Like a foghorn calling out for its mate

Posted: June 18, 2015 by tchannon in humour

I come across stuff, often in places definitely not for public consumption, too PC, too twitchy about reality. Rog and oldbrew seem to be away so I’d better write something.

I’d never heard of James Mickens, whom it seems wrote a blog on the Microsoft research site. Written about a year ago.

This is my last column! Thanks for reading, and thanks for all of the support :-). never forget that when you are alone, I am with you, and when you are with someone else, I am also with you, because I think that I am better than that other person and I have lengthy opinions about why this is true.

And then a piece entitled To Wash It All Away. (link to PDF)

The first part of the article will raise some chuckles whether actually true or not, how reality has a way of bighty things, you want to do that, oh well.

The rest is probably too far out computer dev. to make much sense but even if you don’t the general vein ought to bring chuckles.

I am techie, so so true, the disaster of stupidity which is the Web.

I go further. I recall researching the origins of HTML wondering how anything could be so stupid. HT, hypertext is irrelevant, trivial concept, ML is not, Markup Language.

Conceptually this is the old idea from the print industry of separating content and what it looks like, device independence whether it is printer, book, screen, Gloria MkIV printer, etc., markup does the business. Actually work, rare and that’s the problem.

A surprise for the Talkshop. As someone once remarked, they never know what is going to turn up.

On digging back via the ‘net for a reference there is one, oops, me[1]. If nothing else this hints I know rather more.

I also gave a reference, quite naturally long gone. comes up trumps, in hindsight what a reference it is.

MiniGML – About a 1986 DOS Program and the Roots of HTML

29. December 2001

My wife and I used the Christmas holiday to refurnish our flat, and while moving my paperwork from the old to the new cabinets, I discovered some old program listings – stuff I have written in my early days with IBM, in PL/I and Turbo Pascal. One of these programs is MiniGML, and while looking at the yellowed code printout and the user manual, I was amazed to see that I wrote kind of a “browser” long before the World Wide Web was invented. I have scanned and reformatted the MiniGML user manual in HTML, maintaining the look of the 80ies.

web archive org

Please be gentle with, those with spare readies please drop them some.


As if you didn’t already realise the web is an unholy mess but that is just another instance of the Big Ball of Mud pervades everything. I’ve spent months of my own time cleaning company rubbish, then it works. If you do techie stuff you know that clean and correct is like Breviit the True who correctly stood and told of the Horde coming, and he is dead, the Horde came and made him dirty. Bit under that stone I expect.

1. Archive of a group

Post by Tim

  1. Tenuc says:

    Thanks for the chuckles Tim. My first microcomputer ran CP/M and I used to think the system was held together with lots of sealing-wax and string. Operating systems have improved over the have improved over the years, mostly by increasing the amounts used of said sealing-wax and string.

    Be interesting to see how Win10 turns out, and if they have done anything to improve the inherent reliability/security of the system, although I suspect not.

  2. tchannon says:

    Ah yes cp/m, used a large one, 4x 8 inch floppies for storage and also had a version here. Worked very well.
    I had to move win so it had to be 8.1, with the horrible fondle stuff kept out the way it works well enough if riddled with sillies. I think 10 will be fine, is basically 8.1 further developed, where I suspect not much effort has gone on. MS are being damn fools on security for no sensible reason. Inherently it’s fine so stop encouraging ordinary people to run as admin! When I twigged during bringing up what was going on, zap, reinstall. I’m just a lowly user. If I need admin, rarely any hassle to just do it. There again I rarely if ever use things most people use often.