Sunday Selection 2011-04-09

Around the Internet

How to get a real education in College I’m going to be finishing classes in about a month. On the whole, I’ve had a good college experience and certainly learned a lot. However, there are a lot of things which are clearer in retrospect and I do wish I had more things of an organizational nature. If you’re interested in an unusual college experience to set the tone for a life of entrepreneurship, Scott Adams has some really good pointers.

C is a desert island language I like the C programming language. It’s small, tight language; austere would be a good description. It puts you in close touch with the machine and expects you know what you’re doing. It can be rather liberating if you’re used to programming in Java or some other managed, batteries-included language. This is the introduction of a long series of discussions and commentary surrounding C and its relationship to other languages.

Tron:Legacy Computer Art If you’ve seen the movie you’re familiar with the large numbers of dazzling special effects as well as the scenes of programmers interacting with computers (which are actually believable for once). Here’s a behind-the-scenes guide of how all those beautiful images were created.

From the Library

Outliers: The Story of Success I’ve had this book for about a year and I know read the first half, but I couldn’t remember if I actually finished it. So over the last few days I sat down and just read it cover to cover. Malcolm Gladwell is a really good writer and it’s a pleasure to follow his explanations and trains of thought. He provides some really compelling arguments for why success is a combination of personal character, upbringing, opportunities and cultural context. It is a bit disheartening to find out that there probably isn’t much by the way of what we consider “true genius” but it’s also uplifting to learn that hard work and dedication can have amazing payoffs — “no one who can rise before dawn 360 days a year fails to make his family rich”.

Software

Simplenote I’m a fan on hacker-oriented, infinitely customizable tools (like Emacs) but sometimes you just want to reach for the closest tool at hand. Simplenote is a text-based simple note taking service. It’s available as a webapp as well as native apps for various platforms. Furthermore there are a growing number of third-party text editors and lists managers that are using Simplenote as a backend. I personally use the iOS app and the third-party nvALT application on my mac.

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