CS101 – Lesson/Unit 1 – Notes

CS 101 Course

Instructor: Dave Evans
Lesson/Unit 1: How to Get Started

Topics: What is Programming?, What Is a Program?, Getting Started with Python, Language Ambiguity, Grammar, Python Expressions, Processors, Variables, Strings, Strings & Numbers, Indexing Strings, Selecting Sub Sequences, Understanding Selection, Finding Strings in Strings, Finding with Numbers, String Theory, Extracting Links, Final Quiz (more…)

New Category for Udacity Course Notes!

Yesterday, I enrolled to Udacity’s CS101 course. CS101 introduces the basic concepts and fundamentals of Computer Science. You know, stuff like Variables, Functions, While Loops, etc.

The instructor is Dave Evans, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Virginia.

I will be taking notes during each unit/lesson. I’ll be posting them on this blog under the category called Massive Online Open Courses. If you want to learn more about MOOCs, just click here.

And stay tuned for notes!


So I haven’t really posted much on this site. Reason being: I’ve been busy trying to find a job. No, I’m not homeless—not yet anyway. Luckily, I’ve managed to find a job working from home. It’s a tech support gig. The pay is not grandiose by any means, but at least it’ll allow me time to focus on what I really want to do—which is learn web development. (more…)

Learning Python For Fun

So I’ve decided to learn Python. I’ve bought a book called “Python Programming: An Introduction To Computer Science”. The thing about this book is that it is more of an introduction to programming in general than Python. It only uses Python as a starting language. I’ve always wanted to learn how to program ever since the 90’s, when I used to mess around with scripts in mIRC (anyone remember that chat program?). I also used to make mini-games using Game Maker which has its own language based on C. So I’ve had a little bit of experience with coding. Not to mention, I’m pretty fluent in HTML, CSS and messing around with WordPress themes. I even made my own once (for a friend). So, I’m not a total beginner when it comes to code.

Still, I’m pretty much a novice on actually understanding more advanced concepts of programming. What I’ve done in the past can be considered child’s play compared to the stuff most web developers do nowadays. I want to learn how to do stuff like that, though it’s probably going to take me a while. I haven’t had the time to master a specific programming language enough that I can confidently say that I’m an expert at it. And I’m not really the programmer type. I mean, I don’t know many languages in real life, nor is math my forte. However, I do like the logical reasoning behind programming. I’m pretty good at that.

So we’ll see how far I go with this. I’m confident if I put time and effort, learning Python will be a breeze.

What is a Computer?

ComputerA computer can be defined as a machine that performs four basic operations: input, processing, output and storage.

These four operations are known as the information-processing cycle. It is what every computing device does.

For example, a calculator can be considered a computer because it fulfills all four operations. You can input numbers into it, it processes the information, and then displays the results. It also stores data in memory to do complex calculations, at least until you hit the clear button. It completes the entire information-processing cycle. Therefore, we can say a calculator is a computer.

But still, a calculator is just a simple machine. The power of an actual computer is that, unlike a calculator—which was made to do only one thing (calculations)—a computer can do anything. It is a universal machine.


Following the exam objectives @ CompTIA A+

So I watched the first few videos of Professor Messer from ProfessorMesser.com and I’ve got to say, I’m impressed. The guy knows what he’s doing and his presentations are very professional-looking. Here we have somebody who took it upon himself to make videos and go through each topic of the exam for free. There’s no catch.

Well, one of the first things he says is to download the exam objectives from the CompTIA website and go over them when studying. I was confused, seeing as how my professor never told us the CompTIA site had this to begin with. Well, I’ve downloaded them and it has a list of objectives to study. Think of it as a study guide for the exam. The first part of the list focuses on the BIOS and internal components of the computer. So I’m focusing on studying these parts first. Then I’ll study the rest.

Thanks to the videos, and the books I’ve bought, I’m slowly starting to feel more prepared to take the exam.

Mr. Mondello’s Classes @ UCC

Today’s class was an eye-opener. I know now that I won’t learn as much as I had hoped from Mr. Mondello. I think I can learn more by reading the first few chapters in my book by myself than actually sitting in his class for 3 hours. Seriously, repeating something off a slide is not teaching, it doesn’t matter how many times you spew it. Knowledge can’t be forced. And the language barrier between him and our little group doesn’t help either. Anyway, I know now that if I’m going to learn anything at all in this class, I’m going to have to do it my way. That means writing down whatever subject or term is thrown at me, going home with it and dissecting it online. (more…)

First Classes @ UCC – Intro to CompTIA A+ Course

So the past few days have been interesting (to say the least). The class I’m attending at UCC is kind of small. There are only 3 other students aside from me. When I first registered, I thought that it would be a little more crowded, but perhaps this is a good thing. We’ve become acquainted much faster than an average-sized class and we all pretty much know each other now. If we need notes or help with something, we just talk amongst ourselves. Honestly, I enjoy being in such a tight-knit group.

The class is 3 hours long. It has its highs and lows. We’re being taught some introductory concepts such as Ohm’s Law, the difference between Hardware & Software, and how to troubleshoot some basic problems. It is interesting, though not new to me. If anything, it just verifies what I’ve already known through years of experience. Computer hardware isn’t that hard to learn. Basically you just figure out which components are the cause of the problem. If they’re at fault, you can either replace them or try to “fix” them, but the majority of time, most people just replace them. (more…)