How to find the Best Laptop for Programming


Since you are reading this article, it is not hard to guess who you are and what you are looking for. You are a professional software engineer, maybe you are starting off with programming as a student or perhaps you are just a programming geek.
Since you are reading this article, it is not hard to guess who you are and what you are looking for. You are a professional software engineer, maybe you are starting off with programming as a student or perhaps you are just a programming geek.

You have come here looking for the best laptop for programming but you find yourself asking what is it that you are looking for?

Fortunately, we have some tips below that can help you find your perfect laptop.

Beginner / Student Programmer

We are aware that if you are a student you may be on a tight budget. You need to find a laptop that is fairly reasonably priced. We assume that if you are a beginner your projects will be simple, so all you need is a top performance/dollar value laptop and here is how to manage that:

  • 13.3” – 15.6” screen. It should preferably be FHD. We have excluded 17.3 inch because as a student, you will be moving about. 17.3 inch would be difficult to carry around.
  • Recommended a minimum of 8 GB of RAM, although even 4 GB should work just fine for small projects.
  • Find a laptop without dedicated graphics card (Integrated graphics card cost less and will do the work for you)
  • Intel i3 processor is perfect for beginners (you can go for i5, but mostly the may want to avoid it if you are very tight on budget). Do not settle for anything less than an Intel Core i3 like Intel Pentium or Intel Celeron.
  • Battery life 5+ hours is great. However, it is also possible to find 10+ hours.
Professional Programmer/Application Developer

If you are a professional programmer or an application developer, you need a laptop that is powerful, convenient and running smoothly. You don’t need overheating or any lag, you left those problems with your first laptop or desktop computer for beginners, now it is time for something better.

It all comes to what type of programming you are into, but generally we prefer the following specifications here:

  • Processor: As an expert you will have to compile applications or games that require a strong processor. Do not go lower than Intel Core i7 or AMD A10 processors.
  • Make sure that along with a Hard Disk you have an SSD (solid-state drive) disc as the primary drive (at least 256 GB SSD). It loads faster even the biggest projects, so you won’t be disappointed.
  • RAM memory (at least 8GB, but as we like to say “The more, the merrier”. 16 GB, 32 GB, it is totally up to you)
  • Battery life: 10-14 hours would be excellent (you would not want to leave your work undone if you are not able to charge your laptop right away). However, if you go for a workstation grade laptop, then do not get disappointed if it only has enough juice for 4 hours.
  • Comfortable keyboard because obviously you will be typing a lot.
  • The screen size is up to you here. You can get premium laptops like Ultrabooks that are 13.3 inch in screen size or workstation grade laptops that are 17.3” in screen size. 
For programmers that develop more graphically (like creating graphics in games using Unity as engine or 3D modeling), make sure that you have a graphics card that will provide you the best experience. Go for NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 minimum or AMD Radeon R9 series graphics card. 

For web programmers, or mobile app developers, you do not need to have a high-end programming laptop. You can go with 4 GB RAM, but since you might open many applications, consider buying an 8 GB memory. If you are not a beginner, then please consider investing in Intel Core i5 at least.


The Operating System Choice Matters

If you are just starting out, you need to first choose the operating system that you want to develop on. The choice depends a lot on how you foresee your future. Do you foresee yourself developing an app for iPhone? If that is the case that you will need to get an Apple Macbook.


There three main operating systems to choose from, namely Windows, Mac, and Linux. They all have pros and cons. There is also a fourth called Chrome OS that you find on budget-friendly Chromebook. Unlike the other three, Chrome OS is entirely cloud based so you don’t need a powerful hardware onboard.  


When searching, it is advisable to read the best laptop for programming reviews before you buy them. Remember that it is a tool that is supposed to facilitate your work and learning. Therefore, choosing one wisely is vital to your success. 

The Most Audacious Hacks in Computer History

Audacious Hacks




When we think of warfare, most people will speak of the horror. Guns, tanks, bombs and explosions. Death and destruction everywhere. This is what war brings to people and to places.

However, there’s another form of warfare that is becoming increasingly prevalent and it can often be just as destructive as traditional war; cyber warfare.

