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Open for Contributions: VMWare Fusion 8 and Workstation Pro 12 Basics

Today I am launching the pre-production collaboration boards for my upcoming lynda.com and LinkedIn courses, “VMWare Fusion 8 Basics” and “VMWare Workstation Pro 12 Basics”.

To contribute, you can access the following Trello collaboration boards and comment on the contents of the proposed courses and up-vote items that you approve or support:

VMWare Workstation Pro 12 Basics: https://trello.com/b/6Zc8LP60

VMWare Fusion 8 Basics: https://trello.com/b/tsWEDoVD

This Trello collaboration board contains the current table of contents draft for the two courses and I will add additional information over time as they are created during the course development process.

About VMWare Workstation Pro 12 Basics

VMWare Workstation Pro 12 allows you to run multiple instances of Windows, Linux and other operating systems on your Windows or Linux desktop. Workstation Pro 12 is a great solution to evaluate software in an isolated environment, or run legacy software that isn’t supported in your host system through the installation of older operating systems. Through hardware virtualization, you can define the amount of resources you want to put towards your guest operating system, including the number of processors, memory, hard drive space, and network and hardware peripherals. This course will go over how to install Workstation Pro 12 on your system and configure a new guest operating system for Windows 10, Ubuntu, and Windows XP. Then you will learn how you can manage VM machine settings, snapshots and virtual hardware.

About VMWare Fusion 8 Basics

VMWare Fusion 8 allows you to run multiple instances of Windows, Linux and other operating systems on your Mac OS X desktop. Fusion 8 is a great solution to run Windows software on your Mac, evaluate software in an isolated environment, or run legacy software. Through hardware virtualization, you can define the amount of resources you want to put towards your guest operating system, including the number of processors, memory, hard drive space, and network and hardware peripherals. This course will go over how to install Fusion 8 on your system and configure a new guest operating system for Windows 10, Ubuntu, and Windows XP. Then you will learn how you can manage VM machine settings, snapshots and virtual hardware.

How to contribute

To contribute to the development of these courses, please create a free Trello account and go to the public collaboration boards here:

VMWare Workstation Pro 12 Basics: https://trello.com/b/6Zc8LP60

VMWare Fusion 8 Basics: https://trello.com/b/tsWEDoVD

From there, you can add comments to the cards located within the various lists. You can also up-vote any of the cards to mark your approval or recommendation for what is within each of the cards.

The structure of the board includes the following lists:

  • Course Overview
    • Information about the length, format, audience, and planned release date of a course
    • The overall course description
  • Planned
    • Videos that are currently planned for development in my course table of contents
    • Videos are tagged with the production format, a general description and supporting links
  • Doing
    • Videos that are ready to record are placed here
  • Done
    • Videos that are finished recording
  • Proposed
    • New videos that are added based on feedback from the community for individuals to provide feedback or up-vote
  • Rejected
    • Videos that have been removed from the course based on the community feedback

Please share and distribute this information to your networks to help increase the number of contributions to the courses. As the courses develop and evolve, I’ll update the board to represent new materials or changes to existing cards with sketches, scripts and other information.

Thanks everyone in advance for your contributions! I can’t wait to hear from all of you.

Here again are the links to the boards:

VMWare Workstation Pro 12 Basics: https://trello.com/b/6Zc8LP60

VMWare Fusion 8 Basics: https://trello.com/b/tsWEDoVD

 Disclaimer

As a disclaimer, I just want to remind everyone that this, like any work in progress, is a moving target. So this course may change over time and there is no guarantee that it will be published in the library.

Binary

Open for Contributions: Computer Science Principles – Digital Information

Today I am launching the pre-production collaboration board for the upcoming lynda.com and LinkedIn course, “Computer Science Principles: Digital Information”

To contribute, you can access the following Trello collaboration board and comment on the contents of the proposed course and up-vote items that you approve or support:

https://trello.com/b/fP4aMHS2

This Trello collaboration board contains the current table of contents draft for the Digital Information course in the Computer Science Principles series. This series of four courses will focus on four foundational topics in Computer Science. These courses require no previous knowledge of programming or coding, but assume that you know basic computer literacy and use a computer, tablet or smartphone on a regular basis.

