2009 Programming Language Plan

:: programming, racket, clojure, common lisp, haskell, lisp, logo, ruby, scheme, sml

Update 11/23/2020: The ultimate winner for my primary programming language was Racket.

Background

The 2008 Programming Language Plan didn’t go as well as I hoped, so I’m regrouping for another go at it. I did make progress learning some Logo and teaching it to my daughters, and I worked through seven chapters of “Programming in Haskell” which was very enjoyable, but I also spent way too much time trying to decide which language(s) to learn without actually learning them.

Ubuntu Linux 8.04 – Wake on LAN

:: linux, network, ruby, sysadmin, utility

Now that I’ve switched to a Macbook Pro with OSX Leopard as my primary desktop, I’ve located my Ubuntu machine in another part of the house to be accessible to my children. Not wanting to walk to the room where it’s located just to flip the power switch, I researched how to get “wake on LAN” working, so I could power it up remotely.

Nice Fonts for GNU Emacs on Ubuntu Linux

:: emacs, linux, lisp

UPDATE 12/24/08: This article is now out of date. I just installed Ubuntu 8.10, and getting Emacs with nice fonts is now much easier:

  1. Install the emacs-snapshot-gtk package
  2. Edit ~/.Xresources to have Emacs.font: Bitstream Vera Sans Mono–10
  3. xrdb -merge ~/.Xresources

Beware of LEGO Mindstorms NXT on Mac OSX

:: programming, technology, mac, robotics

I recently installed the software that came with a LEGO Mindstorms NXT kit onto a Mac Mini running OSX 10.4. I was somewhat concerned when the install program prompted me for an admin password, so I attempted to install the software into a directory in my home directory instead of the main Applications directory, but it still prompted for an admin password. Since LEGO is a large reputable company, I gave them the benefit of the doubt and figured the admin password may have been necessary to install Bluetooth drivers or some other feature. I should’ve learned a lesson from the Sony root kit debacle with respect to blindly trusting large corporations. In the Sony case, maliciousness was involved, in the LEGO Mindstorms case, I think only incompetence is to blame.