Alexa Skill Course Published

  • Alexa Course
    Landing page for Alexa course on Udemy

My Latest Udemy Course is now published:

It’s called Alexa Skill Coding Class for Beginners – (new 2019).

The course is designed for novice and beginning coders who want to create an Alexa skill but don’t have enough knowledge to edit the sample code to make a useful skill for their school, church, organization or small business.  Here’s the official description:

In this course you will learn:

  • How to Build an Alexa Skill with the Latest SDK
    • We build and Publish 2 skills in this Course
  • And Explanation of the JavaScript / Node.js Code
    • But not an Exhaustive study of it!
  • You will Understand the Sample Code and how to Manipulate it
    • Not just plug in “data text”
  • Synonyms
  • Not just the Interaction Model, we will modify the Code to use the Synonym
  • How to work with Multiple Languages and have Alexa Respond with the Language that reflects the Locale of the Echo Device
  • Build a Skill with Alexa Self Hosted, no AWS Account Needed
  • Build a Skill that uses AWS Lambda and how to make it with the Interaction Model
  • AWS S3 Object Storage Buckets
  • Picture Cards
    • Verify Cards look good on all types of devices
    • SSML and Playing MP3 files for Responses
    • Filtering the SSML Codes out of the Cards
      • Having code show up in the card will prevent the skill from passing Certification for Publication in the Skill Store
  • Creating Dialog in a Skill that Normally doesn’t have it
  • Test the Code in AWS Lambda
  • Custom Slots
  • Custom Intents
  • Customer Intent Handlers
  • canHandle()
  • File Dependencies
  • How to Publish a real Skill and Re-Certify it after Changes
  • How to use a Code Editor

New Courses Published

  • WordPress on LAMP Stack Course Title Page
    WordPress on LAMP Stack Course Title Page

New Udemy Courses

I published two new courses on Udemy. These courses are similar. Each walk students through the process of setting up domain names and configuring DNS for those domain names. Each has an in-depth discussion of Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. The LAMP Stack fundamentals has a deeper dive into Linux and the rest of the LAMP Stack.

The WordPress course has a deeper dive into setting up email with a custom domain as well as an introduction to cloud hosting and a detailed look at AWS Lightsail.

WordPress is then installed and upgraded to version 5. I then show how to build websites for troysicecream.com and rvleisure.com on the same Ubuntu server in AWS Lightsail.

These courses are located at:
https://www.udemy.com/wordpress-on-lamp/
Click here for a coupon:
and
https://www.udemy.com/lamp-stack-fundamentals/
Click here for a coupon:

Here’s a list of what’s included with the WordPress on LAMP Stack Course:

In this course you will learn:

  • How to Register Domain Names
  • Launching a Linux Instance in AWS Lightsail
  • How Configure DNS in AWS Lightsail and Route 53
  • How to obtain a free email address using your own domain name for a professional look
  • The basics of Linux and various distributions
  • How to install Linux on a virtual machine running on Windows and Mac.  We will install Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu Desktop, Mint and Lubuntu
  • Linux file system basics
  • Many Linux commands to navigate search and manipulate files and directories and permissions.  Configure a swap file for Linux server to optimum performance
  • How to install Apache web server and configure it to run multiple websites on a single server with a single IP address and tune it for WordPress 5.
  • How to encrypt the website on Apache with SSL / HTTPS for free
  • How to install MySQL and create databases and users.  How to assign rights to user to databases.
  • How to install PHP and tune it for WordPress (include email)
  • Install 2 WordPress sites, with the unique domain names we registered earlier, on the Linux server
  • Build a website with a slide show on the homepage.
  • WordPress Plugins:
    • Child Themes
    • Security
    • Email
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Backup
    • ..and more
  • What new in WordPress 5
  • How to backup WordPress sites and the Linux server they run on

Who this course is for:

  • Beginner on Linux
  • Beginner on LAMP Stack
  • Beginner on WordPress
  • Beginner on Word Press
  • Beginner on Amazon Web Services AWS
  • Beginner on Amazon Web Services AWS Lightsail
  • Beginner on Amazon Web Services AWS Light sail



My Latest Alexa Skill – Ohio Counties

 

Ohio Counties
Ohio Counties Alexa Skill

My latest Alexa skill is called “Ohio Counties.”  I created it because I am always curious where another Ohioan is from when I see their car.  In the old days Ohio license plates had a county name on them.  Now, Ohio license plates only list a county number.

This skill allows you to ask Alexa (assuming you have Alexa enabled in your car) about that county number.  You will get a response that tells you:

1. The name of the county
2. The County Seat of that county
3. The general location – such as “North West Ohio”

Enable it by saying “Alexa, enable Ohio Counties.”

To use it, say “Alexa, ask Ohio Counties what is county 81”
or “Alexa, ask Ohio Counties where is Van Wert County”

Hope you get some use of it.

 

IP Subnetting Tutorial

Let’s first look at the classes of IP addresses:

 

 

You will need to know these classes for a lot of certification tests such as Network + or CCNA.

To examine how IP addresses work, you can liken them to telephone numbers.  Granted they don’t work exactly the same, there are similarities.  IP addresses have a Network portion and a Host portion (a host is any device on the network that has an address, PCs, printer, servers, etc.).  Think of telephone numbers as having a network portion and a host portion.  There is a Country Code, an Area Code, an Exchange and then the final four digits that relate to a single telephone at the end of the line.

The telephone company uses the network portion of the telephone number (country code, area code, exchange) to ROUTE the call to a particular telephone.  Likewise, routers use the network portion of an IP address to route packets to the network that contains the host you are trying to connect to.

It is pretty easy to determine the network portion on a telephone number; but what about an IP address?  That is where the subnet mask comes in.  No, the mask doesn’t hide anything.  The mask is what draws the line between the network and host portions of the IP address.  With an IP address, that line can move.

Looking at a class A address, we see that by default the subnet mask is 255.0.0.0 or 11111111.00000000.00000000.00000000 in binary.  This can also be noted as /8 because there are 8 bits turned on in the mask.  The first octet (the area between the periods in an IP address are called octets because there are 8 bits) tells us that the first octet of the IP address will be the network portion of the address.  The remaining octets of the mask are 0s, so the rest of the address is available for hosts.

Some Math
With a class A address there are 7 bits available for network addresses (the first bit reserved).  A basic formula to determine the number of networks available is 2n-2.  The “n” is the number of bits we have to work with.  So, 27=128, then subtract 2 and we have 126 networks available.  But why do we subtract 2?  You cannot use the 0 network or the 127 network.  We use the same formula when subnetting and subtract 2 for another reason as outlined in the subnetting page.

 

Why WordPress?

  

Now on WordPress

On previous versions of this site Joomla was my CMS of choice. I was able to quickly build it.  But getting it to look good was quite a challenge.  The answer to this, of course, is templates.  That’s where the frustration begins.
Finding templates for Joomla! is quite trying.  You first start out with a search for free templates.  You get plenty of hits for “free templates.”
But here is the typical experience; you are required to sign up / create an account.  you get it, they provide something for free, they get to spam you- understood.  But here’s the kicker, most times I get to the checkout page and see that free is actually $30 or more.  This happened to me most of the time.  So, I verified my email, am signed up for spam, and don’t have  template to use…
But there are templates that really are free, but how do you use them?  I can’t find the documentation.
Maybe it is my fault for not finding and studying the documentation, but I found that with WordPress I could easily figure out how to use it, and the templates.  Most templates and plug-ins come with instructions and are easy to set up.  So, here we are with WordPress.