Sorting books and a little bit more

Calibre is a software for managing and creating ebooks and it’s free

Why am I writing about sorting books and start with an ebook software? Because you can manage all your books with Calibre not just the ebooks but you have to look for it 🙂

But let’s start at the beginning of my book sorting journey:

I was searching for a tool to catalogue my books. There are countless solutions out there and searching for them was quite a pain because many don’t actually show much of what you can do with them (without creating an account…) and there were some bad things written about some of them… but this post is not supposed to be a comparison of all possible solutions out there (I don’t have time for that – sorry – and it is up to your preference anyway)

Continue reading “Sorting books and a little bit more”

Codecademy – a first review

So I started doing the Code Year on Codecademy – go me

Disclaimer: I have a background in programming just not in the languages taught. All the following is my perspective and for programming beginners it can be a total different thing. I am currently nearing the end of the JavaScript section of Code Year so this will be only about the lessons up to this point.

The topics
So far Code Year covers 38 weeks.
1-12: JavaScript
13-20: HTML & CSS
21-29: jQuery
30-38: Python

These equal the tracks offered (JavaScript Fundamentals, Web Fundamentals, jQuery, Python) – at least I didn’t find any difference.

The lessons
For me it is not difficult. It sometimes feels more like typing lessons ^^ – but it gives a very good introduction to programming for people who have no previous experience (I sure as hell would have liked something like this when I started). And the difficulties are going up at a steady pace.

But there is a catch – the lessons are designed by different people.

For one I think that not all teachers understand that students can not read the teacher’s mind so we have to guess what they want to see (and yes I had to guess for some of them – I had to refer to the forum several times, because I didn’t understand what I should actually do).

Fortunately the courses with such instructions are few and far between really awesome content.

Another problem is the lessons are not that well synchronised. I have seen lessons expecting me to know something not yet covered in the course. And as I was doing all those lessons one after the other I could remember it was not covered. Some things I got by myself (previous knowledge and all that) others I had to look up in the forums.

It also does not help to have different (correct) notations used. It confuses (me) and they are not checked (as far as I could see). So what’s the point? Yes teach me – and stick to one not change all the time.

Another downside is the typing repetition. I understand you have to do things several times to remember. But after the sixth time typing basically the same thing, it gets tiresome.

They are very strict in checking the output. While I know how difficult it is to check code or some concept it can be frustrating to not pass a lesson and to find after much looking the typing error. 😦

The Challenges:
These are for the students to test their knowledge on a bigger problem, using all learned things to solve a problem.

The scenarios are more often than not very funny (and so constructed). But I think of them as something like a comprehension test. It shows the student how they can use their new knowledge and gets a laugh out of me all the time.

The Forums:
The one place you go looking for help if you don’t get it.

I do not have the time to participate actively in the forums. But the times I took a look they were really helpful and are very neatly organized (you can filter by lesson and lesson section).

They are user to user help which is great but also opens to some “here is the right answer” posts. These posts don’t help guys! But nice to know you got it.

Bottom line:
I think Codecademy is great. It is free and for not paying anything you get good lessons.

What I would wish for was a stricter control of the lessons and a reference (functions, notations,…) or a link to a good JavaScript site to look things up – no I do not want to go back to another lesson to see the explanation there – you can’t do that later on either.

Codecademy the second

Some time ago I posted about Codecademy when it was still new.

On a whim I revisited again and it grew 🙂

They have different courses now all of which sound very interesting divided by what you want to learn – so if you are more interested about CSS and HTML you can learn that or learn how to code a complete game (black jack)

There are also many free lessons (not part of a course) so there is much to do for people who want to learn (in different levels as well)

So now I have another thing on my to do list XD

Migrating Mails from Outlook to Google Mail

I never thought I would actually want to migrate from Outlook to Google Mail with my whole stored mail data.

But with my internship abroad coming up and my inability to take my desktop pc with me I realized I need to be able to access my old mails (and sadly I don’t have Outlook on my laptop until now)

So solution is to simply move to Google.

I changed some of my subscriptions to get the mails to Google but I realized I had many old mails I had to migrate as well.

After asking my best friend (a.k.a. Google Search) I found several ways to migrate data from Outlook. One guy (?) used several IMAP accounts (??????) or using some software from Google. I found the idea great but I thought it was pretty much overkill to install a software just for some emails (it probably works well for really large amounts of data).

But IMAP brought me the idea to just use my Google Account and get on with it.

What to do:

I originally used POP3 for that particular account and not IMAP it just wasn’t necessary for me to use IMAP.

So I configured Outlook to access the Google Mail Account (onwards “the Account”) via IMAP.

I also opened the Account in my browser. And thought about my folder structure a little bit.

I choose two ways for migrating my mails:

1. Folder to Folder

I created some labels in the Account similar to some of my folders in Outlook (and I changed it around a little bit as well).

Now when Outlook updated the Account labels will be displayed as folders… I just moved the mails I wanted to keep from one folder to another and the mails are in the Account already assigned with the appropriate label.

2. Folder to Inbox

Same as above but I used it to also clean up my folder structure and delete unneeded mails.

I also applied filters in the Account and my mails are now sorting themselves as they did in Outlook.

Tip: don’t select to many mails when you move – Outlook will take some time (or crashes…) I know why the others didn’t use this idea…