09/6/13

C++ Pointers + Structs

Finally done with another video lecture! This is a continuation of the previous video on Pointers and Arrays in C++. This video focuses on Pointers, Structs and Arrays in C++.

I’m still experimenting on which video lecture style is most appropriate – formal vs informal, live (hand drawn with markers) vs digital (screen recorded) – for computer programming. People might be thinking that digital is the only way to go but I believe there are certain topics that need to be discussed by hand first such as pointers.

iPad as DocuCam

My set up to record this video is shown in the picture. I was looking for a cheap, DIY docucam (document camera) and this is what I came up with. I originally looked for a 2-foot single tier wire rack but I couldn’t find one that fits. I searched around Wilcon Home Depot and arrived at the kitchen area where I got that thing. I don’t know what you call it but it was flat, elevated and had gaps for the camera to see through. I got 2 velcro straps to fasten the iPad to the kitchen thing.

It turns out, there’s a huge focal point discrepancy between the photo and video mode of the iPad 3. The video mode seemed to be zoomed in as compared to the photo mode. Meaning, I had to make my docucam higher to cover more area. I estimated that I needed around 2 feet to get it to the right height. I used my idle PS3 games and audio CDs as pedestals as shown. Despite the achieved height, half of the screen was still covered by my hand but it served the purpose. Later on, I further increased the height by replacing my makeshift pedestals with the boxes of The Book of Sith and The Jedi Path 🙂 They still served me well.

For the writing materials, I bought the whiteboard and eraser from National Book Store. The colored markers came from the president of my Advisory class, Maia Leyretana, when she came back from Korea.

I made the lecture somewhat formal, with most of the bloopers cut out or redone but there was still a fluke in one of the slides and I left it there. I recorded my voice using a Zoom H1 and edited the video using Camtasia for Mac.

Taking in the comments from my last video lecture, I targeted a max of 10 mins and had a short introduction to indicate what I’m expecting from the viewers such as prior knowledge. The original lecture that I used in class was good for 45 minutes. Cutting out the interaction and mistakes, I was able to compress it to 9:58 but I think the flow is terribly fast.

Nonetheless, I believe the video is still educational. Feel free to comment below on what I need to improve on. Thanks in advance!

You can check out the video here.

08/29/13

C++ Pointers + Arrays

Finally got to upload the video lecture on C++ Pointers + Arrays. But honestly, I think it’s boring. I still need to practice making video lectures. This is like the 3rd one that I made but I’m still not getting the hang of it.

The more I make it formal, the less interesting it becomes. If I make it casual, it tends to be lengthy.

Aside from the entertainment factor, I found it difficult to draw on Adobe Photoshop. I tried to look for drawing tools that automatically smoothen out your pencil drawings but I couldn’t find one. My best bet was Autodesk Sketchbook Express for Mac which is free to download from the Mac App Store and iTunes. It has a different user experience which was clearly intended to be keyboard-free. All the controls and settings can be done from the widgets of the user interface. Pretty interesting approach there and fun to play with. Though I need more practice writing and drawing with the tablet.

As for screen recording, I’m using the best one out there and it’s TechSmith Camtasia for Mac which can be found here. What I’m using is the full version because the beta testing, which lasted for more than half a year, has ended and I got my free copy 😀

Nonetheless, the video can be found here. Feel free to comment but please be merciful.

I’ll try to make another one. Though I’m also exploring different methods aside from digital video lectures.

Edit: Oh look here! Autodesk is looking for beta testers for Sketchbook Pro!

08/25/13

Facebook Comments

That turned out easier than I expected…

I’m now using Facebook comments for this blog rather than the built-in comment system of WordPress. I followed the instructions here and it worked like a charm. I didn’t know making a Facebook App was that simple too. Amazing.

Thank goodness for nerds like Fat Panda.