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Geoffrey Knauth
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Past meets present. I was looking for the Sibelius 6 manual for son Alex Knauth when I found this, The Little LISPer from 1980 and my sophomore year at Harvard. The class was AM110 taught by the most excellent Harry Lewis. The book is a classic and the author, Dan Friedman, is a legend. Full circle, here is Dan with Alex in March 2016 when Dan gave a talk at LispNYC hosted by Google. Alex is now a sophomore at Northeastern doing programming language research this semester with Prof. Emina Torlak at the University of Washington in Seattle, and he's a much better college student than I was.
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2/2/17
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Privacy is probably on more people's minds with recent changes in USG behavior. Without getting into the pros/cons/legality of WhitehouseLeak's tweets this week, in general people should be aware that hackers & investigators can often figure out who is behind a Twitter account pretty quickly.

https://pirate.london/how-to-identify-the-rogue-white-house-tweeter-in-3-easy-steps-5c13ce1b860e

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ARPANET in 1973.
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Nice piece by the New York Times on Leo Beranek, founder of the best company I ever worked for, in no small part because he was a great man himself, brilliant, warm and accessible to everyone.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/18/business/leo-beranek-dead.html

I was never so relieved when my wife came home after midnight. Why, because I love her and I was worried? Well, yes, but I'd fallen deeply asleep and was having a bad dream. Distracted in conversation with a passenger, I had taken off without a takeoff clearance, was flying about, thinking that wherever I landed, I would now have to call the controller, admit it was me, he would have to report me to the FAA, and the controller is a friend. My wife walks in, I wake up, explains she was working on a curriculum proposal for a meeting tomorrow, actually now later today, and I realize the flight, which was very realistic, was just a dream, and I didn't have to call the controller. And I should have realized it was just a dream, since the takeoff was from Selinsgrove, which doesn't even have a control tower.

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I just had a Eureka moment, one that I must savor and share with friends in the world of functional programs.

I wrote the first algorithmic prototype [for a company project] to do the calculations in Racket (a dialect of Scheme/Lisp) because it would be a fraction of the size of Java, it would be very easy to model the calculations and keep them readable but also compact, to reduce them to what my former mentor Ken Anderson[1] always used to refer to as "the essence of a computation."[2] I tested that code against [a colleagues]'s calculations against my test data, and his and my results matched up exactly, I thought, "OK, time to translate this Racket code into Scala, so it can integrate with the company's Java infrastructure." Scala is a bit more "mathy," but once you understand the syntax there really is no boiling things down any more. I was still surprised how succinct the code ended up being: five functions that are essentially each one-liners, except two of them introduce a variable or two to prevent repetition. They fit easily on a single screen. They would even fit on the first CRT I ever used, an ADM-3A in 1978, after which I said goodbye to teletypes forever.

I'm thinking of you, Ken.

[1] http://knauth.org/kra/index.html
[2] http://repository.readscheme.org/ftp/papers/kranderson_essence.pdf

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Visit to Flight 93 National Memorial, 2016-05-28.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gknauth/albums/72157666457119494
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