Top 10 best resources to learn to program

Top-10-best-resources-to-learn-to-programNowadays, learning to code can be one of your most valuable skills. Sure, learning coding is not easy and it requires a lot of time but, if you are determined you could eventually uncover the mysteries of programming languages.
We gathered below the best online resources where you can learn the basics of coding.

 

Codeacademy

Probably the best online resource for coding, Code Academy has a great variety of classes to offer: from javascript to HTML/CSS and from PHP to Python. Its user friendly platform makes coding look like child play. Codeacademy feature a split screen on which you can see the code you have the write followed by theoretical explanations and indications.

 

Code Avengers

Focuses on gamification and entertainment, Code Avengers is a learn-to-code platform designed to teach beginners the basics of coding. Each lesson is designed to be interactive and to make the theoretical part as accessible as possible. Most of the courses are free.

 

Code School

Another popular online resource for coding is Code School. Guided by the “Learn by doing” motto, Code School offers a great variety of courses structured on different levels of difficulty – from beginners to advance.
A one month subscription costs 29 dollars, but you can access most of the introductory parts for free.

 

Treehouse

Treehouse provides courses on a range of web development, app development and web design topics. Its rich library, which features 1000+ videos, seeks to help beginners to learn the basics of coding and prospective coders become better.
You can sign up for $25 for a Basic subscription, which will allow you access to most courses, or for the Pro subscription, which cost $49 and allows you access to exclusive workshops and interviews.

 

Lynda.com

Probably the leading online resource for learning to code, Lynda is a reliable source of training in a wide range of web development topics. Although you’ll have to pay a monthly fee to be given full access, the platform offers a free presentation of every course. This way, you can decide whether the course is relevant for you or not.

 

Udacity

“Our online courses are rigorous and may even make you sweat.” states Udacity on their “What we offer” page. The truth is that, Udacity’s courses are targeted to those who already have the basics of coding.
Unlike other learning websites, on Udacity every user has a personal trainer with which they can chat about the problems encountered while writing a code. Furthermore, at the end of each course, graduates get a certificate which demonstrates their knowledge and skills on a given topic.

 

 

 

Important keyboard shortcuts for PC and Mac

Important keyboard shortcuts for PC and MacUsing keyboard shortcuts will help you get around much faster and can cut down the time needed to complete a task.

Here are the most important keyboard shortcuts worth knowing both for PC and Mac users.

Text editing

Cut, Copy, Paste
PC: Ctrl + X = cut; Ctrl + C = copy; Ctrl + V = paste
Mac: Command + X = cut; Command + C = copy, Command + V = paste.

To select an entire document, you’ll just have to press Ctrl + A for Windows users and Command + A for Mac users. To undo a command, you need to press Ctrl + Z for PC and Command + Z for Mac, whereas to redo it, the keyboard shortcut for PC is Ctrl + Y, but for Mac is Command + Shift + Z.

 

To find text within a document

PC: Ctrl + F
Mac: Command + F

 

To select a paragraph

PC: Shift + Ctrl + Up/Down arrow
Mac: Shift + Command + Up/Down arrow

To select one line at a time, the shortcut is the same for both Windows and Mac user: Shift + Up/Down arrow.

 

Web browsing – add a bookmark

You can create a shortcut of your favorite webpages by bookmarking them:
PC: Ctrl + D
Mac: Apple key + D

 

Show desktop

If you have too many windows open and you want to quickly access your desktop:
PC: Windows key + D
Mac: F11

 

Close browser

A faster and clever way you close your browser without having to use your mouse:
PC: Alt + F4
Mac: Apple key + Q

 

Reopen previous tab

If you accidentally closed a tab:
PC: Ctrl + Shift + T
Mac: Apple key + Z

 

Go to previous location in browser

If you want to go to the webpage you were looking at before your current one:
PC: Alt + ←
Mac: Apple key + [

 

Starting and closing applications

Move through a list of open applications
Mac: Command + Tab
PC: Alt + Tab
To move through the list in reverse, just press Command + Shift + Tab for Mac and Alt + Shift + Tab for PC.

