Alvin Alexander | Java, Scala, Unix, Perl, Mac OS X

My free Back To Now app is now available for iOS and Android devices. For more details, see our blog post on the Valley Programming website.

Hatcher Pass, Alaska, October 20, 2010.

Hatcher Pass, Alaska

“Train people well enough so they can leave; treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

~ Richard Branson

“Better to be on the edge of a party, don’t you think?” Good line, great movie.

Better to be on the edge of a party, don’t you think?

ADN.com has this nice list of things to do in Anchorage, Alaska on New Year’s Eve.

Back on December 31, 2010, I was trying to make my way to Seward, Alaska, but had a problem with icy roads, and couldn’t find chains to fit my tires, so after a few hours I finally gave up on the trek and stopped in a hotel in Anchorage. They started the fireworks at 5 or 6pm (because of the whole darkness thing), and various shows went on all night, which was pretty cool. Happy New Year’s Eve!

Functional Programming, Simplified — 4.5-star rated on Amazon — is now available in three formats:

PDF Format
$25 on Gumroad.com
(sale price)

PDF version of Functional Programming, Simplified

Paperback Book
$39.99 on Amazon
 

Print version of Functional Programming, Simplified

Kindle eBook
$29.99 on Amazon
 

Kindle version of Functional Programming, Simplified

I worked on some tools and processes today, so sometime soon we should have PDF, EPUB, and MOBI versions of “Scala Book” available.

Linux/Unix FAQ: Can you share some Linux find command examples?

Sure. The Unix/Linux find command is very powerful. It can search the entire filesystem to find files and directories according to the search criteria you specify. Besides using the find command to locate files, you can also execute other Linux commands (grep, mv, rm, etc.) on the files and directories you find, which makes find extremely powerful.

Amelia: How do you feel about me now?

Nick: I fell in love with you the first time I saw you — that’s crazy. I didn’t even know you, it was just this idea of you. And then ... it just wasn’t what I thought.

[Then he says something about the way she kisses, and she slaps him.]

Amelia: Hey. I’m not an idea of a person. I’m an actual person.

[She walks away.]

~ from New Girl

Season 2, Episode 3 of New Girl is titled “Fluffer,” and without getting into the details, it reminds me that I ended two friendships for the same “fluffer” reason, I just didn’t know there was a name for it.

When watching the Limitless tv series, I always wondered what the CJC was. I know it’s supposed to be some sort of FBI office in New York, but I thought they never explained what “CJC” stands for. Then today, when I had the fourth episode playing while I was doing dishes, I saw that CJC stands for Cross Jurisdictional Command, as shown in this image.

Update: After a little more research, I’ve read that the CJC is a fictional office, meaning that there really is no such thing as a CJC office in New York city.

(In slightly-related news, Limitless is also one of my favorite tv series that lasted only one season.)

Limitless tv series: What is the CJC?

The best advice I’ve gotten for practicing mindfulness meditation while not sitting in meditation – i.e., in active meditation – is to make something of a game of it. When I wash the dishes it’s like, “How deep can I get while I wash these dishes?” Or when talking to another person, you both put down the cellphones and think, “Okay, we’re both here right now, how much can we focus only on each other and be here in this moment while we talk? How deep can we go?”

I was reminded of this when I read this line recently: “Finally, I got it! The menial tasks I had been assigned to around the temple were meant to be an exercise in meditation. Whatever I was doing, my job was to try to stay in samadhi.”

(That quote comes from the book, The Science of Meditation.)

“The whole essence of Zen consists in walking along the razor’s edge of Now.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

Having lived with many great dogs (and a couple of cats), I just orded this book by Eckhart Tolle. The few pages I can see on the Amazon preview look great. It looks to be more about “mindfulness” and “spirituality” than “religion,” which suits me well. I’m looking forward to it.

Eckhart Tolle, Guardians of Being: Spiritual Teachings from Our Dogs and Cats

The bad news is that I have the flu. The good news is that I’ve watched the first 25 episodes of New Girl (though I wasn’t conscious for all of them, and I’m not sure what happened to Coach).

I haven’t binge-watched anything like this since I had a bad infection after having my gallbladder removed.

One small step for me, and I don’t know if it will help mankind at all. But Hello, Scala is now called Scala Book, and you can find it here on scala-lang.org.

“I have never been forced to accept compromises, but I have willingly accepted constraints.”

~ Charles Eames

This is a view of the Rocky Mountains that are west and south of Boulder, Colorado. The apartment I lived in was located in the south/west area of Broomfield. There was actually a sign on the street in front of the apartments that said, “Welcome to Superior,” but somehow my apartment was in Broomfield.

The Rocky Mountains, west and south of Boulder, Colorado

Dart Isolates give you a way to perform real multi-threading in Dart applications, the ability to truly run code on another thread. (For more information on that statement, see Dart futures are NOT run in a separate thread.)

When I first read that Isolates were like actors I was very interested in them, but then I was surprised to see that (IMHO) they are implemented in a more low-level/primitive way than something like the Akka Actors library. (The entrepreneur out there might see this as an opportunity to create an Akka-like port for Dart and Flutter.)

For a long time I thought it was enough to know about something spiritual, but it wasn’t necessary to feel it. For instance, I’ve known about impermanence on an intellectual level, but to experience it in your bones, that’s the difference between a finger pointing at the Moon and the Moon itself. Robin Williams spoke eloquently about this difference on the park bench in Good Will Hunting.

Another topic is desire. There’s a Buddhist monk vow that says, “Desires are endless, I vow to conquer them all.” I’m not a Buddhist monk — I dropped out of monk school because of things like cookies, margaritas, sex, and love (not to mention pain) — but recently I had the very direct feeling of desire, and it finally occurred to me that if I don’t get past it, it will still be affecting my life in 2020, 2024, and if you believe in multiple lifetimes, I’ll still be dealing with it then.

It blew me away that this feeling is thousands of miles beyond simply knowing that I have that desire. For me it’s like the distance between (a) knowing that there are glaciers in Alaska vs (b) being right there and seeing and hearing the calving.

Editor’s note: “Desire” can be cookies, margaritas, etc. — anything where there is “want” with attachment.