Fun Stuff

Interesting Links:

Should you major in C.S.? The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics forecasts that 3 out of the 10 fastest growing jobs 2002 through 2012 will be computer related. Additionally 4 out of the top 10 jobs with the fastest wage and salary growth will be computer related.

AARON, the cybernetic artist. Watch original art being created.

Double your signal strength at your wireless router antenna using the WindSurfer found at, a cheap paper-and-tin-foil parabolic antenna. The site ( has other designs as well.

Dasher, an interface for text entry, where you "surf" through the letters to make words.


Edward Tufte has written outstanding books on visualizing information. For example, he describes how a single chart was created int the 1880's by Marey to represent the train schedule from Paris to Lyon Each angled line represents a train. The steeper the slope, the faster the train, with fewer stops.
(copied 10/20/2008 from
Tufte also talks about the graph by Minard representing various dimensions of Napoleon's 1812-1813 march to Moscow, showing army size, location, and temperature (copied 10/20/2008 from wikipedia, where it was featured as a picture of the day)

Interactively see the popularity of baby names using NameVoyager

You may also be interested in making your own visualizations using Many Eyes, either from your own data or from existing data.

Wordle of Computer ScienceType in some text to create a "Wordle", a graphical representation of frequency of text.

See Timelines and Visual histories, including a link to the history of rock and roll, a source for interesting games and puzzles, that are abandonware

See the Graph Paper Printer program written by Philippe Marquis. This lets you print some useful kids of paper (graph, music, etc). Pre-made graph paper can also be found at, and a description of general graph paper resources can be found here (thanks to Angelica Hazelton for the link).

Use to make a permanent, tiny URL equivalent of an otherwise long URL. For instance, you can turn the long URL::,+Chicago,+IL+60607
into: describes flash drive applications you can take with you (browser, email, media player, games, VOIP, word processor, etc), using special u3 flash drives. Don't have one of these special flash drives? Then take a look at mojopac or ceedo, both applications that lets you install any (?) Windows program on your USB portable storage. See also a stripped-down version of windows that can be installed on a flash drive using the freeware Bart PE Builder.

Get free applications-to-go on a flash drive at (Open Office, Firefox, Thunderbird, SCP, etc.)

Use Kompozer as a free html alternative to FrontPage or DreamWeaver.

Get a pre-packaged combination download & install of Apache, mySql, PHP, FileZilla, (etc.) with Xamp

Take a brief on-line quiz to determine which learning style(s) suit you best. This is based on Howard Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences.

The Urban Tapestries project allows GPS/GSM phone users to send and receive messages based on their geographic location.

How not to go about writing a computer program.

Some kid-safe links.


Go from a low-level simple NAND gate to designing Tetris, within a set of Java-based simulations using the Tecs Software Suite.

Online Books:

Blown to Bits [click on download tab for pdf]
     You’ll discover ten paradoxical truths about digital data–and learn how those truths are overturning centuries-old assumptions about privacy, identity, and personal control.

The Future of the Internet (and How To Stop It) [click on download tab for pdf] [html version with links to resources]
     This extraordinary book explains the engine that has catapulted the Internet from backwater to ubiquity—and reveals that it is sputtering precisely because of its runaway success. With the unwitting help of its users, the generative Internet is on a path to a lockdown, ending its cycle of innovation—and facilitating unsettling new kinds of control.

Some Favorite Course Evaluation Comments

These are actual course evaluation comments I have received (with a few of my own comments.)

"Worst teacher I ever had" was a comment in a programming class, where another student wrote "Best teacher I ever had." I guess the truth must be somewhere in the middle.

"If I had a dinosaur for every awesome comment he made, I would have enough dinosaurs for an ICE AGE! (Rawr!)