Dag / Random Learning Journal 1

Created Fri, 14 May 2021 10:00:00 +0200 Modified Wed, 12 Jun 2024 15:39:49 +0000
2157 Words

It’s always a mess to start something you never did before; you could start in the right way, or in the wrong way, but the point is: you must start if you really want to do that thing.

So here I am!

Welcome to my “Random Learning super cool full of random stuff and things that barely could interest you but I will post them as well ah-ah it’s your problem now if you proceed reading Journal” series!

But before spreading everything I learned this month, telling about what was on my mind and so on, I’d like to talk about what is a learning journal (and most importantly: why on earth I chose the word “random”).

A learning journal, in general, is a -wow, I am the king of being original- journal, where you could write about what have you learned about something, but it could be about your thoughts, your notes about an argument in particular, and so on. It is like a vegetable soup, but it tells about yourself, your vision, and most importantly what you have learned. Maybe it’s not the most beautiful comparison, but it should effectively work.

Usually, many people write this kind of stuff monthly, but it is up to a specific person when, how and what to write.

Now let’s find out why I chose the ‘random’ adjective: I am a little bit forgetful, I don’t remember a lot of stuff; furthermore, sometimes I don’t feel up to do things that are needed in order to produce stuff.

For this reason, I chose the ‘random’ adjective, it sums up exactly what I just wrote. In fact, sometimes, I could forget about writing a monthly journal, so, when I will feel up to write a new post, I will write it here.

It’s kinda a tricky reminder for my mind: I should monthly produce my journal, but I feel more relaxed telling myself “I will do whenever I want”.

After this long introduction…let’s start!

❓Lost in Google

Have you ever tried to search “Google” on “Google”?

This was the catchphrase of the series Lost In Google, a wonderful sci-fi show, in Italian, that tells about what could happen if you try to search “Google” on “Google”. During this show many things will come up: people get lost, famous people who pop out and help the main characters… if you’re Italian or are you trying to learn Italian THIS IS FOR YOU!

Anyway, I was literally “lost in Google”: I love to search and discover new things, but this time it was different. Nothing was more interesting than researching things.
Since I am still studying on my own things, not limited to academic purposes, I was trying to discover how to take notes in a better way; it’s been a long time since I began this kind of research, but at a certain point thanks to a friend of mine I discovered a new tool: “Roam”.

🔗Notes with Roam – Obsidian

Everything begins from here, I will briefly explain what Roam is: do you know that our mind doesn’t think linearly but jumps from one idea to another one? Well, the purpose of Roam is to let your thoughts flow by writing them down and linking them.

In case you’re wondering: yes, there is a wonderful graph which shows each thought how it is connected with other thoughts. Here’s mine so far:

It is another way to take notes, because links are the core of everything, just like human brain.

Obsidian is the alternative to Roam, it is free, so check it out first. Then, if you manage to move to Roam, even if I didn’t try it yet… move to Roam? I use Obsidian by the way.

Also notes: this is a practical way to apply Zettelkasten.

Some videos I watched:


PARA methodology is a structured way to organize your notes. I applied PARA to my notes, however, I didn’t like it much and experienced other things.

I highly recommend giving it a look because if you are going to use Zettelkasten “in your own personal way”, this could help you in organizing ideas.

🖊️The importance of taking notes

But I don’t wanna talk here, I will write an article about it probably (he-he, you will wait)

Meanwhile, you could read a very interesting article by Derek Sivers about the benefits of a daily diary and topic journals.

Farnam Street and deliberate practice guide

Farnam Street: when I first discovered this blog, I simply felt in love with it.

The Ultimate Deliberate Practice Guide tells about why we should think “in a long run” while doing things, among other practical advices.

Core things: forget cramming, measure your progress and most importantly: KEEP YOUR MOTIVATION HIGH

📚Two books in a month? Seriously?

It’s been a long time since I read a book from start to finish. It’s not I don’t wanna read them, it’s more like “I don’t feel up to because I am busy with other stuff”.

These two books have completely impressed me: not only because they are written in a good way, but mainly because they helped me in growing.

The books in question are:

  • 📚 How To Take Smart Notes
  • 📚 Designing your life

I must confess: I have a lot of things to say about these two books, but the title is self-explanatory if you want to know in brief what they talk about.

The first one talks about taking a different approach while taking notes: notes are precious, notes are yours. You are the only one who can visualize your thoughts and write them down somewhere, for yourself or others, it’s up to you.
This book explains what’s behind Zettelkasten’s philosophy, even if I think it is too much “purist”. But it is a wonderful way to approach writing, even if you don’t like to write.

