Skip to main content

Posts about blog (old posts, page 34)

#100DaysOfCode, Day 012 – Data Structures Video Refresher

Extremely tight and busy day today.
But still made the time to watch the videos for the next challenge in the course.
As a matter of fact, I think this is what I should do.
If I am in office, I ought to watch videos.
And spend the time at home when I can coding.

What videos?
The next little project they have involves data structure basics.
So today’s videos took me through lists and tuples and dictionaries.
And with this, I call it a day.

How to Stop Checking Your (My) Phone

As I battle my physical demons, the newsletter will probably be on this slightly off cadence as I struggle mightily throughout the week, thinking about what to write, failing and then at the last minute panicking and sharing a short snippet of something I love and enjoy.

LMP

I hope you do too :)

So where was I? Oh yea, my favourite personal development, web researcher, Mr. Barker has this to share on what the issue is with our minds and how we can all gain some perspective and a bit more happiness by not checking our phones ever so often.

From How To Stop Checking Your Phone: 4 Secrets From Research,

We’re not looking at the problem correctly. For starters:

You do not have a short attention span.
We have a “mind control” problem. But it’s not other people’s ability to control your mind. It’s your own.
We spend so much time trying to get others attention yet the true determinant of our happiness is where we direct our own.
So what do we do? Throw our phones in a wood chipper?

Well, I wouldn’t :) So what do we do?
We gain Attentional Control.
By strengthening the part of our brains called the Prefrontal Cortex (hereinafter referred to as the PFC), our thinking brain against the onslaughts of our lizard brain.

Here’s his 4 step plan in a nutshell.

1. Get your sleep. Get your exercise. Be healthy.

No sleep. PFC weak. That simple.
Even one round of exercise will improve your PFC strength.

2. Control your context.

Basically, what’s around you?
How is it that the phone slips into your hand and your thumbs go scrolling without you even realising it?
For me, I am a tech news junkie.
So if I am in a queue, or on the potty, or going to bed, I read!

And to fix that, I now rely on a simple trick I learnt in Atomic Habits.
Make any behaviour you want to encourage easier to do, and any behaviour you want to discourage harder to do.
So now, the news apps are not easily accessible, twitter is no longer installed, there are no notifications, and I have to type a complicated password to unlock the phone.
I am pleased to report, that while I am not completely cured, my consumption has dropped significantly.

3. Mindfulness

Well, this is my good habit!
Apparently it’s a good habit everyone should have.
Because, it is a superstrengthener of your PFC!
I even wrote a whole blog post about it.
Need I say more?

Well, I think Eric’s being a little sneaky here. When I look up, I see changes to mind, body and soul.
So in an even smaller nutshell, what he actually aims at is

4. Be the change, you want to see in yourself!

Once again, this is an idea I read in Atomic Habits.
The best way to sustain and build a habit?
By deciding that this is what I am like.
I hate exercise and physio, but I do it.
Why? Because I am a man with a broken back, who has learnt his lesson and wants to be healthy and pain free, and who exercises in order to stay that way.
I don’t stress about smoking.
Why? Because I am not a person who wants to ruin his life by being a smoker.
Vegetarians don’t stress about eating meat.
Why? Because they just don’t eat meat.

I decide, who I want to be :)
Like the old bon mot goes, It’s simple, not easy.
And it’s worth it.



P.S. Subscribe to my mailing list!
P.P.S. Feed my insatiable reading habit.


#100DaysOfCode, Day 011 – Quick and Dirty Web Page Download

Watched another Corey Schafer video on how to scrape web pages.
Thought that would be handy in my image from a web page download project.
Corey’s an awesome teacher. The video was fun and it taught me lots.

Then started hacking away at my little project.
And then realised that the site has rss feeds.
I could just process them instead of scraping a page.
Went looking for a quick way to do that.
Found the Universal Feed Parser.

Got the rss feed and am now playing with it.
That is all I had time for today.
But I learnt lots.
Will probably get back to the project on Wednesday.

Office beckons for the next two days.
Hope to keep up the streak by doing something productive though.

Today was fun!
Today was also the day, I realised, I actually love coding.
I have no clue how 4 hours passed me by!


#100DaysOfCode, Day 009 – The Collections Module

I cheated and peeked again at the solution :)
After five days, I think I needed help.
But it was still a very good day.
I learned lots.

When I started this little project, I saw videos about defaultdicts and namedtuples and then kinda forgot that they would be of some use to me in my project itself.
That realisation came yesterday.
Like they say, it happened very slowly and then all at once! I wrote up a quick workflow of how the program was supposed to work on paper.
And then I had a decisison to make.
Do I peek at the answer? or not?
In the end, I did.
I wanted confirmation of my thought process, and realised that if I was going to figure out the code itself, this would take much, much longer.
Besides, writing Python will come to me if I stick with this as I have been doing, so no guilt about copying code.

The instructors did solve the problem, exactly the way I envisioned it in my head :)
And the code, to my inexperienced fingers was tricky. (I don’t know lambdas or expressions in general and the instructor uses them liberally; a dictionary expression to populate a dict and a lambda to sort a list)
However I take small comfort in the fact, that I did, write one third of the code all by myself.
Just goes to show, how little fluency I have with the language.

But still! I am happy I got my thinking straight :)
Onwards!

#100DaysOfCode, Day 008 – The Collections Module

Finally feels like something is happening.
Did two hours today.

I don’t know if what I do is cheating, but I darn near print everything to see output and then iterate on the errors.

I understood how to work with csv files and process them and why ordered dictionaries can be useful.
I used that to process my csv file and read and print select fields.

Will work on sorting them somehow and figure out frequency based on ratings tomorrow.

Pleased with myself. Today was a good day!