Hello, and welcome

The what and why of this blog.

Seymour Cray, the father of supercomputing, inspired me at a very difficult time in my undergraduate education. I was struggling with Network Analysis, a difficult course in any Electrical Engineering curriculum. I stumbled upon this quote from Seymour Cray:

“I’m all for simplicity. if it’s very complicated I can’t understand it.”

I thought If Seymour himself can’t understand things unless they are simplified, perhaps the reason I am struggling with this material is because I am not breaking it down into simpler pieces I can understand. Sure enough, that was my problem. I was trying to digest giant-sized chunks of complex information without simplifying it first.

I practice simplification to this day,  and thoroughly enjoy describing seemingly complex things to people in a manner and at a level they can appreciate. Which is why I started this blog. I intend to describe at a reasonably simple level concepts and ideas from computer engineering and computer science. I understand not many people really want to know every little exquisite detail about the underlying hardware or software in computers. However, I believe a larger number of people are indeed interested in a high-level, rough understanding of various nuts and bolts of computation today. I know I certainly appreciate it when a scientist takes the time to describe quantum mechanics or chaos theory or black holes in a manner I am able to grasp.

The “hidden” in this blog tag line refers to the invisible aspects of computer technology. I am not going to touch on iPhone operation nor how to make Microsoft Word do a certain thing. Instead, I’ll be going underneath it all, looking at microprocessors, accelerators, networking, aspects of programming, computational considerations, and the like. I intend to describe these things in a manner an inquisitive and generalist mind may easily grasp. I request you tell me when I miss the mark, as I need your feedback in order   to refine my descriptions.

I have no idea of exactly where this blog is going to go, nor which topics I will choose in which order. Storytelling takes on a life of its own, and I am willing to go where this path takes me. And thoroughly enjoy the ride! I hope you enjoy it, too.

Author: David Pointer

Pragmatic programmer. Consilient alchemist. Pro geek. Serial hobbyist. Miniature tabletop gamer.

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