Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ever have a dream...??

Have you ever had a dream that you knew was really cool after you woke up, but then you couldn't remember any of it? I had a dream last night that was all over the place, but the only thing I can remember from it is that it started off with me playing Zack & Wiki for Wii (because I played it for about 4 hours before I went to bed last night). I can usually remember most of my dreams really well, but this one's kind of giving me a tough time.

I wish I could go back in time to this morning when it was still kind of fresh in my mind. Oh well, it's long gone now, unless something triggers my memory of something that happened in the dream, then that'll get my brain going. But for now, nothing's coming to mind.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Man, that thing will vibrate your whole head

The title of this post was taken from a post on a forum I visit, so I can't take any credit for it, but I thought it was fitting with what I'm gonna write about.

UPS delivered my Sonicare Flexcare toothbrush & UV cleaner today. It's my first time using a Sonicare - the only toothbrushes I've ever used before were the manual kinds and the battery operated ones they sell in grocery stores.

Anyway, I let it charge up, and gave it a try tonight. Wow, that's some intense cleaning action! It'll take a bit of getting used to, but I'm really loving it already. I kind of want to just brush my teeth again just so I can use it. After using it just once, I don't know if I could ever go back to using any other toothbrush ever again. And, no, I'm not being paid to write any of this (I wish I was!).

The commercials weren't kidding - it really does give you that "dentist clean" feeling. My teeth have never felt so clean after brushing them.

After brushing, it recommends to put your brush head into the UV cleaner to clean the germs off of it, so I did that. I can't really tell either way if the head is actually cleaner or not though. There's really no way to know unless I put it under a microscope or something. The UV cleaner is really quiet and the only way to know that it's doing anything is from the blue light on the front of the unit and the blinking green light on top. Other than that, you really wouldn't notice that it's doing anything.

Before today, I wouldn't even consider spending so much ($179.99) for just a toothbrush. I still think it's probably way out of a lot of people's price ranges for home dental care, especially since you still have to change the brush heads as often as any other toothbrush (every 3 months). But it works really well and really does get your teeth nice and clean. And, at least for me, it's kind of fun to use.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ooh, iPod Touch... gimme, gimme!

So I never actually got a chance to play around with an iPhone because the person who I know has one didn't go to a certain event that I was at last month.

But now Apple's released the iPod Touch. Oooh, sexy! I really don't need the "phone" features of the iPhone since I barely ever use my cell phone to begin with.

I'm really most interested in the built-in WiFi it has. When I was hanging around in airports last month, that would've been so much nicer to have than my lousy Nintendo DS Browser. Sure, the DS browser works, but it stinks when there's a hotspot that requires a username and password because the login screen doesn't show up at all even though you can see the network.

The iPod Touch looks really sweet though and it's really tempting, but at its current pricetag, I don't think I'll be getting one. For the cost, I'd rather get myself an Xbox 360. I think I'd get much more use out of that than I would the iPod Touch. And I'd also rather have more functionality of a UMPC (that's Ultra Mobile PC for you folks who don't know the acronym) than the limited functionality of the iPod Touch.

But really, my interest in the iPhone has dropped and like I said earlier, I don't need the "phone" aspects of the iPhone, so the iPod Touch is more my thing. I'd really love to upgrade my iPod since I have an old 20 gig HP iPod, but what really stinks about the iPod Touch is the limited space you get. For something that can play videos, you'd think they'd give you more gigabytes for your money instead of LESS storage space than what was on previous (music only) iPod models. That seems just plain idiotic to me. That doesn't change the fact that I still want one though.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Apple iPhone

So the Apple iPhone is finally out. It seems so cool, but way too much for me to afford right now. I haven't read any iPhone reviews or anything, so I don't know if it's worth the money, but I really want one.

I probably wouldn't use a lot of the features that are built into the iPhone, but I definitely think I would love the touch screen. I mean, hey, look what the Nintendo DS did for gaming with it's dual screen and touch screen. I play my DS way more than anything else, including my Wii.

