A Memoir of stupid things

For the past couple months I’ve been learning to program. I’m a complete clueless shit in computers because, The last time I actually used a computer was when I was 12 and I only knew how to play a bunch of flash games. Since then I’ve been completely oblivious to everything computers. Now that, that past has come to haunt me. I decided I should get this shit over with and started reading loads on computers. I was 19 and I still haven’t been in touch with a computer. (If you neglect the occasional movie watching in my father’s laptop. Which we’re not allowed to touch)

Finally, after much coercing and begging and pleading from my parents. I got this three years outdated dell laptop. I wasn’t complaining though. I was very VERY elated that I got one.

Now that I got one, I was completely clueless about what to do with it and in this shit of a college that I am in, there’s no such thing as an Internet connection. I just read somewhere that the tribes in Amazon forests are using smartphones and the internet.

Life is never fair.

So, I had to figure out a way to circumnavigate that. For which I had to write six letters to six different people. Giving them my motives and shit to connect with the lone wifi which was supposed to be a “Free wifi” zone.

Which took me about a month to wait for the right to people at the right time with the right answers.

That was over and I just got acquainted with this mysterious world of youtube and social media. By which time I’d got a phone and a 1 Gig per month data plan. Which burned this really big hole in my monthly budget. But, was a treasure trove nonetheless. And I was caught up in the scroll and like world. Occasionally the thought that I should be doing something will peek from the sides. Which, somehow gets aligned with the time someone tagged me with some post, washing it all away.

After about six months of pausing and watching motivational videos. I was still nowhere near start. I decided to throw the social media away. And that’s what I did. More on that, some other time.

It was getting really boring to not do anything. So, I started digging into the programming thing and decided to learn Python. Purely because lots of people said it was easier than most. I decided to stick with it and I downloaded this .exe file. and installed on my computer which didn’t work. I searched a lot and there were no answers for pathetic imbecile questions. I had to work it all bottom up. I started downloading all the 9 something exe files and install it, check and uninstall if it doesn’t work. It took me about two weeks to install a single frikkin application that works. Now, that I know that there are two types of computers, 32 bit and 64 bit and one is not compatible with the other and there are types of exe files that install applications over the web or offline. Things are quite clear now.

After that, I started following this book called “Learn Python the Hard Way”. I was like “bring it on”. Only to find out later that I didn’t know where to type the code. I was staring blankly at my computer screen the next hour. later found out that I need a text editor like “Notepad ++” to write the codes. and that took me another two days to install.

And I was following this book pretty seriously and spent at least two hours with the book for the next two and a half months. Which is probably a record because the author explicitly says it’ll take about two months to complete the book. That is, factoring in his slight exaggeration as an author, is in itself a really extreme limit.

I think that is mostly because of the complete stupidity of me. For example, there’s this command to initialize an object called “__init__“. It came in a piece of code for the first time and the thing just threw errors at all different places in the script. I was debugging and searching and reading for this for around fifteen days. without a clue. It took me a lucky visit from my Younger brother who suggested maybe that command has two underscores. I was like Impossible bruh and tried it. To no one’s surprise but mine, it worked. Turns out computers are designed in such a way that when you type two underscores it concatenates them both together. Whichever genius thought of that. everywhere I looked they typed it out with two underscores and I read it as one.

within that period I got really interested in Machine Learning and all things tech. It turns out machine learning is mostly done in python. I felt as if the stars have given me the approval and thought I should learn about it. Started following deep mind’s blog and felt like a superhuman. Other people looked like mere mortals.

Just when I was reading about these things. I came across something that said “as of the writing of this blog Python 2.7 is dead and the future is Python 3” and it was written in 2015. It took me about four bars of chocolate to get me out of that state of shock. Turns out there isn’t that much difference between them.

I started reading random articles and How-tos on machine learning. And I was so into Google and its stuff that I was completely sure that Tensorflow is the only way to go. I still do think so.

Then came the uphill struggle of trying to install pip in my Python. pip is a package manager for python. which in itself is a package and requires to be managed manually. I was stuck with that thing for about three weeks. The more I read, the more people said it was easy, the more confusing it got. after fifteen days I didn’t know what position I was in. So, I went to the old school elimination thing. which failed me miserably. Then I decided to go through this really long error message. Which was so big, it made “war and peace” look puny. I spent the next three hours reading all the error message even if they made absolutely no sense. My head was spinning, by the end of it. I slept on it and after a while, it struck me maybe I should run this thing as an administrator or something? which is a thing that I somehow remembered from the days I was struggling to install python. which was about a year and a half back. and it all worked. I was so happy that day. which was three days ago.

The bottom line is, dear reader (which is probably only me). Don’t try to learn something without at least some guidance. Some might say, I could’ve asked any of my professors. I invite them all to come and have a talk with my professors to gauge their intelligence, even a lab rat has a little bit more common sense than my namesake professors.

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