On Strategy : What Managers Can Learn from Philosophy part 2 – Coursera course experience

Again, with a great charm and wit, Professor Luc de Brabandere offered part 2 of the course. I was looking forward to having the part 2 because I enjoyed the part 1 of the course so much. Not like other MOOC video, his lecture is very unique and intellectually stimulating – I had several moments during the course that I had to pause the video and think about the topic. In this part 2, the lecture was focused on how to think in the fast moving world. Here are my learning points.

Learning pointsSS-20150216223214

Traditionally people tend to focus more on Matter (e.g. tangible material) rather than Information. A story about a bottle water company. Professor asked them what they are selling – Matter (water) or Information (brand & marketing)? When the matter is more focused, below 4 questions can help to determine what’s going on. However, information does not fit into these questions….this means we need a new way of thinking.

  • Where are things?  – Matter is easy to answer, but information is not easy to answer to this question.
  • When do things happen? – Time used to measure lots of things.
  • What is true? What is false? Café in Casablanca built after the movie. Which one is the real? We need critical thinking.
  • Why do things happen? Most important. Not easy to answer. When there are more than 5 answers, answering ‘why’ doesn’t have any value. Especially, it is difficult to find ‘why’ in Information because the world is changing.


With the Big Data technology, three outter areas can be defined (conicidence, correlation, conjunction). However, Big data can help in a certain level of degree in all areas, but it is up to us to define the final cause & effect. This means the technology can find the missing links and help us to get close to the reason, but not the actual cause & effect. We are the one who need to draw the relationship between cause & effect with a new mind set.

SS-20150306231046Finally, techniques to survive in the fast moving world.

  1. Choose select define words
  2. Criteria
  3. Beware of questions
    1. Agenda should be put on as a question.
    2. Question should be open, visible. To run a discussion, brain storm, keep it under the image line rather than abstract word.
  4. Use creative technique
    1. Use analogy. e.g. Imagine you are…
  5. Think visual
    1. Left brain for text and right brain for diagram which makes it very powerful.
  6. Don’t stop thinking. Never stop thinking.
  7. Use humor
    1. Humor and Irony is different. Irony is a weapon. Don’t use it.

Avoid hypothesis in the future

Q: When there is a crossroad, what to do to prevent a collision?

A: Two options.

1. Light signal – this needs to predict future traffic and need to add hypothesis in the future.

2. Roundabout – no need to have hypothesis for the future.

Conclusion: remove traffic lights and add more roundabouts in the fast moving world.


In recent months, I haven’t had an opportunity to think deep about the subject. In my daily life, I made so many decisions. Sometimes difficult decisions, sometimes easy decisions. I really feel great philosophy can help me in many ways, especially making decisions. In order to make a decision, it needs to be based my value and the value comes from direct/indirect experience. In my opinion, philosophy helps me to enhance my indirect experience and gives me an ability to perform Meta-thinking. I really enjoyed this course and hope to get something out of it for my daily life at work and life. Thanks to Professor Luc de Brabandere and Coursera!


Model Thinking – Decision Tree problem

Currently I am taking Model Thinking from Coursera and I’d like to share interesting problem solving technique using a decision tree model.


Basic is very simple. You use tree like model to support your decision. See more info here. Without knowing the tool/model, we use this technique often in our real life. Really interesting thing about decision tree is you can quantify your decision with numbers.

Example problem

Here is one of the questions from the week 2 quiz.

You want to go to a concert in Detroit, but you have only $80. The cost of driving will be $30. When you get to the concert, there’s a 40% chance you’ll be able to get a ticket for $50, and a 60% chance that tickets will cost more than $50. If it’s worth $130 to you to go to the concert, should you drive to Detroit to attend this concert? To solve, use a decision tree.




Answer to the question is “Yes” because “Go” decision will give me $2 gain.

In the decision tree, there is no point of exploring “No Go” option because I don’t gain anything from not going. Let’s look at “Go” decision. When I decided to go, I have two possibilities: 40% of getting a ticket at $50, 60% of not getting a ticket. I need to exam each possibilities.

