Archive | April 2016

Which Linux Version Is the Best for Beginners

Beginners who are interested in Linux often get stuck at choosing which version of Linux should they install. There are so many different flavours of the software that it can sometimes be overwhelming to new users.

Well this guide takes a look at some of the most common Linux systems to use. Most often, these versions of Linux are offered for installation from VPS such as DigitalOcean, allowing you to install them freshly and out of the box. If you’re just interested in playing around with Linux, it might be a good idea to setup an account and create your own VPS with Linux installed so you can practise the commands.

You might also be interested in installing Linux on a partition of your harddisk and dual-boot. Whilst doing this is beyond this guide, you might find it useful to search on how to do this as it’ll allow you to really get a feel for each different version of Linux.


Ubuntu is a debian-based Linux operating system. It’s currently one of the most commonly installed versions of Linux, often being the default setup for most Linux setups. It’s also hugely popular with VPS due to its ease of access.

Ubuntu is great for beginners because there are thousands of resources for learning about it. The Ubuntu community, a dedicated forum, allows users of the system to post their beginner questions as well as complex ones for those with the technical know-how.

Ubuntu is also very easy to install and setup; as of writing this article the latest version is Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and can be download for free from their website:


We mentioned Ubuntu, which is based off Debian Linux Operating system. This is my personal favourite, but the difference between Debian and Ubuntu is quite minimal. They both use the similar apt-get commands for installing and managing packages and both have great vibrant communities.

If you’re setting up a VPS, DigitalOcean offer the latest Debian version (Jesse) to install out the box. You can also download Debian from their official website:

The Debian community also provides lots of tutorials and tips, which you can find on their website.


One other version of Linux I like is Fedora. It is based on innovating and keeping the list of packages up-to-date (unlike other versions where you often have months out-of-date software listed). Fedora versions have short-life spans, with newer versions always being added and support for older ones discontinued.

One thing that makes Fedora great is its approach to Security: it uses something called security-enhanced-linux (also known as Sellinux) which aims to keep the system as secure as possible.

If you want to know more about Fedora, check out their Wikipedia page.


Ultimately, what version of Linux you decide to use is up to you; each version has its own benefits so I suggest trying out a few and seeing which one you like best. If you’re just learning to use Linux via the command terminal or SSH, learning the different commands for each system can sometimes be overwhelming, but once you get a grasp on the basics like (ls, cd, mkdir etc) you’ll find it much easier.


An Overview of Code Signing

What is Code Signing?

Code marking is the technique for utilizing a declaration based digital mark to sign executables and scripts with a specific end goal to confirm the creator’s personality and guarantee that the code has not been changed or ruined since it was marked by the creator. This helps clients and another programming to figure out if the product can be trusted.

Purpose of Code Signing

An executable or a script is likely to cause damage to the computer, so it is really important for the users to have faith on the codes available on the internet. And, when the users are sure that the application is authenticated by Microsoft and not by the LLC or I will hack you, they will feel more comfortable in installing it. However, there are mainly two methods of code signing, which build the customer’s trust.

• The first method is the authentication which helps to find out the real author of the software.

• Another method of winning the trust of the users is by checking the reliability level of the website or the application. It is simply verifying that the software has not been interfered with since it was signed.

The majority of the operating systems like Linux, Apple OS X, Microsoft Windows, web browsers, etc. assist this process. In fact, it is used to make sure that the fake code cannot be dispersed using the patch system.

To elaborate: If you write an application with a particular name and paste your signed certificate on the relevant portal, you are likely to attract the long-term customer relations. Seeing an authenticated certificate before using it will increase their confidence in downloading it.

Another major benefit of using this certification is that it enables its users to trust the updates flashing on their screen. They can blindly trust them as the updates cannot be expected to have come from some irrelevant source.

What is Code Signing Certificate?

With this, it is really important to understand what a code signing certificate actually is. It is basically a certificate that bears the coded signatures which is authenticated while using the public and the personal key systems. These are just like the methods that are used by SSH and SSL.

