Archive for category Oddities

IBM 5100 APL: Nested Emulators

A discussion about Raspberry Pi performance prompted this:

IBM 5110 Emulator - Javascript on Raspberry Pi

IBM 5110 Emulator – Javascript on Raspberry Pi

From the inside out:

Starting the show takes 17 seconds from clicking the Restart button (second from right, top row) to APL’s Clear WS prompt. I have no idea how that compares with a Genuine IBM 5100.

I distinctly remember writing APL programs, but that’s about as far as my memory will take me. [sigh]


Rabbit Head

Although we don’t think of this as a particularly tough neighborhood, this is the second severed head we’ve encountered in the last few years during our routine walks:

Rabbit Head

Rabbit Head

We doubt a predator would do such a tidy job of parting the head from the body, then discarding it. The eyes surely went to a bird, though…

It was across the Mighty Wappinger Creek, near the far end of Romca Rd. The Red Oaks Mill Civic Association is long gone and their building burned to the ground a few decades ago, but their name lives on.


Airliner Over Snow

Poughkeepsie lies under the southbound airliner routes to the NYC airports, so we often see airplanes high overhead. With a few inches of snow on the ground, a sunny day turns them brilliant white against a blue sky:

Air Canada Flight 706 - Embraer ERJ-190 - snow uplight

Air Canada Flight 706 – Embraer ERJ-190 – snow uplight

Feeding “Poughkeepsie NY” into FlightAware produces a map centered over us with (in this case) two candidates, one of which was Air Canada Flight 706, an Embraer ERJ-190. The obvious search produces pictures confirming the ID.

Air Canada’s current livery shows white paint on the bottom, but plain aluminum bodies shine brilliantly, too.

Back when I used to fly, light snow highlighted the networks of stone walls around all the old farms across the Northeast, from back when this area was NYC’s breadbasket. Those days are gone, but the stones remain where those farmers hauled them out of the fields.


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Vista Point of Sale Terminal Boot Screen

Spotted this behind the Customer Service desk at the local movie theater (or whatever you call ’em these days):

Vista POS boot screen

Vista POS boot screen

I suppose those are the three things you do a lot of…

The next time we passed by, the screen displayed a more-or-less standard screensaver.

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The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

We’re reading Sydney Padua’s The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage as our evening story, so I gave a Lightning talk at the MHV LUG meeting last week:

MHVLUG – Lovelace and Babbage – Book Report

Earlier versions of the comics graphic novel are on her blog, including several stories that didn’t make the final book cut.

Highly recommended; if you don’t have wet eyes occasionally, you’re entirely too hard-hearted.

You should read Ada’s Analytical Engine Programming Guide; that’s not her title, but that’s what she wrote. If you’ve ever done any assembly language programming, you’ll feel right at home.

Also, get historical documents, commentary, and Analytical Engine emulators (!) at Fourmilab.

Makes me wish I lived in that Pocket Universe, it does:

econ3_005 - Brunel

econ3_005 – Brunel

That picture is ©, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. There exist T-shirts & mugs.

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Pheasant Sighting

I rolled the bike around the corner of the garage, saw something move, and spotted an exceedingly agitated Ring-necked Pheasant atop the shredded leaf compost:

Pheasant in compost bin

Pheasant in compost bin

He ran back and forth on the pile inside the cage, apparently having forgotten he had wings, while I fumbled with the camera. Just after I took the picture, he managed a short-field takeoff and flew away through the trees away from me.

A pair of female pheasants then emerged from the forsythia behind the pile at a dead run, made a hard turn to their left, and ran off in the general direction the male had flown. One of the pair seemed smaller and may have been a chick this year, but it’s hard to say.

We haven’t seen any pheasants in the yard before and hope they return …

Taken with the Canon SX-230HS through a layer of deer netting, alas.

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Insouciant Squirrel

Squirrels spend most of their time on all fours and, when they do pop up for a look around, generally seem hunched forward, ready to drop-and-run.

Not this critter:

Squirrel leaning back

Squirrel leaning back

Definitely brandishing a big leaning ‘tude