Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 21st Mar 2013 21:06 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Change platforms. Whenever you can. Ever since I got into computing, I've lived according to a very simple adage: change platforms all the time. For reasons I won't go into, the importance of this adage was reaffirmed today, and I figured I'd share it with you all - and hopefully, get a few of you to follow this adage as well.
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RE: Comment by MOS6510
by ssokolow on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 05:44 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
ssokolow
Member since:
2010-01-21

I don't switch, I use several at the same time.

My two phones are an iPhone 5 and a Lumia 800. For computers I use Macs, but I also have a few Linux PCs and even Windows Vista/7/8 ones. I also use an Amiga 1200 and Commodore 128 for games. Plus I have a whole range of PDAs, palmtops and programmable calculators.

I get where Thom is getting at. Different experiences keep the mind open and flexible. On the downside it is hard to truly master a single on of your devices and I may be a bit expensive.


Makes sense. I don't go that diverse because I lack space, cash, and the will to maintain hard-to-acquire hardware, but I definitely love my emulators and virtual machines and I definitely try to keep my mind flexible.

Heck, when you take that principle even further, you get this:

http://vimeo.com/46264514

At the moment, I'm accomplishing that most by learning French (with plans to read further on the etymology of English and the effects of the Norman Conquest of 1066) and I just bought an Arduino and a used copy of The Art Of Electronics (Second Edition, of course) to complement my experience in programming and UI/UX design.

One of my brothers is also learning French and just bought an illustrated omnibus edition of a couple of Steven Hawking books to join his copies of Steven Pinker's The Stuff of Thought and Jared Diamond's The Third Chimpanzee. (Both of which, I'll also be reading in the near future)

Of course, the most surprisingly mind-bending hobby has probably been my efforts to piece together a more applied form of literary theory... mind-bending because it keeps triggering epiphanies about how we perceive ourselves, each other, and society around us.

As for flexibility itself, the most fascinating insight I had probably came while I was taking a Prolog course.

I found myself of two minds. On the one hand, I still found Prolog a fascinating opportunity to learn but, on the other, I was simultaneously feeling a strong emotional desire to dismiss this confusing, alien language for being "pointless" (I was already very skilled in imperative, object-oriented, and just a pinch of functional programming via other languages).

It was a very strange feeling to realize that my intellectual and emotional desires were in direct conflict with each other and that was when I learned what it meant that, as human-beings, we're predisposed to saving energy through laziness, not just physically but also mentally.

...and this post has now run on far too long and is far too self-centered but I just can't bring myself to delete it.

Edited 2013-03-22 05:45 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 07:14 in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I'm glad you didn't delete it and found it an interesting read.

Learning a second (programming) language is a well known way of keeping those brains fresh. Actually, doing anything new is good for you. It's easy to get stuck in a certainly situation.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by ssokolow on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 07:42 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

I'm glad you didn't delete it and found it an interesting read.

Learning a second (programming) language is a well known way of keeping those brains fresh. Actually, doing anything new is good for you. It's easy to get stuck in a certainly situation.


Well, I do plan on learning Haskell and Common LISP one of these days so that should help too.

I'll freely admit I haven't given enough attention to the concepts and constructs like tail recursion and continuations which never make it into the more mainstream multi-paradigm languages like Python.

Reply Parent Score: 2