iMessage “DoS” Attack

I would be surprised if I’m the only student in this program who thinks small hacking pranks and minor harmless attacks on unsuspected folks are both fun and educational. This weekend I learned AppleScript, which for the Mac OS X-impaired folks, that’s a really nice scripting editor that comes standard on all OS X machines. […]


One of my colleagues has sparked our students’ interest in IRC. He and the students have been suggesting I swing by their channel, especially since I’m occasionally the topic of conversation. I applaud my colleague’s barrierlessness, but my dreams of things to do with my family and of things to code and of grant proposals […]

PHP Spotting

I saw this snippet of PHP on a window in a downtown business:

The Muppet Who Was a Computer

Our machines our unswerving. They do not judge our commands. Their faithful obedience is a feature and a bug.

Recurring recursion

Recursion is a concept that fascinates people, even non-computer scientists. All the same, I’ve decided to stop teaching it in my introductory programming course. I’d rather wait until I can motivate it with self-similar data structures. Nevertheless, recursion is pervasive. Who can’t help but wonder at the following phenomena? Isle Royale The largest lake in […]

A man on the bus

In Knoxville, Tennessee, a gentleman was talking with a friend of mine on the bus about some troubles he was having with modern technology. I thought the incident would make a nice limerick: I once met a man who was miffed ‘Tween email and him was a rift When he pressed the @ key Number […]

IEEE-754 sighting

I was walking through our local transit system’s headquarters yesterday when I saw what I presumed was someone dividing 0 by 0 in the marquee software: When I showed my non-programming wife, she politely chuckled and moved on with her business. On questioning, she confessed she didn’t think much of it — just a cute […]