I’ve mentioned “Learn code the Hard Way” before as what’s finally helped me learn how to program, and program well. An interesting concept I’ve grown to love in the book is the mistake journal. It’s only mentioned a couple of times at the beginning, but this is it: Every time you make a mistake write it down.
This goes against conventional knowledge where we’re supposed to forget our mistakes and “Just move on.” But every line of code that I write I notice the benefits of learning this way, especially for programming. Every computer language follows strict syntax, and every program starts as broken. Knowing and keeping track of the mistakes you’ve made in the past (and taking the time and conscious effort to write them down) is great. You build a mental checklist of things that went wrong before to look out for. It’s genius really. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who is programming and struggling to remember syntax/formatting/data types. It’s a great technique.
Well, I’m still programming. The section I’m in right now is memorizing logic statements. Such as: not True = False. It honestly all feels like “All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy” to go through the flash cards. BUT, this doesn’t just feel important, but necessary to memorize since logic and boolean commands/data types are literally everywhere in programming. It is just hard to keep track of everything.
-Since the last post-
Games finished: Bastion, Transistor
Games started: Hyper Light Drifter (I highly recommend)
Games still underway: Undertale
Well, I bought my first computer. It was the aforementioned model built by samsung. 4 gig of RAM and a dual core x86 intel processor. Link.
I bought it mainly because I'm not exactly who smart phones are designed for: Bad eyes and big hands. Also because the app ecosystem on android isn't great for what I want to do. Neither is chrome OS. Enter ubuntu on chromebooks, a match made in heaven. Honestly I think all computers below the power of a two generation i3 should just ship with a lightweight linux distro (like ubuntu budgie or lubuntu, maybe even CentOS). They'd retain some market value, and are perfect for some good old linux lightweight computing. So this computer I had a couple of goals in mind: 1 Learn how to program, 2 Learn more about linux, 3 gain the freedom I've really been missing after the renderbox died (you'll see that work everywhere in the portfolio. Amazing to think that was rendered on a gt 640. Yikes. After years of that, I'm ready for my 1050 ti).
So I bought it in the morning before work a few weeks ago, and by lunchtime had ubuntu/xfce running in chroot, and got Inkscape installed. After work I got home, compiled python3.6 from source and I was on my way (of course making sure to separate 3.6 from system python). I don't think if I ever buy another laptop I'll buy one bigger than this. This little guy is amazingly small and capable. The battery lasts forever, I've never had severe slowdowns. I'm still honestly blown away by how easy it's been to use. Easily my most refreshingly easy linux install ever (although I wish it would start into xfce on boot into chromeOS).
Since then, I've been happier. I have a computer that enables me. It does what I need. It's so light I take it everywhere and its replaced my tablet as my go to reading device. It runs my 2D games like a dream (still finishing undertale and starting bastion over again). I can't wait for the next major firefox release for even snappier performance.
One last plug for what I've been learning recently: Where I'm learning Python. I'm loving the course and how it not only focuses on learning syntax, but the skills and mindset necessary to be a programmer. My favorite exercise so far has been taking a 100 line example code and fixing all of the bugs so it runs. Everything from finding spelling/formatting/mathematical errors has been fun and rewarding. The rules are no copy-pasting and you have to make it run.
I made a simple budget calculator that I'm wanting to expand out to create SQL tables eventually and do analysis on my spending habits. Weebly won't let me upload .py files, so you can just copy the contents of this txt file into a text editor and save it as a .py file to run.
Until next time.
I'm Brian Whetten, and I'm very interested in Animation and Visual Effects. This is my blog where I write about my current projects, current events, as well as the software and techniques I use.