Tonight, we got the keys.
A few toys have crossed my path lately, and it might be worth pointing to a few. Some might serve as the basis for some cool student projects or parts of classroom experiences.
A mechanical computer from Evil Mad Scientist labs. A definite possibility for a computer organization course.
A tiny Android computer-in-a-box. Useful for plugging into a projector to demo Android apps… but, of course, you have no accelerometer. Still, cute. Perhaps in an OS course?
The Parallella from Adapteva.
A no-brainer; this is a 16-core device (with a 64-core on the way) that we could run occam-pi on. This could definitely be a board for use in an organization course or an operating systems course. This would be a processor for which we could definitely build an Arduino-esque occam-pi board.
Neither here nor there, but I really like this icon set.
Like many, I backed this campaign. Given that I have two courses on Android programming this term, perhaps I’ll turn some students loose on developing something awesome for it.
I’m currently a backer; I think the theme is “cool Android devices I could use in my classroom.” Hack in some App Inventor support, and you’ve got a really neat device for introducing game programming to students.
A high-performance Android-in-a-window experience. Works on Mac and Windows… and, surprisingly, presents itself as an emulator to App Inventor.
I really, really need to block time into my next semester for writing every week. Or hacking code. Either way, I have a research project that won’t go anywhere if I don’t make the time. And, I can guarantee that no one else will make that time for me.
If I have any desire to ever use the concurrency.cc tools for ongoing work, they need to be updated.
In the end, I’m most interested in working on the book.
Time. Where does it go?
Two articles that I caught in the feed reader: Whose bug is this anyway?!? and Redis Crashes. Both are great “war stories” about bugs in software, and the process that is involved in tracking them down. I’m thinking I need to find spaces to have students read more of these stories, so that they get a sense of what kind of hard work is necessary to be successful.
And, related to success, Why Won’t Anyone Talk To Me? digs into the current state of affairs regarding the recruiting market for CS grads.
Without the school or the job history, your best bet is going to be to do some side projects. Writing an iPhone or Android app is easy – it just takes an idea, some determination, and the ability to work through a tutorial book one chapter at a time. Alternatively, you could get involved in an open-source project. For example, Linux Kernel Newbies is a good place to start if you want to get involved in Linux development (I guarantee you, being a Linux kernel or Apache project contributor with merged diffs will catch a recruiter’s eye). There are plenty of options, but the key is that you have to finish something, ideally multiple somethings, in a public way (e.g., published in an app store).
Again, required reading for our students. And, for us as faculty: I need to be thinking about what kinds of opportunities I can help create for my students (in and out of class) that will help them move towards success.
I’ve written roughly 800 blog posts since 2002, but only four in 2011. The last post I wrote in 2011 was in May, meaning I wrote zero posts during the 2011-2012 academic year. However, I think it is important to have a place to write and explore ideas, if nothing else to model this communication medium for my students. That, and a lot of jadud.com was out of date, so the move to Berea College is as good an excuse as any to reboot.
When I have the time, I’ll clean up the 800+ posts from years past and bring them back into an archive; for now, they’re in the repository, waiting.