“Once Upon A Time In The North” is another short book (after Lyra's Oxford) by Philip Pullman set in the fictional universe described by the His Dark Materials trilogy. The hero of this book is the aeronaut Lee Scoresby and the book tells the story of his first meeting with the armored bear Iorek Byrnison.
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[2021-09-26] “Once Upon A Time In The North”
[2021-08-01] Silver Jubilee
Today marks the completion of 25 years in the IT industry for me. Just as with the increasing number of silver hair on my scalp, I hope that this silver jubilee marks a certain maturity on my part rather than just the passage of time. While I do not have pearls of wisdom to offer on this anniversary, I would like to reflect a bit on the journey so far.
[2021-07-19] ICFPC 2021
I took part in ICFPC 2021 last weekend. I was somewhat hesitant going into the contest this year after having been weirded out by last year's task, but I am happy to report that the task this year was a “classic” no-nonsense ICFPC task with a concise and straightforward specification. That did not mean that it was an easy task to fulfill – going by the write-ups from other teams, it seems I was not alone in thinking that.
[2021-06-12] “Lyra's Oxford”
“Lyra's Oxford” is a short book by Philip Pullman set in the universe described by the fantastic His Dark Materials trilogy. I had immensely enjoyed the trilogy when I first read it, so I was looking forward to reading this book to reinhabit that universe.
[2021-05-25] “A Philosophy Of Software Design”
“A Philosophy Of Software Design” is a book by John Ousterhout that aims to teach a set of principles by which one can learn how to design software-systems in order to reduce the overall complexity. This is a tall order for a relatively slim book, but I am happy to report that it lives up to its expectations. I had read many good things about the book from people whom I respect, so I was somewhat prejudiced in its favor before I started reading it. That said, almost all practitioners in the field will find something or the other in this book with which they will disagree.
[2021-04-30] Ten Years Of iPad 2
I bought an Apple iPad 2 ten years ago to the day and it is wonderful to see it still going strong with regular usage throughout this period. In an era where electronic devices have such short shelf-lives due to either being designed with planned obsolescence or being manufactured using bad-quality components, it is a shining testament to Apple's focus on good quality and a respect for its customers. (It is not just the iPad 2 – my iPhone 4S from later on in 2011 worked well for six years, after which I reluctantly replaced it in 2017 by an iPhone SE, primarily due to its inability to run 64-bit applications or to keep up with ever-bloating web-pages – the iPhone SE is still going strong though.) Unlike the pricing of its devices recently in India, Apple sold the iPad 2 at quite a reasonable price at the time, which has made this iPad 2 deliver an exceptional value for the money I had paid for it.
[2021-03-30] Twenty Years Of Blogging
It has been twenty years since I started blogging on this web-site and elsewhere. Initially, I used to post separately on this web-site, on Advogato, and on BlogSpot. After a while, I consolidated all my blog-posts on this web-site, as there was no clear separation of themes for the posts across these platforms and it was simpler to have a single soap-box. Over the years I started posting more and more, but ultimately the posts have become a sad trickle, mostly about book-reviews and the odd ICFP Contest in which I took part. I should really fix this by posting more regularly and on more diverse topics.