It's been a while since I last had a blog. In fact, I think it's been two, maybe three years now. I previously had a WordPress blog that I updated regularly. However, the things I was studying on my own at the time consumed me and I considered writing about those things to be a low priority. After all, who want's to hear what a noob thinks about something he's barely beginning to learn about? So instead I figured I'd continue reading and studying, and maintaining a blog kind of fell into the backburner.
For over a year now I had wanted to get back into blogging, at the very least to serve as a sort of journal for what I've learned, what I'm working on, etc. I didn't want to bother maintaining a WordPress blog anymore, so I gave tumblr a shot. I felt that tumblr wasn't as flexible as I would like and lost interest again. A few months ago I got the urge again to set up a blog, and having heard of static site generators on hacker news, I ended up giving Jekyll/Octopress a try. That's what I'm running right now and so far it's working out well. I actually set this up a few months ago, but hadn't had the time to properly set it up and design myself a theme.
I've done a lot during my absence these past few years. In fact, it's all a big blur so I don't know where to begin to talk about it. Most recently, for example, I worked on a music visualizer for Linux' Pulse Audio in Haskell using OpenGL and FFTW. This was the first program I wrote in Haskell, aside from little programs I would write to learn the language. I learned Haskell primarily using a combination of Learn You a Haskell for Great Good and Real World Haskell. For certain things, such as understanding the concept of laziness in Haskell, I used the Haskell Wikibook. I also had a Professor at school who was familiar with Haskell and DSP as my mentor. Thanks to his previous experience, I was able to learn both things pretty quickly. Whenever I was unsure of my understanding of a given topic, such as Monads, I had him to discuss and refine my understanding with.
I worked on this project to learn both Haskell and Digital Signal Processing. The book I used for learning Digital Signal Processing is The Scientist and Engineer's Guide to Digital Signal Processing. For the longest time---probably the same amount of time I've been without a blog---I've wanted to learn about Digital Signal Processing, but every book I found assumed some prior DSP knowledge, electronics/circuits knowledge, or hardcore mathematical understanding. This book seems to teach DSP from the perspective of a developer, showing code for algorithms discussed throughout, such as the Fast Fourier Transform.
I will probably write a post with more information about the project and what it was like to learn Haskell and DSP, and where I intend to go forward with this. For now I just wanted to push out a real post, unlike the test post which I use to test the design and markup of this site.