5 Reasons to choose Python for your first programming language

5 Reasons to choose Python for your first programming language

Aspiring programmers often ask the question, “What language should I begin with.”

The first answer is: the first programming language you learn doesn’t matter much. Learn the principles. If you keep programming, you’ll learn more languages anyway.

But the question returns: “I still need to pick a language to begin learning the principles.”

This is where it gets messy. The recommendations come flooding in:

  • C
  • C++
  • C#
  • JavaScript
  • Java
  • Python

Each has its advantages.

Among these Python is a standout, for a few key reasons.

Why Python?

1. Python is fun.

Python is a relatively efficient language, requiring fewer lines of code to produce results.

2. Python is easy to set up.

Some languages, such as Java or C#, have much higher setup and maintenance overhead.

3. Python is not going away anytime soon.

In fact, Python has become the most frequently used teaching language at major universities.

4. Python is a tool of choice for doing some very big things.

For instance: YouTube, Google, Instagram, Pinterest, Quora, Reddit, Dropbox, Civilization IV, and more. It’s also widely used for penetration testingdata analysis, scientific computing, and more.

5. Python jobs pay well, and python programmers are in high demand.

Yi-Jirr Chen has gathered a number of relevant statistics in an excellent article comparing benefits of several languages here.

Ready to get Started?

For all of the above reasons, I’ve elected to add Python to my own repertoire, and it’s what I’ll be using to teach Intro to Computer Programming in our Information Systems program at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.

If you’d like to learn more and get started, here are some resources, below.

For Further Reading

Python is Now the Most Popular Introductory Teaching Language at Top U.S. Universities – ACM.org

If I had to choose between learning Java and Python, what should I choose to learn first? – Quora?

What Programming Language Should a Beginner Learn in 2016? – CodeMentor

Which Programming Language Should I Learn First? – Lifehacker

Courses

Complete Python Bootcamp – Udemy

Learning Python for Data Analysis – Udemy

Python for Programmers – Udemy

Python at Cybrary

Apps for Learning

Learn Python by Sololearn – iOS App

 

 

Why you should be more excited about your local school bond than about Trump vs. Clinton

Why you should be more excited about your local school bond than about Trump vs. Clinton

A great piece by a friend and fellow Bartian.

 

joshuamcnall.com

This week, my fellow citizens in small-town (Bartlesville) Oklahoma, go to vote.

Yet the choice is not about Republicans or Democrats.

It is a bond issue that will attempt to shield our local schools from crippling budget cuts.

asvcwp66

Turnout is expected to be very low.

And that’s a shame, because there are lots of reasons to be FAR more excited about a local school bond, than there are to excited about either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

Here are five:

  1. BECAUSE TRUMP IS GOING LOSE, NO MATTER HOW MANY FACEBOOK POSTS YOU WRITE.

He just is—and for lots of reasons. But mostly because we haven’t seen this kind of mind-numbing self-sabotage since Ryan Lochte called his mom from Rio. Given this, it would make more sense to direct your political passion to other votes at the state and local levels.

  1. BECAUSE UNLIKE THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE, THE MAIN OPTIONS DON’T FEEL LIKE A REQUEST…

View original post 356 more words

Poor Man’s Single-Cup Coffee

Poor Man’s Single-Cup Coffee

I’ve spent some time sorting through options for a great single cup of coffee.

In a pinch, I’ll drink a cup of Keurig coffee — or any coffee for that matter.

But I have a preference for options that meet the following criteria:

  • Allows me to brew an especially strong cup if I want it.
  • Produces a smooth, rich flavor.
  • Avoids creating unnecessary waste.
  • Costs less than buying boxes of Keurig refills.
  • Doesn’t require lots of cleanup afterward.

My quest has led me to two options, each with its own advantages.

1. Pour Over

Pour over need not be difficult or costly. I’m a fan of good flavor, not a slave to what’s fashionable or expensive.

So here are my favorite pour-over implements:

1a. The Hario V60 02 Coffee Plastic Dripper does a great job, doesn’t break when dropped, and costs approximately $8.00.

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1b. Hario 02 100 Count Coffee Paper Filters, Natural — They’re inexpensive and work great.

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1c. Bonavita Gooseneck Electric Kettle — Simply fantastic, works without a stove-top nearby, and perfectly useful for coffee, tea, hot cocoa, etc.

With these implements at hand, you’re free to choose your favorite brand of coffee.

These basic pour-over instructions work perfectly well:

  1. Heat water to between 190 to 205 degrees fahrenheit (just below boiling, or turn it off at the boil point and allow it to cool for a minute).
  2. Use approx. 2 TBSP of coffee grounds (more for a richer coffee flavor). (Grounds go in the filter, filter in the dripper, and dripper atop your favorite coffee mug.)
  3. Pour just enough heated water over the grounds to saturate them. Allow the grounds to soak in the hot water (“bloom”) for approx. 1 min. (Adjust blooming time as desired.)
  4. After grounds have bloomed, pour hot water over them, swirling from the center toward the outside edges, until the water starts rising above the level of the grounds.
  5. Pause and allow the water to flow through into the cup.
  6. Repeat until your cup is as full as you desire.
    • Takes approx. 5 minutes. Use this time to clear your mind, practice deep-breathing, think thoughts of gratitude, pray.
    • It’s super-easy to produce a fantastic half-cup if that’s all you need!
  7. Toss the filter and grounds.
  8. Store the dripper atop a small bowl.
  9. Enjoy!

