Lisp Machines

Some days ago I watched some Lisp Machine Videos. These films show what it was like to use a lisp machine and code on it.

I really have to admit that I was not surprised to see what wonderful ideas the guys had back then. Current OS’s still have a long way to go to incorporate (copy) the functionality you had 20 years ago in LispM Operating systems like Genera. Apple as always is on the front line of incorporating this old stuff. For example Time Machine. The new feature that will be there in Leopard (the next version of Mac OS X). The idea of easily going back in time and looking at your files was there 20 year ago.

Still as I now know Time Machine is still far away from the idea the LispM developers had. There you had a filesystem that had versioning built in. You can tell you do not save files just like that. You save patches to your files. That is somehow comparable to having SVN as your filesystem. Just a bit more sophisticated.

Sure that is not the only thing. There are tons of others. Like objects that are mouse sensitive depending on what you are doing. Accessing the displayed object structures that are behind that what you see. And many more…

I do not want to let myself get carried away too much. The condensed idea I wanted to share with you is the following. Genera is amazing. And if you think that any currently known OS is cool then you know nothing. And if you think that Java and Eclipse are cool then you live in the stone age in the matter of knowledge.

Sit down, learn lisp. It may hurt at first, but the freedom is worth it. Others had to pay their lives for freedom and you only have to learn.

1 thought on “Lisp Machines

  1. Kevin Zzz

    Just happen’d upon your blog while researching Lisp (which I am learning) & embedded systems (which I did ages ago using C/C++ & am now thinking about doing again from the Lisp angle)…

    So your posts have been a help (@ least I know there are others out there wondering where this magic ‘L’ went!)..

    I found the paper on Hedgehog revealing, implementing a Lisp like language requiring modest effort & all that…

    Check out my blog (it’s a bit bizarro but you’ll ‘make sense’ of some of it, I’m sure)..

    Auf W’



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