programming

Get Free College Courses Online

The internet has always been an incredible resource for information, but if you're motivated enough, you can take that a step further and get a free or inexpensive college education. MOOCs, or "Massive Open Online Courses," are real classes that have been made available online from schools and universities. Many of these courses are free, but if you decide to pay, you can actually get a certificate of completion or a MicroMasters from it. Here are some of the places you can find these MOOCs:

'MOOCs' Offer Online College Courses for Free

Programming

Episode 1468

Lately, Leo has been taking advantage of MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses. These are college and university courses that are available online for free. There are a lot of ways to do this — iTunes U is a great way to find free courses on the Mac or iOS device. MIT has its CourseWare, and there are even courses provided by Yale and Harvard. There are also commercial MOOCs like Udacity and Kahn Academy. A lot of high school students looking for help on difficult subjects like Calculus and Physics can go to YouTube and watch Kahn Academy videos.

How can I learn programming?

Learn to Program with Minecraft book

Episode 1351

Brennon from Dallas, TX

Brennon wants to learn how to program. Leo says learning how to write computer code will give him a deeper understanding on how computers work. This will take him from being merely a consumer, to being a maker. Minecraft can be a fun way to learn programming. He can even do it with a Raspberry Pi for $35. It comes with the software used to write programs and he can do it inside of Minecraft.

A great book is Learn to Program with Minecraft by Craig Richardson.

How can I learn to code?

Episode 1282

Anthony from Dana Point, CA

Anthony has to change careers and is looking to get into programming. What program should he start with first: Ruby or Python? Leo says that Ruby on Rails is a good place to start. It'll help him to learn the basics of programs. He should get a Linux box and learn Python. There's plenty of free resources. He should check out Code Academy. It's a great place to learn. And if he learns the basics, each new language becomes easier.

How can I learn programming?

Learn to Program with Minecraft by Craig Richardson

Episode 1282

Brennon from Dallas, TX

Brennon wants to learn how to program. Leo says learning how to write computer code will give him a deeper understanding on how computers work. This will take him from being merely a consumer, to being a maker. Minecraft can be a fun way to learn programming. He can even do it with a Raspberry Pi for $35. It comes with the software used to write programs and he can do it inside of Minecraft.

A great book is Learn to Program with Minecraft by Craig Richardson.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1267

This week's gadget is again from the New York Toy Faire. It's called the Wowee COJI Robot. It gets kids interested in programming and robotics as young as age 4. It teaches kids to code by using emojis. They use the free app on any smart device to control COJI’s actions. Bluetooth is used to send a child's commands to COJI to follow. COJI also reacts to physical stimulation such as tilting and shaking. He comes with an LCD screen, dynamic sounds and thousands of animations. It’s coding and learning fun with a smile(y)! MSRP $59.99 Coming in the fall of 2016. It's for kids 6 & up.

Should I obfuscate my code?

Episode 1210

Marty from Los Angeles, CA

Marty wants to publish some software but he's worried about someone being able to back engineer his software by decompiling the code. Leo says that so-called "obfuscation" is a technique used to prevent such things, but unless he's creating software that is so magical and game changing that he needs to resort to it, it's not really anything to worry about. Remember that obfuscation makes it harder for the coder to write as well. The easier way to do it is to use non obvious names for his objects in the code.

Why does my cell signal drop out while streaming?

Episode 1201

Travis from Pullman, WA

Travis listens to music via the Tune-In radio app. But he's been trying out a new app that is centric to his favorite radio show and his cell connection dies. Leo says this isn't unusual with personal apps. It's likely just bad programming. Bugs happen and it helps to enlist people who do software as their primary job. A radio DJ is great at radio, while a programmer has the edge with making apps. Another issue, however, is that the cell provider provides data to him in "bursts" and if the app can't handle that, then it will have issues.