Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Learning Scala

Posted: 11 July 2009 in Uncategorized
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Programming in Scala

Programming in Scala

Two weeks ago, I picked up my copy of Programming in Scala, which had been languishing on my shelf for months.  I pre-purchased it since I went to high school with one of the authors (Lex Spoon).  His mother, incidentally, was also my favorite math teacher.  When I started my new job back in September 2008, I was a total noob at Ruby, so learning that consumed my attention and other languages took a back burner.  Also, I’m always a little reluctant when it comes to learning new languages.  Not because I don’t like to learn them or because it’s difficult — but because it’s a serious investment of time that may be totally wasted.  Sure, Standard ML is an interesting language, but try finding a job doing it.  When I heard that Twitter was using Scala, I figured the time has come to pick up this book.  It also helped that a friend recently started an Atlanta Scala Meetup group.

Aside from being an update on my life, the point of this post is to say that this book is great.  Seldom have I encountered a programming book that achieves this level of depth while still being fun to read.  There are great examples with humor mixed in, the writing is clear and concise, and it’s thorough. What more could you want?

Has anyone else picked up Scala?  (I know there’s a few of you out there lurking!)  Are there any other good books you would recommend?

In the interest of full disclosure, though I know one of the authors, I haven’t actually talked to him in quite a long time (since high school, I think).  I also don’t make any extra money aside from the Amazon affiliate program commission if you happen to buy anything on their site after clicking the book link.

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Oak Island

Posted: 29 May 2008 in Uncategorized
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View of Oak Island beach from our beach house

This past weekend at Oak Island, NC was extremely fun. My sister got married, I got to catch up with family and friends, and I got to bask in the beauty of the ocean and great weather. It was very depressing to leave. The beach house we stayed in was surprisingly nice. The game room had a large poker table and there was an enormous hot tub. If you think sitting in a hot tub looking out on the ocean is cool, you’d be right. The wedding itself took place right on the beach. The background was punctuated by the odd pelican plunging into the surf, shooting up large sprays of water.

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My friend Israel has a passion for helping people. He’s currently working on a grant proposal for a project to bring text alerts to farmers in so-called developing nations. Currently, middle men come to farmers and buy their goods at prices that aren’t always the going market rate. Farmers are often isolated and so getting updated information on prices isn’t easy. The goal is to provide them cell phones (this would be done by another agency) and then to send them text messages with the latest prices. This can be generalized to a wide variety of alerts to help people whose access to information is otherwise limited.

The NetSquared Mashup challenge is providing a group of non-profit projects a chance to compete for funding. All you have to do to help is vote for CellAlert.net to win. So, please help him out, won’t you? (Voting begins Monday March 17th.)

NOTE:  To vote, you will need to register with netsquared on the site and choose at least 5 projects you support.

Meh Tuesday

Posted: 5 February 2008 in Uncategorized
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My longtime friend over at the Wrathful Dove has an excellent post today on the lack of superness in this so-called Super Tuesday, and I wanted to give it a plug.  Here is a brief excerpt that I thought sheds light on the charade that we call “elections” in America:

I was reading the “issues” section of the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Sunday where there was an entire article devoted to comparing the musical selections of the candidates to see what exciting insights this exercise might provide. The same article also subtly observed the importance of selecting a candidate who seems likely to win in November, effectively reducing elections down to the horse race terms in which it is often framed in the corporate media.

These elections are a sham and an obscene circus.

Every four years the American public gets to select its master-in-chief from a narrow field of candidates who fiercely compete and debate within a very narrow range so as to give the illusion of choice and dialog while keeping the true options fixed to those acceptable and profitable to corporate America.

Check out his blog for the rest of the post.

Where do I belong?

Posted: 30 November 2007 in Uncategorized
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You Belong in London


A little old fashioned, and a little modern.
A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.

A unique soul like you needs a city that offers everything.

No wonder you and London will get along so well.

What City Do You Belong In?

This, via my friend Israel. I guess we both belong there. Let me know what your results are. I had no idea about the first question. I only recognized Versace so picked that.

Wedding toast

Posted: 11 November 2007 in Uncategorized
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I just attended a wedding yesterday and have been without Internet for way too long. Interestingly, my last post became wildly popular on both digg and stumbleupon. That post has more than doubled the total traffic of all time to my blog, bringing it to over 10k hits. As of the writing of this post, the post has gotten 4,060 hits today alone, about 550 yesterday and 990 Friday. Crazy. Thank you, whoever put up that sign. On a side note to anyone who might be wondering, CMU uses blue cannisters for recycling. There isn’t normally a cannister in that location and people were standing around it the past couple days before it, so anyone who passes through there on a regular basis would know not to use it. Some funny comments on the post and on digg.

Anyhow, at the wedding, the best man gave the traditional toast. The couple being married had dated for about 10 years, so it was a pretty special wedding to a lot of people. The best man made the point that, in marriage, it’s easy to fall in love with somebody, but a happy marriage comes from growing that love. As your love grows, you’ll look back and see your wedding day as the day you loved each other the least. He concluded with the following line (my paraphrase since I can’t remember exactly):

“May the best day of your past be the worst day of the rest of your life.”

It got a round of laughs, but it’s also a great way to put it.

Laptops for Tanzania part 2

Posted: 23 October 2007 in Uncategorized
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My friend Israel is trying to raise money for laptops for school kids in Tanzania. If you’re on Facebook and have about 30 seconds, why not vote for him? Razoo is a speed granting organization that gives money to small charitable projects. You can view his oh-so-pitiful video below. I’ve suggested he update it by putting on heavy eye makeup and getting under a sheet and lamenting the fact that only a few thousand Tanzanian kids graduate high school every year. They really could use your help, though and this requires you to spend no money!