Monthly Archives: February 2011

Snow in Tucson

It’s pretty rare for photos to be included on this blog. But it’s even rarer to see snow here in Tucson. So here are a few pics of what we woke up to this morning.

Snow-Covered Palms at the Side of our House

Snow-Covered Palms at the Side of our House

Our palm trees are not really used to this!

If you’re a golf fan, you are probably aware that the Accenture Golf Tournament is being played here. This is a view over toward the town of Marana. The golf tournament is (supposed to be) played near the southern end (on your left) of those mountains.

View towards the town of Marana

View over our back fence towards the town of Marana Arizona

Even the chlorinator frog in our pool has a snow hat.
Chlorinator pool frog with a hat of snow

Chlorinator pool frog with a hat of snow.

Strange days.

Getting Started with Lisp/Scheme/Clojure

Ya know, this point just keeps slapping me in the face. It seems that people don’t stop trying to use Lisp because they don’t like the language. A lot of people stop because they don’t like the programming environment. Looking around the Q&A sites there seem to be many more questions about setting up a programming environment for the Lisp family of languages than there are for the more mainstream languages like Java and C++. Well, here are my suggestions.

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Unknown USB Device

After my many re-installations of Windows 7, I often have an “Unknown Device” in the list of USB devices shown by the Windows Device Manager. It is almost always because of my LogiTech G110 keyboard. It works as a USB keyboard with no additional setup after these re-installations, but its extra functionality (like the cool lighted key caps) require that the device driver be installed. Doing so invariably removes the last “Unknown Device” warning from the device list.

Clojure and Java Interaction

One of my most-upvoted answers on Stackoverflow is a simple example of how to call Clojure functions from Java. It doesn’t require calling through the Clojure run-time as so many responses do. But there is more to writing programs than calling static functions, as in my answer. You also might need to call methods of objects and on objects across the Clojure/Java divide.

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Mathematica and MATLAB

In some ways there are many similarities between Mathematica® and MATLAB®. From the simplest point of view, both are computer mathematics systems. I use both at work and, thus, am a wizard at neither. Let me expose my biases up front though. I like Mathematica enough that I have paid actual money to have a copy at home. With that bias in mind, let’s look at some of the differences.

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