Minority Opinions

Not everyone can be mainstream, after all.

Archive for November 2011

Languages I’ve Learned: Experimental Phase

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Somehow, I had learned at least ten programming languages before attending college.  However, some of them were very limited in scope, and not all of them have endured.  That’s even more true of the next batch, all learned within my first two years at a major university.
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Written by eswald

29 Nov 2011 at 11:36 pm

Posted in Technology

Languages I’ve Learned: The Early Years

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Somehow, it has failed to surprise me to learn a new programming language in a week.  Once the fact was pointed out, I figured it might have been from the sheer number of languages I’ve seen.  I won’t claim to be able to program in all of them, particularly not without a manual, nor do I still use many, but I’m familiar with over thirty.

These are, as nearly as I can recall, the first ten that I learned, listed in roughly chronological order.

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Written by eswald

22 Nov 2011 at 6:02 am

Posted in Technology

The Unfriendly Nod

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I’m not much for words.  Writing is hard enough, but speaking is almost unnatural to me.  It usually takes me some time to get warmed up, even at the best of times.  That’s probably why I’ve taken to a casual nod and smile as a form of greeting.  Most people respond in kind, but a very few do so in a very off-putting way.

I nod downward.  The gesture is probably derived from bowing, through hat-tipping, to a much less formal culture.  It’s a gesture of acknowledgement, respect, friendship, or sometimes thanks.

There are those, however, who nod upward.  Perhaps it’s even more casual, yet I receive it even while passing a total stranger on a path.  Worse is that it reminds me of looking down the nose.  Instead of friendliness, it connotes contempt.  Instead of a smile, a sneer.

Perhaps that’s just me.  A few of the most contemptuous people I know have nodded upward at me, and my dislike of them may be rubbing off on anyone with similar behavior.  Or perhaps it really is meant, at least by certain users, to assert superiority.  I’ve seen at least two cases where such posturing overlaid an overinflated ego, partly based on skills that, when push came to shove, were eventually proven inferior to my own.

The resentment, of course, is purely personal.  I know I need to let go of negative feelings derived from inconsequential events; I’m partly writing this for the potential catharsis.  It needs to be public, though, for the off chance that it can reach someone who has been unwittingly hostile.  If even one person starts nodding downward instead of upward, and does so in a situation where another could have felt the same way I have, then the world will be a better place.

Written by eswald

8 Nov 2011 at 9:05 pm

Posted in Lifestyle

Apple Opinions

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I was offered a few Empire apples this week.  They were billed as similar to Braeburn, but a little more tart.  In this I was not disappointed; either variety could easily be my second favorite, though Braeburn might still have a slight edge for lacking the acid aftertaste that makes me crave something heavier.  In that respect, the Empire reminds me of Fuji apples, but sweeter.

My absolute favorite, at least so far, remains the Cameo.  I’m surprised, then, that the Cameo owes its heritage partly to the Red Delicious, my least favorite of the apples popular enough to have come my way.  It must be the influence of the Golden Delicious on its firmness and flavor.

I have a friend who once tried to convince me that Red Delicious were the best apples of all.  They certainly seem to be the most popular.  I still can’t understand it; they simply seem mushy to me, and the red veins inside aren’t appetizing.  In my poorer days, I was happy enough with the Gala apples that were just as cheap, but I’ve become a bit more discriminating with increased budget.  Sadly, the kid-related expenses may curtail future experimentation.

Written by eswald

1 Nov 2011 at 9:10 pm

Posted in Food