Monthly Archive for July, 2009

It's Alive!

I’m getting ready to head out of town for a few days, it’s the August Canadian long weekend.  This is the one the government instituted to help us survive the winter and believe me, this year we’re going to need it.


So – this is just a quick update because I don’t want you to think there’s no movement – there is movement.

My most exciting news is that the film now has its own legal life…


OH – and I really want to talk to Chris Bunyan.   Please pass him to me or me to him if you are in contact.  Why?  Hmmmmmmm….  That’s a secret 2nd generation matter.


The Origins of APL – 1974

Here is the full 1 hour version of this video (you asked for it).  🙂

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.851737&w=425&h=350&fv=m%3D60771080%26type%3Dvideo%26a%3D0]


Nothing Comes of Nothing

To quote Jon McGrew, (quoting Donald McIntyre, I believe):

We have the Arabs to thank for Zero, and Ken Iverson to thank for nothing.

Kenneth E. Iverson Memorial Video by Catherine – MySpace Video

I’m flipping through Charles Seife’s  Zero and thinking about the meeting I had yesterday with my new film lawyer. Perhaps it is only co-incidence that I’m holding both topics in my head at this moment. After all, Ms Laura spotted the book on my shelf yesterday and loving all things Mathematical exclaimed enthusiastically, “My dad is reading that book!”

zero_0001Zero clashed with one of the central tenets of Western philosophy, a dictum whose roots were in the number-philosophy of Pythagoras and whose importance came from the paradoxes of Zeno.  The whole Greek universe rested upon this pillar: there is no void…

Before they could accept zero, philosophers in the West would have to destroy their universe.

[page 25]

And did I mention I met my new lawyer yesterday?

Today?  Economics homework & I’m meeting up with EBI!


Philadelphia Ghosts

I was walking in High Park, enjoying a beautiful cool summer evening, when Curtis Jones called from California.

I'm of the post-punch card generation & Still I saved one... Why?

I'm of the post-punch card generation & Still I saved one... Why?

It was great to hear his voice.  We chatted a bit about the APL Bug meeting in May.  I’m now one of the editors of Vector, blah blah blah.

Later he sent me an email with minutes from an APL Bug meeting dated 13 Jul 1998 because there were notes on a talk given by Eugene McDonnell and Eugene mentions some work my dad did in the 1980’s (I will tell if you must know).

What Curtis didn’t know is that I would be more excited by seeing the meeting was also attended by  the late David Steinbrook.  David was the first person to actually teach me APL, in the I P Sharp Philadelphia branch office in 1981.

In fact, I was talking to one of David’s ex-wives earlier this month and I told her this little bit of APL trivia.

‘But I would have thought it would have been your dad who first taught you APL,’ she said.

Nope.  My dad kinda threw me at it.  David TAUGHT me.

‘David always was a teacher,’ she replied.

Yup.  I miss him.

PS This is noted at the bottom of the minutes:  ‘Look at   for K lite’  🙂 😉


Generation 4 (Already?)

P1050339My summer student started working!  Yay!

Laura Linton is a stellar student and math whiz.  She has interests in accounting and has a strong ethical sense with concerns for the planet.  We’re all lucky she’s so smart – the planet needs it.  And I’m very lucky to have her working with me this summer.

Welcome Laura to the LP team!

PS Laura is also the daughter of Cameron Linton & Janet Martin, both  former IPSANs.

In fact, I like to take some credit for her birth (let’s say 1%).  Now there’s a story!


A Network

I’m having trouble keeping track of folks and I’m wondering if ning will do the trick….  Can you tolerate enrollment in another social network?  If so,  please try

ps waiting for parental permission to talk about my new amazingly spectacular summer student!!!!


Origins of APL: Excerpts

This is roughly the first 10 mins of the 1974 video called Origins of APL where Ken Iverson & Adin Falkoff talk about APL in the beginning.


Origins of APL Intro

Here is the Intro sequence to the 1974 – Origins of APL


Dad & My APL Box

Dad & My APL Box

I was able to find a photo of the 1956 Caddy Adin Falkoff sold to my dad in 1966 for $50.



Verdict of the Chronically Bewildered

Those of you who are close to me know that my neighbourhood in Toronto is famous, or perhaps I should say, notorious for its local colour, flavour and.. uh…  street business.  That’s my Parkdale.  I love it here.

And for whatever reason, we have a high density of what my former and much missed neighbour,  Mario,  calls housing for the “chronically bewildered.”  This is fine with me.  These folks can always be counted on to speak their minds.  And they don’t have much to do, so they are always here and always watching.

So, today, I went to the corner store for some ice cream and Charlie gets right to the point:

“Who punched you in the face?”

I answer, “I fell.  No one punched me”.  Of course he does not believe me. “I know you!  Someone punched you!”

Of course, I feel like I’m lying.  And I’m not.

On the way to my Dad’s house on Tuesday I took a bit of a tumble off of my bike.  I’m OK.  My bike is OK.  I need a new helmet and I have on heck of a shiner.  It’s my first.  Maybe next week I’ll be proud of it.  I expect I will wear the traces for a good long time.  I look like hell.  Like some sort of white trash street walker.  Nice.




Luckily for me, it’s day two that you really hurt, so I went to my dad’s place anyway  & I did manage to dig through some old photos of the APL folks from the early 1970’s.  I haven’t found too many, but there are some.  A young Alex Morrow, Joey Tuttle, Paul Berry & Co.

I’m thinking my dad had no idea he and the crew were making history, or there would be more pictures of the guys and well… fewer of me.

On day two, Canada Day, I slugged around at home and finally read Adin Falkoff’s interview in Masterminds of Programming.  It’s worth the read, and now… I can make THE CALL.


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