Tag Archives: free

Best places for free wifi in Nashville

As a self-employed fellow whose efforts to work from a home Internet connection leave something to be desired, I often feel the need to test my productivity level from other connected places: coffee shops, fast food joints, or what have you.

A brief review has revealed a few top choices for those seeking a free wifi connection.

Cafe Coco

210 Louise Ave
Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: 615.321.2626
Web: http://www.cafecoco.com
Yelp rating: 4/5 stars

Fido

1812 21st Ave S.
Nashville, TN 37212
Neighborhood: Hillsboro/West End, 21st/Vanderbilt
Phone: 615.777.3436
Web: http://www.bongojava.com/fido.php
Yelp rating: 4/5 stars

Bongo Java

2007 Belmont Blvd
Nashville, TN 37212
Neighborhood: Belmont/Hillsboro
Phone: 615.385.5282
Web: http://www.bongojava.com
Yelp rating: 4/5 stars

Resources: Best places for free wifi in Nashville

Internet talk radio: Free streaming audio

thunderstorms brewingAs a thin line of fast-moving severe thunderstorms approached Nashville early Tuesday afternoon, the sky darkened ominously, the rain came down in sheets, and seconds later a nearby tornado alarm started blaring. I had no immediate way to listen for local news alerts (having recently unhooked my television in a step to increase my productivity)!

To get a handle on the worsening weather, I quickly Googled for local streaming news audio and came up with the local public radio station, Nashville’s WPLN at 90.3 FM. When I began to listen to it (using VLC Media Player, the default application on my PC for audio, including M3U files. (The tornado warning was for an area a few miles south of my location – so, no tornado today.)

Having gone this far + being a compulsive documentation enthusiast, I decided to hammer out a quick list of some worthwhile streaming audio resources – the free ones, that is – as usual. I hope you get something out of this.

Resources: Free streaming audio – spiritual, motivational, self-improvement

headphones: great for quality streaming audioThis section contains direct links to some of the free streaming talk audio we like, with a focus on education & learning, motivation & self-improvement, spirituality, news & politics, commentary, etc.

  1. Hayhouse Radio – Radio for your soul – Hay House is a New Thought and Self-help publisher. It was founded in 1987 by author Louise Hay, when she self-published her books Heal Your Body and You Can Heal Your Life. Listen to Hay House Radio free of charge to hear some of the most famous authors in the areas of spirituality, self improvement, motivation, and inspiration. Examples: Dr. Wayne W. Dyer with “Excuses Begone”, Esther and Jerry Hicks with “It Is Given”, Caroline Myss with “Sacred Contracts”, Peggy McColl with “Attracting Abundance”, Gregg Braden with “Science, Spirituality, and 2012: Gregg Braden Explores Our Future Through the Past”, and Sylvia Browne’s famous “Ask Sylvia” show, and much more. NOTE: There is a wide variety of content, including a lot of material many would consider New Age. But don’t pass this up just because you don’t agree with all of it; Wayne Dyer and others are gems!
  2. Deepak Chopra Radio
  3. Spirituality Talk Radio – This section of Blog Talk Radio contains dozens and dozens of spiritually themed Internet radio stations. Like many other similar resources, don’t be too quick to pass over this collection of spiritual audio just because some of the content does not agree with your beliefs, is too hokey or New Age, etc.
  4. Audio Dharma – An archive of Dharma talks given by Gil Fronsdal, Andrea Fella, and various guest speakers at the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, CA. Each talk illuminates aspects of the Buddha’s teachings. The purpose is the same that the Buddha had for his teachings, to guide us toward the end of suffering and the attainment of freedom.
  5. BlogTalkRadio – A massive streaming audio resource so large and with so many categories, it reminds me of the iTunes list of podcasts. There is audio here to suit every taste, belief system, hobby, or passing interest! From Art to Writing and virtually everything in-between, including Spirituality, Religion, Science, Blogging, Marketing, Photography, News, Politics, Social Networking, Gadgets, Tech, Music…
  6. Live On Purpose Radio – Psychology and Self-Improvement category
  7. Achieve Radio
  8. SelfDev Radio
  9. World Talk Radio
  10. 20 Day Persuasion
  11. StreamFinder – Find free streaming radio stations, listen to free online radio stations from around the world. See the newest streaming stations in our radio guide. Browse our streaming radio guide by genre below and discover online radio stations and new music.

