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  7. <title>Ben Poole</title>
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  9. <language>en-gb</language>
  10. <description>Ben Poole: last 10 entries</description>
  11. <dc:creator>Ben Poole</dc:creator>
  12. <copyright>Copyright 1997 - 2017, Benedict Poole</copyright>
  13. <webMaster>[email protected]</webMaster>
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  15. <item><title>Two computing giants left us recently</title><pubDate>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 12:49 +0100</pubDate><description><![CDATA[<p>In amongst the more general news (i.e. society going to hell in a handbasket, World War III, all that), you could be forgiven for having missed the news in the smaller world of IT: we lost two giants of our field in recent weeks.</p>
  17. <p>On <a href="" title="Link to BBC News, “Internet pioneer Robert Taylor dies”">April 13th</a> we lost the internet pioneer <a href="" title="Link to Wikipedia entry for Robert Taylor">Bob Taylor</a>, and just a few days before <a href="" title="Link to Wikipedia entry for Harry Huskey">Harry Huskey</a>, passed away at the amazing age of 101 <a href="" title="Link to BBC News, “Computer pioneer Harry Huskey dies aged 101”">on April 9th</a>.</p>
  19. <p>Bob Taylor is most well-known for forging ahead with <a href="" title="Link to Wikipedia entry for ARPANET">ARPANET</a> &#8212; which of course ultimately gave us t&#8217;internet &#8212; but he also worked at <a href="" title="Link to Wikipedia entry for Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center)">Xerox PARC</a> in its heyday, involved in developments that as we know, brought <abbr title="Graphical User Interface">GUI</abbr>s and the Macintosh to us.</p>
  21. <p>Meanwhile, Harry Huskey was a trailblazer who worked on <a href="" title="Link to Wikipedia entry for the Pilot ACE computer">the Pilot ACE</a> with Alan Turing, the <a href="" title="Link to Wikipedia entry for ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator Analyzer and Computer)">ENIAC</a> project, and many others, going on to become a giant in the worlds of computer science and education. Huskey is notable also as the father of the &#8220;personal&#8221; computer in that he designed the first machine designed to be operated by one person.</p>
  22. <p>Amazing people, and we should all note their passing.</p>
  24. <h4>Further reading</h4>
  25. <ul>
  26.  <li><a href="">Charles Babbage Institute, an interview with Robert Taylor (1989)</a> (PDF, 91kb)</li>
  27.  <li><a href="">Rob Taylor, building the internet</a> (2000)</li>
  28.  <li><a href="">Computer History Museum, <cite>Oral History of Harry Huskey</cite></a> (PDF, 123kb)</li>
  29.  <li><a href="">They Made That: Harry Huskey</a></li>
  30. </ul>]]></description><link></link><dc:subject>computer history, parc, arpanet, bob taylor, harry huskey, alan turing, eniac, pilot ace</dc:subject><dc:creator>Ben Poole</dc:creator><guid isPermaLink="true"></guid><comments></comments></item><item><title>IBM Connect goes to the pub</title><pubDate>Tue, 14 Feb 2017 17:17 +0100</pubDate><description><![CDATA[<p>In London next Tuesday? Run, do not walk, to <a href="">IBM Connect goes to the pub</a>, a cheeky wee event we at <a href="">LDC Via</a> are hosting at <a href="">The Castle</a> very near Farringdon station. We will have the IBM Connect opening general session on a screen, and the drinks are on us!</p>
  32. <p>Read more and sign up <a href="">on our blog</a>.</p>]]></description><link></link><dc:subject>ibm connect, pub</dc:subject><dc:creator>Ben Poole</dc:creator><guid isPermaLink="true"></guid><comments></comments></item><item><title>Christmas 2010?</title><pubDate>Thu, 22 Dec 2016 15:19 +0100</pubDate><description><![CDATA[<p><a href="/weblog/201012242233" title="Link to Ben Poole, &#8220;Merry Christmas!&#8221;">I wrote this six years ago</a>. Flip 2010 for 2016!</p>
  34. <blockquote cite="/weblog/201012242233"><p>So, the veg. are done, the table is laid, the turkey a-ready: I can now sit down and wish my readers a very merry Christmas and happy holidays! You three make my day, and I run this site just for you guys.</p> <p>Here’s hoping for a splendiferous 2011 for us all (and let’s face it, it can’t be any worse than 2010, surely??!)</p>
  35. </blockquote>
  37. <p>Merry Christmas one and all. Here&#8217;s hoping for better days ahead.</p>]]></description><link></link><dc:subject>christmas, 2016, 2017</dc:subject><dc:creator>Ben Poole</dc:creator><guid isPermaLink="true"></guid><comments></comments></item><item><title>New Macs, function key strips</title><pubDate>Tue, 30 Aug 2016 08:26 +0100</pubDate><description><![CDATA[<p>By most measures, Apple is well overdue a refresh of its Mac and MacBook lines: 2016 has seen nothing on that score, and the latest press event announced for next week doesn&#8217;t really tell us any more. One of the more persistent rumours for the new machines, whenever they may turn up, states that the row of function keys on the new MacBooks will be replaced by some kind of context-sensitive &#8220;touch strip&#8221;</p>
