I often come across articles, tutorials, videos, etc that I'd like to share, but in a short format without dedicating a whole post to each one. And so.. the inaugural TGIF post (when I've got enough to share, maybe weekly, maybe not).
A long-distance Voyager update
Here's a fascinating watch for anyone who's ever experienced a slow network connection or dealt with severe limitations when coding. The Voyager spacecraft has 70 kb of memory to work with, and pushing updates (I can't believe it's even still possible) happens at a breakneck speed of 16 bits (2 bytes) per second!
How do they even aim correctly, when it takes a full day for the update to arrive and Voyager's moved even farther away? And the part about how the instructions are stored.. how does random magnetic interference in space not occasionally flip bits? It's mind-boggling.. and a great watch.
Virtually unwrapping ancient scrolls
Also in the category of amazing software, I heard about this one a few months ago. Brent Seales, a comp sci professor at the University of Kentucky, has spent decades (there's a timeline here, about halfway down) working on a process that uses x-ray scans of wrapped scrolls (which cannot be unwrapped without destroying them), virtually unwraps them, and then stitches the images together in a way that they're actually readable.
After 275 years, the ancient puzzle of the Herculaneum Papyri has been reduced to a software problem – one that you can help solve!
So long VS2013, and thanks for all the fish
Paul Chapman of Microsoft posted a reminder recently that extended support ends for Visual Studio 2013 in a few months, which is the timeframe where they'll "provide fixes only for security issues". For most of us, that probably doesn't matter, but it's not uncommon for companies with decades-old apps (some of which haven't been touched in years) to only work on a particular version of VS. I expect it'll always be available to download though.
What's a little more concerning is that "Visual Studio 2019 version 16.11 is in mainstream support until April 9, 2024 and will then transition to extended support through April 10, 2029." Nothing new will happen for VS 2019 other than security fixes, even though there's an issue where VS 2022 will not reliably display the WinForms UI, meaning legacy code devs need to keep VS 2019 installed for now. Hopefully they fix VS 2022 (or its successor) soon. 🤞