Every once in a while a name pops into my head. Sometimes it's an old acquaintance, or a writer whose works I've enjoyed in years past, or an artist, or a discoverer of some obscure scientific phenomenon — whatever. The big net of modern search engines makes it easy to do at least a quick survey of recent news and commentary related to such names.

So it was that several weeks ago I happened to be scouting the 'Net for Peter Reintjes, author of the 1992 essay "Elegant Technologies" which I read and recommended in the ^zhurnal (10 Sep 1999). In an example of pure coincidental synchronicity, a few days later Peter Reintjes in turn happened upon my ZhurnalyWiki page ElegantTechnologies and added his brief comments. Peter was also kind enough to send me an electronic version of his original paper. With his permission I've archived it at since, alas, the original site where I found it seems to have fallen victim to passing time.

Revisiting Peter's paper raises the question: What new "elegant technologies" have emerged since he identified such candidates as CMOS, UNIX, and PROLOG? And what earlier systems deserve that honorable mantle?

My idiosyncratic list includes finite state automata, collectable trading card games, paint, transform/inversion methods, the Elizabethan sonnet, flavored ice creams, and of course Wiki!

TopicProgramming - TopicScience - 2003-11-08

(correlates: ElegantTechnologies, GibbonChapter10, BigBadBoxes, ...)