So, having vanished during the holiday season and then having become mired in all the things that happen in life, I'm back for an update.
I haven't started that book yet, although I still fully intend to do so. I've also not been completely idle. Over the past few months, via my reading plan, I've had the opportunity to explore a number of new (to me) concepts that weren't really around for Windows programmers in the 90s.
For example, I recently started a new project at work that makes use of a Gulp build process to compile SCSS (a total revelation as someone who has long wished for variables in CSS). Aside from the simple discovery of Gulp and SCSS, I had to learn a lot about package managers in the process -- a bit of an undertaking in itself! Yes, it's true: up until these past couple of weeks, the only way I ever included jQuery or Knockout in my projects was to visit the web site, download the zip archive, and extract the files manually. Now, I have a bit of working knowledge around NPM, Bower, and Chocolatey.
In addition, I've been working on a little side project, in PowerShell, for rapidly setting up new Hyper-V virtual machines with a fresh operating system and all the important stuff for my dev stack (IDEs, package managers, runtimes, and other tools). This way, I'll be able to set up new test environments for the various programming languages I plan to sample -- without dirtying up my main system. (I had originally attempted to make use of AutomatedLab, but although it works great for some purposes, it currently has a few bugs that make my use cases harder to implement. So my personal lab scripts will do the job instead.)
That's all for now. Hopefully I'll have something to report in the realm of language exploration soon.