 

To open a new tab

PC: Ctrl + T
Mac: Command + T

 

To close a new tab

PC: Ctrl + W
Mac: Command + W
To minimize/ maximize the focused windows
PC: Alt + Space + N/ Alt + Space + X
Mac: Command + M/ Command + L

 

To show all open windows

PC: Windows key + Tab
Mac: F9

 

To delete forever

PC: Shift + Delete

 

How to use System Restore in Windows 10

System Restore in Windows 8Picture this: you installed new software or, without realising, you’ve changed an important setting and your computer stopped working properly. You can either shake your fist angrily or push the reset button again and again hoping the problem will eventually be solved – or you can learn to use the System Restore tool.

Simply put, System Restore will let you revert to a point in time before things went wrong, called a restore point, and undo last changes to the system. It’s like a time machine, but only for computers.

This guide will teach you how to configure and use System Restore in Windows 8. Before you start, run a complete backup of your files and folders.

 

Restoring to a previous point

Hold down the Windows key and Q to open the search box or point the mouse to the top right corner of the screen and click on Search. In the search box type Recovery, click on the Advanced System Settings bar and choose the recovery icon from below and a new window will appear.

Select Open System Restore. By default, the tool will show you the most recent restore point. Let’s say the problem appeared after you’ve installed the printer and you’ll need to revert to a time before things went wrong. To restore to that point, all you have to do is click on Next and then Finish and the computer will restart your system and roll back. The tool also allows you to choose from different restore points.

 

Creating a restore point

As before, hold down the Windows key and Q to open the search box, type Recovery, click on the Settings bar and choose the Recovery icon from below. Select the Advanced System Settings then click on the System Protection tab.
This time, instead of choosing the System Restore option, select Create to manually set up a new restore point. Write down a description to help you identify the restore point, then click on Create. The date and the time will be added automatically.

 

The System Restore feature can be really helpful especially since, sometimes, programs can accidentally change settings that they shouldn’t have. System Restore will allow you to go back to a restore point and invert these settings.

 

Remote control your home computer from anywhere

remote control your home computerHave you ever been in the situation where you’re having an important meeting when you realise you left a super important document on your computer at home? Luckily, there are ways your can access your computer from anywhere.

Here is how you can remote controlling your PC from anywhere.

 

Built-in remote desktop access

Windows, through its Remote Access option allows users connect to remote PC and gives them a high level of control, but here’s the catch: it can only works on Windows Professional or higher.

Here is how you can access your Windows computer from another Windows PC:

Click Start and search for the Allow remote access option. Select the Allow Remote Control Access to This Computer option and a window should pop up. Make sure to check one of the two radio buttons from the bottom of the Window, depending on how you want to access the computer – from another Windows 7 or from other versions of Windows. If you are using Windows 8.1, go to Control Panel and open System Properties. You will be given these options:
– Don’t allow remote connections to this computer and
– Allow remote connection to this computer
To enable Remote Desktop Connection, select the first option and you are set to go.
Now, go to your remote computer, click Start, search for Remote Desktop, click on Remote Desktop Connection and type in the name of the computer you want the access. It should be the name given to the computer when Windows was installed, like Mikescomputer. Click Connect and you should be able to connect to your computer.

 

Remote control your computer with VNC

Here’s another great way you can log into your home computer from any device, including your smartphone: VNC or virtual network computing. VNC allows you to see your desktop and remote control your computer just like you’re sitting in front of it.
To get started you’ll first need to set up a VNC server and a VNC client. Most high version of Windows and Mac OS X already have a VNC server build in and for other versions there are VNC software, like TightVNC or OSXvnc you can install. As for the VNC client, as I said, most Windows and OS X have built-in clients and if they don’t, you can just install Chicken of the VNC.
To access your computer from anywhere, next you’ll have to forward the VNC server’s port on your router. Log into your router’s admin page and set up a new port forwarding service for port 5900. Make sure you have a static local IP address otherwise you won’t be able to connect to your home computer. Set up a dynamic DNS hostname in order to prevent your local Internet service from changing your IP address.
To connect, start de TightVNC viewer, type in the external IP, enter your VNC password and you’ll have access to your home computer.

