Book Notes: No te devores el marshmallow…¡nunca!­

In English this book is called Don’t Gobble the Marshmallow…Ever! And in English it probably reads a lot better. Unfortunately a lot of the phrasing is awkward and a lot of the jokes get lost in translation in the Spanish version, but nonetheless the core point still comes across and it’s a quick enough read that I can forgive the rough translation.

The book covers the concept of “marshmallow theory” which is based on a study done at Stanford where kids were given a marshmallow they could eat now, or if they waited they could get an extra marshmallow later. In short, the concept of deferred gratification. Joachim de Posada does this through a parable of a recent college graduate moving into the real world and struggling to apply the same concepts he used to succeed in college to succeed in life. At the end of the story, Posada provides his analysis of the parable and surprisingly the last 30 or so pages of the book are more effective than the rest of the book combined.

Here are my key takeaways:

– Re-evaluate your values and plans when major life changes occur (graduation, marriage, new job, etc.)

– Don’t advise those who do not wish to be advised. If someone is seeking your advice against their will, it will be just as ineffective.

– Accumulating is not the same as saving. Don’t “gobble” the marshmallow, but do enjoy the benefits of deferred gratification.

– It doesn’t matter if everything around you changes, what’s important is how you react to the changes

– Surround yourself with people who will support you

– Face your fears

– Kill your worries before they kill you.

– You need vision to see your destiny, but you need action to reach it.

– Pursue what you really want, not just what is easy or convenient.

– If you want success or anything else, ask for it.

Like most self-help books, most of these things seem obvious when you read them, but what matters is if they’re conveyed in a way that you will remember them and feel empowered by them and I think this book succeeds in that aspect. My only recommendation if you decide to pick up the book is that you get the English version 🙂

Amazon Link:

No te devores el marshmallow…¡nunca!­

Quote of the Month

When they do make the whip you like, your chips ain’t right
By the time you could afford it, the car ain’t important

– Nas

Setting up a USB turntable in Ableton Live with USB Soundcard

While trying to get my mini studio setup I ran into a problem when I hooked up my ion USB turntable. The default audio driver for the turntable is MME/DirectX, so the only way to monitor it inside of Ableton Live was to change the driver type to the slower MME/DirectX instead of ASIO. Luckily, there’s a workaround if you use ASIO4All. Once you install ASIO4All, you can create a ‘hybrid’ interface and select the turntable as your input and your USB soundcard as the output (in my case the M-Audio MobilePre) and you get the benefits of lower latency ASIO drivers. Just go to the audio tab in Preferences, select ASIO for Driver Type, ASIO4All v2 for Audio Device and then click the Hardware Setup button. This will open up the ASIO4All config panel, my settings ended up looking like this:

ASIO4All Config

(click to zoom)

The only catch is that the inputs on the soundcard will be disabled, since I’m not recording through the soundcard this doesn’t pose an issue for me. So I’m back to sampling my old records 🙂

A quick note about setting up forms authentication on appharbor

The default mvc web app project in visual studio 2012 uses a default connection string named “DefaultConnection”. If like me, you follow the automatic migrations tutorial from appharbor and change the connection string name in the web.config AND you plan on using forms authentication, make sure to also update it in the InitializeSimpleMembershipAttribute class:


WebSecurity.InitializeDatabaseConnection("DefaultConnection", "UserProfile", "UserId", "UserName", autoCreateTables: true);

and AccountModels.cs in the models folder:

public UsersContext()
 : base("DefaultConnection")