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Author Topic: Introductory C# web-based tutorials  (Read 31806 times)
kyrathaba
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« on: February 22, 2007, 12:52:04 PM »

I'm doing an introductory series of tutorials on programming using C#.  They take the form of flash presentations that play inside the webpage you visit to view the tutorials.  I believe Mouser is going to be making them available on a DC page soon.

Currently there are four tutorials in the "C# for the Completely Uninitiated" series.  Tutorial #5 will be available in the next few days.   These tutorials are really intended for an audience of new programmers who have chosen C# as their initial language.  Those who already have OOP experience in other languages, or who are already proficient in C#, will probably not find much of interest in this particular series. 

One of the advantages of the presentation format I have chosen is its ability to show screencasting of actual programming in action.  I have also attempted to interject humor at various points, though my success in that endeavor will no doubt be in the eye of the beholder Wink

The majority of each tutorial is comprised of static frames/pages that make use of a mixture of text, source code listings, and images to help convey information.  Where I feel that it would be helpful, I sometimes show a short screencast.  For example, in the first tutorial, I use a screencast to show users who are brand new to the Visual C# 2005 Express IDE how to create a console project.  Although the tool used (Wink 2.0) also enables voice capture (and does a pretty good job of it, too) I have not yet used that feature, in the interest of keeping the final filesize of each tutorial's .SWF file as small, and therefore fast-loading, as possible.

The first tutorial covers downloading and installing the IDE, and creation of your first project.  Subsequent tutorials that have been released, to date, cover the console class, use of comments, the parts of a C# program, creating custom methods, variables and assignment, method return types, string concatenation and interpolation, assemblies, types, classes, and instantiation. 

After the completion of the fifth tutorial (that I'm working on right now), there will be a Review that quizzes the user over the content of the first five tutorials, and also gives brief, to the point, programming exercises (and their solutions, at the end of the presentation).

My motivation in creating this series of tutorials is threefold: (1) in the process of creating each tutorial, I've reinforced, and sometimes extended, my own intermediate knowledge of the language, (2) as a potential source of help for people brand new to programming, and hopefully a bridge that will encourage greater participation in the C# section of the Programming School, (3) as advertising for DC:  since the tutorials allude to the DC site favorably, and suggest it as a home for programmers and would-be programmers.

The tutorials can currently be accessed at the following URL, although soon they will also be available on a DC page, for which I am indebted to Mouser.  I am also appreciative of his enthusiastic support and encouragement of this project.

http://www1.webng.com/bow...yld/wink_videos/index.htm
« Last Edit: February 22, 2007, 12:55:11 PM by kyrathaba » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2007, 01:24:27 PM »

fantastic.

i shall view them them properly when time permits - and hopefully learn a bit of C#. i thought i'd miss the voiceover but i like how you've put it all together (if it's ever possible to do a 'talky' version in future then please do as it always seems more instructive to hear the tutor).

these really do look great to me. i hope they'll be up on DC soon.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2007, 01:45:29 PM by nudone » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2007, 01:40:13 PM »



Well I have to say that Bryan has done an absolutely outstanding job with these.  They really deserve a wide audience, and Bryan, I think you've got a bright future in teaching (or tutorial writing).

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kyrathaba
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2007, 02:51:23 PM »

Thanks to you both for the kind comments.

Nudone, I can easily add voice.  I just hadn't for the reasons I stated.  But, if there's an interest in it, and people don't mind the SWF files being larger and therefore a bit slower-loading, I'm all for it.

Mouser, I managed to upload the tutorials to the DC page, but I can't seem to access the url with my browser to view the index page (yes, I'm the sort of guy who can program computers, but can't even figure out how to make his VCR record a show)
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2007, 03:02:52 PM »

i wouldn't know what's best. i'm used to following lynda.com, vtc and total training (and others) videos - which are all very good. but the ones that www.3DBuzz.com produce have always been the most entertaining as they do a kind of question and answer running dialogue. i'm not suggesting you go that far - i'm just one of the people that doesn't mind downloading larger vids with audio inside.

maybe you should have a poll to see if anyone really wants audio. like you said, no point doing it and using bandwidth if audio isn't that expected.

