Learning Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies (2018)

A ground-up rewrite of my highly successful 2014 course, Learning Bitcoin. Available on LinkedIn Learning and by subscription through Lynda.com. (Watch it for free.)

The new version includes information about Ethereum, Ripple, IOTA, and ICOs. Description by Lynda.com:

“Bitcoin is a form of money that only exists online. While it’s making headlines around the world, many people don’t really understand how bitcoin works or the underlying concepts of cryptocurrency.

In this course, Tom Geller demystifies bitcoin, revealing the promise and perils of the new crypto economy. Tom begins by explaining what bitcoin is, how it originated, and how it compares with other cryptocurrencies. Next, he explains how to get started by creating a bitcoin wallet, buying and selling bitcoin, and protecting your transactions.

He discusses other top cryptocurrencies—Ripple, Ethereum, and IOTA—and explains how “initial coin offerings” (ICOs) have changed the investment landscape. Finally, he covers bitcoin mining, threats to the bitcoin economy, and how to connect with others in cryptocurrency communities.”

Traveling for Business

Travel is expensive, so you need to be sure your time “on the road” justifies the investment. In this course, Tom Geller outlines what you need to do before, during, and after your business trip to keep yourself comfortable, meet your client’s or employer’s objectives, and take care of your home while you’re away. Learn the tools you need to stay in touch with the office, and find out how to pack a “go bag” that prepares you for business. Tom also provides guidance on managing transportation and staying safe in your new city, and outlines tips for reporting back what you’ve learned when you return home, so each trip is easier and more productive than the last.

Topics include:

  • Setting up a mobile office
  • Planning travel
  • Securing your home and office before you leave
  • Getting work done on the road
  • Getting comfortable in a new location
  • Planning your next trip

Writing Formal Business Letters and Emails

Learn how to write formal business letters and emails that are short, clear, and to the point. This course teaches you how to get results and build better relationships with clients, colleagues, and customers. Writer and journalist Tom Geller helps you clarify your goals, research your topic and intended audience, and structure your correspondence. Plus, get tips about writing for accessibility—making your writing comprehensible, concise, and appropriate for all readers—and following up on communication.

Topics include:

  • Defining your goals
  • Conducting research
  • Setting the tone
  • Writing for accessibility
  • Sending reminders
  • Continuing the conversation

Video for “Model Learning”

Screenshot of the video as it appears on Vimeo

An interview with Frits Vaandrager of Radboud University (The Netherlands), on a system that probes unknown systems to figure out their inner logic.

Video for “The 2016 Heidelberg Laureate Forum”

Screenshot of the video as it appears on Vimeo

A promotional video about the Heidelberg Laureate Forum, a week-long meeting of 200 advanced young researchers in math and computer science, together with about two dozen “laureates” who have won the world’s top prizes in those topics (Turing Award, Abel Prize, Fields Medal, and Nevanlinna Prize). Commissioned by the Association for Computing Machinery, which sponsors the Turing Award.

Video for “Why Data Citation Is a Computational Problem”

Screenshot of the video as it appears on Vimeo

An interview with University of Pennsylvania Professor Susan Davidson about the need to change how source information is cited in (for example) academic papers. She and her co-authors propose a framework that allows a greater diversity of sources and more flexibility in citing them.

Video for “A Fistful of Bitcoins”

Screenshot of the video as it appears on Vimeo

An interview with Sarah Meiklejohn, lead author of a paper that describes how she and her colleagues unmasked some bitcoin owners, despite the common belief that bitcoin is anonymous.

Drupal 8 Essentials 2: Building Out Your Website

Screenshot of the course's title card

Your Drupal site is built. Now what? Web design doesn’t stop once the website is launched. Learn how to build out your Drupal site to better fit your visitors’ needs.

In these tutorials, Tom Geller helps new Drupal designers change the layout and design elements of their sites, control visitor interactions (including comments), arrange content in user-friendly “views,” and expand the site’s capabilities beyond what’s available in core Drupal with Drupal modules. In all the steps you’ll learn best practices to ensure your sites remain streamlined, secure, and up to date.