Yes, computers are not only a powerful tool, but used by experts can be a powerful weapon too. The recent troubles with the Ukraine and Russia have highlighted cyber-attacks on Ukrainian computer networks. The sophisticated nature of the ‘Uroburos’ cyberweapon has led experts to believe it was designed to hack government and telecoms networks. Is it a coincidence that this weapon originated from Russia? Who can say, but it is not alone in being a way to disrupt people, businesses and countries as a malicious action.

Here are other examples of computer hacking which are noteworthy for their sheer audaciousness.

US Nearly Explodes Siberia. All of it.
The year is 1982. It is the height of the Cold War between the USA and Russia. The CIA and their Soviet equivalent, the KGB, were constantly trying to outdo each other. In one of the first examples of a Trojan Virus, the CIA added it to software the Russians stole and then used to monitor and regulate Russian gas pipelines. The software would lie in wait until the program finished running a specific number of commands (in this case, 10 million cycles).

After 10 million, it would change the program slightly. This occurred after several months, and then things got serious. The code instructed the software to run a pressure test at higher than normal levels. However, the CIA did not take into account that Russian engineering might not be equipped to handle it. The result was a pipeline explosion in Siberia that was so big it was 20% the strength of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

The Best Spy in the Business Wasn’t a Person
Traditionally, secret agents and spies were men and women who put their lives on the line for their government. It didn’t take long for someone to figure out a computer could probably do the same job.
Enter Flame. 20 megabytes of code that was programmed to spy on several countries in the Middle East. Flame had the ability to do the following:
  • Copy files
  • Capture screenshots
  • Download instant messaging logs
  • Turn on computer microphones and cameras remotely
Basically, it acted like James Bond in many ways. In fact, it was also programmed to project a specific cryptographic sequence known as a ‘prefix collision attack’ in case of detection. This means that is basically disguised itself (like any good spy) by convincing antivirus software that it was supposed to be there.

Spy Malware Pic





The amazing thing is that if it did get detected, it would delete itself and all traces from a system. It managed to operate for five years until eventually discovered in Iran. They claimed that the US was responsible for the virus. The US has denied all knowledge so we may never know the truth.

This post was written by Jake Messer on behalf of HANDD, a company specialising in data loss prevention services, file encryption and managed file transfer.

Best Apps To Make Christmas Easier

Best Apps To Make Christmas Easier

Christmas is approaching and as many of you rush around, preparing the food and buying/wrapping the presents things can get pretty hectic. Fortunately there a number of great apps to help take some of the stress away. There are many apps to be taken advantage of which can really ensure this time of the year becomes less stressful. For those wishing to ease into the festive season, consider some of these useful apps:

The Christmas List
You'll be able to control your Christmas shopping with this app, keeping track of everything you've purchased as well as everything you still need to buy. The app keeps track of prices, provides you with ideas and adds contacts from your own contact book. It's an ideal app for those that require clarity and precision at this time of year as well as those looking to keep to a budget. Christmas shopping no longer needs to be the overwhelming mission it can be anymore.

Gift Wrapping Instant Expert
Many people will actively love buying and receiving presents but this time of year always tests one's patience with sellotape. Wrapping gifts can be a chore but this creative app is designed to reduce that stress with hints, tips and great techniques. For those who feel like they're ready to take the next step, you can learn how to create bows, produce personalised gift tags and even set up gift baskets for a specified recipient, adding some spice to the usually mundane procedure.

Christmas Cookies - Heavenly Recipes
Christmas is a time of indulgence and the time of year when people forget the diet and embrace the season. Christmas cookies are always a classic, easy to bake and enjoyed by everyone. This app makes it even easier with its sophisticated interface and easy-to-understand recipes, perfect for all budding chefs. For the required ingredients, the app even includes a shopping list feature allowing you to add the ingredients, making it easier once you hit the supermarket as opposed to writing everything down.

Cards
Providing you have a good fibre optic broadband connection, Cards is a great app that changes the way you send off your Christmas cards this year. You can choose from a large array of cards, themes, backgrounds and messages, and then log in with your ID to send them out, eliminating the need for envelopes and stamps and post-office queues entirely. It's something different and special and those that are printed are done so with high-quality paper, ensuring a unique twist on a Christmas tradition.

