Tag Archives: IT

Twenty good IT links to make you smarter

Here are some good links I have been collecting over time on IT that are still worth reading. They cover AI, the IOT, containers, and more. Enjoy!

  1. How to build a supercomputer with Raspberry Pis: Fun!
  2. 6 things I’ve learned in my first 6 months using serverless: Good stuff for serverless fans
  3. Building a serverless website in AWS: More good serverless stuff
  4. The Strange Birth and Long Life of Unix: A really good history of Unix. Well written.
  5. Spring Boot Memory Performance: If you use springboot, this is worth your while
  6. The end of windows: Anything that stratechery puts out is good, including this
  7. Dockerize a Spring Boot application: Speaking of springboot, this is useful
  8. Building a Deep Neural Network to play FIFA 18: A fascinating example of using AI to play games
  9. ThinkPad 25th Anniversary Edition : A great commemoration of a fine computer
  10. GitHub Is Microsoft’s $7.5 Billion Undo Button: A good piece on the story behind this investment by Microsoft
  11. Circuito.io: Want to build circuits, but don’t know how. This killer site is for you.
  12. Effie robot claims to do all your ironing: If you like robots and hate ironing, this could be for you.
  13. How To Install and Use TensorFlow on Ubuntu 16.04: For AI fans
  14. Set up a firewall on Ubuntu: Another good tutorial from Digital Ocean
  15. Not even IBM is sure where its quantum computer experiments will lead: For IBM Quantum fans
  16. In an Era of ‘Smart’ Things, Sometimes Dumb Stuff Is Better: Why analog is sometimes better.
  17. A simple neural network with Python and Keras: A good way to dabble with NNs
  18. The Talk: A comic which wonderfully explains quantum computing
  19. Use case diagrams: For those who like UML
  20. Eating disorder and social media: Wired has a good piece on how people avoid controls
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The problem with carpentry and how it differs from IT

It is near impossible to learn how to do carpentry from either books or the Internet. I know because I’ve tried really hard.

Let’s say you decide you no longer want to buy bookcases from Ikea but you want to make you own. You decide a book case is simply a box and decide you want to learn how to make a box with a few tools and some simple instructions.

If you go search for help with your box, you may very likely come across instructions like this: www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to-plans/how-to/g1591/how-to-make-a-box/

It makes assumptions that you have lots of tools and you can do hard things like cut joints. After a few hours of searches, you will find most sites are like this: tailored to woodworkers making wood pieces that are hard to do and not anything near modern looking.

IT is different. For any technology out there, you can search for the name of the technology and “tutorial” and find something. You can be up and running using the technology in the time it takes you to give up looking for carpentry skills.

I am not sure why that is. Maybe there is more interest in IT so there are more tutorials on it. You could argue carpentry is harder but I have done both and I disagree.

I especially disagree because there is one site I could that actually does make it easy to make furniture and that is Ana White’s. Because of her I have made a wide range of furniture with basically a hammer, a jigsaw and a drill. The furniture isn’t fancy but it was cheaper and better and as modern looking as Ikea.

I think that is a problem with a lot of woodworking sites. They assume you want to do fine woodworking. Find woodworking is fine, but for people starting out, they likely want to make a simple table, a bookcase or set of shelves, perhaps a storage chest. A good joint may be best, but most Ikea furniture is held together with dowels and screws. If you make a book case with dowels and screws and glue, it will last and hold lots of books.

I wish there were more introductory sites on the internet that help people who wanted to learn how to make furniture and do carpentry, like there is with IT. Right now all I have found is Ana White’s site. I highly recommend it.

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A gift idea for older geeks in your life: Vintage Computer Punch Cards

Yep. You can get them here:  Vintage Computer Punch Cards for Sale — Online Store & Gift Shop

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Are the new iPhones more expensive than ever?

That’s been a question I have been asking myself for some time. I felt like the price just keeps going up. And if you read articles like this, it’s easy to conclude it’s true.

But here’s some numbers on the least expensive models over time, taken from this:

iPhone (4GB): $499
iPhone 3G (8GB): $599
iPhone 3GS (16GB): $599
iPhone 4 (16GB): $599
iPhone 4S (16GB): $649
iPhone 5 (16GB): $649
iPhone 5s (16GB): $649
iPhone 6 (16GB): $649
iPhone 6 Plus (16GB): $749
iPhone 6s (16GB): $649
iPhone 6s Plus (16GB): $749
iPhone 7 (32GB): $649
iPhone 7 Plus (32GB): $769
iPhone 8 (64GB): $699
iPhone 8 Plus (64GB): $799
iPhone X (64GB): $999

Looking at that, I have to think that the phones are getting more expensive, but likely they have always been that way. (And note, this doesn’t account for inflation or the improved quality of the phones, including greater storage.)

Occasionally Apple will make a cheaper phone like the 5C or the SE that are essentially remixes of older models. Or they will continue to support a wider range of phones, like continuing to sell the 7, the 8, and now the X. But it seems the high end was never inexpensive and likely never will be.

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My favorite tutorial on setting up a Raspberry Pi


Is this Setting up Raspbian (and DOOM!) – learn.sparkfun.com

Not only will you be up and running with a working Raspberry Pi, but you can also play a limited version of the original Doom!

Very fun for old Doom afficianatos like myself.

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Stratechery: a great site you should read

First off, what is it? It’s this, via the About section of the site:

Stratechery provides analysis of the strategy and business side of technology and media, and the impact of technology on society. Weekly Articles are free, while three Daily Updates a week are for subscribers only.

Recommended by The New York Times as “one of the most interesting sources of analysis on any subject”, Stratechery has subscribers from over 85 different countries, including executives in both technology and industries impacted by technology, venture capitalists and investors, and thousands of other people interested in understanding how and why the Internet is changing everything.

Everything I’ve read on it has been insightful and in depth, including this piece on IBM and the acquisition of Red Hat.

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OpenShift vs OpenStack: what’s the difference?

From OpenShift Origin vs OpenStack – Red Hat OpenShift Blog:

OpenStack provides “Infrastructure-as-a-Service”, or “IaaS”….

The OpenShift hosted service provides “Platform-as-a-Service” or “PaaS”. It provides the necessary parts to quickly deploy and run a LAMP application:

Concisely:

  • OpenStack = IaaS
  • OpenShift = PaaS