2016-03-02 Wed


I have updated my Factoids Page .

Toronto Transit

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Christopher Hume is usually on-track with transit issues, but I think he has missed the gondola on this one.

The proposal was to build a tourist-oriented gondola to a tourist destination in the Don River valley.

It’s worth thinking about.

Christopher Hume asks “But why stop at one line?” and goes on to suggest a spider’s web of public transit Gondolas.

Christopher Hume should try using the Scarborough SRT in wintertime.

Just imagine all those gondola cars swinging in the breeze when the snow falls.

Toronto has a reputation for building systems that can’t cope with snow.

As I write this (Wednesday, February 24, 2016) the snow is falling ...


I dropped off my entry in the Short Story contest the other day.

The Lobby of the Toronto Star building (1 Yonge Street) has a linotype machine.

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In the foreground, unreadable to you, is a metal plate holding metal type. The type is reversed so that the type will appear normal when printed.

The resulting page is pinned to the front of the machine.

The operator sat in the seat and used to keyboard to peck away at characters which were plopped into place.

Much faster than using tweezers and failing eyesight.

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Here is some detail of the plate.

I couldn’t get a shooting spot that avoided the overhead lights.

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And around the back of the machine, proudly “Linotype”.

My link?

Before ICL’s SDC closed, we were told of the local paper’s migration to photo-typesetting.

I remember being given a list of command that newspaper-printer-publisher types used to set up pages.

I remember coercing that language into a Backus-Naur form and feeding it into a translator that I had written in APL. The translator clicked and whirred through State Transition tables and the like until it spat out a crude compiler.

Took about a day to get that done, and that seemed fast!


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In the same lobby an ATM for the local credit union.

The orange label at the top of the photo reads “Ding Free”.

A similar label appears just above the card slot.

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Here is detail of the card slot.

“Ding Free”, see?

I wanted to hang around to see, or at least, to not hear, if this was a machine that didn’t announce to thieves that you were drawing out cash, but the security guard at the front desk was eyeing me ...