With 60% chance that tickets will be over $50, I can’t buy a ticket due to lack of money. I only have $80, so I ended up loosing the cost of driving which is $30. With 40% chance that ticket will be $50, it requires little bit of calculation. One important statement is that I have to see if it is worth spending $130 for the whole thing. This means my net gain calculation should be based on $130. Starting from $130, subtract driving cost $30 and concert ticket $50, so I have $50 of net gain.

From “Go” decision, I need to calculate overall net gain, so my total net gain from “Go” decision is $2 (see above picture). This means it is worth for me to “Go”.


I found this technique is fascinating. It allows you to think rationally with numbers and possibilities, also allows you to see your reasoning clearly. One of the challenges are understanding the problem from the model thinking. It seems easy when you look at the solution, but actually it is hard to apply the concept to the scenario. Just like every problem solving technique, you will get better as you spend more and think more about the problem.

On Strategy : What Managers Can Learn from Great Philosophers – Coursera course experience

What a great course! I became a big fan of Professor Luc de Brabandere. With his unique French accent, throughout the course, he pointed out very important things about thinking.  This course explores the ultimate question – How do we think? By answering this question throughout the course, Professor Brabandere explains Induction and Deduction. Continue from Creativity, Innovation, and Change (CIC) course, I have been thinking about being creative and way of thinking. This course exceed my expectation and inspire me many different ways.




Learning points

  • Idea always generated in two steps – good old ^ new idea => new good
  • Rule : To have a best idea, you will need to have many many ideas.
  • How do we think?
  • In front of us is “reality(world)”. You simplify everything. Simplification of thought represents as Box/Model.
  • Induction is the other way of thinking – much more complicated process.
  • Deduction example : You have a concept of car in your box/model. Answer to “Car is…” is easy. Simply finding car brand. Like Toyota, Volvo or something.
  • Induction example : You have Reality/World in front of you and you need to bring that into your box/model. Answer to “Car is an example of …” is much harder to answer because it requires your existing or new box/model.
  • You can’t have perfect induction.
  • Algorithm, analysis, number is deduction. Heuristics, synthesism, concept is induction
  • Deduction is a form of thinking involving the application of an existing box, such as a framework, to details observed in the world in front of you, testing the box’s capacity to interpret them.
  • Induction is a form of thinking involving moving from fragmentary details (particulars) observed in the world in front of you to a connected view of a situation, a binding principle, which eventually forms a theory, a working hypothesis, a box.
  • Thinking is about organizing facts, data, and observations from the world in front of you by introducing connecting links and then using this information.
  • Managers with a strategic vision will have scenarios based on the mega trends.
  • Strategic Vision : An ambitious image of a future state that is radically preferable to the current state, according to those who develop it. It is a box that becomes a reference for a company, and thus serves as a guide allowing each employee to approach work more effectively.
  • A megatrend is a sweeping but relatively predictable change that is expected to affect the world in front of you (usually our customers, competition, market, etc). It happens independent of your company and your issues. Megatrends can serve as sources of idea in the search for new boxes.
  • A scenario is a story about a possible future; it is a box consisting of the description of an end state, a related interpretation of current reality, and an account of how the world gets from one state to the other.




I’ve learned how we think. Understanding how we process our thinking helps me in many different ways. In the end, I understood what “thinking outside of box” truly means. This course is highly recommended, especially someone who are interested in “Metathinking”.


Creative, Serious and Playful Science of Android Apps – Coursera course experience

When I was waiting for an Android Course in November, a friend of mine told me about this playful Android course. I always wanted to put my hands on Android development but higher priority work always take precedence because no Android project at work.


The course focused on the beginners in first half and second half was little bit advanced topics. The videos are fun to watch, especially, a professor with a British accent was very animated. Especially last video, he posted geeky music video made by him!

There are few points I’d like to remember from this course.

