Programming – The Third Discipline

Most good programmers do programming not because they expect to get paid or get adulation by the public, but because it is fun to program. -Linus Torvalds

Basically, I’m going to learn BASIC and then C what happens because the language has its pluses.  Then I can C sharp things happening.

Holy Crap! I just saw a Python!

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The first programming assignment I had in high school was to find the first 100 Fibonacci numbers. Instead, I thought it would be cooler to write a program to get the teacher’s password and all the other students’ passwords. And the teacher gave me an A and told the class how smart I was. -Kevin Mitnick

 

Magnetism, Electricity & Electronics – The Second Discipline

Electricity can be dangerous. My nephew tried to stick a penny into a plug. Whoever said a penny doesn’t go far didn’t see him shoot across that floor. I told him he was grounded. – Tim Allen

You cant study computing without magnetism, electricity, and electronics, the second discipline of computing. Therefore, I am also conducting self-study on these subjects as well.

Meanwhile…

Electric fish have been “shocking” people since to dawn of time by using their electric organs to hunt and defend themselves. This type of electricity is generated chemically by cells called electrocytes. Best to leave these fish alone.

Lightning has also been around for eons of time but has only been confirmed as electric in the last 300 years. Lightning is an electrostatic discharge1. Static electricity is also an electrostatic discharge, so now you know why dryer sheets were invented.

 

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Tranquil but dangerous

 

Math – The First Discipline

If you stop at general math, you’re only going to make general math money. – Snoop Dogg

Snoop is right. If I want to learn about computing and perhaps make some money on the side, I need to sharpen my math skills.

I have started a review of good old arithmetic. More on that later.

Meanwhile…

By about 2000 BCE, the Babylonians and the Egyptians were pretty good at arithmetic as well as geometry, and some proto-algebra, after all, the Egyptians build the pyramids. Although neither of these civilizations used our current base-10 system, they were practiced enough to turn out solutions to Pythagorean’s theorem referenced in the Plimpton 3221, a clay tablet dated to 1800 BCE. Interestingly, this document was written administratively for something like civil engineering and not something a mathematician would compose. Still cool though.

pythagorean_theorem1
Pythagorean Theorem
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Plimpton 322 clay tablet, with numbers written in cuneiform script.

Mathematics is not something that you find lying around in your back yard. It’s produced by the human mind. Yet if we ask where mathematics works best, it is in areas like particle physics and astrophysics, areas of fundamental science that are very, very far removed from everyday affairs.” What does that imply? “It suggests to me that consciousness and our ability to do mathematics are no mere accident,no trivial detail, no insignificant by-product of evolution. – Paul Davies, “Are We Alone?”

 

Introducing Classic Computing

Information theory began as a bridge from mathematics to electrical engineering and from there to computing. – James Gleick

I created the Classic Computing blog because I know absolutely nothing about classic computing or the disciplines required to understand it.

I wondered on to a website that showed a brief timeline of the history of computing and games and was immediately interested to learn more. However, I found myself wholly lacking in the necessary education to understand how a computer works. Learning more about mathematics, electronics, and programming is a big job.

Therefore, I have decided to track all these computing disciplines through history and build my knowledge gradually. This is perhaps a problematic undertaking, but what the heck.

I hope you can assist me with your experience and keep me from blowing my self up.

Eniac
Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer – What’s with all the wires?