October 2011

Rest In Peace Dr. Dennis M. Ritchie, Steve Jobs & Dr. Ralph M. Steinman

Within a short period of time the world has seen great loss. First we lost Dr. Ralph M. Steinman whose advancements in the field of Immunology are truly remarkable. I'm really glad that he ended up getting that Nobel Prize (even if it was posthumous). Next we lost Steve Jobs, a truly creative visionary. While I disagreed with some of his philosophical choices, he was an inspirational man with a legion of followers. He really changed computing forever. He will surely be missed. The latest person whom we lost is Dr. Dennis M. Ritchie (dmr). He gave us the C programming language and he played a key role in the development of UNIX. Words can not adequately describe how I feel right now. I wish I could say Thank You to all of them for giving us so much. I'd especially like to thank dmr, I never had the privilege of meeting you yet you've had one of the most profound influences on my life and my career. I spent so many nights reading the UNIX manuals. Those were some of my happiest memories. RIP

Here are two inspirational videos:

Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson talk about UNIX:

Steve Job's Commencement Speech:

Father of LISP and AI Pioneer, Dr. John McCarthy dies at 84

Right after I was told that I have an extension on my Artificial Intelligence homework, and before I got done rejoicing - someone on irc mentioned that Dr. John McCarthy just died. I first heard about him in the book Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach. I was just going over some of his papers on his site and I was going to fix the margins on some of the .pdfs (thankfully he released the original .tex files). If you haven't read any of his papers, check out his website.

After I'm done with my AI class I think I'll reread the Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (aka the Wizard Book). I haven't dealt much with LISP outside of academia, but I've always found it interesting.

It really is nice when you reread a book, many years later. You always seem to "get things" in a different way.

I'll leave you with this (John McCarthy is interviewed at 16:40:

Apple Lossless Audio Codec on Debian

I just found out about Apple's Lossless Codec going open source, so I decided to give it a spin. I'm putting my experience here since ALAC's trac (at least the bug entry form) is down. I submitted a bug about that upstream.

Update: Thanks to Bill Siegrist from Apple for releasing a bugfix on the next morning (hours later... on a Sunday). There is another issue with uploading attachments. Sounds like might be this.

Another update: Issues are now submitted here and here.