  • Finding my phone driver wasn’t fun in the beginning. I don’t know why it is so hard to find Galaxy S2 phone driver.
  • Better emulator. I remember I had first emulator installed few years ago on my old work laptop. It was so slow at that time. It is not lightening speed, but much better than before and workable.
  • One thing I’ve noticed, actual phone works much better. Of course, a phone has its own CPU and no need to depend on laptop’s CPU.
  • Stop Eclipse, kill adb.exe and restart Eclipse if Emulator or my phone do not work.
  • No luck running xxhdpi base emulator.
  • In general, Activity, Intent, Fragment are straight forward. However, playing around the layout is very tedious and time consuming work. It will take lots of time to make things look right.
  • This course focused on hands-on work rather than spending time on theory, so it was fun to work on various assignments. However, there is no extension of assignment and mid-January to early February was particularly hard because of the other Android course overlapped with this course.


It was a great course! I got to play with music and pictures on the Android App. Most importantly, I had so much fun with this course! I am also taking Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems now (started in January). The Playful Android course helped me a lot as I am working through Labs in this course. My goal is building an application that can be shared and used by close friends and family.

Creativity, Innovation, and Change (CIC) course experience & summary


Beginning of September, I took “Creativity, Innovation, and Change” course by Penn State University from Coursera.org. This course covers various topics, especially focused on creativity and innovation in total 8 weeks. According to the professors, there are over 100,000 students enrolled this course from all over the world. We had three professors with different backgrounds and experience. The course, as name suggested, covers various techniques and tools to help me to become better at creativity. One interesting thing was that there are two types of creative style : Innovative, Adaptive (part of week 1 assignment). I found myself a moderate adaptive style. This means I apply my creativity from the situation that I am familiar with. Resource can be found here. Workload was not too heavy. Average 3-4 hours per week was good enough for me. This course offers different path with different goals in their mind. Course Info. Below techniques are posted as exercise from the course and I put the content for my own usage.

Idea Generation Techniques

  • Brainstorming Techniques : Various brainstorming techniques explained.
  • Random Stimuli : Participants use free association in connection with a random word or image to generate new ideas.
  • SCAMPER : SCAMPER = Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to different use, Eliminate, Reverse. Participants use a set of directed questions to help evolve an existing product, service, or solution into one that is more ideal.
  • Morphological Matrix : An existing product or system is broken into parts/functions. Various ways of achieving each part or function are identified and then (re)combined to create new forms of the product or system.
  • Brainwriting 6-3-5 : Brainwriting 6-3-5 is a modified form of classic brainstorming that encourages equal participation from all team members using written rather than verbal idea generation. There are many varieties, but the general process is that all ideas are recorded by the individual who thought of them. They are then passed on to the next person, who uses them as a trigger for their own ideas. Clearly, this is a group technique.
  • Concept Tree : A concept tree or concept fan starts with an idea and uses that idea to identify concepts, or connecting points, from which alternative ideas can be derived. This is more of an individual technique, but a group could develop a concept tree together in stages.
  • Superheroes : Superheroes is a fantasy-based version of Role Storming and is similar to other boundary-stretching techniques such as Exaggeration and Reversals. Participants pretend to be a fictional (or real) super-hero (Superman, the Incredible Hulk, Batman, James Bond, Wonder Woman, Sherlock Holmes, etc.) and use their ‘super’ characteristics to trigger and develop ideas. This technique could be applied individually or in a group.
  • Spare Diamonds : When we start a new Venture, we often find that we are short on resources: money, knowledge, equipment, people contacts, and many other items.  Our first tendency is sometimes to seek as much funding as possible, in order to help our ideas move forward.  And sometimes funding is important.  And yet, there are many other resources right in front of us as well … resources that we miss.  For each of the following categories, try to list 1 to 5 “Spare Diamonds” that might be of great service or use in your Venture:
    • friends. Do any have particular skills that could help you?
    • interns. Is there “excess skill” looking for experience?
    • space. Do you have excess space at home, in the office, or elsewhere?
    • land. Is there park land or side-walk space you might be able to use, just for asking?
    • tools. Have an extra shovel, power saw, portable cement mixer, computer, radio?
    • transportation. Have a mostly-un-used car? Bicycle?
    • internet. Is there an open web site you can access?
    • knowledge. Do you have useful, but un-used, knowledge?
    • other items. Have frequent flyer miles? Coupons? Lumber?

