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Sep 24, 2023

Byte has to be one of the most recognizable parts of the digital lexicon. It's an incantation that can be recognized by even the uninitiated. But where does the byte come from? Has it always existed, or did it more recently come into being? And, more specifically, why is a byte 8 bits? Is it some holdover from long...

Sep 10, 2023

It's finally time! In this episode we are looking at the Monte Carlo method, perhaps the first practical computer program that could outpace human capability. The best part: the method relies on a random walk to reach a statistically valid answer!
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Aug 27, 2023

I will admit, the title here is a bit of click bait. In the early 1950s a researcher named Nils Aall Barricelli started in on a bold project. His goal was to simulate evolution on a computer and, in doing so, create a perfect lab to study evolutionary processes. What he found was astonishing. Given a simple rule set...

Aug 26, 2023

This episode is simply a reading of the Story of Mel. I opened last episode with an excerpt, but didn't feel right leaving it at that. So, I present, the Story of Mel as written by Ed Nather and preserved in the Jargon file.

Aug 15, 2023

In 1956 Librascope released the LGP-30, a truly wild machine. It was, for the time, the most simple and cheap machine that could actually be useful. It was the size of a desk when contemporary machines took up small rooms. It plugged into a normal wall outlet while other machines requires special power feeds. It was,...