Resources: Free streaming audio links – Talk radio, educational audio, etc.

  1. Nashville Public Radio – 90.3 WPLN
  2. ParaMind – Free Streaming Audio Online Academic Lectures — The Best Free Online College, Institutional and Other Websites
  3. Spoken Word Internet Radio Station – A free radio station dedicated to broadcasting stories, drama, poetry, and author interviews. We bring you popular audiobooks by best-selling authors…
  4. iTunes U – There are hundreds of programs available at iTunes U! I have obtained two sets so far (Introduction to Religion – Missouri State University, The Pursuit of Happiness Lectures – Emory University). NOTE: The way you actually access the iTunes U free audio programs is through the iTunes program – not through your browser. Be sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed on your computer.

Resources: Free streaming audio links for music

headphones - great for quality streaming audioThis section contains direct links to some of the free streaming music.

  1. Grooveshark
  2. Radio Paradise – Excerpt: RP is a blend of many styles and genres of music, carefully selected and mixed by two real human beings. You’ll hear modern and classic rock, world music, electronica, even a bit of classical and jazz. What you won’t hear are random computer-generated playlists or mind-numbing commercials.
  3. Pandora – Excerpt: At Pandora, we have a single mission: To play only music you’ll love. (OK, we’ve added comedy as well so we’re also up for playing some jokes you’ll love.) With Pandora you can explore this vast trove of music to your heart’s content. Just drop the name of one of your favorite songs, artists or genres into Pandora and let the Music Genome Project go. It will quickly scan its entire world of analyzed music, almost a century of popular recordings – new and old, well known and completely obscure – to find songs with interesting musical similarities to your choice. Then sit back and enjoy as it creates a listening experience full of current and soon-to-be favorite songs for you.
  4. Rhapsody – all the music you want for $10/mo.
  5. Rdio
  6. MOG – Three levels: Free, Basic, and Primo
  7. ShoutCast – Streaming radio, Internet radio, music; 50,842 Free Internet Radio Stations – Listen to your favorite Internet radio stations including christmas, pop, R&B, dance and many more

Resources: Free streaming audio lists, articles, reviews

This section lists articles, lists, and other sources for favorite or notable free streaming audio.

  1. Pick the Brain – Free Audio Book and Podcast Resources
  2. Five Best Music Streaming Services – Lifehacker
  3. Best Streaming Music Services 2011 – PC Magazine (2011) – AOL Radio, Grooveshark, Jango, Last.Fm, Pandora, Slacker, and Spotify are all major players in the streaming music space, but which of these services are worth a listen? We dissect the available options.
  4. Top 5 Streaming Music Sites – About.com Digital Music
  5. 30+ Awesome Sites for Streaming Music – Mashable (2008)
  6. The Best Streaming Music Services – Gizmodo
  7. Last.fm – Lets you effortlessly keep a record of what you listen to from any player. Based on your taste, Last.fm recommends more music you’ll like…
  8. WCPE – The Classical Station – 89.7 FM in North Carolina
  9. iTunes – Massive collection of free audio under Podcasts and iTunes U
  10. Mike’s Radio World
  11. Slacker Radio – Your gateway to over 5000 radio stations streaming live on the internet. Slacker has the most personalized content of any radio service. We combine the knowledge of the nation’s leading music experts from every genre and your own personal taste to create perfect radio stations. You can listen to custom music, news, sports, and comedy stations for free, while subscribers have on-demand access to specific songs, albums and playlists. With Slacker, you can personalize your content and listen everywhere.

Resources: Free streaming audio recorders

This section contains links to the best freeware for recording streaming audio. (You might as well start recording your favorites – that way you can begin your collection of audio for good listening when you are not connected to the Internet and thus can’t take advantage of streaming audio…)

Other Resources

headphones - great for quality streaming audio

Other free audio and video

This post was started on Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Free Android apps on my Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone

logo for Google Android operating systemFor what it’s worth, here are the apps I have installed on my Android-based Samsung Galaxy S II (Wikipedia) smartphone so far. I’ll add newly installed Android apps to this list. (For the most part, I’m sticking with free Android apps.)

I’m trying to avoid the temptation of installing too many apps, critically acclaimed as they may be; I attempt to limit app installation to free apps that I might actually use in the near future.

Although I have not yet deleted any apps, I see it coming soon. (For instance, I installed Angry Birds and Angry Birds Rio — but have not played either! Not on my own phone, anyway…)

Android apps installed so far

Linked app titles lead to the app’s Android Market page.

