Hey there! Seems like you found your way into my aquarium. Up until now, not a lot was going on here. In fact, the whole site is still under construction in a lot of places so don’t be suprised if the design changes in the future. You might be wondering how you ended up here - I cannot answer this question but I am glad you did. This article is my way of kicking off this blog by telling you more about me, why I decided to start a blog and what kind of content you can expect to be featured here in the future.

About me

Let’s start with the most obvious question - who am I? At the moment I consider myself to be nothing more than a small fish in the vast ocean that you call the field of computer-science. I am currently a student at TU Graz in a small but beautiful country known as Austria (not to be confused with the continent with a somewhat similar name). The university calls the Master’s degree programme I am attending “Information and Computer Engineering” which may sound like a fancy version of computer-science but in reality it’s more or less a combination of computer-science and electrical engineering. In exchange for all the boring wonderful theoretical computer-science topics like software paradigms or graph-theory I get to experience fun topics like integrated-circuit design, circuit simulation and hardware-software codesign. I chose this programme because of one pretty naive question that defines my entire life up until now - “How does it work?”. I figured that if I wanted to learn how computers work I cannot simply learn about programming because that would leave out all the hardware necessary to run programs in the first place.

As I learned more and more about computers I realized that I am mostly interested in low-level hardware design. What I mean by that is that I am not particularly interested in the newest cloud-blockchain-AI-black-magic software but rather how to design hardware that can run this software more efficiently. To do this you need a pretty good understanding of the software you want to run so I kinda lied about not being interested. It’s more like understanding the software is not the main goal but more like a logical step necessary in order to design hardware for it. Next to my obvious interest in technology I am also an amateur musician. I play euphonium in a local wind orchestra/marching band and piano/synth in a band. This however shall not be the focus of this blog. Maybe I’ll find a way to combine my interests in music and technology in some project - we’ll see.

Why I decided to write a blog

So let’s get to the more intesting question - why did I decide to start a blog? It’s not that trivial to answer this question so let me start at the beginning. You know, going to university and attending courses about all sorts of intriguing topics is a lot of fun and you certainly get a feeling for your field of study, but can you actually apply your knowledge afterwards? To some degree for sure, but is it enough? Will you get a nice job afterwards just by finishing all your mandatory courses? The realization struck me pretty late unfortunately but I strongly believe that university alone is not nearly enough to get you proficient in any field. You get a decent overview of your field just by attending courses but there are tons of little details that never get enough attention if you don’t actively go out of your way to learn about them. If we stay in the field of computer-science or rather software-development this can be for example things like detailed knowledge about tools like git or make. If you are also a student in a similar field you should really ask yourself whether your knowledge about stuff like version-control, build systems, testing etc. is really sufficient. For me, definitely not and that brings me to the reason I want to write a blog. I strongly belive that you can only become really proficient in something if you are able to explain/teach it to someone else. Getting there includes reading/hearing about something but most importantly experiencing it yourself. Hearing about interesting topics has never been as easy as it is today. There are literally thousands of educational videos you can watch for free on platforms like YouTube. The problem with content like that is that it tricks your brain into believing that you can actually do something after watching it. You feel accomplished since you watch a lot of educational stuff and while this is certainly better than pure procrastination it’s clearly not an active act of learning. If you don’t make the jump from watching other people do interesting stuff to doing cool stuff yourself you are probably gonna be left behind. I am currently at this point and I want to make the jump. I’ve done a fair share of non-university related stuff over the years but I believe I have spent more time thinking about what I could do than actually doing it. And this is exactly what this blog is for. Not only did I learn a little bit about (admittedly pretty oldschool) web-development while setting up this website but this blog also gives me a nice medium to talk about my current projects. In case this blog attracts a few readers it might also prove to be very motivating for me since I don’t wanna let down my potential readers.

What kind of content you can expect

So what can you expect from me here? In general: computer science and electrical engineering related content. The first things I would like to write about are the topics I already mentioned above. Think about a deep dive into compilers, hardware-synthesis tools, build systems and all the other tools you need before you can even begin creating larger software/hardware projects. In the future I also might look into programming languages I haven’t had the opportunity of working with yet like JavaScript or Rust. If I get my hands on some new toys I’ll probably also want to write about them. For example I recently bought an iCEBreaker FPGA board by 1BitSquared so I could probably write something like a “first-look” article about it. I might also just build something interesting that I want to share with the world.

That’s about it for my first blog post. I hope you enjoyed it and want to read more about my projects in the future. If you want to get notified about updates feel free to subscibe to my RSS-Feed or follow me on Twitter (@tunefish_777) where I will also post every new article.