Chris Roos by Chris Roos

Monday Links - Week 238

The story behind XKCD’s Time comic

I didn’t have the patience to follow the Time comic as it unfolded, a frame every 30 minutes, but thankfully patience is no longer required. I had no idea it was this involved and complex; it’s the kind of thing I’d love to make. JA

Lego Turing Machine

Having just finished Tom Stuart’s great Understanding Computation, it was fun to come across this video of a physical Turing machine, made using Lego Mindstorms and a fairly ingenious “infinite tape”. If you’re having any trouble imagining what Tom describes, take a look at this. JA

1 weird tip for understanding those “1 weird tip” adverts

If you haven’t come across a ‘1 weird tip’ advert, you haven’t been using the internet recently. This Slate article explains what they are, who is behind them, why the exist and ultimately what those weird tips are. Spoiler: they’re codswallop. JA

The Future of Programming

There are so many things to like about this Bret Victor talk (I’m a huge fan, as I’ve said elsewhere), but even if you take nothing away from the content (but you will), the delivery and the fact that he stays in character the whole time is really priceless. I won’t say more, because I don’t want to spoil it. Go watch. JA


This is an Indiegogo-backed open-source self-hosted Gmail replacement. I’m hoping that Chris Indieweb Roos will try this out for me, but so far he’s been showing a strange reluctance to self-host other people’s software. JM

The Phoenix Project

This novel about IT, DevOps, and “Helping Your Business Win” showed up quite a bit in my Twitter feed recently and sounds intriguing, so I’ve ordered a copy. I’ll try to let you know what it’s like. JM

John Carmack gets all functional

I’ve no idea what Quakecon 2013 is, and without prompting, my prejudiced mind would have ignored it completely. So I’m lucky that this section of a talk by John Carmack, where he explains his thoughts about Haskell, Lisp and functional programming in general appeared in my twitter feed. Thanks tweeters, without you I’d have missed out. TW

Extreme Startup Game

I enjoyed reading James’ account of our attempts at this game which Rob Chatley ran at GFRHQ recently. I’m only ever so slightly embarrassed that Rob D and I didn’t write any tests! JM

Dare to succeed. Reap the rewards from wise risk-taking

Are we too conservative to be a successful product company? This is a question I’ve been asking myself in the wake of a conversation with James A last week. I thought this article provided some more useful food for thought. I’ve not worked out the answer yet though. JM

Smarter Socks

The ultimate sock-pairing machine? Apparently this uses RFIDs in your socks and a sensor plugged into your phone to help you pair your socks. It also allows you to use the camera on your phone to compare shades of black! JM

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