For the second time in four years, a computer issue has taken my laptop out of commission. According to the Apple tech guy (a super nice gentleman from Zimbabwe living near Toronto), he thinks a corrupted partition caused the laptop to die, which happens when it gets befuddled from running too many programs. There’s about an 80% chance of salvaging all my programs and documents. Luckily, the bulk of the valuable stuff is kept on an external drive. However, this does underline my idiocy in not having backed up the laptop recently. (By ‘recently’, I mean within the last three years). Lesson sadly learned.

In the meantime, I still have access to the Internet via the work laptop so I can continue studying with just a few minor adjustments: Without access to the text editor and files where I’d been working on coding projects, I’ll have to start over on my Codecademy projects. Without another Mac in the house, there’s no access to the study videos which are kept on the Mac-formatted external drive. I can still do some reading and work on the blog so I’m not completely without means. The laptop won’t be fixed for at least six days, so there’s no doubt this is an inconvenience.  It’s amazing how lifestyles have changed over the past decade. I wouldn’t have blinked if I’d lost my computer 10 years ago, whereas today’s incident caused pangs of anguish.

Reading: I finished Chad Fowler’s The Passionate Programmer (the last 38 pages). What a fantastic book! Until I read this, I had a very hard time with the idea of self-promotion. Mr. Fowler put me in the right mindset for creating this blog and even starting a Twitter account. I still get scrunchy-faced at the idea of tweeting, but I’ll make a go of it.

Writing Code: I’ll do a little Codecademy studying before bed if there’s time (edit: there wasn’t).

Watching: Yeah,.. this didn’t happen. Damn compooter!

Reporting: Writing this blog entry… Check. I just started the Twitter account today ( and have produced exactly one tweet. My single stranger follower will be entranced. I’ll put Twitter in this ‘Reporting’ category since it’s more about web developer news and less about socializing with my friends.

Rapport: I read seven pages from Social Intelligence prior to the laptop crash.

Reasoning & Logic: This is a new category to make sure I put effort into sharpening my reasoning and logic skills to help me be a better programmer. Fortunately, I still have access to a couple books. From the book Reasoning Skills Success in 20 Minutes a Day, I read pp 1-26 which included a pretest to get an idea of how much I already know. I was disappointed to get only 27 of 35 answers correct. My rebellious ego says some of the answers were subjective, but I’ll let it go now that I’ve whined.

I redeemed myself with the accompanying book Challenging Logic Reasoning Problems. I had time to read 13 pages which included the first set of 20 questions in the number series. I’m excellent at pattern recognition so getting 20 of 20 was no surprise (albeit a thrill). Word stories will be more difficult so I’ll enjoy the ’20’ score while I can.

Recommendations: In reading The Passionate Programmer, I came across a quote from the author’s friend which I’ve adapted to read: ‘”Was today better than yesterday?” (coding/nutrition/exercise) – today: Yes!’ It’ll serve as a gentle reminder to be satisfied with any degree of forward momentum on the path to becoming a developer.

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