Christmas Countdown
Finally, the Christmas Countdown app is a minimal app that records the days left until the big day. Not only does it count down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to Christmas, it also allows the user to play a selection of their favourite Christmas songs and carols, fully immersing them into the festive season. For those looking for an extra whimsical touch, the app features a range of different, festive backgrounds whilst some may wish to use photos from their own personal library.

Related Article : Top Technology Gifts For Her

Lindsey is a stay at home mum and blogger. She understands how stresful the holiday period can be and is always keen to find ways to make it a little easier! 

5 Best Data Backup Programs For You And/Or Your Business

5 Best Data Backup Programs For You And/Or Your BusinessWhy Should I Back My Data Up?
It is safe to say that computers are one of the most important technical advancements to date. We use them for almost everything imaginable, storing large amounts of data in the form of pictures, videos, music, documents, and executables. Many would attest to the argument that their lives are contained within these intangible bytes of information. Now think about losing all that information; every memory, work file, memoir, and life's work lost. Hard to imagine right? Like life itself coming to an end. This is why data backup software exists. These programs ensure the safety of your files using various methods and tools including scheduled backups and system restore, which allows you to recover all data after a major malfunction without the hassle of reformatting the entire computer.

This article will describe the top 5 data backup programs that will help you keep your data safe.

NovaBACKUP Professional ($49.95)
NovaBACKUP is a top of the line data backup program that uses an automatic back up process to continuously keep all your valuable files safe. In addition, NovaBACKUP can handle more complex processes like creating a full disk image of your hard drive, a more complete backup solution. This program sports a user-friendly interface with advanced options for more tech-savvy users and provides a free online storage service.

NTI Backup Now ($29.99)
NTI Backup Now takes the backup and restoration process and simplifies it into 3 steps. This program is geared towards those who are not very tech-savvy, with a simple UI and process walk-throughs. Because of this, it lacks some advanced features. Like other solutions, NTI Backup Now provides scheduled backups as well as a choice between full or incremental backups.

DT Utilities PC Backup Pro ($49.99)
PC Backup Pro is one of the most reliable and cost-effective data protection solutions. The software has a simple interface suitable for all user levels. It is capable of backing up and recovering data to/from a variety of storage devices including CD/DVDs, online storage, tape and disk drives. The program also provides step-by-step instructions on how to perform backup and restoration procedures, disk-imaging recovery, and scheduled backups.

Macrium Reflect Professional 5 ($58.99)
Macrium Reflect provides a variety of advanced backup tools like scripting abilities, Macirum ReDeploy (restoring your data to a new computer), and image verification. This software also provides the basic tools like incremental and automatic backup. When using these options, Macrium uses a unique drag and drop UI that makes it attractive and easy to use.

Genie Backup Manager 9 Home ($49.95)
Genie Backup Manager uses three different backup types: full, incremental, and mirror. Like the other programs mentioned, it supports scheduled backups but is capable of backing up your data even when you are not logged in. A truly unique feature. This program can also keep your data safe from hackers through military level encryption methods.

Though computers are machines built to support you, they are unreliable at times. These data backup programs were created to ease your mind and provide security for your life's data.

Reference: www.novastor.com, www.nticorp.com, www.dtransfer.com, www.macrium.com, www.genie9.com 

+Katrina uses her technical knowledge to help people. At Rack Solutions. her passion for technology and wealth of knowledge have helped many people find the right solution in their unique situation.

Three Top Tips For Protecting Your Smartphone From Damage On Holiday

Three Top Tips For Protecting Your Smartphone From Damage On HolidayMost of us love our technology and spend lots of money on our favourite gadgets. Despite the fact that smart phones only hit the mainstream a few years ago, many people can no longer imagine life without them. The thought of not having permanent internet access and constant contact with friends on social media is unthinkable to so many people.

As we struggle to imagine life without our smartphones, many of us can’t even have a holiday without our favourite gadget. Nowadays, we see people on the beach and by the pool with their phones out. Smartphones aren’t cheap, therefore keeping them in good condition is important. Water damage can completely destroy a phone, so when on holiday, it is important to exercise some caution.

Be careful of the temperature
Smartphones feel the hot and cold and can be affected by extremes in temperature. When overheated or freezing, your phone’s battery and display is affected. Some phones even break completely when subjected to extreme temperatures. The best way to protect your phone from the elements is to ensure that you keep it in the shade when in hot temperatures. If your phone has become overheated, put it in a shaded area to cool naturally. Putting your phone in the fridge is not recommended.

