quite some time ago that it is not possible for me to decide what about all the atrocities during WWII is true and what’s not. There are indications that’s just the story the victors want to tell to look good, but there is also the other side which would indicate that there really is something to all this mass murder.

But the fact that I have no first hand information and no way to get them, combined with my solidifying conviction that there is no independent reality I have given up deciding what historical story might be true.

So, nothing about saving Jewish kids, but what caught my attention was the tone of the writer in the last sentence, that Al Gore won the Nobel price for a slide show.

I just love it when politicians are finally seen for what they really are. And if the population starts to laugh about these guys for giving themselves prizes in self-adoration then I have high hopes for all of us that we will get over this celebritizing (hey, Oxford dictionary editors, this is a new word for you!) of our tyrants, kick them out and finally build a non-violent stateless society – one in which Irena would get acknowledged for her brave action.