Since childhood, tinkering with computers was a favourite pastime hobby of mine, I always wanted to do something cool with them. I remember as a school kid in India, when my father bought Intel Pentium-1 computer, it was a huge machine, in my spare time I used to open the computer case unit, and just explore the gigantic power supply, components, RAM sticks and a massive fan stuck on top of the processor.
At the time, I if I remember correctly, we had Windows 95 on floppy disks loaded. Yeah, the computer was awfully slow, but for that day and age, the system was mighty fast. I think the internet was a dialup at that time, so the speed was around 14.4 kbps, and I loved to use the back-then browser "Netscape" and just loved surfing the MSN.COM website haha. Fast forwarding time, I didn't properly get the opportunity to learn the so-called "computer science" which most people equate to being "Medicine" you have to choose a specific field and build your career path on it. Nevertheless, I guess I had to begin somewhere.
Given all the hype surrounding the Raspberry Pi and Arduino, I was always very curious as to what they can do?, how powerful they are, and why hobbyists tout them to be the "tinkering Pandora's Box" so to speak. That all changed, when I finally bought one!
Given the lockdown situation due to the #Coronavirus pandemic in Russia, and with me being bored easily, (I get bored if I don't so something with my hands lol) I took the plunge and went to my local computer shop - supereyes.ru and bought an Arduino development box kit and a Raspberry Pi. I bought an LCD monitor, SD card and connected the Pi together and voila! the Pi came to life, and it was unbelievable for me to see a tiny computer, playing a 1080p HD video on YouTube kitted out with a full Raspbian OS, all this running on a battery pack!
I began searching online tutorials on how to connect the Arduino to the computer, install software and run my first ever hardware project - blinking LED 😝. For this project I bought a small breadboard, used an LED and connected the LED to the GPIO (General Input Output) PIN of the Arduino, but I forgot to add a resister (bearing in mind, I didn't know how resister works) and evidently, the LED burnt out 😂
After consulting with Daniela, my university friend from Vienna (she is senior software engineer and a data scientist, and studied electronic engineering at the University of Vienna), she told me "Josh, you need a ******* resister to reduce the current and voltage for the LED to work lol, you just can't connect any power input to the LED and expect it to "just work"" 😂
Having sparked my curiosity, I wanted to build more stuff, but didn't know where to begin. I searched all over the internet and found numerous albeit conflicting advice on how to "start YOUR journey towards computer science" some said, start from Python, others said start from bla bla bla... you get the idea 👀
Yes, I could have started from Python, being dubbed "the easiest language in the world", instead I decided to confront my phobia of maths! -> start from the ground up, i.e., binary numbers!, and then go on to Boolean Algebra, which in my opinion is the fundamental building block for computer science.
In my next post, I will be writing about my journey to computer science, my courses and progress I have done. If you like what you read, feel free to comment below. See you all soon, Josh.