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Mar 242012
 

Looking for an easy way to begin learning JavaScript?  Let’s face it, learning to program on your own in any language can be an ordeal.

If you are anything like me your process looks like this:

  1. Become interested in a new programming language
  2. Buy book
  3. Fall asleep 10 minutes into reading on  multiple nights trying to read your book in bed.
  4. Spend 2343234 days setting up a server, IDE, etc.
  5. Seek some tutorials online
  6. Write some test code
  7. Get distracted

If the process above looks anything like what you’ve gone through you aren’t alone.  Lucky for us there is a new site called Codeacademy.

Codeacademy takes a new approach to teaching programming skills that puts an emphasis on making a game out of the whole process.

Through points, achievements, and lessons Codeacademy guides rookie JavaScript programmers through many of the fundamental concepts of the language.

codeacademy achievements

Almost looks like Xbox Live!

Where Codeacademy really shines is its user interface.  Simple and easy to use, the layout consists of three areas: the lesson, code window, and console window.  Not having to set up a server or upload files makes coding JavaScript fun and easy.

Codeacademy gives snippets of code throughout it’s lessons to help you along the way.   Through repetition they cover many basic programming fundamentals.  Their editor and console gently guide you into proper syntax rather than just giving you a hard error.

If you get stuck in any lesson there is even a help section where others can help you through the problem.

I’ve hacked my way through JavaScript in the past to get things working on websites but I can honestly say Codeacademy has increased my comfort with the language.  I’m about halfway through their lessons and I’m excited to finish!

So what are you waiting for?  Head on over to http://codeacademy.com and give it a try!

If you’ve tried Codeacademy let me know your thoughts below.  Please feel free to share any other programming resources you love.

 

 

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Apr 202011
 

With all of the joy that today’s Seesmic for Android update has brought me, it’s hard to believe that the day could get any better.  Well…  It did!

New Google Analytics available now

Am I reading this correctly?!

Woh, I didn’t see that coming.  It seems Google is testing out a new beta version of their hugely popular Analytics platform and it is available to everyone.  I’m going to be very short on details here since I’m only halfway done testing it out but it looks as if they’ve cleaned up the user interface a bit and made the dashboard a little more intuitive to customize.

New Google Analytics beta invite

If you are interested in checking out the new beta version of Google Analytics click here

I should be back around soon to post my full review but until then you can check out Google’s page for more info

 

Have you tried the new Google Analytics yet?  Let me know what you think of it in the comments below!

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Apr 202011
 

 

[ontheground for seesmic] the-seesmic-beastieb...

Image by philcampbell via Flickr

Great news!  Today Seesmic put out a brand new update for their Android App.  If you’re a current Seesmic user or even if you use another social media client on your Android phone you might want to take a look at the video below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qqY43_l0go&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

So what do you think?  For me, having shortcuts that go right into specific social media accounts is HUGE.  It adds to the already amazing multi-account functionality of the Seesmic app.  If you haven’t given Seesmic a try PLEASE do yourself a favor, stop playing around with the stock apps on your phone and give it a try!

If you’d like to read more hop on over to Seesmic’s site and check out their post: Seesmic For Android 1.7: Go Faster With Shortcuts & More

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Mar 262011
 

Ever wanted to try SwiftKey Keyboard on your Android phone?  If the $1.99 price tag has been scaring you off today is your lucky day!

Ever wanted to try SwiftKey Keyboard for Android?

Check out SwiftKey on Amazon.com

For the next 13 hours and 25 minutes you can get the full version of SwiftKey free from Amazon.com (click here)

SwiftKey Is a keyboard replacement for your Android phone that can predict what you’ll say next based on a complex algorithm and your previous text messages.  Think of it as predictive text on steroids.

If you still have questions about all this SwiftKey gibberish, I’ve linked to their demo video below.  Check it out and remember today may be the last day you can get SwiftKey from Amazon.com for free.  Tomorrow this lovely keyboard software will most likely return to its normal price of $1.99.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6poOrKoEf8&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

 

Have you ever used SwiftKey?  Did you like it?  Let me know in the comments below!

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Mar 252011
 

 

Image representing Amazon as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

If you’ve had your eye on the news lately you should be aware that Amazon has started their own Android app store.  What you may not know is they are giving away FREE apps.

 

Android robot logo.

Image via Wikipedia

When I say FREE apps take notice, there’s four capital letters.  These FREE Android applications are not your normal no-charge garden variety apps.  These are full blown “you would have payed for them in the Android market” type apps.

Here’s a sample of what they have given away so far:

  • Angry Birds Rio
  • World Series of Poker
  • Shazam Encore

 

Killer app?

Image by Andrew Currie via Flickr

While I believe the “one free every day” idea is only to help promote the store I have to admit I never would have downloaded Angry Birds under any other circumstance.

Amazon has also added a nice feature to their store called “Test Drive” which allows you to test out the app right in your browser before you buy.  While not all of the apps in their store have Test Drive enabled, it is a huge selling feature.  If you give consumers a chance to test out an app it will either guide them towards buying the app or finding something else.  In the long run Test Drive should lead to a greater level of user satisfaction and much less buyer remorse.

Poker chip with the WSOP logo.

Image via Wikipedia

While I’m not a huge fan of Amazon breaking off and doing things their way, I have to applaud them.  The Amazon app store has a clean interface and ads additional features not currently found in the Android Market.

 

Have you tried out this new rogue app store?  Tell me what you think of Amazon’s new offering in the comments section below!

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