 

Remote control your computer with TeamViewer

Maybe the easiest way to remote control your home computer is by using TeamViewer. All you’ll have to do is download it, create an account and install some extra software. Here’s what you should do:
Start by downloading and installing TeamViewer on both your home computer and your remote computer. Once installed, go to Connection and create an account by clicking on Set Up Unattended Access. Log into your account and leave TeamViewer open when you leave home. Run TeamViewer form your remote computer to log into your home computer. It’s that simple.

Tips to improve your computer’s speed

tips to improve your computers speedIs your once super-fast, super-performance computer less effective and much slower than it used to be? Before thinking of replacing it with a newer model, try busting your computer’s speed with these tips.

Remember – before starting the cleaning process don’t forget to back up your data!

 

Clean your computer

When was the last time you cleaned your computer? Probably never, right? But did you know that more bacteria live on a square inch of a typical office desk than on the same area of a toilet seat? That’s because we clean our bathrooms more often than we clean our computers.
Just like your house, your car, your clothes or any other thing for what matters, your computer needs to be cleaned, inside and out, to prevent dust bunnies building up and overheating.

 

The outside

Start with the easy stuff and clean your keyboard and your mouse.
If you have the habit of eating in front of your computer, most probably your keyboard has accumulated lots of crumbs under the keys, so a proper clean once a week is more than necessary to keep germs away. Hold your computer upside down and shake it to dislodge debris. Next, take a can of compressed air, point it towards your keyboard and blow off the dust between the keys. Then, wipe the keyboard and the mouse with an antibacterial tissue. Make sure your computer is turned off so you won’t accidentally erase important documents.

 

The inside

Before cleaning the inside of your computer, unplug the power cable and remove all USBs and audio or video cables. Take your computer’s case to a well-ventilated room or, if possible, outside – you won’t want to breathe in all the dust accumulated in God knows how many years.
Open up the case and with the help of compressed air, blow the dust off the component inside your computer. Make sure to get between every crack and clean every part carefully.  Before closing up, make sure everything is connected inside. .

 

Add more RAM

Adding more RAM to your computer is one of the simples and cheapest way you can increase its performance. Adding, for example, 8GH of RAM will cost you almost nothing and it will make a noticeable difference to the overall performance of your PC. If you worry about the installation process, your computer’s manual should have a guide on performing a RAM upgrade.

 

Clear your hard drive

Another way you can make your computer faster is by simply removing unwanted files. Windows needs disk space to perform at it’s best and if your hard drive is full Window can start to experience delays. And good disk house keeping to keep you files organised is always good practice.

 

Close any unnecessary software running in the background

Getting rid of unused programs, add-ons, toolbars and other computer-stalling software will make a change in your computer’s performance. The problem with unnecessary software is that you install most of them along with other applications. After installing a new program, like Yahoo Messenger for example, make sure to remove the browser toolbar, update manager and other dispensable applications which came along with the software.

 

Tweak your monitor for the best viewing experience

Tweak your monitor for the best viewing experienceIt goes without saying that you don’t have to be a graphic designer, a web developer or a professional photographer to care about the quality of your image. A proper monitor calibration will allow you to see images the way they were meant to be seen and improve the look of videos, photos and games.

Although getting the colors right can seem a bit confusing, the standard calibration process is fairly easy. Here’s how you can calibrate your display for the best viewing experience.

 

Things to check before calibration

 

Before you get started, make sure your monitor has be turned on for at least 30 minutes so it can get to its normal operating temperature. Then, if you use your display to another resolution, set it back to its native one.
Ambient light reflecting from the monitor’s face can lighten and wash out colors. For this reason, make sure you calibrate your monitor in a room with moderate light – not too bright, not too dim – and with no direct light hitting the screen.

