Hello, again!

It has been a long time since I blogged here, so here is a quick update:

  • Coffee is still as important to me as it was, but I no longer forget to consume it as part of my daily routine.
  • I still struggle with typing. I have tried several different keyboards over the past 3 years, including the Microsoft Ergonomic 4000 (of which I have gone through 3), the Cooler Master Rapid-i tenkeyless, which I got recently, and the Logitech K400r.
  •  I have been constantly reminded of Julia sporadically over the years, as people experiment with it, and as the tooling and support for Julia has gotten better over. The second JuliaCon is going to be held in Cambridge, Mass this month. I have not experimented with Julia since the time the last blog post mentioning Julia was written on this blog.
  • I still struggle with the pros and cons of multiple computing devices, and over the last 3 years, smartphones have only added to that struggle. I now own 4 (!) laptops, 2 mobile phones, and a (defunct) desktop PC. 3 of the 4 laptops now run Ubuntu (14.04, 14.10 and 15.04 (!)), and the other one runs Windows 7. One of my phones runs Android Lollipop, and the other runs Windows 8.1 (looking forward to the Windows 10 update).
    I constantly forget which machines I have updated and which ones contain a particular piece of software. I have myriad unwritten rules about which machines are to be used for what, but most of those are compromised in favor of just doing what is most convenient.
  • I did buy the domain, and set up a new blog on that page, but that blog never contained anything interesting at all, and I eventually shut it down, but not before it was auto-renewed for a year, and I vowed to use it for something productive, but didn’t.
  • I never got anywhere with OCaml or F# or any of the other functional programming languages that I wanted to learn at that point. I don’t think I ever tried after writing that blog post.
  • I did end up investing a fair amount of effort in learning how to, and maintaining a couple of R and Python package projects. They are not terribly complex, but it was helpful to understand the process of package creation, documentation, and distribution. For those who are looking to create R packages, even though RStudio makes packaging R code extremely simple, might benefit from Hadley Wickham’s excellent new book R Packages.
  • I completely abandoned trying to work with Matlab or Octave since I discovered NumPy and I even thought about translating the best known example of the use of Matlab — Andrew Ng’s machine learning course on Coursera —  using NumPy and SciPy, but have not gotten around to it yet.
  • I would say that I am better at R than I used to be. I will leave it at that. I did manage to do a lot of work that integrates C++ code with R using Rcpp.
  • I never took up the work on understanding reinforcement learning and dynamic programming, even though I have had problems that I could potentially solve using those methods.

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