Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I decided to major in computer science based on my experiences programming in high school. At the time I was writing pretty simple, low level programs designed to do small tasks to illustrate whatever we were learning about. When I got to college and started looking at the theory and math behind the code, or was faced with gigantic programs (or my peers) I quickly became uninterested. I still really enjoyed writing little code snippets but since that isn't actually what being a computer scientist is I wasn't very into it.

Recently though, I stumbled across this blog post by the guy who writes xkcd about how he learned Python by doing a series of math problems from Project Euler. These problems are exactly what I enjoyed about coding in the first place, and they're math problems. I enlisted the help of my friend Kevin and we've been working through the first few. Right now I'm attempting to calculate the sum of all prime numbers less than 2,000,000 - the fact that my program has been working for almost 25 minutes tells me that I've done something poorly.

These things have thus far been very entertaining and getting more difficult so with 230 or so problems for me to do (I've done nine so far) I imagine I'll have plenty to keep me amused.

Since I inherited my father's record player I've decided to start a record collection. Laura got me started on my birthday with Tom Waits' album Blood Money and I ordered Something to Write Home About by The Get Up Kids, Boys & Girls in America by The Hold Steady, and Reconstruction Site by The Weakerthans.

I've thus far only received the Weakerthans record but I've had a lot of fun playing it and Blood Money. Something about the physical aspect of playing the record makes listening to the music a lot more pleasureable. The Hold Steady is in the mail from England and The Get Up Kids isn't relased until the 17th. I've also heard from Spoony that he bought me a record for my birthday that is in the mail but I have no idea what it is.

Friday night I went to the Pour House with 10 ish friends to celebrate my birthday. I like the Pour House because the music is loud and enjoyable (i.e. cheesy 80's and 90's hits) and the beer is big and cheap. Even though we ended the night early I had a really good time and was happy to see everyone.

Sunday morning Lisa and I did a 16 mile run to the bottom of Heartbreak and back to my house. Neither one of us felt very good for the first 8 miles but once we turned around and started back up the hill we both began to feel a lot stronger. By the time we were at the top of Heartbreak I was feeling great and we ended up running the last four miles faster than the previous 12. This run gave me a lot of confidence that my training has thus far been going very well.

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