Reading the Sketchpad Thesis

Shortly after starting my SVG work, I realised I just had to read Ivan Sutherland's 1963 thesis. (I really ought to have already done so, and this was the final kick.) Sadly, it is somewhat hard to read owing to the fact that many fundamental programming concepts had not even been invented back then. And @Pavel, … Continue reading Reading the Sketchpad Thesis

Back to bootstrapping

Periodically I must snap myself back into recognising my real aim: to experience the traditional process of bootstrapping, but by doing as much as possible in a "live" system that I can see, feel and persist without touching a single line of "code". After re-orienting myself towards this, I am carefully designing a way to … Continue reading Back to bootstrapping

Ideas for a “human-friendly” “dumb” substrate

What distinguishes the computer medium from all the others? What constitutes a "simulator"? What's the minimal "machinery" needed? The Church-Turing thesis says: it's the Turing machine. This does depend on what you mean by "minimal" or "simplest". I actually think that the random-access Register Machine is the best place to start, and I view the … Continue reading Ideas for a “human-friendly” “dumb” substrate