8 FREE Online Computer Science Courses for Beginners and Advances Users

steve jobs

Many people want to learn computer science, but not many can afford to do so at the best institutions.  Fortunately many of the best institutions in the world are opening up their courses so you can take a course from Stanford, MIT or Harvard simply by going online and learning at your own pace.  Here are 8 ways you can take advantage of this.

Introductory Courses (Little Or No Experience Required)

MIT’s Introduction To Computer Science For A Good Overview Of The Science

MIT’s Introduction To Computer Science is a free course that sounds like it tries to keep the students engaged. Rather than focusing on a bunch of broad topics in an un-centered manner, it talks about a topic, and then applies that concept to an example that will get techies excited about learning computer science. (The description specifically references the Roomba, that robot that cleans your floors for you, and has recently been overtaken by the superior Mint robot.)

Harvard’s Intensive Introduction To Computer Science: For Those Who Are Committed

Harvard’s Introduction To Computer Science Course is what you’d expect from a basic course, except harder. Why? Because this is Harvard, and they make all of their science classes extremely hardcore. So, you’ll be focusing on algorithms, software development, multiple programming languages, and more. If you’re really looking to get deep into learning computer science, then this is definitely your course.

Learn Binary Numbers In 60 Seconds From A YouTube Video And Increase Your Geek Cred

This video that teaches you binary numbers in 60 seconds is less of a course and more of a quick learn for anyone who likes to call themselves a geek or a tech guy. If you don’t know binary numbers, then you’re not a true geek. Fix that now by taking a minute of your time to learn something new – who knows, you might even kindle an interest in computer science! 0110011101100101011001010110101101110011 (Geeks)

University of Washington’s Basic Computer Science Course on HTML For Those With No Knowledge Of HTML

The University of Washington has put out a very simple starter course on HTML – this is really for people with no prior experience in HTML. Just from blogging and doing an odd website creation here and there, I got a 100% on their post-course quiz, so this can’t be that hard of a course. But, I also am versed in HTML, so if you don’t know if an H3 tag is bigger than an H2 tag, this class is for you.

Connexions’ Introduction To Computer Science Course: Programming In The C Language

The Hanoi University of Technology has posted a basic course for learning to program using C, the older version of C++ that some programmers still prefer. (The two are very similar, so don’t feel like you’re learning something completely outdated.) This is great for those with little or no programming knowledge in the C language. If you’re an expert, this course isn’t really for you.

bill gates 

Intermediate and Advanced Courses (Programming Experience Required)

Udacity’s Online Computer Science Courses On Various Topics

Udacity could really be placed into both categories, since it has both basic and advanced free computer science courses, but it offers a greater of number of advanced lectures, so I felt that it would be wise to place it in this section so that no newbies find themselves in deep waters. This is a site that really has a ton of different free courses, from programming a robotic car to applied cryptography. (Some pretty hard stuff.)

Stanford’s Machine Learning Online Computer Science Course

When some people think of machine learning, they think of robots. This is not entirely true – machine learning is really more up the alley of autonomous cars, speech recognition, and many other types of atypical non-robotic activities. (Google’s software engineers do a lot of machine learning.) You should have a solid programming background before you dive into this course!

Coursera’s Introduction To Databases Course

For the Introduction To Databases Course, you will need some programming knowledge in order to grasp the more advanced material about structuring databases. Basically every type of relevant software has something to do with databases, so this is definitely a great course for all aspiring programmers to take!

This post was compiled by Jack Kiefer

6 Money-Making Sites to Check Out…If You Haven’t Already

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Make money by giving ideas

1. PickyDomains.com 

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Founded in 2007, PickyDomains is a crowdsourcing site of well over 50,000 contributors from all over the world. Clients looking to find catchy domain names, business names and slogans specify what exactly they need. A contributor then starts making suggestions. Depending on the order type and the contributor’s ranking, the moment a contributor’s suggestion gets picked and registered by a client, he gets 40% to 60% commission, averaging around $25 to $75 per order. For most, this definitely is not a way to get rich off the Internet, but the site’s most successful contributors – those with a knack for names and words – make hundreds to thousands each month. Payment is through PayPal.

2. IdeaBounty.com

IdeaBounty is a site that allows clients to hire thousands of creative minds but only pay for the ideas they choose to use. It used to be that when a company needed ideas, they paid creative experts to come up with an end product. And that’s not even knowing how much time these experts need to finally provide a solution to a problem. With IdeaBounty, clients are exposed to thousands of different ideas, and creatives get to pitch on several different briefs. Bounty (reward) for a winning idea can go as high as $3,500.

