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Dare me | Chasing Men Who Stare at Arrays

Dare me

I’ve been chasing Array language folks around for over a year now and I noticed something really interesting: a ton of individuals and groups have taken it upon themselves to voluntarily preserve or explain or support APL and children in the public eye.

I’m not talking about the businesses here, businesses get paid  for marketing one way or another.  I’m talking about the thousands of volunteer hours that have gone into organizing conferences, putting information online, working with the museums who are interested. Hours, maybe thousands of thousands of hours. People must really care about this stuff  but… nothing permanent and ongoing is out there unless you count Roger Hui’s tireless work over decades and he won’t admit to a thing.

Something permanent would require money and a concerted effort.  But we’re CATs, cats don’t consort! And we’re extraordinarily individualistic.  So, we each, individually, put hours into cyberspace, we never pay a cent – and our efforts are usually successful for a time and then become lonely links in cyberspace.

That’s OK.  Isn’t it?

The image above is Godzilla holding an old IBM type ball with the original APL characters.

Interim Results (as of Aug 14,2010 Sat 1:00pm EST)


5 Responses to “Dare me”

  • aprogramminglanguage aprogramminglanguage

    Preserve it is!

    This is really fun. I can see your answers as they come in.

  • Catherine, it’s always interesting to read your posts. Thank you for pursuing this.

    I liked hte image of Godzilla with the APL typeball. …Make up your own story for that juxtaposition.

    However, not to be nitpicky, but that’s not an APL typeball. Although I don’t have one right at hand to compare it with, my guess is that Godzilla is holding a Letter Gothic element. But not just any Letter Gothic element… this one appears to be from a 1050 operator’s console on a 360/370 mainframe or from an 1130. On a Selectric I or II typewriter element, the “x” wouldn’t have a “y” to the left of it; it would have a “u”. So this is a BCD (EBCDIC) element (rather than correspondence encoding). I am guessing that it probably says “Letter Gothic” on the top (or blank). (…okay, that really is nitpicky, isn’t it?!)

    But sorry– no APL characters… this isn’t an APL element.

    Want one?


  • aprogramminglanguage aprogramminglanguage

    I grabbed the WRONG BALL! Damn. You’re right. I’ll check and see if Godzilla is available for another photo shoot!

    I do actually have one – but if you have any you want to get rid of, yes, I’ll take them. I really love the character set.

  • Catherine,

    I particularly enjoy your picture of Godzilla and the non-APL type ball because it reminds me of one of the marketing ploys the IBM mainframe folks used a few years ago. When they were confronted with claims that mainframes were the dinosaurs of the computing world, their response was, “Yes, they are; they’re great big, lean, mean, T Rexx computing machines.”

    Neeedless to say, I’m a mainframe guy.

    David Liebtag

  • aprogramminglanguage aprogramminglanguage

    THAT is priceless. Thank you, David.

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