(i still think audio makes all the difference  cheesy)
« Last Edit: February 22, 2007, 03:30:34 PM by nudone » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2007, 03:24:33 PM »

Very well done, Bryan!
That's an amazing amount of work there, and you making them available for free is just fantastic.
It's definitelly good for DC to be bale to have this kind of material.
As for adding voice, my response would be "no", unless the voice you add is strictly (or at least mostly) reading the text on screen. I say this because it's way easier to understand written english then spoken english for us non-native english speakers. On the other hand, having voice would allow the person to be doing stuff without looking at the screencast, only through the voice instructions.
I'd also recommend you add a timebar, so that people can skip back and forward more easly.
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kyrathaba
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2007, 05:14:29 PM »

Thanks, jgpaiva.  I'll look into adapting tutorial #5 onward for displaying a timebar.  The currently available tutorials are available here now:

http://kyrathaba.dcmembers.com/

as well as here...

http://www1.webng.com/bow...yld/wink_videos/index.htm
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kyrathaba
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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2007, 08:54:18 PM »

Tutorial #5 is now available  Thmbsup

http://kyrathaba.dcmembers.com

Tutorial #5 covers constructors, inheritance, and polymorphism
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kyrathaba
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« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2007, 11:18:02 AM »

The next flash presentation, a review of tutorials 1 through 5, will be ready within the next week's time.  Additionally, there will be a downloadable C# Winforms project that will provide a multiple choice quiz to test knowledge acquisition.
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kyrathaba
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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2007, 09:19:45 AM »

The presentation reviewing tutorials one through five may be delayed at least a day or two (possibly longer).  My computer is on the fritz.  I don't know what's wrong.  I've had it four years with zero problems until this very morning.  I thought maybe it was just hanging, so I tried to reboot.  It powered back up okay (LED came on, fan whirring), but didn't boot the OS.  No output to the monitor.  I powered down, unplugged everything, plugged up again, powered up again.  Same result.  Tested with a different monitor that is working fine with the kids' computer.  Still no output to the monitor.  I figure I've got a virus or hard drive problem.  Anyway, my ISP works on computers, so I'm delivering it to them this afternoon and hopefully they'll be able to resolve it.  I have several days' worth of work on the tutorial review that I'll lose if they can't fix it (sample programs have been uploaded but the actual flash presentation hasn't).  Moral of the story: backup daily. 
« Last Edit: March 07, 2007, 09:22:30 AM by kyrathaba » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2007, 09:49:15 AM »

i hope it goes well, obviously, but i bet you can get the data off of the hard drive if things are looking bad. fingers crossed.
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kyrathaba
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« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2007, 11:39:16 AM »

Thanks.  I appreciate the sentiment.  Hopefully it's something they can fix in short order.  I feel like I'm missing a body part Wink
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kyrathaba
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« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2007, 12:51:30 PM »

I'd hate to have to buy a brand new, upgraded computer ... cheesy
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« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2007, 07:36:39 PM »

our fingers are crossed for you  huh please give us some good news tomorrow
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kyrathaba
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« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2007, 12:36:16 PM »

The death knell has sounded.  For whom did the bell toll?  For my Compaq Presario S5000CL Sad  Motherboard went bad.  It'd cost ~$120 to buy a replacement motherboard, and another $50 to have it installed, so I'm probably just going to purchase a new PC.  Below, I show the specs of the one I'm considering.  Question:  if I do C# .NET 2.0 programming on a 64-bit PC, will the programs work on 32-bit Windows systems, so long as I don't specifically write them for 64-bit architecture?

Lemme know what you think of this PC as well.

Acer Pentium D 2.8GHz 1GB 160GB DVD±RW Vista B:

Main Specifications   
Product Description Acer AcerPower FH - Pentium D 915 2.8 GHz
Type Personal computer
Form Factor Mini tower
Dimensions (WxDxH) 7.2 in x 17.9 in x 14.6 in
Processor 1 x Intel Pentium D 915 / 2.8 GHz ( Dual-Core )
Cache Memory 4 MB L2 cache
Cache Per Processor 4 MB ( 2 x 2 MB )
RAM 1 GB (installed) / 2 GB (max) - DDR II SDRAM
Storage Controller Serial ATA ; IDE
Hard Drive 1 x 160 GB - standard - Serial ATA-150
Optical Storage DVD±RW
Monitor None.
Graphics Controller Intel GMA 3000 (256 Mb)
Audio Output Sound card - 7.1 channel surround
Networking Network adapter - Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet
OS Provided Microsoft Windows Vista Business
« Last Edit: March 08, 2007, 12:38:56 PM by kyrathaba » Logged

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kyrathaba
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« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2007, 12:51:31 PM »

I'm also considering this PC:

HP/Compaq dx5150 Small Form Factor PC
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Dual Core Processor

Specifications:

    Operating Systems    Genuine Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional Edition SP2
    Platform     PC
    Form Factor    Small Form Factor (SFF)
    PCI Slots (Total) Learn More    2
    Expansion Slots    4
    Processor Brand    AMD
    Processor Class    Athlon 64 X2
    Processor Number    4200
    Processor Speed    2.20GHz
 