How can you apply these and other “spare diamonds” to a Venture?  Remember, it is often more difficult to find “spare money” lying around.  However, these other diamonds often lie un-unused, until someone sees a need for them – that is often the magic of creativity!  Find value where others do not.


Step 1: First, you need to record some ideas! Choose a particular day and a particular time period in which to record them. It could be 15 minutes on a Tuesday, or an hour on Saturday morning, or the 2-hour train ride to a business meeting, or an entire weekend! If you can, choose several different days and times to record your ideas, so you can see how your ideas vary under different circumstances. For whichever times you’ve chosen, record your ideas in some concrete way – write them down, tweet them, leave a voice mail, send an email, use a voice recorder, or draw a picture … whatever works for you!

Step 2: Now, we’d like you to measure your ideas using the 4+ metrics listed below. It’s important to remember that you are NOT judging your ideas in this exercise. The point is to observe and measure your ideas in different ways, so you can decide for yourself how you want to improve them. So, start here:

Quantity: How many ideas did you generate each time?

Variety: How different are the ideas from each other? (You might use a simple Likert scale for this – e.g., very similar, moderately similar, moderately different, very different).

Novelty: What kind of novelty do your ideas represent? Are they more adaptively creative (i.e., ideas that refine, polish, or tune up something) or more innovatively creative (i.e., ideas that reframe, reconfigure, or dismantle something) – or do you have some of both?

Efficiency: How efficient are your ideas in terms of implementation? Can they be put into practice right away using things that already exist, or will new systems or infrastructure be needed before they can be realized?

Your Choice! What other ways can you measure your ideas? Choose other metrics that you think are meaningful and apply them to your ideas as well.

  • Planning for Action


Once you have something you want to implement, it can be intimidating to figure out where to begin – what to do first, second, third, and so on. In this exercise, we’re going to show you one way to get started. The general idea is to prioritize your action steps using short, medium, and long term thinking – and then to build some structure around your expectations for each action step. Speaking of action … let’s get started!


Step 1: Identify. Identify the specific idea or solution that you want to implement. It could be and idea you generated in this course, or it may be another solution that you have in mind.

Step 2: List. Generate a list of action steps that will be needed to bring your solution to life. Don’t worry about making this list absolutely complete or putting the action steps in precise order. Just do your best to identify key actions that will need to be taken. You can always add more action steps later!

Step 3: Define. Determine what “short”, “medium”, and “long” term mean in the context of your situation. For example, short term to a research scientist might be 1 year, medium term may be a decade, and long term may be 50 years. For a teacher, short term might be at the end of the current instructional unit, medium term might be the end of the semester, and long term might be the end of the school year. For a parent, short term might mean a few hours, medium term might mean the end of the week, and long term might mean the end of the month. Be clear about what you mean by short, medium, and long term before sorting your action steps.

Step 4: Sort. Now, sort your actions using the following phrase: “What I see myself doing in the short term is …” Make this specific by replacing “in the short term” with whatever you have decided is “short term” for you. Identify all the steps from your initial list that fit with this phrase. Now, move to your personal definition of medium term and repeat the process: “What I see myself doing in the medium term is …” Then move to your long term action steps. Add more action steps as needed along the way. To jump-start your efforts, be sure to include at least one short-term action that can take place in the next 24 hours.

IMPORTANT: As you move through this process, WRITE DOWN YOUR ACTION STEPS! Action steps are just like all ideas: if you write them down, you are more likely to do them.

Step 5: Order. Now, take the action steps in each category (short, medium, and long term) and see if you can put them in order from soonest to latest, or from least to most important – whatever makes sense for your solution. Compare across categories to make things consistent.