Anyway, getting back to the awesome iPhone. If it really does all that I've seen it do in videos, I think I would love it. I do think it might be kind of weird to type on an all touch screen... no tactile feedback or anything since it's an on-screen keyboard. That might be kind of weird at first since you can't feel your way around the keys like you can with anything else that uses real buttons. But, what do I really know? I'm just a person who wishes that I owned an iPhone. I don't actually have one.

If anyone wants to get me an iPhone as a gift, I'd really appreciate it. My birthday is coming up, ya know (or in case you didn't know... my birthday is coming up... hint , hint). ;)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Insomnia

For some reason, I just couldn't stay asleep tonight. I don't know why. But I wouldn't exactly say having just one night of sleep would qualify me as an insomniac. It's just one night, right? Hopefully.

I think I only got about three hours of sleep total. I know I was up past 1 AM and got up at around 4 AM. I've been awake since then, but I think it's because I turned on my laptop and just started visiting a bunch of websites.

Wow, my laptop battery is still charging! Last night, I unplugged the power from my laptop so that I could see how long my battery life was. It didn't last close to three minutes! How can it go from 100% to 0% that fast? I really don't like the thought of having to buy a new laptop battery because they're expensive! I'd rather get a new laptop than spend on a battery. So anyway, I plugged it back in and hours later, it's still only 47% charged. WTF? I wonder if maybe the battery wasn't making contact (with whatever it's supposed to make contact with) somehow and maybe it really was never charged at all.

Uh, anyway, I'm gonna try to get back to sleep now before I'm just as drained as my laptop battery. I'll probably end up waking up in another 2 and a half hours. Hopefully this is just a one time thing and I'll be able to sleep normally tonight.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Quality of recorded audio conference calls

This is related to my post below. A little gripe about the quality of some recorded audio conference calls.

If I ever owned a big company and wanted to start comparing conference calling plans with several different conference calling companies, and I wanted to offer downloadable versions for those who missed the call... I would want to sample the quality of other calls that a certain calling company has previously recorded. They don't even have to be real calls, just demo calls with people connecting to the call from across the globe.

Like I said in my post below, I've never attended a live conference call before, I've only listened to ones that have been pre-recorded. Very often, the calls I've heard have such terrible quality that you can barely even hear the person speaking sometimes. I don't know whether that has to do with the kind of telephone a person is using or if they're using a VOIP connection or what.

But if I was paying conference calling centers to record the calls for me, I would expect them to at least try to enhance the audio quality of the downloadable version. I don't want it to sound like people are buried underground or something. If it's a service I'm paying for, even if the poor audio quality is on my end, I'd want to at least get my money's worth and have a great clarity, enhanced recorded versions of my conference calls.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Audio conference calling

I've always heard pre-recorded conference calls before. I've never actually attended a live audio conference call. One reason is I'm not around during the time of the scheduled conference call. And another reason is because the number you need to listen in on or participate in the call is almost always a long distance phone number for me.

We don't have long distance calling plan at home and I don't want to use up my cell phone minutes just to attend a call. I wish these conference calling services or conference calling centers would offer toll free numbers that you could dial into. If people are already shelling out the bucks to pay a conference calling company to host their calls, they can at least offer an 800 number for people who want to participate. Maybe there are conference calling plans that offer toll-free numbers, but they're probably more expensive to use. I don't really know since I've never had to compare prices for such a service.

Maybe I should look into a VOIP service or something that would allow me to make calls using my computer. It'd really be nice to be able to get in on a live call for once and not have to wait a day or two for the downloadable version of a call to be available because then you're behind everybody else in learning what the big news was.

Friday, May 11, 2007

A review of Coleman College's / Coleman University's CIS program, part 7

7/6/09 UPDATE: Coleman College is now known as Coleman University - this review was written for their classes that I took in 2005-2006, so some things in their curriculum may have changed since then.

Sorry it's been a while since part 6, but finally, here's part 7.

The final mod of Coleman College's CIS program. The capstone project - I don't remember the names of the actual classes at the moment and we always just called the last mod the "capstone" anyway, so that's all I'll be referring to it as. This is where the networking students and the programming students combine once again to build a system.

The networking side will build a network to house the application that the programmers create.

The first part of the class covers all the steps to systems design and implementation. The instructor I had would try to cover that as fast as possible so that we could dedicate the rest of our time to actually building the system itself.