If you take your phone on skiing holidays where conditions are freezing, be sure to keep your phone within an inner pocked where it can benefit from your body heat. Once again, allow your phone to return to its normal temperature at a natural pace, don’t try warming it up quickly with a hairdryer or other warm appliance.

Buy a completely waterproof cover
If you’re planning to take your smartphone to the beach, you’re subjecting it to a whole host of risks. Sand and water can both cause irreparable damage to a smartphone. The problem with sand and water is that these substances get everywhere. Simply having your phone in your bag can be a problem as it is all too easy for sand and water to get inside.

Luckily for technology loving holiday goers, a number of companies have developed completely waterproof cases for smartphones. Some cases are completely waterproof, featuring a ziplock feature and buoyancy aids which enable your trusty phone to rise to the surface rather than sinking. Many of these cases have such advanced technology that your device can be completely submerged, allowing you to take amazing underwater photographs of your holiday.

Purchase a waterproof sheath
 If you don’t want to splash out on a case which is 100% waterproof, you could opt for cheaper waterproof cover. These thermoplastic sheets wrap around your phone and protect all of your phone’s ports, preventing sand, dust and water droplets from damaging your phone. Of course, these sheaths don’t allow you to use your phone as an underwater camera, but it does provide you with additional protection whilst at the beach or at the poolside, assuring you that your all important smart phone won’t get damaged.


5 Coolest Celebrity Gossip Websites

5 Coolest Celebrity Gossip WebsitesIf you are one of those who love getting celebrity news and gossips as it happens then you should be reasing this article. With thousands of different gossips sites on the web, it can be challenging to fish out the best place to turn with the most up-to-date information. Here are the top 5 coolest celebrity websites with the latest gossips that will keep you updated and in the know on the latest news.

1. TMZ
TMZ has lately become the go-to place for the latest celebrity gossip. They were the first to report on the death of Michael Jackson, as well as Britney Spears filing to divorce Kevin Federline. With a large staff working around the clock, TMZ is the most frequently updated website when it comes to celebrity news. Not only do they have a website, but also a television segment that airs on E! so not only do you have a website full of the latest information, but you can see the celebrity gossip reporting in action with the numerous members of the TMZ team on-camera telling you the latest news. TMZ has become a favorite among those who want the latest gossip.

2. E! News
With its one television network and website, E! is one of the most popular sources for the latest celebrity news. What's great about E! is that they have exclusive celebrity interviews everyday with celebrity gossip. If you want to see the latest celebrity news and gossip in action, you can catch their news segments every weeknight. The E! News website is constantly updated with news and gossip with follow ups to reports found on other websites.

3. The Hollywood Gossip
The Hollywood Gossip is located in Lighthouse Point, FL and is one of the leading websites for celebrity gossip. Not only do they cover gossip about the most popular celebrities, but they also cover gossip and news about the celebrities who are off the radar and not so popular anymore. With a team of reporters and anchors working around the clock, there is no question as to why The Hollywood Gossip is one of the most popular gossip sites on the web.

4. Perez Hilton
One of the most controversial bloggers in celebrity gossip, Perez Hilton has fine-tuned the genre of celebrity gossip. His influence of formerly outing celebrities has increased attention on celebrities, with the rest of the media seemingly acting on Hilton's cue. Not only does he report on celebrity gossip, but he also includes his own opinions and input with his famous "doodles" on tabloid photographs. While he may be extremely biased in his reporting, there is no doubt that his opinion will inspire readers to investigate more into the gossip he publishes.

5. Celebrity Gossip, Powered By Gossip Center
Celebrity Gossip is part of the Gossip Center brand, and originally began as a hub for a group of girlfriends to report on the latest celebrity gossip, Celebrity Gossip has grown since it began in 2003, and being bought out by Brand Technologies in 2006. Celebrity Gossip reports on the latest entertainment news and celebrity gossip directly on their website.

This article was written by Kate Parkfield. She has been on the editorial staff of one of the most influential celebrity magazines in Africa. She recommends that you visit buzz South Africa, an information website where she often makes her contributions.