  39. <p>Sweet baby Moses, if this is true then I hope to all that is holy that Apple know what they&#8217;re doing. Anyone who uses Lenovo hardware will recall the (justified) screams that greeted the Carbon X1. Here&#8217;s a reminder:</p>
  41. <p class="feature"><img class="feature-image" width="350" height="197" alt="The Lenovo Carbon X1 function key strip aberration" src="$file/argh.jpg" /></p>
  43. <p>My goodness but that was an aberration.</p>]]></description><link></link><dc:subject>macbook, lenovo</dc:subject><dc:creator>Ben Poole</dc:creator><guid isPermaLink="true"></guid><comments></comments></item><item><title>VMWare Fusion tip: drag n drop</title><pubDate>Thu, 21 Jul 2016 17:37 +0100</pubDate><description><![CDATA[<p>I have a recurring, not to mention infuriating, issue with Fusion which has existed since I started using the software in those heady beta days (2007?). To wit: drag n drop from the host to the guest OS just stops working for no apparent reason. Occasionally, this extends to copy and paste too. One way to address this is to restart the <abbr title="Virtual Machine">VM</abbr> (bah!) or when it gets really bad, repair the VMWare Tools installation. Nasty.</p>
  45. <p>When the problem happened again today, I decided to dig a little deeper, and found fragments of commands in various web pages / discussion fora. This pair of commands does the trick for me, so I&#8217;m posting here in the hope I find them again (this tip is for when using a Windows guest):</p>
  47. <ol>
  48. <li>Open the Windows command line as an administrator (important that) and issue this to blat VMWare Tools for now: <samp>taskkill /F /IM vmtoolsd.exe</samp></li>
  49. <li>Now issue this command (doesn&#8217;t need to be as an administrator): <samp>"C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Tools\vmtoolsd.exe" -n vmusr</samp> (you may need to adjust this for your VMWare Tools installation, although that is the default location).</li>
  50. </ol>
  52. <p>And there you have it: basically a forced restart of the VMWare Tools layer.</p>]]></description><link></link><dc:subject>tips, vmware, fusion</dc:subject><dc:creator>Ben Poole</dc:creator><guid isPermaLink="true"></guid><comments></comments></item><item><title>The new post-fact age</title><pubDate>Wed, 20 Jul 2016 14:20 +0100</pubDate><description><![CDATA[<p>It&#8217;s terrifying, especially hot on the heels of the brexit farce here in the UK. Consider this comment, made in a book four years ago and derided at the time:</p>
  54. <blockquote cite="">The Republican Party has become an insurgent outlier in American politics — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.</blockquote>
  56. <p>We&#8217;re all going back in time.</p>
  58. <p><a href="" title="Vox: &#8220;The Republicans waged a 3-decade war on government. They got Trump.&#8221;">Read more</a>.</p>]]></description><link></link><dc:subject>politics, rnc, trump, usa</dc:subject><dc:creator>Ben Poole</dc:creator><guid isPermaLink="true"></guid><comments></comments></item><item><title>Fourteen years is forever...</title><pubDate>Wed, 1 Jun 2016 17:25 +0100</pubDate><description><![CDATA[<p>You know a blog is pretty much dead when its author misses said blog&#8217;s fourteenth birthday by almost three weeks. Chortle! Oh well, happy birthday little website: you&#8217;ve done well!</p>]]></description><link></link><dc:subject>blog, anniversary</dc:subject><dc:creator>Ben Poole</dc:creator><guid isPermaLink="true"></guid><comments></comments></item><item><title>Perspective on the loss of a Prince</title><pubDate>Mon, 25 Apr 2016 17:27 +0100</pubDate><description><![CDATA[<p>Quite rightly, the world has gone nuts over the loss of Prince Nelson Rogers last week. Hell, I&#8217;m listening to some of his music right now, and I&#8217;ve had some insanely sad moments this weekend pondering his death, whilst also thinking about the other entertainers we&#8217;ve lost so far in 2016 (Alan Rickman, Victoria Wood, David Bowie, Ronnie Corbett, Paul Daniels and many, many more).</p>
  60. <p>But this stuff happens. We need a little perspective as people lament the passing of genius. No, we won&#8217;t see the like of Prince again, <strong>but that doesn&#8217;t mean that the world is a poorer place</strong>. Consider: we have a massive backlog of superb music, and we have myriad other artists past and present to listen to. It salts my spuds when I hear people wail about there being a lack of decent music nowadays. It&#8217;s the myopia of nostalgia: just look around. The media won&#8217;t deliver the good stuff to you on a plate, but that doesn&#8217;t mean it&#8217;s not out there.</p>
