Showing posts from 2017

The Computing Tutor's end of 2017 review

As 2017 draws to a close (GMT), I'll use this post to reflect upon the progress made on the Computing Tutor project this year as well as the progress I've made personally in my understanding of Computer Science. Reflections on the Computing Tutor project Audience growth and retention In July 2016, I began the development of the Computing Tutor project and by the end of the year the YouTube channel was getting 100-200 views/month (November 2016: 163 views; December 2016: 134 views). Now, at the end of 2017, the channel is getting almost 2,000 views/month (November 2017: 1,914 views; December 2017: 1,860 views*)**.

I consider this growth in views to be very good and it bodes well for 2018. I'm not totally sure how much time I'll have to dedicate to the project in 2018. It should be at least as much time as I put into it in 2017 so I hope to see a continuation of the growth I saw this year.

Of course, view count isn't the only metric by which I can mea…

Using Oxford Brookes University WIFI (eduroam) on a Linux machine

I'm keen to promote the use of Linux based operating systems and with the University currently providing no official WIFI documentation for Linux users I decided to write my own unofficial guide*.Note: I have verified that these instructions work under Linux Mint 18.2 at Wheatley and Headington**. Instructions for other distributions will be similar (particularly if you're running a Ubuntu based distribution) but may not be exactly the same as these instructions.
Step 1 Search for and open "Network Connections" from your programs.

Step 2 Click "Add". Then, when prompted to select a connection type, choose "WIFI". Then click "Create...".

Step 3 Enter a connection name into the text field marked "Connection name:" e.g "Brookes WIFI".
Step 4 Enter "eduroam" into the text field marked "SSID:".
Step 5 Click the tab marked "WI-FI Security".
Step 6 You should see a dropdown marked…

Easily detect a physical Android device with a Ubuntu PC

Setting up a Ubuntu machine to detect a physical Android device can be a complex process particularly for new Linux users. Thankfully there's a easy way to do it using this project. Setting up your Ubuntu machine for Android application debugging would usually involve creating something called a udev* rule for your device yourself. However, thanks to the maintainers of the project linked above, these rules have been created for you.

You can check if your device is supported by going to the 51-android.rules file in the project repository and searching the comments for the name of your device.
For example, here's my phone (Nexus 6P):

You then simply have to run the commands listed in the project document under "Ubuntu"**. I've included them as they were at the time of writing below. It's a good idea to check the latest version of README linked above as there's a chance the commands you need have changed.
I spent a long time getting Ubuntu to reco…

How to complete your A-Level coursework and enhance your CV at the same time

I've just obtained an A grade in the coursework component of my Computing A-Level writing it in Java, a language I'd never programmed in before. Initially I was hesitant about taking this approach to my coursework, but with the right support and attitude to the project, it can really pay off. Background I first started learning to code in year 9 using Python 2 on my Raspberry Pi. Towards the end of year 12 I'd spent about 3 years programming in an exclusively procedural style in Python (with a bit of HTML/CSS on the side). This meant when I had to start thinking about my NEA project, I'd only been exposed to a single programming paradigm in one language and had very few interesting options in terms of project ideas.

As I have an Android phone and am interested in programming, I'd thought about learning to write apps for it before. The NEA turned out to be the perfect opportunity to learn a few things involved with doing this:
OOP in JavaHow to use Android Studi…

Want to get ahead in CS? Google has a guide for you

Google's guide to technical development will give you pointers as to what to study outside of your GCSE, A-Level or University course to give you an edge when it comes to applying for jobs in the technology industry. 
In this article I'll look over the recommendations made to students in Google's guide to technical development and how they might apply to a student following a GCSE -> A-Level -> University progression route in the UK. I'll assume that your taking GCSE, A-Level and University CS. Advice my differ if you, for instance, didn't have the opportunity to take A-Level CS.

Intro to CS Google's first recommendation is that you take an introduction to CS course. The content of the Udacity course that they link to will be covered in one way or another in your GCSE, A-Level and Unviersity courses. However taking their suggested Udacity course might not be a bad idea if you either want to get ahead in your studies or want to brush up on the basics for a…

From Win10 to Ubuntu on my gaming PC

My desktop PC ran Windows 10 up until 2/7/17 whereas my laptop runs Linux Mint Cinnamon Edition. Recently though it's finally felt possible to move my desktop PC over to Linux, this post details why and how I did it. 
Why move to Linux? I've wanted to move my main desktop PC to a Linux based OS for some time now. Windows is frustrating to use because of issues that many users complain about:
PrivacyUpdatesPerformance to name just a few. Also, because I do a lot of programming, Linux provides a near friction-less platform to get this kind of work done.
The main thing holding me back from making the switch was the lack of support for popular games on Linux. However, in the past few years the situation has improved massively, thanks in part to Valve putting a lot of effort into making their own games available for Linux, basing SteamOS on Debian and celebrating games that have Linux versions available.

Another factor in the growth of Linux gaming must surely be the ease with whic…

Get great web hosting with this new way to support Computing Tutor

You can now use our Siteground affiliate link to get great web hosting and support Computing Tutor at the same time!

Why do I use Siteground? Their support is better I first used Siteground when setting up my first public website as it was recommended to me by a relative. The principle reason for them recommending Siteground was the excellent support they received. I now host on Siteground and when I had a problem with the configuration of SSL on my site their support team took just 11 minutes to get back to me with a solution.

Their servers are loads almost instantly. That's thanks to Siteground using SSD's on all their plans and the latest speed technologies.

Their security is better When your website is hosted with Siteground, you can get a free Let's Encrypt SSL certificate. If your processing transactions through you website, or asking users to enter sensitive data on your website an SSL certificate is vital to connect users…