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Welcome to Nerd Corner, a small hamlet on the outskirts of Cyberspace. It's a place where I collect the various bits and pieces of computer and technical stuff on my Web pages. It's a place where you will find programs, icons and Macintosh resources to download and essays on technical matters to read.

At present the following neat stuff is in my collection:

A Short History of the Nerd

I love chasing down the origins of words like "kludge" and "nerd". Having found the origins of nerd, I no longer object to being called one. Here's why.

StarGen - Solar System Generator

StarGen is the latest version of a series of programs I've worked on off and on over the last thirty years, though none of my code in the current incarnation is more than half that age. It's a program for creating moderately believable planetary systems around stars other than our own. The most recent version runs on Macintosh and Unix machines and produces HTML files as output.

Planet - A Fractal Planet Generator

Planet is a program to create images of earth-like planets using a fractal algorithm. I've been working on programs of this sort for about 20 years. A few years back I came across a program by Torben Ægidius Mogensen of Denmark that was substantially better than mine. Planet is a Macintosh port of Torben's program that adds a couple of features including my own color scheme, and the ability to create Mars-like planets.

Inverse-T History

Perhaps my most widely used innovation is the "inverse-T" arrangement of the arrow keys on most keyboards made in the last twenty years. This page gives a brief history of how that arrangement was adopted by DEC for the LK201 keyboard, which was then copied by IBM, Apple and the rest of the world.

JimB's Icons

Since my Macintosh PowerBook goes with me everywhere, I tend to do my doodling at meetings etc. on it. This has resulted in a collection of four dozen icons that I've distributed as freeware. The icon of me in the title box at the top of this page is one of the first of these. The V1.1 icons can be downloaded in formats usable on Macintosh, Windows and UNIX systems.

Inverse-T For older PowerBooks

A Macintosh keyboard layout resource that you can install on your PowerBook to rearrange the arrow keys into am upside-down T pattern, a pattern that research shows to be the easiest to use.

Eldacur Anteak

With the advent of Kaleidoscope 1.5, I've been able to bring the color scheme that I've used for years on X-Windows and Windows NT systems to the Mac. Eldacur Anteak TM is a my first, and perhaps only Kaleidoscope scheme.

Eldacur LeitMotif

Once I had created a Kaleidoscope scheme from my standard colors, I decided I needed a second one that matched the look of Motif (especially Motif over eXodus) for use at work where my Mac spends a lot of time being an X Windows terminal connected to our Unix system. LeitMotif is therefore my second Kaleidoscope scheme. (So much for Anteak being "perhaps my only Kaleidoscope scheme".)

Eldacur Bluish

I can't claim any credit for Eldacur Technologies' third scheme. Eldacur Bluish is the work of my son, Brendan, with only a minimal assist and a fair ammount of encouragement and kibitzing from his father. Fatherly pride aside, I think he's done a top-notch job on his first freeware (or anyware) effort. Bluish is done in light shades of blue and is quite easy on the eyes.

Eldacur Mauvelous

My own third scheme, Eldacur Technologies' fourth, is simply Mauvelous. Sorry about that. Mauvelous is a scheme in light purples, pinks and reds that tries to be as simple and easy to use as many of the grey schemes, but with a dash of color. As with all our schemes, simplicity and usability are the main concerns.

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Updated: Tuesday, July 15, 2008
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