21 September 2020
It’s been a little bit over a month since I first arrived in Eindhoven. Since then, I have had time to explore the city, a bit of Rotterdam, and even find a Portuguese store with “Pastéis de Nata” in Helmond! I have also had time to study, but had to decrease my time at Protocol Labs due to my studies. With all of this, I haven’t had time to give much love to my blog.
Inspired by Tom MacWright, I am going to make a commitment that sounds quite simple: make a post every month called “Recently”. On it, I should reflect about the past month, the highs and lows, the things I’ve learned, important things I think are worth mention and so on.
With this, I am also deprecating the now page. Why? This posts should already give an overview of what’s been happening lately that is not covered by my micro posts. But don’t worry! I’m not breaking any links. It will just point to the most recent “Recently” post… no pun intended!
Since I started my master’s degree at Eindhoven Technical University, I was quite shocked. Not because it’s something out of this world, but because it’s quite different than what I was used to during my Bachelor’s degree. Let’s face it: it’s a different country, a different culture, a different language… obviously the education system was going to be different. But that’s not the point.
I am following the Web Stream within the M.Sc. in Computer Science and Engineering (MSCE). With that being said, I am taking three courses right now because the Netherlands works with quarters and not with semesters.
- Advanced Algorithms, which is a course that is mandatory for all MCSE students, no matter their stream. These course focuses on three main topics: approximation algorithms, I/O efficient algorithms and streaming algorithms. We just finished the first chapter last week and I must say: I’m not comfortable. I’m not used to such theoretical classes. I think that with practice I can manage it.
- Principles of Data Protection, in which we’ve been talking about topics such as trust, access control, roles, hierarchies and so on.
- Foundations of Data Mining, which is directly connected to… you guessed it: data mining! So far, we’ve touched subjects such as clustering, linear models, classifications, etc.
Only the first course provides tangible exercises so we can practice and that worries me. The exams are just a month and a week away, it’s worrying. For the first time, I feel I might not be able to do it. But I have to! And I will. The truth is that the worst that can happen is to need to repeat them next quarter but that’s far from desirable.
Besides university and people, I have been dedicating a bit more time to photography once again. I own a fantastic Fujifilm vintage-looking X-T30 which is amazingly pretty with an XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 lens. It’s a beast in a compact size.
For the next couple of months, I want to try taking some night sky pictures, but I will need to find a relatively nice place close by. In addition, light trails are also on my agenda, but that won’t be that hard. Despite that, I also want to take more landscape pictures. All of this requires a tripod and I finally convinced myself to order one! It’s on the way. Maybe next month I will talk a bit more about this.
I absolutely love photography and I also wanted to try out the old film camera I have in my hometown. I found it out during quarantine but completely forgot to bring it and since I didn’t have film rolls at the time, I didn’t try it. It’s a Minolta point-and-shoot. Definitely not the fanciest, but I really want to try it out!
Covid… or not to Covid? 🦠
The approach the Netherlands is following is quite… interesting in my opinion. Masks are only mandatory in public transit. What worries me most is supermarkets and other closed spaces. The cases have been increasing, but I still see tons of people together, not respecting social distancing. I understand it’s hard, but we should do the effort, at least with people we are not with every day. If you live with them, it’s completely understandable, there’s not much you can do, but otherwise… try it.
The winter is coming and I’m pretty sure there’s some Covid coming with it. I feel it’s quite inevitable that we all will be infected at some point. I just hope most of us will survive and have only mild symptoms or even none at all!
No, I’m not talking about Metaforum, the central building at my university. I’m talking about this website! I made quite a few design updates over the last days. Hope you enjoyed them. I feel they made the website cleaner and better looking while keeping a 90s-inspired look.
In the meanwhile, I also automated the blogroll page… finally! Now, it’s always up to date! I recommend you to check it. There’s a lot of good content in there!
Newsletters… I’m considering. I really want to try to write at least once post per week. If not, at least once per month. But per week would be much better, and much nicer. I want to force myself to write and I think that writing about what I’m learning at university or some other hot tech thing I’m working one could be very valuable, for me and for my readers.
And why would a newsletter help me with writing more? Even though I would still publish the post on my website, I would commit to write an article and send it out in a specific day. A commitment is what I need. Obviously I would need more than one subscriber to be motivated, but I’ll consider. What do you think?
Yesterday I also found a website called that measures roughly how much carbon your website uses in comparison to other on average. I was quite surprised to see that most pages of my website are better than 80% to 90% of all tested websites so far.
From now on, this “Recently” posts will be published on the first of every month and not in the middle. I just wanted to give it a bootstrap for now. Let me know… should I start a newsletter to help me achieve writing every week?