Sittiing or standing?

standing deskAt one point everybody who sits a lot started asking himself if that is the healthiest posture you can find yourself in. The answer is, as you might suspect, a big no! Sitting is one of the worst things you can actually do to yourself. Homo Sapiens simply isn’t made to sit, so if you’re a part of my species, chances are you aren’t as well. That being said, as science advances a lot of new ways to sit come to us consumers, some of them better than others. This is why today we have some high tech chairs which go to enormous sums to get one, people sitting on pilates balls and people working on a so-called “standing desk” where they, guess what, stand up!

Chairs

You probably own one. It probably is comfortable and you probably spent a little fortune on it. If you did, great. That is one thing you use to work on. The other is you computer, so take good care of that as well. But back to the chairs.
First of all, make sure it’s cushioned on the whole sitting part. Next, make sure that it is firm and strong standing, not weak. Make sure it can keep your back straight up. And you’ll probably want one with wheels so you can make some breaks from work every now and then. Why would I even talk about chairs anymore? You all probably know what’s best as this is something you used your entire life, right? You probably have some experience… So let me talk about our next topic and why is it such a big topic.

Pilates balls

There are more and more people sitting on pilates balls everywhere in the world. It is especially popular with programmers and developers who work at home, but it is getting its popularity recently even in office environments! If you’ve never seen one I won’t explain what it is here. I’ll just tell you why it’s awesome!
First of all, it’s really fun, right? I mean, you’re sitting on a ball for christ’s sake! And it’s all bouncy so you bounce while you sit and it’s such a great fun, right? Wrong. I mean, it is fun for the first minute or so, but after that it just becomes pain in the backs. I mean literally.

But all that bouncing up and down proves to be a really good thing for your spine. There are a lot of medical research on this topic, but the main conclusion is this: since your constantly moving and you’re basically forced to sit really straight up, your spine gets a lot of pressure (in a good way) and you keep your back muscles engaged. At first you probably won’t be able to sit more than 5 minutes if you’re not in shape, but keep it up the good work. Eventually you’ll be able to sit as long as you want and you’ll do it all the time, thus doing good deeds to your backs!

Standing

Hey, don’t get me wrong here now, but standing is the absolute best way to be doing your work at your computer. Yes, at your computer. It sounds strange and trust me, it need getting used to; and we need getting used to all the new habits we develop as well, not just “not sitting”. And standing desks are becoming more and more popular every day.

What is great about this is forces you to be in a very natural position (standing), to hold your spine erect, to move every now and then as well… But it allows you some more flexibility. For example, you can buy a treadmill and walk while running. I have a friend who did that. Or you can buy a stepper and do that… Or anything you get your mind to. Possibilities are endless because, well, you’re standing and doing your work! Once you get to it, you’ll never go back… I mean, almost never. You’ll still need to sit to think when you have a lot of heavy thinking to do, trust me, as standing and doing things is no way to be doing highly creative and demanding work. But we are humans after all, and that highly demanding work is something we can do no more than an hour, maybe an hour and a half each day.

That about sums it up. What are your thoughts on this?

Image credit: John Knox on flickr.com

How To Get Your Blood Flowing While Working At Home

active lifestyleMany people enjoy working at home because it allows them a lot of freedom that you can not have when at the office. It is true that when you work at home you have freedom to basically start work whenever you want. One thing you do find out that is true is when you work at home you get more things done. It is very easy to get enthralled with the work that you are doing at home that you end up neglecting your health.

In this article we will go over ways that you can stay active while at work.

The Benefits of Staying Active At Work

The mind and body is connected in so many ways. Our physical health has a direct relationship without mental health and performance. One thing that people experience when they start moving around and getting their blood pumping is that it helps them have more energy for the work that they need to do. It also makes them more creative and more focused. Also, it is great for the body because everyone needs to stay active.

Sitting Too Much Is Dangerous

Over the last two years there has been so much research linking high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes to sitting too much. Some are calling it the real silent killer. One way that workers are combating sitting too much is by utilizing a standing desk for either all of their work day or transitioning between sitting and standing. Most who use a standing desk experience greater blood flow, concentration and they feel energized after their work day is over. One advantage that you have while working at home is that you can easily transition between several form of sitting, standing and leaning. Creating various work spaces is a great way to get your blood flowing, a great way to protect your health and to feel better.

