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Comment It's advertising at best for the school... (Score 0) 51

I've taken Coursera's An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python offered through Rice University. I paid $50 for the verified certificate under the "Signature Track" banner.

The Instructors who made the videos were quite excellent, they really seem to care about doing what they do well. The online community that you use for self support was also quite excellent. The overall experience taking the course was outstanding. I already knew a bit of Python but used the mandated class deadlines to make sure I covered all the material.

The problem I found was that at the end of the day it was nothing more than advertising for Rice and very little value for the Signature Track. They make it clear in the fine print that the certificate is from Coursera and not from an accredited institution. Until the schools are willing to put the weight of course credit (or even CEU's) behind it, it remains nothing more than interesting exercise.

"BIg Education" is trying to have it both ways here. I also think Cisco/Microsoft/Etc certifications are little more than advertising for the vendors. At least they stand behind the work that you do.

I don't regret taking the class and don't know that I would list it on my resume. Taking it as a learning exercise, it's outstanding. Anything else it's probably not worth the effort. It's not as blatantly cash grabby as W3schools certificates. I mainly paid the fee to make sure I'd finish it as I assume the course completion rates are atrocious with the bulk of people signing up and never submitting the first weeks assignments.


Comment Once again we are caught in the middle... (Score 3, Interesting) 97

I don't torrent. I bought programs from amazon unbox service. I thought paying $1.99 for programs was fair... OK, I have to wait until the next day because the broadcast networks/cable people have an anti consumer bent towards people "buying" media from them. I'll spare you the rant about the the people who watch the shows being the product vs the shows themselves.

What is hugely obnoxious is that Amazon is using its position to punish people. You can't get the amazon player for android even though you can get it for the Kindle (which is based on android) and surprise you can get it for the iPad. So none of the content that I paid for will work on my Nexus 7.

Now I just wait for the DVD sets to hit the library.

Comment Re:Don't forget (Score 2) 240

SMD is actually easier than through hole in my opinion if you factor in the time/cost to to drill 400 holes(called vias) in a through hole pcb and the lack of easy plating of vias at home. Also a lot of components are just not available as anything but SMD.

That reflow oven works, and was built by a lowly technical college dropout (myself) with great success. You just need to get the data sheet for your solder and set up the various temperatures required for the solder paste to do its thing. You also can't use the toaster oven for pizza afterwards. But it's 80 bucks all in.

Like Ball Bearings, SMD is the future son.


Submission + - Dennis Ritchie, creator of C and developer of UNIX (

Claudix writes: Rob Pike, co-creator of Inferno OS that worked with Ritchie in the past, has confirmed it. The creator of C and developer of UNIX has died at age of 70. This man is completely unknown by the general public but all of we know that Ritchie's programming language and OS made Linux, Macintosh, Android, web technology and a big etcetera possible. RIP.

Comment Re:Internet (Score 2) 607

No, you probably would not have.

I paid amazon on demand $1.99 per SG:U episode. I don't know anyone else who did so. I simply refuse to justify torrenting something like that. As I write this I'm still waiting for the finale to be available via Amazon. I'd buy it on Itunes but I already "own" the other thirty-something episodes on Amazon.

I emailed asking what my purchase did for the way ratings are computed. They never answered. Zip. Was the answer I wager.

I've not had cable for 2 years and really don't miss it much.

I'm super annoyed with HBO/Showtime that I can't buy their shows from Amazon/Itunes/etc. So that means no Dexter, Treme, Boardwalk Empire, or the Sorkin show for at least a year. HBO thinks you should pay for HBO to get their shows. I don't have a problem with that other than the fact that you have to get crappy cable. so a $8-$12 purchase of HBO actually costs you $78-$100.


Comment Python (Score 1) 289

I gave up on all the software calculators a few years back. Now I use python almost exclusively. In fact if I could get a Ti-82 form factor that ran nothing but Python I'd be happy.

This was a natural progression, not something that I forced myself to do. I really like how you can create the rules of the universe and make your own python modules and re-use them. I've done this for my DC and AC theory classes. As well as microprocessor.

The only downside to this is when I need to give the data to someone else to look at. Now I can export to XLS via python as well.

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