Make money doing small tasks

3. oDesk.com

odesk

oDesk is an online employment platform that serves as meeting place for clients and freelancers. Clients post jobs, and contractors apply to them. There are two forms of jobs at oDesk: fixed price and hourly. Hourly work when logged into the oDesk time system is guaranteed payment. Fixed-priced jobs, on the other hand, should be treated with caution because there is a possibility of non-payment from unscrupulous clients. Earnings can be withdrawn through PayPal, local fund transfer, wire transfer, Payoneer and MoneyBookers.

4. iStockPhoto.com

If photography is your thing, selling stock photos is not a bad idea. Stock photos, according to Webopedia, are royalty-free photos that can be used and reused for commercial purposes. Or better yet, if you have a hard drive full of photos and don’t know what to do with them, sell the best ones. With the proper title and description, somebody in another part of the world just might like them. And when you’re ready to start clicking here and there for future upload to the site, it pays to study which types of photos sell well. Top earners at iStockPhoto make around $500 to $1,000 per month. Others even more.

5. CloudCrowd.com 

At CloudCrowd, projects are broken down into small tasks and then reviewed by a peer for accuracy. Tasks are completed via your Facebook work application. When completed tasks are approved, you typically receive payment on the same business day through PayPal. Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, a freelance professional or a college student with free time, the site offers a steady stream of tasks ranging from online profile verifications, copywriting to editing that fit your educational background and lifestyle preference. You can also refer your friends to the program. And once they sign up and complete tasks, you earn a referral bonus.

6. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk – Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, or mTurk, is an online marketplace where humans perform tasks computers are unable to do. Tasks are generally simple and may take just about a few minutes to complete. On average, most people earn $0.15 per HIT (human intelligence task). Some HITs, however, pay around $2 to $10. mTurk is most probably not going to make you rich, but it’s definitely good avenue to fill in time gaps. mTurk workers in the U.S. and India are the only ones with the option to disburse their earnings to their local bank accounts. All others can have them disbursed as Amazon.com gift certificate. As has always been said time and time again, never put your eggs in one basket. Sometimes, to maximize your earning potential, diversity is key.

This guest post was written by Maria Rivera

7 Free Tools To Check and Analyze Website Loading Speed

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Simpler straight to the point tools (Beginner)

Google Developers Page Speed Test – What Google thinks of your site and check your mobile version

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What’s great about the Google Developers Page Speed Test is that this useful online tool comes straight from Google, and these are the guys you’re trying to impress, are they not? This web speed checker is also amazing because it puts your problems into specific categories and orders them by importance: high priority, medium priority, low priority, and already done. If you fix some of these high priority issues that come up when you’re analyzing your site, you can be assured that your website will be faster and Google will appreciate your effort.  They also evaluate your mobile version if you click on the ‘mobile report’ link which comes up after your desktop results are generated

iWebTool Speed Test – Check multiple websites at once

website speed test

The iWebTool Speed Test is different from other tools that you can use to check how fast your website loads in that it gives simple data and allows you to test up to ten websites at the same time. If you’re looking to just quickly get a couple of pieces of data in terms of how fast your site is, and are not hoping to see things like data waterfalls and tips to improve your site’s speed, then the iWebTool Speed Test is for you! This is a free service, but it only allows you to make ten requests per hour. This seemed like a reasonable restriction to me, so I felt comfortable sharing it with you all. This website speed checker is not great at in-depth analysis, it just gives you loading times, but is perfect for quick comparisons and to identify if you have a problem at all in terms of loading speed.

Neustar Web Performance – Keep tabs of your website speed history as you tweak it

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The Neustar Web Perfomance tool from Browser Mob is great because it keeps a running history of the sites that you’ve looked up – for instance, I looked at this website’s speed yesterday when I prepared this post, and its data still showed up today when I visited the site. Like Pingdom, the design of this tool is wonderful, and it gives some simple-to-understand statistics. In addition to this, Neustar also provides a waterfall and data from four different locations around the world!

WhichLoadsFaster – Side by side comparisons

WhichLoadsFaster is really a great way to compare your site to others in your niche while actually having a bit of fun! Since you’re tired of staring at waterfalls and looking at different metrics, it’s time to get down to business fun. Just type in two different websites, and then watch them load! Sounds boring, but once they’ve both loaded you can see which one is faster and by how much! Geeks, it’s better than it sounds – you’ll just have to check it out if you don’t believe me.

