Alexander’s Choice


What is computing? What are computers for?
Xanadu Basics | Ted Nelson (2018)
STALL [Book] Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas | Seymour Papert (1980)

Computing and learning math.

The Mother of All Demos | Douglas Engelbart (1968)

Presenting NLS.

Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework | Douglas Engelbart (1962)

A research report about a conceptual framework that can help us understand how to make use of computers to augment our capabilities.

Seeing Spaces | Bret Victor (2014)

A new kind of "maker space" that makes seeing and understanding a project's behavior in a scientific way easier. (such as visualizing data from sensors of a robot)

Personal Dynamic Media | Alan Kay, Adele Goldberg (1977)
What would happen in a world in which everyone had a Dynabook? If such a machine were designed in a way that any owner could mold and channel its power to his own needs, then a new kind of medium would have been created: a metamedium, whose content would be a wide range of already-existing and not-yet-invented media.


How to think better? How to learn better? How to make better decision?
Zettelkasten — How One German Scholar Was So Freakishly Productive | David B. Clear (2019)
How to Make a Complete Map of Every Thought You Think | Lion Kimbro (2003)

The proposed method works with pen and paper, no computer is needed.

David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” system is actually pretty cool. If you are interested in contributing to a study of notebook systems, this is a must read. (p.5)
The notebook system I describe has built in strategy management. You will always know what your options and priorities are in notebook management. (p.6)
I actually believe that we should all communicating with what Robert Horn calls “Visual Verbal Language”. (p.6)
Augmenting Long-term Memory | Michael Nielsen (2018)

Using Anki to build long-term memory.

For creative work and for problem-solving there is something special about having an internalized understanding. It enables speed in associative thought, an ability to rapidly try out many combinations of ideas, and to intuit patterns, in ways not possible if you need to keep laboriously looking up information.
Tools for Thought
Logseq, Trilium Notes, Roam Research, Athens Research

Note-taking systems that have some characteristics described in this book. | Adam Moore

A project to explore techniques and develop tools for a xanalogical Web.


What kind of culture do you believe that a world where technology is ubiquitous should have?
STALL [Book] 十宅論: 解讀日本住宅與日本文化的深度關聯 (第2版)(10宅論: 10種類の日本人が住む10種類の住宅)| 隈研吾 (2016)


How to interact with people?
Networking for Nerds
People are going to remember at most three things about you. Make sure one of them is your ask- the most impactful thing they can do to help you.
A Cold Outreach Strategy That Actually Works
How to Work Together | Kevin Hale
Job Searching


A treasury of design-related opinions.
Muse: Designing a studio for ideas | Ink & Switch (2019)
Prior Art: Capstone: A tablet for thinking | Ink & Switch (2018)
Human-Computer Interaction


Emerging or useful technologies.
Operating System
Operating System Principles — CSE 30341 University of Notre Dame

Beautiful website with informative illustrations.

淺談 Microkernel 設計和真實世界中的應用

Angrave's crowd-sourced System Programming wiki-book

Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces

The book is centered around three conceptual pieces that are fundamental to operating systems: virtualization, concurrency, and persistence.

Free online form of the book, in chapter-by-chapter form.

Xen Project

A bare-metal hypervisor

The seL4 Microkernel

An open-source OS kernel with an end-to-end proof of implementation correctness and security enforcement.

If you would like to learn how to build a system on seL4, you might want to follow the lectures and especially the seL4-based project of UNSW's Advanced Operating Systems course.
Computer Architecture
Computation Structures — MIT 6.004
Great Ideas in Computer Architecture (Machine Structures) — UC Berkeley CS61C

2020 (Webcasts are not available), 2019 (Some Webcasts are available)

Computer Architecture and Engineering — UC Berkeley CS152
From CS61C: We will study a few of the basic concepts behind processor design, leaving many of the performance enhancements for CS152.
ACM Turing Lectures

Compile C program with only mov instruction to show mov is turing complete.


A graphical processor simulator and assembly editor for the RISC-V ISA.


Support for Rocket Chip (RISC-V) on Zynq FPGAs. Rocket Chip Generator.

What is the best way to learn computer organization and architecture?

Embedded Systems
X Window System, Wayland

About X itself : Architecture, X11 protocol, X client & server. Also some basic concepts of 2D computer graphics.

How X Window Managers Work, And How To Write One

About implementation of window manager, compositor.


A relative new web framework with great potential. The philosophy is "Do more with less, cleaner code."


