I think that it’s extraordinarily important that we in computer science keep fun in computing. When it started out, it was an awful lot of fun. Of course, the paying customers got shafted every now and then, and after a while we began to take their complaints seriously. We began to feel as if we really were responsible for the successful, error-free perfect use of these machines. I don’t think we are. I think we’re responsible for stretching them, setting them off in new directions, and keeping fun in the house. I hope the field of computer science never loses its sense of fun. Above all, I hope we don’t become missionaries. Don’t feel as if you’re Bible salesmen. The world has too many of those already. What you know about computing other people will learn. Don’t feel as if the key to successful computing is only in your hands. What’s in your hands, I think and hope, is intelligence: the ability to see the machine as more than when you were first led up to it, that you can make it more.”
The ByteBaker is an attempt to keep fun in computing while at the same time learning more about how computer technology can have a real impact in our daily lives. These pages are the collections of the ongoing experiences of a student in Computer Science and Engineering. Computers are many things to many people in todays world: tools, toys, infrastructure, so on and so forth. Fundamentally, they are devices for augmenting and enhancing our thoughts and communications and improving the lives we lead.
This site talks about technology and learning and how to best combine the two. It’s geared towards people who are interested in using computer technology not because they have to, but because they understand how it can make their lives better. Computers can be difficult and scary at times, but they can also be powerful allies. Just as baking or cooking requires a certain amount of care and dedication to produce good food, using computer technology requires a certain amount of patience and inquisitiveness to get the most of it.
Where to start?
As of March 2011 this website has over 342 articles relating to various aspects of computer technology. That’s enough to fill a book, but don’t let that overwhelm you. The articles cover a good variety of computer related topics, though there are some themes that stand out more than others.
- Writing and communication: Everyone should start (and continue) a website or blog. Everyone has a story to tell and the Internet is a great place to project your personality, if you can do it right.
- Computer Programming: It’s hard to have a website computer technology without talking about how to program them. It’s something that combines passion with engineering rigor and good old scientific research.
- Education: No matter what field or topic is in question, education is very important. And it’s important to question what is being taught, how it’s being taught and whether it’s time for a change.
Keep fun in computing!
Who are you?
My name is Shrutarshi Basu and I’m currently a graduate student, programmer and writer working out of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. I’m currently working towards a PhD in computer science in the not-too-distant future. I have a love of programming languages and developer tools but recently I’ve been working on the intersection of programming languages and networks. By night I’m learning web programming and working to become a better writer.
Why ‘The ByteBaker’?
Because computer science is a lot like cooking. You need the right ingredients and utensils, the proper recipes and experience and a certain amount of daring and imagination to make things work right. In both cases you can create things which are fine, beautiful works of art which make the world a better place or horrible convoluted messes which really shouldn’t be allowed to exist. I really can’t cook, so I thought I might as well write about computer technology, what it is, how it’s evolving, how to make it better and how we can use it. Plus this was the most interesting domain name I could come up with that was available.
How do I contact you?
Please see the Contact page for contact information.