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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

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Best Productivity Tools for Break Reminders

In order to work efficiently, you require tools that enable you to perform the task at hand with minimum stress and effort and save valuable time.
This article delves into the various options you can avail of. Working for long period of time can cause strain on your body which can be harmful. These hefty little apps remind you to take breaks and relax between your busy work schedules. Lets have a look at some of these apps.

Big Stretch Reminder

Big Strech Reminder
Big Strech Reminder

Big Stretch prompts you to take regular breaks between your strenuous work schedules. You can set the time and also select the sound you prefer. It alerts you as
soon as the specified time is reached, with a friendly tip. For instance, if you set the Schedule your timer to ‘00.05’, you will be prompted by a message after every 5 minutes. The tool displays the amount of time left on the taskbar.
Prime Feature: The tool provides tips to improve your work life via quotes or custom messages.
http://www.monkeymatt.com/bigstretch/

Workrave

Workrave
Workrave

Workrave helps you configure break intervals. It is a small program which can be easily configured by selecting the ‘Preferences’ option from the taskbar. You can configure micro and rest breaks with an option to modify the language of user interface. The tool also provides a list of tips with pictures which you can access by selecting the ‘Exercises’ option.
Prime Feature: Workrave enables you to establish connection with your network.
http://www.workrave.org

EyeLeo

EyeLeo
EyeLeo

EyeLeo reinforces the importance of your eyes as an as crucial a body part as your muscles. With the help of EyeLeo, you will be able to give your eyes frequent breaks. The tool will be useful for bloggers who spend several hours in front of the screen. Select the ‘Settings’ option by right clicking on the icon from the taskbar. The dialog provides options to configure short and long breaks with an ability to preview them. However, the tool lacks the feature for providing a custom message.
Prime Feature: The long break option dims the display with a friendly message.
http://eyeleo.com/

MaToMaTo

MatoMato
MatoMato

MaToMaTo is a timer based on the famous Pomodoro technique. The tool can be installed easily and requires .NET Framework 3.5 to run it. It is so hassle-free that you will not find any unnecessary options for this timer other than start and stop. The tool doesn’t produce any noises or sounds is therefore ideal for office environment.
Prime Feature: It stays on the top of all programs and swings for the first 20 minutes, zooming in and out during the last 5 minute interval.
http://www.vivasoftware.it/PomodoroTimer/MaToMaTo/

Keep Focused

Keep Focused
Keep Focused

Keep Focused enables you to manage time effectively using the Pomodoro technique. You just need to double click on the executable file to run the tool. Once you provide the details of the session, the tool will start to run in a session of 25 minutes. The tool can be dragged and placed anywhere on the screen.
Prime Feature: You will be able to review your daily activities by selecting the ‘View Session Data File’ button.
http://keepfocused.codeplex.com/

Tomighty

Tomighty
Tomighty

Tomighty is a simple desktop timer based on the Pomodoro technique. In order to run it, you need to select the icon and click on ‘Start’. The user interface can be modified using four themes.
Prime Feature: Tomighty enables you to specify a custom timer interval.
http://www.tomighty.org/

Which one should you go for?

I recommend the Big Stretch Reminder which enables you to configure tips either to appear as a balloon or inside a message box from the Display panel which you can set by selecting the ‘Settings’ option from the taskbar. EyeLeo is simply a tool which reminds you to ‘take a chill pill’. It is not possible to provide any custom messages on it.

PS- If you liked the post then share it to your friends using Facebook, Twitter or any platform you use. And if you have any queries post in comments. I would like to hear from you. If you have any other methods then please notify us.

For more of these tutorials please visit: The Penguin Coders
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Saturday, September 17, 2016

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4 Free Websites for Online Learning and Education

There are several easily accessible (and mostly free) avenues for you to take when it comes to learning the skills you’ve selected for yourself. There are, of  course, ways to find out about offline courses in universities. But if you feel like sitting at home and learning at your own pace, here are a few ideas for you:

iTunes University

iTunes University
iTunes University

iTunes University is an interesting place to rummage for interesting things to learn online. It has a vast collection of lectures and talks on subjects ranging from comic books to cooking and everything else under the sun. Sometimes, you end up finding things you would have never considered learning, but is interesting in itself. It’s a great place to scroll through in case you want to learn something new, or pick up a hobby, but aren’t sure what you want to tackle. iTunes U also has several channels dedicated to lectures and speeches during events at some of the biggest colleges in the world. A great way to listen to people at the peak of their fields talk about subjects pertaining to your interests.

