Thursday, May 26, 2016

Book Review: The Children of the Sky by Vernor Vinge

Vernor Vinge has written a few main novels set in the Zones of Thought universe. The main one, A Fire Upon the Deep, is highly regarded in the science fiction community. There is a prequel, A Deepness in the Sky, which I haven't read. The other main one, The Children of the Sky, is the one I just finished reading.

As a direct sequel to A Fire Upon the Deep, this book requires that you finish the prior one. This review will naturally contain spoilers for A Fire Upon the Deep, though I avoid ones for The Children of the Sky.

Read on for my full review.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Coding: A Python Notifier for the NYC Subway

New York City Subway 6 train. Photo by Robert McConnell (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.)

For fun, I created a small application in Python that checks the status of the New York City subway system and sends me an email in the morning and afternoon if there are delays in the specific lines I tend to use to get to/from work. Now, sure, something like this already exists and is offered by MTA, but I wanted to go ahead and write this myself.

Below, I describe how it works in case you want to create something similar. The code is available at GitHub, should you care to grab it.