Monday, March 27, 2017

flip-flops and registers

What a trip it has been studying a low-level programming language, after a brief 10 year stint writing fiction and poetry  - LOL.  The tutorial I'm taking is talking about bitwise operators, shifting bits, and so forth.  Making me flash back to the time in the late 1970s when  I bought a kit, and built  (or soldered) a flip-flop circuit.   Can't remember it the thing actually worked - it was supposed to be a portion of a binary adder or register.  It was educational - must have been, if I still remember it today.      In any case, nowadays we have multi-CPU PCs and etc - will be interesting to learn how programming languages deal with all of that.

Even  though I'm studying C,
it would be nice to occasionally be
simply reading poetry under a tree;
Many ways to set a mind free.

Have a good day today, wherever you happen to be.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

posting stuff then and now

Early 90s – turn on PeeCee. Open the Windows Terminal from Accessories, and type in a phone number to connect. Once you dial in through an 800 number, you see a text main menu.
Select menu choice to access the Internet. Browse text windows. Find a Usenet server, download newsgroups, subscribe to one. Then, write out your post. Takes about an hour or so.
Oh - you want to send an email?  Maybe you can get Eudora and run it standalone, or perhaps use Pine on a unix server.  The are as arcane as they sound, back then!  You can always dial BBS's from your Terminal window, and figure out their interfaces - all text based.

Mid 90's. Turn on PC. Fire up client program or terminal, and connect to a BBS. In some cases, connect to the Internet. More downloading and subscribing before you can post. Chat programs exist, and you can type back and forth text messages. MIRC appears (a successor to regular IRC), and there are many more boards to chat on. Netscape dominates the WWW with its rich graphical interface, until Microsoft muscles in.

Mid to late 90's. America Online and its advanced (for the time) Graphical User Interface. Join groups, and message back and forth in group windows, etc. Now you can post and chat with great ease.

Late 90's to 2000's: Internet access through a variety of means, including AOL, Compuserve, Earthlink, AT&T, etc. The Web Browser totally supplants text messaging and BBS's. Free services pop up, competition heats up among ISPs. Cable modems and DSL come on to the scene. It becomes easier than ever to chat with someone.

Late 2000's: Facebook comes into existence. Now anyone can post pictures of pets, their bodies, cars, whatever they like, and talk about them, and share with others or the world.  The Iphone debuts.

Now: I can post this on FB  (via my handheld smartphone)  and show it to the world. A far cry from text-based Telnet or IRC, running on those rickety old 386 and 486-based desktop machines. My, how far we have come in such a short time.

BTW, have you seen what my cat looks like? LoL.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Spring forward With Some New Reading

Enjoy All!

Future Property – Michael Wilson

Experimental Tales – Dycen Alexander

The Osmotics – Dycen Alexander

New Venture – Dycen Alexander

Epic Prime Collection – Dycen Alexander

Crime Spree – poetry - Mike Wilson

A Strange Enterprise collection of speculations

Shadow Intersection - poetry


Saturday, March 11, 2017


Freedom has gone back in the closet,
bare skin hidden under strict doctrine.
Modesty ushers in chastity,
boldness replaced by rigidity.

Shorts replaced by baggy pants in basketball,
swim trunks change into swim suits.
No untoward exposure allowed in our
neo-victorian society, so changed over
the decades from the freewheeling 1960's.

That party ended long ago, of course.
But social mores and attitudes still ossify,
leading one to wonder aloud:
“What will be the breaking point?”
“When can youth once again break free?”
The time is here for another social revolution.

Will anyone be able to pull themselves away,
or electronic devices hold complete sway.
Cannot promulgate any youthful rebellion
when your mind is tethered to civilization.

Someday someone will escape the electronic cage,
go out into the streets, shuck all inhibitions, and rage!

Thursday, March 09, 2017


The earliest days of computing were
comprised of electromechanical counters;
punch cards, adding machines, sorters
and tabulators populated many backrooms.

Those who could run such things were
considered whizzes, invaluable to the business.
From accountants scratching balances out to
automatic, universal computing machines was
around 100 years total.

Punched card data processing transformed
accounting and record-keeping in a few decades.
The mainframe systems that followed
changed things still further, paving the way for
remote transactions of all kinds. ATM's
followed, and anywhere banking soon arrived.

Today the many marvels we all enjoy
derive from those early pioneers' efforts.
Atanasoff, Mauchly, Eckerd, and Turing;
Many more names could be added here.
Each gave their contribution to the whole
of automated computing knowledge.

When someday AI entities look back,
perhaps they will worship these folks
as their creators, progenitors, founders all.
Machine entities might fill silicon cathedrals,
keening the praises of their flesh forbears...

Perhaps their choirs will sound like the squeal
of an old-fashioned modem handshake?

All Praise Semiconductors Be,
No Longer Carbon-based Life are We!


Monday, March 06, 2017

Finally - something

     My creative wellspring seems to have run dry lately for blog posts. But my excuse is that I am channeling all of my efforts towards national poetry contests, trying to come up with material to enter them. The political scene lately has made my blood boil. Do not like to see workers rights trampled, safeguards and benefits taken away, etc, etc. No need to rehash it all here, but the actions going on in the Iowa statehouse, as well as the US congress are disheartening to say the least. I'm just trying to put my head down and keep going, every day. It's all most of us can do, being powerless to affect the outcome.
At least I saw something interesting on the Internet. Researchers have made a new discovery regarding the brain, the existence of a few very long neurons that connect many separate parts of the brain. When these are artificially stimulated in a test subject, they basically lose consciousness – it just switches off. When the stimulation stops, they regain consciousness, not remembering what happened.

At least some science marches on.