2021 mid-year link clearance
It’s that time again. Another random link drop.
- “My sister and her friends have to give a series of lessons on the geological sciences to a class of primary school kids. So she asked me if I could make a spherical cake with all the layers of the Earth inside it. I told her I couldn’t do it. ‘How do you get a sphere inside a sphere inside a sphere?'” Here’s how you do it. Bonus planetary cake: Jupiter.
- Violinist Ray Chen (no relation) has a two-hour chat with Alice Sara Ott, one of my current favorite pianists.
- Uppestcase and Lowestcase Letters: Advances in Derp Learning: Use machine learning to infer how to transform a lowercase letter to an uppercase letter (and vice versa), and then apply the “convert to uppercase” function to an already-uppercase letter, thereby producing an upperercase letter. The paper is long, but every page is a delight, rewarding you with nerd jokes (Times New Roman devolves to Plus New Roman and then Successor New Roman) or inspired lunacy (using the learning model to do something else—I won’t spoil the surprise).
- Fullscreen, Round 3: Lucas Pope, author of the game Return of the Obra Dinn, dives deep into how he made the dithering stable as a rock. It is an amazing tour-de-force of graphics that you don’t even notice until it’s not there.
- Former guest blogger KC Lemson found an odd thing on the beach labelled “HARMLESS WEATHER INSTRUMENT.” foone took it apart, of course. You’ll have to click through to find out if it can run DOOM.
- Ford Motor Company has gradually been rolling out ActiveX Seating to more and more of their product line. Go ahead and make up your own joke. My contribution: “Marked safe for drifting.”
- C# team member Anson Horton tells a story of his membership on an internal C# discussion alias, and one particular rude question he received and how he handled it. Eric Lippert expands on the more general topic: How not to get a question answered.
- Tip o’ the week started out as a small internal Microsoft mailing list which turned into a large internal Microsoft mailing list, and now it’s a blog. As the title suggests, it shares a tip each week.
- The MSBuild Binary and Structured Log Viewer provides a more organized way of viewing log files produced by MSBuild.
- While you’re debugging MSBuild, you may want to keep handy this mapping between MSBuild tasks and the MSVC toolchain.
- When I discussed whether there’s any code from Windows 95 that’s still in Windows 10 (YouTube version), one of my colleagues noted that his favorite example of this is the EmulateHeap compatibility shim, which is a copy/pasta of the Windows 95 heap manager, for 20-year old programs that can’t handle anything else.
- A twitter thread from user pwnallthethings retells an oldie-but-goodie app compat story.
- Th Visual C++ folks have been writing a bit about template metaprogramming and compiler throughput. Here’s what we have so far:
And the occasional plug for my appearances in other media.
- CppCast Episode 289, wherein I am the guest of Rob Irving and Jason Turner, and we talk about random things. There’s also a moving pictures version.
- Windows Insider Podcast: The Start of Something Different (part 1), wherein I chat with Jason Howard about Windows 95 and the early days of application compatibility.