 

Calibrate using built-in tools

 

The quickest and easiest way to calibrate your monitor is by using the built-in calibration tools. If you never calibrated your display before and worry you’ll get lost in the process, both Windows and OS X have built-in utilities which will help you and guide you step by step. Don’t get discouraged by the terminology, you don’t really need to make sense out of the jargon in order to calibrate your monitor.

 

Windows settings

 

Go to Control Panel, select Appearance and Personalization, click on Display and then select the Calibrate display color option.
A new window will open, featuring the Display Color Calibration tool. All you have to do know is to follow the instructions and choose your monitor’s gamma, brightness and contrast and color balance settings. For each setting you will be shown a sample image of what the ideal level should look like. Just try to match your setting with the sample.
Once you’re done, don’t forget to select the current calibration to make sure Windows will remember your new settings. If you are not satisfied with the result, return to the previous calibration and adjust some more.

 

Mac OS X

 

Go to Go to System Preferences, select the Display tab, click on the Color tab and then on the Calibrate button. The Display Calibrator Assistant will now open. Make sure to check the Expert Mode box, otherwise you will be able to access just the target gamma and white point settings.
Now, just follow the instructions to set you monitor’s brightness, contrast, target gamma, native gamma and target white point.
Once you have finished, click on Continue and save the calibration profile.

 

 

Learn to recognise malicious software

Learn to recognise malicious software
You don’t have to be a tech savvy to tell if your computer or server might be in trouble. The real problem is, knowing what you are dealing with and how you can fix it. Getting rid of malware can be difficult as it tends to get around unnoticed.

 

 

 What is malicious software?

Malicious software, commonly known as malware, is any software that can harm your computer by disrupting the computer’s operating system, deleting documents, stealing protected and installing programs not approved by the user. Malware can take the form of viruses, Trojans, worms, spyware, adware, rootkits, and so on.

 

Signs you might be infected

 

You are getting an unusual amount of pop ups.
You might be familiar with pop-ups, those flashy banners appearing on different website letting you know that you are their millionth visitor and that you absolutely click on the to claim your prize. Many years ago, the Internet was suffocated with this kind of spam but, nowadays, thanks to built-in pop up blockers, the amount flashy advertisement received dropped. This is the reason why, getting an unusual amount of pop-ups might be a sign your computer is infected.

 

Computer slowdowns

 

If your computer is slow it doesn’t necessarily means that is infected, but if it freezes constantly, you can take it as a fair sign it might be in trouble. Usually, when a computer is infected, none of the essential commands will respond letting you with no other option than to reboot.
If your computer is awfully slow, you should try running a disk clean-up. If it remains slow, than check for other signs of a possible malware infection.

 

Your antivirus and firewall protection is disabled

 

Getting rid of malware can be a tricky task, as it has the ability to disable your antivirus and firewall without consent and block access to download sites of popular virus removal tools. Therefore, if you notice any suspicious activity, check if your antivirus is working. As a matter of fact, you should constantly check if your antivirus and firewall are enabled.

 

You notice changes of the web browser’s home page

 

Another way you can tell if your computer is infected is if your default home page is changed to an alternate page. Moreover, if, when you type a specific address but you are sent to a different, random site, than you should definitely run a full virus scan.

 

Your email account was hijacked

 

Even though we are constantly checking our inbox, we barley take a look at our outbox. As a result, if our friends don’t notice they started getting weird messages from you, it can take a long time until you discover your email has been hijacked and that your computer is in trouble.

 

Your browser is offline

 

Some malware have the ability to limit your internet access. So, if you cannot connect to the internet, but you are sure the network connectivity works, than it can be a sign of malware infection.

 

Regardless the problem, always remember to run a complete backup of your files, operating system or whatever you feel is important

 

 

How to harden your browser against malware

The Internet is a wonderful place. Aside from all the annoying ads, popping up every few minutes making it difficult for you to read a blog post or watch a video it’s a great and powerful invention.

