Reading Sacha Chua’s blog post on testing what you know by sharing inspired me on how to practice some basic computer science skills I have not used much in a while but are very useful to have freshly in mind. I’ve been wanting to improve my computer algorithm knowledge skills for a while, but never got around to it, putting the task aside for “other important things”.
For a very basic start, an algorithm is a series of steps to accomplish something. A cooking recipe can be an algorithm for the dish, and like every recipe, there are several ways to make the same dish.
See, that wasn’t hard to explain at all! I hope the rest comes as easy as this one.
By sharing what I learn here in my blog, I will need to comprehend fully the concepts to write them down and I will also be practicing my programming skills, keeping a log of my notes for future reference and sharing with other people interested in the topic. Hopefully I will get comments with better ways to explain this concepts or better code examples. So this looks like a win-win situation for everyone.
By the way, if you want to read a fun blog with a mixture of cooking recipes (or algorithms) and politics, check out Tacos and Politics.
As I’ve mentioned on previous posts, I recently got an android phone. And I don’t say “smartphone” because I had a Nokia N95, which was considered a “smartphone” back around 2007 or so. But this phone is different. Ever since the BlackBerry and the iPhone got out and then the Android OS devices, the small device in your pocket was no longer “just a phone”.
I know, I’m VERY late to write about this topic as if it was today’s novelty. The fact is that at the time of this writing, not everyone yet has joined the mobile computing world. I would like to share some of the things I’ve been using my phone, for others who, like me, are joining late the smartphone world.
So, for those who are still thinking on getting a smartphone, and wondering what’s the big deal or the big buzz around the topic, here are three basic ideas that I’ve found out after I got my android device:
Your device is not a phone, its a pocket computer.
That’s the first paradigm I noticed to be a big shift. What’s the big deal about it? Well, you can install and create lots of applications that you can use as entertainment, but specially to assist you on the go. You would never have on your desktop/laptop an application to split the restaurant tab, or remind you your grocery list, or aided with GPS and accelerometers to track your exercises. Its a different kind of computing you’ll be experiencing.
Your device is an extension of your desktop/laptop.
With applications like Chrome2Phone, you can easily extend what you’re doing on your computer to your mobile device. I sometimes search for an address on my computer browser, since the normal keyboard is more comfortable, and use this app to send the map to my phone, so I can use it on the road to get to my destination. Once I traveled to Mexico city for 7 days and did not used my laptop at all! Games, browsing, socializing, were all done from my phone (I did no programming those days, I was on vacations).
Your device is an extension of your memory and yourself.
Having a computer in you pocket handy for whenever you need it and packed with applications for many uses, you can have a better control of your time and tasks. Your to-do list, your calendar, your contacts, your social network notifications, your camera, all this in real-time sync with the online world and your computer can help you not miss anything, from attending a meeting, tracking your health or saving a moment through a video or photo and immediately sharing it to get real-time feedback.
For those who have already been in the mobile computing era for a while, what has been your experience? How has your life changed since you got your smartphone?