Valentines for Nina and Lola

Nina and Lola,

Whenever I'm away from you and I spend a lot of time writing computer code, I think about the pretty patterns that your names make in binary code. Your names, Nina and Lola, are wonderful in so many ways that I could never describe them all. Here's one of those ways.

If you use the following Common Lisp expression, you can find the graphical binary representation of your names in binary code.

  (defun binary-name (name zero one)
    (map 'string (lambda (c) (case c (#\1 one) (#\0 zero) (t c)))

Magit, HDIELWT, and Dot Emacs On Steroids

Everyone has experienced the feeling of familiarizing oneself with a technology over a period of a few weeks or months and arriving at the "How did I ever live without this?" moment (hereto forth HDIELWT). I have often pondered that question quite seriously, trying to remember hard how I managed before tool X came along. It has happened to me with many a tool, including Emacs, Common Lisp, Delicious, Reddit, and several Google products, such as Gmail, Reader, Calendar, and Voice.

RE: Querying s-expressions in Common Lisp

I just found an article titled Querying s-expressions in Common Lisp that Slava Akhmechet posted to last year. (Yes, I know--old news. I have a lot of catching up to do.)

The article got me excited because I am an XQuery programmer and I've always wanted to see something like XPath in Lisp and in Perl. (Thanks Slava!) I've even mentioned this to my peers. But I'm not talking about a library to manipulate, navigate, or query XML.

Quicksort Performance: Comparing Some Lisps And Perl

A few days ago, I wrote a simple Quicksort implementation in Common Lisp. After that, I started to wonder how other lisps and Perl compared for sorting numbers.

SBCL is Fast!

I just read an article comparing the performance of Clojure, Java, Ruby, and Scala. As I read the article, I wondered how Common Lisp compares to the languages covered in the article.

Catching the Human Mind

I was benchmarking PCs to try to determine where to put some Chattermancy code and I started to wonder once more where we are in the unintentional technological race to build a cheap computer that can outperform the human brain. I've done this exercise a half-dozen times over the years. Here's what I found this time.

Calculating how long it's going to take for PCs to become as powerful as the human brain is easy if you can make a few assumptions.

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