Modern operating systems may seem baroque in their complexity, but nearly every one of them – except for Windows, natch – are based on the idea of simplicity and modularity. This is the lesson that UNIX taught us, explained perfectly in a little film from Bell Labs in 1982 starring giants of computation, [Dennis Ritchie], [Ken Thompson], [Brian Kernighan], and others.
At the time this film was made, UNIX had been around for about 10 years. In that time, it had moved far from an OS cloistered in giant mainframes attached to teletypes to slightly smaller minicomputers wired up to video terminals. Yes, smallish computers like the Apple II and the VIC-20 were around by this time, but they were toys compared to the hulking racks inside Bell Labs.
The film explains the core concept of UNIX by demonstrating modularity with a great example by [Brian Kernighan]. He took a short passage from a paper he wrote and found spelling errors by piping his paper though different commands from the shell. First the words in the paper were separated line by line, made lowercase, and sorted alphabetically. All the unique words were extracted from this list, and compared to a dictionary. A spell checker in one line of code, brought to you by the power of UNIX.
(Via Hack a Day.)
Remote terminal application that allows roaming, supports intermittent connectivity, and provides intelligent local echo and line editing of user keystrokes.
Mosh is a replacement for SSH. It’s more robust and responsive, especially over Wi-Fi, cellular, and long-distance links.
Mosh is free software, available for GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, Mac OS X, and Android.
New submitter jgb writes “WebKit is, now that Opera decided to join the project, in the core of three of the five major web browsers: Apple’s Safari, Google’s Chromium and Opera. Therefore, WebKit is also a melting pot for many corporate interests, since several competing companies (not only Google and Apple, but also Samsung, RIM, Nokia, Intel and many others) are finding ways of collaborating in the project. All of this makes fascinating the study of how they are contributing to the project. Some weeks ago, a study showed how they were submitting contributions to the code base. Now another one uncovers how they are reviewing those submitted contributions. As expected, most of the reviews during the whole life of the project were done by Apple, with Google as a close second. But things have changed dramatically during the last few years. In 2012, Google is a clear first, reviewing about twice as much (50%) as Apple (25%). RIM (7%) and Nokia (5%) are also relevant reviewers. Code review is very important in WebKit’s development process, with reviewers acting as a sort of gatekeepers, deciding which changes make sense, and when they are conforming to the project practices and quality standards. In some sense, review activity reflects the responsibility each company is taking on how WebKit evolves. In some sense, the evolution over time for this activity by the different companies tells the history of how they have been shaping the project.”
(Via Slashdot: Apple.)
MultiTail follows files in style, it is tail on steroids.
MultiTail lets you view one or multiple files like the original tail program. The difference is that it creates multiple windows on your console (with ncurses). It can also monitor wildcards: if another file matching the wildcard has a more recent modification date, it will automatically switch to that file. That way you can, for example, monitor a complete directory of files. Merging of 2 or even more logfiles is possible. It can also use colors while displaying the logfiles (through regular expressions), for faster recognition of what is important and what not. It can also filter lines (again with regular expressions). It has interactive menus for editing given regular expressions and deleting and adding windows. One can also have windows with the output of shell scripts and other software. When viewing the output of external software, MultiTail can mimic the functionality of tools like ‘watch’ and such.
A Japanese point-of-sale system has the native cunning to recognize baked goods of its own accord, a surprisingly tricky computer vision problem:
Brain Corporation has developed a system that can individually identify all kinds of baked goods on a tray, in just one second. A trial has started at a Tokyo bakery store.
This technology was co-developed with the University of Hyogo. This is the world’s first trial of such a system in actual work at a cash register.
(Via Boing Boing.)
AN adults-only computer game rating category will at last become a reality with legislation passing Federal Parliament.
The new law fulfils the Commonwealth’s part of a deal with states and territories to include an R18+ rating in the games classification system.
“These are important reforms over 10 years in the making,” Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said.
“The R18+ category will inform consumers, parents and retailers about which games are not suitable for minors to play and will prevent minors from purchasing unsuitable material.
“The reforms also mean that adults are able to choose what games they play within the bounds of the law.”
Would you like to know more? via news.com.au
The “Print Directory…” command made its first appearance in System Software 6. Renamed “Print Window” in later versions of Mac OS, this command could be used to print the contents of a Finder window. It was removed with the advent of Mac OS X, but can be restored using this free utility. It is funny to think of Mac users referring to their folders as directories.
(Via Mac Floppy.)