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NGO_Vleeptron (aka "Bob from Massachusetts") recently featured LIVE on BBC WORLD SERVICE, heard briefly by Gazillions!!!

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old dude, all hair, swell new teeth

09 March 2005

Pizza for Christians 2 ... also: ALIEN MESSAGE DECODED!


Vleeptron now features its own built-in EASTER SUNDAY DATE JAVASCRIPT CALCULATOR!

This remarkable faith-based computational Engine brought to you courtesy of mega-bored Mike.

Jarkko Oikarinen, the Suomi dude who invented Internat Relay Chat (IRC) at the University of Oulu, Finland in 1988, says he wrote it because he was bored and had lots of time on his hands at a summer job at the computer center.

The Deville makes work for Idle Hands.

-- New England Primer

* * *

This is too much fun to keep burying in the Comments. I have reason to believe that an English class of Portuguese high-school students is reading this blog, so in case some have lingered after the Required Reading (the obit of the Amnesty International founder), it is my World Youth Educational Duty to drag this Easter Date discussion into the light.

Having spent a lovely year on a Navy base, ordinarily I would not trust the U.S. Navy to find its own ass, but the U.S. Naval Observatory (even when Dan & Marilyn Quayle were living on the grounds) is a Very Different Story. I found the USNO's Easter Date Calculator Site, which spares mere mortals from having to re-compute the Clavius-Lilius Algorithm step by step. And Lo! The U.S. Naval Observatory validates Mamagiggle!

It's charming, really. During the Middle Ages, practically the only use Christendom had for mathematics was to compute the date of Easter Sunday. Now our tax dollars pay Navy Astronomer Web Geeks to program and provide precisely the same information.

(Does this violate the First Amendment's separation of church and state? Is the USNO running a faith-based initiative?)

But the Clavius-Lilius Algorithm ... I dunno ... it taught me a word, "epact," which I think is every goddam bit as classy and hi-tone and uptown as "millefleurs." I am going down to Hugo's Tavern tonight, blizzard or no, and dropping "epact" into some idle conversation.

Hugo's is Northampton's sort of Disney Biker Bar, full of faux non-threatening seedy alcoholic people and Smith College sweeties with fake i.d.'s. Smith women have a long tradition of trading smiles and tee-hees for free beer at Hugo's.

mmmmmmmm Perl!!! Thank you, Mike, for Classing Up this blog with your very spiffy Perl proggie!

I will be happy to send any Trusting Soul my very spiffy, colorful and informative Easter date proggie EASTERX.EXE (pronounced "Easter Eggs") as long as I don't have to divulge the name of the programming language I writ it in.

BUT WHY SHOULD I BE ASHAMED????? There's a buzz going around Earth that our digital computers are filled with more lines of code in This Lingo than in any other. And when extra-galactic sentients finally pop the hood on our
Voyager probes, I've heard they'll find this lingo (NOT that verdammt C++!!!) in the ROM.

Speaking of what we sent Out There in Voyager ... have you heard that NASA finally decoded the FIRST MESSAGE WE HAVE EVER RECEIVED FROM ALIEN EXTRATERRESTIAL INTELLIGENCE??? It took three years of intensive supercomputer analysis, but here's the message:


I lost a bundle betting on Forth, and I'm still cheering for LisP, but alas that most uninteresting and uninspiring of all languages, C++, seems to be winning the High-Level Language Race. What's everybody studying and using in industry these days? I barely got beyond removing the shrink-wrap from VisualBasic, and recoiled in horror.

I admire Java and think I'd like to learn it. My first project: a Virtual Web Slide Rule. (I don't care if there are already fourteen of them on the Web.)

(Please send all of grandma's discarded attic Slide Rules to ME!)


Blogger Mike said...

What's everybody studying and using in industry these days?I know that when I was going to the Univesity, we studied mostly C/C++. I personally have always preferred C, though the object orientedness of C++ is a tempting lure. After I was done with school, I hear that they've since switched their focus to Java (a huge leap for a University that when I started there in 1994, they were still using Fortran77). The last programming company that I worked for also used primarily C/C++ for systems developement, but has gradually moved to a mixed environment of Java, Python, and Perl. It seems there's a lot of Java to be had. Personally, about all I know about Java is that I like 3 cups of it in the morning.


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