evan_tech

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11:55 pm, 30 Apr 07

a good time to be in the valley

On Thursday somehow avva arranged for Ken Thompson to take us out on a flight to Napa and back. (Pics below, after the cut.) It was awesome! And I learned a lot about computer chess and Plan 9.

On Friday I saw Mono, one of my favorite bands. I somehow managed to schedule my return flight from Japan last year just days before they were to perform. (pitchfork bit with audio link)

On Sunday we drank beer in beautiful Dolores Park, where I played Scrabble and helped Daisy get a bingo (ensures) and then discovered I could've almost hooked my bingo (viceroy) at the front of the word (making censures).

Today I went to a get-together thrown by my old school at the computer history museum, where I saw documents written by Ken up on display behind plastic and got to tour around with the professors as they reminisced about old hardware, some of which they helped design. Hank pointed at one machine from the 60s and said how it had out of order execution decades before mainstream processors started doing it, but that its launch was overshadowed by another machine that used a different mechanism for speed that was much simpler, and asked us to guess what that technology was (I got it on my first try; I won't spoil the surprise if you'd like to guess). It turns out that all sorts of interesting people went to my school, including Hans Boehm (who was present tonight) and Ed Felten (who wasn't).



It looks small but was surprisingly spacious on the inside.



The Golden Gate bridge, the Presidio, and SF stretching southward.



The sun setting over the hills of Marin.