Students in CS 50 tackle sustainability. Read more.
Harwell Dekatron, aka Wolverhampton Instrument for Teaching Computation (WITCH), a 61-year-old machine that was rebooted yesterday (20/11/2012) to become “the world’s oldest original working digital computer.” Originally operated at the Harwell Atomic Energy Research Establishment, it was moved in 1957 to Wolverhampton’s Staffordshire Technical College where it was dubbed the WITCH. There it stayed until retirement in 1973 when it became a museum display before dismantling for storage. In 2008, the National Museum of Computing in Bletchley Park began to restore the valve-laden beast. “The world’s oldest original working digital computer”
Augusta Ada Byron, Lady Lovelace, 1843 (via theblackprogrammer)
Marty’s Patented Programming Method
- Acknowledge that you need to work on your project
- Identify next step in programming project
- Stare at code until you realize that you’ve spent the last 20 minutes just staring blankly at your code.
- Take a break.
- Repeat from  until quantum fluctuations spontaneously manifests complete code in computer.
The Problem With Programming Books
I spend a lot of money on programming books.
Sadly, I also waste a lot of money on programming books.
Why? Well, two reasons:
Programming books are expensive — they cost more than your average novel or mass-market nonfiction book. It’s rare to find one for under $20.
I generally buy programming books online. Conventional brick-and-mortar bookstores typically don’t stock the titles i’m interested in. I have only two ways to assess a programming book I’m going to buy: 1) reading the excerpt offered for the e-book version, and 2) user reviews.
The problem is, the excerpt is too short to give me any sense of whether the difficulty level of the book will ramp up rapidly after the first few pages. Too many publishers seem to exercise little to no quality control over the sample chapter prospective buyers can download for free: I can’t tell you how many times I ended up with a sample that contained nothing more useful than the copyright statement for the book. User reviews are written by coders at all different levels of sophistication and experience, and their experience with the book is not likely to be anything like my own.
As a result, I often end up getting to Chapter 4 and abandoning an expensive book, having wasted a lot of time and money. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that I’ve wasted up to $500 on books that gave me nothing but frustration.
If publishers of technical books don’t want to lose their franchise to online education startups like Udemy and Q&A sites like Stack Overflow, they need to start providing readers with better ways of evaluating books and finding books that are right for them.
Here’s a few suggestions that would work for me:
- Short author videos in which the author teaches a five minute lesson based on an exercise from the book. This would be far more effective than a downloadable fragment in helping me evaluate whether or not it’s the right book for me.
- Publishing one online tutorial, with source code, on the publisher’s site.
- Linking to or embedding those in the Amazon page for the book.
41% of Harvard Computer Science Majors Are Women.
Fast Co.Exist: Empowering Young Women By Teaching Them To Be The Next Tech Genius- Girls Who Code Rocks!
Richard Feynman on Computer Science. He hates it.
President Obama answers a question about computer science from Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
We watched this in my Data Structures and Algorithms class today: Shell-sort with Hungarian (Székely) folk dance
DO THE ALGORITHM DANCE. IT HAPPENS TO BE A HUNGARIAN FOLK DANCE. DEAL WITH IT.
A computer science adventure story for kids:
My review for Lauren Ipsum on Amazon:
I am a Computer Scientist and I bought this book for my 8-year-old daughter. We have just finished reading it together; I say “together”, but every evening after I stopped reading, my daughter would take the book and read ahead a few chapters under the covers. The story is witty and engaging, and packed full of concepts from theoretical computer science, presented in a way an 8-year-old can understand; but also entertaining and perhaps even enlightening to adults who already know something about complexity theory. Absolute genius!
My daughter has her favourite chapters which she asks me to read and re-read to her: she especially loves the part where the Tortoise proves to Zeno that an infinite piece of string is exactly two inches long. The book is also a great jumping-off point for doing little projects in Logo or Scratch.
Every school library should have a copy of this book: so all the better that for every copy you buy, the authors will donate one copy to a school.
What the hell is the big steering wheel for?
Bob Taylor (internet visionary) talks at UT Austin
Bob Taylor was the first project manager and person most responsible for the creation of the first national network — the ARPAnet — which is universally regarded as the precursor to today’s Internet. John Markoff, technology writer for The New York Times, talks with alumnus Taylor about computing, the Internet and its impact on communications and our society.The 1910 Society Lecture Series kicks off the Graduate School’s 100-year celebration and is co-sponsored by the Dell Distinguished Lecture Series and the Department of Computer Science.
Click on the Thumbnail to watch the video
Or visit http://omg-celebrity-gossip.com/bob-taylor-internet-visionary-talks-at-ut-austin/