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Logging the Read Books

Alternative title: Blogging the Red Books

While reading this, I though, “Why not?” Here’s a list of in-progress books and other books/writings I’ve come across in the past that I simply should share with the whole world wide web. Not being a fan of 3rd party tools that harvest and conveniently classify your information, here is a good enough place to put it for anyone who cares enough to know what is on my mind.

In progress:

The Psychology of Reading
Insup Taylor and M. Martin Taylor
ISBN: 0-12-684080-6

I got lucky and found a hard-copy of this book for 3 dollars 2 years ago. It’s been sitting in my shelf that whole time and afterwards I’ve been using it as a stand because the hard cover binding was the perfect width for one of my projects. I purchased it just to read a few sections that caught my attention when I first looked through it, but when I actually started reading it from the start it seemed to me to be something very fundamental. I read somewhere (probably this book) that language shapes the way you think, and this book goes over not only roman based languages but also the ones form the Eastern world. I warn people never to trust a biology book that was published more than 10 years ago, and physiology is applied biology. So, I don’t know. This version was published in 1983, way before I was born. I’m sure there’s going to be some outdated information (or even entire theories), so I should keep reading it with the idea that some of the stuff in it might not be true anymore.

Reading wish-list:

n/a

Read:

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood
James Gleick
ISBN-13: 978-0375423727

It’s a simple enough read, but it’s structured on themes more than it is chronologically. For example, he keeps referencing back to Shannon in almost every other chapter, but I guess a person can’t write a book about information without mentioning his work. Geick’s limits himself to the decimal definition of a kilobyte and ignores the binary definition of 1024 bytes. This leads me to believe he would also be the type to pronounce gif as jif. But really, it shows how in depth he gets into the technical subjects. The section on qubits was elementary at best, and I assume he included it in the book mainly to claim full coverage. Upon finishing, I couldn’t really figure out what the thesis was to this book. Was it about information overflow? The epilogue sorta left me hanging. I learned plenty on the history side but not so much on the theory side. The flood portion seems rushed at the end. Unless I missed something, Geick seems to have really just dedicated one chapter to it. History was the stronger side of this book.

X is just another way for Y to make more of X
#bookSelfie


 

I don’t mean to be bias with the stuff I post here, but I found that the best books I’ve gone through were the one’s written by folks with Ph.Ds. Maybe it’s because they’re experts on the topics they write on, or because they’ve had 100’s of hours just doing what “writing” is. Therefore, they portray their ideas better than the layman. I don’t even want to give mention to the worst books I’ve come across mostly due to embarrassment of proclaiming I’ve picked them up once upon a time, but you don’t always know that until after you’re more than half-way through the book. We shouldn’t propagate bad ideas, but at the same time we shouldn’t block ourselves from ideas/thoughts we disagree with. It’s a struggle.

To be updated..

Test Post Please Ignore

To be honest, it would’ve been simpler had everyone used the same nomenclature, but I got to play around with all these different configurations.. It’s not like my time is worth anything – maybe it’s a French thing? Like, imagine if it’s just something you could put blame on a cultural thing. Their culture is different from ours, and our culture is somewhere hosted in Arizona – I’ve no clue what type of culture Arizonians have. Either way, despite being across an entire ocean; I’ve managed to assemble data from several sources to get this thing running. CNAME, zone file, unregistered proxy domain, mail exchange, etc. Now all we have to do is wait for DNS propagation. Time Till List – approximately 3 hours. Pretty standard.

Learning is slow, but it leads to something. It always has. I can’t put blame on culture, not as much as putting blame on me for not understanding it. There’s usually a missing context somewhere. My WORST experience overall was probably trying to figure out dynamixel specs from their source. Of course, it’s all there if you could speak/write Korean, but when an employee made the documentation your academic life depends on.. it’s frustrating. I mean, it certainly doesn’t help, yet it’s the only help you have. I’m sure the guy on the other side is 50 times smarter than I, but I just can’t understand him (or her). It’s a similar experience, except this time the ocean you have to cross is the other one (as opposed to the French one). #rant

Yet again, I feel validated in having gone with vim and acknowledging its superiority over emac. I spent the last several hours in someone else’s server (rented) making configs here and there, and just overall exploring. Rented doesn’t come with sudo access unfortunately, but a lot (most) of what I can do in a /home directory,  I can do over there. Time and over again, I’ve found myself in need of vim; and it’s proven to have been the better choice. Do you know how many times I’ve needed to use emac for anything? None.. zip.. 0 – as in “zero” times. I’ve needed to know vim for a broad range of applications.