Desk Cycle

One very interesting way to get your blood flowing while working at home is by using a desk cycle. A desk cycle is like a stationary bike but without the seat, the wheels or any other large parts. It is basically a set of pedals and a small stand that can easily fit underneath your desk. You can pedal throughout your day to burn calories, to keep active and to prevent diseases that come from living a sedentary lifestyle.

Leg Raises, Foot Stomps And Active Sitting

Another way to keep your blood flowing and to keep active while working is to simply use active sitting. Active sitting could simply be using the edge your seat so that your legs are forced to stay active to balance your body. You can add in calf raises, foot stomps and seated jogging to keep your blood flowing. Also moving your spine back and forth, from side to side, is a great way to keep the vertebrae in the spine lubricated and healthy.

Take a break, do a fast workout

There has been a lot talk about working out lately. Fitness is becoming the world’s leading industry. There are a lot of choices to choose from when you’re willing to commit to a fast workout. Maybe you’ll do jumping jacks, maybe some quick push-ups, or maybe you’ll take your dumbells and do a quick lifting motion with them, I don’t know. But do something physical. Do a power cardio. Whatever, just get your blood pumping.

As you can see, staying active while working at home is very important. It is so easy to get used to sitting around while working at home that many people end up neglecting their health. Luckily, there are so many ways to stay active at work that you do not have any excuse for not moving your body. In the article, we mentioned using a standing desk, using a variety of sitting and standing surfaces so that you are constantly moving. We also talked about desk cycles, active sitting and the various types of exercises that you can perform at home. Give these ideas a try and see how they work for you.

Why Macs Make Life Easier

macbookIt Isn’t Just Joining The Crowd

Mac computers are not just for fanboys and getting one isn’t just about joining the crowd. My Mac has made my life easier in so many ways. It is one of the most efficient computers I used. It is sturdy, it looks great and it has yet to crash. The software it comes with has everything that I need for work, school and for play. In this article, I will talk about all the things that make the Mac series of computers a good choice and why it stands out from the competition. This is a great article for anyone who is interested in buying a Mac.

Using A Mac Isn’t Just For People In The Arts

Using my Mac has been a great experience and has saved me from a lot of the headaches and issues I had when I was using Windows computer. Most people think that Macs are best used for people who are in the arts. That it is only for graphic designers, photographers and video editors. The truth is that Macs are great computers for everyone. For students, for businesses and even just for people who need to check their email and watch movies. If you want a Mac computer, you do not have to fit into any box.

Virus Free Computing

For the most part, when you use a Mac it will not catch viruses. You really do not have to worry about antivirus software or about bad things happen when you are using the internet. Virus coders do not actively code for OS X. Windows is so easy to hack because everyone uses one and at the kernel level Windows is very insecure and easy for hackers to create viruses. OS X is based off of Free BSD, which is based off of Unix. Unix servers are the most secure servers and OS we have in the world.

Macs Uses Only Quality Hardware

Mac uses only name brand and top of the line hardware. We will talk more about this later but for now realize that a lot of the cost of a Mac is because of the top brand hardware they have inside. They only put the top spec hardware in it because Mac is a luxury brand. You aren’t suppose to have the same issues that you will have on your standard PC. Everything from the power supply to the RAM is from a name brand company who has a great reputation for reliability. This is why Macs are not known for hardware failure.

Macs Are The Only Computers Whose Hardware Is Assembled Specifically For Its OS

This might not mean much to you but for people who have bought cheap PCs with Windows, they know all about the issues you will have with a computer with low grade parts. Apple doesn’t have any of these issues because from the ground up they match the OS with the best hardware to make the OS run problem free

OS X Is Intuitive To Use

When most people say Mac, what they really are talking about is OS X, which is the operating system that Mac computers use. Yes, the hardware that Apple uses is high quality but the real magic comes from OS X. What makes OS X so great is because it is very intuitive to use. Straight out of the box, a new user will easily be able to navigate around and find all the the things that they need. They layout and the GUI are simple yet stylish.
These are all the reasons why I love using Mac computers.

