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Lisp, again

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Since Neuros OSD2 hacking has been abandoned and also because my ham radio interests are currently in hibernation and also since my family is away for a while, I decided to take up some self learning. I have decided to re-start my lisp studies. The goal is to reach a stage where I can write non-trivial programs with lisp. To achieve this purpose, I have choosen the following path:

  • Grok Practical Common Lisp, arguably the best introductory Lisp book available today. Unfortunately there are no exercises, but there a few quite good “Practicals”.
  • Watch the SICP lecture videos. I don’t like watching them on my PC as my attention span has reduced considerably, thanks to Internet. I use the versions available for viewing on IPod and watch them on my (loaned) Apple IPod. It had been quite effective. The 320×240 resolution is more than enough. I don’t have to sit in front of my computer, instead I sit with a pen and notebook, just like in a classroom.I can also listen to them while travelling in trains. These days, I am a regular on weekend trains between cochin and bangalore.
  • Read SICP and work out the exercise. I have a dead-tree version of SICP for some years now. Every time, I read parts of the book but never completed even half of it.

I am making good progress with Practical Common Lisp. Though there is an online version, I decided to buy a dead-tree version. I am finding that Common Lisp is one of the best language for a C programmer like me to learn, instead of Scheme. Scheme syntax and CL syntax has got some subtle differences.

It would take me many months to continue this process. But I have decided not to get distracted with other things during this study. I also have afew projects in mind which I can use Common Lisp for. I am not sure, whether I can go anywhere near the effort that this guy undertook. But even if it is a bit of what he did, it is going to be very beneficial.

Also, if anyone would like to take this undertaking and would like to form a study group (in Bangalore), let me know, we can chart out a plan to meetup regularly and spend time on the lisp study.

Read more: VU3RDD Station Log


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