Step 6: Own. For each action step in each category, write down these details:

a. Who is responsible? – Is this an action you must take yourself, or do you need someone else to do it for you? If you need help with this step, who will help you?

b. Target dates – Begin and End dates for the action step. When will you start and finish it?

c. End product/Measurement – How will you know when the step is complete? How will you measure success?

d. Status – Finally, identify a way to keep track of the status of each action step. Is it completed? Partially done? Just started? Update this information regularly, so you can see your plans moving forward, even if progress is slow.

  • CENTER : CENTER is an acronym that stands for Character, Entrepreneurship, owNership, Tenacity, Excellence, and Relationship. There is not “one big secret” to success. Rather, learn the system that enables “ordinary people” to have extraordinary victories, with self, family, work, and community.

Exercise Introduction

Previously, I mentioned that one of the villains of pursuing your passions and purposes, is busy-ness. My friend Brian Cunningham, a highly accomplished entrepreneur who lives near Washington DC, introduced me to a version of a “Life Ring. This is a document that forces you to focus, by stating “I am _____” on a single sheet of paper.

When I made my first draft of my Life Ring, I had more than 20 ovals on it! I came to realize that I was trying to make everything a priority, like bolding every letter in a book. Trying to do too many items, splintering our time and energy into too many bins, is what I see from most of the students and professionals with whom I interact. Who doesn’t have too many things to do?

In my own case, with time I made the hard decisions to stop doing certain items at work, halt leadership roles in some organizations I was part of, and decline various invitations and offers. I made the decision to say a “big YES” to those few items in which I would invest most heavily. I pruned the vine. My effort in life is higher than it has ever been, and now that the effort is focused on roughly one third the items, my impact has increased, by my own measure.

Having a few bullets under each oval heading can also be helpful. First, by clarifying detail within each category, I can paint a more clear picture of what I am doing. Furthermore, the wisdom in sticking with the 1-page Life Ring is that each morning, I can review it and refocus. Because I am able to fit only 3 or 4 short bullets under each heading in the Life Ring, I must choose what to do, and what to exclude, in clear ways.

Exercise Instruction

Draw your Life Ring. You can use the template above, or create your own template. Focus on roughly 5-9 major life arenas where you will invest your time, with self, family, work, and community (SFWC). Put your “master in the middle”; this is the primary driving force behind all your decisions – and in every life, there can only be one master. If you try to have more than one master, eventually your Life will intersect events so that you have an “identity quake”, and must choose your primary master. Under each arena bubble, list those most important habits that you will commit to each day or each week. This is not simply a “to do list”, but a list of habits. When the Life Ring has a clear “master in the middle”, 5-9 arenas, and a short list of habits under each arena, it is complete.

Purpose: Focus your effort

Drawing and continually asserting a Life Ring is a powerful way to focus. Following Miller’s “magic number 7, plus or minus 2”, having 5 to 9 major arenas, each summarized in a bubble around the center, and then add a few sub-bullets, that still fit on 1 page. This is likely as much as you can focus your mind around.


I’ve learned various ways of idea generating techniques throughout this course. This course offers fun exercises and definitely I can use techniques at my work and outside of work. Highly recommend to anyone who are interested in generating new ideas and wants to be creative.

Standford Startup Engineering online course – completion & experience

Finally it is over, after 12 weeks of long campaign. The course had few interesting turns, but in the end I learned what I wanted to learn. Most of all, collaboration with friends are very unique experience. Before the course, I thought about taking the course together with others and suggested to my coworkers. When I suggested the idea, 6 other people at work showed interests. We were all motivated and enthusiastic about the course. However, it was very difficult to manage time in summer and some of us couldn’t complete the course. I had a week long camping scheduled during the course and I managed to handle it by working late on a weekend before the camping. At work, we had a weekly meeting to encourage and discuss the idea. The course offers the forum to discuss the issues and idea, but I felt offline meeting was really helped me focus on the course. Also, knowing other coworkers’ progress gave me enough peer pressure to stay on the course.


