What a Difference Four Months Makes...

My second year of University has been wildly more productive and interesting than my first, by far. First year taught me how to try to pass exams, while second year gave me material I wanted to know, bypassing the need for a lot of pointless memorization. But it’s been more than that. Some things have become second nature now, completely. I’ve acquired new skills that I feel like I’ve always had.

From school:

  • I built a compiler (from a subset of C to a subset of MIPS machine language) that taught me the basics of how all compilers work.
  • I hand-wrote 1000 lines each of MIPS and Motorola 68000 assembly language, and I now feel like C is too high-level.
  • I learned exactly how circuits and magnetics work, which is oddly more relevant to guitars, audio equipment and synthesis than computers.
  • I learned how to interpret statistics and run unbiased studies.
  • I learned how to mathematically prove that a piece of code should do something.

From a measly four months of school, I feel like I’ve matured years and learned much more than I should.

But wait, there’s so much more!

  • I redesigned, compressed, minified and beautified my own homepage.
  • I started living more and more online – using Twitter, Last.fm, Posterous, Evernote, Soundcloud and countless other online services to provide me with a ridiculous amount of instant information wherever I am. (Having the web on my iPhone helps a lot too.)
  • I became a proud vim and git user.
  • I’ve linked up and consolidated my online emails and notification accounts such that if anybody wants to get in touch, I know instantly. (thank you, push on iPhone!)
  • I learned best coding practices and have open-sourced a handful of useful projects so far.
  • I’ve had more than 11,000 plays of my songs on bandcamp, with more than 600 album downloads.
  • Learned to cook. (Somewhat.)

Next term, I’ve got a handful of coding projects lined up, but my one goal is to write and release a new album by May. This will be fun.