Why Late Night Coding Sessions Should Be Avoided

codingIt’s all too common for programmers to find themselves up late at night. They also tend to work continuously, rarely taking a break away from their work. While a passion for what we do, either professionally or as a hobby, is important, it’s also important that we don’t let that passion interfere with our health.

Studies have shown, again and again, that a good night’s sleep is important for both physical and mental health. But if you’re a programmer you probably find yourself awake at odd hours, hacking away on your favourite projects. But this probably has far more negative implications than you realize.

The Power of Taking a Break

Our subconscious minds are far more powerful than we tend to realize. The subconscious impacts just about everything we do, and it’s at work even without us being aware of it. When you take breaks from your work your mind is still piecing together solutions, and many find that they return to their projects with a new level of clarity, making it easier to complete them.

While being passionate about your projects will certainly help you tackle them with veracity, it’s important that you step away from them from time to time. It will increase productivity significantly.

The Power of “Sleeping On It”

You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase, “Let me sleep on it,” before. While the validity of the concept is somewhat questionable, it’s clear that getting a good night’s sleep can help us solve our problems. When we sleep our brains are still at work, sorting out our memories from the day, and working on the problems we face.

As a programmer, it may be far more effective to get a good night of rest than it is to stay up late trying to finish a piece of code. There are countless tales of individuals having a certain dream that seems entirely unrelated to what they’re working on, only to awake with the perfect solution in their grasp.

Getting the Best Night’s Sleep Possible

So, what can you do to fully harness the power of your subconscious mind when it comes to solving your programming problems? Follow these three tips and it will be easier than you could have imagined.

First, make sure you avoid the computer screen and television at least an hour before bed. The light emitted by these screens is similar to that coming from the sun, and that prevents our bodies from producing melatonin, which is essential to falling asleep.

Next, be sure you have a good mattress. If you find yourself tossing and turning throughout the night you may need to look into getting a new mattress. The best memory foam mattresses have been shown to increase comfort while sleeping and can help significantly.

Finally, read something completely unrelated to your coding projects. Science fiction, fantasy, or even mystery novels are all good choices. They’ll help you get your mind off of your projects, relax, and get to sleep more easily. All of these things, combined, will help you put the power of a good night’s sleep on your side, making your coding sessions far more productive.

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Most Computer Projects are Built on Caffeine and Broken Dreams

broken-dreamsAs a computer programmer, I can tell you that there are two things that lay down the foundation for all major computer projects.

Caffeine and broken dreams.

Any program that has been in the business for any amount of time will tell you the exact same thing.

Sure, programming takes a lot of insider knowledge, experience, and a bit of understanding as to how computers communicate with one another and what code will and will not do. But don’t let anyone trick you into thinking that there’s anything more important to programming then caffeine and broken dreams.

I personally have my coffee maker right next to be on my desk to keep the joe flowing through my veins. I actually bought a Cuisinart after reading lots of reviews and deciding it was the best coffee maker for my caffeine fix.

How broken dreams led me to computer programming in the first place

When I first got into computer programming, it wasn’t because I had dreams of creating the “next big thing” that would change the face of technology forever.

Heck, I didn’t even want to have to learn how to code!

In fact, I had always had aspirations of becoming a big-time finance guru, some businessman sitting up in an office somewhere delegating tasks and making wheelbarrows full of money before lunchtime.

But that career trajectory changed when I finally got fed up and frustrated with a program that I was using, program that was supposed to behave a certain way and just flat out refused to.

I tried absolutely everything I could to get that program to behave the way I wanted it to, but it fought me every single step of the way. I thought about how if it would only do one thing differently, the entire program would be a completely set of tools that everyone could take advantage of – and then I thought, why don’t I make that change?

Well, I learned how to code and made the change and released the program to the world at large – and it promptly fell flat on its face. Apparently, not everyone was as excited or as enthused as I was about the fix I had made.

That broken dream push me deeper and deeper into the world of programming and then I could have ever imagined, and made me want to fix real problems that people all over the world are dealing with – problems that only programming could solve!

Bad coffee is still coffee…which means it’s good coffee!

Caffeine (usually in the form of the nastiest, sludgiest, blackest coffee you’ve ever seen) is the only way that I can get through major programming projects.

Without high quality caffeine pumped directly into my system on a half hour basis, I’d never be able to slam through the sheer volume of code I need to if I have any plans of getting a project in under a deadline.

I’ve tried just about everything else imaginable to get this kind of stuff done without having to result to that black liquid goddess, but time after time everything else falls well short while she keeps bringing the “good stuff” night in and night out.

