28 Jun 2002 mca   » (Journeyer)

Argh, please don't hit the emacs wordwrap key in Netscape, Matthew. And take two:

Ideas, storage and retrieval of:

Someone somewhere (probably at the Cavendish) has gone to a certain amount of trouble to teach me that it's more important to know of some thing than to know about it in detail. This is very handy for someone who dabbles in problems from many areas, but I fear I'm taking it too far.

The plan is to remember enough of an idea to know where to look it up, and this is where I'm going wrong. Did I just re-invent Merkle Authentication Trees? More likely the idea has been lurking in my head from when I read it somewhere. I had no idea what to call the system (although "tree" and "digest" would feature somewhere). Thanks to Adam for putting me on to the original.

I bet there's a word for doing this. I wonder where I could look it up? It's probably beyond the scope of a thesaurus, and I'm too lazy to bother finding out the hard way.

Ideas, the quest for a more effective butterfly net:

While reading stuff just before my previous diary entry (yes, the confused one below) I had several ideas which, at the time, seemed really good.

I need to learn how to stop treating ideas like those dialog boxes that pop up, to be dismissed just before you realise you needed to write down the details of the error message.

Why would I want an authentication tree anyway?

Imagine you want to prove that you checked this bit of code in to CVS three years ago. You could show the (court) the timestamp that CVS put on the file, and they might believe you if someone doesn't point out that these things are very easy to forge.

So my aim is to write a program which checks for changes in a tree of files, and keeps a fairly lightweight but solid proof of age for your stuff. For an earlier program that exists, and was written for an entirely different purpose, go find paramd5s. Oh, it's not published yet .. well, I wrote it ages ago, honest!

Keywords: prior art.

Probably a bit late for many things, but TTWTCC.


Please don't be grumpy for the Apprenticisation I gave you. I concede that getting ppmtowinicon shipped on my box as standard is pretty cool, but I can't find any of your recent work. 9-)

I should remap that key, shouldn't I? Next time.

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