Industrial Programming

On the weekend I visited the Science Museum, partially to play computer games from the last 4 decades, but there was also two special exhibits that I wanted to see.

Clock of the Long Now: I’ve been wanting to see this in person ever since I heard about it, and it is the main reason I visited the museum. This clock is intended to run for 10,000 years, and to chime on the millennia. To put that timescale into proper perspective, 10,000 years ago modern humans were only using pictograms, the horse had not been domesticated, and the last ice age was just ending. The model in the museum is the first prototype, completed just before the start of 2000, which it announced by chiming twice. It is a beautiful piece of engineering work, with all sorts of intricate ways of dealing with the problems of running for 10,000 years, but unfortunately it did not appear to be “on” when I visited. I marvel at its testament to long scale thinking, and one of my two favourite very long term projects.

Difference Engine: Located elsewhere in the building is a working model of Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine #2; it was built about 10 years ago to celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth. In constructing it, they discovered and fixed a few bugs, which might have been Babbage’s way of protecting his design. Its another beautiful machine, intimidating with its size and it brings into focus all the various Steampunk novels and imagery I’ve come into contact with. I can just picture a Victorian-age revolution powered by these beasts.

I am, unsurprisingly, in awe of these two machines and their creators.

The confusing land of FDS and CFCs

Things, that so far, seem to be true:

  • FDS invokes CFCs independently of webservers and virtual hosts
  • CFCs therefore require cfmappings
  • As do frameworks used in Application.cfc
  • Without these mappings, there will be confusing errors, stating the CFC is not found
  • ServiceCapture is unable to detect FDS transmissions due to the complexity of proxying such a thing
  • There are still silent failures, but there are a number of logging types that can be enabled (and it is then easy to drown in all the noise)
  • Always remember , without the <cfproperty> tags, no translation of types will occur

Intro, Take 2

I tried this last year and got distracted with deadlines, potential deportation and moving house three times. Maybe this time around it will stick. I have other journals (updated sporadically), but this one is slightly more public.

Anyway, onto an original meme of mine:

  • Number of Years online: 10? 11? Something like that. I had a brief play with BBSs and FidoNet in high school, but it didn’t really stick until uni when I had Internet access without any hassle.
  • First web browser: Netscape 0.92n.
  • First email address:
  • First website:
  • First handle/nickname: merlinc – Initially chosen because of Roger Zelazny’s Amber sequence, kept I guess, due to the lack of collisions when registering on new sites
  • First domain: – I’ve had a number of others, but they were one off things, the only constant has been courts
  • First UseNet Post: in aus.sf.babylon5
  • First online community: Aus.Tv.X-files (it was less about the xfiles, more about being silly at each other). Made a lot of friends there, still got some of them.
  • First downloaded song: ‘Earth’ by the Orb – I rememeber it being a really long song, and difficult to download on a 28.8k modem
  • First downloaded movie/TV show: ‘Earshot’, Season 3 of Buffy c/o #buffy-unlimited on efnet