Week 5 at Recurse Center

I am going to do something new from this week. Well, it’s not completely new since I used to do it in my last job. I am going to write my weekly goals so that they are documented and I can always see the path I have taken compared to the goals I set at the start of the week.

Day 1: Started reading about distributed systems from Distributed Systems for Fun and Profit. Got introduced to the Raft consensus algorithm through this amazing visualization called The Secret Lives of Data.

Started reading on how to write a debugger. The Beginner’s Guide is a great starting point. That also made me curious about the lifetime of a C program and what happens at the linker stage. Another Beginner’s Guide to Linker was a great resource.

Also continuing making notes from the Hardware-Software Interface. Now things have started to get interesting as I am learning about ISA and assembly.

The motivation of this week’s exploration of system side is this brilliant zine on debugging by Julia Evans and my lingering curiosity of what-happens-when-a-c-program-runs.

Day 2: Went through a two-part article called Hello from a libc-free world. Went through an hour long go tutorial.

Day 3: Went through the Hardware Software Interface tutorial. I am now assembly literate which means that I can read a little bit of assembly and understand what that thing is doing. I also wrote a blog post about the NoteRanger. Tried to solve crazy bit manipulation problems given in lab1 of the Hardware Software Interface tutorial.

Day 4: Continued with the Hardware Software Interface tutorial. Tried some more crazy bit manipulation problems. Resumed going through How Debuggers work.

Week 5 at Recurse Center

Week 4 at Recurse Center

Day 1: Labour day holiday. Was out most of the day. No work.

Day 2: Got the first cut of a toy information retrieval system working. Calling it NoteRanger. I started reading the book here. I started taking notes in mark-down following the suggestions made by David. I also took his search-the-notes system. But I am generating the index in C++. For now I am using his JS code to query, but I plan to write my own version there as well.

Did warm-up today, did code-dojo today. Ivo explained briefly how he wrote an IRC server to me. Continuing the Hardware Software Interface course for the third day today.

Day 3: I don’t remember what I did on day 3! (Note to self: That’s why it’s so important to blog everyday) Except that a few of us went to the Drunk Ted Talks on Conspiracies after RC and it was quite funny.

Day 4: Took the day off as I was not feeling well. Worked a little on NoteRanger. Made the search result show the header information and made the NoteRanger a github page. Also resumed working on BitFunnel. Tried following the instructions mentioned at the BitFunnel blog.

Day 5: Wrote an AND query in NoteRanger. Jake reviewed the html and js code and gave very good feedback. Now the static part is separated from the dynamic part, the js code looks much more readable and the bug that the form was getting submitted only on click has been resolved. Watched floating point representation from Hardware Software Interface course. Am not sure that I could understand it well. Need to dig that little more.

Week 4 at Recurse Center

Week 3 at Recurse Center

Day 1: Start with the dropin warmup. Can think of an inefficient solution (O(n^2)). Want to do better, hence start understanding how to build a suffix tree. Spend almost two hours without understanding fully how to construct a suffix tree. Need to find a good tutorial on Ukkonen’s algorithm.

Start working on BitFunnel again. Download a Wikipedia database dump file. Process it with Wikiextractor script and then BitFunnel WorkBench, so that it can be fed to a BitFunnel executable. The idea is to ingest one such database dump and measure the performance. The IngestAndQuery executable in BitFunnel hasn’t yet implemented the ingestor call. The next task is to have IngestAndQuery ingest the documents.

Finally, the big day is here. Gerald Sussman spends the entire day at RC and gives a talk on flexible systems in the evening. A mere thirty minutes is less for the material he presents but more than thirty minutes long question and answer session kind of makes up for that.

Day 2: Start the day with pair programming with Ivan on his REPL for BrainFuck. Quickly discuss yesterday’s warmup problem which has the problem of finding the consecutive three letters appearing most frequently. My solution is to solve it using a Suffix Tree. But Ivan uses sliding window approach where he hashes every three letter in the sliding window and keeps a count.

Try to understand how the Ingestion works in BitFunnel.

Pair with Miguel on his Makefile

Pair with Andrea on the Code Dojo problem which is this HackerRank problem.

Day 3: Was distracted. Did the dropin warmup. Wrote fizzbuzz using template meta-programming for the first time. Tried to ingest a Wikipedia database dump using BitFunnel.

Day 4: Pretty much the same. Was defocused. Did the dropin warmup in the morning. Made some more notes on Makefile. Started learning about Information Retrieval system. Ended up staying late for the Arts and Crafts night at RC. Made some fridge magnets and a doodle.

Week 3 at Recurse Center