last day (74 days later) » 

10:54 AM
Aha, it works! :-)
 
Done!
 
Cool, I'll wait for you ping
 
 
4 hours later…
2:28 PM
@JohnR: Hi! :-) Are you around?
I'm in a bit of a fix, really, as to exactly what it is with which I must start.
I've made a "comprehensive" list to remain on top of things (especially if I am having to park it in for the weekend).
 
2:45 PM
@Kaumudi.H Hi :-)
 
HI!
Did you have lunch yet?
 
I generally fast on Mondays
 
Oh, that I didn't know! :-o
 
Not out of any religious conviction, but just because I eat so much over the weekend that I'm not hungry on Mondays :-)
 
Haha, wokay :-) Like I said before, I'm not sure what to do, really. Shall I tell you what they're covering in BEE? (BEE and Physics is what I will be asking about most)
 
2:49 PM
However you want to do it ...
 
Give me one moment to upload a picture...
Some of this stuff I had even in 12th but even then, I found it exceptionally hard to gain a firm understanding of the subject; you will remember how it was with electrostatics that I was stuck for a very long time :-)
So I've brought this book back from home in order to revise a bit. Trouble is, however, that I might need to park it in for the weekend while I focus on what is being taught in class at the moment.
 
Halliday and Resnick is one of the standard physics books ...
 
Yes, yes, it was from this book that I learned a fair bit of Thermodynamics last year; it was great!
 
I probably ought to say from the outset that I remember very little of the circuit theory I studied since I've never had to use it.
 
AH :-(
Of everything that he's taught so far, I have been able to properly understand at least 90%.
 
2:57 PM
If you have questions I can look at the question and try to help ...
 
(In a loose definition of the word "properly")
OK. Do you know about dependent/independent current/voltage sources?
 
Though some things I'm unlikely to help with e.g. I don't think I ever learned Kirchoff's laws
 
@JohnRennie WHAT?
Ah, dang. I might need to resort to R&H, then. I can't do that during the weekday though so I will park it in for the coming weekend...
You do know about electromagnetism, no?
 
@Kaumudi.H yes
 
:-) WOKAY. I have trouble with that as well. When I do it this weekend, I will be sure to ask you questions!
Can you tell me something about GIT now?
 
3:00 PM
Of course, what's the best way to do this?
Do you have any specific questions?
 
I have been going through the website.
And I was wondering what the tutorials really entail. In the crudest sense, exactly how am I meant to use it?
 
OK, suppose you are writing a program.
 
Yes.
Before you go on, I must add that I did get an idea of what purpose GIT serves.
 
For simple programs you probably have just one file myapp.cpp or whatever, but for any moderately complicated program there are probably lots of different files.
 
Shall I tell you what I have understood?
 
3:03 PM
@Kaumudi.H Ah, OK, go on then.
 
:-) Thanks. I have had some "experience" with the sort of programs you mentioned in your previous message.
I'm sure I have mentioned before that I once attempted to write a game in C++...
 
Yes
 
While reading the website, I was able to get some understanding of why using GIT then would've been extremely useful; that it records every change made to any program so that it becomes easier to debug problems after writing a chunk of succeeding code. Also that in companies, it is helpful for multiple users working on different branches of the same program, to understand how their code will affect other bits of code to avoid massive problems down the line.
 
Well, it doesn't record every change. You tell it when to record changes by using the git commit command.
 
Ah, I see. That makes more sense, yes :-P
But overall, have I got the right idea?
 
3:08 PM
In effect when you commit it tells git to make a copy of every files as it is when you do the commit.
Your description seems a little vague to me.
All git does is to take a snapshot of all the files in your project when you tell it to.
 
@JohnRennie And this is probably because I have only understood it in the vaguest of senses, by reading their long "About" section :-P
 
Let me go back to:
7 mins ago, by John Rennie
For simple programs you probably have just one file myapp.cpp or whatever, but for any moderately complicated program there are probably lots of different files.
 
@JohnRennie Right, I see. Why is it complicated, then? Why are there tutorials and all?
@JohnRennie OK.
 
Each day you sit down to work and you start editing all the files in your project. Adding new features, correcting bugs, etc, etc.
And one day you realise you've made a serious mistake in one of the files, but you can't remember when.
 
Right.
 
3:12 PM
If all you have is your files as they are right now, you're in a bit of a pickle.
 
Yup, I can see that.
 
But if you use git then every time you use git commit it takes a snapshot of all those files, and you can go back and look at past snapshots.
 
Right, right, OK.
But again, this all sounds fairly simple; why are there tutorials and all?
 
Because git does more than this ... lot's more! :-)
 
:-) Enlighten me!
 