MalwareTalking of those annoying ads, promising you will lose 20lbs in one week if you try their funky trip, don’t you ever click on them. Every time you load one of those ads, a small army of spyware loads in the process. Likewise, be very careful when you download a file from an untrustworthy site, otherwise you will end up with malware that hitched a ride along with it.
No browser is bulletproof so, the best thing you can do is harden it’s security against malware by following these tips.

 

Be careful when you install plug-ins you’re not familiar with

Used with moderation, plug-ins and extensions are usually good for you and your software. Used in excess, they can put your computer at risk. Too many unnecessary plug-ins can slow down your computer while others can have a malicious software attached.

 

Turn on pop-up blockers

Pop-ups are extremely annoying and, most of the time, they host malware. Once you click on them, your computer gets infected. Luckily, nowadays you harden your browser against malicious pop-ups by installing a pop-up blocker. A pop-up blocker won’t let any site create a window without your authorization, thus making your searching easier and more secure.

 

Install security plug-ins

Another way you can harden you browser against malware is by installing a security plug-in. So, if a virus tries to sneak in, a security plug-in will immediately block it, enhance your system’s security and prevent your computer from getting infected. Some of the security plug-ins we recommend are: HTTPS Everywhere – for Chrome, Firefox and Opera, Web of Trust – for Internet Explorer and LongURL.org for Twitter and Facebook.

 

Delete spam messages without opening them

Ever gotten an email from a Nigerian prince urging you send a specific amount of money which would supposedly allow him to access his savings account and reward you, the benefactor, with more money than you ever imagined? As you know, this spam message is a spam, officially known as The Nigerian 419 scam. Other spam messages, on the other hand can load your computer with malware.

 

Don’t open email attachments unless you know the sender

It’s pretty simple: if you don’t know the sender, don’t open any email attachments and immediately send the message to spam. And even if you know the sender think twice before opening the attachment. Malicious emails are designed to collect personal date and infect your computer. Some viruses don’t even require users to forward the email; they scan the computer and automatically send the infected message to all of the addresses they find.
Be careful with email attachments even when they appear to be from someone in authority, like your bank. It’s usually a phishing scam, tricking you into revealing your password or other personal information.

 

Install a strong antivirus program

Last, but not least, don’t forget to install a strong antivirus program to protect your computer and your devices.

 

8 common problems with Windows 8 and how to fix them

8 common problems with Windows 8 and how to fix themSome complain about the confusing new interface, others say there are a number of bugs in the operating system. Either way, everybody agrees Microsoft’s newest operating system has its fair share of problems.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a computer expert to fix these problems yourself. Here are some tips on how to fix 8 common problems with Windows 8.

 

The Start menu can’t be found

The problem: One of the most common problems with Windows 8 is that its new interface is utterly confusing. Designed to work on both traditional and touch screen devices, the problem with Microsoft’s newest OS is that, besides the desktop mode, which looks a lot like previous versions of Windows, it also features an “App-view”. Confusion awaits!

The solution: For those who want to resurrect the Start Menu, there are some Start menu replacements they can install. We recommend Start8, Start Menu8 or Start Menu Reviver.

 

Windows Explorer crashes frequently

The problem: A recurring problem with Windows 8 seems to be the constant crash of Windows Explorer. Users have reported that, after installing the OS’s newest version, Explorer has stopped working.

The solution: To fix this problem, you will have to use the Refresh my PC¬ tool. Go to Settings, click or tap on Change PC Setting then select the Update and Recovery tab. Open the Recovery bar and select Get Started and Refresh your PC without Affection your Files. Your Windows will now be reinstalled without deleting your files. As an extra precaution though, back up your data before completing this task.

 

The Blue Screen of Death

The problem: The Blue Screen of Death is usually accompanied by this message: “DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL”, basically telling you that Windows has crashed because of a problem with a driver.

The solution: In most cases, an additional text will be displayed along with the error message, giving you hints on what might cause the cause the problem. Even so, if you don’t catch the message, you can go to C:/Windows/Minidump and search for error dumps. Once you find the root of the problem, it’s easier to fix it.