The code signing authentication goes about as an advanced mark. When you sign information, you incorporate your digital sign with the information. A certificate contains data that completely distinguishes a substance, and is issued by a certificate authority. At the point when the sender of a message signs the message with its private key, the message receiver can utilize the sender’s open key to confirm the identity of the sender.

11 Top PowerPoint Slide Design Tips

We have all attended presentations which have put us to sleep. It may not be just because the speaker has a monotonous voice. It may not be just that the subject matter is really dreary. No, it may be that the presentation materials are dull, boring, unreadable, too busy. You get my meaning.

But PowerPoint presentations don’t have to be this way. Follow these tips, and your presentations will come alive, stir interest, and keep your audience awake.

Keep it Simple

This is probably the most obvious tip, and surely the easiest to implement. No, it is not! Despite being told this all the time, we never seem to follow this golden rule. The easy steps are as follows:

· Do not make the slides unnecessarily complicated, busy or too full;

· Nothing on the slide should be unnecessary;

· Utilise white space;

· Do not add things which do not aid better understanding.

Think about Stock Templates

It is unusual for users to look at templates beyond those which come with the software. Accordingly, they are often over-used, and can be ugly and boring. Furthermore, a lack of consistency can be confusing to the audience.

Another easy solution: build your own from a clean template and maintain consistency throughout.

Limit Bullet Points

When we think about dull presentations, we often think of those with pages filled with bullet points. To avoid this, the easiest solution is to limit bullet points on a slide, and use a sequence of slides to build up your point.

Limit Text

Too much text requires your audience to concentrate on the slide rather than you. Use text for emphasis rather than regurgitating what you are saying.

Think about Transitions and Builds

Some animation can be appropriate, others are tedious, slow and smack of showing off! The best advice here, is to use judiciously.

Thinking Fonts

Utilise traditional typefaces, like Helvetica. Serif fonts can bleed together, reducing legibility. So use sans serif. Coupled with the use of an appropriate font, think about both font size (ie it must be large enough for the person at the back of the room to read it) and also using bold when using light text colours against a dark background. This enhances readability. On the same subject, you need to keep a high level of contrast between text and background. This is particularly important if the background is very varied. A bar of colour behind the text may alleviate any problems here.

Careful Colours

The good use of colours clearly improves the effectiveness of slides. Limit the amount of colours you use, and select those with care. They need to be in harmony with each other. The use of contrasting text colours aids in drawing attention to important points.

It is worth thinking about where the presentation will be taking place. Lit rooms benefit from light backgrounds with dark text, whereas the reverse is true for dark rooms.

Clarity with Charts

There is no doubt that the presentation of data is significantly improved through the use of charts and tables. However, presenters are often guilty of:

· Including too much detail;

· Providing insufficient detail;

· Using the wrong chart type.

Getting the first two right is difficult. However, it is easier to get a message across with less data, and highlighting the point you wish to make, and providing additional data in a handout, or supporting slide, than it is to be clear in a sea of data!

Different chart types serve different purposes:

· Pie charts – used to show percentages, limit the slices to 4 to 6 and contrast the most important slice either with colour, or by exploding it;

· Vertical bar charts – generally used to show changes in quantity over time. Again, limit the number of columns to between 4 and 8. To highlight point, use it as a chart title;

· Horizontal bar charts – used to compare quantities. Same comments as for vertical bar charts apply;

· Line charts – used to demonstrate trends. Again, use the headline to highlight the point you wish to reinforce.

In addition to graphical charts outlined above, there are numerous other sorts of chart/diagram which can be utilized, including circles, onion diagrams, Venn diagrams, spoke diagrams, matrices, waterfall charts, to name a few.

Tables show data in a way with less impact. If you wish to ‘hide’ data, this can be a way of doing so.

Ideal Images and Visuals

Too many images can be confusing, and look messy. Utilise a single image with simple or no text. The sensible use of visuals is critical as well. In addition to ensuring that you use high-quality graphics, they must enhance your message as well as aiding comprehension, retention and boosting impact. Think about whether the image is the focal or supporting aspect of the slide. Answering this question will allow you to address formatting options for each element.

