the turk

manuscript-day 209 of 100 The history of mechanical calculators is far more outbranching, and the whole story is important for understanding, that what a computer does and is based on, is mathematics, and mathematics only. The devices presented so far—from the ‘Antikythera Mechanism’ to Hahn’s calculator—are of tremendous importance for humankind in general, as history then shows. Accordingly they fascinate the elite-circle of scientists of their times. But they harbour no direct meaning for those not ‘in-the-know,’ because in the end, they can ‘just’ calculate, ‘nothing more.’ They are not programable and thus can not combine their calculation powers in … Continue reading

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raining games

manuscript-day four of 100 Yesterday night, while hunched over his C-64, absorbedly somersaulting over compact droids while running along platforms, hard banging against the door of his flat wrenched him out of immersion.     ‘Open that door immediately,’ a commanding voice shouted from the staircase outside his apartment. The order was preceded by the incomprehensible, but nevertheless authoritative yelling of a name, and of a likewise yelled address resembling the one of a nearby police station. Already close to wetting his pants, picturing himself in jail for having committed the arch-crime of copyright infringement at least a zillion times, … Continue reading

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but then I saw her case …

… and now I’m a believer    It may have started a lot earlier, but the immediately preceding events, which led up to the present condition, started with ↵that keyboard. My enthusiasm never broke, and then TK reminded me, that, as university staff, I get a heavy discount at Apple. The dam broke in the middle of the night between Sunday and Monday last week—I ordered a MacBook online. On Tuesday it was here. After having carried it home I switched it on and everything worked like a charm. Except that I could not connect the machine to my wireless … Continue reading

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split and contoured

  There was a time when split keyboards were the metaphor for futuristic desktop computer hardware—at least for movies and television series, where they appeared. When I first saw a split keyboard I fell for it—↵because of ↵the æsthetics, ↵as always. Besides the looks there is a rationale behind exotic artefacts like the above pictured ↑L89P [↵Jake, I’d like to see a steampunk version of that beast] by ↑Maltron Keyboards, which is not only split, but heavily contoured as well. It has been ergonomically designed “to relieve the symptoms of RSI (↑Repetitive Strain Injury)”. Besides Maltron, to my knowledge only … Continue reading

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charlie’s demons

Imagine a world where speaking or writing words can literally and directly make things happen, where getting one of those words wrong can wreak havoc, but where with the right spell you can summon immensely powerful agencies to work your will. Imagine further that this world is administered: there is an extensive division of labour, among the magicians themselves and between the magicians and those who coordinate their activity. It’s bureaucratic and also (therefore) chaotic, and it’s full of people at desks muttering curses and writing invocations, all beavering away at a small part of the big picture. The coordinators, … Continue reading

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driver update

The manufacturer’s website offers a diagnostics tool, promising to have a look into the according hardware, detecting if more recent drivers are available and leading you through easy download and installation. All right, just for the fun of it, let’s try. Diagnostics says: “We are sorry, but the updates can not be installed on your system. Please contact your notebook manufacturer.” :-o Ladies and Gentlemen, this is an ATX big tower, not only containing a 700W power supply unit, but also enough free airspace I could stuff half of your company inside. There are mouse and keyboard attached, not to … Continue reading

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open source annual 2007

  The ↑Open Source Annual ↑2007 has been succesfully presented at the CeBit 2007.  LUTTERBECK, BERND, MATTHIAS BÄRWOLFF, AND ROBERT A. GEHRING (eds.). 2007. ↑Open Source Jahrbuch 2007: Zwischen freier Software und Gesellschaftsmodell. Berlin: Lehmanns Media. From now on it is available at bookstores and ↑can be downloaded for free in several formats. On pages 59 through 72 you’ll find my contribution “↑Die Deutungsoffenheit der Quelle“ [The source’s interpretative flexibility], which—as ↑all the other contributions—can be downloaded separately:  KNORR, ALEXANDER. 2007. “↑Die Deutungsoffenheit der Quelle,” in Open Source Jahrbuch 2007: Zwischen freier Software und Gesellschaftsmodell edited by Bernd Lutterbeck, Matthias … Continue reading

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system assembly

  All ↵the parts I had ordered ↵finally arrived, and one week ago, on Monday, 05 March 2007, at 13:00h I unpacked the boxes.    First things first. The case I leave aside and carefully unwrap the mainboard, an Asus M2R32-MVP. The included documentation is excellent, reading it gives me a lot of confidence. Next I open the box of the CPU, an AMD Athlon X2 5200+. I bought the boxed edition, meaning a matching cooler and fan is included. The “documentation” boils down to instructions how to insert the CPU into the socket on the mainboard, and how to … Continue reading

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