3:14 PM
For example suppose you want to try an experimental change and you're not sure if it will work.
 
Yes.
 
With git you can make a branch.
This means you now have in effect two parallel versions of all your files.
 
Ah, wow, that sounds extremely useful.
 
You can do the experimental stuff in one of the branches, and if it fails you can just abandon that branch and delete it. If it succeeds you can merge the two branches together again.
 
Wow.
 
3:15 PM
Can I recommend a book about git?
 
Oh, a book? I was thinking of doing an online tutorial...
 
As if happens I have a PDF of the book.
 
> using this highly flexible, open source version control system.
 
It's been a while since I read it but as I recall it tells you the sort of stuff I've been talking about.
 
By "Open source", they mean that 1) It's free and 2) The public may contribute to the source code. Am I correct in believing this?
 
3:18 PM
Yes and Yes
 
Ha, OK.
 
Git was developed by Linus Torvalds the Linux guy.
 
That guy, sheesh.
 
In fact he developed it to manage his work on the Linux kernel.
 
Wow.
OHHH, before I forget, is it possible for you to tell me something about the basics of Linux?
 
3:19 PM
If you're interested I've put a copy on my server in the usual place.
 
YES, of course I AM!
 
Let me know when you've downloaded it ...
NB git and github.com are two distinct things
 
Will do. THANKS!! I will start reading it tonight!
What's with the bat, BTW?
 
O'Reilly always put pictures of animals on their book covers and thepictures rarely mean anything. They just do it for fun :-)
 
Hehe, I see x'D
@JohnRennie Yes, noted. Github is used to...share programs?
 
3:22 PM
In it's basic form git is a single user app.
On your PC you create a git database (which is called a repository) and that stores all the copies of your files, all the branches and so on.
But git was also designed to allow lots of different people to work simultaneously on the same code.
 
Right, right, I see...
 
The way this works is that there is a master repository that is the definitive version of all the files.
 
Master repository where?
 
Suppose you and I are working on a programme. We both take our own copy of this repository and keep this copy on our PCs - you in Kochi and me in Chester
 
Right.
 
3:26 PM
When we make changes git can replicate these changes back to the master repository, so you and I both work away on our PCs, and we replicate our changes back to the master.
Then we each replicate the other persons changes back down from the master onto our own PCs.
The end result is that all three repositories, the master and the copies on our PCs are kept the same.
 
Ah, that sounds convenient!
 
And ...
 
Yeah?
 
what github.com does is store the master repository.
 
Aha, now it makes sense! :-)
 
3:28 PM
So if we wanted to start a new project we first go to github.com and on the web site we create a new (empty) repository.
 
Ah, right.
 
Then both of us copy the repository onto our PCs.
 
Right.
 
Because github.com is on the Internet we both just need an Internet connection.
 
Ah, right. Wow.
OK, I will start learning further details by reading that book tonight.
 
3:29 PM
Then we work away, adding new files, editing existing files, and every day we do a commit and replicate that commit back to the master.
 
Yes, understood!
 
And every day we update our local copies with the previous days changes to the master.
 
I have two more questions to ask!
 
Yes?
 
@JohnRennie Right, right. I think I get the idea.
@JohnRennie Well, the first one isn't a question, really; I was going to tell you that we have Python only next semester. I spoke with a senior about participating in the C.S club here and he advised me to start learning Python right away, seeing as my goal is to do C.N later on.
 
3:32 PM
If you have the time that's a god idea. But learning Python is a dangerously addictive consumer of time :-)
 
I was wondering whether I must do this or revise C++ first (because I've forgotten a lot of the latter).
 
I wouldn't revise C++. Wait until you start doing it in class.
 
("Later now", wtf)
@JohnRennie Oh, why not?
 
The lecturer will have their own ideas about how you should approach C++ and I think it's best to wait and see how they will do it.
 
But I don't think we have C++ at all!
...OK, well, that might not be true.
 
3:34 PM
Otherwise you risk spending that precious resource time on things you didn't need to do.
C++ is a very simple language. It really has only a few basic constructions.
 
Hmm, and I do believe that I've certainly not forgotten the more conceptual bits I learned in 11th/12th.
 
The hard bit about programming is not learning the syntax of C++ it's figuring out the algorithms you need to use.
And actually the algorithms are mostly language independent i.e. they'd be the same in Python
 
Yes, yes, I know. I had actually gotten quite "not bad" at it in 11th/12th. Did I tell you about the database management system I made?
 
I think you mentioned it though I forget the details
I have the O'Reilly Learning Python book as well if you want.
 