For the programmers, the afternoon class was VB2. During lecture we were taught things like databinding, using a datagrid, and just all kinds of things relating to our application and how it would access our database. This was because in VB1, we didn't use a database at all in our projects, just text files and arrays. Databases make it much easier to navigate through your records. I absolutely loved the whole project. We were given specs and just left to program everything from scratch. I like these types of projects because it really tests what you've learned. The only thing is, I wish it had been in a different language than Visual Basic .NET - I would have enjoyed it more if our project was coded in either C++ or C#.

And since we got our project done early, we had time to get into some ASP .NET stuff. That was kind of neat, but it really wasn't a lot of time to learn it that much. I think a class with just ASP .NET would be great. Coleman College has probably started one by now since their curriculum always tries to stay current, but I don't really know what kinds of things they teach there now since I haven't been back there since I graduated.

Anyway, so what's the big deal about the capstone?? Well, at the end of it all, we have to do a big presentation of our entire system. Students are required to dress up in business attire and basically present it as if they were presenting it to a board of directors of a company. We have to cover things like feasibility, scalability, and all other kinds of -ilities and whatnot. Then we demonstrate how the system works - the networkers talk about their backup plans, data storage, security; the programmers give an overview of the program and show what it does - what data it collects, where it's stored, and give a quick runthrough of the application from beginning to end. It's at least a 40 minute presentation, and they invite the entire school to come and watch it - all the other classes and even the graphics department; and they entice people with snacks so that people will come and see it.

So if you're one of those people who hate public speaking in general, the capstone presentation is a killer - especially if you have a really small class or sometimes you may even be the ONLY person in your class. And you really have to know your stuff in case there are any questions. So if you don't like public speaking, consider yourself lucky if you have at least 3 people in your class since that way you won't have to talk as much. And consider yourself unlucky if you're the only person in your class. But, hey, once it's all over with, you're done because the final for both the morning class and the afternoon class is a piece of cake compared to giving the presentation.

So that's the capstone. I really loved the VB2 project in the class the most. Like I said before, I would have preferred if it was in a different language than VB, but I really have no control over that. ASP .NET - eh, I would have not wanted it covered at all if we really weren't going to delve that much into it, but I guess it was a nice little bonus. The presentation - mine went fine and I was less nervous during it than I thought I was going to be; everybody in my group got full points for it.

Overall, would I recommend Coleman College's CIS program?? Well, yes and no. Yes, if you know absolutely nothing about computers at all - you'll really learn a lot here. No, if you've already self-taught yourself some programming through online tutorials, books, or training videos, or even community college classes. If you already know how to write programs that work, you really don't need Coleman at all because I felt like with every mod, I was just always learning the basics of every language all over again. And it always seemed like there was not enough time to get into the more advanced things or not even enough time to write something that wasn't a CONSOLE or mostly text-only, non-GUI application. If you're already familiar with computers but don't know anything about programming at all, you'll find the first couple of mods a bit boring. But Coleman is a great way to go if you want to learn a lot of the basics (plus some advanced things here and there) of several programming languages quickly - in about 7 months, if you take classes during the day.

If you don't have the money to spend thousands of dollars (you can get a loan, but who wants to pay back loans?? They definitely push for loans in Coleman's financial aid department), you can always go to a community college. It'll take you longer to get your degree, but it's much cheaper and you'll probably learn more than just the basics of each language.

For me, I kind of wish I had gone the community college route and saved myself some money, but it's kind of annoying to do that when not all of the classes I need are offered every semester. Sometimes they rarely offer them at all. With Coleman, you don't really have to worry about stuff like that because they're required to provide the classes that you need, at least for the core program. Really though, Coleman is only worth all the money if you just want something fast-paced and are a quick learner. The teachers there are excellent - always willing to help you out no matter what, at least the teachers that I had.

If all you want is a Computer Science degree and don't care how long it takes you to get it, a community college would be your best option. It's a lot more affordable and your credits would transfer anywhere if you'd want to get a bachelor's degree at any other school. If you go to Coleman, you can only transfer your credits to other ACICS accredited schools. So if you go to Coleman, you're stuck with having to complete your Bachelors and Masters Degrees with them too... which would cost you even more $$$.

