This is a little strange, considering that it wasn’t long ago that Dennis Ritchie died, but I just learned that John McCarthy has died. Like Ritchie, his wasn’t a household name (unless your household happens to be full of computer geeks), but he also made a number of contributions which changed the nature of computing. He coined the term “artificial intelligence”, invented the LISP programming language, and even anticipated a number of very contemporary network-based technologies such as web-based applications and cloud computing.
I’ve been remiss in tooting my own horn by mentioning that Audio Damage’s latest product, Filterstation, is now available. It’s a dual filter plug-in with 12 different filter types, three routing modes, a tempo-syncable LFO, and an envelope follower. There’s also a dual XY control for sweeping the frequency and/or resonance of either or both filters. Also of note is this is our first plug-in in Steinberg’s VST3 format, along with the usual VST2 and Audio Unit versions. All have both 32- and 64-bit binaries on both Windows and OS X.
These photos, for instance.
I just posted a few photos from our walk in Kyoto, in the neighborhood roughly between the Yasaka shrine and the Kyomizudera temple. I didn’t take that many photos that day, having photographed the area pretty extensively on previous visits. It’s a remarkably picturesque area, though, so I had to pull out the camera a few times. The Flickr photo set is here.
Just over a week after Steve Jobs died, another extremely significant figure in the world of computing has died. Dennis Ritchie was the creator of the C programming language and a contributor to the creation of the Unix operating system. C (and its immediate successor, C++) is probably the most popular programming language of the 20th century, and has to be among the top five, so far, of the 21st. Unix (in various flavors) was the most common operating system for servers (that is, computers on which the web runs) in the 20th century and among the top three, so far, of the 21st, and is the basis of Apple’s OS X. He was also the co-author of the first book on C, The C Programming Language, known amongst geeks worldwide as “K&R” after its authors Brian Kernighan and Ritchie. My first-edition copy is still in the go-to-first section of my reference bookshelf.
I’ve put up the first batch of photos from our recent trip. These were taken during our first full day, when we made a whirlwind trip to Tokyo and back via shinkansen. We saw our friend Rafael, did some shopping, visited our usual haunts in Asakusa, and had lunch at Ippudo, the ramen restaurant with incredible gyoza. The photo set is here and there are brief captions, but a couple of things bear special mention. (All of the following photos link to Flickr, so you can click them to see larger versions.)
We’re home now. My intent is to post a number of photos and some anecdotes and reflections during the coming days; we’ll see whether I actually find the time and energy to do that, along with catching up on work, etc. Here’s a snapshot of my synth-geek souvenir:
I first heard YMO about 30 years ago and as long as I’ve been going to Japan I’ve wanted to buy one of their CDs while there. Yeah, I know: physical media is obsolete, I could have just ordered the CD from Amazon, etc. Nonetheless, it was a good deal of fun to flip through the YMO selection in the CD shop in the Porta mall next to Kyoto Station, and buy one from a polite young woman who I think spoke next to no English.