Ayden's Blog

Where I talk about stuff

Competitive Programming/Coding

Competitive Programming, according to Wikipedia, is a mind sport usually held over the Internet or a local network, involving participants trying to program according to provided specifications. This is a really interesting take on both sports and programming. If you haven't tried anything like this before, I suggest you try some of these Google Code Jam problems from past years. They are an interesting challenge, and I have done a few. The Wiki article has some great competition sites to look at, including Code Jam. There are often times prizes that can be obtained by programmers that reach a certain level, or win, as well. Something similar that I have competed in is Google Code In. It starts around December each year, and you can get prizes, such as hoodies, t-shirts, and bottles. Code in has more to do with learning how to contribute to open-source projects. In conclusion, competitive programming can be an interesting excersize for anyone, from beginner to advanced.


Firebase and Android

Google's Firebase is a free database system for Android, IOS, and Web developers. They have many excelent APIs for Android, although I am not sure about IOS and web. I am currently in the midst of designing and developing an Android app for this blog, which will likely have similar, if not identical, posts. My plan is to put my blog onto the Google Play store, due to it's one time $25 developer fee. This will be positive for me for many reasons. For one, I will be able to gain a wider audience. Second, I will be able to send out notifications for my blog, so that everyone will know when I post. Finally, I will be able to monetize my app. Although it is a touchy subject, monetization is an important factor for any content creator. You problably hear a lot about this on YouTube, and I have disgussed this in a previous post. I plan to be completely open about my advertising revenue and ad type. I will try to choose a simple, non-interruptive ad format that will sit at the bottom of the screen. I am very excited to get this app up, and very excited to see peoples' reactions to my blog. Hopefully you will try it out if you have an Android phone, and I will make sure to make a post about it when the time comes!



Recently, I have joined a community of developers and hackers, known as hackforums. It is a group of developers, advanced and beginner, and hackers that communicate ideas about various topics. I would definately reccomend it for anyone with questions about computers or security. They have many boards full of very active users. I don't suggest asking questions before researching, though, because most people there likely know more than you, and there is a great possibility that users could, jokingly, give you a sarcastic answer to a question. If you want to learn about hacking or programming, then HF is a great place to start.


Machine Learning

For the past two years, I have been an avid programmer. For some reason, until recently, it has felt as though I haven't been able to program using new technologies or libraries. However, with machine learning, this is not the case. From Google, Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that provides computers with the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. Some Python libraries have been made for people interested in working with machine learning, such as Sk-Learn. These are incredibly useful for less experienced programmers to create programs using machine learning. A website post that I've found that shows how to use libraries like Sk-Learn can be found here. Machine learning is a very interesting computer science concept, and although I problably don't understand it as well as I think I do, it will likely be very useful in many applications in the near future.


Free Lance Web Design!

Hello everyone! Happy new year! It's been a while since I've posted on this blog, and I have some interesting news. I am making an attempt at becomming a freelance web designer, to see if I can make any progress. The Twitter that I have decided to work with is linked in the header. For nonprofits, I am willing to be make websites for free, unless I begin getting lots of requests.


Arduino Android Robot

I was working on a project almost all of yesterday, in which I drilled a hole in the bottom of an andorid collectible from the Dead Zebra Shop, and feeding some wires through. From there, I drilled holes in the eyes of the figure, and added two LEDs, connected to the wires, and one resistor. The wires connected to pin 13 and ground on my Arduino. I then looked online for some ideas for a sketch(a program written to an Arduino), and the finished product can be found here on GitHub. I suggest doing something similar to what I did(putting the leds into the eyes of an android figure), however the code should work fine without that step. Here on Imgur are some pictures of the project.



For about two months now, I have been using Ubuntu Linux as my computer's operating system. I have not been dual-booting with Windows, it is purely Ubuntu. So far, the payoff of forcing myself to get used to linux has been easier installations of things, a better interface, and no "Register Windows" watermark in the bottom left area of my screen.(I know that I could just pay for windows, but I dont have enough money.) My experience has been very programming/terminal oriented, as you can do a lot more with the terminal than with normal applications. This has been fun, because it has been very simple to install packages, using the many ppas avalible for Ubuntu users. One big problem that a lot of people have with switching over to linux is the lack of games. This really only applies to people, including myself, who have built their computer for the purpose of gaming. So far, most of the games I used to play on Windows have been avalible on Ubuntu, due to steam's new console, the steam box, running on linux. One downside of running linux only is Skype. Skype is a Microsoft product, so I don't expect this to improve very drastically, but Skype for linux is horrible. There are acceptions, such as Skype for Linux Alpha, which is very similar to Skype Online. Both of those Skype versions are definately usable, unlike default linux skype, although they lack many features, such as screen-sharing and group video chats. In conclusion, switching to linux hasn't been as difficult as many people consider it, and if you really want to use Windows-only applications, you could dual-boot(which is surprisingly easy), or you could use a Windows application running program, such as Wine or PlayOnLinux.