It’s that easy. No need to get hung-up with nit-picky details. Just do it. Adjust your method as desired.

For those who want nit-picky directions — here’s a detailed run-down of eight (yes EIGHT) pour over methods for the Hario dripper.

2. Aeropress

If you like bold, rich, smooth flavor, the freedom to let your coffee grounds steep, french-press style, freedom from french-press grit, and minimal cleanup, the Aerobie Aeropress is a truly awesome device (take a moment to read the Amazon reviews). Costs approx. $30.

Aeropress how-to instructions:

  1. Heat your water to your desired temp. (I recommend approx. 190 to 205 degrees fahrenheit — or just a little below boiling.)
  2. I favor the inverted method, so invert the Aeropress by standing it on the plunger with the plunger just far enough inside the tube to create a tight seal. (See the video below.)
  3. Pour in 2-4 TBSP of coffee grounds (start with 3 TBSP, and adjust to taste).
  4. Place an Aeropress filter in the filter cover, and wet it with water so that it sticks to the cover.
  5. When the water reaches your desired temperature, pour into the tube.
  6. Stir for 10 seconds or so with the stirrer.
  7. Let the grounds steep in the hot water for one to five minutes (adjust to your desired flavor).
  8. Screw on the filter cover and filter.
  9. While still inverted, press down on the tube until just before the plunger begins pressing coffee through the filter.
  10. Turn the Aeropress over so that you can press the coffee into your mug.
  11. Gently press down on the plunger for 20-30 seconds (or so) until you press the grounds into a nice firm puck. (Don’t press too hard, or you’ll make it unnecessarily hard on yourself. Give it time, and it’ll do it!)
  12. Remove the filter. (Rinse and re-use if desired!)
  13. Press the puck of grounds into the trash.
  14. Wipe the plunger with a napkin or paper towel.
  15. Store the Aeropress for its next use.
  16. Enjoy a rich, flavorful cup of near-espresso-style coffee!

The following video does a great job of walking you through it.

That’s it.

Which is Better? Pour Over or Aeropress?

Both have their advantages.

When I’m in the mood for espresso, I favor the Aeropress.

When I’m in the mood for a nice flavorful cup of coffee, I favor pour over.

Do you have tips and recommendations for improving the pour over or Aeropress experience, please post them below!

WordPress.com Admin now in JavaScript

The WordPress.com development team has now moved development of the WordPress.com CMS admin to JavaScript.
Two articles to read:

Given the pervasiveness of WordPress and the size of the development community, I believe this is a watershed moment. Arguably web developers are now officially living in a JavaScript-driven world. Might this be the beginning of the end for PHP?

This chart of benefits from the WP developer article says it all. (Click to expand.)
WordPress.com advantages of new workflow
See this table listing the benefits of the new JavaScript workflow at WordPress.com.

How to Make OS X Yosemite Stop Adding a Number after my Computer’s Name

NOTE: Others in the Apple support forum linked below have reported that these steps do the trick for them. It does not seem to be working for me, however. How about for you?

Daily my MacBook gets a number (2), (3), or (4) added after its computer name. After running searches and culling through forums, I found a tip which seems to be working.

Apparently this can be cleared up by repairing disk permissions. Here are the recommended steps:

  1. In System Preferences > Sharing, remove the (2) [or whatever is extra; mine was iMac (2), so I removed the (2)
  2. Exit Preferences
  3. Shutdown
  4. Restart machine in Recovery mode (machine off, press and hold Command + R, power on, when Apple logo appears release keys) — may take a few minutes to boot (depends on machine generation/speed, RAM and such)
  5. Open Disk Utility
  6. Select the OS disk (mine was Macintosh HD; selected the ‘indented’ item)
  7. Run Verify Disk Permissions
  8. When finished run Repair Disk Permissions
  9. Restart

Source: Apple Support Communities Discussion Here — in the Oct 29 reply by farquaad

Delete 14,700+ Unfiltered “Approved” Spam Comments in WordPress using SQL

For some reason this blog had all of its discussion settings reset, and plugins turned off, on June 2, 2015.

Within a couple of weeks, the blog had accumulated nearly 15 thousand spam comments. These comments were obviously spam, but with Akismet and WP Spam Shield down, and my discussion settings reset — they all went right through and were immediately published.

Deleting 14,700+ comments a screen at a time was not going to work well.

Thanks to this helpful post by the folks at Cats Who Code, I found a much more efficient fix using SQL in PHPMyAdmin.

The steps:

1. Backup your database. (To be safe.)

2. Login to PHPMyAdmin.

3. Navigate to the desired database. (The main database for the blog.)

4. Select SQL, which allows you to run SQL queries.

5. Run a first query to select all comments after the date that everything went bad:

SELECT * FROM wp_comments
WHERE comment_date > '2015-06-01 00:00:00'

6. If you’ve selected them right, you should see the results in a table. Sort the results by date, in both directions, and review them to ensure they’re what you want to delete.

7. If so, then delete them using this SQL command:

DELETE FROM wp_comments 
WHERE comment_date > '2015-06-01 00:00:00'