  1. Amazon Kindle – Read books on your phone, including thousands of free Kindle books; puts over a million books at your fingertips; the app for every reader – whether you’re a book reader, magazine reader, or newspaper reader — and you don’t need to own a Kindle to use it…
  2. Amazon MP3 – Includes both the Amazon MP3 store and Amazon Cloud Player (US-only); shop for music and play music stored on your device; US version plays/ downloads music stored on user’s Amazon Cloud Drive
  3. Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone

  4. Angry Birds – You know.
  5. Angry Birds Rio – You know.
  6. Antivirus Free (Creative Apps) – Fast and lightweight malicious app protection for your phone; detects new applications installed on your system, cross-references them with our database of known malicious apps; uses less than 0.1% of your battery, and will let you know when such an app is detected, keeping your phone secure.
  7. AppBrain App Market – Discover the best Android apps and share them with your friends; the best way to find new apps on the Android market.
  8. Audible – This free app features the most comprehensive audiobook experience ever, including the ability to download from your Audible.com library, detailed listening stats, access to the Audible mobile store, and much more.
  9. Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone

  10. Barcode Scanner (ZXing Team) – Scan barcodes on products then look up prices and reviews. You can also scan Data Matrix and QR Codes containing URLs, contact info, etc.; share your contacts, apps, and bookmarks via QR Code…
  11. Blio eBooks for T-Mobile – A feature-rich eReading application that allows you to go beyond the written word; experience books through the eyes of the author, with crystal clear sound and images that come alive in brilliant color…
  12. Books (Google) – Use Google Books to read over 3 million ebooks on the go; build your ebooks library in the cloud with Google Books: jump right into a bestseller or select from nearly 3 million free ebooks…
  13. Brightest Flashlight Free – Turns on all available lights on the device to brightest settings
  14. Chrome to Phone (Google) – Lets you easily share links, maps, and currently selected phone numbers and text between your computer running Chrome and your phone; also need to install the Chrome browser extension on your computer…
  15. CNN (App for Android Phones) – Watch live video as big stories unfold; receive breaking news notifications to your home screen; share your own stories with iReport; customize your widget to get the headlines that matter to you; listen to CNN Radio from your phone…
  16. Compass (Catch.com) – Android’s leading compass app, featuring location display and geo-tagged notes.
  17. Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone

