Tag Archives: software

Collection of links #1

This is a collection of some various, interesting things I have stumbled across lately which doesn’t really justify a separate post each.

Someone made a Creative Commons licensed book about the architecture of open source applications. Since the code is open and freely available, this makes it possible to discuss how it is constructed and how the choices made in development affected the end result. Among the programs covered are Eclipse, Mercurial, CMake and Battle for Wesnoth. I read some parts of it, and it looks like they are already working on volume 2.

If you know what a Möbius strip looks like, you should check it out this short little story about a girl living in Möbius world. Actually, it is brilliant, so you should probably go see it anyway.

“Achieving your childhood dreams” is the name of a presentation I watched a long time ago (last fall or something), which is a really inspiring talk by Randy Pausch. He was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. The talk is his chosen topic for what they referred to as a “last lecture”, which essentially means if you were given one last lecture to hold, what would you talk about? The twist here is that he had recently been diagnosed with cancer and informed he had maximum six months left. He also gave an interesting lecture on time managment. They have both been posted on YouTube by Carnegie Mellon.

Also on YouTube is the TV-series Pioneer One. It is an interesting approach because they are funded by donations and make the episodes freely available from their website. So far they have released four episodes, with two more coming soon. It is hard to say something about the plot without spoiling too much, but it is a sci-fi series.

And Ubuntu recently released alpha 2 of their upcoming Oneiric Ocelot release. Check here if you want to take it for a test spin, or here to see the expected release schedule. Since it is still under development, I recommend not using your day to day machine, but rather test it in a virtual machine or something in case something breaks.

Speaking of Ubuntu, you may have noticed the main colors used are orange and aubergine. If you have wondered exactly which colors are used, these two friendly owls (?) will let you know.

That’s it for now…

Learning to type

At some point I figured I should learn touch typing. Most of the stuff I write happens through a keyboard, whether it is code, assignments or blog posts or something completly different. So since I type a lot, I might as well learn how to do it properly, and hopefully increase my typing speed while I’m at it. Anyways, turns out there are a bunch of programs that help you learn/train touch typing. I tried a few but settled with using KTouch for a couple of reasons:

*It provides small sets of words (or letter combinations in the earlier stages) so that you get some practise with each letter before moving on to the next one. Later exercises then combines new letters with the ones you already know.

*Unlike a few others I check it displays a keyboard on screen, indicating which finger you should use to type the current letter. It also shows the colored map for which letter is associated to which finger at all times.

* It can graph your progress, including letters-per-minute, and words-per-minute.

* It shows you how many errors (misspellings) you have done, and list which letters you need to work on more.

*It was already in the Ubuntu/Debian repositories, so all I had to do in order to install it was to open the Software Center and search for it.