Growing in Confidence and Knowledge With Computers

Since the first day of this class, I have constantly been learning new things and expanding my knowledge of computers. One of the things that has been most interesting to me has been learning how to use coding and Virtual Box to find out more information about texts such as Walden. Rather than reading through the book to find specific things, Virtual Box allows you to easily navigate the text and pick out the information you are looking for.

For my group project, I am working on the Walden map. This tool was especially helpful because the data mining team was able to produce a list of all the places named in Walden using the command line on Virtual Box. It was interesting to see this list compared to the one my group made ourselves. While we read, we would keep track of important locations we came across. The list produced by the data mining group was more comprehensive and contained more places. I think this difference comes from human error, as we are less likely to catch every place than the machine is, and the fact that we narrowed down our own personal lists based on detail and importance, whereas the computer generated list contains every place mentioned. The command line is such a useful tool that I never knew existed. It is a much easier and more accurate way to find information in texts.

It was also surprising to me how easy this tool is to use. I am not very advanced in my knowledge of computers, and aside from a little initial struggle in figuring out how things worked, I have been able to keep up and use the command line efficiently to find information. Learning how to use the command line to locate and sort information in text has changed me by enhancing my confidence with computer programs and broadening my knowledge of the text. I can now understand and explore Walden and other texts in a way I would not have had access to otherwise.

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