Khan Academy

KHAN Academy
KHAN Academy

Khan Academy has been picking up supporters from all across the nation, if not the globe. The online teaching website set up by Salman Khan (not the Bollywood actor) has risen since its inception back in 2006. It’s primary method of teaching entails ‘micro lectures’ on YouTube explaining facets of any subject ranging from the civil sciences to basic mathematics. It’s a great resource for learning about academic subjects or improving your knowledge of a particular specialised segment of any subject. For example, if you’re curious about expanding your knowledge about Indian Political History or the American Civil War, or even to get over your fear of Calculus, Khan Academy is a good place to start.

Coursera

Coursera
Coursera

Coursera is an online e-learning website that has sources spanning Berkeley College of Music and USC to the Universities of Taiwan and Amsterdam. The websites hunts down reputed teachers across the globe for online courses on practically anything under the sun. If you want to learn how to be an independent musician, or simply want someone to teach you the basics of becoming a zoologist or a social scientist, Coursera would probably have an international expert of some renown to take some time off and teach it to people on the website. Coursera follows up their courses with legitimate certificates of merit if the participants have done well in the course. Some of the courses are available for free, but to be honest, they’re all just teasers. The really interesting courses are mostly paid courses, albeit fairly affordable if you’re even a little serious about learning something new.

Gyaan Exchange

Gyaan Exchange
Gyaan Exchange

Gyaan Exchange is an organisation that deals with putting together courses for specialised training or learning. Gyaan Exchange hosts courses across the country and are very approachable if you’re looking for learning anything. Their philosophy revolves around ‘teaching each other’. Gyaan Exchange is approached by several specialists in their field who are interested in holding courses for a limited body of students to teach a specific aspect of their knowledge. For example, a chef teaching Euro-Mexican fusion cuisine, or a Stockbroker giving a lecture on the history of the Indian Stock Market. These specialists are filtered by Gyaan Exchange and they act as the mediators between the potential teachers and the potential students. The course with the proposed curriculum and duration is uploaded on their website and interested people enrol for classes. There are both free and paid classes available, depending on the course. Most of their courses are in the form of video classes online, but there are several classes hosted by them in several venues, across the country, including the major metropolitan cities.

Caution! Be Aware!


The internet may be brilliant and full of opportunities, but only the naive walk in with their eyes closed. Legit online aptitude tests and educational/e-learning websites do exist, but there’s scope for scams and spoofs, especially since money is involved. Keep your wits about you when scanning any of these websites. If possible, double check them with websites like WooRank that list out unreliable and phishing websites. Keep to the well-known sites and you’ll be fine. Or at least less likely to be scammed or cheated in any way. Do some research on Google and Quora for popular opinions regarding
your personal goals as well. Web hazards aside, you’d be surprised how many people out there are great teachers eager to impart their knowledge to anyone interested. From public forums like YouTube and Vimeo to blogs and personal websites on the backend of the internet, there are sources all over. Give it a shot.

In the next article, you will learn about MOOC and how well you should do, for certificates, and earn some reputation on your resume.

PS- If you liked the post then share it to your friends using Facebook, Twitter or any platform you use. And if you have any queries post in comments. I would like to hear from you. If you have any other methods then please notify us.

For more of these tutorials please visit: The Penguin Coders
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Sunday, August 14, 2016

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3 Best, Popular and Powerful Free Antivirus and Malware Protection Software

Security is the bedrock of computer usage. Without it, your PC is vulnerable to a number of perils, including viruses, trojans, spyware and phishing attacks. Prevention is the best cure. Let’s find out how to secure your PC with free software. If you use PC extensively, you should take steps to establish the security
of not only your system, files and folders but also web browsing. Nearly 80% of unwanted programs enter your system via the web. So make sure to avail of various tools to engage in safe computing.


Antivirus
Antivirus
In this article, we will compare and list 3 most popular and free antivirus protection suites, so that you are always safe from malwares and computer viruses trying to penetrate through your systems.

