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

Following a few other articles I’ve read recently about the “AI chip market,” techcrunch has an article, The AI chip startup explosion is already here.

“Courage doesn’t always roar.” I just found this image in a folder on one of my computers. I don’t remember where I took this photo, but I think I took it at a small restaurant in Boulder or Louisville, Colorado. The text comes from Mary Anne Radmacher.

Courage doesn’t always roar

“Most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

~ Steve Jobs

A well-said “Merry Christmas and Happy Monday” greeting by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Merry Christmas and Happy Monday

It’s going to be a white Christmas here in the Boulder/Broomfield, Colorado area, ho ho ho.

It’s going to be a White Christmas

From the back cover of, Two Zen Classics: The Gateless Gate (Mumonkan) and The Blue Cliff Records (Hekiganroku):

“Katsuki Sekida (1893–1987) was by profession a high school teacher of English until his retirement in 1945. Zen, nevertheless, was his lifelong preoccupation.”

Similarly, my work these days involves computer programming, and my preoccupation is Zen and meditation. Unless you’re willing to go live in a monastery, we all have to work to pay the bills, but that doesn’t mean we can’t practice.

“How can we prevent our thoughts from wandering? How can we learn to focus our attention on one thing?”

“The answer is that we cannot do it with our brain alone; the brain cannot control its thoughts by itself. The power to control the activity of our mind comes from the body, and it depends critically on posture and breathing.”

~ From the book, Zen Training, by Katsuki Sekida

Introduction: After a long hiatus, during the last week I finally got back into a consistent meditation routine. As usual, this helps me remember my dreams better, and to also have lucid dreams. Last night that combined with something else I had thought about casually recently: Wouldn’t it be nice to be young again, and if I was young again, what would I do differently?

Just added a few more lessons to “Hello, Scala” including tuples, Scala + Swing, and a complete little OOP example. Also started a Github repo for it.

If you ever wanted to use Scala with Java Swing classes (like JFrame, JTextArea, JScrollPane, etc.), the process is pretty seamless. Here’s an example of a simple Scala/Swing application where I show a text area in a JFrame:

When elephants see a human, their brain lights up in the same way a human’s brain lights up when they see a puppy.

If Functional Programming, Simplified seems large, a) I intentionally wrote it in a simple, leisurely style, and b) it’s a lot easier than reading hundreds of blog posts and all of those books on the right (although a few of those books are really good).

If Functional Programming, Simplified seems large ...

Brock Osweiler on the Denver Broncos quarterback situation, circa December, 2017: “There’s a lot of things that take place in this business that you can’t control,” Osweiler said. “And I think the sooner you learn that, the better mindset you’ll have toward situations like this. So I support whatever the front office decides, the coaches decide. I’m just here to work hard and play quarterback when my number is called.”

As a brief note about the Linux/Unix sed command, today I learned how to append multiple lines of text to an HTML (or XML) file on macOS. The short answer is that I created a sed commands file named changes.sed with these contents:

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service to others.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi

“We are who we protect, I think. What we stand up for.”

~ The Da Vinci Code

I use Gimp to work on images all the time, but I was just reminded of Inkscape as a free tool for drawing and illustrating.

“As a young teacher, I would sometimes complain about the kids. Then I awoke to the reality that I was the one who had to change, not them. It was only when I changed the way I viewed my students that the students themselves changed in front of me.”

Whenever I see a programming error, I try to imagine the circumstances behind it.

The old -0 error