Monday, January 30, 2012

Python is haaaard.

Well, not really.

[ Python ] is a language I decided I'd sit down and learn for a project I've taken upon myself to write.

So far I'm two mostly-working modules in and it's not terribly difficult to understand what I'm doing.

A relevant citation is what python returns when the user types import this:

The Zen of Python, by Tim Peters

Beautiful is better than ugly.
Explicit is better than implicit.
Simple is better than complex.
Complex is better than complicated.
Flat is better than nested.
Sparse is better than dense.
Readability counts.
Special cases aren't special enough to break the rules.
Although practicality beats purity.
Errors should never pass silently.
Unless explicitly silenced.
In the face of ambiguity, refuse the temptation to guess.
There should be one-- and preferably only one --obvious way to do it.
Although that way may not be obvious at first unless you're Dutch.
Now is better than never.
Although never is often better than *right* now.
If the implementation is hard to explain, it's a bad idea.
If the implementation is easy to explain, it may be a good idea.
Namespaces are one honking great idea -- let's do more of those!

I've tried to keep what I'm doing to be just that: easy to explain and read and understand. I have not, however, made it easy to write or optimize (mainly because I'm not the most competent programmer out there).

The language encourages ease-of-learning and ease-of-use, something which I think is important enough to shirk Java and C as a whole.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Stuff I Like: Watchismo ]

I could spend way too much time here just looking at all the neat watches they've got for sale.

Pricewise, you're still paying for "designer"-tier work, and it's probably a safe bet that (unless otherwise specified) these are not the chronographs you take on diving trips.

I'm also digging these: [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ]... (I mentioned Yanko Design & watches earlier.)

Not that I have a reason to wear a watch these days. More on that later.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Important: The United States' Constitution

If you're not a resident of the US of A, you're welcome to stop reading here. ]

I'd like to present (what I think is) the most important part:

I. Freedom of Speech, Religion, Press; Right to Peaceably Assemble & Petition the Gov't
II. Right of the People to Bear Arms.
III. Prohibits State-mandated housing of soldiers outside of Wartime.
IV. Prohibits unreasonable search and seizure. Establishes requirement for probable cause.
V. Rights dealing with criminal charges: Grand Jury, Double Jeopardy, Due Process, Eminent Domain, May not Self-Incriminate.
VI. Rights dealing with Trials: Fair and Speedy, Jury of Peers, Notification of Accusation, Right to Confront Accuser, Right to Obtain Witnesses, Right to Retain Counsel.
VII. Right to Trial by Jury in Civil Cases
VIII. Prohibits Cruel/Unusual Punishment, Excessive Bail/Fines
IX. Rights not expressly defined by Constitution are still the People's
X. Anything Power that isn't given to the Federal Gov't is either the State's or the People's, if it's not given to the State's.
 It is critically important that you know your rights. Orwell wrote an iconic phrase: "Ignorance Is Strength". Truer words have seldom been spoken; the ignorance of the masses is all the elite require to stay in power.

Educate yourselves.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Be Privacy Conscious: ] and [ ] are two things you should consider.

They allow you to remain anonymous while you browse the internet, albeit at a slight cost to your connection speed (you are bouncing off of other computers, after all).

I encourage other users to be aware of exactly how the internet works - my [ privacy policy ] notifies you that the folks I've partnered with as advertisers may track your activity. Facebook does, [ too ].

I've probably mentioned this sort of thing before - but knowledge is more than half of the fight.

Also relevant: SOPA and PIPA and the imminent threat they pose.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012: More opportunity for self-improvement. ] and [ ].

Two sites. Different intents, same purpose. One teaches code, while the other teaches subjects from mathematics to art history. Both are worth investigating, for sure. Codecademy and Khan Academy both offer self-paced lessons and well-taught curriculum.

I have two large, multi-part goals that I plan to accomplish by using these two resources:
- Quit writing sloppy code (or reusing functions unnecessarily - no more "frankencode")
- Become proficient in calculus, physics, and understanding today's economy

This, I resolve to do during this new year that we have.

If you're interested, consider also:
This list of free online classes, which has links (at the bottom of the page) to universities' OpenCourseWare - free classes to help you learn just about anything.

Blog Archive