Farewell, love

My wife Monika took this picture of our lovely cat Mokka last night. Today, we followed the vet’s advice and had her put to sleep forever. She hadn’t been able to eat for days, and yesterday the vet diagnosed a pancreatic tumor. Mokka must have felt quite sick and been in pain. But that didn’t… Read More »

Stanford online quantum mechanics

In September 2014, I embarked on the Stanford online quantum mechanics course by Prof. David Miller, ‘Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers‘. Just when I thought “I’ve done it!”, a sequel was announced, from January to March 2015. It too seemed essential, and I decided to continue. Now that I’ve finished both courses, here is a… Read More »

Parametric oscillator: a close look

This post contains my research notes about the parametric oscillator. Here is an introduction from Wikipedia (see references section): “A parametric oscillator is a harmonic oscillator whose parameters oscillate in time. For example, a well known parametric oscillator is a child pumping a swing by periodically standing and squatting to increase the size of the… Read More »

An amateur’s foray into physics

It has long bothered me that I know so little about physics and the maths that goes along with it. There are some great popular-science books on physics, but I wanted to dig deeper. So I turned myself into a “self-taught undergraduate” last year (on a tiny, after-work time budget). Like any university course in… Read More »

Tracking vs. Tracing in the Windows Workflow Foundation (WF4)

The software my company offers includes, among many other things, workflows based on Microsoft’s Windows Workflow Foundation (WF4). These workflows are activated and resumed by WCF calls. That is, the workflows act as services and are hosted in the IIS. Every few months, I need to diagnose some tricky problem in such a workflow, and… Read More »

Book review: “The Infinite Resource” by Ramez Naam

Suppose you want a clear picture of climate change, or more generally, the effects of humanity’s increasing usage of Earth’s resources. And suppose you want the information from someone who is very bright, has done a lot of research, is neither alarmist nor denialist, does not engage in party politics, but simply digs up facts.… Read More »

A short review of “Tigana” by Guy Gavriel Kay

Given how many great fantasy authors I’ve read (Tolkien, Martin, Abercrombie, Rothfuss, Sanderson among them), it is surprising how late I stumbled upon this gem from 1990 by Guy Gavriel Kay. Of all fantasy books I discovered so far, this is probably the most intellectual, in a good way. The plot is brilliant and contains… Read More »

A quick review of Joe Abercrombie’s “Red Country”

I just posted this book review of Joe Abercrombie’s Red Country on Amazon: I “read” the audiobook from Audible. It blew me away. I like all of Abercrombie’s books, yet I’m tempted to say this is the best one yet (maybe tied with The Heroes). There is no single wasted word. The characters are vivid,… Read More »

On testable architectures and how Java-like type systems can harm them

Generally, I’m all for static typing. After all, it make it possible to ensure aspects of program behaviour in a universal way, as opposed to unit tests, which operate on an anecdotal basis. Imagine my surprise when I realized that certain widely-used static type systems, like the ones of Java or C#, can lure programmers… Read More »