Top 3 Most Popular Free and Powerful Antivirus

AVG Antivirus 

AVG Antivirus
AVG Antivirus
AVG Antivirus enables you to block virus, trojans, spywares and malwares from entering your computer. It includes AVG Zen which protects all devices from a single dashboard. Moreover, you can scan and remove viruses in your computer using your mobile phone. You will be prompted to register for an optional AVG Zen
account. The dashboard helps you view protection, performance, privacy and identity and also includes a separate module called Web Tuneup, besides one to verify the performance of your computer. To avail of it, you need to select the ‘Fix Performance’ option by right clicking on ‘AVG Antivirus’ on the taskbar. If you select ‘Click to protect more devices’ on the dashboard, you will be able to add additional devices such as Android and Mac phones and tabs, for which you have to make use of the credentials of your AVG Zen account.
Prime Feature: With AVG Antivirus, you can scan social media links.

Avast Antivirus

www.avast.com
Avast Antivirus
Avast Antivirus
Avast Antivirus detects and removes all kind of viruses, trojans and malwares. It also protects your home network from the claws of attackers, besides
removing unwanted extensions, toolbars and including features to protect your system from phishing. It also includes VPN and has the ability to run on a ‘silent’ mode. Moreover, the smart scan utility helps you perform all kinds of scanning with a single click. Avast Antivirus automatically removes outdated software which pose a major threat to your computer. The dashboard enables you to perform either smart or quick scanning. You will also be able to add Sandbox, SafeZone and Firewall from the ‘Tools’ section. Moreover, the virus definitions are updated regularly.
Prime Feature: Avast Antivirus features a password manager, which enables you to store all your credentials securely.

Avira Antivirus

www.avira.com
Avira Antivirus
Avira Antivirus
Avira Antivirus automatically detects and removes not only viruses but also malwares, worms, trojans, spywares and adwares. More importantly, it also protects your privacy and includes a powerful browser tracking blocker, which automatically bars harmful websites and hidden applications which are commonly found in third party software programs. The Avira Launcher enables you to access system scanner, real time protection tool, firewall and quarantine. You can also configure Android security and manage scheduler, reports and events. The right side of the launcher lets you configure settings related to PC and firewall protection, which will be useful for web browsing. You can also enable/disable services by dragging the green tab, and select the specific ‘type’ of files that need to be scanned by selecting the ‘Open configuration’ option from the real-time protection row.
Prime Feature: Avira Antivirus is equipped with cloud protection which protects your computer against the latest threats.

Which one should you go for?


I’d recommend Avira Antivirus because it has a clean user interface and is easy to navigate. Also you can go for Avast Antivirus if you prefer a more sleek design and UI.

PS- If you liked the post then share it to your friends using Facebook, Twitter or any platform you use. And if you have any queries post in comments. I would like to hear from you. If you have any other methods then please notify us.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

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Top Best Web Browsers with their Features

It’s said that the Internet is the gateway to just about everything. And, as we have all come to learn in the course of the past two decades or so, it’s largely true.  But then, there’s a gateway to the internet as well – the web browser. And when it comes to the browser, you are spoilt for choice with old and new players vying for our attention. Here, we round up some of the most exciting browsers detailing their pros and cons.

In this article, we will learn various browsers with their features and what makes them special from each other .So it's time to go beyond the usual Chrome and Mozilla and have a look at some of the most unique and exciting web browsers present in the world.

Unique and Amazing, Alternative Web Browsers


1. Vivaldi

From Opera’s creators, something to please the power-users
Vivaldi Web Browser
Vivaldi Web Browser

To call Vivaldi as just an offshoot of Opera is neither here nor there. Yes, the browser is created by Opera’s founder, Jon Von Tetzchner and there are nods to Opera that are evident in Vivaldi. But that’s not the whole story, not by a long shot. Let’s start by looking at what does bear semblance to Opera in this one. The grid of your favorite websites that automatically appears in every new tab is practically a replica of how it’s with Opera. The integrated mail client concept – not unique by any means to Opera was still a feature that appeared in that browser, and which faithfully replicated in Vivaldi as well.

As for deviations from the norm, the browser allows you to dock tabs on any side of the screen – on the top or bottom as well as right or left. One feature that helps make the interface less cluttered is the option to form groups of tabs. The groups can be formed based on the nature of the websites that fall under one – entertainment related tabs can fall inside one bracket. This is certainly a welcome feature given how we have to contend with a plethora of tabs with many current browsers.

