Headfirst C

I had been working through a C++ book, which I just realized I hand’t added here yet. So I’ll do that later… What this is really about, is I am switching over to work though another book, primarily because I have an electronic version of this one, and so don’t have to have the actual book with me.

IN general, I like the headfirst series, even if they tend to be on the simpler side, they are (relatively) fun to read. This one is no exception. I’m a few chapters in and while I’m not really learning anything new, it’s a good enough refresher for basic C since I haven’t’ worked with it in a very long time.


One of the never ending issues with roguelikes is tiles vs characters (ASCII for example, but many use more extended character sets.

Currently I’m exploring the feasibility of making a graphical tile based interface where the default tiles are SVG defined character graphics. For local play, this should give most of the benefits of both. For online play, there are different issues (ans some additional benefits if I go with a browser based interface), but I’m focusing on local play at this point.

I hope this approach will give me:

  • A system where pretty graphical tiles are possible but where I can quickly define character based ones. For me, character based is preferred, but an SVG tile is an SVG tile whatever it’s contents, so if someone with the desire and talent wished to do so, icons would be inherently supported
  • Scaling. This should allow the “graphical” part of the game to scale more gracefully across a range of screen/windows sizes and resolutions.
  • Templating. I’m just learning to work with SVG, but I hope that I can template-ify the icons so that variations (tin things like color) can be done more easily. This is the equivalent of color coding your orcs (‘o’) in a character based system.

For now, I’m going to work towards using the SVG data directly, but I suspect that for performance reasons some sort of tile generator/smarter caching/whatever will be required.

Since I know next to nothing about working with SVGs, I picked up a few books. No review/recommendation on these as I have not read them yet.

The other side of technical books

As a rule, I am usually reading at least one technical book for my own purposes. At the moment, this is being taken over by one for work. As part of some tasks at work, I am reading a new book. The material isn’t bad, but the prose itself is painful:

Deeply inspired to the classic client/server request model, the WebForms model worked beautifully and…

Page 4

I skimmed the book first just to see what it covered and it seemed OK. As I go back through in more detail it’s clear that this is going to be a slog. Not because of the underlying material, but because the phrasing is so baroque. 

I have included the by now traditional link if you want a copy of your own. But I recommend staying away unless the material is particularly critical for you. 


I’m going to play around and go through the NAND 2 Tetris course. Well maybe. I have the book,, so I don’t know if I’ll do the Courseara courses, just go though the book, or what.  I’ll Probably start with just the book, and do Coursera if it seems like it will help. 

This is a tough one to categorize. But since the early parts of the book use  an HDL (not sure yet if they use a “standard” one, or if they have rolled their own simpler one for the course) it seems close enough to hardware to count. A case could probably be made for embedded as well, but it seems more of a stretch.

I don’t think the book is necessary, but if anyone else is interested, here it is:

Art of Electronics (3rd)

Kicking off a new book to work through.

I remember going through the second edition and running into lots of questions/things I wanted to explore further. So why not work through the 3rd edition? If you’re feeling particularly brave, a link to get your own copy is below. 

I’ll probably do the lab book as well once I clear some space on a bench.

Books Introduction

Welcome to the Books section of Sparking Squirrel.

Books are important to me. In technical endeavors, I generally find myself using them to build knowledge from the bottom up (vs top down like projects tend to promote).

My pal is to use this section to track progress through various books that I am working my way through, and probably write some book reviews along the way as well. 

Obviously, this category will overlap with the others depending on the subject matter involved. I’m not yet certain that separating them out into a distinct category is worthwhile, but I figured I’d give it a shot. Each book should also have it’s own tag, so that might be sufficient. Time will tell. 

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I don’t really intend for this to make money, but if I’m going to be linking to Amazon for books I’m discussing anyhow…

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