Emulating the CRT for Video Games That Need It

Here is a good article about an effort that was made to make Stella, an Atari 2600 emulator, render the screen according the behavior of a CRT rather than an LCD. The differences are clear, and perhaps more interesting to folks who grew up playing games on such consoles :).
Whatever this case, this must have been an interesting programming problem.

SCIgen – An Automatic CS Paper Generator

SCIgen is a program that generates random Computer Science research papers, including graphs, figures, and citations. It uses a hand-written context-free grammar to form all elements of the papers. Our aim here is to maximize amusement, rather than coherence.
One useful purpose for such a program is to auto-generate submissions to conferences that you suspect might have very low submission standards.

There are seemingly a number fun things that you could do with this!

Slide40 – Presentations with 8-bit style

Slide40 is a program for displaying slide presentations in a style inspired by the personal computers of the late 1970’s. The display mimics a TV screen showing only 40 columns of text in an all-caps font built from big blocky fuzzy pixels. I created it partly as a joke, and partly as a minimalist artistic reaction to the highly-decorative but meaningless presentations made by abusers of modern presentation software.

Just 3 little words

On my previous project, we had just a bang-up bunch of guys on the team. Everyone was smart, thoughtful, and worked well together: it was ideal. Since there was no revision control system in place when we arrived for the project, we decided to use Subversion. Since I had championed Subversion, I became both the Subversion system and repository administrator.

After a few months, and few thousand commits (a lot of them without any commit messages) I decided to add a commit hook script to prevent commits without comments. To be fair, I figured that no one would mind being required to write commit messages that were as long as they had already been writing, so I wrote a script to get the mean number of words in the commit messages (to date) that were not empty. The average was 7.

7 is a good number, at least enough to convey the “why” with enough brevity to make the RCS helpful. That said, I figured I would be even more accommodating of the users and require only a mere 3 words in every commit message. I made the change, tested it out, and deployed it to the Subversion server.

Eager to view the informative commit messages that would surely result from this new “feature”, the next day I took at look at the first commit message that followed the change:

“#!@& YOU GRANT”

Thanks guys, you gave me my favorite Subversion story.