My writing projects

I have three projects that are focused on technical writing, note taking and documentation of computer science concepts.

I feel like these projects could be consolidated, merged into a single domain. I am thinking of merging

and calling it learntosolveit.com

And I am thinking of hosting http://xtoinfinity.com/ at senthil.learntosolveit.com setup the appropriate domain redirections.

Since these are writing projects, keeping them consolidated seem to make sense to me. Still wondering what the dis-advantages of this will be.

MyCodeSchool's Pointers in C and C++

To prepare for my next course with Introduction to Operating Systems I had to brush up my knowledge of C and C++.

I studied and worked through

I found a video series on Pointers in C, by mycodeschool that helped clarify a lot of concepts with Pointers in C. It started making me feel comfortable again. It is amazing to have resources like these when we are learning difficult concepts today.

Book Review - The Mysterious Affair At Styles

The Mysterious Affair At StylesThe Mysterious Affair At Styles by Agatha Christie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Agatha Christie won the bet my with my reading of the book too. I could not figure out the murderer or figure out the plot. It may be hard or impossible for the reader to find the plot as the information that is shared with is limited and more information is revealed as the plot is disclosed.

It was an enjoyable book with the variety of characters and it took me a to mid-century England for the hours I was reading this book.

Book Review: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Astrophysics for People in a HurryAstrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book. This is a very short book, to the point, and explains the universe in simple terms. What I didn't expect and was a surprise to me was the Author's humorous anecdotes, completely relevant to the present day reader inserted between the concepts in the pages.

For e.g. It was funny to know that behind US Govt which consumes Helium for military and research, the next second highest consumer of "Helium" was Macy's for it's Macy's day parade.

It was startling to know that life as we understand in any form, the single-celled organism has started in existence only the last 2% of the history of the universe. The universe is very very old, very very big.

Often there is a question on "Is there life elsewhere in the universe?" - The more I read these kinds of books, the more I realize that "There is life elsewhere in the universe. Highly likely. It is inevitable that either Earthians discover the other life forms, and they discover the Earthians. Also, the timeline of advancement, the calamities that are possible in next thousand years, humankind will, of course, take the ship, explore, and start settling in various other parts of the universe. Thinking like this doesn't sound like fiction to me.

It was a great book. I will start looking out for Neil DeGrasse Tyson from now.

Here are some excerpts that I noted from the book. This one is about Einstein, and the kind of impact he had in our understanding of the universe.

https://dl.dropbox.com/s/ua8m0eenypplx1j/astrophysics1.jpg?dl=0

And this one is about Spherical shape for any object that we may encounter in the universe.

https://dl.dropbox.com/s/0k0q7hzaokuf63j/astrophysics2.jpg?dl=0

Being Right vs Being Less Wrong

In any decision making, being right, getting things right seems intimidating. For human decisions, being right is debatable too. Being less wrong appears desirable and achievable. If a person is committed to non-perfectionist philosophy, then being less wrong falls right into his stride.

I stumbled upon the phrase Less Wrong from the blog lesswrong.com. In the FAQ section I discovered some insight into what tries to achieve.

... even smart people can be completely wrong but that most people are not even wrong.
It teaches you to be careful in what you emit and to be skeptical of what you receive.
It doesn't tell you what is right, it teaches you how to think and to become less wrong.
And to do so is in your own self interest ...

Project completion - Spastics Society of Karnataka website

I have been involved with Spastics Society Of Karnataka for more than 10 years. Today, we launched a new website for the organization. Please check this out http://spasticssocietyofkarnataka.org/

A bit of history

Let's use wayback machine to look at how this evolved.

  • When I inherited this project, the website looked like this in 2004. I don't remember the technology, but it was done by a volunteer by name Mr. Nagaraj. He transfered the hosting and domain from Net 4 India to us.
  • Then sometime in 2007 the website started looking like this - I don't remember the technology that I used. It seems I was using open source web design and looks like I hand-coded it.
  • In 2008, we moved entirely to Google Apps for Education - this was a great move. It facilitated online processing, official email ids, all our data in a single place. This was like migrating Spastics Society of Karnataka to the "Cloud". The website changed its look to this in 2008 using google sites.
  • The google sites website was not very pleasant looking. This time in 2013, I updated website to wordpress, and hosted on bluehost.com and our domains were migrated to Google Domains. The wordpress website also had accessibility features on changing font, style etc.

There was problem, wordpress is not the most secure of the software that is present today. We got hacked by chinese hackers who put up malware in our site. This wasn't good. I removed the phishing, and they could still get to us. This happened for 2 months and I felt a lack of control with wordpress.

  • We decided to shutdown and delete the wordpress site, and decided to rebuild it. For stop-gap, we directed people to Google Sites website
  • This stop gap solution lasted for more than a year because I did not want to rebuild it entirely with wordpress again.
  • In 2016, I decided to hand-code it using Bootstrap and Nikola and built this - This was hugely unappealing. It was extremely secure and trustworthy, but felt very unappealing to everyone.
  • In 2018, we decided to make a appealing website, and this time I went with a hosted service, wix.com. The result is what you see at http://spasticssocietyofkarnataka.org/

Features

This was a team effort. My friends Avinash and Nivedita got involved. We use Trello.com to track our tasks. From school Preethi, and Priya Madam and Sobha Madam got involved too. The website does not have bus-factor of 1 and this is an incredible feature.

The website was mostly done by Avinash. He cannot use his hands, and uses voice to operate his computer So this website was created using voice.

Simple theme, accessible on mobile and our google apps (cloud) still remain for forms, email and everything as it is convenient to manage.

I believe this change is going to help school further. Given what I have shared above, this project is a living entity, and will evolve with times.

Little Free Library

I set up a Little Free Library in front of my house. Excited to share the books with the San Ramon Community. I have to see how it plays out when the schools reopen.

https://dl.dropbox.com/s/hpt3jmvzdlxq6n1/Screenshot%202018-06-18%2010.58.54.png?dl=0