Using Mac for Education- Information on the usage of Mac in education

back to schoolThe world is developing tremendously and people have put many efforts in trying to better the education of our children. Mac has been introduced to the various existing learning institution with an aim of improving the learning standards for the students. This article shall discuss how Mac is used in education in various departments and learning institutions. The usage of Mac is bringing a new era of experts since students learn to be creative at quite an early age.

For thirty years, Mac has proven to be incredibly easy and incredibly powerful for various uses in the learning institutions. Mac has empowered the mind of the students and has also given them the chance to experience change and creation in the classroom. Mac has helped a lot of learners in unleashing their potential and has, therefore, become innovative and creative due to the increased exposure to various forms of technological improvements in the learning process.

Powerful Apple apps for the students in your classroom

Owning Mac has helped a lot of students in powerful and free apps from Apple that have helped them in producing exceptional work. It is undoubtedly obvious that the students have been able to modify the various understanding strategies due to the improved exposure and they have learnt a lot from using the Mac machines in their classrooms. Due to improved knowhow and exposure, the students are able to create things out of the Mac machines that will end up surprising you.

Pages

The pages in the Mac machines are also advantageous to the student. The pages give the student the chance to create exclusive reports by using images and graphs. The numbers following the pages play a big role in ensuring that the data is easily organized and the simple features that help your student are also well organized. These features include tables, graphs and charts. The numbers are not just meaningless grid of numbers but are modified blank canvas responsible for ensuring that data comes back to life.

Keynote

The keynote is also an essential feature in the Mac machine and with the various presentations made in the keynote, teachers and the students are able to keep the class engaged and all the learning activities run smoothly without any interference or confusion. The keynote might be a bit challenging if you are new to them. You should first start with the simple templates, then add effects and transitions, and all will come together beautifully. All these processes are like magic to the mind of the student and they help in opening up his/her mid and enabling them to think bigger.

iMovie

The Mac has a lot of feature that keep the students updated with the past events. The iMovie is a feature that the students could use in production of blockbuster version movie of their own of historical event or a novel complete with a trailer and some modified special effects. The students are, therefore, exposed to new features which aid in the unleashing of their potential and giving them a chance to create new ideas that leave the teachers amazed.

Garage Band

You might wonder how the student can use Mac in recording some events. The GarageBand helps in turning the Mac into a complete recording studio allowing the students to create specific soundtracks that are directly related to the exact stories that they have been writing. Therefore, the students not only keep good records of the various things they learn but they are also able to have the chance of enjoying everything bestowed before them for the purpose of their academic progress.

The Many Advantages Of A Mac Over A PC

old macbookIt used to be that most information technology managers took it for granted that organizations would have to purchase a PC. One of the reasons why was the large amount of dedicated software that only worked on the Microsoft Windows operating system. However, the growth of the internet and platform independent programming languages such as Java has destroyed much of the native language advantage of using a PC. As of right now there are many advantages of using a Mac over a PC.

The first benefit is the flexibility of being able to run Mac’s OS X operating system. If you want to run Windows on the Mac, you have that option by using OS X’s Boot Camp feature or running virtualization software like Fusion or Parallels. However, OS X itself has one of the most elegant user interfaces ever developed. The Macintosh pioneered the development of the user-friendly window interface when people on PCs were stuck still running programs from the command line. Apple’s operating system is still widely regarded as the most user-friendly personal computer experience. It is also recognized as the best for graphics intensive applications such as video editing and simulation.

Moreover, the operating system is very stable and quite secure when compared to Microsoft Windows. OS X’s core is based on the FreeBSD operating system that has decades of proven stability under its belt. Much of the source code with the exception of the graphic user interface has been made public to developers to help purge it of errors. OS X was also built with security in mind from the ground up. The use of spam ware blockers and virus scanners on installations of OSX is rare because users seldom ever have a problem with malware attacks. The fact that most viruses are designed to target Windows machines helps in this regard.