Topics include:

  • Grouping content into categories
  • Managing comments
  • Adding discussion groups
  • Customizing fields and image styles
  • Adjusting menus and navigation to help users
  • Adding new features with Drupal modules

Drupal 8 Essentials 1: Getting Started

Screenshot of the course's title card

Drupal 8 Essentials is designed to help anyone create a simple website using Drupal, the free web design software that powers personal blogs as well as the sites of some of the world’s largest corporations.

This course is the first of the series. No prerequisites are required beyond basic computer skills! These easy-to-follow tutorials show how to install Drupal and other necessary components on a Windows or Mac computer, navigate Drupal’s web-based interface, configure the settings of a new Drupal site, create content, and move the site to a server. Every step includes best practices to ensure your website remains streamlined, secure, and up-to-date.

Topics include:

  • Comparing Drupal to other software
  • Getting help with Drupal
  • Installing Acquia Dev Desktop on Mac and Windows
  • Installing the Drupal database, modules, and themes
  • Creating basic content
  • Establishing your site’s look and feel
  • Adjusting security settings
  • Adding images and metadata
  • Adding a sidebar
  • Moving your Drupal website to a server
  • Backing up a Drupal site

Video for “Spatial Computing”

Screenshot of the video as it appears on Vimeo

An interview with Shashi Shekhar at the University of Minnesota, as he describes challenges and opportunities from computing relationships in the spaces of our real world.

Video for “What Makes Paris Look Like Paris”

Screenshot of the video as it appears on Vimeo

An interview with Carl Doersch about his paper, which shows how Google Street View images can be deconstructed to extract a city’s characteristic features. Shot at at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Video for “Information Cartography”

Screenshot of the video as it appears on Vimeo

Interviews with Carlos Guestrin and Eric Horvitz, who join Dafna Shahaf in a project to map and connect information much as a metro map visualizes a city subway. Shot in Seattle and Redmond, Washington.

Video for “Programming the Quantum Future”

Screenshot of the video as it appears on Vimeo

Interview with Benoît Valiron about programming quantum computers, in particular about his new language, “Quipper”. Shot at the University of Waterloo (Canada) during a conference on the subject.

Video for “Exascale Computing and Big Data”

Screenshot of the video as it appears on Vimeo

An interview with ACM Fellow Daniel Reed about the division between exaflop supercomputing and exabyte data management — and how each field can inform the other. With lots of B-roll, thanks to staff and faculty throughout the University of Iowa.

Video for “Sketch-Thru-Plan”

Screenshot of the video as it appears on Vimeo

A researcher and a military expert at Adapx discuss how they speed up battlefield planning with “multi-modal input” that marries speech, sketch, and writing.

Video for “Moving Portraits”

Screenshot of the video as it appears on Vimeo

Videojournalism about turning photo collections into movie-like “Face Movies”, via a system that’s been incorporated into Google’s Picasa photo program. (Many thanks to guest interviewer Teresa Meek.)

Video for “Efficient Maximum Flow Algorithms”

Screenshot of video as it appears on Vimeo

Videojournalism about the applications of, and solutions to, the “maximum-flow/minimum-cut” problem, which affects surprisingly diverse fields. As before, I did most of this, with the help of two shooters.

Up and Running with Bitcoin (2014)

Screenshot from Up and Running with Bitcoin

Description by lynda.com: “Understand the basics of bitcoin, the popular virtual currency, and then learn the nuances of bitcoin transactions and security issues that can be difficult to navigate on your own. Tom Geller addresses both the big and small issues swirling around bitcoin right now, and prepares you to use or accept bitcoin as a currency for your transactions. Discover how bitcoin compares to US dollars and other forms of money; how to send, receive, and “mine” it; and how to protect and track your bitcoin transactions. Tom will even show you how to connect with the Bitcoin development community, in case you’re interested in contributing to the spread of this modern cryptocurrency.”

