50 years of LISP

It is difficult to find an exact date for LISP’s birthday. It wasn’t so much born in an instant as it was gradually dragged out of the primordial slime during the heady days of late 50s computer research. What is known is that John McCarthy, LISP’s “father”, published a report in October 1958 about his new programming language aimed at providing artificial intelligence capabilities on the IBM 704 mainframe computer. That report, one of a series, was the first one to use the name LISP. OOPSLA, a major annual conference on object-oriented programming, has decided to celebrate LISP’s 50th birthday …

Autodesk discussion group alternatives

As I’m typing this, the Autodesk discussion groups are down for maintenance again. Let’s hope that when they come back up, some of the problems are fixed. In the meantime, if you’re an AutoCAD user and have something to ask or say, where can you go? Here are a few suggestions. I like the AUGI forums. It’s an even more modern, more graphical and less space-efficient web interface than the new Autodesk one, but there’s a good community there and, hey, the search feature works. Mike Perry and colleagues run a tight ship, so please read the rules and be …

What is loaded at AutoCAD startup, and when?

Warning, CAD nerd stuff ahead. This is a long and technical post and if you’re using AutoCAD in a largely out-of-the-box state you probably won’t care about any of it. If your modification of AutoCAD extends beyond the trivial, you may find it useful to know what AutoCAD loads, and in what order things are loaded. It is possible for LISP files in particular to tread on each other’s toes, so knowing what gets loaded when can be useful information for diagnosing such clashes. This post aims to provide that information. It uses AutoCAD 2009 as an example, but the …

Autodesk University Session Voting

This year, the Autodesk University people are allowing you to vote on the various sessions (classes). Here’s the link: AU 2008: Help Us Select the Sessions If I can sort out a few practical details, I am hoping to attend this year as a speaker. I have submitted four session proposals. These are: Customization and Programming Be unfashionable in style with LISP and DCL – Introduction Be unfashionable in style with LISP and DCL – Intermediate Be unfashionable in style with LISP and DCL – Advanced Business How to make a great CAD blog for next to nothing If you …

Wiki for AutoLISP

Greg Robinson, who I had the pleasure of meeting at Autodesk some 11 years ago in the run-up to Release 14, has started a Wiki for AutoLISP and other AutoCAD-based source code. I’m a big fan of LISP in AutoCAD, so I’m happy to see this resource available for users. It’s in its infancy right now, but if you pick the All Pages link you’ll see that there already dozens of routines available, one of which may help you with something you need to do. Here’s the link to the main page: http://lispwiki.com/