I prefer mine just as jet black as it gets, but if you decide to full around with a little bit of cream and an even smaller amount of sugar nobody would begrudge you.

But if your backs against the wall on a project, reach for a familiar cup of Joe and see what miracles you can pull off.

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Meet the Millennials That Got Rich from Bitcoin

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum are new ways that you can invest your money in. cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that can be used much like fiat money, or the traditional paper bills we use every day. Since bitcoin is bought and sold using the Internet, more and more millennials – who are by the way geniuses where the Internet is concerned – have raked in millions in bitcoin. They have proven that you don’t need to rely on your parents to live day by day even if you are still in college. Some even quit their jobs to enjoy everything that life has to offer by spending the millions they earned in bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency. Here are just four millennials who are enjoying their millions in bitcoin earnings and maybe we can learn a thing or two on how we can get rich too.

Roshaan Khan

At 20 years old and a senior student at Virginia Commonwealth University, Roshaan Khan invested in both Ethereum and bitcoin. He saw the potential of these cryptocurrencies in improving his life by enabling him to pay off his student loans without asking money from his parents or working part-time to cover his living expenses. The concept of financial independence and not having to go to banks to deposit or withdraw money are what appealed to Khan the most.

It was only a few months since Khan started investing in cryptocurrencies, and already he has seen a 40% return on his investments. 40%! Can you ever get that much return if you just kept your money in a traditional bank savings account? Never in your lifetime. No wonder this millennial has invested what little money he had on bitcoin and Ethereum.

Erik Finman

Finman, 19, started getting interested in investing in bitcoin at a very young age – 12! He received $1,000 from his grandmother on his birthday, and he used it to buy bitcoin in May of 2011. Fast forward to several years and he now owns 401 bitcoins, valued at $4.4 million or $11,182 per. He encourages young people like him to start looking into investing in bitcoin, as it is one way for young ones to get rich without having to do hard labour. All you have to do is have a few thousand dollars – or pounds – to invest in and monitor your investment and when the price goes up, you can profit from it.

When he was in high school one of his teachers told him to just work at a McDonald’s as his GPA was at 2.1. He was seen as a future failure. After investing in bitcoin, which his parents strongly disagreed with, he made a bet with them that should he become a millionaire at 18, he won’t go to college. Guess who won the bet?

These days Finman is busy managing his whole family’s bitcoin investments, and he has also established Botangles, an online site dedicated to educating people about investing in bitcoin. He has sold the company for 300 bitcoins. Right now he is working with NASA through the ELaNa project to launch a rocket. His teacher would be embarrassed to learn that he did not turn out to be a failure at all.

*Mr. Smith

Mr. Smith is not this millennial’s real name, as he asked his interviewer to keep his identity anonymous for the interview. If your bitcoin profits are valued at $25 million dollars, you may also want to keep your identity a secret. He finished college in 2008 and worked as a software engineer in Silicon Valley – the technology hub of the United States. He first came across bitcoin in 2010 when he and his friends were talking. The price of bitcoin during that time was only within the cents range, and every few days there was a price jump. The rapid increase in price intrigued Mr. Smith, and he dipped $5,000 of his money into bitcoin. He was able to buy 20,000 bitcoins.

When he started profiting from his investment, he immediately quit his job and travelled the world, spending his investment profits. When asked how much he is worth today, he did not bat an eyelash when he said, “$25 million.”

Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency are taking the world by storm, but if you are interested to invest, it is important to learn the ropes first, and NEVER invest all of your life savings into bitcoin should the market crash unexpectedly.

Also read: How Cloud Storage Services Has Helped Make the Lives of Programmers a Lot Easier

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How Cloud Storage Services Has Helped Make the Lives of Programmers a Lot Easier

Cloud storage has been a big help for regular office workers, students as well as for whole families even. It allows a person to store any file on the cloud, and this can be immediately shared online and made available for use or download by someone else.

Programmers see this as a big help for them. Nowadays, almost nobody works on a big programming project alone. There are teams of programmers who tackle software development on a massive scale. Programmers can even work from home or wherever they want to and they would still be able to share their code. They can work online, save the file on a cloud storage repository, and it can be immediately used by other members of the team.

This method of working is not limited to programmers or to online workers. In general, a person can work on their computer or on the cloud, and the file would be accessible to others. They can work together on the same file, whether they are in the same office or from different parts of the world. Simultaneous access and editing are easily done with the use of software on the cloud.

For families, the cloud is the best way to store pictures online. Social media have made it possible to people to store their pictures online and then share it with others. Cloud storage makes it even more accessible and more secure to share pictures. In addition, with cloud services, the files remain intact. There is no resizing involved when you upload your images to the cloud. In contrast, social media sites typically limit a picture to either a given dimension or a smaller file size. If the image is larger, it is resized to allowable dimensions. Almost all social media have this feature in order for people to view images faster.

