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My Arsenal

2015-6-7 by Kerrie Durham

In about a week I will be taking a one way flight to Lima, Peru armed with nothing more than a daypack and the smallest Dell Chromebook I have ever seen. For the past month before my trip I have been familiarizing myself with the chromebook and with Chris Pine’s Learn to Program (second edition).

The Technology: Dell CRM3120-1667BLK 11.6" Chromebook

This has been my favorite laptop that I have ever used. Granted, I haven’t used more than probably 3 clunky old laptops but I can gaurantee that this is undoubtably my favorite. It’s small, fast, spill proof (incredibly important when it comes to me), and it isn’t loaded down with stupid and unecessary programs. All this for the price $199.99 on Amazon which makes it a steal unless you’re planning to use it for gaming…but I don’t know much about that since I’m all about the Xbox. So far this laptop has worked great for the few things that I need a laptop to do; browse reddit, code Ruby, watch Archer, and stream…videos. Thankfully my friend James Gibson was able to install chroot in order for us to play with the linux system and install Ruby. If anyone is interested in the chromebook, here’s the link for it on Amazon

Front view Back view

Knowledge is Power: Learn to Program second edition by Chris Pine

When James first lent me this book, it was pristine and the spine unbroken. Now it lays here, dog-eared, marked, highlighted, and coffee stained (that’s why the spill-proof laptop was so valuable). I have read it cover to cover and overall I would give it an excellent rating. The beginning 8 chapters are phenomenal; easy to read and even made me chuckle. His smooth writing and horrible jokes made the book fun and actually motivated me to do the challenging assignments at the end of each chapter. However, chapter 9 left me feeling abandoned and inccapable as he leaped into more complicated coding without any actual teaching. Chapter 9 and on had me pulling my hair and asking my friends for help constantly because in my mind it was either sink or swim. However, I kept at it and when I finished the book I definitely beleived that the book was 100% worth it. It serves as an excellent reference guide and opened the door to how coders think and the problems they face. It also served as an excellent foundation to someone who has never had an inkling of coding before in her life.

His chapters and the concepts he covered are as follows:

  • Numbers - Integers and Floats
  • Strings
  • puts, gets, and chomp methods
  • branching
  • looping
  • arrays
  • Classes - hash class and time class
  • Methods that take and return procs

As a newbie coder, some of the concepts were harder than others. I’m still trying to wrap my head around arrays and how they exactly work. But overall, I must say thanks to Chris Pine for his excellent introduction.

Thanks Pine!

In a few days I will be using another book/source in order to continue learning while in Peru. I definitely still have a lot of qustions that hopefully I’ll figure out as I learn more about Ruby, such as what is YAML and why do developers love recursive acronyms so much?

Kerrie Durham is a fourth year student of linguistics at the University of Florida. She has traveled to five continents and is now embarking on her first trip into the world of Ruby.