2 weeks agoMay 5, 2013
An interactive map showing the history of street and landmark names in San Francisco.
3 weeks agoMay 1, 2013
10 PRINT CHR$ (205.5 + RND (1)); : GOTO 10, a new book collaboratively written by 10 authors, takes a single line of code—inscribed in the book’s mouthful of a title—and explodes it.
That one line, a seemingly clumsy scrap of BASIC, generates a fascinatingly complicated maze on a Commodore 64. Run the little program on an emulator—or on an actual Commodore 64, if you happen to have one collecting dust in your basement—and a work of art unfolds before your very eyes, as the screen slowly fills up in a mesmerizing fashion. (Run it on another old-school computer, like an Apple II, and you won’t get the same transfixing result, for details that have to do with the Commodore 64’s character set, called PETSCII.)
The line of code seems basic, even for BASIC. There aren’t any variables. It uses a GOTO instead of a more elegant loop. How could something so short and simple generate such a complex result? What can this one line—“10 PRINT,” to use the authors’ shorthand—teach us about software, and culture at large?
5 months agoDecember 1, 2012
The Memorial Society’s database of purges in Moscow 1930-50s mapped