Origins of the Apple logo or: Why Alan Turing died

August 3, 2007 at 12:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments
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Alan TuringAnd before I turn to the job search again, I need to draw your attention to the heartrending story of the death of Alan Turing, the man who first described the logical workings of a computer. While I did of course know Turing, and once did some research on his work for my MA thesis, the circumstances of his death had hitherto completely escaped me. Yesterday my boyfriend told me all about it:-(

Alan Turing died after having eaten a cyanide-laced apple (a poisoned apple, like the one Snow White, which was allegedly the reason why Apple decided to make a half-eaten apple their logo.

Now why, you might wonder, did Turing decide to eat a poisoned apple? That was after he was removed from the cryptography research group, and forcibly injected with estrogen to reduce his libido, because he had admitted being gay in a dark era named the Western 1950s:

Turing was homosexual[3] in a period when homosexual acts were illegal in Britain and homosexuality was regarded as a mental illness. In 1952, Arnold Murray, a 19-year-old recent acquaintance of his,[22] helped an accomplice to break into Turing’s house, and Turing went to the police to report the crime. As a result of the police investigation, Turing acknowledged a sexual relationship with Murray, and they were charged with gross indecency under Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885. Turing was unrepentant and was convicted. He was given the choice between imprisonment and probation, conditional on him undergoing hormonal treatment designed to reduce libido. In order to avoid going to jail, he accepted the oestrogen hormone injections, which lasted for a year, with side effects including gynecomastia (breast enlargement). His conviction led to a removal of his security clearance and prevented him from continuing consultancy for GCHQ on cryptographic matters.

On 8 June 1954, his cleaner found his lifeless body; the previous day, he had died of cyanide poisoning, apparently from a cyanide-laced apple he left half-eaten beside his bed. The apple itself was never tested for contamination with cyanide, and cyanide poisoning as a cause of death was established by a post-mortem. Most believe that his death was intentional, and the death was ruled a suicide. His mother, however, strenuously argued that the ingestion was accidental due to his careless storage of laboratory chemicals. Biographer Andrew Hodges suggests that Turing may have killed himself in this ambiguous way quite deliberately, to give his mother some plausible deniability.[23] Others suggest that Turing was reenacting a scene from “Snow White”, his favorite fairy tale.[24] Because Turing’s homosexuality would have been perceived as a security risk, the possibility of assassination has also been suggested.[25] His remains were cremated at Woking crematorium on 12 June 1954.
[Quoted from Wikipedia]

/*Sadness and unbearable anger comes over me

Hot weather, hot Mac – how about some water?

June 18, 2007 at 5:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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So I’ve got a new Mac, and I really LIKE my Mac, but when it’s hot outside (and inside my office anyway), the sound of the fan and the permanently overheated hard drive can be quite annoying. I jacked it up on four super-size tampons, to allow for some air to cool its bottom. Very stylish, and very feminine:-)

Tampon-Cooled Mac

But what I’d like would be something like a water-filled tray on which to place it – as water is a good absorber of excess heat. Anybody ever seen such as a thing?

SecondLife Follow-up

January 14, 2007 at 2:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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As a friend of Lenina had warned me, SL (at least on Mac) seems to create unreasonably bug temporary files: 500 MB in my application support folder after only 5 minutes of using SL. I’ve uninstalled SecondLife now, as it was not running properly. Good riddance!

And that’s Second Life on a Mac

January 13, 2007 at 11:47 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments
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I’m a bit of a curious cat, and after Lenina announced her plans of entering Second Life to make money (the business plan’s probably not too carefully thought out yet), I wanted to have a look myself. I earned 1 Dollar for a half hour stint, after which the program froze 😕

Plus, I couldn’t see myself, i.e. could see my avatar’s strange headpiece and my footsteps if I took any. Oh, and the necklace, but that was it. First I thought that maybe, as a newbie, I would have to interact with Second Life and its residents a bit more before earning the right to be visible – kind of a neat idea, I thought (and an evil instrument to mark the new kids on the blog 😉 But then I found out that most of the folks around me were also new – looks like the place where I started was the inverse equivalent of the New Jersey turnpike in Being John Malkovich. The arbitrary location where the system spits you out. But anyhow, they could see themselves.

Second Life

This chappie in the brown jumper said that his girlfriend was also using a Mac and that she had had copious problems – and eventually gave up. That was just before the screen froze. So I guess that Second life wasn’t really made for Apple folk – and that puts me off the game right away..

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