Simple, fast, safe, compiled language for developing maintainable software.

  • As fast as C.
  • V compiler itself is written in V.

Zig is a general-purpose programming language and toolchain for maintaining robust, optimal, and reusable software.

  • Zig competes with C.
  • Zig compiler itself is currently written in C++, but rewriting in Zig is in progress.
  • andrewrk/clashos A multiplayer arcade game for bare metal Raspberry Pi 3 B+. Written in Zig!

Map of Computer Science

An introduction of modern popular topics in Computer Science.


Quality Indexes


Derek Sivers' Book Notes

The notes and "How strongly I recommend it" scores help me decide what to read.

Finn Macken's Research Notes

Mostly books.

Forward-looking Mathematics


Reading & Stall

STALL M. Mitchell Waldrop, The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal, 2002
最近着迷于计算机历史,连读了几本相关的书 The Innovators, The Information, Possiplex 然后是 The Dream Machine。看完 The Dream Machine之后,发现脑海中的知识越来越紧密的联系了起来,像是一个一个原本分散的神经元互相打通,这种感觉很神奇。
A good book (pretty much the only good book) to read about the research community that Parc was a part of is “The Dream Machine” by Mitchell Waldrop. There you will find out about the ARPA (before the “D”) IPTO (Information Processing Techniques Office) set up in 1962 by the visionary JCR Licklider, who created a research community of 15 or 16 “projects”, mostly at universities, but also a few at places like RAND Corp, Lincoln Labs, Mitre, BBN, SDC, etc.
STALL Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, 2005
在第三章,我會用一套模型討論宇宙秩序的發展史,並用這套模型預測在二十一世紀結束前,人類世界可能會發展到什麼樣的程度。這章的內容主要的參考資料是 Ray Kurzweil 的《The Singularity is Near》。
STALL Edward R. Tufte, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, 2001
Graphical excellence is that which gives to the viewer the greatest number of ideas in the shortest time with the least ink in the smallest space.
STALL Martin Fowler, Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code (2nd edition), 2018

Have Read

DONE Linus Torvalds, David Diamond, Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary, 2001
李纳斯在2001年出过一本自传,叫做《Just for Fun》,是他和大卫·戴蒙合著的,当年我有幸读到这本书,了解了很多李纳斯的生平轶事,那时我就琢磨,这个天才已经达到人生的巅峰了吧,结果这位兄台并未停止前进的步伐,转手就在2005年搞出了分布式版本控制系统 Git,目前几乎全世界的程序员都在用 Git管理他们的代码,著名网站 Github 就是基于 Git 构建的。无论是 Linux 还是 Git,得一即可得天下,结果这哥们以一己之力发起了俩项目,而且都是主力开发人员。最终的结果是,成全了程序员,陶冶了用户,造福了一方百姓。正如李纳斯自己所言:「My name is Linus, and I am your God.」
DONE Peter Thiel, Blake Masters, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future, 2014
在我的認知裡,人的思想和信念是不斷在流變的,跟「人」有關的領域幾乎不存在絕對正確的思想。因此接觸相關資訊的態度應該盡可能地深刻理解作者想傳遞的想法,但不過度堅信。 在這樣的基礎下,對我來說一本好書最重要的特性就是「啟發性」,它必須讓你知道一些過去不知道、但你覺得很重要的事情,並暸解到原來看世界還可以有這一種方式。《從零到一》十分滿足這個特性。
DONE David Allen, Getting Things Done, 2015
David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” system is actually pretty cool. If you are interested in contributing to a study of notebook systems, this is a must read.

Want to Read

Ben Horowitz, The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers, 2014

About building a business.

Scott Belsky, The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture, 2018

About project management.

Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work, 2017
There's a very interesting book called Principles by hedge fund manager Ray Dalio. By creating a truth-seeking environment that puts the focus on curiosity rather than being right, Ray turned his hedge fund Bridgewater into the most successful hedge-fund of all time. from Advice to my younger self
Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, 2015
I resisted reading this popular history of mankind, because it came out when I had just finished “Guns, Germs, and Steel” and “Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches”, on the same subject. But wow - this book is at its best when the author is sharing his personal perspective about binding myths, humanism, and other ways that “truths” are not true. And you get an interesting history of the world along with it. Strange mix of history and philosophy.


Random Thoughts
UML 技術手冊
Notes on ProseMirror
5 Desktop Environments for Linux Worth a Look in 2022

Last updated @2022/01/09