One of my goals for this year is to work through Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (otherwise known as SICP, or the Wizard Book). It’s been on my radar for a while, and I’ve made a few aborted attempts in the past, but in my present state of being happily jobless I actually have enough spare time to give it the attention it deserves. As a form of preparation, I’ve already worked through The Little Schemer and The Seasoned Schemer. At the time of writing, I’m only part of the way through chapter 2 of SICP, so I still have a long way to go!
This is an idea for an alternative, much simpler, type of navigation tool for smartphones and tablets. Instead of the usual system where you have a map showing your current location and your destination, this would just have an arrow and a display of the distance.
In the last few years, I’ve started watching Formula One. I wouldn’t call myself a fanatic, but I do try and watch all the qualifying sessions and races on TV, and I find it a fascinating sport to follow. There are a number of people who claim that F1 is boring. I think what they mean when they say this is that there isn’t as much “wheel-to-wheel” action as there is in other types of motorsport, and that it’s not as exciting as other sports they might prefer watching, such as football or tennis. And they’re right. F1 races can become a bit of a procession sometimes, with the fastest car at the front all race and not much overtaking. (The recent Bahrain Grand Prix was a bit of an exception, with the lead changing hands several times, although no-one really doubted that it would be one of the Mercedes cars crossing the finish line first.)
The key to enjoying F1 is to realise that it’s not really a sport. It’s actually a global engineering competition, disguised as a sport.