That's it for my review of the CIS program. I hope I've helped someone in making a decision. I might go into some non-CIS related stuff in the future, but that's all I have to say (for now) about their CIS program.

Here are the links to all of the parts: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7more thoughts

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A review of Coleman College's / Coleman University's CIS program, part 6

7/6/09 UPDATE: Coleman College is now known as Coleman University - this review was written for their classes that I took in 2005-2006, so some things in their curriculum may have changed since then.

Here we go with part 6 of my sort of review, but not really much of a review.

The classes I had for mod 6 were C++ and UML. It is so disappointing when there are things you really want to learn, but when you finally have the classes, you don't learn that much from them. That's how I felt about C++. I really wanted to learn the ins and outs of C++, but I learned barely anything new (since most of the concepts were similar to Java), yet I still got a 100 since it was so easy. The MFC applications we made were interesting, but again not really much of a "real world" type of application. Well, at least it wasn't more yo-yos and fireworks.

My class was also grouped together with students who were in mod 4 & 5, so our class was huge. And it kind of hindered our progress when not everybody understood the material as well because, for the people who were only in mod 4, it was their first object oriented programming class. I found myself being asked for help a lot in this class by other students (a lot more than in previous mods). People knew that I knew what I was doing and could help them out. So I did get a bit of debugging experience with trying to find the problems in other people's codes.

Okay, so the afternoon class... I don't know the official name of the class, but we learned UML. Zzzzzz. Barely anybody could stay awake for this class. It was just nothing that any of us were interested in. We all would just rather be writing programs than diagraming them.

I understand the importance of modeling a system before you go ahead and get to work on it. The beginning phases of a project are the most important part of the systems development life cycle. Because if you don't spot your errors early on, it costs more and more the later you get in the development cycle to fix them. Stuff like UML helps you to see how your system will work, and if the systems analysis phase missed any sort of requirements. But UML is just so boring when you'd rather be coding. But this class is helpful in helping you understand how to read UML diagrams.

So, this mod was just... meh. I really wished I could have learned a lot more C++ instead of spending most of my time looking through other people's code to fix it. And UML... eh, maybe that should be combined with part of the capstone or should be left as an elective. I'll get into the capstone in part 7.

Here are the links to all of the parts: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7more thoughts

Monday, April 23, 2007

A review of Coleman College's / Coleman University's CIS program, part 5

7/6/09 UPDATE: Coleman College is now known as Coleman University - this review was written for their classes that I took in 2005-2006, so some things in their curriculum may have changed since then.

So I've covered mods 1 through 4 of Coleman College's core Computer Information Systems program.

Mod 5 for me was Software Testing and Visual Basic 1. I'm not sure if those are the actual names of the courses in the Coleman College catalog, but that's what we covered. Software testing wasn't really anything exciting - we learned the terminology like black box vs white box, different ways and methods of testing (load testing, acceptance testing, equivalence partitioning, etc.) and thinking (having the right mindset to go about testing and debugging a problem), and just the fact that it's impossible to test everything, bugs follow bugs (where you find one, you'll probably find another related to it), etc. Just a lot of conceptual stuff.

The reason they do Software Testing and VB in the same mod is because the application that you develop in VB (.NET) is (crap, I can't remember the specific terminology they used for it) a GUI application where your user can do things (click on the wrong things, etc) that you wouldn't normally expect them to do. I don't really know why software testing was the 8 unit class this mod when we spent more time in VB.

So in VB1, we made an application that would store customer information into a text file (later on in VB2, it would get more in-depth and use a database). We started off small, not saving any information, just being able to enter it, update it, and delete it. And then we would go around and try to break each other's programs to see how much we learned in software testing.

VB is really easy to learn, but can be used for complex applications. Overall, this was a very easy mod. I really loved all of the lab time that we got to work on our VB applications. The less lecture, the more hands on the better - I learn a lot better that way.