Lots of people, including myself, sometimes put ads on things that they made, in order to make a little bit of money. Is it wrong to advertise? Advertisment is a pretty subjective thing. There's wikipedia, which doesn't advertise at all, and it is the 7th most visited site(according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_popular_websites), as of September 6, 2016. Obvoiusly, Wikipedia and Wikimedia have some very dedicated people behind it, some of which I have talked to(on irc). This nonprofit is extremely successful, and has contributed a lot to the world and internet, but when you look at another top 10 website, specifically Google, you see a similar, for profit organization, that has also contributed a lot. Google, unlike wiki, makes money off of advertisments, which has allowed them to profit a lot, as well as fund many other great websites and services, such as YouTube. In the end, I suppose that weather it is moral to advertise or not depends on if you will be able to affectively use the money made in order to continue to help people. However, there is nothing wrong with making money to support yourself either. If you can make a living off of ads, there is nothing wrong with that either. However, it is unnessisary to place advertisements on websites/projects that get few views, because it is not worth the trade off of making you look sort of, for a lack of a better term, a sellout. This is why I have decided to disable advertisements on all of my youtube videos and websites, until a time comes where I find significant success. This post was problably irrelavant, but anyway, happy holidays.


Christmas Eve Coding

Merry Christmas Eve, viewers :). I hope you're having a great day, I know I am. After some thought, I have decided to convert the basic css on my blog page to a more material design-friendly style. I think that it has worked very well, and if you have any critisisms, email EMAIL EXPUNGED. Anyway, Chrismas Eve last year was problably one of the most suspenseful days of my life. I knew that my parents had bought me the parts to assemble my new computer, which I am using to type this post. This was rather significant, because I had only had a laptop in the past. It was from 2012, and could barely run minecraft, and couldn't watch YouTube videos. Building my computer was one of the best days of my life. I went from an unusable pice of *sensored word*, to a god-like gaming machine. This was around the time that I met the Google recruter that I mentioned previously. Once I realized that I needed to understand what people might be talking about at the Google office, I decided to learn a lot more about Java, and C++. I did learn a surprising amount, for a 12 year old, and some of that information is still relevant to me today. Although I don't think that I will be upgrading my PC anytime soon, but if you have enough funds, and time, I suggest that you try building a computer yourself.


Google Code In

For those who weren't previously aware, Google Code In is a program for pre-university students to learn about open source programming. I am currently participating in my first year of GCI, and I have enjoyed it a lot. I have learned a decent amount of github and git, and virtual machines. I have finished 3 tasks so far, and I am excited to finish my fourth. For my fourth task, I am working with a company called Sugar Labs. From what I have observed, Sugar Labs is responsible for their web-based software, Sugarizer. It is a tool used to teach children about school subjects, such as science and math. I hope to learn more about git/github from working with Sugar Labs. Another cool skill to learn would be to develop for less known programs, such as Sugarizer. I'll post again about the results when the event ends.


Aydens Dumb Ideas

I realize that having a neocities blog is pretty pointless. Come on, look at all of the other people with blogs here. If you're reading this, you are most likely bored out of your mind at 11:00. Fear not, as I am in the same situation as I write this. You problably dont't care about me, I wouldn't either, but I'm going to feed you this useless information anyway, because why not. My name is Ayden, I am currently a seventh grade middle school student, this blog doesnt count, but I'm pretty good at programming, and I have been for about a year now. Most of my interactions with my friends are over skype or in the hall, if I happen to see them durring passing time.


Google Is Cool

I have a half day tomorrow, followed by Christmas vacation, so I don't really care if I am sleep deprived. Google is a really really cool company. In sixth grade(last year), I applied for a job as a joke, and someone actually responded. All I really knew was HTML and a little bit of Java, but I put that on my stupid little resume. I must have interested the recruter, that I won't name for privacy reasons, because we ended up talking for a few hours in a hangouts chat. After those few hours, it was decided that over February vacation, I would take a tour of the Google office nearest me, which sadly, wasn't the one this person worked at. It was the coolest thing ever. I waked into the office, and there was a person sized android robot thing, that was designed to look like an owl with a graduate hat. By now, you might have figured out that I went to the office in Cambridge, next to MIT. When I talked to the receptionist, I was given a cool badge with my name on it, as well as the date and a google logo, which I still have. The building design was also super cool. A bunch of buildings were connected, and each floor was labled with colored "lines". Each elevator was themed after some kind of public transit. They had a ton of food, all for free. The main cafeteria was huge, and again, provided free food. I also got to talk to an engineer there, who gave me some pretty good advice on what programming languages to learn. It's been almost a year since I went now, and I have learned, or at least researched all of them. I didn't stick with all of them though, because I am interested in front end web development, so a few of them weren't really that useful. After that meeting, I talked to some random people, solved a couple of Rubik's Cubes, and eventually had a hangouts call with the nice person that set up the tour for me. It was really cool, and they gave me some free stuff, such as an off-brand lego android robot, a bag, a shirt(with the mid-2015 logo for some reason), a flashlight, a pen, and a notebook. If you ever get a chance to visit a google office, do it. It's really really cool.


This isn't copyrighted, if you use it, please credit me. Find this project on Github, or email me!