Reading a Manual Can Change Your Life

When I was a kid, my father bought me my first computer: a ZX Spectrum.

To play games you had to plug it into a cassette player and a TV set.

Kolossos, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The ZX Spectrum came with a BASIC programming manual, that I read beginning to end, and started making small programs, with many lines, GOTOs, BREAKs, and little output. You could change the colors in the screen and play some sounds.

Museum Rotterdam, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can still find the BASIC manual thanks to the Internet Archive.

I really liked that, and ended up studing Computing Engineering years later. So there you go, reading a manual, can change your life 🙂

Other random things I liked

  • Kumquat jam, the one my father in law makes, with kumquats from his garden in Spain, is delicious. It is tart, bitter and sweet. More delicate and aromatic than orange jam. My favorite by far. I have never found it in a store, it feels like a total luxury to have it for breakfast.
  • Alex from work recommended me this song and the solo albums from Mark Lanegan, and why didn’t I listen to them before?
  • I have been doing weekly pair programming sessions with Rodrigo (also from work) and what a wonderful experience. We are being productive, learning from each other and having fun.
  • And Paul recommended the blog from Jamie Todd Rubin. It is a treasure cove of inspiration. I have updated this list, indexed my journal papers a bit like him, and started being more organized and consistent with my notes.
  • I watched the Argentinian movie ‘El perro que no calla‘ on the plain coming back to Spain. It is very surreal, I really liked it. There is a scene where the protagonist is dancing so badly and intensely that you can’t avoid feeling embarrassed for him but you can’t stop laughing. And then my husband, sitting a seat away from me, looked at me with a very serious face and started dancing like him.