The creators of the browser seem to have an inclination to please power users, for the number of keyboard short cuts available on the product is quite impressive. And it’s also heard that they are coming out with spatial navigation so that you won’t have to lift your fingers off the keyboard to navigate the web. Yet, another feature of interest is the one to create notes on web pages (one which, now that we think about it should have been there in many earlier browsers). That can certainly be useful; however, in the current version of the browser, we didn’t get a smooth experience with the feature.

What’s special about it: Vivaldi certainly is one of the better browsers doing the rounds. With features such as group tabs and their experimentation with the interface (including, even filters that allow you to view pages in sepia or black and white) it’s a fun browser to use which aims at a clutter-free browsing experience. However, the current version of the browser comes across as more of a teaser for its greater potential.

2. The Tor Browser

For the whistleblowers of all sizes and shapes
TOR Web Browser
TOR Web Browser


On the face of it, the Tor browser may look like one designed to aid shady characters – for Tor’s USP is that it prevents other people from tracing your online activities. The browser effectively scatters your traffic route across relays spread across the world which makes tracing your IP address almost as tough as hitting a bulls eye while blind-folded. However, all this technical bravado is not to aid less-than-honorable activities (at least, it needn’t be). Say, for instance if you have to report a misdemeanor of your employer, this is your go-to browser if you’re shooting a mail to the higher-ups from within the organization. You can even run the browser from a pen drive, making it unnecessary to install it in your computer. Yes, the browser’s creators seem extremely serious about you going incognito.

On the flipside, we did encounter hassles – the most significant of which is that the browser functions at a lower speed than its peers. And, it’s logical to assume that since your location is rarely static while using it, services that provide you information based on your current location may fall short of your expectations.

What’s special about it: The quintessential browser for whistle blowers is not meant for day-to-day browsing. It’s slower than most popular browsers and the list of features is also limited in comparison. We can’t help but wonder how it’ll be if they could improve on those counts and have the incognito mode embedded in it as an option at the same time.

3. Qupzilla

There’s more than meets the eye
Qupzilla Web Browser
Qupzilla Web Browser


Qupzilla looks pretty much similar to most mainstream browsers. But going beyond appearances, you do find certain subtle distinctions which are of value there’s the feature which allows you to consolidate bookmarks, history and the RSS reader in one window. That, as you can imagine will make things clutter-free for you.

Other features found in the browser include integrated Adblock and the option to send the Do-Not-Track header. With Qupzilla, you also have the option to browse in private mode – a standard with most browsers these days, the Speed Dial option to quickly access your favorite websites is also present. You can stylize Qupzilla with the multiple themes that come with the browser package. Though the Internet has quite a few articles praising the speed with which the browser functions, in our review we found that while the speed is comparable with browsers including Chrome, it’s not exuberant.

Why you should try it: A quality browser that’s user-friendly. Where Qupzilla falls short is in the number of extensions available, especially when you compare it with the likes of Firefox. However, if you don’t require as many extensions and could find satisfaction with a minimal set of add-ons, by all means go ahead with this one.

4. Chrome

The world’s favorite browser is here to stay
Chrome Web Browser
Chrome Web Browser


Everyone’s “Been there, done that” browser, Chrome still remains the most popular browser in the world and for good reasons too (not least of which is its incredible compatibility across platforms). Also, the minimalistic design which Chrome pioneered, works extremely well on multiple devices – be it a panoramic desktop monitor or a smartphone screen, the experience you get is seamless. One other factor that makes Chrome such a favorite is that you’re Chrome data will be made available across devices, thanks to the fact that you have a Gmail account – and it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t have one.

Google has always displayed a knack for understanding their user’s wish to simplify matters and respond accordingly – the box which clubs the URL field and the search bar into one is a case in point – something that was introduced by Chrome and was picked up by everyone else.

Why you’d want to stick to it: Chrome is a great browser for two reasons: its cross-platform compatibility and its ability to handle intense browsing sessions involving a large number of tabs rather well. Yes, you feed the monster more RAM and it’ll will treat you well but once you open up too many tabs it starts breaking apart. For those who are concerned about sharing sensitive data with the giant, it’s another matter altogether.

