Loper OS » Steam Lisp

" “Improvements come in many ways, sometimes after much thought and after many experimental failures. Sometimes they flash upon clever inventors, but let us remember this is only after they have spent long years studying the problem. In the case of the steam engine, however, a quite important improvement came very curiously. Humphrey Potter was a lad employed to turn off and on the stop cocks of a Newcomen engine, a monotonous task, for, at every stroke one had to be turned to let steam into the boiler and another for injecting the cold water to condense it, and this had to be done at the right instant or the engine could not move. How to relieve himself from the drudgery became the question. He wished time to play with the other boys whose merriment was often heard at no great distance, and this set him thinking. Humphrey saw that the beam in its movements might serve to open and shut these stop cocks and he promptly began to attach cords to the cocks and then tied them at the proper points to the beam, so that ascending it pulled one cord and descending the other. Thus came to us perhaps not the first automatic device, but no doubt the first of its kind that was ever seen there. The steam engine henceforth was self-attending, providing itself for its own supply of steam and for its condensation with perfect regularity. It had become in this feature automatic.”

“James Watt” by Andrew Carnegie, Ch. 7.

Legend has it that Potter was promptly fired, never to be heard from again.

And so, modern laborers — especially programmers — know better than to repeat the boy’s “mistake.”"

Loper OS » Steam Lisp

5 responses on “Loper OS » Steam Lisp”

  1. Uhm, *what* is the above supposed to be?? A sort of bookmark to Stan’s article but not stored as a bookmark because what? Why would you just copy/paste some fragment (and from a blog that won’t unhappen too)?

    1. Mostly an experiment. I use the Quill bookmarklet mentioned before, and so posting such a bookmark + highlighted text (from any webpage) as excerpt is pretty quick.

      The bookmark is supposed to act as a reminder that I read the article and as advised — to re-read it in the future. Usually – bookmarks (with or without excerpt) go into my notes i.e are not published.

      Adding an excerpt could help jog my memory better than seeing only “Steam Lisp”, though its usually hard to select an excerpt that acceptably represents the article, and it cannot be used on a consistent basis, especially for longer articles. The other option would be to compose a short note instead of using an excerpt while adding the bookmark… and a good note would take more time than I think I should spend for creating a bookmark.

      As an extension – I was also thinking that it would help reinforce the ideas in my head to add things like a summary / thoughts / new experiences relating to the original post idea as comments to the same bookmark as I progress. As such – this is already being done with my local notes.

      It has been convenient to access frequent links and specific past articles via the website, rather than dig in various places. For example: https://s.ragavan.co/kind/note/ has been useful. Right now, these posts have to be opened to get at the link inside and the title is ‘not meant to be displayed’ – but I could probably fix this in the theme.

  2. As a bookmark it can be fine but then it shouldn’t really mix up with actual posts – at the very least it’s rather confusing for the reader/someone following the rss since they get a notification for a bookmark of yours. Sure, bookmark stuff and even with excerpts or any way that works for you but find a better place for them – a dedicated page for that sounds fine (it can even have comments and/or be updated anyway).

    Updates of posts should be as a rule either in the comments (if small) or as a new post that simply links to the old one so it’s easy to follow anyway via trackback. It’s *very* rare that it actually makes sense to add/change an existing post and there are drawbacks to doing that (at the very least that there is no notification for someone else so the update doesn’t get much exposure).

    1. Right. I would not prefer that such posts show up in RSS either. I have changed the default setting for all such bookmarks / replies etc to be ‘private’. A quick check indicates new posts are visible only to me (when logged in) and they do not seem to appear in the RSS feed either. I guess this should work until I find a way to get them on a particular page and not as a post.

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