 

Multiple copies of the same file

The problem: Every time you make a change to a file, Windows automatically makes a copy of it. The problem with this backup feature is that, sometimes, it can make copies of the same file even when no changes have been made to it, taking unnecessary space of your RAM.

The solution: Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a widely accepted solution for this bug. Most experts say the best way to fix it is by disabling the default backup service.

 

Explorer.exe appears blank

The problem: Some users reported that, when they boot their computer, a blank window pop ups. It has the shape of the Explorer.exe file manager, but with no text and an OK button.

The solution: The cause of this problem seems to be a faulty Load value in your registry. To fix it, type regedit in the search box and open the Registry Editor. Click on the Windows registry tab and look for an entry labeled under the name of Load. Delete the entry and the problem should be fixed.

 

Unclear text

The problem: Some programs display a fuzzy or blurry text.

The solution: Most often, this problem appears with older software designed for displays with a lower resolution. To fix it, right-click on the program’s executable, go to Compatibility tab and the select the Disable display scaling on high DPI settings box.

 

Sleep mode not working

The problem: Windows 8 refuses to go to sleep.

The solution: In the search box type cmd, thus opening the Command Line. Then, type the command powercfg –devicequery wake_armed. Now, open Device Manager and go through each component, putting your computer to sleep after each, to see which one keeps your computer awake. To do so, double click on each component. A properties window will appear. Go to the Power Management tab and check the box next to Allow this device to wake this computer. This should help you find the perpetrator.

 

Why you should set up a VPN

Why you should set up a VPNEven if you’re not using a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, chances are you might have heard of it. Most probably, you associate the technology with corporate firewalls and ways of controlling the work habits of employees and limiting their Internet access. In reality, VPN is a great way to protect your online privacy, regardless of your profile. Whether you are a company who wants to protect its data or a regular computer user who simply wants to connect and browse securely on any network, VPN can be a very helpful tool. But what is a VPN exactly?

 

What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is a group of computers linked together across a public network. As the name states it, it allows computers to securely share data across a public network as if it was a private one. In other words, VNP allows your computer to create a secure connection to another network and to encrypt its traffic and data. Moreover, since all of the computers are linked together on the same network, they communicate as if they were connected to the same router.

 

Why do you need VPN?

Besides the benefit of sharing files on a secure network, away from prying eyes, there are many other reasons why you should install a VPN. For starters, connecting to a public network, like your favorite coffee house’s Wi-FI, can be dangerous, especially if you are planning to make some online payments. Without a VPN to encrypt your Internet traffic, hackers have more chances to prowl on your browsing and capture your passwords. Second, you can be sure your private resources are and will be accessed for an uncompromising network.

 

How to set up a simple VPN with Windows without installing any software

Both Windows 7 and Windows 8 can function as VPN servers. The trick is that the option is hidden. Here is how you can set up a simple VPN without installing any software.
1. Press the Window key and write ncpa.cpl in the search box to open the Network Connections window;
2. Press the Alt key then click on the File Menu. From there, select New Incoming Connection;
3. Now you should see the computer’s usernames appearing. Select the ones you want to give VPN access to. For a more safe connection, you can create a new user account. Click Add someone and choose the users you will allow access to the new user account;
4. Make sure to check the Through the Internet option to allow VPN connections over the Internet. Then click Next;
5. Confirm that you will use the Internet Protocol [select the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)] to make this connection and click the Allow access button;
6. Windows will set up a VPN server.

 

Router Set up

You will also need to set up your router for the VPN. You will need the IP address of your VPN Server computer to configure it. To find it, right click on the network icon from the menu bar then click on Open Network and Sharing Center. Click on the network icon. A window will pop up and now you should click on Details to find the server’s IP address. Write it down.
Now that you have the LAN IP address, long onto router’s configuration page and look for Port Forwarding screen. Forward port 1723 to the IP address.

To connect to the VPN server, click on the Connect to the network option then on the VPN name you’ve created. Then click Connect.

 

 

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