This is BrainLog, a blog by Dan Sanderson. Older entries, from October 1999 through September 2010, are preserved for posterity, but are no longer maintained. See the front page and newer entries.

June 2009 Archives

June 19, 2009

David Pogue's Productivity Secrets Revealed. Just knowing what you want to say is cheating. Cheating! The man writes books with dictation software, for cryin' out loud. :P

June 18, 2009

A demonstration of magnetic levitation train technology using a toy train. Don't miss the buildingside monorail demo at the very end.

I'd say I want one of these toys, but getting liquid nitrogen might difficult. And, uh, dangerous.

June 17, 2009

Writing apps for the iPhone in Scheme, getting around the "no interpreters" clause of the Apple developer agreement by compiling Scheme into C using Gambit Scheme.

June 15, 2009

The TTY demystified. I can't believe I didn't know ASCII predates computers.

June 11, 2009

Mr. Penumbra's Twenty-Four-Hour Book Store, a short story.

June 10, 2009

Arduino the Cat, Breadboard the mouse and Cutter the Elephant, an experimental workshop with girls ages 8-11 using the Arduino electronic projects board. From the article:

It was interesting to see the contrast between the two groups - the younger ones appear to me more cautious to stay within boundaries of what they have previously seen as they worry about many things being 'impossible', which for me was quite unexpected. They had less patience with trying to learn the technological parts, although had a good idea of how the flow of action should be for their ideas. Given a slower teaching pace and a more graphical interface, I believe they would have gained much more control over what was happening.

Good follow-ups in the comments on that page, too.

The Seattle Children's Theater spring cleaning eBay auction. Props, set pieces and costumes for sale! This is your chance to own a sign that reads: "See this sub-human MONSTER wallow in abominable FILTH!!"

June 7, 2009

So sorry to anyone who didn't see this in time, but I've been too busy watching it to post: The Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition has been streaming high quality video and audio of the entire competition live to the web, including preliminaries, semifinals, and finals, as well as rehearsals and documentary shorts. Just an amazing bang-up job on the whole thing, a real reason to install Microsoft Silverlight. As I write this, I'm watching the cameras pan around an anxious audience as they await the final judgement to start the awards ceremony.

If you missed it, don't fret. There are archives of the performances&mash;though, alas, not the rehearsals. No clue how long they'll be up, but they're amazing if you can get to them. Also check out the Cliburn Store with CDs and DVDs of tons of stuff, including most of the competition from this and past years.

June 3, 2009

Unbelievable teaser trailer for The Beatles: Rock Band, coming on September 9th. Please God let this be the art for the game.

(Also, please a Guitar Hero release, for people without friends.)

June 2, 2009

Monkey Island Returns! The Secret of Monkey Island is being remade for consoles with modern art, voice work—and the original game engine with the ability to switch to the vintage version in mid-game. Also, Tales of Monkey Island, a series of all-new mini-games! Check out the trailer for the mini-games, a behind the scenes documentary short on the remake, and Ron Gilbert's article.