Michael Jo Certificate

Course Content 

The course was extended to 12 weeks from 10 weeks. Up to 3 weeks, all the videos are posted on time, but things got delayed as summer approached. With over 125,000 students, the professor and his team did the best they can do, but I felt it was quite difficult to cover all the topics for all different levels of experience. Topics that I learned were Entrepreneurship, emerging technologies, Node.js, AWS EC2, Heroku, Unix commands, emacs, Git, GitHub, BitCoin, and Bootstrap. Not like what I expected in the beginning – I thought I will have a product at the end of course, the course duration was too short for the actual product development. I think the purpose of this course – my own interpretation – is to open up the door for different possibilities by knowing what’s out there and provide basic knowledge to follow on our own. In the end, the course ran out of time to cover the DB and Coffeescript in more detail.


I highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to understand how modern web technology is evolving. Especially, someone who is thinking about their own product to sell. This course shows both technical and philosophical aspects of starting up business in the modern web environment. From the Enterprise Java application development/support perspective, I learned the benefit of using Cloud and potential power of server side Javascript.

Lunch & Learn presentation : AWS EC2, Heroku, BitCoin

Upcoming courses

I am at my final week of MongoDB for Node.js developer from MongoDB University. Also, week 5 of Creativity, Innovation, and Change course and Disaster Preparedness from Coursera. My next courses are Data Analysis course and Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence course starting in the end of October. I felt that I need to understand how to analyze Big Data and also need to learn more about leadership skills.

Most anticipated course, at least for me, is Programming Handheld Systems with Android starting next January. Already 8 coworkers are signed up for this course. Although it is not easy to manage your own time and balance with your family life, it is worth taking advantage of free online courses.

Let another collaborative learning begin!

Standford Startup Engineering online course – week1, 2 summary & experience

Standford Starup Engineering


A long waiting is over. I am more determined to complete this course with following reasons : Potential, Interesting, and Collaborative Learning.  As course title suggested, at the end of course, I need to come up with a HTML 5 enabled mobile application that can bring a potential crowd sourcing.

Technologies in the course are relevant to my current work. Even though applications that I am dealing with are not public facing, certain technologies are relevant and very interesting : AWS, Cloud, Heroku, Node.js, Unix CLI, Git, GitHub, emacs, Bootstrap, Backbone.js, Coffeescript, REST, JSON, NoSQL, BitCoin, Social and payment integration. So many topics that I wanted to master/learn, but hard to get to because of time constraint and lack of systematical approach. For this reason, I thought about collaborative learning. Learn and discuss in a group and maximizing a benefit of peer pressure to keep everyone on the topics and achieve the learning objectives in the end. I have motivated and talented 8 co-workers, who are taking this course together, so it will be perfect time for me to experiment collaborative learning.

Week 1, 2 Experience

Each week’s objectives are clearly defined and lecture slides are very well prepared. Of course, the professor is an entrepreneur himself and very technical. First two weeks topics are sticking to AWS, Cloud, Heroku, Node.js, Git, and Unix commands. Without having in-depth knowledge about Unix command, I don’t have a problem to complete the homeworks. I think having more than 115,000 students from all over the world, professors are having a great challenge. Probably, it can be a learning experience for them by dealing with so many students (big data) and analyze the data in useful ways.

Summary – my notes

FileSystem Basics

  • pwd #Print working directory
  • touch myfile # Create a blank file called myfile
  • ls myfile
  • ls -alrth myfiel # list metadata on myfile
    • -a show you all files, even hidden
    • -l show you hugh amounts of information
    • -r reverse the order of how the files are displayed
    • -t show you the files in the modification time
    • -h ?
  • alias ll=’ls -alrth’ # set up an alias to save typing
  • echo “line1” >> myfile # append via ‘>>’ to a file

There are two ways of see the current value of PATH :

  • env | grep “^PATH”
  • echo $PATH

Read one or more files and print them to standard output

  • cat [options] [files]

Retrieve from remote location

  • wget [url]

Change permission of a file. Total number can be presented as a parameter to allow certain user group with privilege.