Video for the 2013 ACM A.M. Turing Award

Screenshot of video as it appears on Vimeo

A celebration of the life work of Leslie Lamport, recipient of the 2013 ACM A.M. Turing Award. I did production, direction, editing, voiceover, and most of the shooting. Promoted in the article at http://cacm.acm.org/news/175166-general-agreement/fulltext , and presented at the awards banquet.

Advice from Alumni: Freelancing Basics

Screenshot of video as it appears on Oberlin College site

A done-in-one short video, with minor cutaways. Me giving advice to Oberlin College students on how to get started as a freelancer. Requested by the Oberlin College and Conservatory’s Career Center, and promoted at http://oberlin.edu/career/students/advice_from_alumni.html.

Keynote from DrupalCamp Western NY

Still frame from Buffalo presentation

Keynote presentation from the inaugural two-day event, “DrupalCamp Western NY” in Buffalo, 14 October 2011. The event’s theme was “Hello, Universe”, so I riffed on how the Drupal community is growing (beyond the more common “Hello, World”), and how its culture will inevitably change as a result. Video by Stephen Rosenthal, http://caramaxstudio.com. Appearance sponsored by Acquia; at the time I was that company’s Content and Communications Director.

Stanford University Tech Briefing: lynda.com and Drupal

Screenshot of my slides from the talk

A “Stanford University Tech Briefing” about Drupal, given mostly to people who were already using it for departmental websites. Sponsored by lynda.com. Published description: “lynda.com and Drupal — Tom Geller, lynda.com. Do you have lingering questions about your Drupal web site? In this session, lynda.com trainer Tom Geller answers some of the most often-asked questions about entering and managing content in Drupal. He’ll show you the fastest ways to get images on the page, how to attach files, and how to enable hidden features of Stanford’s Drupal installation that let you extend content beyond Pages and Stories. He’ll also take your questions; give you a peek at what’s coming in Drupal 7, due for release in the next few months. Finally, Tom Geller and lynda.com representatives will help you get the most out of training videos on lynda.com, with a particular focus on Drupal and Drupal-related courses.”

Writing Articles

Screenshot from Writing Articles

In this course, author Tom Geller explores the process of writing articles and publications for businesses large and small. The course begins with a look at the preparation you’ll need to do, best ways to find assignments, and smart strategies for determining your article approach. Next, the course dives into techniques you can use to brainstorm angles, research, interview experts, finish a piece, and build your portfolio.

Freelancing Fundamentals

Screenshot from Freelancing Fundamentals

In this course, author and seasoned freelancer Tom Geller shows you how to prepare for a transition to freelancing. Begin by taking a look at your career goals, the systems that will support you, and proper ways to plan for success. Find out how to marshal your resources, refine your portfolio for presentation to clients, and estimate your costs to avoid any surprises on the financial front. Plus, discover how to create invoices, manage your books and taxes, expand your client base with marketing, and grow your business.

Drupal 7 Advanced Training

Screenshot of intro to Drupal 7 Advanced Training

This course teaches web site designers how to take their sites to the next level with a few advanced techniques and the free and open-source Drupal software. Author Tom Geller shows how to configure the most popular add-on modules; use *nix commands and an FTP program to manage a Drupal site on a web server; change its visual appearance using the latest graphical tools; automate and speed through common tasks with Drush; integrate with social media sites; and see how “supermodules” like Panels, Context, Rules, and Features open up new worlds of code-free development.

Drupal 7 Advanced Training was designed as a follow-up to Drupal 7 Essential Training and it also dovetails nicely with our other Drupal courses, such as Drupal 7 Reporting and Visualizing Data and Create Your First Online Store with Drupal Commerce.

Topics include:

  • Moving a site from the development environment to production
  • Hosting a Drupal site
  • Moving databases with phpMyAdmin and Unix commands
  • Making site administration more efficient with Drush
  • Backing up site data
  • Moderating comments
  • Migrating from previous versions of Drupal
  • Working with themes
  • Creating variable layouts
  • Enabling social features
  • Creating an online store with Drupal Commerce