Life 13-Febuary 2020

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int main() {
   puts("Slow and steady!");
}

We are well into the second month of 2020 so it’s time to look at and how I am progressing towards the slight nebluous targets I set myself.

I am currently writing a small interpreter with the goal of having scripts running by the end of March. Creating a langauge that adds numbers is easy to acheive but really I want to as close to a real programming language as possible, even if the code making it happen is bare bones.

I flipped from Rust back to C++ based purely on pragmatics. I like Rust, It features an improved type system and removes plenty of boiler plate code compared to C++. The trouble is I currently code slower in it, that is I objectivly get less done. At the moment it is just not a trade I want to make. Over a few evenings I rewrote the code I had into C++ and am adding the final few functions to the parser to with the first iteration of the language. Personally I am a little disappointed to make the decision to leave Rust but it is what it is. It is possible my development speed would have picked up but I don’t want to pay the price while wait for that to happen, at least at the moment.

The first iteration of the language will only support integers, doesn’t have loops but will have functions. So it’s not really a programming language just the seed of one. I also haven’t written a type checker just yet :)

I am looking to get into the cycle of small fast iterations on this as soon as possible.

Learning:

This is actually going quite well. As an experiment I am iterating on learning about neural networks and learning a bit of Haskell. The motivation for Haskell is to learn a little more about type system and Haskell feels like gateway drug to that area.

Anki (Spaced repetition app) is working really well. I only have about 80-90 cards so far but I can feel myself retaining more information than I would have otherwise, even if I took notes.

My current process is to read a small section in a book, making notes on it and finally using those notes to generate cards for Anki. I then switch to a different topic. The past few days I have been thinking that perhaps the note taking part is a bit redundant.

As I use Anki more, I am finding myself creating a list of questions to add while I read rather than taking more traditional notes. This still happend in a text editor (emacs) as I want to be able to see them as a whole collection. The learning chunk size is small enough that I can go over it a number of times ensuring I have captured the important information. It is still new to me but I imagine the questions to be a web laying over the content with the questions all interrelated. Or perhaps that is just me.

I have been using this online latex editor to render math expressions as pngs. You can drag and drop the image into the Anki desktop app making it very easy and avoiding the need for plugins in Anki. The pngs file sizes are really small cf. with taking the picture of a hand written equation. Plus I finally get to use some of those latex skills I developed many years ago.

So the outcome is I am currently able to recall lots of details which is aiding my learning. That is awesome, the down side is the cognitive energy to produce the cards is fairly high. Small amounts each day seems a good pattern to adopt seens to be managable approach. I can also understand why Anki suggest a limit of 20 new cards a day.

Other:

In other life, I am seeing a gradual reduction in weight and coffee intake and a gradual increase in fitness levels. Small incremental changes seems to be working here.

I am also the most chilled I have been in years even though, well at least feel like, I am learning and writing code faster than I have in a long time.

Small changes so far.

  • Reduce carbs down to less than 200g a day.
  • Walk/run/cycle to work.
  • Yoga (at home) at least 3 times a week.
  • No more then 4 cups of coffee a day.
  • A multipurpose vitamin tablet each day.

I don’t claim to acheive all these but for the most part I do.

To finish on a negative like one always should? :)

The art side of learning is not progressing that well as I have not formed a habit and I don’t feel like I have altered my media consumption away from Netflix/Prime quite enough yet.


812 Words

2020-02-13 00:00 +0000