  18. Currents (Google) – Delivers beautiful magazine-like editions to your tablet and smartphone for high speed offline reading; editions are all free and include: Publisher editions – Forbes, Techcrunch, Saveur, Popular Science, Good, 500px, Fast Company, and more have produced hundreds of editions including in-depth articles, videos, fine photography, slideshows, live-maps, and social streams; Google trending editions uses Google search technology to hourly build a set of editions tracking the five most recent trending stories in categories such as world, entertainment, sports, science, and more. Each story is presented through a fresh edition of articles, videos, and pictures…
  19. Docs (Google) – Create, edit, upload and share your documents; designed for Android to save you time finding your docs; edits to your documents appear to collaborators in seconds; make quick changes to spreadsheets; view your documents, PDFs, presentations, and more; mark files as available offline for view access even when you’re not connected; upload and convert files to the Google Docs format…
  20. Dolphin Browser HD – The fastest, easiest, and most fun mobile Web browser; the world’s first Gesture, Webzine, and Add-on enabled mobile web browser on Android; #1 Mobile Web Browser on Android Market; over 10,000,000 total downloads; #2 on CNET’s 100 Android Apps for 2011; #1 on PC Mag’s 40 Best Free Apps for 2011 list…
  21. Evernote – An easy-to-use app that helps you remember everything, syncing across all of the devices you use; stay organized, save your ideas, and improve productivity; take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders — all completely searchable, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go…
  22. Facebook (for Android) – Share and stay connected with your friends with the Facebook for Android app; helps you connect with your friends and share on the go; upload a photo, keep up with friends’ photos and status updates, look up a phone number, etc…
  23. Gmail (Google) – Push, sync, conversations, integration, search, and more; dedicated Gmail application integrates with Contacts and other Android applications…
  24. Goggles (Google) – Search the real world by taking pictures; uses image recognition technology to recognize objects and return relevant search results; identifies products, famous landmarks, storefronts, artwork, and popular images found online; can also translate words in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian…
  25. Google Sky Map – Turns your Android-powered mobile phone into a window on the night sky; a must-have
  26. Google+ – Real-life sharing rethought for the web, wherever you are; Google+ for mobile makes sharing the right things with the right people a lot simpler…
  27. imo – With imo instant messenger, it’s easy to stay in touch with friends on your existing IM accounts on Facebook Chat, Google Talk, Skype, MSN, ICQ/AIM, Yahoo, Jabber, and Myspace, Vkontakte.ru, Hyves…
  28. IMDb (Movies and TV) – The world’s largest collection of entertainment info, the ultimate movie and TV show database (and so much more) goes mobile; find movie showtimes, get TV listings, watch trailers, search all of IMDb; over 1.5 million movie and TV titles; over 3.2 million celebrities, actors, actresses, directors, and other crew members; rate movies and TV shows; sign in with your IMDb account or your Facebook account; view movie trailers, user reviews for movies and TV shows, critical reviews for movies and TV shows, quotes, trivia, and goofs about movies and celebrities…
  29. iQuarium – For everyday stress, iQuarium is more than enough to relax; chill out while watching your Parrot Cichlid fish swimming in its tank; feed it, play with it, interact with it, or… do nothing – just listen to your own relaxing music and the air bubbles climbing up slowly to the water surface and let iQuarium soothe you and calm you down. As time passes you will find new decorative items in your inventory so you can arrange your relaxing space whatever way you like. Just don’t forget that your fish is a living creature and it depends entirely on you what kind of personality it will develop…
  30. Kies Air – Allows you to sync your smartphone wirelessly with the newly introduced Kies Air. As a desktop media management app, the Kies Air lets you access the content of your smartphone over WiFi connection (Still for international only – not American variants of Samsung’s Galaxy S phones??)
  31. Latitude – Part of Google Maps
  32. Lookout Security and Antivirus – There’s a free version and a premium version; the free version is quite generous and includes antivirus (blocks malware, spyware, trojans); scans each app you download to make sure it is safe; allows scheduled scans on daily or weekly basis; automatic, over-the-air, up-to-date protection against the latest threats; also, Find My Phone: Locates your lost or stolen phone on a Google map even if GPS is turned off; activates a loud alarm, even if your phone or tablet is on silent; log in to myLookout.com to locate your phone from any web browser, anywhere; Backup & Restore features: Securely backup your contacts to myLookout.com; restore them to an existing mobile device… A Must-have app
  33. Mail (Yahoo!) – The official Yahoo! Mail app for Android; multiple Yahoo! email accounts; preview photos in your inbox; enhanced integration with Yahoo! Messenger; push notifications of your mail; send and receive mail attachments; compose with rich text, emoticons; smart folders and powerful search…
  34. Maps (Google) – Navigation: Free, voice-guided GPS navigation system; Places: Find, rate, and get recommendations for places; Latitude: See friends on the map and check in at places…Must-have app
  35. Market (Android Market) – Makes it fast and easy to find awesome applications, games, and widgets for you. Search and browse over 150,000 and apps and games available for download, organized by category, to customize your Android experience. Read and post user reviews of apps and view and manage your downloaded and installed apps…
  36. Mashable – My favorite source for tech headlines & news; delivers the latest coverage from Mashable.com, the largest independent news source dedicated to covering digital culture, social media and technology; reports on the importance of digital innovation and how it empowers and inspires people around the world…
  37. Media Hub – Get access to the hottest movies and TV shows; rent or purchase content; access new movies and catch series premieres and your favorite TV shows the day after they air on TV; manage & playback content on up to 5 devices; lose your phone, never lose your content; watch instantly…
  38. Messenger (Google+) – Circles let you share the right things with just the right people; visit the stream to get updates from your circles or see what people are saying nearby; instant Upload automatically uploads videos and photos to your own private album on Google+, making sharing a snap; Messenger is super-fast messaging for everyone in your circles; Mobile Hangouts allows you to video chat with up to 9 friends while you’re on the go…
  39. Music (Google) – A cloud-powered music player and storage service that lets you keep your music collection online so you can save space on your Android device; all your your music purchases from Android Market automatically appear on Google Music; add up to 20,000 more songs from your personal music collection on your computer for free; access to your entire music library instantly, save your favorites for offline playback…
  40. Navigation (Google) beta – Part of Google Maps (NOTE: Google Maps also includes Navigation (Beta), Places, and Latitude)
  41. Netflix – Part of your Netflix unlimited membership; watch as often as you want; resume watching where you left off on your TV or computer…
  42. News & Weather – Find The News and Weather app you need, according to the place you live; regional Editions available in more than 10 countries…
  43. Photo editor – Not sure which one I have…
  44. Google Android operating system

