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  1. John W Kennedy GoComics Pro Member commented on Phoebe and Her Unicorn 1 day ago

    One does wonder whether unicorns have worked out that the Morning Star and the Evening Star are the same thing.

    In Tolkien’s universe, the Moon (he) is in love with the Sun (she), and that’s why he keeps getting lost in the sky.

  2. John W Kennedy GoComics Pro Member commented on Peanuts Begins 6 days ago

    I rather had the opposite reaction. When I discovered Beethoven’s dates (1770–1827) at about ten years of age, I was astonished. “But… but… but… everybody says he lived a long time ago!” I had thought him to be roughly Renaissance-era.

  3. John W Kennedy GoComics Pro Member commented on Ginger Meggs 9 days ago

    English hates haiku.
    Syllables, like April snow,
    Melt and flow away.

  4. John W Kennedy GoComics Pro Member commented on Phoebe and Her Unicorn 11 days ago

    Old-time mainframe cables never tangled, probably because they were an inch and a half thick and weighed about a pound a foot, and, anyway, they were under a false floor.

  5. John W Kennedy GoComics Pro Member commented on Kid Beowulf 13 days ago

    I would make a joke here about the Italian version of “Roland”, but right now it would be in bad taste.

  6. John W Kennedy GoComics Pro Member commented on Wizard of Id 14 days ago

    Strangely reminds me of the final panel of Eric Shanower’s “The Enchanted Apples of Oz”….

  7. John W Kennedy GoComics Pro Member commented on The Born Loser 19 days ago

    The island now named Aquidneck was originally called “Rhode Island”, and was a separate colony from the colony of Providence Plantations. When they joined, they became “Rhode Island and Providence Plantations”.

    And the word “plantation”, by the way, originally meant “colony”, or “very large estate”. (It’s the same idea whether you’re planting a seed or planting a new nation.) So, although the word “plantation” has an ugly history in America, “Providence Plantations” had nothing to do with that; it’s just that some people in 1636 thought “Providence Plantations” made a cooler name than “Providence Colony”.

  8. John W Kennedy GoComics Pro Member commented on Little Nemo 23 days ago

    “Flippity has gone to glory!”

  9. John W Kennedy GoComics Pro Member commented on Phoebe and Her Unicorn 27 days ago

    Gawd! It was 59 years ago that I saw that movie!

  10. John W Kennedy GoComics Pro Member commented on Not Invented Here 28 days ago

    IBM 1401

    Cards. (On the cheapest installations, nothing but cards, but tapes and disks were also available.)

    Mostly programmed in Autocoder (i.e., assembler).

    But mostly patched in direct machine language, because the assembler was very slow. You’d hope that the last guy had remembered to keep the source code in sync with the patches, in case you had to do a fix that was big enough to need a reassembly.

    Somewhere between 1,400 and 16,000 characters of memory. Maximum 10,000,000 characters of disk (but you could remove the disks, so you could keep more files off the computer). Maximum of six tape drives.

    Ten years before that, you didn’t write programs at all. To the extent that you had punch-card-based, computer-like devices (“Accounting Machines”), you programmed them by putting plugs into big ol’ plugboards (like old-fashioned telephone switchboards you see in movies from the 40s, but with much smaller plugs and wires and holes much closer together). You could save your programs by removing the entire plugboard and replacing it with another one. I’m old enough to have used such devices, but I’ve never actually programmed one, although I’ve programmed some simpler plugboard devices, like paper-tape-to-punch-card converters.