Here are the links to all of the parts: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7more thoughts

Friday, April 20, 2007

A review of Coleman College's / Coleman University's CIS program, part 4

7/6/09 UPDATE: Coleman College is now known as Coleman University - this review was written for their classes that I took in 2005-2006, so some things in their curriculum may have changed since then.

This is the mod where the programmers and the networkers branched off into their separate classes. We wouldn't be in the same class again until our final mod, mod 7.

Mod 4, for me, was Java and Oracle. Java was my first look into object oriented programming. They used a great book for this class and I really learned a lot from it by doing the exercises as I read through the book. I can't remember what the book is right now, but I can try to go back through my manual for this mod to see if it's listed in there.

One nice thing about Coleman College's core program is that they provide you with the books - you don't get to keep them, just check them out during the mod. But after the core program, you have to buy your own books. So during the core, you don't have to spend any money on textbooks at all. Which is great since you don't have to deal with going to the bookstore, getting the right books, and whether or not you'll be able to sell them back at the end of the class.

Anyway, Java... I learned a great deal about classes, objects, polymorphism, inheritance, swing, awt, Graphics classes, interfaces, threads, applets, exception handling, using Java with HTML, and oh my gawd... API's (anyone who took this class with me will probably have the same hatred of doing the API assignments).

It was a great introduction to Java, but I wished that we had more real world types of assignments instead of making stupid yo-yo programs or fireworks.

I wish that I had started at Coleman two or three mods after when I did start. Those guys who came after me really got the kinds of projects that I wanted to have. Especially the people who started three mods after me. Their websites for their internet programming classes were awesome. They had someone from the graphics department teaching them the kind of advanced CSS that I wanted to learn. And when they got to Java, they weren't making fireworks or yo-yos.

There were some other useful applications that we made like the pizza ordering one where you'd pick your size and toppings and whatnot. But the fireworks and yo-yo projects were just silly. Sure, you learn about threads and animation, but the apps themselves were pointless.

The 4 unit class for this mod was Oracle. For a 4 unit class, it seemed a hell of a lot more like it was 8 units. The work was way more than any other 4 unit class I took at Coleman. We learned PL/SQL, working with Oracle forms, triggers, stored procedures, exception handling, the LOV wizard, transferring data from form to form, what a boilerplate is, and a whole lot more.

The projects for Oracle were sweet - this was the kind of stuff I wanted. An application that uses some sort of GUI. Not just some console application with plain text. Seeing the finished project after all the work you put into it was really gratifying, especially since sometimes Oracle can be a pain in the ass to work with.

That's mod 4. Stay tuned tomorrow for mod/part 5.

Here are the links to all of the parts: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7more thoughts

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A review of Coleman College's / Coleman University's CIS program, part 3

7/6/09 UPDATE: Coleman College is now known as Coleman University - this review was written for their classes that I took in 2005-2006, so some things in their curriculum may have changed since then.

I covered what mod 2 of Coleman's core CIS program yesterday. Today, I'll delve into mod 3.

Mod 3 was UNIX and Operating Systems Installations

UNIX - this class was very similar to learning DOS commands. My original class was now grouped with the class that was one mod behind us. We learned how to use edit and the Vi editor. We also learned some shell scripting, using the magic number line. How to send mail and a whole bunch of other stuff that I really can't remember right now. Shows how much I really retained it, huh?

OS Installs - this class was mostly a bunch of labs installing various operating systems from DOS, Windows 98, NT, 2000, XP, and Fedora. And the instructor would also teach us some Windows maintenance stuff... like going to My Computer > Manage and doing a defrag and whatnot. And installing anti-virus and anti-spyware software. How to use Windows Update. Whoopdie-doo... big deal.

Overall, this was the most boring mod ever. Who needs to learn how to install outdated operating systems? Oh, and the computers in the install lab were absolute crap... soooo damn slow. For a school where you're supposed to learn about the latest in computer technology, you'd think they'd have better computers... especially with all of the money you're paying them to go there.

Here are the links to all of the parts: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7more thoughts

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A review of Coleman College's / Coleman University's CIS program, part 2

7/6/09 UPDATE: Coleman College is now known as Coleman University - this review was written for their classes that I took in 2005-2006, so some things in their curriculum may have changed since then.

