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Category: Programming

Fedora on an Asus C201P Chromebook

Fedora on an Asus C201P Chromebook

So as soon as I came up with a plan for a game this month I got distracted trying to install Fedora on the chromebook I have.

It took me 4 days to come to the conclusion that I wasn’t failing, it’s just that no documentation on how to install Fedora/other linux systems exist for my computer.

My mission in life now is to get Fedora installed and write some killer documentation for it just so that exists. We’ll see if this ends up working or not.

So far I’ve mostly become extremely good at using the terminal and watching my attempts to get to a BIOS screen and boot from a usb drive fail miserably.

I need to figure out if this even has BIOS and what it does have so I can get to an option screen at the startup, and then we’ll go from there I guess.

On Math & Programming

On Math & Programming

jsI’ve been told on multiple occasions by other programmers that “you don’t need math to program”. This is often said by people who actually learned math – or at the very least more math than I did. While I understand what they’re thinking (“the computer does the math for you”), they have a skillset that someone like me, someone who barely made it to negative numbers before being given up on, doesn’t have.

The educational neglect I suffered because of religious and patriarchal ideals is no secret. Despite how many times I’ve heard “you’ll never use algebra every day” the skills I lack because I wasn’t taught math is overwhelming and painful. I hit a cap in my ability to learn programming because I was missing the math skills. Not arithmetic specifically, but problem solving: being able to look at a problem and creatively come up with a solution.

At it’s core, that’s what math is, and that’s exactly what programming is. In the three weeks that I’ve been taking math – even though I’m just re-learning basic things – my ability to learn programming languages has drastically improved.

Math is a set of variables and functions just like programming languages are. They can mean and do different things depending on the context and which modifier is called. I knew my problem was math because I couldn’t figure out how to even approach complex problems in programming after there were several different variables and methods called. I didn’t have the ability to look at what I needed to do and figure out a way to get there.

Essentially, I couldn’t solve for x. I’m not even at algebra yet, but just approaching numbers as variables in math has made it so much easier to code. The invisible problem solving skills that math gives you aren’t meant to be looked over, neglected, or treated as unimportant. You may not solve an algebraic equation on a whiteboard every day, but if you’re programming, you’re problem solving, and math is where that skill is at.

Math, as a person who was denied it – as a person whose education was abruptly ended for them before they turned 16 – is so vitally important in ways that people who had the opportunity to learn (and even hate) math don’t understand. My math education stopped at pre-algebra and prior to that was largely substituted for cooking for 8 people multiple times a day. My lack of math was the reason I wasn’t able to teach myself Chemistry II (which I was really looking forward to), it’s kept me from improving professionally, and who knows how many doors have been kept shut because I wasn’t considered to have a reason to learn math.

If you want to be helpful don’t tell me that I don’t need math in order to be better at programming, because I do. I can see everyone else using math, oh so clearly, when they don’t realize it. Because at it’s core, programming is just fancy math doing stuff in a creative way.

 

Ruby Thursdays

Ruby Thursdays

I’ve already done a little bit with Ruby. But I figured it’d be a good idea to start at the beginning. So I switched program trees and started Ruby Basics.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I like Ruby better than PHP, but anyway.

I made some strings and learned about whitespace and gets.

And then a work project came up so I went back into WordPress mode, because that’s what I do. 🙂

WordPress on Tuesdays

WordPress on Tuesdays

Today I learned how to make custom page templates in WordPress and how to get navigation to work.

I also started on the Custom Post Types section and took some notes for the comic theme I have in my future.

One assuring thing is that as I look at the old notes that I have tacked on to my wall, and the notes/ideas I’m jotting down today, they’re both basically the same and line up. Which means I was on the right track to start with, and now I know (or will know) exactly how to get it to do the thing.

I’ll be utilizing custom post types and custom page templates to showcase the comic, and maybe using WP_query date parameters to loop through and show any blog posts written after the comic has been published. But I need to finish the “How WP_Query Works” section first, probably…

Midday Muse

Sometimes I learn slower than I’d like. I get frustrated because PHP isn’t intuitive and I can watch a segment and then I have to take a break and let what I learned sit there for a couple days before going back for more. On the upside, I am actually grasping it this time, but I wish I knew all the things now so I could make stuff already.

But I guess no one really learns a language in a day, and I am making progress, so that’s good.

Unrelated to PHP Basics though, I am exhausted and heavy hearted. Part of me doesn’t know why, and part of me is aware that I’m just sensing the weight of the world. I’m doing the best I can to make a small piece of it better though, and I just have to keep plugging away. I can’t focus on everything, and that’s okay.

Recalculating

Recalculating

WP_20150609_001 (2)I’ve been planning to make a Ruby app for hosting web comics – I still kind of am – but then I realized that as cool as a Ruby App is for me, personally, it might not be as accessible as I want to make it. I thought about maybe making my own blog hosting back-end, and quickly remembered how much I hate having to deal with hosting complications. I thought maybe I could just give detailed instructions for installing it to a handful of specific hosts – but then I remembered how some hosts don’t work well with Ruby and running it may require having to retrofit the app. Which still isn’t accessible to artists who don’t know how to code, and is kind of a nightmare in general.

 

So then I thought, if accessibility is my goal (yes), then maybe what I should do instead of moving artists off of WordPress is make a theme with all the features I want for WordPress. But not just WordPress, if I’m feeling extra ambitious, I’ll also make a theme for Ghost, maybe something for Tumblr, and finally, actually make my Ruby app for the other unicorns, or people with friends who they can convince to set it up for them.

 

Today I started using Team Treehouse to get a primer on making WordPress themes and PHP (because my resistance to not just starting with WordPress is that PHP and I don’t get along), drafted out the priorities for the design, what features I want users to be able to customize, and some of the things I want to integrate. I don’t want this to be complicated, I want a clean and responsive design that features the comic, with plenty of space in the margins so nothing looks busy or squished. I want to optionally be able to associate blog posts to the comic by time (still sketchy on exactly how I’m going to do it. Think recent posts, but stuck by date?) for those comics with writers, or comics who don’t want to cloud the comic post area with a general post but still want it to be somewhat associated. While also still leaving a spot for a comic post/description and comments.

If you were (or are) an artist looking for a new theme to showcase your work, what would you want it to have?