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Science/Tech / OS News

Cidco MailStation as a Z80 development platform

The Cidco MailStation is a series of dedicated e-mail terminals sold in the 2000s as simple, standalone devices for people to use to send and receive e-mail over dialup modem. While their POP3 e-mail functionality is of little use today, the hardware is a neat Z80 development platform that integrates a 320×128 LCD, full QWERTY keyboard, and an internal modem. After purchasing one (ok, four) on eBay some months ago, I’ve learned enough about the platform to write my own software that a

4 Apr 2020 5:22 am
Windows 10s new Hosted App Model

In Windows 10 version 2004, we are introducing the concept of Hosted Apps to the Windows App Model. Hosted apps are registered as independent apps on Windows, but require a host process in order to run. An example would be a script file which requires its host (eg: Powershell or Python) to be installed. By itself, it is just a file and does not have any way to appear as an app to Windows. With the Hosted App Model, an app can declare itself as a host, and then packages can declare a dependency u

4 Apr 2020 5:21 am
Dropboxs journey to type checking 4 million lines of Python

Dropbox is a big user of Python. Its our most widely used language both for backend services and the desktop client app (we are also heavy users of Go, TypeScript, and Rust). At our scalemillions of lines of Pythonthe dynamic typing in Python made code needlessly hard to understand and started to seriously impact productivity. To mitigate this, we have been gradually migrating our code to static type checking using mypy, likely the most popular standalone type checker for Python. (Mypy is an ope

3 Apr 2020 3:38 am
LineageOS 17.1, based on Android 10, released

We have been working extremely hard since Android 10s release last August to port our features to this new version of Android. Thanks to massive refactoring done in some parts of AOSP, we had to work harder than anticipated to bring some features forward, and in some cases, introduced implementations similar to some of our features into AOSP (but well get to that later). Other than the Android 10 features, LineageOS 17.1 also brings back theming support (deprecated in 13.0), and the default inst

3 Apr 2020 3:34 am
Swift on Mac OS 9

Its April 1, and that means its both April Fools Day and the anniversary of the founding of Apple Inc. While this year is a sober one due to current events, I think a lot of people still appreciate what people are creating and sharing to keep spirits up, whether that be music or art or… Impractical programming projects. And while pranks on April Fools seem less and less fun, obvious jokes and whimsy, not at anyones expense, are still something I believe in… And even better if they ac

2 Apr 2020 6:15 am