Monthly Archives: October 2005

Starting to think like a Computer Scientist

I am in day 2 of programming school and am working my way through "How to Think Like a Computer Scientist" (python edition) by Downey, Elkner and Meyers.  This book’s available for *free* as in free beer.  It’s well written and fun to read.

Learning to think like a computer scientist is practical.  In the author’s words: "The single most important skill for a computer scientist is problem solving. Problem solving means the ability to formulate problems, think creatively about solutions, and express a solution clearly and accurately."

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Learning to Program

At work, I am a manager, and the truth is that I’ve always been a little bit embarrased that I don’t really know how to do so many of the things that the people for whom I work do–especially, program.  I’ve been working with computers since my Dad got me my first Zenith Z-148 (an IBM XT Clone)  The catch is that I’ve always been content to be a user–working with the programs that others created–learning them, getting a sense of what’s possible.  And even many programs are worlds onto themselves–feature upon feature–tapped and untapped potential.  But somehow I think I am capable of being more than a user–I think I can learn how to program.  I don’t expect it to be an easy road, but I’ve taken the first step of asking for help and my friends Anders, Eric, and Jonah have all responded enthusiastically.  Why am I undertaking this project?

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High Quality Spam

Spam1This morning I got a notice from Chase Bank that my account had been accessed from a different location.  Could I please go to their website and verify my identity?  Considering I that I haven’t banked at Chase in at least 5 years it seemed a wee bit suspicious.  My gut told me it was spam, but what did the message itself tell me?
The source code concealed as much as it revealed, but my inquiry showed me how these new fangled criminals cover their tracks.

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