In I walked into the cubicle of my office which is located on the 10th floor. I logged into my computer and started reviewing a Powerpoint presentation I had made the previous day. I am into a management kind of role for the past two and a half years. Previously I was a mainframe developer, but not by choice though. I was trained in mainframe when I joined the company and I continued to be a developer for three years. I wasn’t into mainframe much and I always thought about switching to a new technology like web development or Linux administration. Back in school and college I learned quite a few programming languages like C, C++, Java, Visual Basic, HTML, Java script, Pearl and so on. After I joined this company I learned a few more languages to work on mainframe like JCL (Job Control Language), REXX and Cobol. Nothing really excited me like the web development languages that I had learnt in school. When I created a simple web page I had a feeling of accomplishment that none other languages gave me. The creator in me liked that. I found particularly Java to be boring and C and C++ were pretty ordinary. But I do have plans to learn C all over again as I don’t remember anything apart from printf and scanf. I always wanted to be a technically strong person, a good techie, and I always wanted to learn stuff like the internal workings of an Operating System and so on. Until the end of 2011, I used only Windows and I never bothered to learn anything. These interests always were at the back of my mind but I did nothing on my part. I needed some motivation and that motivation came in the form of Linux. One lazy Sunday afternoon, as I was lying on my bed, the word Linux came floating into my mind. I got up and googled it. Shortly afterwards I downloaded and installed a Linux distribution called Ubuntu. I really liked it and started using it alongside Windows 7. It took me two more years to ditch Windows completely. The strange thing is Linux kind of brought my interests back to the forefront of my mind. It encouraged the geek in me. Imagine this — you always wanted to learn guitar, but you did absolutely nothing to learn it. But one day you buy a music CD and the guitar piece in that CD inspires you so much that you go out and sign up for learning guitar at a music academy. That’s what happened to me. Linux encouraged and still encourages me to learn stuff. A couple of weeks back I downloaded and installed Emacs. Guess what? Emacs had that same effect on me. I really liked it and on the third day of downloading it I started leaning the Emacs Lisp language (the language that was used to build the Emacs application).
I always searched for a good piece of software for me to write. Apart from all the techie stuff, I love books and I love to write. I want to become a novelist sometime and churn out novel after novel. I am still searching for the perfect application that would satisfy my writing needs. So far Emacs seem to be the application that I need. I am still learning it as it has a bit of a learning curve. When I fired up Emacs for the first time, two weeks ago, I was presented a long tutorial. At first, I felt a bit reluctant to read it and try out the various stuff given. But then I remembered the great Richard Stallman and I didn’t need any other inspiration 🙂
But I am bit confused now. As I googled more and more about Emacs Lisp the more I am getting caught in this desire to learn it and then continue from there and learn the Common Lisp language as the two are closely related. I also did a lot of googling to understand if I should learn Scheme, which is a variant of Lisp, or Lisp itself after I am done with Emacs Lisp. Finally I have settled for Lisp as Lisp seems to be a larger and more complete language than Scheme. But I have to hold my horses though. I was actually in the middle of some writing when I jumped into this Emacs wagon and now Emacs is taking me on a ride. I was actually planning to write a novel, not learn stuff after stuff. So far this is how I have set my priorities:
1. Learn Emacs and Emacs Lisp
2. Get going with the novel and complete the first rough draft within the end of 2015.
I hope I stick to my plan. After completing my novel I would go after Common Lisp. Or maybe I would go after more novels. I don’t know, let me think about it after completing my novel.