During the last couple of weeks I have revisited some of the sci-fi classics I read when I was young. Robert A Heinlein was always one of my favorites. In what would be considered middle school in the US (4th-6th grade) we had one hour each week when the class was reading whatever book we had picked out in the library. At one time, I think it was in 5th grade, I read the Swedish translation of "Have Space Suit -- Will Travel". The other week I listened to this book as an audio book. This one was actually more of a radio theatre play, with different actors playing the different parts. I then followed this by listening to "Citizen of the Galaxy" and "Double Star".
The books were written in 1956, 1957 and 1958, and I noticed something interesting. Despite them taking place in the future, where space travel (even faster than light) is possible, and with all kinds of exotic technology available, many things we take for granted today are lacking.
In "Double Star", the main character is studying using an encyclopedia in the ships library. As we know today, online encyclopedias like wikipedia and internet searches have all but killed off the traditional printed encyclopedia. There is no way for a printed publication to stay current. If a celebrity or any other person dies, within minutes their wikipedia page will be updated with date/time and cause of death.
In "Citizen of the Galaxy" the missile control computers onboard the trade ships are manned by young adults with good math abilities. They seem to be somewhat aided by a rudimentary computer, but it is mainly the operator who calculate trajectory and time for release of the missiles. The result is recorded on a spool (which can be read by humans, so probably some kind of paper-like material). The concept of digital storage did not exist, and I am sure any PC (or even smart phone) today could perform the calculations needed much faster than any human, and with greater accuracy.
Some of the books also talk about huge archives, using micro film. Even if that still today is a great medium for long term storage, it is not the best choice for the kind of short term archiving used in the books. Again, the concept of digital storage does not appear in the books. The books basically build on the technology known in the 1950's, but "enhanced" as imagined in the future.
However, there is on interesting thing in "Double Star". When recordings are made (for public broadcasts), they are "stereoscopic", i.e. 3D. It is not until the last year or two we have actually seen 3D television become common. Personally I believe that we soon will see 3D television sets where we don't need to use special glasses (several manufacturers already have those) and that more and more tv shows and even news will be in 3D.
All this is not a slam on Robert A Heinlein or any other sci-fi writer from the past. It just illustrates how hard it is to predict a paradigm shift like PCs or the development of technology. For being almost 60 years old, the books are still very enjoyable. If you have not experienced Robert A Heinlein yet, pick up one of his books or an audiobook at the library, bookstore or favorite online retailer.
Lotus 1-2-3, SmartSuite and Organizer officially retired
Fri, May 17th 2013 6:50a Karl-Henry Martinsson Earlier this week, IBM announced the withdrawal of marketing [sic!] of Lotus 1-2-3, together with Lotus SmartSuite and Lotus Organizer, effective 06/11/2013. Support ends on 09/30/2014.
Lotus 1-2-3 version 3.0 for MS/DOS
I personally never worked with 1-2-3 myself. When I started with computers in school, we used CP/M-86 as the operating system, and had a spreadsheet program developed specifically for use in the Swedish schools. My first job after high school was with Microsoft in 1988, so my fi [read] Keywords: formula language
Ender’s Game – First Movie Footage
Fri, May 3rd 2013 1:45p Karl-Henry Martinsson Preview for the teaser trailer, to be released on May 7.
You get to see about 10 seconds of movie footage here, and I have to say it looks pretty good to me. [read] Keywords:
My recipes – All in one place
Mon, Apr 29th 2013 11:06a Karl-Henry Martinsson For many years, I have enjoyed cooking and baking. One reason could be because I like good food. But it is also logical, similar to programming. You have instructions you follow, but you can still modify them, as long as you know how different ingredients react with each other and with heat, liquids, etc. Cooking is a combination of programming, chemistry and physics. Perfect for a geek!
I often get questions about how I made a particular dish. Many of the recipes have been published on my blog, [read] Keywords:
Useful utility to rename files in bulk
Tue, Apr 23rd 2013 3:20p Karl-Henry Martinsson Earlier today I had to rename about 400 image files, and I was looking for a convenient tool that would help me out. I had to remove part of the filename, in the middle of the filename, which was a bit tricky.
I found a very useful tool, called Bulk Rename Utility. It does not have the most user-friendly interface, but it is very powerful. And the best thing is that it is free. You can download it here.
This is the somewhat messy but very powerful user interface… [read] Keywords: interface
The Enemy’s Gate is Down
Tue, Apr 16th 2013 5:04p Karl-Henry Martinsson Teaser poster for the upcoming movie adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s book Ender’s Game. I really enjoyed the book (as well as the parallel story in Ender’s Shadow), and hope the movie will stay at least somewhat close to the story in the books. According to the author, the movie will use elements from both books.
If you haven’t read the books, I can highly recommend them. [read] Keywords: wiki
How to set doctype on Notes forms
Thu, Apr 11th 2013 1:29p Karl-Henry Martinsson Who redesigning my website to use Bootstrap, I ran into a problem. The navbar (meny) did not render correctly in Internet Explorer 9, despite looking perfect in Firefox and Internet Explorer 10. There are several discussions about this problem on StackOverflow and other forums, and the solution is simply to add on the first line of the HTML code.
However, IBM Domino automatically adds a different doctype string, and there is no database or form property to change/set the correct value. But ther [read] Keywords: domino
New LEGO Lord of The Rings sets this summer
Fri, Apr 5th 2013 1:51p Karl-Henry Martinsson As the regular reader of this blog may have noticed, I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan, and I also enjoy building LEGO. There are four new LEGO sets in the Lord of The Rings series to be released this summer (in June, according to TheBrickBlogger.com). They are:
79005 – The Wizard Battle, 113 pieces, $12.99
79006 – The Council of Elrond, 243 pieces, $29.99
79007 – Battle at the Black Gate , 656 pieces, $59.99
79008 – Pirate Ship Ambush, 756 pieces, $99.99
Pictures below from The [read] Keywords:
Export Notes view to Excel – with multi-value fields
Fri, Apr 5th 2013 9:26a Karl-Henry Martinsson A few days ago, a question was asked on StackOverflow about how to export the content of a Notes view to Excel. The caveat was that some columns contained multiple values, but not on all documents.
To solve this, I wrote a Lotusscript class that will export view data as either CSV or as an HTML table, both can then be saved to a file and opened in Excel. I am posting the code below. Enjoy!
Agent View Export
Created Mar 27, 2013 by Karl-Henry Martinsson
Description: Code to export a [read] Keywords: agent
And I am up and running!
Thu, Mar 21st 2013 12:45p Karl-Henry Martinsson Downloaded the Notes client with Domino Designer and Administrator, installed it on top of the public beta from December in a viritual machine (with 1GB memory). Install went without any problems, and the client starts up fine. All settings and bookmarks were preserved from the beta.
My workspace in IBM Notes 9.0 Social Edition
It just works. [read] Keywords: domino