@JohnRennie Oh. Well, I wrote a program to manage the database of a cafe using files etc. Each customer is registered using his/her phone number and using this phone number, all details of previous transactions can be retrieved from stored files. After logging in using his/her registered number, a menu is displayed, after which the order is placed by the customer. Details of the order are immediately stored in his/her file and the bill is displayed.
@JohnRennie OOH, nice! :-D Can I download it when I start learning Python next sem.?
 
3:40 PM
It's on the web site now, or you can remind me next semester ...
 
No, I'll download it now, then :-)
 
It's a massive book, but most of the 1,500 pages (!) is reference so don't be put off.
 
1,500 WTF. Wow, OK.
Not to worry though, I am not one to panic at the size of a book; in 12th, we had two textbooks, each roughly 900 pages long.
Hmm, no reaction to my cafe program? :-(
 
Have a look at Gravitation by Misner, Thorne and Wheeler some day. It's so large it's actually quite hard to pick up :-)
 
Haha, wow :-)
 
3:44 PM
@Kaumudi.H the cafe app seems a fairly standard app of its sort. I'm not sure what reaction you were expecting :-)
 
My second "question" is also not much of a question.
 
OK ...
 
@JohnRennie Oh, just a "Nice" or something :-P
 
Nice :-)
 
:-)
I was thinking of taking that Crash Course...
 
3:45 PM
Crash course?
 
I wouldn't do that
 
Why not?
 
Dedicate your time and energy to your course work
 
It seems extremely interesting and most of it is in my syllabus for this semester.
 
3:46 PM
That's what you'll be examined on.
I would suggest you allow your studies to be driven by the lectures. i.e. go to lectures, and then if necessary dig deeper into what was in the lectures.
 
Hmm :-/ You're right. I must quit searching for extra things to do; I will work with GIT for the time being on the side but that's all...
 
That will be the most effective use of your time.
 
Right.
OK, that's really all for today, I think :-) I spent most of today attempting to make a solid plan of what to focus on and I think I've understood what to do. I can finally quit panicking...
 
This didn't go the way I expected ...
 
It didn't, no.
Ideally, I would've asked you specific questions about my lectures.
 
3:50 PM
I was expecting questions like why did the lecturer do this when analysing the damped SHO
 
Yes, exactly.
 
But that's OK. The point is for you to ask what you need to know.
 
You see, over the past week, I have been struggling to figure out how to make the maximum use of my time; I attended all the lectures, spoke with several teachers and also one senior.
 
I think you should be cautious about trying to do too much.
 
I agree. I was just trying to sort things out, really, because there was too much information coming at me; clubs and courses and lectures and etc.
 
3:52 PM
Above all, college needs to be fun.
 
But what do you mean by "fun"?
 
If it starts becoming an ordeal you'll quickly lose interest in it. After two years with your nose to the grindstone the last thing you need is four more years like that!
 
*Three :-)
 
@Kaumudi.H three years then :-)
 
:-) I understand and I agree too. I was just attempting to be careful.
 
3:54 PM
The best reason for learning something is becase it's interesting and you want to.
 
Now that I've got a clear idea of what I can do, I will be asking questions about my lectures from tomorrow :-) (If that's OK).
BTW, they don't cover too much everyday so unless it's that tough of a topic, it will hardly take half an hour every night, I hope.
 
@Kaumudi.H Yes, I'm generally sitting around digesting lunch at this time so I have the time to spare. You should use it however you think best.
Maybe I should go off and learn Kirchoff's rules :-)
I take it you're happy with damped simple harmonic oscillators then :-)
 
@JohnRennie Hehe :-) I'm still at a loss as to how to manage my lectures on BEE because it will take me a while to catch up with Resnick and Halliday but until then, I hope to ask you about 1) Physics and 2) Whether or not to do ALL OF THE THINGS.
@JohnRennie Not really, no. I didn't attend his lecture today because my bus was late by an hour :-(
 
Ah, OK, I was going to ask how the trip back went.
Can you get a copy of the notes from anyone?
 
It was terrible, really.
 
3:59 PM
At least now you have your bicycle!
 
NO, I don't :-(
 
Ah ...
 
It will arrive sometime this week though!
 
Ah, your parents are shipping it?
 
Yep, yep!
It will cost roughly Rs. 900.
 
4:00 PM
Ouch
 
@JohnRennie Yes, that I can. I was going to ask my dorm-mate for her notes right after this conversation ended :-)
@JohnRennie Yep :-/ But it will be worth all the time I spend walking around!
Tomorrow, I will come prepared with questions about said notes! :-) Thanks so much for talking to me about...well, all of these things in general. It helped me to get a clearer idea than before.
 
You're welcome :-) Same time tomorrow?
 
Yep! :-)
 
OK. I'm going to pick some plums then.
 
Haha, nice! Have a great evening :-)
Bye!
 
4:04 PM
Bye
 

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