Linux…My New Favourite

Over the years I have flirted with the idea of using linux as my operating system of choice on my desktop however I was never very good with using the terminal or programming or familiar with the concepts upon which linux works. That is different now however. Since my university uses dual-boot systems with windows and linux on them I have found that most of the work that I do can be done much better on linux or should I say in a much more customise-able fashion.

One of the main problems I had was with using the terminal; I knew that I didn’t have to use it to get about the system but everybody I spoke to said that is was the best thing to use but I just couldn’t understand why. This again has changed with me. Until recently I figured that using the terminal was just quicker than navigating windows however I found that the terminal is much more versatile than that. In my case I encountered a problem where I had 5 sets of 96 frames in different folders; this was fine however they all had the same title. That was until the terminal came and saved the day! I was able to put my programming knowledge to good use and wrote a short shell script that simply renamed all of the frames in correct order with a name of choice while preserving the frame number. This saved me quite literally hours of renaming files. Now, I understand in windows you can simply click and drag over all the files, rename one and the rest will take on the same name but with a “(1)” etc after it however, for constructing video from image frames video editors don’t usually pick these bracketed numbers up and so this naming convention causes more problems. Just one example of why I now love linux.

I have considered completely moving over to linux however I am also an avid gamer. Because of this I think I will always have windows accessible in one form or another. Which is a shame in a way but it’s no big issue. The way I see it is I can do all of my work on linux and I can use windows for entertainment.

What are your thoughts on the whole linux debate?


Project Euler…A Hobby?

Recently I have been getting more and more into programming; so much so that I have been not only doing it at university but I have also taken it up in my spare time to make programs that make my life easier and to also solve problems from project euler.

For those of you who don’t know project euler is a website that has a large amount of mathematical and programming problems/questions that can only be solved through making programs to work out the answer (unless you want to spend years of your life working out the answers). An example of these questions is to work out the 10001st prime number or to work out the largest product of 13 sequential digits in a larger number consisting of 100 digits. These are only the easy questions too!

I find myself late at night while my brain is still whirring thinking about possible programmable solutions to the problems to calm me and nothing seems to give more satisfaction then when I solve one of these problems. Could this be the hobby that I have been searching for? It’s almost perfect in my mind as hobby; programming in general that is however as I seem to have a lack of my own problems to solve with programming project euler is perfect for giving me goals to work towards. It’s also quite a feat too to complete the later questions where only handfuls of people (compared to how many have answered the first questions) have tried and been successful. Some of the later questions only ~90 people have solved them where as the starting questions have been solved by ~50000.

Perhaps if I find the time I will update this blog as I progress through the questions; a challenge I am very much looking forward to.