  45. Places – Part of Google Maps, which also includes Navigation (Beta), Places, and Latitude
  46. Qik Video – Video chat, video mail and video share for free; stream live videos with friends and family around the world…
  47. Search (Google) – the fastest way to search the web and your phone; search the web and your phone; get phone search results plus web search and web site suggestions as you type; will learn which items you click on most to make it even easier to get what you want quickly…
  48. Shazam – Music ID; Free and unlimited usage; identifies music instantly, so tag as often as you like with no monthly limits…
  49. Shush! Ringer Restorer – Phone silencer; when you turn your ringer off for a movie, this app turns it back on afterwards; activated when you silence your ringer using the volume buttons; no need to remember a special app; once your ringer is off, it asks you how long to stay silent; never miss another important call… A must-have app
  50. Slacker – Internet radio
  51. Social Hub
  52. Stitcher
  53. StopWatch & Timer
  54. Tags
  55. Talk
  56. Twitter
  57. Video Chat (Qik)
  58. Videos (Google)
  59. Visual Voicemail
  60. Voice Search
  61. Voice talk
  62. Weather Channel appWeather Channel
  63. Web
  64. Word Search
  65. YouTube
  66. Zedge – Free ringtones, other sound files galore Zedge.net
  67. Zinio Reader – Zinio is more than a mobile reading application. We’ve spent the last decade creating the digital editions of the magazines you love, delivering the exact same material you get in print‚ plus exclusive features like video, audio and live links, on your iPad, iPhone, desktop and laptop. Zinio home Download page – Zinio

Apps already installed upon phone purchase

Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone

  1. IM
  2. Polaris Office – Seems utterly useless – what’s this for? I’m not the only one wondering about the Polaris Office app…The lack of information about this app on Android Market coupled with the Chinese characters make me wonder whether the Polaris Office app for Android is some kind of malware.
  3. T-Mobile Mail
  4. T-Mobile Name ID
  5. T-Mobile TV
  6. TeleNav GPS Navigator

Resources: My Android apps, so far

Note to self: Check these out later

Notes: January 2012

Free computer games

Watching a particular anime show recently – in which the characters are interacting from within a computer game – gave me the urge to find a fun, free computer game that involves some sort of exploration of unknown territory.

It has been a while since I paid any attention to computer games, but who knows what the future holds? This page describes 20 interesting PC games – all free, of course – and after reading about them, I’d say at least 5 of these free games look like they’d be worth a try.

Friday, January 13, 2012

What matters: Steven Pressfield and the War of Work

  • Steven Pressfield and the War of Work – Copyblogger Excerpt: It’s human nature to look for the easy way out… Then, along comes a guy like Steven Pressfield. He’s the type that tells you that this single day is what matters. That money and recognition come and go, but your desk and your work remain. He’s the type that shatters your illusions about the very nature of work, and the reasons why you do what you do…
  • Playing Hurt – Steven Pressfield Excerpt: The past two and a half years have been really rough for me. Issues of love and work, health and mortality have pushed me into places I’ve never been before. Yet through all this balagan (chaos, in Hebrew), I’ve produced some of the best work of my life… I think there’s a connection.
  • Digital sharecropping – Copyblogger – Excerpt: There are three assets you should be building today, and should continue to focus on for the lifetime of your business: A well-designed website with your own hosting account; an opt-in email list, ideally with a high-quality autoresponder; and a reputation for providing impeccable value…

Negotiating: The ‘secret world’ you know nothing about – even though you participate in it every day!

