Maand: april 2017

Unshakeable – food for the mind, the wallet and the millions

He did it again.
I do not think there is much in this book that he had not discussed (extensively) in Money Master the Game.

But, as opposed to Money, this book is more concise (which is not much of an achievement; I wrote about this earlier here; Unshakeable is a revelation of briefness compared to Money).

The books is very clear on where not to lose money: taxes, fund fees, services that add no value.
It is also very clear on where to invest in: diversified portfolio of low cost index trackers, bonds, real estate.
Do not invest in gold or so.

And a very important learning: stay calm. Stock markets dive every so many years. When this happens, stay in your seat and do not move. Because as often as they fall they rise again.
Losses are made by people that get nervous.
These are the opportunities for the calm.

If there is one conclusion from this book in one sentence: get conscious about your investments, otherwise the financial institutions will get away with your savings.
That’s the conclusion, so if you want to read more, go ahead. The proceeds of the book go to the noble cause of feeding the world (Tony feeds millions/billions,when not on the phone with presidents and multibillionaires all the time), so if not good for your wallet, the investment in this is good for your mental well-being.
But expect lots of words for not so many ideas. Good ideas, but conciseness and humility are not Tony’s forte.

The roots of modern computing explained in EWD51 – Multiprogramming and the X8

Dijkstra’s EWD 51 is a structured educational coverage of the workings of semaphores in communicating processes and with IO devices. It is the first part in a series of three articles called MULTIPROGAMMERING EN DE X8″ (Multiprogramming and the X8), EWD54 and 57 describe part 2 and 3.

The X8 is the Dutch research computer for which Dijkstra and hos team developed the operating system, and he was able to test his now famous concepts for multiprogramming. 
In a way it is the formal part of the talk that Dijkstra held and was transcribed in EWD 35.

EWD 51 extensively discusses the mechanisms of semaphores, the conditions, and (hardware) implications. That is the summary. To give more would be pointless, and you’d rather read the entire article. (The article is in Dutch – I could provide a quick translation if you are interested. Please let me know through a comment on this post, or send me an email)

The Dutch language used in this article is highly interesting. Dijkstra invents concepts for which no words existed before (seinpaal/semaphore as computing concept to start with) the abbreviations P (prolaag/pass – probeer te verlagen) and V (verhoog/increase), critieke secties / critical sections, ingreep-flip-flop / interrupt-flip-flops, luisterbit / listener bit, doof-horend bit.

The article could still  function as a modern introduction into the topic and still be applicable to today’s computers.

So far ahead, so clear, so up to date still.