The Computer Science Principles Series

The series is divided into four courses:

  • Computer Science Principles: Digital Information
    • Covers how files and data are stored as binary data and how that binary data and the binary number system, encode, store, transmit and compress data and media.
  • Computer Science Principles: The Internet
    • Covers how communication works across the Internet using networks, multiple servers such as web servers and DNS servers, and network hardware including routers and switches.
  • Computer Science Principles: Programming
    • Covers the foundational logic paths that are part of programming. This include value storage, array value storage, conditionals, loops, and application code flow. This course is not based on a traditional programming language; however, multiple labs will be created for popular programming languages to extend the concepts a bit further to help onboard for future language courses.
  • Computer Science Principles: Data
    • Covers the storage, sorting, analysis, and structure of data and how it is used to power computer programs and systems. The course will use Excel/Google Sheets examples to demonstrate these points, but they will need to be visualized outside of a tool to communicate the concept first.

This series is based on the College Board’s Advanced Placement curriculum for the Computer Science Principles exam, and includes concepts from the corresponding Code.org program. The target audience will be expanded to include anyone from high school students to adults and is designed for students and professionals that are interested in careers in computer science and technology, or are looking to switch from an existing career.

About Computer Science Principles: Digital Information

Computers, at the most basic level, store information in bits, or as a series of on and off states represented by ones and zeroes. Building on this basic principle, information in images, audio, text and other data can be stored, transmitted and encoded for humans and computers to understand and use. In this course, you will learn how this basic binary language can serve as the basis for all of computing. You will learn how, as a coder, understanding how a computer stores, communicates and encodes information is within your power to adapt and harness.

How to contribute

To contribute to the development of this course, please create a free Trello account and go to the public collaboration board here:

https://trello.com/b/fP4aMHS2

From there, you can add comments to the cards located within the various lists. You can also up-vote any of the cards to mark your approval or recommendation for what is within each of the cards.

The structure of the board includes the following lists:

  • Course Overview
    • Information about the length, format, audience, and planned release date of a course
    • The overall course description
  • Planned
    • Videos that are currently planned for development in my course table of contents
    • Videos are tagged with the production format, a general description and supporting links
  • Doing
    • Videos that are ready to record are placed here
  • Done
    • Videos that are finished recording
  • Proposed
    • New videos that are added based on feedback from the community for individuals to provide feedback or up-vote
  • Rejected
    • Videos that have been removed from the course based on the community feedback

Please share and distribute this information to your networks to help increase the number of contributions to the course. As the course develops and evolves, I’ll update the board to represent new materials or changes to existing cards with sketches, scripts and other information.

Thanks everyone in advance for your contributions! I can’t wait to hear from all of you.

Again, the link to the board is: https://trello.com/b/fP4aMHS2

As a disclaimer, I just want to remind everyone that this, like any work in progress, is a moving target. So this course may change over time and there is no guarantee that it will be published in the library.

ReCode Journey: Getting off the Coding Couch

I started going back to the gym this past week. The workouts were miserable. I felt weak, I felt a little lost and didn’t have much motivation during my workouts. I had been going regularly, but I had stopped going for a number of reasons and I cursed myself with each set as I struggled through each exercise. Recently, I had read an article that it takes a lot less time to “get out of shape” from weight lifting than it does for cardio exercise. After this week, I couldn’t agree more. But when it comes to “getting out of shape” with coding, I felt even worse. Almost like I had never coded before. Well, almost. (more…)

Scared of Repeating a Milestone

I recently reached a big milestone in my weight loss journey. I lost 10% of my original starting weight since I joined Weight Watchers. A big achievement indeed, and made possible through a lot of work on my diet, planning, and exercise. But this achievement has some nervousness attached to it as well. It is because I have reached this weight milestone before, a few times, and each time I fell off the wagon and went back to where I was. So as I make this achievement again, I am scared that history will repeat itself and I will, again, revert back to where I was. So what do I do to keep myself motivated and moving forward?