5. Firefox

Fox-trotting towards better features








For some reason, Mozilla calls its extensions as add-ons. Whatever be the name by which they are called, there are quite a few of them, most of which are meant to give you more customization power. However, Firefox takes a beating on the appearance front, especially when compared to its main competitor, Chrome. For instance, in the latest version they have retained the additional Google Search field on the top of the window – something they could easily have avoided given how the address bar couples as the search bar too.

Coming back to add-ons, the latest version – even though it boasts of many extensions doesn’t offer much in the way of unique varieties. But there is one feature of the browser which we particularly liked – Firefox Hello. It’s essentially a video chat service like FaceTime and Skype. So, we know what you’re thinking – why do you need it? Well, what makes Firefox Hello useful is that with the interface, you can call anyone with a Chrome, Opera or Firefox browser, which when you think about it makes sense given how not everyone will have services like Skype on their system unlike a browser which is sure to be present.

Our verdict: Even though its customization tools are welcome, they fail to add significant value to the browsing experience. Having said that, it’s still one of the better browsers around, and with introduction of features such as Firefox Hello, it’s steadily improving.

6. Opera

Looks aside, some unique features

Opera Browser

If you’re looking for a browser with a distinct visual interface, Opera is not that one. Adopting Chromium, the browser shares in terms of visual aesthetics with Chrome. But there are a couple of features here which make Opera a worthy contender in the browser race. The Discover feature, for instance, is a useful tool for the news-hungry. It offers a selection of new stories that can be consumed without taking too much time – just the kind of thing that the pressed-for-time modern consumer requires. Then there’s the Speed Dial which enables you to open tabs alongside a grid of thumbnails of your favorite sites – not a unique feature but one that’s designed better than the ones in Chrome and Firefox. The Turbo mode is essentially what makes Opera stand out from the crowd though. Using this mode, you can improve the speed by saving bandwidth and compressing data-something that’s extremely useful in low-bandwidth conditions where many places still have less than great internet connectivity, particularly when it comes to Wi-Fi. Another feature worthy of mention is the one that enables you to restore browsing session as you boot it up – you can even set this feature as default.

Our verdict: Though many of its features are identical to those of other mainstream browsers like Chrome and Firefox, Opera does offer distinct services that make it a serious option. In other words, you can do worse than choosing Opera to getting into the net.

7. Internet Explorer

Still shows mettle
Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer

The fact that Internet Explorer is soon poised to go obsolete – with Microsoft focusing more on the Edge browser for Windows 10 as its mainstay, is not necessarily a good piece of news for Internet enthusiasts. For, as we found out when reviewing the browser holds up pretty well when compared to its peers, and it does have some of the best intuitive designs incorporated in a browser. However, there’s no favorites tab to be found here but it’s possible to pin web pages to the Windows Taskbar. The browser also has a unique feature – Tracking Protection facility. This feature sends Do Not Track requests to the sites that try to get in touch with your browser. For the review, we tried it out on Windows 8, which is supposedly the best platform for the browser.

Our verdict: IE may be on its way out but it’s still a cool browser, if you can overlook minor design glitches like the strip that appears just above the web content, making the portions above and below it look like they are in two different windows. Also, keep in mind that Microsoft has discontinued support for IE for Mac users.

8. UC Browser

Built for low speed browsing, nothing more
UC Browser
UC Browser

The UC Browser is getting a lot of traction in both China and India – meaning it’s supposed to work well in lower Internet speeds. And as we found, that assumption turns out to be true but there’s a catch. While you are able to browse faster with a slower connection, we had to keep closing other programs running in the background to facilitate the same. In terms of design, there’s nothing to gloat over here – the browser decisively adopts a non-minimal look, maybe to make itself look different from other browsers, but it doesn’t really help in any way.

The browser supports all the Chrome extensions and the great news is that it syncs perfectly across platforms. But where UC scores the most is with downloads. As mentioned before, it works well even with low internet speed, which means that your downloads won’t get interrupted as it happens with other browsers. Our attempt was with the PC browser though.

Our verdict: A clunky interface takes the charm out of this browser which is still a good choice for those with slow Internet connections. It’s recommended for PC but if you use your machine for offline CPU intensive functions, the browser may not function as well as it should.

PS- If you liked the post then share it to your friends using facebook,twitter or any platform you use.And if you have any queries post in comments.I would like to hear from you.(Links are allowed to your content).If you have any other method then please notify us.

For more of these tutorials please visit : The Penguin Coders

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