Regular online storage is different from cloud storage. With cloud storage, there is software that makes it easier to upload and download files. You can have automatic uploads and downloads for whole directories. In contrast, the older regular online storage uses FTP as a way to upload and download files. For some people, this is a bother, and not worth the effort to use.

Programmers have been making use of online storage for a long time, however, with the use of cloud storage, they can be sure that their repositories are updated regularly, even without user intervention.

Also read: Why Late Night Coding Sessions Should Be Avoided

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Why computer programmers are loving self-balancing scooters

computer-programmerComputer programmers are usually pretty quick to jump on top of the latest and greatest technology, and it’s easy to understand why.

After all, when your entire career revolves around designing, developing, and innovating literally “bleeding edge” technology, you’re going to want to leverage the future of tomorrow today at every chance.

For this reason (and so many more) computer programmers left and right are jumping on board (no pun intended) the self balancing scooter craze. Here are just a couple of reasons why computer programmers are so excited about everything that these innovative transportation solutions bring to the table.

Self balancing scooters offer programmers an opportunity to “fine tune” their craft

Every single self balancing scooter available is built on the back of advanced computing, advanced robotics, and a combination of gyroscopic technologies and amazing processing capabilities that keep the rider upright regardless of the input that they provide the board itself.

Basically, self balancing scooters simply wouldn’t have been a possibility without the help and hours and hours of work provided by computer programmers that designed the technology in the first place. These amazing little machines give computer programmers the opportunity to tinker with them and fine-tuned aircraft the same way that auto mechanics are able to work on an old Mustang.

Self balancing scooters offer programmers the chance to develop new transportation technology without serious consequences

Another big advantage that self balancing scooters provide computer programmers is the real-world opportunity to develop new transportation technology that can be used and extrapolated into other purposes without having to face any truly serious consequences along the way.

There’s a world of difference between designing gyroscopic technology that can be used in major airlines 30,000 feet in the sky, or designing gyroscopic technology on a hover board that may only cause the rider to fall a few inches should something go wrong.

Having the opportunity to play around with technology that is seriously advanced without having to incur significant consequences if something goes wrong, but being able to use that research across the board in a variety of different applications later down the line, is an amazing opportunity that isn’t always available.

Self balancing scooters offer a lot of practical benefits to computer programmers as well

At the end of the day, computer programmers are also going to be able to take advantage of the practical benefits that self balancing scooters provide.

There’s nothing like cruising up to the office, or even cruising through the office, on top of a self balancing scooter to announce to the world that you’re a computer programmer!


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Ways To Come Up With An Exercise Schedule For IT Workers

In a world powered by technology, computer related jobs are so common. Every company or firm needs someone to attend their inevitable computer related issues the entire day. Sitting in front of a computer for such a long time is such so stressful and exhausting .In the long run you will feel unusual discomforts with your head, eyes, back, chest, legs, etc. We work not just for ourselves, so it is a must that we take good care of our health. Studies show that an idle body will store a lot of toxins and fats from not being able to exercise the muscles frequently.

How does this relate to IT workers?

IT workers are only some of those who are affected by this kind of health threats. These kinds of workers must set a daily exercise routine for themselves. Brilliant examples are home workouts; check some programs on YouTube that may give you directions to follow. There are also Zumba dances that may be performed inside the house but you need the right shoes first. IT workers may also do their exercises inside the office like walking back and forth, taking stairs instead of elevators.

Why is this harmful?

You must act to prevent all the counter effects of these harmful bodily activities for you not to suffer from any danger in the future. Programming your day would make this possible. Through defeat destructions, you may have some exercise like lifting boxes and equipments that may stretch your back and arm muscles. The most dangerous results of sitting all day are acquiring heart diseases and cancer. Unloaded muscles when seating is so not good. They are not doing any jobs like your upper body parts. This prompts your body metabolism to slow and that may produce biological signals that may lead to cancer.

Having eyestrain is so annoying that this may affect your work productivity. This may not cause a long term effect but it actually gives too much discomfort. Doing this simple tip may help you. Gently close your eyes for about 10 seconds, put your fingers where your eyeballs are located, massage them with circular motion for they may help your blood circulate well. Always bring with you either medicated oil or a balm to soothe you from any discomfort.

The Classic, Repetitive Strain Injury

Have you ever heard of a Repetitive stress injury? This affects a lot of office workers. It has to do with your wrist, for example for typing and encoding tons of workloads. Get away from your computer at least every half hour. Try to set a plan like spending a couple of minutes twisting your waist in a swivel chair, stand and get some coffee, stretch your legs under your table and do some circular motion on every foot.

