Oct, Nov, December 3 month challenge

So after my attempt of the 100 days of code went South, just due to life getting in the way I decided to set myself 3 fairly sizable goals by the end of the year.

I have yet to decide on the strategy I will follow to cover all of the material and achieve these goals – and probably trying to learn all 3 together across the 3 months may not be such a great idea. I may end up covered one book which will allow me to focus and avoid context switching all of the time.

Goal 1 – Complete Genki I text book

I have kept up my Kanji study and completed all of my reviews since May on a daily basis and in order to supplement my study further will go through the Genki I textbook. This is a book that covers things from a beginner level and although I am familiar with much of the material in the book want to review the fundamental and have some kind of logical structure to work through.

Goal 2 – Complete Head First Python text book

Part of the problem I had with the 100 days of code was that I did not really have a good grasp of the fundamentals of Python – and was stumbling around from tutorial to tutorial. Using this book will give me a good grasp of the basis of python in a well presented familiar format.

Goal 3 – Complete Head First PMP

I recently purchased a copy of the Head First PMP book in order to prepare myself for taking the PMP exam. Because I will be ineligible to take the exam until I have 3 years Project Management experience this is the goal I will be tackling last.

100 Days of Code – Update II

The 100 Days of Code challenge is still well underway – I have stuck with Python even though I am also quite keen to learn Javascript but don’t want to jump to another language until I have become a lot more familiar with Python.

I have been moving away from the practice python website and have been working my way through Head-First Python in order to learn more of the fundamentals of the language. I absolutely love the way these books teach a subject – getting you to work with the material in different ways helps to keep you engaged and gives you several methods to help retain the key information.

It feels like I am starting to get to grips with Python and find my way around the language, one of the best things I like about Python are the BIF’s (Built in functions) which enable you to accomplish a significant amount with only a few lines of code.

The latest BIF I have been working with is the isinstance() which allows you to check if a specific identifier holds data of a specific type.

I have also pre-ordered the latest Head-First edition of the PMP (Project Management Professional) as I want to work towards that gaining that qualification.

That’s all for now, thanks for stopping by!

100 Days of Code – Update I

Continuing with the 100DaysOfCode challenge I am now up to day 13. So far I have covered fundamental and basic elements of the language ranging from string manipulation to loops.

To give some kind structure to follow I have been working on the challenge from https://www.practicepython.org a site written and maintained by  Michele Pratusevich. The exercises are graded in difficulty by chills ranging from 1 for the easiest to 4 for the most difficult.

 I am currently up to the 7th challenge and have been able to the majority of them with having to check the solution first.  I have struggled with the ‘one-liner’ and Rock-Paper-Scissor exercises mainly due to a lack of knowledge of Python syntax and capabilities of the language.

 While I will be continuing to work through the exercises on the site, I have found that I need to improve my fundamental knowledge of Python and am working my way through the Head First Python (I have used this series previously to study Java and will soon have the new Project Management Professional book when that is published in July). I do like the way the Head First books present the material and get you to work through the examples in different ways – both in the IDE and good old fashioned pen and paper as this approach makes you think differently and reinforces the key points.

 That’s all for now, thanks for stopping by!

100 Days of Code

There was no update to the blog yesterday as I was preoccupied with my first day of 100 days of code. This is a coding challenge that was created by Alexander Kallaway which encourages people to commit to coding for 100 days.

There are two main rules to this:

  1. Code minimum an hour every day for the next 100 days.
  2. Tweet your progress every day with the #100DaysOfCode hashtag.

I have decided to take up the challenge and to code an hour of Python every day for the next 100 days. This is not going to be easy as it is already 21:19 and I have yet to code for an hour today!

You can check out more information and the full rules from the website here.

I intend to write a summary of the previous 7 days of coding on a weekly basis which will help with two of the aims of this site, updating the blog regularly and learning to code.





Back to the blog

It’s been almost 2 years since I last updated my blog, and I think a new blog post is long overdue!

After deliberating over what I wanted to write about I have decided to focus on the following areas, and perhaps narrow things down when I find an area I want to concentrate on and a potential direction for the blog:-

  • Productivity and Lifehacking
  • My efforts to learn Japanese
  • Japanese applications and learning resources
  • Anything Japanese related – travel, food, culture
  • My efforts to final get past ‘Hello World’ in a programming language
  • Anything ‘tech’ related including trying to make something more exiting than a LED bulb blink with my Arduino and Raspberry Pi boards.
  • Thoughts on Project Management

In order to get some kind of consistency and actually make progress I am aiming to commit to one blog post a week, which should, if everything goes according to plan be on Tuesdays.

This may mean that posts are not ‘perfect’, contain several grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, but the aim here is just to start and develop regular blogging as a productive habit.

Lets hope the next blog post is not in 2 years time, and thanks for stopping by!


Evernote Pricing & Freemium Access Fiasco

Like many people I recently received the following Evernote to Microsoft OneNote migration email, and like many people I am not best pleased about the changes they have proposed:-


There are a varied views and opinions regarding this change with some users staying loyal to Evernote while some seem to be leaving faster than the England Football team during an international competition.

Continue reading “Evernote Pricing & Freemium Access Fiasco”


Welcome to what will be another attempt at writing a blog by yours truly. I think this is probably attempt number 5 by now.

As per usual I will be documenting my experience and thoughts on learning Japanese. I am still going through James W. Heisig’s -Remebering the Kanji and was up to Kanji number 1115 when disaster struck! My phone ended up in a reboot loop and I had no choice but to reset to factory settings.

Unfortunately I had not backed up my Anki deck to AnkiWeb and so lost all of my progress up to that point and was left with my last synchronisation with 807 reviews to do.

It will take quite sometime to catch up but needless to say I will persevere until I have caught up.