Yesterday, I covered mod 1 of Coleman College's core program in Computer Information Systems. Today, I'll be giving a few details about mod 2, or at least what I took during mod 2 (they often mix mods around because they don't have enough teachers or classrooms - so you'll be grouped with students that need the current class you're taking, but may be a mod ahead or behind you).

My mod 2 consisted of Internet Programming and SQL. Before I get into that, what I didn't mention before was that for day classes (which is what I took), mods last for 5 weeks - 7 hours a day, Monday through Friday.

Ah, Internet Programming, I was really looking forward to this class because I've always wanted to learn PHP and MySQL in-depth. I sure was disappointed. Why? Because we mostly spent our time learning HTML. For someone who already knew HTML, this was such a drag for me that I had to start back with the basics of HTML. Booooooooorrrrring! HTML isn't even programming! So we focused on nothing but that for about 3 weeks of the mod. But I guess that's the beauty of Coleman if you know absolutely nothing about computers, then you'll definitely learn a lot here.

Then after HTML, we learned a little bit of CSS. I really wish we could've gone more in-depth with that, but it was really just a basic overview. What I'd like to see is using CSS for layouts (more than what the tutorial covered), menus, curved text, using styles for web and print, etc. After CSS, we spent a little bit of time with JavaScript, just using it for form validation - that was the main thing we used JavaScript for, so we didn't really get into anything more you can do with it. Then came PHP... woohoo! But what a letdown. All we did here was just a really simple shopping cart - I'm talking about this cart with only 5 products and you'd pick how many you want, it would calculate your totals and the JavaScript would validate your info. It didn't even e-mail the order to anywhere or put it in a database, it just gave the user their total saying their submission was a success.

During our last few weeks, we got to use Dreamweaver to make our pages. That was even more boring than learning HTML. As much as I like Dreamweaver (even though I still prefer writing my HTML manually), I've already learned it before! I took a class on it a few years before learning it again at Coleman. For me, if I'm not learning at least one new thing, having to relearn things sucks! But I had to do it because it's part of the curriculum and I had to turn in all of my assignments to get my easy A - you can't challenge or waive any classes (like you can at other schools if you can show competency in the subject) because you need to take all of the core requirements in order to get the degree. I think this is all part of how Coleman makes its money, by making you waste your time in classes even if you already know the shit backwards and forwards.

So, the other class in this mod was SQL. Since I knew very little SQL to begin with, this class was great for me; I was learning something new and very useful to know in programming since a lot of programs will often interact with a database. The teacher made it seem like the concepts were going to be extremely difficult, she kept saying how much project 2 would be "a killer" and after we did it, me and the rest of the people in my class just all looked at each other and asked, "What was so hard about that?" Again, we must have all been very bright individuals. I don't think either one of us ever got less than an A in anything the entire time we were at Coleman. Me and one of the guys who started at the same time as me both graduated with a 4.0. So that's either saying Coleman is way easy or their screening process really works. I never mentioned it before, but you have to take a math/logic test to get into Coleman - I think you get two chances to take it and if you don't pass the second time, you're not admitted. The test itself is really easy though, at least I thought it was.

So in SQL we learned stuff like: normalization, creating tables, adding data, deleting tables or individual records, writing queries to get information from tables, joining tables, views, using functions like date, max, min, count, sum. Lots of stuff I learned here. We also learned a little bit of using PHP with MySQL which was pretty cool to use a web app to update a database. I wish they would've tied both classes together a bit more. Like have us make a database in our SQL class and a website in our Internet Programming class that would interact with our database. Maybe they've improved it by now, but I kind of doubt it.

As usual, tests for both classes were on Papa Bear. Extremely easy tests.

Here are the links to all of the parts: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7more thoughts

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A review of Coleman College's / Coleman University's CIS program, part 1

2/4/13 UPDATE: I appreciate all of the comments from fellow alumni and prospective students. Hopefully they've helped someone who's trying to decide the best way to spend their money towards an education. I approve all non-spam comments (whether people say good things or bad things - I'm sure visitors who read them appreciate the honesty), but it sometimes takes me months to approve them because I don't use Blogger as much as I used to. So if you post a comment, please don't be offended if it doesn't show up right away.
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7/6/09 UPDATE: Coleman College is now known as Coleman University - this review was written for their classes that I took in 2005-2006, so some things in their curriculum may have changed since then.
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ORIGINAL POST:

If you live in San Diego county, you've probably seen the commercials for Coleman College... "the fast track to a career in computers" or something along those lines.