So, in Summary…

Take an initiative in any way; we cannot buy our health. Take good care of it, prioritize it, this is your way to be more productive. Same time, watch what you eat, these pieces of advice may not only save you from getting fired, but also for you to be able to reach your retirement period you would soon enjoy by taking some vacation in an awesome place and not ending up in a hospital bed. This may not only be applied to an IT or any office workers but to everybody. There’s a time for everything, a time to work, pay, relax and rest. Even machines need to be turned off for them not to overheat and explode. The same thing if we talk about the human body.

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Drones are hot right now, as a programmer which one should you buy?

The hottest “toy” on the market right now are drones and quadcopters but they are more than a toy to some people, they are a passion and a hobby. The technology has come a long way but what does that mean for us programmers? Well, you easily see by looking at sites like QuadcopterCloud that some of the best drones are pretty advanced pieces of kit.

The Parrot AR Drone is a RC Quadcopter with cameras that has the ability to be programmed any number of different ways. These amazing works of technology are enjoyed by hobbyists, tech lovers, and programmers alike. They even have competitions for people who program the Parrot AR Drone to show off against other teams of three. However, there are plenty of people who just enjoy the Parrot AR Drone just for the enjoyment of an outdoor activity.

How to Program a Parrot AR Drone

One way you can program a Parrot AR Drone is over Wi-Fi using AT commands. These commands are sent to the Parrot AR Drone as UDP or TCP packets. A UDP (User Datagram Protocol) is used to send one or more complete commands, if more than one command is contained within a packet, a new line byte is used to separate the commands. Strings are encoded in 8-bit ASCII characters and the maximum command length is 1024 characters.

Robot Apps

There are also apps that can be used to pilot and program the Parrot AR Drone. These apps include ARDroid which pilots your Parrot AR Drone using your Android phone, and AR.Drone AutoPylot from Python (or Matlab or C) which contains he source code for building stubbed AR.Drones allowing you to auto-pilot your Parrot AR Drone. There is also ARDrone Flight which is an application for Android which not only allows you to control your Parrot AR Drone, but also record video using the FFmpeg project. Another app is AR.Drone SDK for .NET which is an application for windows using complete SDK for AR.Drone for Microsoft.Net. This application is used for flying your Parrot AR Drone in Windows. There are of course many other applications that you can use for programming and flying your Parrot AR Drone.

SDK and Manuals

You can find many different SDK (Software Development Kits) and manuals for your Parrot AR Drone both online for download as well as in hobby shops and book stores. These SDKs and manuals will teach you how to personally program your Parrot AR Drone however you like without premade commands. This allows you to learn more about your Parrot AR Drone and also teaches you about the programming process and different commands. If you love technology and learning new things, this may be a route you will be interested in.


With many of the different programmable drones out there, there are numerous different ways for you to program your drone. Each drone programs differently and may use a different type of code. It is recommended that before buying your drone, you read as much information about it as possible and learn about the type of code it will take for you to personalize the programming. There are an endless number of SDKs and manuals available online for each drone that will provide you with vital programming information as well as information you may not know about your specific drone.

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How computer programming can kill you – and what I do to prevent that

computer-programmerAs a computer programmer, I have a little bit of a tendency to look at the “tiny little details” of things probably much more than I should.

When I’m working on a project that’s not such a bad thing, as I’m able to fly through chunks and chunks of code without missing a beat and correcting almost all of the errors and issues on just a couple of passes.

When I’m researching things about how to improve my health, or whether or not my job as a computer programmer is killing me, it’s not so handy. I usually up as a researching absolutely everything and become a borderline hypochondriac and start to freak out about implementing new habits and routines to protect myself and improve my health.

Because, believe it or not, becoming a computer programmer can actually kill you – and it’s entirely your own fault.

Sitting down can be just as bad as smoking

People (including me) were understandably shocked, upset, and at the same time absolutely blown away when the recent research published by number of leading universities stated that sitting down for extended periods of time each and every day can be at least as dangerous to our long term health as smoking multiple packs of cigarettes every week.

Think about that for a second.

Sitting down on your hind end for hours and hours at a stretch (you know, maybe like, when you’re writing code or something?) can be WORSE for your body and your long term health then sucking down a box of cancer sticks every couple of days.

But it’s true.

At the very least you should invest in something like a rowing machine in order to keep your muscles and body active. Some of the best rowing machines are truly fantastic pieces of equipment.

