Stuff I Like

Published 08 Dec 2018 on Adhityaa's Blog

What better way to start a blog than an opinionated piece about all the things I like and, more importantly, hate. It goes without saying – if you like anything I dislike, you suck. Some of these are still evolving, so I’ll probably be making changes all the time.

Last updated: 08 Dec 2018

Programming Languages

My first programming language was C and that has shaped my mental model of programming. I’m pretty sure that if I had learnt a different first language, I would think about programming differently; even if, in the end, I arrive at the same set of languages. C is close to the hardware and does not hide anything from you. And I like that.

My other favourite languages are Go and Python. Go because it’s very similar to C. Python because of how clean it is. I have different use-cases for both, however. I’d never start a huge project in Python; it’ll always be for quick scripts and projects that won’t require much maintenance. The lack of strong typing would be a nightmare down-the-line. Go is my go-to (heh) for larger projects; it’s fast to compile, easy to read, strongly typed, and has an excellent standard library. Unfortunately, it’s not all roses in Go land; poor error handling, generics (or lack thereof), and verbosity plague the language, but I still like it.

C++ is a mixed bag for me. It has some nice features (like classes), but the STL is a nightmare to work with; I’m often baffled at how lacking it is. Unfortunately, like a lot of people, I think of C++ as C with classes. Maybe a little templating here and there, but that’s all I use and know.

tl;dr: C, Go, Python, and sometimes C++.

Operating System, WM, Editor, IRC, Browser

I’ve pretty much exclusively used Linux (ahem, GNU/Linux) since 2011. Sometimes, I use OpenBSD because I like its simplicity. That’s it. I hate macOS (the GUI operating system as a whole) for how locked down it is. Windows is just plain garbage.

I use swaywm as my window manager. It’s a tiling window manager that allows you operate with just your keyboard. This is what my desktop looks like most of the time. And yes, I like light color schemes more than dark ones.

fig1 The font is VT323, in case you were interested.

Vim is the standard editor1 and that’s what I use. I have a pretty minimal vimrc, so there’s nothing fancy underneath. These days, I use Termite as my terminal with Zsh as my shell. I use Weechat in my terminal for IRC. Firefox Nightly is my primary browser.

tl;dr: Linux, Vim, Termite, Zsh, Weechat, and Firefox.

Music

The White Stripes are my favourite band. I just love that raw garage rock with a bluesy feel. To be quite honest, I like pretty much everything involving Jack White – The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, and his personal records. He might just be my single favourite artist. Needless to say, my favourite album is one from the stripes – Elephant (2003). The record is an absolute masterpiece from start to finish. I should probably write a separate article on simply how great that album is.

Basically, rock is my genre. Other artists I love – Queen, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, The Beatles, Green Day, Black Pistol Fire, The Black Keys, Vampire Weekend.

I also have a couple of genres I like that are kinda orthogonal to rock. I listen to an unusual amount of soundtrack and classical music; Hans Zimmer, Ramin Djawadi, Ludovico Einaudi, for example. As someone who grew up in Chennai all my childhood, I absolutely love A. R. Rahman as well, even though I don’t listen to him as much as I used to.

tl;dr: The White Stripes, Queen, Led Zeppelin, and rock in general. Soundtrack and classical music.

TV Series and Movies

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005) is the greatest TV show ever made. Its creators (Rob, Charlie, and Glenn) are some of the funniest people on the planet; I’ve probably watched each episode so many times that I’ve lost count.

By happenstance (notice the fancy English), I watch a lot of British TV – The Inbetweeners (2008), Peep Show (2003), Derry Girls (2017), and an unhealthy amount of panel shows like Would I Lie to You? (2007), 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown (2012), and Mock the Week (2005). Huge fan of David Mitchell.

I watch other shows too, again mostly comedy or dark humour – Silicon Valley (2014), Barry (2018), Arrested Development (2003), Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000), and Seinfeld (1989). Some standup too – Ricky Gervais, Jimmy Carr, James Acaster, Frankie Boyle, and the lot.

God, why do I even watch this much TV.

Anyway, when it comes to movies, I like mind-bending movies like The Prestige (2006), Primer (2004), Inception (2010), Memento (2000), and American Psycho (2000). I like some sci-fi and fantasy too; the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Martian (2015). I hate horror movies and most superhero movies. Except Spider-man. Everybody loves Spider-man. The original trilogy, obviously.

tl;dr: On TV, almost exclusively comedy and dark/satirical humour. Mind-bending, sci-fi, or fantasy movies.

Books

I haven’t been reading much, and I mean to change that. I mostly read sci-fi and fatasy; from what I’ve read, here are some of my absolute favourites – A Song of Ice and Fire series, The Martian (2012), The Expanse series, Ready Player One (2011), the Dune saga, and for nostalgia’s sake, the Harry Potter series.

Video Games

I’ve spent an ungodly amount of time on strategy games, both real-time and turn-based. For whatever reason, other genres like FPS and racing just don’t appeal to me. Most of the time, I’m playing Age of Empires II, Factorio, Rimworld, and Civilization.