The second book is about, as the title, designing your life.
Not only this book reflects my vision about problems, even if I never used the terms defined in the book, but it completely encouraged me in doing things that were in the “maybe a day” section. It completely changes your way to approach things if you are stucking and, as the book says at the beginning, it is considered a compass.

What does this mean? It helps you to find where you are, what are you going to do, what you have done so far.
No matter your age, you must read this book if you don’t feel happy with your current life or you don’t know what to do (you feel demotivated and so on).

Trust me, you will feel a lot better! They even have a website with exercises!

Should I open a book section on my website where I talk about books and review them? Should I open a Youtube channel and talk about them? What about a podcast? I don’t know, I think they are all great ideas, but let’s see in the future. Let me know what you think in the comments!

More (academical) books

  • K&R: the bible of C Language: No presentations are needed.
  • The Algorithm Design Manual by Steven Skiena: the bible of algorithms. Less boring than Cormen’s book more content-focused, not much math, basically “perfection in its essence”.

SRR – Anki Cards

Always regarding the problem I had at the beginning: how to learn in a more efficient way?
One of the methods is Anki Cards: they are a kind of spaced repetition system.
Using a program called Anki, Anki will prompt you questions which you are going to answer, and based on the reply you give it, it will prompt you “later” or in some days.

Since our brain learns things by reviewing them periodically, this could represent a good way to learn things.

Plus, it’s cross-platform and it is free. Try to experience it.

Al-Folio – Static WordPress

How long will it last before I will be bored and change it again?

I used a template called al-folio, mainly dedicated to academic people. I am not an academic, but I liked a lot the way how it displays information: clean, easy, and without too much stuff. I simply liked it a lot.
But as time goes on, as much I realize I should switch to a serious host or find a way to directly build a website by using Markdown.

Also, I have come across this wonderful link by Stack Overflow that explains how to deploy a WordPress website that needs to be static, it seems to be gorgeous, I need to try it out.

EDIT: as of 14th May, I spent the entire afternoon figuring out solutions for Static WordPress. Now I have a fully functional, good-looking, “more or less” professional website AND most importantly: a local development unit that I can leave up to build my website. In two weeks I changed my mind and went back to my original thought (mainly because WordPress gorgeous feed and “everything is set up with plugins”).

Italian comedy shows that make me LAL – Laugh A Lot

Maccio Capatonda is one of my favorite Italian comedians at all. Is it about its nonsense? Is it about its satirical way to deal with Italian problems?

I don’t have the right answer, but I started to watch his tv show online on the official MTV Italia YouTube channel.

I also started Una Pezza di Lundini, I am watching TV just for this show, and LOL that recently it got viral but it is simply awesome, it made me laugh a lot.

👾Bitcoin mining on old machines

Could you mine Bitcoin with Commodore 64? Yes, you can.
What about Game Boy? Yes, as well.

The technology is so awesome nowadays, I won’t spend a word about Bitcoin because I think it is one of the most trending arguments in the last years, but… could you believe which mining was possible on a Game Boy and on a Commodore 64?

🃏Insertion sort with cards

This video explains in an easy way the “Insertion Sort” algorithm with poker cards.

It is in Italian, but you could watch it anyway, as it is just a way to sort things. It’s very interesting if you are studying sorting algorithms or you are simply curious.

💰Personal finance – tracking is awesome!

Other than watching a lot of videos about the FIRE Movement including blogs on this argument, TV Show about it, the bogleheads encyclopedia which is the basic point where to start, I started to track all my finances with an awesome program called Homebank.

It is really useful to know where your money goes each time you spend something because if you are like me a forgetful person, you won’t be able to remember how, when and how much money did you have before your expenses.


Dj-ing: the best console ever!

Best Dj Controllers under 500$: this is exactly what I was looking for since this website compares every feature and every review and pros and cons.

I learned about Serato and Rekordbox, two programs that DJs use to mix music.
A DJ controller could be compatible with both of them, but very few controllers are suitable for both of those programs (and they are expensive)

I honestly didn’t like rekordbox at the start, although the DJ interface I am looking to buy is rekordbox compatible (and not Serato compatible), so I dug the internet and found which VirtualDJ works like Serato. I was so happy while discovering it!

I have been spending two days researching the perfect controller for me. In the end, I chose DDJ-400, because it could be found used and it’s fine for my needs. I was undecided between that one, DDJ-SB3 and Hercules500.

If you are curious, more posts on DJ-ing argument will arrive!