Stats heavy tools (Advanced)

WebPageTest

web page performance

WebPageTest is for those techies who run websites and actually know what they’re doing. By that, I mean that they understand what first byte time, static caching, and are interested in seeing which individual pieces are taking a long time to load. If all of these things sound foreign to you, WebPageTest’s extensively detailed Waterfall will probably be of no use to you. If you’re comfortable with Waterfalls, you can really get some great information from the WebPageTest website speed checker! For people who just want the basics, this site also gives your URL a score out of one hundred and a couple of sub-section grades for quick analysis.

Pingdom Tools Website Speed Checker

pingdom

Pingdom Tools is one of my favorite website speed checkers if only because it is laid out professionally and in a way that makes it easy to navigate between your site’s different statistics. I personally like their Perfomance Grade tab which labels several subsections and gives them a rating out of one hundred – things rated very poorly are aspects of your site that you might want to take a look at at some point. The fact that Pingdom also tells you how your site compares to all of the other sites tested on the web is helpful, but make sure to do more than one run for this, as results can vary.

GTmetrix

gtmetrix

GTmetrix is a web speed checker that is divided into two main components: website speed and YSlow grade. Your site gets a letter grade for both of these areas, and clicking on a tab helps you to see why you got this grade and what you can do to fix it.

This post was written by Jack Kieffer

12 Geeky Online Clocks And Timers

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When you’re sitting at your computer, there’s always that danger of getting sucked into the abyss of doing nothing. There’s YouTube, Facebook, Reddit, and all sorts of other time-wasting things you could be doing. (While you’re supposed to be working.) A great way to make sure that you don’t waste too much time is to use these 12 geeky online clocks and timers! Some of them are fun and some of them are solely functional, but all of them keep the time! (To be honest, there are a couple that will probably make you waste more time than before, but whatever.)

GEEKLY AND USEFUL

Timer For Your iPad No App Required

When you’re on the go, and you need a timer, you can just use your iPad! iPad Stopwatch is a timer that, unlike some others, does not use Flash. It is also sized so that it will show up nicely on the iPad’s display, and has large, tappable plus and minus buttons for adjusting the time.  Why use this?  Because you don’t have to install another app on your iPad.  Just bookmark this site and visit it when you need a stopwatch.

Pomodoro Timer: Productivity Booster

pomodoro

Many of you have probably heard of the Pomodoro technique for time management, and it has probably helped some of you. The Focus Booster is basically an online Pomodoro timer that isn’t really good for anything else – it is set at 25 minutes, and you couldn’t change it if you wanted to. If you don’t know what the Pomodoro technique is, then its a great way to maintain focus throughout the day, and is definitely worth reading up on.

Online Meditation Timer: Relaxation

If you’re a fan of meditation, which, contrary to popular belief, is not the same as sleeping, then the Online Meditation Timer is for you! You can set preparation and sitting times as well as quickly add or subtract five minutes from the time during your period of meditation. "You mean sleeping?" No, I don’t. "Well then I must be doing it wrong." You are.

The Poker Clock: Online Poker Timer

poker clock

The Poker Clock is for those guys who just want to hang out with their friends a play a few card games – specifically the games which involve you losing money to your more-skilled friends. You can set the round time for the game and choose blinds by using this timer! It’s helpful to keep the games moving, and to help with remembering blinds.

Collection of timers and countdowns

Online-Stopwatch is a collection of countdowns and stopwatches meant for all kinds of purposes, chess games, boiling eggs, and even metronomes.  If you need to keep time of something, this website is a great place to start.

Rubik’s CubeTimer: For Whiz Kids

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If you’re one of the lucky ones who can solve a Rubik’s Cube, then the CubeTimer is for you! This online timer lets you hit the spacebar to begin timing your solve, and allows you to stop the time by hitting the spacebar again. It even records your previous times on the sidebar for you so you can see if you’re progressing! Of course, you could always just use this as a regular upwards counting timer, but it is meant to be used for Rubik’s Cube solving.

Makeshift Alarm Clock : Kuku Klok

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The Kuku Klok is an online alarm clock (Yes you have to keep the browser window open).  You can choose from five different sounds and use the plus and minus buttons to set the time on this alarm clock.  Probably not the best for everyday use, but incredibly useful to have up your sleeve if you are travelling and don’t have a working alarm clock or phone.