Imagine being inside a multi-hundred-thousand dollar system just digging through code, all the way to fixing a twenty-something dollar raspberry pi. Vim is so light, and you can pretty much expect it to be installed in any system you plan on using, especially of it’s old. If by chance it’s not on there, getting it on there isn’t difficult. My chrome net book was the first time I really needed to use vim. This was maybe 2 or 3 years ago. My ubuntu installation crashed, and so I needed to find another way to get the laptop running again because let’s face it a chromebook isn’t’ really a laptop. It could be, but the operating system leaves so much more to offer, and I don’t particularly like the idea of being locked in anyone’s ecosystem for too long. But my efforts failed, and I found myself in the middle of a bad install with an unsigned BIOS I had chosen to replaced the standard chromebook one. The only way to do that was to short the leads underneath the the laptop so the write protection would turn off – a simple jumper. I felt proud, it being a small, but meaningful hardware hack; but I soon found myself staring at a terminal that wasn’t acting right.

At its bare minimum, my new bootloader had some software to help it get to through the rest of its installation. I was going to put ubuntu on it, because at the time that was pretty much the only linux distro I had any experience with. Among that short list of software in the boot-loader was vi. Not vim, just vi, and I knew what it was. In the past I had forfeited getting acquainted with it because who in their right mind would use such a primitive text editor when you have all these other O-M-G-EYE-CANDY alternatives with so many other useful features? Why would any sane person torture themselves with this nonsense keyboard layout? But there I was, staring at a terminal and I had no other choice but to figure it out. So vi it was.

Fast forward a year or two, and vim’s my favorite editor. It wasn’t until, about 8 months ago that I REALLY began to appreciate it, and even more so this past summer.  Back in January, I was sitting next to a professor watching the guy do kongfu coding on that aforementioned multi-hundred-thousand dollar system. I remember asking him why, and it didn’t make too much sense back then, mostly because I wasn’t the one doing it. Regardless of what you’re working on, it really comes down to the fact that you’re probably working on a terminal. Furthermore, that terminal, probably isn’t on your computer. It’s somewhere else, on an entirely different platform or maybe on an entirely different planet (or not a planet, maybe it’s traveling beyond the now detittled Pluto, and the only way to interface with it is to recompile a Fortran oracle by which the only means to edit is through..). On top of that, you’re probably connected to four different platforms at the same time. Some of these computers might be running sub-controllers, and somehow you’re beyond seven layers away. The good news is, you can control all of them; and instantly reprogram and reedit them while they’re running, (even literally as they’re running/or flying), through vim.

PuTTY was my first real linux experience, granted that was through a windows XP and 3 laptops ago. As a freshman in mechE, we had an amazing professor who made us use it, but this wasn’t something that was drilled into typical mechE students. There’s a real lack of computer programming experience brought into us by the intuition we pay tuition to. There was hardly any back in high school and I wonder how the education system has changed since. So, any of this, is something students will have to learn on their own (or they could quad-major in everything). The other day was my first time being inside of a BSD system – a unix system. I’m a senior, so maybe there’s something poetic to be said about this? So yeah, vim. Not because of the plug-ins or its advanced features, but because there’s beauty in simplicity. It somehow became simple. Also because of the terminal thing. That and I love my color syntax. It’s awesome.Oh, and I’m also on awesomewm. Seven years ago, I wouldn’t have dreamed of being able to write code like this. Seven months ago, I could hardly believe I was controlling platforms like this. It always felt surreal, like I didn’t belong here; and it still does at times. Seven layers ago, I was somebody completely different.

Let’s recheck that propagation
*hits*F5