Additional Technologies    Dual-Core Technology
HyperTransport Technology
    Memory Type    DDR
    Total Memory    1.0GB
    Interface    SATA/150
    Capacity    160GB
    Optical Drive Type    DVD±RW Dual Layer Lightscribe
    Audio Description    Integrated Audio
    Graphics Description    Integrated Graphics
    Video Memory    up to 128MB Shared Memory
    Communications Description    Integrated LAN Support
Data Transfer Rate   
10Mbps
100Mbps
1000Mbps
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kyrathaba
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« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2007, 01:18:45 PM »

Fortunately I was able to salvage desired files/folders off my hard drive, so I did NOT lose the work I'd done on the flash presentation reviewing tutorials one through five in the C# series I'm writing.  Not to mention the quiz program which was about halfway finished.  Whew!

I settled on a Gateway GT5026E with a dual-core processor running at 2.8 GHz, and 1 GB of DDR2 RAM (upgradeable to 4 GB).  I was assured that the GMA900 Graphics would support the 1440x900 native resolution of my widescreen LCD monitor.

LOL, I've had quite a history of PCs:

1st computer I ever owned:  Acer Pentium 166 MHz, 32 Mb RAM, 2.1 GB hard drive

2nd computer: Dell Dimension 550 MHz PIII, 128 Mb RAM, 4 GB hard drive

3rd computer: Compaq Presario S5000CL 2.13 GHz P4, 512 Mb RAM, 40 GB hard drive
« Last Edit: March 08, 2007, 01:26:31 PM by kyrathaba » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2007, 01:23:38 PM »

I have no knowledge as desktop computer go, but i have a laptop acer and would definitelly not recomend acer over compaq.
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kyrathaba
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« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2007, 07:28:06 AM »

Question: can a non-SATA hard drive be put into one of those hard drive enclosure kits that turns your HD into an external drive, and then used with a computer whose hard drive IS of the SATA type?  My new computer will have a SATA drive, and I'm wondering if I can rig my old PC's hard drive to work as an external drive with it.

Another question:  we are getting another worker in my program at my clinic.  They have software they use that our network admin doesn't want installed on this computer, because our clients also have access to this computer.  Her question to me was could she plug an external hard drive into this computer via USB, and run her software from it, never interacting with this computer's drive?
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« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2007, 07:40:42 AM »

it is very very easy to do what you want.  If you get an IDE external USB drive enclosure (which are super cheap these days), you can plug this into any computer and read from the drive.  I highly recommend such external drives for backup purposes.  Just get one that you can easily open up and put your drive into it (ie dont buy one of those seagate onetouch things with a non-openable built in hard drive).  The idea of putting your old drive in a usb enclosure to access it from new computer is a good one.

I've been happy buying such stuff from www.Directron.com but www.newegg.com is a great place for all hardware.

As to your second question about running from the external drive without installing on the pc -- whether you can do this may depend on the software you care about, HOWEVER -- keep in mind that the usb drive will look just like a regular drive so that any client who can access the main computer will be able to access the external drive, so i'm not sure your network admin will be satisfied with the solution..
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kyrathaba
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« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2007, 07:45:13 AM »

Quote
keep in mind that the usb drive will look just like a regular drive so that any client who can access the main computer will be able to access the external drive, so i'm not sure your network admin will be satisfied with the solution..

This gal's idea was that she would only plug her drive in while working on her stuff, then keep it in her purse the rest of the time.
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« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2007, 07:46:37 AM »

Quote
This gal's idea was that she would only plug her drive in while working on her stuff, then keep it in her purse the rest of the time.

Right, that would work and might be a reasonable solution.
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« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2007, 04:59:55 PM »

Question: can a non-SATA hard drive be put into one of those hard drive enclosure kits that turns your HD into an external drive, and then used with a computer whose hard drive IS of the SATA type?

As mouser says, this is not a problem at all.  As a matter of fact there's a pretty decent one on sale at Circuit City right now.  More info here.  It involves a rebate, but it is a CC rebate, so you'll get it as long as you fill it out corrrectly.  Tomorrow is last day on this one.  It's not considered to be a top tier enclosure, but next in line.

Also, you'll find some great info about external enclosures in the Official External Enclosures thread here.
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« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2007, 08:27:25 PM »

Does anyone know of a C#.NET development IDE that can be totally installed to, and run from, a USB flash drive or a USB external hard drive of another sort?  I'm looking for a self-contained programming kit, so to speak -- the ability to have a small portable drive that can house both the IDE and all my projects.  That way I can code whether I'm at my parents' house, or on the road, or at a friends', etc.
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« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2007, 08:37:49 AM »

http://www.icsharpcode.net/OpenSource/SD/Download/

If you compile the source, you could just run it straight to a USB drive.

I wouldn't ever recommend it over VS though.
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