LISP Machine CADR LISP Machine,
MIT Museum

Software Engineering Radio had Richard Gabriel, of Lucid and “worse-is-better” fame, on for a chat about Lisp. Gabriel provides a interesting, quick history of Lisp and some of the important concepts it introduced. Included some trivia I didn’t know like “car” and “cdr” stand for “contents of address of register” and “contents of decrement of register”, respectively. (So obvious for getting the first/rest elements of a list!) When asked about the state of Lisp in use today, he mentions some AI research, ITA and Yahoo Stores (Viaweb), which are the only ones I knew – there must be more, right? Gabriel also talks a little bit about his MFA in poetry (a true code-poet!) and the study of software, which I wrote about related to “Dreaming in Code”.

Although sometimes the topics are too dry or enterprise-y for my taste, SE Radio does a great job for a tech podcast. The interviewer is knowledgable, asks good questions and lets his guest speak, which is surprisingly rare.