Interest with video and audio

Videos and audio clips can help break up a presentation and illustrate points in a different manner from the presentation itself. They can also re-stimulate interest.

However, the use of inappropriate or unnecessary additions can have the opposite effect.

Slide Sorter

Having completed all the slides, it is worthwhile using slide sorter to look at the general layout, order and progression of the slides. It is here where things can catch your eye, allowing you to rethink the order, build up and content of your slide pack.


PowerPoint presentations do not have to be dull. They do not have to be dreary. They do not have to be monotonous. Adopt these tips, and your presentations will improve dramatically.


Searching for Email Messages in Microsoft Outlook

In the school of email organization there are often two roles that people fall under: filers or pilers. The filers might create folders in which to file their emails, tag them somehow to categorize or prioritize them, or have some method of organization. The pilers will not file, but instead leave all their emails (read or unread) in their inbox.

For pilers, it seems that a simple filtering of emails should help them locate emails. A piler could filter by email sender or subject or even time frame. If this doesn’t uncover an email, a simple search function might do the trick. For example, there is the Instant Search function which allows users to type in key words to help locate emails. This is helpful but occasionally does not readily locate emails that users seek. This happens especially if the keywords are not specific enough. Outlook further allows users to use operators in the Instant Search function. If a user remembers the name of an attachment, a search for attachments: XXX could find the email.

For filers, a tool available in the search tools ribbon is to select specific folders or all subfolders. Other options include using additional criteria such as searching for those emails with attachments only or from a specific sender or even within a certain date range. This is especially helpful if users can recall those specific details in the emails they are seeking.

Creating a search folder is yet another method to look for emails. The search folder allows users to use the same criteria repeatedly to search for items. For example, if certain emails are marked as Important, a search folder can be created to identify these specific emails each time. Other options include mail either unread or flagged for follow up, mail from and to specific people, mail sent to public groups, large mail, old mail, mail sent directly to me, and even mail with specific words. Custom search folders can also be created with criteria such as by time received or created, and have filters such as only items flagged by someone else. There are also more specific fields such as date/time, outlook version, relevance, and remote status, to name a few.

In summary, whether a user is a filer or piler there is a search function that should help to find or at least narrow down the search for an email.


Features to Look for in a Project Management Application

A project management application has the primary purpose of collaborating various teams or departments working towards a common objective, to get access to necessary resources in real time and to have updated information. Beyond that, a project management application must empower the management or manager to supervise the work being done and to assess in real time the performance of every contributing staff. Depending on the exact purpose of a software tool, there should be a few typical and some special features. Since special needs can vary, here are some standard features that you should look for in a project management application.

• The overall interface of the project management application must be simple enough but it should offer a gateway to all the resources or tools that a manager and every team member require. At the very onset, a manager should be able to check the tasks in progress and must be able to check the people who have been assigned specific responsibilities. This same feature will also allow the people working on the project to know what their individual and their collective responsibilities are. Delegating is an important function in managing teams and that is what this feature will allow the manager to do.

• Tracking the progress is very important. Without that, a whole team can fall short of completing the task and the outcomes could be subpar given the deadlines. Tracking the progress will allow everyone working on the same project to be aware of the overall and individual progress. The manager can take necessary measures as and when the team or an individual fall short.

• A project management application should allow a manager to get through to the nitty-gritty. It is not always about the overall picture or the summaries. Individual tasks, time taken for every task, the total time put in by every member of the team, the breaks, the correspondences and every such productive or informative aspect must be recorded. A manager should be able to check out the reports and get an overview and should he or she want to delve into the details, then the filtering process must be simple enough.

• A project management application should have interfaces to allow multiparty conversations or chats and video calls if desired, an easy interface with drag and drop features to allow quick attaching of files and prompt use of the tools available. From organizers to timelines, notes to reminders, contacts to files, the application must have all necessary tools to make the whole process smoother and more efficient.


This entry was posted on April 3, 2016.