Skip ‘Jobs’, Watch ‘Pirates of Silicon Valley’ Instead

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Good artists copy. Great artists steal – Pirates of Silicon Valley

Last night I saw Jobs. Before I say what I actually thought of Jobs, let me make it clear that I went with extremely high expectations and was looking something related to the Social Network in terms of class or how motivated it makes one feel.

(Spoiler alerts ahead)

JobsThe movie started off on a high note with Steve Jobs introducing the iPod for the first. This got me all excited because I wanted to see more of the start of iPhone and iPods and delve into the life of the Steve we’ve all seen in the last decade. But that never happened. The movie ended without anyone even using the word “iPhone”, perhaps Apple’s greatest invention. The movie was mostly well made with a few scene dragging on too much. The whole deal with his board of directors got a little boring. Steve Jobs was shown as kind of a big asshole but then his whole rekindled spirit and new attitude added a little spark. As for Ashton Kutcher, I am a bit ambivalent on which side to go on. While watching the film, my mind was battling between accepting Ashton Kutcher as Jobs because he totally looks like him and trying to forget that this is not a comedy movie. The crying scene when he finds out his girlfriend is pregnant was perfectly executed and filled the theatre with a sense of bewildered aura of sadness; shortly followed by Apple’s success and high value in the market. In short Jobs wasn’t gripping and lacked content.

PiratesWhen I found out that they don’t even show Bill Gates in Jobs the movie, I went nuts. I mean come on! You can’t find an actor with big glasses and blonde hair who looks like he’ll never get laid? I mean I can find one on Google images right now. So as soon as I went home, I searched other movies about Steve Jobs and landed upon one of the most amazing technology based movie which was released in 1999 : Pirates of Silicon Valley. The movie begins with Steve Jobs saying:

I don’t want you to think of this as just a film – some process of converting electrons and magnetic impulses into shapes and figures and sounds. No. Listen to me. We’re here to make a dent in the universe. Otherwise, why even be here? We’re creating a completely new consciousness, like an artist or poet. That’s how you have to think of this. We’re rewriting the history of human thought with what we’re doing – Pirates of Silicon Valley

This movie won my heart. It shows the beginning of both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and their ultimate rivalry when they both come to power in the infant computer industry.  Seriously the actor who played Bill Gates was so good, I literally forgot this was not the real Gates. Being a TV film, I doubt it many people have seen this one thus I won’t ruin it with spoilers. Therefore I highly recommend you watch Pirates of Silicon Valley today and let me know what you think of it in the comments section below.

 

Stanford Engineering Everywhere – Learn Computer Programming in a Month

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Over the last few years, many universities started following the trend of offering online courses for free. Whether it is a mere ethical act to aid prospering students or a latent profit scheme, we know that these courses are extremely helpful and worth lauding.

Among the courses offered by the likes of top tier universities such as Harvard, MIT and Stanford, I felt that Stanford’s Engineering Everywhere (SEE) Program stood out. SEE program offers online access to full courses in the school’s engineering program – including classes in computer science and artificial intelligence. Courses include lecture videos, reading lists, handouts, quizzes, tests, and even a social network for fellow online students.

With a strong leaning towards computers, I wanted to learn programming. Mind you I am one of those who don’t know the ABC of computer languages.

I tried books, videos, I even bought the official “Java for Dummies” book, but I was not even near understanding how this whole programming works. Luckily, just when I was on the verge of giving up, I was introduced to Professor Mehran’s Computer Methodology course at SEE.

The purpose of this course is to not only introduce newbies like myself to computer terms and methods but, it’s also an extensive course on JAVA. As Professor Mehran himself states, “The prerequisites to this class is that you should be able to identify if a computer is on or off”. That’s it. No geeky stuff , no pre-lecture code memorization.

The Iranian-American Professor who teaches this class is quite a character himself. From Star Wars references to handing out candies to his students, he’ll make even the most boring topics seem enjoyable and humorous. Taking you step by step, these video lectures are totally worth a try. A full course contains around 30 one hour lectures including assignments and handouts. Getting free education from one of the best universities in the world? It doesn’t get any better than this.

Other courses I would highly recommend are iPhone Application Programming, and Introduction to Robotics.

My Inception of Instagram

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Recently I bought a new phone; Sony Ericsson Walkman Live. Owning an Android device with a decent 5MP Camera, I just had to start using the $1 billion app Instagram. I’ll have to say, it’s a pretty cheap and easy way of faking professional photography. Take a look for yourself.

Click on individual photos if size matters to you.

(No offense intended to all the real photographers out there.)