You might be wondering, is it worth it?

As a Coleman alumni, I'm here to give you my thoughts about it. Depending on what path you choose, you go through different core programs. Each core program consists of 7 modules or mods, with two classes per mod. One class is 4 units and the other class is 8 units, or you may even have 3 4 unit classes in one mod.

I first started off wanting to learn the Computer Networking side of things. Since the first three mods of the core program for both Networking and Programming are all the same classes, I got to experience the programming side and ended up switching my major to CIS after mod 3 (a lot of people at my campus ended up switching from Networking to Programming).

Mod 1 - Intro to Programming (using C), Intro to PCs and Networks

Intro to Programming gives an overview of how to program using the C language. Here you'll start off with learning pseudocode, proper C syntax, and then learn about variables, conditional statements, loops, arrays, multidimensional arrays, references, structures, etc. The programs you write are a simple calculator, then a more advanced calculator, a temperature conversion program, an interview program. I enjoyed this course a lot because my teacher was excellent at teaching the subject. You could tell that she really had a passion for programming in general and would do her best to help anyone understand it. She wouldn't give up on debugging anything, so you'd never be left on your own if you really needed help.

I don't know if it's just because the way my teacher taught it that made it seem easy or if it just really was easy, but it really didn't seem that hard at all. The other people in my class also thought it was pretty easy - maybe we were all just a smart group.

Intro to PCs and Networks was just that - an introduction. So if you already know a lot about how to use a computer, Windows, and Microsoft Office, then this will be a really boring class for you. They have this class because some people who go to Coleman have NEVER used a computer before. So that's why it's the way it is... and the instructor has to stick to the curriculum. He can't skip anything, even if the whole class already knows it. You learn all about computer hardware and how to put a PC together, the boot sequence, IRQs, DOS commands, Windows, Microsoft Office, and different types of networking. This class was just a big snooze fest for me and the other people in my class.

Before I move on to mod 2, let me take a moment to talk about tests. Tests are a complete joke. Sometimes there might be a written test, but 99% of the tests you take will be done on computer by logging into Coleman's "Papa Bear" system. Most of the questions are multiple choice, but some will be fill in the blank. You usually get two ungraded quizzes before taking a test and the quizzes will have the same questions as what's on the test. The quizzes are taken in groups, so that everybody has a chance to see more of the questions that are in the test pool. So all you really need to do to pass a test is memorize the answers that were on the quizzes. If you don't have a good memory or you weren't paying attention to anything in class, then you'll probably do bad at tests. Almost everybody does pretty well on tests... that's why they're such a joke.

I'll cover more of the mods in more parts of this review later.

Here are the links to all of the parts: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7, more thoughts

Monday, April 16, 2007

Thanks, blogger!

Thanks to the people at blogger, I have control over my URL again. home.blogspot.com takes me to what I'm supposed to see now. :)

I've also migrated to the new Blogger now. I don't see that much of a difference now than what I've been using for the past few days, but as long as it works I'm happy.
So, my blog still takes me to some other dude's blog.

I'm just gonna keep writing until I can see my own posts.

This weekend was pretty fun. I went to Vegas and spent some time with family up there. I didn't go gambling because I hate losing money. But I brought my Wii with me, so we played a little bit with it. I kind of wish I had a few more multiplayer games, but I'm broke, so I can't afford any new games at all. Wii Sports was still fun enough. And the photo channel kept us busy too. Once I start earning some kind of income again, I'm definitely gonna buy a few more games or at least sign up for a Gamefly membership or something.

Monday, April 09, 2007

What the heck??

Okay, what the heck is going on here? I post new things, but every time I view my blog, it's someone else's! What happened?? :|
It's been a long time, but I still remember my Blogger login details. :)

I'll be making this space more into a home than it was before. Stay tuned!