Monthly recap (April 2020)

Watercolor with Tara
Watercolor with Tara

Major updates:

  • Continuing to work from home, scattered, sleepy :-/

Minor updates:

Watched/read/made:

  • Lots of Scooby Doo (!), with Tara (the 2015 version was … not that great, the 2006 version … is working out very well)
  • Part 1 of Money Heist (and now I’m humming Bella Ciao all the time …)
  • Tiger King (what was that …)
  • Watched Logan Lucky, Tiger King, MLP: The Movie, Nightmare before Christmas (!)
  • Reading a bunch of series on Comixology: Alita: Battle Angel, Witcher, Alien: Omnibus Locke and Key

Monthly recap (January 2020)

Glorious sunsets seen from the ship
Glorious sunsets seen from the ship

Major updates:

  • Visited Kennedy Space Center! (only got a few hours, but still …)
  • Went on the first cruise of my life (in the Bahamas … also, learnt that I’m not really a “cruise person”)

Minor updates:

  • Came back with Tara and spent a week with her (and then she spent a week with Shivi later)
  • Went snorkeling for a bit and saw a Ray of some sort sitting in the sand, got a little freaked out …

Watched/read/made:

  • Read Lexicon (picked up at SFO bookstore, loved it, found echoes of Snow Crash in there …)
  • Watched the 1979 animated version of The Hobbit with my dad and Tara (highly recommend)
  • Second season of Lost in Space

Annual recap: 2019

Me:

  • Moved from Pure Storage to Confluent
  • Started and finished my third 1000-piece puzzle
  • Annoying tax related issues, car battery trouble
  • Tentative steps towards backyard gardening (Marigold, Moon flower)

Family/Tara:

  • Blood draws and an endoscopy later, learnt that Tara is intolerant to Gluten
  • Trying out some new board games (Zingo!, Race to the treasure, Monza, Robot Turtles)
  • Shivi got a big promotion at work
  • Went on a few hikes
  • Disney on Ice
  • A friend’s mom passed away, attended her funeral
  • Watched Dolphins in the water, 4th of July fireworks
  • Watched Beat bugs and Rapunzel at the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre
  • Tara moved to the last preschool class, and turned five this year!
  • Got the kitchen floor tiled
  • Trip to Berkeley, discovered Berkeley Bowl
  • Team offsets from work: pottery and sailing!
  • Tara’s first Lego sets
  • Trick-or-treating with Tara 🙂
  • Spent a week home alone with Tara
  • Pumpkin painting (at home, at her friends’)
  • Birthday party at Pump-it-up
  • Watched with Tara in the hall: Secret life of Pets: 2, Toy Story: 4, Lion King (the new one), A beautiful day in the neighborhood, Angry Birds: 2, Frozen 2 (with friends)
  • Travel: Asilomar/Pacific grove, Maui, Laguna Beach, Kauai,

Misc:

  • Watched: The Kominsky Method: Season 1, Altered Carbon, The Good Place, The Nineties, Fahrenheit 11/9, Burning, The Kindergarten Teacher, The Good Place, The Romanoffs, After Life, Behind the Curve, Umbrella Academy, Gully boy, Gad Elmaleh, Ronnie Cheung, Vice, Killing Eve, Stranger Things: Season 3, Sacred Games, The Last Czars, Chernobyl, End of the tour, The 2000s, Modern Love, Oceans, Death dive to Saturn, Dark Crystal, Modern Love, The Kominsky Method: Season 2, The Crown (latest season)
  • Listened to: The Square and the Tower, The world was never the same, Sapiens, The ascent of money, Homo Deus,
  • Read: Deep Work, Seveneves

Review:

  • Well, I did zero 10Ks, but I did start running for 15 minutes every week (a tiny thing, but a slow start)
  • Collected a bunch of haikus into a book

Tentative New Years’ Resolutions:

  • Do some random acts of making (e.g. see what mobile apps are like these days: make a small little app 😀)
  • One more 1000-piece puzzle (!!)
  • Write a small book about … something
  • Run a 10K (🤞)

My brief history with computers: Part one

You see, you use these things to compute … stuff

I first encountered computers in books. Glossy books these were, the kind you would expect to find twenty years ago in the “reference books” section of a library. Which was how I came across them; my mother was a teacher and was able to get me books though I wasn’t in the same school.

These books were dated, of course, and so my initial impression was anachronistic to begin with. The story ended at these magical microprocessors, though at the time the first modern pipelined processors were coming into existence.

The first glimpse

The very first computer I saw was probably an 80486 with a color display, sometime around 1994 or so. It was some guy I knew at school, whose father had bought this for his elder brother, and at his birthday party all the assembled guests crowded around this curious device, as he let some sort of demo program run, showing images, wireframes, and so on, as people oohed and ached.

The very first computer I had was an 80386 my father bought in 1995. I remember it very clearly, having waited in eager anticipation of it for weeks since I came to know it was coming. I read the MS-DOS 6.22 manual cover to cover (yes, I know, sick) before it arrived.

My fitness tracker has more memory than …

Its specs were formidable. It had a 14” black and white monitor, a 256gb hard disk and 4mb of memory (yes, that’s four megabytes). All it had was Ms-Dos and QBasic.

Now it’s fair to say I probably picked up bad programming habits that I’m not even aware of; or at least that’s the standard impression people have about Basic. Either way, it was a blast. Because I did on that machine was programming!

The lonely prompt

Hang on, I don’t want to skip ahead. Let it sink in for a while. The only program I used was QBasic. No phones, no internet, no Windows either! You booted up the computer, and you stared at a “C:>” prompt! and you typed “qbasic” or whatever, and you were in this notepad like environment where you wrote stuff line by line, and your program was interpreted.

This state of affairs lasted about a year, after which it was supplemented by a few rudimentary rasterized graphics games, and then the trio of “Lotus 1-2-3”, “Wordstar” and “Dbase 4”. But more on that later …