This year so far has been tough.
I thought I would have read around 10 books by now but I'm barely half that mark. Most of the books are mostly fiction, but at least I've got some variety this time. The books I've completed so far are:
- 'The Worthing Saga' by Orson Scott Card: This is a really interesting read, although I disagree with what I think is the core message of this book. This is that someone has to suffer so that they can enjoy life fully, otherwise their lives are empty.
- 'Deep Work' by Cal Newport: This has to be the best book I've read this year. It will be even better if I can manage to put the advice in this book into practice. It explains the concept of concentrating on one's work and the advantages it adds to one's life. This concept comes with various examples of people that have applied deep work in their practice to successful extents.
- 'The Princess Bride' by William Goldman: The feel-good-book of the year. The story just flows and its told in a weird way where the author occassionally adds commentary to provide context or sometimes give spoilers in the book.
- 'Lauren Ipsum' by Carlos Bueno: This book is aimed at kids but is really awesome. Its various puns and analogies to computers were really cool.
- 'The Great Hunt (Wheel of Time Book 2)' by Robert Jordan: This series does get really interesting in book 2. The first book was a bit dull but this picks up the pace to tell a great tale of the Dragon.
Some books I've started reading but yet to complete are:
- 'LearnYouAHaskell' by Miran Lipovaka: Decided to learn a purely functional language after getting through some chapters of Mostly Adequate. I'm barely done with the third chapter and I'm reall liking this way of thinking.
I haven't blogged as much as I thought I would this year. Basically the idea was to blog on what I was doing so that it acts a means of documentation for my future self. I find it easier to read my own words especially when its from a concept I had forgotten about. The good thing is I have a lot of new things I've learned, so I really need to pull up my pants. Some topics I've really got into include:
- Functional programming: Not sure of what to do, but I think I'll look for a pet project that I can implement using haskell.
- Model Predictive Control and Advanced Control: These are some really dope units I'm doing in my Master's program. Its mostly theoretical, but I have to find something practical to use these in. I mean, just thinking about these concepts puts a smile to my face.
- Hybrid Energy Systems: This is what I want to focus on for my Masters' thesis though I'm still looking for a gap here.
For the comic site, I just realized my art isn't that good. I think this has to do with self-bias, where immediately after drawing something, I looked at it and saw that it was good. But months later (when the feeling of achievement has waned), I look at them objectively and I'm shocked that I found them good. I've been looking at various videos and trying to practice. This is something I intend to become better at.
I'm also in my second semester for masters in Mechatronics Engineering. The course work is pretty interesting but difficult. The killer feature though is the research work, more specifically the research proposal. This becomes more impossible with every passing day especially finding a viable gap. I had some things I really wanted to get into, so I started digging in and reading papers. I ended up (still do) frustrated and angry at myself because I mostly couldn't understand these papers. And when I finally get a paper I somehow understand, I can't find any gap to fill. This has been going on for the past three months and its maddenning. I've thought that there must be a better way to do this, but this is the process my institution takes. I get my own gap, and write a proposal around it (with barely any feedback or help). So right now I'm just shooting in the dark and hoping something comes up.
For personal projects, Mradi is coming up nicely. Development has slowed down though in recent months. Hopefully I will manage to finish this product soon. I also started working on some financial tool called Staafu. It should basically help one plan for retirement by maximizing investments and reducing risks.