GEEKY AND FUN

How Fast Online Stopwatch

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The How Fast Online Stopwatch is not helpful, and it is not a great timepiece. But, we can forgive it these flaws, because it’s super fun! Try to click the red button twice as fast as you can – start and stop the button in the least amount of time! It sounds dumb, but if you aren’t sitting at your computer trying to beat your last time, you’re unique indeed. Would have had this post done at least fifteen minutes earlier if I didn’t include this one on the list.

Timerrr Online Countdown: Old Fashioned Fun

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The Timerrr Online Countdown is one of my favorite online timers, because it combines the old with the new. Remember those old, twist-to-set timers? Timerrr is one of those, except online. Pretty cool, if you ask me – retro is where it’s at.

The Human Clock: Different Scenes Of Time

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The Human Clock is one of the coolest clocks on the web! This site does not give you a cool design, like many other applets do, but it instead displays pictures that show your current time. These pictures were taken by real people, often have real people in them, and can be switched out with other pictures by scrolling down and clicking on the links there. It’s a good idea to just keep this open in a different tab and check on it occasionally to see what cool image comes up next!

Anima Clock: Wonderful To Watch

anima

The Anima Clock is one of those online clocks that I warned you about earlier; chances are, you’re going to be spending a lot of time watching this clock change the time. It’s difficult to describe, but as the seconds pass the numbers morph into other numbers, and the design of the numbers changes with time. This is a geeky online clock that is definitely cool to look at!

Industrious Clock: Hard Working

industrious clock

If clocks are too boring for you, and you’re looking for something more exciting, you should definitely check out the Industrious Clock. This site actually shows the day, month, year, and time, so you won’t be short on any information. Also, as things change, a hand with a pencil erases and rewrites the numbers! Fun to watch, and useful!

This post was written by Jack Kieffer.

How To Save Money and Paper With The Google Docs FAX Feature

google logo

Google Docs is a free service that allows members to create documents and presentations, send them, convert them to different formats, publish online, and much more. Now, you can use Google Docs with a handful of online fax services to create, send, and receive faxes in a much more streamlined manner.

When connected with your mobile, the ability to create and fax documents on the fly via Google Docs gets even easier.
There are still just a handful of fax services offering Google Docs support and/or full integration; however, the services that are offered make it easy and efficient to fax from just about anywhere, including a mobile device. Online fax services like the ones below are affordable, eliminate the need for machines and paper, and completely streamline your virtual office.

1. Ginza Fax

ginza

Ginza Fax is a Google App that when installed, turns your Google account into an inbound and outbound fax service, allowing you to seamlessly send and receive faxes. According to published information in the Google App Marketplace, Ginza Fax allows you to send and receive faxes from anywhere in the world, and offers a free trial, after which monthly plans start at $4.99 (USD).

How to Integrate with Google Docs: Ginza Fax published a brief, one minute video on YouTube to demonstrate how to use their faxing service with Google Docs.
Other features of Ginza Fax include that the service will log your fax activity right into your Google Calendar, and that you can simply attach a file to an email to fax it anywhere. You can also manage fax spam by blocking anonymous senders.

2. InterFax

interfax

InterFax is a similar service to Ginza Fax. Like Ginza Fax, you can use your Google Docs account to receive faxes. However, the main difference lies in the way in which faxes are sent. With InterFax, a bookmarklet is installed and when you open a file, you just click the “Fax This” button to send it.

How to Integrate with Google Docs: InterFax integration with Google Docs is simple, and involves only the activation of Google Docs within the InterFax account, and installing and using the Fax This bookmarklet. InterFax published a series of web pages on their website detailing how to use it with Google Docs.
Limitations with InterFax are that only documents created in or converted to Google Docs format, or documents that are in PDF format, are supported. InterFax services start at $10.00 (USD).

3. PamFax

pamfax

PamFax is another online fax service that integrates with Google Docs, but has a simpler pricing model than the previous two. With PamFax, the first three faxes after sign-up are free, and then after that, fees are per fax. There is no advertising on any fax at any time.

How to Integrate with Google Docs: PamFax offers support for a handful of online storage systems, including Google Docs. When sending a fax, you will be prompted to select an online storage system, where you can find your document and then fax it. PamFax published a how-to in their online knowledge base.

PamFax also integrates with Skype, and can be used with an Android mobile device, and offers several add-ons, including Facebook. Along with its low rates and no contract obligation, PamFax is a good option for people who need to fax only casually as well as those who need a flexible faxing solution.

This guest post is written by Lior Levin, a marketing consultant for a neon sign store that offers customized neon signs, and who also consults for a task management company.