I'd forgotten about my short affair with Tiddlywiki until recently. But, having switched away from Opera [twitch], I needed something to replace my much-loved Notes Panel. Tiddlywiki does so much more, I consider it a net win.

Thumbs up.

Another excellent day

I feel like running around in the yard yelling "The new nerd books are here! The new nerd books are here!" Nobody would understand.



Learning stuff, need advice

A timeline for folks who don't read my other blog (don't feel bad, because I don't read it either):
  • Last June I was injured at work.

  • I still hurt.

  • Worker's Compensation (WCB), for obvious reasons, wants me to go away.

  • Their policy is to see me employed at my pre-injury wage before they cut me off.

  • My most recent wage was exceptionally good.

  • I can't earn that same wage doing brainless labour any longer, because of the injury.

  • There aren't many ways to earn that wage doing light-duty work, but there are some.

  • WCB had two choices: Help me find light-duty work, or let me try to convince them that I'm a good candidate for retraining.

  • I convinced them. Yay!
As sucky as it is to have an injury that refuses to go away, this is a golden opportunity. After being Joe Lunchbox for most of my working life, getting the chance to retrain and having them pay for all of it, along with living expenses, is like winning a lottery to me. I liked some of the grunt work I've done over the years, but if I have one regret it's that I didn't go to school before starting a family, when I had the chance.

Because you're reading about it here, at Galootix, you can probably guess what line of work I'm training for. Programming or, more specifically, web programming.

This is so fucking cool.

They said "pick a school."

WCB strongly hinted that they'd be really happy if I chose BCIT because they'd dealt with them a lot in the past. I wanted to go with O'Reilly Learning, mainly because I've never picked up an O'Reilly book that didn't teach me something. I have craploads of respect for them.

Gambling, because I only had one shot to convince them, I proposed O'Reilly.

WCB said, "Well, we really want you to get a diploma or a certificate."

I said, "How about four?"

They said, "Four? You've only got six months before we cut you off. Are you sure? It'll take that long to get one through BCIT."

I said, "Yeah, what else do I have to do but sit on my ass all day? Besides, if you're paying, I'm gonna cram as much into my skull as I can without my eyes bleeding."

They said, "Alright. Want a laptop, too? And cable for half a year?"

Heh. "Yeah! One of those Ferrari laptops?"

"Don't push it."

Oh, hey, I titled this post Learning stuff, need advice, didn't I? You were wondering when I'd get to the point.

Here are the courses I'm taking.
  1. HTML and CSS

  2. Introduction to PHP

  3. PHP/SQL 1: Introduction to Database Programming

  4. CGI with Perl

  5. SQL Databasing

  6. Introduction to XML

  7. JavaScript 1: Introduction to JavaScript

  8. JavaScript 2: AJAX

  9. Learn Object-Oriented Programming using Java

  10. Unix for Web Programming

  11. Linux/Unix System Administration 1: The Unix File System

  12. Linux/Unix System Administration 2: Networking and DNS

  13. Linux/Unix System Administration 3: Unix Services

  14. Linux/Unix System Administration 4: Scripting for Administrators Sed, Awk, and Perl

I'm just finishing the HTML/CSS one (started with the easiest one I could). I'm thinking of taking them in the order listed. My question to you, Internet people, is "do you think this is the right, as in 'easiest and most efficient', order?" Would you rearrange things, or is that about right? Assume I know nothing. It's almost true.

I've listed the Linux/Unix courses last because they're really sort of peripheral to my goals, and I've already picked up dribs and drabs on my own, anyway. I'm not in a hurry to cover the material.


(Hot diggity, this is exciting!)

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Mixed news

Good news: I'm typing this on my new laptop! That's pretty nifty for a guy whose first real calculator came with a belt pouch.
Bad news: This "Designed for Windows XP" label is rubbing against the little bone on the side of my wrist.

...Pardon me. Was.

Good news: I'll be adding Linux soon enough.
Bad news: I'll need access to IE, so I can't replace XP outright. I'll be stuck dual-booting.

Good news: I don't need access to IE that often.
Bad news: No more bad news.

Strange news: I'm typing this using Firefox. I haven't installed Opera, and even when I do I don't think I'll use it very much. (I wonder if Larry reads Galootix.) I'm going to miss a few things Opera did for me, but I think FF's going to offer a degree of flexibility I've never had before. With any luck, it won't be too too long before I can change something if I don't like it. Heh. Yeah.

What I'll miss most of all is Opera's mail client. I love it. Getting used to folders again (Thunderbird, not Outlook) will take some doing. Oh well. I've got lots of time.

P.S. Argh. I use XChat for IRC. Unlike the Linux version, the Windows version isn't free. :(

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