“You sit that close to the screen and you’ll burn your eyes out”

And as if that wasn’t enough to completely freak you out (and it probably should be), your mother or grandmother may have been right when they told you that sitting that close to a screen is going to burn your eyes out.

Now, your eyes probably aren’t going to start leaking out of your head like that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark – but you never know.

What we do know is that long-term exposure to computer monitors, computer screens, and other modern devices can do some very real and serious damage to our eyesight.

There are a couple of different things we can do to make sure that we manage and mitigate these issues as computer programmers without throwing our computer out the window and sticking to typewriters.

Here’s what my daily routine looks like now

Now I spent a couple of hours in front of a computer screen programming away, but I break those hours into major project chunks (say an hour or so of work) followed by a quick hike.

Whether that means I pile into my car and head out onto a trail with my brand-new hiking boots or just strap those bad boys to my feet and head out on an adventure in the neighbourhood makes little difference – it’s getting up and moving around instead of planting my rear on a seat that’s important.

On top of that, I’ve learned to use a couple of eyesight exercises that I picked up online to make sure that I don’t fry my eyeballs out while working.

So far, so good!

I’d encourage you to try at least both of these different tactics out if you are a computer programmer, and especially tell you that you need to spend some time hiking out in nature. Grab yourself a great pair of boots (you can find reviews online) and get lost for a little while – you’ll come back to each project with more energy than you could believe and you’ll be saving your life in the process!

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How I Use DJ Software to Play at Parties

dj-softwareAs a computer programmer, a lot of people naturally assume I’m an introvert. Of course, this is often the case with people in my profession. At times, it can really pay to have the ability to focus solely on the job at hand and not get distracted by the outside world. But the truth is that I’m actually a DJ who uses software and my laptop to play at parties all over my city. You can find out more about the best DJ software and read reviews online.


I got started DJing at my own party. It just seemed like a natural solution to the dilemma that I needed someone to stay in charge of the music. So I hooked my Apple laptop up to some JBL speakers and simply played music through my iTunes.

It became my entry point into DJing when people would approach me about playing their favorite songs. If I didn’t already own it, I had to go on YouTube to find their tunes. After all, it was my party and I wanted to keep the guests happy.

Toward the end of the night, I was actually really enjoying myself. In fact, maybe I am a bit of introvert after all, because I began enjoying the time behind my computer more than being in front of my guests.

Mixcraft 6 Home Studio

After that first experience, I began looking into software I could download that would give me a better handle on the actual production of the music at my parties. There are a lot of options out there, let me tell you.

Fortunately, I found Mixcraft 6 Home Studio. This piece of software had enough positive reviews that I felt I could trust its quality. At the same time, the price tag was only like $30, so worst case scenario, I wouldn’t be breaking the bank.

Mixcraft is great because it allows you to play any songs you like, just like through iTunes. However, you can do different things to mess with their tempo, the bass, etc., just like a real DJ would.

You can also record your own tracks as Mixcraft will store up to 16 of them at once. So for that first party, I made six of my own. With over 2,000 loops and effects to choose from, it became pretty easy to customize any track I wanted too.


Now that I’m a little more experienced with DJing and making music, I spend a lot more time working with a software called Fruityloops. It may sound like a funny name, but this is the same software that professional DJs use all over the world. Plus, it’s been around for well over a decade.

With Fruityloops, you can build any track you want from the ground up. Furthermore, there is countless software out there that works in tandem with it, so you never run out of options in terms of sound.

I have to say that my experience as a computer programmer makes it easier to learn a lot of these softwares, but they’re also made to be user-friendly. So if you want to DJ too, I’d just follow the path I laid out for you here. Be patient and you’ll see results.

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Kodak to Sell Most of its Consumer Printing Business

color photosThe once dominant and worldwide photography firm Kodak hopes to sell most of its consumer and document imaging businesses that made it so famous many years ago. The company is desperately trying to emerge from bankruptcy and needs to raise as much as $700million in order to pay off its creditors.

Kodak hoped that its patent sale would cover the figure however this has not materialised which has led to it sacrificing the consumer part of its business. This will be a sad thing to see but is all too common in the declining consumer printing industry. The emergence of social networks such as Facebook has led to more and more people sharing their photos online rather than utilising firms such as Kodak to print them off.

These sales would mean big changes for Kodak with much less focus on consumer and retail and more attention to commercial printing. Kodak believes the commercial printing industry is strong and by investing more in this area they can emerge from bankruptcy.

Chief Executive Antonio Perez will not reveal the value of the businesses to be sold however it is expected to be a sizeable amount and would almost certainly save the struggling firm from liquidation.

Article by Larry Osburn of www.cheapcolorcopies.org and www.colorlabelprinter.org

Image(s): FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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