January 2022 is no more. This has been a very productive work month, but a boring personal one. I managed to score a contract with tech book publisher Manning! I’m writing a book on creativity for programmers, and the first rough draft is more or less done. We’ve made the first steps toward setting up an editing process. I hope I can learn a lot about writing (not to be confused with writing specifically in and for tech) from these experienced editors.
Other than that, the last few exams of the first semester are finally behind us—until next semester, that is. I’m looking forward to the teaching of a new Android-based course that’ll be done in Kotlin—something new for both our students and the teaching staff. It was decided that the C++ course, where I use GBA programming, is getting retired. A bit mixed feelings: it has been great fun to use the Game Boy to motivate students the past four years.
Previous month in review: December 2021
Books I’ve read
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck (3/5). A classic work that could have passed the message in 100 pages shorter.
- Lives of the Stoics: The Art of Living from Zeno to Marcus Aurelius by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman (3/5). An interesting book that ended up feeling a bit too Wikipedia-like, as each short article is about another Stoic and can be a bit dry.
I’ve picked up a historic book about Dutch non-fiction writers and their readers of the nineteenth century, but it’s been a slow read so far. Not the ideal bedtime material. Seneca’s essays on happiness are probably next, and I’m still planning to retrieve Herodotus' Historia from the local library.
Games I’ve played
- Guacamelee by DrinkBox Studios (3/5). A light metroidvania that is heavy on the Mexican theme but a bit too platformy for my taste.
- Rayman Legends by Ubisoft Montpelier (3/5). All the extra bells and whistles are more irritating than welcome, which is a shame.
- Wonderland Dizzy by The Oliver Twins (2/5). A lost NES cart that is best left undiscovered.
Three rather short games, of which the last is part of the Evercade Oliver Twins collection I’ve been exploring. Not growing up in the UK, I never played any Dizzy game before. They seem to be very hard to get back in to nowadays, and many of the games are inconsistent: some allow high jumps, some are very finicky, some allow you to carry two instead of three items, etc. I guess it’s harder than I thought to get into the nostalgia of others.
For February, I’ve been lured back into the puzzle time waster genre by the new Shovel Knight game. Perhaps I might even re-buy a Puzzle Quest version for the Nintendo DS.
Selected blog posts
- The Dunning-Kruger effect is probably not real by Linus Luu
- LTTP: Wild Arms XF on ResetERA—reminds me what a stupid decision it was to sell the PSP.
- There oughta be GTA5 for the Game Boy by Sebastian Staacks
- Where does all the effect go? Looking at Python core developer activity by Lukasz Langa
- The half-life of code & the ship of Theseus by Erik Bernhardsson
- Providing a Publis Salary History Page by Jamie Tanna
- David Graeber’s Possible Worlds by Molly Fischer
- Writing interactive stories with Twine (in Dutch) by Ruud Brok
- Vladimir Nabokov’s Best Writing Advice by Emily Temple
- Street Fighter II, Paper Trails by Fabien Sanglard
- Web3 first impressions by Moxie Marlinspike
Coding things I want to try badly
- Charm.sh: pretty UIs for your Go console apps
- Fennel: the Lisp/Lua hybrid language
- Go Releaser: Release Go projects as fast and easily as possible!
- Mail Tester: verify DMARK/SPF/DKIM mail headers
- Libsodium: a Go encryption library
- Dwitter.net: 140 lines of JS code
What will February have in store? Lots of boring book editing, I fear. I hope a week of rest before the second semester kicks off. We’ll see.