  62. <p>And if you won&#8217;t take my word for it, read a very splendid take on all of this from another musical giant, <a href="">Steve Lawson</a>:</p>
  64. <blockquote cite="">There&#8217;s a shit ton of music out there, way more amazing music than you could ever imagine. So please stop trying to tell me that all the good stuff is dead. Try harder.</blockquote>
  66. <p>Read more: <a href="">Steve Lawson, <cite>It&#8217;s 2016 And We’re Looking For Magic In All The Wrong Places</cite></a>.</p>]]></description><link></link><dc:subject>prince, deaths, music, david bowie</dc:subject><dc:creator>Ben Poole</dc:creator><guid isPermaLink="true"></guid><comments></comments></item><item><title>Microsoft just got even more interesting</title><pubDate>Mon, 18 Apr 2016 11:15 +0100</pubDate><description><![CDATA[<p><img src="$file/win-logo.png" width="108" height="108" alt="Microsoft Windows logo" class="post-logo" /></p>
  68. <p>Over the past few years, I’ve had cause to tinker with Visual Studio and its stable-mates more and more. Quite a few corporates have laid their eggs in the Microsoft basket, and the tooling is better than ever. .NET, Entity Framework, Web API, MVC .NET&hellip; some Good Things have been happening, all spurred on by intitiatives like “coding-by-convention”, the rise of node.js with its simple approach to the server runtime.</p>
  70. <p>I was mildly interested when Microsoft announced Visual Studio Code, and the ability to build stuff on OS X, but the really good stuff is happening <strong>now</strong>:</p>
  72. <dl>
  73. <dt>Microsoft Graph</dt><dd>This is billed as <cite>One endpoint to rule them all</cite>, and is all about providing a single <abbr title="Application programming Interface">API</abbr> endpoint for access to everything in the Microsoft cloud: data, business intelligence, organisational relationships, files, email, and so forth. Very cool (read more <a href="">Microsoft Graph website</a>).</dd>
  75. <dt>Cortana &amp; machine learning</dt><dd>The Cortana Analytics Suite looks interesting: Microsoft’s answer to Siri has now morphed into Microsoft’s answer to Watson, with support for myriad languages inclyding R and Python. <a href="">Read more: Microsoft machine learning</a>.</dd>
  77. <dt>Ubuntu userspace on Windows</dt><dd>This is rather cool. A joint project between Microsoft and Canonical unveiled its secrets at the <a href="">Build</a> developer conference a couple of weeks back. Imagine running a bash shell <em>natively</em> on Windows 10: that’s what is coming. A kind of “<a href="" title="Link to “WineHQ”">Wine</a> in reverse”, whereby Ubuntu binaries are running directly in Windows thanks to a syscall translation layer called “Windows Subsystem for Linux.” If you’re a Windows 10 Insider, you can start with this now: <a href="">Dustin Kirkland, HOWTO: Ubuntu on Windows</a>.</dd>
  78. </dl>
  80. <p>All good stuff. However, if the last two weeks have taught me anything, getting into the Microsoft cloud (i.e. Azure) and developing stuff is a massive pain in the arse thanks to their byzantine web sites, myriad sign-up screens with lack of <abbr title="Single Sign On">SSO</abbr> and the ridiculously complex MSDN / Azure set-up that Microsoft have (it’s up there with IBM Partnerworld). Still a lot of work to do.</p>]]></description><link></link><dc:subject>microsoft, ubuntu, cortana, cloud</dc:subject><dc:creator>Ben Poole</dc:creator><guid isPermaLink="true"></guid><comments></comments></item><item><title>The death of blogging</title><pubDate>Mon, 20 Jul 2015 08:34 +0100</pubDate><description><![CDATA[<p>Charles Miller has just written a neat take on why blogging isn&#8217;t the thing any more. Writing on a standard platform would probably help too: I must <a href="" title="I wonder what tool I could use?">move this site</a> off of my home-grown Domino template some day!</p>
  82. <blockquote cite="">It takes a lot of time and inspiration to write a long-form article, so most blogs filled the gaps between with links, funny pictures they had found around the Internet, short pithy commentary, snippets of conversation, interesting quotes, jokes [&hellip;] With Twitter you could do that on your phone, have it pushed to your friends/subscribers in real time, and have the same done back to you with equal ease. It wasn&#8217;t even a competition.</blockquote>
  84. <p>Read more: <a href="">Charles Miller, The Death of Blogging</a>.</p>]]></description><link></link><dc:subject>charles miller, blogging, twitter, tumblr</dc:subject><dc:creator>Ben Poole</dc:creator><guid isPermaLink="true"></guid><comments></comments></item> </channel>
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