First, it is important to celebrate the achievement. It is a true accomplishment, but my pitfall is that I never stop celebrating. I take a long extended pause from the program and then get discouraged when I put a little weight back on and then give up entirely, frustrated at the futility of it all. So while celebrating achievement is wonderful, it is a milestone, not the end of the journey. Part of making this stick is to set up and commit to my next goal. I already have set up that goal and now I need to track and perform towards that to blow past this repeated achievement to achieve something that I haven’t done before.

There is also the emotional self-fulfilling prophecy when I put on a pair of smaller jeans or shirts and I look at myself in the mirror and am convinced that I should relish this moment, because it will go away. I buy those jeans and shirts as “goal” clothes, anticipating the day where they fit well and I can look at myself in them and be proud. But, again, that is just one goal and I need to go out and get the next set of “goal” clothes and keep the progress moving forward and keep the momentum going forward. Entering into the end of the year with Christmas and New Year’s will make this an even bigger challenge, but it is also something that I can use to prove to myself that my determination will not be stunted.

And so what if I achieved this before? The reaction that people have had seeing me after a couple of months has been wonderful. “Wow! You look great!” “You look so awesome!” “Look at you!” These are all things I have heard this week, and I tell myself deep down, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

Cynicism and Technology Careers

The tech world is one of great duplicity and extremes. On one side is a profound optimism on how technology can inspire and change the world and ourselves to achieve great things. On the other however, is a paralyzing cynicism that cripples people on the inside, and with others, can find a painful outlet in forum and social media comments that ignite flame wars and make the Internet a depressing place to be at times.

Over time, I have found that I have gone from being the eternal technology optimist to feeling crippled by cynicism. It is a journey that I was part driver and part captive passenger, but ultimately wound up at my current location, and want to find a way out. Part of that is to look back and try to piece together some of the things that got me to where I am. As I do this, there are five things that struck me as themes that apply to me, and may be valuable to others. (more…)

Google Glass Open Beta

So as some of you know, I was able to get an invitation for Google Glass last December. Yesterday, Google announced that they are opening the Explorer’s program to the general public as an open beta. The price is still the same, $1,500, but now the only limitation is hardware availability. I posted on the lynda.com blog with more information and links to my courses that I recently completed.

Generally, the technology is cool, but the “Glasshole” stigma is real. I don’t want to be hidden by technology, and I don’t want technology to be the first thing that someone sees when they interact with me. So while the technology has some great specific uses, I’m not quite convinced it is appropriate to wear 24/7. Just like you wouldn’t want to have your cell phone out all the time throughout the day.

The courses I created at lynda.com are interesting. Part of my job as an instructor is to present things in a balanced way. While I have used Glass in public situations, I am not using it in my daily life. It just isn’t right for me, or perhaps I am just not ready for it. You can make the argument either way. Regardless, creating courses on new technology is a lot of fun, and being able to absorb something new and help teach others on how it works is an amazing job and something that I find incredibly fulfilling.

I’d love to hear what you think of Glass, so ping me @sfdesigner and share your thoughts.

IFTIDK: If This, Then I Don’t Know

I have been hearing a lot of the IFTTT workflow where you are able to take inputs, evaluate them in a programmer-esque logical way and then perform an action based on that evaluation. I can see a lot of advantages of being able to manage data streams and organize a disparate number of inputs and put them into a workflow. With so many technologies spanning across multiple ecosystems and companies, the IFTTT workflow serves as a “meta” service that can tie everything together.

But recently, I have been seeing posts and articles that are taking it further by integrating IFTTT deeper into their lives. For example, a recent article on Engadget’s popular IRL series, talks about using it to automatically post photos to Flikr and other integrate other services together. But when I saw this it struck me as incredibly mechanical and impersonal. If I want to share something, shouldn’t that require me taking the time to make the effort?

There was a recent episode of Mad Men where one of the characters was chastised for having their assistant buy the presents, cards, flowers, or other gifts for their spouse or loved one. In a way, IFTTT is a digital personal assistant, but does giving the reins over to an automated process take the humanness out of it? If I use IFTTT to post on social media, is it from me, or my automated workflow? What part of “me” have I put into it?

We are inundated by tons of new information and sources of data, more so each day. I enjoy putting my personal mark on what I post or have it come from my own fingers or interactions with it instead of just “having something take care of it” for me. I use tools to help send information between things, but it passes by my eyes, and I am the one that presses, “OK”.