Hacker Newsnew | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit | snori74's comments login

Notice the MAT (matrix) commands on page 51.

When I first came across BASIC in the 70's it was known for three things in particular: (i) being interpreted rather than compiled, (ii) having these MAT commands, and (iii) being simpler and beginner friendly than FORTRAN or Algol.

The MAT commands seem to have been dropped from most later versions.

(It was at first a compiled language, but it really took off once interpreters become available on time-share systems. It was probably that aspect, rather than the syntax, which made it more suited to beginners).


Yes, that stood out to me too. I recall there being two competing camps in the mid 70's regarding whether to 'slash' the O's or the 0's. In search of who these sides were, I came across http://www.circuitousroot.com/artifice/letters/characters/sl... which is a useful summary.

Yes, that struck me too.

Turns out that the target for the second bomb was Kokura, and they did three bomb runs over it, but they then diverted to Nagasaki.[1]

Reading the report - with the rationale for each of those other targets - and then the story of the Kokura raid (which ended up hitting Nagasaki) makes it very dramatically obvious how "contingent" everthing is.

Edit: In fact Kokura, which I'd never heard of until today, got pretty lucky - as well as being the main target for what became the "Nagasaki bomb", they'd been the backup target for the first bomb

[1]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_a...

-----


Great to see this. One of the very first examples of client-site Java put up years ago by JPL (or NASA?) was essentially this, but it went down a few years ago.

So simple, yet very powerful tool to grok intuitively quite a few things: geostationary orbits - and to see at a glance why latency is going to be a problem; the issue of coverage for satellite phones etc.

Edit: Looks like the NASA one still exists (http://science.nasa.gov/realtime/jtrack/3d/JTrack3D.html/) but it's a pain to get it to run because of Java security, and seems to be broken. Won't run in Chrome, broken display in IE and Firefox.

-----


Yes! I always had this open on my Dad's computer quite some time ago. I always wanted to catch a glimpse of a satellite, or especially the ISS, as it traveled over-head.

-----


The indispensable heavens-above.com is your friend here.

-----


Yes, I remember JTrack! Great to see it 'get an update' in the form of this new site.

-----


Well, only sort of. The 38 was a radical departure, and is the the true root of this series.

-----


Both SCA "heavy" fighting and HMB, as in the "Battle of Nations" are full-contact so tend to use armour similar to historical. Very different spins again on the whole topic, but worth looking into.

-----


I'm not VLM, but yes, peer-pressure in another guise. Just think about your attitudes and beliefs on (a) handgun ownership, (b) creationism and (c) Israel. It's very likely that if you're in a social group with strong homogeneous view on one of these items, that there will be a matching "party line" on the others - even though they're completely unrelated. Chances are low that you'll argue the point, you'll probably just stay quiet - but many people will enthusiastically take that party line as their own.

-----


I think that's just groupthink. People tend to act on their beliefs about things like vaccines, Israel, and handgun ownership.

Of course, it's one of the earliest results in psychology that social conformity has an influence on people's beliefs, even on readily accessible questions like whether line A is longer or shorter than line B. To me, if somebody professes a belief, acts on that belief, and works to convince others of that belief, then they effectively hold that belief.

-----


The fact that "24" with Jack Bauer routinely using torture ran for eight years with high ratings surely reflected the US public's tacit approval.

-----


24 is a terrifically evil show and helped sell torture by showing Jack routinely torture people and get the right actionable information every time without any ramifications.

-----


That always ruined shows for me. They punch someone, they say nothing. They punch them again, and they immediately give them the truth and stop the torture. But they can't check the truth for quite a while, possibly not without killing or letting the suspect go.

-----


I don't think you can sensibly infer anything of the sort from television ratings.

As I recall, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad and Dexter all rated pretty well too.

-----


Jack Bauer is supposed to be the good guy; good guys aren't supposed to use torture, yet he does.

I don't know about other shows, did "good guys" use torture ? Were they able to walk away without any problems ?

-----


Since we're talking about fiction... In Burn Notice, they routinely stop people from using torture to try to get actionable intel, because "people will say whatever they think you want to hear, just to make it stop"

-----


Don't underestimate the power of fiction. Heroes are not necessarily "good." Read some Dashiell Hammett for example.

-----


Tony Soprano is the protagonist. He has people killed and kills people. He isn't set up as a villain.

-----


A lot of cop shows use the sort of light torture that America used. Rough the suspect up and get him to talk.

-----


Yeah and the popularity of the Sopranos showed tacit approval of the American mobsters.

-----


Even worse, "Madam Secretary" is now spreading torture apologist rhetoric by framing the character that worked for the CIA and approved torture as a successful but war-worn, down-to-earth realist that acknowledges that "life is more complicated than you think," while the character that vehemently opposed torture is framed as an overly-idealistic young adult that dropped out of college in protest and has to work menial jobs in retail to "learn how the world works."

-----


Really? Not sure what makes you think that.

The Apple II is one of a number of machines at the time that had the system-unit-plus-keyboard as a base on which a matching monitor was put. The HP 9845A and PET 2001 for example.

Later CP/M systems often had the system unit built into the monitor - and sometime the keyboard as well in systems like the Intertec Superbrain.

-----


My guess is that there's similar stories to be told about coffee and chocolate - both of which now have fanatical followings. I'm sure they've been been told, but I have not yet read them.

On a related note, This American Life recently did an interesting item on the birth of the artisnal toast - well worth a listen.

-----


Indeed, and it can be found here: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/520/n...

The "artisinal toast" aspect is the least interesting. It's an amazing story about a person dealing with their own mental illness, with some good startup advice mixed in at the end.

"Just get some cups. Brew some coffee. When you run out cups, close the door, and go get more cups."

-----

More

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: