Monthly Archive for September, 2009

Mafia Wars and other misadventures in cyberspace

The truth is that I started playing Mafia Wars because RDM plays Maia Wars.  I thought it would help with the bonding if I joined his Mafia.  So I did.  The problem with my plan is that he already has a strong Mafia, so whenever I go to help him out, more than ten other Mafioso have already responded.  And the game is sure to tell me so.  Humph! And what’s worse is that I’m so far behind, I’m one of the kids on his team.  Well, that’s not new.  In any case, I have him as my Mastermind. Who wouldn’t. I’m not sure this is helping with the bonding but I am now sporting my first multi-player game addiction.

And there are some ill affects!

In fact, this weekend, while playing Mafia Wars, I didn’t notice some not so subtle subtleties of email formatting in an email from Christian Langreiter.  The sort version of this story is that I was left with the impression that he is making a film about APL too!  What a coincidence!  Maybe we could make one film about APL together?! You see where this is going… hem… And then, in my excitement, I ran off and mentioned this to Simon, who must think I’m off my rocker.  🙂

But seriously folks, the crunch is on for the shoot in Princeton. Never mind, my talk in Princeton.

Iris checked the gear this morning, and I’m off to do a bit of equipment shopping.

11 days to Dyalog ’09 – The Array Language Event of the Year!


No memmory at all

Of course, memory plays a big part in this type of project, a film, a history, a now, all jumbled together and that I am unfolding as a story.

What about mine?  It’s more like a colourful smudge than an account’s record.

Already, all told I, have over 10 hours of APL/J/K related videos that I have recorded since 2003.  What the heck is on these tapes?  That’s a good question.  I haven’t even started the film yet.  I haven’t written what’s on them down.

I’m looking for Gitte’s speech at Ken’s memorial service in Toronto.  Where is it?  What year was that?  2004 – The date flashes by on tape. Morten had a funny hair cut.  A blond fringe for bangs in front.  But this is only tape one.  Where are the rest?

Gitte is, of course, Gitte Christensen.  There is very little about written about her in cyberspace.

Oh, yeah.  School starts again tonight.  Business Law.  Gotta go. Onward.


Crunch Time for Princeton

I had lunch with Caitlin O’Donovan on Thursday and she corrected me.  I don’t have an evil plan (evil plans are best) but rather a multi-platform distribution plan for my multi-platform digital properties.  That’s how we officially say, I’m making a film and distributing content  in cyberspace as part of the film-making process.

Caitlin is the Director of Kids Interactive at Corus Entertainment, so, she knows.

Further, I’ll be talking in more detail about my multi-platform distribution plan for my multi-platform digital properties next week at Dyalog’s conference in Princeton.

And I’ll be finalising my agreement with the Toronto APL Special Interest Group by the end of the month.  The lawyer drafted agreement needs to reviewed by an accountant to ensure we can take advantage of Canadian tax credits.  Richard, the film accountant, is finally back from summer holidays.  When this is done, I’ll be making a rat-tat-tat-dooo-op press release announcing the signed deal.  Ta-da!


Oh good god, what was I thinking ????

To borrow from my friend, Tim Halle’s Facebook status this morning.

I was planning to post a quick note from the Computer History Museum, just in time to provoke those worried about the historical aspect of my story.  And then saw Tim’s post and changed my mind.


Catherine Lathwell rediscovers APL/J/K and decides to make a film about it…

… And then realises this means forever talking about it.

Like Batman, I am making ready for Princeton.  I have a new hair cut from Monica Peets, so I’m ready for anything.  In a dress made by Ms Peachy at Peachy Berzerk, I don’t go naked.  At least not physically.


Where Computer History Lives

As Salaam Alaikum,

One of the very first things I did to kick off this exciting film adventure was to go to Silicon Valley to visit some folks I haven’t seen in decades.

Curtis A. Jones kindly arranged for me to speak to The APL Bay Area Users’ Group (The Northern California SIGAPL of the ACM) in the wondrous Computer History Museum while I was in town.   Curtis also set-up a personal tour of the place with Len Shustek the afternoon before my talk.   What a treat!

And we’ve kept in touch. So, I thought I would take a moment to pass on a message:

The folks at the Computer History Museum are working on trying to get permission from IBM to make public the source code of the early 360 APL implementation.

They want us to be aware of the CHM’s mission to the preserve source code.  CHM is actively doing it, and would value our assistance — both in saving what we might have, and in helping them in their negotiations and advocating on their behalf with private companies.

That’s it for now.  I’m looking forward to seeing the Dyalog crew in Princeton tomorrow.  And if you have any pull at the big blue, give’m a call.  🙂



Paparazzi Me

I’ve arrived at the Dyalog APL Conference, a little stronger from lugging 100lbs to gear from Toronto.  I’m not kidding, I just made the Air Canada weight limit. It’s started!  Guess what?  There’s young folks here! Real ones, under 30!

My new Title, The Paparazzi.


Photos! & designing my X Rating

Dialog APL Conference 2009 We had a fabulous time in Princeton and you can see many photos from the event on flickr which is probably more fun if you know everybody.

Definitely a humble crowd. With an average IQ somewhere in the stratosphere, no less than five people told me everyone else in the room was smarter than they were, themselves.  Hmmmm…  that was a little weird. And some seriously smart people said this too.

And I overheard young Ronald taking on Bernecky with remarkable confidence.

And harnessing this brain power, Joho, the Italians and I worked out how to get my film its X-rating at cocktail hour…  Oh… and we figure, with our crowd, gratuitous violence is out.  That leaves… well… you know.  And poor Gert, who was not at all suspecting our vaguely inappropriate conversation, was left looking down into his wine glass.

I love Europeans.


Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age

Grace Hopper Book

Grace Hopper Book

Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age – The MIT Press

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Grace Hopper on Facebook


The Return

DSC_0001.JPGThis is my desk, after unpacking from the Dyalog APL conference in Princeton.  In case you’re wondering, that stack of tapes equals about 17 hours of footage.

In the mean time, it’s back to business:

  • When will our new accountant answer my email?
  • Schedule time to digitise footage.
  • Make time to post our latest project announcement, made public at the Dyalog conference.
  • Post to blog – check!

And yes, folks, I unveiled my evil plans or in the new media lingo of the day: my multi-platform distribution plan for my multi-platform digital properties.

Stay tuned.


Animation and a bad-assed musician

It’s becoming an obsession this blogging.  I can see my viewer stats sadly fall when I haven’t blogged enough in a given week.  The surges that come after special posts, like the photos from Dyalog’s 2009 Conference, are so exciting.  I don’t want to let you folks down.  And I don’t really know who’s looking at this point.

Anyway, the accountant called.  We’re meeting on Tuesday.  And a really cool thing happened at the cafe today.  What cafe?  Ha ha!

At the cafe, I got the chance to  talk to Logan, who is an animator, about helping with some animation on the film demo.   I love Logan!  I’m excited about getting a chance to work with him on my project. He’s a bad-assed musician to boot!  He should fit right in with us.


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