  • chmod
    • 400 read by owner
    • 040 read by group
    • 004 read by anybody (other)
    • 200 write by owner
    • 020 write by group
    • 002 write by anybody
    • 100 execute by owner
    • 010 execute by group
    • 001 execute by anybody

Connect to remote machines

  • ssh -i [private key]

Create a single or multiple directories. With -p, create parents if doesn’t exit.

  • mkdir -p [directories]

Remove all

  • rm -rf :
  • rmdir [directory]

Create alias – create a file and add below information.

  • Host awshost1
  • HostName ec2-34-228-105-7.us-west-2.compute.amazonaws.com
  • User ubuntu
  • IdentityFile “~/.ssh/xxkey.pem”

Copy hello.txt from local to remote home

  • scp hello.txt awshost1:~/

Copy ~/foo.txt from remote to local

  • scp awshost1:~/foo.txt .

sudo : Perform following command with super-user (root) capabilities.

sudo apt-get update : download the package lists from the repositories and updates them to get info on the newest versions of packages and dependencies.

Linux has two major ways to install software : Binary packages, Source.

  • Install a Binary package :
  • sudo apt-get install

Binary Package Disadvantages

  • Not able to customize binaries
  • Only old versions are available in binary format

sudo apt-get upgrade : fetch new version of packages existing on the machine if APT knows about these new versions by way of apt-get update.

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade: same as apt-get upgrade, plus it will handle dependencies.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chris-lea/node.js : a command which allows us to add a new repository link to the apt sources (/etc/apt/sources.list). Handy to add PPA archives. ppa:<repository-name>

*PPA (Personal Package Archive) : a special software repository for uploading source packages to be built and published as an A|PT repository by Launchpad or similar application – exclusive to Ubuntu.
*APT (Advanced Packaging Tool) : a free user interface that works with core libraries to handle the installation and removal of software on the GNU/Linux distribution. APT simplifies the software on Unix-like system by automating retrieval, configuration and installation of software packages.
* https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Repositories/CommandLine

#!/usr/bin/env node : Writting an executable scirpt with Node beginss with shebang : #!, followed by the path to a Node executable.

Stanford Free Cryptography online course – week 2 experience


I am taking Free Stanford Online “Introduction to Cryptography par 1” course (6 weeks duration). I came across this course from other blogger’s site. Today was the end of week 2. So far my experience with the course has been very challenging. The concept is not too difficult to understand, but the theory, because cryptography is based on the mathematics and statistics, is explained in mathematics and statistics symbols, which I haven’t paid attention quite some time and those blew away in week 1.  Even though video lectures don’t take more than 4 hours/week, I still have to rewind many times because professor is going really fast and assuming students know the basics.

In week 1, I just dived into the video lecture right away and was surprised to see the lecture style was like the university classroom, not like public continuing online course style – definitely not for everyone. Without any prerequisite, I thought it wasn’t going to be hard, but I found myself still struggling in week 2. Just spent great amount of time on Saturday to figure out the week 1 quiz and didn’t get the satisfying score. I have 3 more times to try and improve my score on quiz 1, so I will try again this week.


One thing I realized today was that I wasn’t applying any of the MMOST techniques. Maybe because it is a video lecture and not a book, so I couldn’t skim through the topics and couldn’t exercise the “Hooks” to capture the main concept. Maybe I thought I was in a hurry and wanted to get the concept down quickly. Regardless, I learned that I wasn’t well prepared for this course.  Today, after second half of week 2 lectures, I found the better way of taking the lecture. I previewed the PPT slides and listened the lecture afterward. This actually reduced the overall studying time. I didn’t have to rewind video lecture as much as I did in week 1.


People from the forum made my eyes open to the “Free Learning”. So far, my learning resource has been limited to online resources, books, and classroom courses. However, I learned other good quality learning opportunities are available online. I’d like to share these resources.


I feel keeping up with my commitment is important. Especially something that I wanted and decided to do. I will share my experience again after I complete this course.