Excerpt from Nightingale-Conant email:

After public speaking, negotiating may be the interpersonal activity people fear most. Fear of getting less than what you want, or none of it. Fear of being blindsided by an unanticipated response, or a question you aren’t able to answer. Fear of being disliked or seen as the “bad guy.”
But while public speaking is something many people will never face, you are negotiating ALL the time. And a huge amount is riding on how well you do it.
That’s because almost all of the money and assets you will ever have come to you, or leave you, as a result of your negotiations and agreements with other people.
You agree to receive a certain salary from your employer in exchange for the work you do. You agree to pay a certain amount of money in exchange for a car, a house, a product, or a project. You agree to certain details in a contract with a client or business partner.
Most people follow a certain set of “rules” when it comes to negotiating. These rules are so ingrained in the collective consciousness, they’re by and large followed without thought or question. They’re automatically assumed to bring about the best possible outcomes.
The only problem is, they don’t.
In truth, these rules were specifically designed to ensure that you always get less than what you want.
It sounds crazy. It IS crazy! (The story behind how they became so universally accepted is even crazier.)
And yet they’re the rules 99% of the population follow in any kind of negotiation.
Then there’s the other 1%.
These people really aren’t any different from you. They were raised with the same negotiation rules you’re most likely following. The same mindsets and assumptions.
But somewhere along the line, they realized that those rules weren’t working for them. They got sick of coming out of negotiations with the short end of the stick. So they decided to cast the old rules off and adopt a brand-new set.
These “new rules” of negotiation are very different. Shockingly different in some cases. And so are the results they deliver. Those who use them:
Enter every negotiation with total confidence. No butterflies. No negative feelings in the pit of their stomach. No second-guessing.

Have no fear of “NO.” Not only don’t they dread hearing “no” from their adversaries – they welcome it.

Never get blindsided by an unanticipated reaction or rebuttal. It rarely happens. When it does, they know just how to handle it.
Most importantly, they get exactly what they want out of every negotiation they enter. Without conflict. WITHOUT compromise.
In just a minute, I’ll tell you how these rules work.
But what’s really interesting is WHY they work.

Resources: January 2012

My first free online computer programming course

learning computer programming language - whiteboard notes

(NOTE: This post will be updated occasionally when I have additional tips, experiences worth relating, etc.)

For the first step in my quest to become a real computer programmer, I decided to go with MIT‘s OpenCourseWareIntroduction to Computer Science and Programming.

This course may lean a bit toward the elementary side for someone who has worked in various areas of computing for well over a decade, but that’s fine; I guess I’d rather it be on the simple side – for now, at least.

Download the video lectures

I found it better to download the video lectures instead of watching them as they streamed across the web. For some reason, my first lecture stopped playing at around the 16-minute mark. Reloading the page did not help. When I set aside the time to listen to a lecture, I need for it to work properly. Although I could not use my streaming video downloader to grab the video from the main lecture page, I did find an alternate page at videolectures.net that was created to facilitate the downloading of these lectures.

The FLV files are the ones you want if you’re watching them via computer: these files are only half as large (around 250MB) as the other formats (closer to 600MB). Use a flexible video player that can handle FLVs such as VLC Media Player.

There’s another excellent reason to download these video lectures rather than watching them as they stream across the Internet, and it revolves around productivity, efficiency, and the best use of your time. When you watch the video lectures using top-shelf video freeware like VLC Media Player, you can speed up the video during the slow parts – or portions of the material you already know, and so on. Changing the playback speed of any video on VLC is as easy as clicking your mouse button.

About the course

The course covers some computing basics apart from actual Python computer programming. For example, in the first sitting, basic terms like input and output were defined; however, other basic computer programming terms I didn’t know were also explained; an example that comes to mind is the word token. (Tokens are the basic elements of both natural and formal languages, such as words, numbers, and chemical elements… News to me!)

A brief description of MIT’s beginning computer science course from the main course webpage:

This subject is aimed at students with little or no programming experience. It aims to provide students with an understanding of the role computation can play in solving problems. It also aims to help students, regardless of their major, to feel justifiably confident of their ability to write small programs that allow them to accomplish useful goals. The class will use the Python™ programming language.

Reading material for the course

The reading material for this course consists entirely of free ebooks. The first book I acquired was How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Learning with Python – a very well-written text that’s easy to read, even enjoyable.

The second book mentioned: Python Programming, available online at no cost as part of WikiBooks.

Third is a popular Python resource I’d already planned to follow: the official Python tutorial.

Those are the three primary texts for this course. A handful of other online documents and related resources are used as the course progresses, and they too are free and simple to access. These include an introduction to dynamic programming, several Wikipedia articles, and a few other assorted applets and references. All are listed and linked on the course’s Readings page.

NOTE: A significant amount of time and effort went into my research on the best computer programming language(s) for beginners. The fact that M.I.T. (THE Massachusetts Institute of Technology) now uses Python to introduce computer programming is, I believe, an interesting factor with some weight behind it.


Updates to this post
Tuesday, September 13, 2011