Sunday, June 13, 2010

A real (Ruby) Gem

Perhaps there's something about the Ruby language or its community that make it especially user-friendly to clueless programmers like myself! I've bought two books about the language, Programming Ruby, by Dave Thomas, et al., and Learning to Program, by Chris Pine (no, not the Chris Pine from the recent Star Trek movie - though it appears that this Chris Pine was (wholly?) responsible for the game Civilisation III. I have a copy of Civilisation II and treasure it - maybe I should check out III too.

Anyway, there's something about these two books - both from the Pragmatic Programmers - which make them really easy to understand. I'd like to think part of the reason I'm having more success (so far - it's early days) is that I'm sitting down, as I said in my last post, for a planned hour each day, whereas in the past I have bitten off great chunks, as and when I could fit them in. Not a good idea to learn anything really! But I really do applaud the PP's for their light-hearted, easily readable and understandable side - some computer books could, unfortunately, bore the pants off the nerdiest of computer geeks, but these guys actually make programming fun. I'd like to know what other people think of them, too - this kind of thing is so very definitely personal taste! Anyway, I've done my hour of programming and managed to get a bit of blogging in, too - so I'm going to sign off now. Good night!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Time Management

Hello again!

Well, it's been nearly three years since I last updated this blog. Time management was never my strongpoint, unfortunately, which interferes not only with learning to program but everything else. Though 98 times out of 100 I manage to get to work ok (famous last words?), it took me an hour to get out of the house this morning to do some shopping.. Due to the fact that I'm an observant Jew (though some would, of course, disagree - my affiliation of choice is (British) Reform Judaism, which is more conservative than its famous American counterpart but still not orthodox), I don't shop on the Sabbath and have therefore found it more convenient, since moving, to work Sundays to Thursdays. Since then, I've gotten a job (as I reported in my second-to-last post), made new friends, moved home, but still am no programmer! I'm hoping that my new regime of doing an hour a day of programming (made possible by the new move, though I'm not going to pretend I started it the day I moved in) is going to enable me to actually learn something. In the short time I was learning to program whilst writing this blog previously, my Language of Choice was Python, but I never could get used to the method of constructing a code block (solely) by indenting the body of the block - good programming practice of course, but unpleasant (or so I thought) on its own. I've therefore since switched to using Ruby, and its object-oriented focus (and, of course, keywords to indicate the start and ends of blocks) is something I much prefer. IIRC, Python can do object-orientation too, but I just prefer Ruby's way of doing it! So, let's see if this attempt (not the second, not the third... in fact I've stopped counting how many times I've made abortive attempts to learn to program!) gets us any farther!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hooray (William) Henry (Gates) (III)

So Microsoft says it will now comply with an EU ruling forcing it to disclose information on its technology to competitors.

Did I mention I'm actually David Ben Gurion?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Well, the seemingly impossible has happened. I attended an interview today at Xtreme Information - they do press monitoring - and walked out with the job! I can't tell you how good it feels to have a job again. It's like suddenly waking up from a bad dream in which you are an invisible alien, and finding you're still human.

Monday, August 27, 2007

"Damn you! Damn you all to Hell!"

It's a bank holiday today in Britain, or at least in England. I'm not sure why, but with Ben Hur on Channel 4 and Planet of the Apes on Five, maybe it's Charlton Heston Day?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Thought for Today

If religion is so bad, and secularism so good, why does secularism result in fanatical intolerance of the type displayed by the Secular Humanist Society in the following:

In George Orwell's 1984, it was stated, "Who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present controls the past." Who is going to control the present-fundamentalism or freedom?
It may be comforting to these people to equate "religion" with "fundamentalism" and secularism with "freedom", but REAL freedom involves allowing people to profess their beliefs, and to act on those beliefs, without interference or intolerance. It certainly cannot be denied that a lot of "religious" people have been involved in violence, and as the article from which that quote was taken says, Hitler was NOT an atheist - but Stalin was, at least for a time, a confirmed atheist, and Communism itself is predicated on the idea that there is no God. Not only that, but just as anyone who believes in God has to confront the problem of evil, so anyone who believes that religion should be banned "because it leads to violence" needs to explain why they do not therefore advocate the banning of politics, or soccer, or cigarettes.

There is nothing wrong with atheism, but it will never "catch on" with religious people unless atheists can show that they really ARE "more ethical" than the religious (not to mention, unless they can prove there is no God; what we have to date is not proof; like the belief in the existence of God, it is no more than opinion.)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Bah, humbug

Not only did we have another discussion among my programming friends about religion (do I go to shul to discuss Linux?), I wake up this morning to find Wikipedia's "featured article" is about Windows NT.

Bah, humbug!