Athens, OH 24 February 2020 –
When I am not out-and-about in my free time or pondering about my next software project, I like to read books, especially the following genres: psychology, personal experiences, and verbose fantasy novels. Holding a book between my hands, a physical entity not a digital copy, changes the way I interact with the text.
As a senior Computer Science major nearing the end of my college career, I apply certain principles of my studies to my personal life with little effort. It makes sense for me to look at life through this lens.
For instance, last semester I learned about Operating Systems (OS)—a class based on managing resources for a computational machine. Analyzing various system resources is important in determining what exactly is happening inside a computer. Time, processes, and memory are useful metrics to keep track of in an OS. With this in mind, I’d like to think about the built-in Operating System that each person pilots. Everyone has routines whether they realize it or not and a computer’s routines can be good or bad just like a human’s can.
While I program, I enjoy a coffee (no cream/no sugar), set out blank paper for ideas, and place myself somewhere with few distractions. The brain can become pretty hectic during this and it feels like the classic Windows hourglass or Apple beachball (both of which taunt me to extremes). These indicate that an application is busy. It can be sporadic, lengthy, and overall a suboptimal time. The further my head is away from those two human interface mechanisms the better. Conversely, when I am reading a book there is only one process running and it’s between my hands.
The book “Talking to Strangers” by Malcom Gladwell is my current read. Past books include “The Inner Game of Tennis” by Timothy Gallwey, “Jitterbug Perfume” by Tom Robbins, and the “Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling. After all, who hasn’t gone through a Harry Potter/Twilight/LOTR phase growing up?
Do you think like a computer? If not, don’t freak because there aren’t too many social benefits. I am attempting to think of my personal life in a way that uses the knowledge from my school life. Comparing a computer’s OS to a real-life version of scheduling tasks, executing applications, and controlling peripherals.
I started thinking the equivalent of these actions could be making to-do Lists, being productive, and limiting the distractions in your immediate environment. So, if you don’t operate in terms of processes, runtime, and efficiency, then what about to-do lists, productivity, and focus? Everyone may hold their own definitions for the human-equivalence to an OS, however some may not realize it. Dig a little deeper and find which determinants help you manage your hectic schedule, busy workload, or multidirectional limb-pulling activities.