i’ve always been “terminally trivial”. as i am a keen reader (i consume less books now given my vision impairment) and watch a heap of TV/movies (i no longer watch those exclusively with subtitles as the captions are too fast for me to read), the accumulation of factoids can be said to be “eclectic”. sadly, this hasn’t translated to any pub quiz wins and any major prizes in HQ Trivia.

with the advent of Google (and similar technologies) , this predilection for facts seems passé. the ubiquity of search engines and voice assistants like SIRI have resulted in “information at the fingertips” for some. this “JIT” (Just In Time} approach has transformed our relationship with facts – it’s, after all, when (and no longer if) we need it. it’s psychologically more efficient and practical to store information external to your person rather than in your mind (as evidenced by our “over”reliance on our phones). the onus has shifted from the right answers to the right questions. i’ve always believed questions were important but more so now – Jeopardy! was only “tangentially” right.

i asked a former knowledgeable teacher and very smart friend why digital technologies used the Red Green Blue (RGB) palette when i was taught early on that the primary colours were Red Yellow, and Blue – so i was thinking shouldn’t it be RYB instead. i was told that RGB had always been the standard spectrum. i was placated for a while by their answers but it was always in the back of my mind.

one day i was just compelled to do a web search. apparently, RGB are the base additive colours: That is they are “active” and can be combined to form various hues and shades (through the use of such things as lasers). primary colours uses paint and paper to make other colours and are more “passive” – if that makes sense.

it’s no longer just about memorising facts in the digital age as it is, also IMHO, about having the intellectual curiosity to ask “interesting” questions. From now on, i’ll also share the results of my “research” on this blog.

“easy” A

October 30, 2019

first, it was the Towers of Hanoi.  And then it was QuickSort.  i wanted to provide “simpler” explanations of concepts i was taught during my undergraduate days.   i eventually got them (with some effort) but they are trickier to “share” with others.  But like most technologists, i’ve substantially underestimated the the time and effort in realising these. i guess i was severely swayed by my experience in “simplifying” the normal forms when i taught databases.

i think i need to take a cue from the much greater individuals that preceded me. Or just use great ideas from others and properly attribute their work.  in any case, i should reacquaint myself with these concepts and refresh my memory – so that my unconscious mind can continue to work on these while i focus on something else.  hopefully, it will no be long between “Eureka” moments.

tower of Babel

October 17, 2019

for the last few days, i’ve been held up by the “Tower of Hanoi” problem.  at first it was just a debugging issue and getting the code to work as expected; however i realised the real difficulty was in being able to explain the algorithm “simpler” and in “plain English” – i’m still thinking about  how to do this.

toy story

October 11, 2019

“Toy Problems” are puzzles or illustrative devices.  they can be useful in discussing features supported by programming languages. it’s a bit of “mental gymnastics” or what can be oxymoronically  referred to as “recreational math”.

i started with something simple called a palindrome:  a word spelled the same backwards as forwards.  However, i extended it to detect “palindromic” strings instead: that is, it should also check multiple words, phrases, or sentences (that exclude a period or full stop).

Here’s the updated GitHub repository:

https://github.com/LinsAbadia/Python/tree/master/Problems/Toy

i introduced user-defined function with def.  i discussed return values, default parameters, functions as arguments, and recursion.  i left out variable scoping and; pass by value vs. pass by reference as i wasn’t sure what to include. my treatment  was, partly, influenced from what i remember being taught about computing from long ago days of uni (i.e undergrad and postgrad) in the Philippines.

here’s the updated GitHub repository:

https://github.com/LinsAbadia/Python/tree/master/FlowControl

both sides now

September 25, 2019

i started with a “bottom-up” approach hoping it solidly grounds “learners” on the “basics” – hoping that they can build upon the “fundamentals” (as “constructivist theory espouses).  However (and i could be wrong), certain topics seem to me “better” suited for “top-down” pedagogical design as this focuses on a particular concept not only to build confidence but, also, to encourage interest  (like they do in music by giving students a piece to practice).  This not only provides them the expected output (allowing them to validate their work or check if they are on the “right” track) but help identify which topics  (and the “order” in which they are introduced)  they need to learn (as it’s not practical to cover everything about a programming language – how long is a pice of string?  Certain “minutiae”  may be interesting but must be omitted for the sake of “practicality).

This may result in longer times between releases but if there’s anything i’ve verified through my own experience with project (software development in particular) that “front-loading” is more cost-effective as it’s ‘cheaper” to make changes “earlier” in a product’s lifecyvle

 

 

expect delays

September 18, 2019

there will be delays in building my Python repository on GitHub as: 1.)  i’m sill busy figuring out how to “better” restructure it, 2.) i’m searching for an old computing book that may help me with content, 3.) while my ABI compromised my reading speed it is way much faster than my typing output, 4.)  everybody says i tend to “overanalyse” things (ask my Mum and wife) so i’m carefully considering how to frame sample code to help “maximise” learning.  FYI.  Sorry.