The ability to exactly match the operating system to the hardware also enhances the functionality of the device. When Microsoft writes its operating systems it has to take into account a wide variety of potential motherboards, video cards, and other PC architecture tweaks. Sometimes the hardware will not always be completely compatible with the software. With an Apple computer since the hardware and software are made by the same company you can be sure that the entire system is compatible right out of the box. The company can also more directly streamline the operating system to the hardware to make the software run much more efficiently.

If you value your privacy, you might also want to consider dumping your PC. The most recent version of Windows, Windows 10, includes a horrific list of privacy-killing features as elucidated in the license agreement. According to that agreement, Windows 10 will be taking snapshots of all of the files on your home computer. They will also be listening to the microphone in the background and transferring that information to company headquarters. Many privacy advocates have been outraged and urged people to avoid upgrading to the new operating system until a privacy-enhanced version is released. Windows 10 also will provide updates to your software without even asking your permission as it had with previous versions. If you like the 1984 surveillance state, you will love the future of the Windows operating system experience.

Finally, Macs are known for providing the best hardware on their computers. They do not install cheap parts to cut corners so they can advertise their computers as the cheapest. They make sure that quality high-performance parts are utilized that will be efficient and last a long time.

More and more people are deciding to ditch their PCs and move over to the superior Mac experience. If you want a high-quality personal computing experience, the Mac is the only choice that makes sense!

The 5 Best Programming Courses For Objective C

coding linesWhen Apple introduced Swift, an ongoing debate began in the programming community as to whether iOS programmers and programmers in general should still invest money and time learning Objective-C. Currently, and for the next several years, the answer to the question is a resounding “Yes.”

Objective-C is still one of the most important iOS languages that has a way more developed community than Swift. Even though Swift does make Objective-C easier to handle by removing some of the tough elements from C, it still has not substituted Objective-C completely.

In case you are a would-be iOS developer or already in the game then your safest play is learning both Swift and Objective-C and ensure that your skills remain sharp with both languages.

Objective-C is a general purpose, object oriented programming language that Apple developed, which is the main programming language for both OS X and iOS. If you become an iOS developer then you will be able to earn a median income of around $81,000 annually making valuable apps, games, etc.

Objective-C is your entry to an illustrious career as an iOS developer and the initial step towards other marketable skills including Xcode, Cocoa Touch, Swift, and Cocoa.

In this article, you will find the top 5 Objective-C courses and iOS boot camps. The courses will help you learn Objective-C so that you can have the foundation for success and skills that come with it. If you plan to tackle both then it is advisable to learn Objective-C before Swift.

The 5 Best Programming Courses For Objective-C

1. Treehouse

Treehouse provides a wonderful resource for anyone that is looking to learn new programming languages. The iOS Developers and Instructors at Treehouse, Amit Bijlani and Douglass Turner take the smart approach to training by teaching the fundamentals of C before ever getting into Objective-C. The Treehouse course for Objective-C has seven achievements for you to complete.

If you make use of Treehouse’s well-organized modular format and combination of video tutorials, tests, and coding challenges then you will get to the advanced level by the time you finish the course. If you want even further preparation for iOS, you should consider learning C by itself. Some people find this necessary while others can dive right into Objective-C.

The greatest thing about Treehouse is that it is quite cheap and that it offers you many different programming languages under one subscription. If you wish to try it out there is a 14-day free trial.

2. Lynda.com

Lynda.com offers many great courses on many different subjects including OS X/iOS including Swift and Cocoa. Just like Treehouse, Lynda.com also offers many different tutorials under a single subscription. Lynda.com also offers a 7-day free trial.

According to Lynda.com Objective-C is the best option for the developers that are looking to create OS X and iOS apps. The beginner course at Lynda uses a series of video tutorials to give you the basic training you require to break into a career in OS X/iOS or simply add another programming language to your skill set. In the span on 6 hours, you will go from doing simple installations such as using Xcode and then advance to syntax, frameworks, classes, objects, and even debugging.

3. Udemy

Unlike most of the other Objective-C courses, this particular one does not need prior knowledge of C. Paul Solt, an iPhone App expert, teaches the course at Udemy. The course offers a combination of video tutorials and downloadable challenges to help you test your skills along the way.

Unlike some of the other Objective-C courses, this course does not assume any prior knowledge of relevant programming languages such as C++ or C. It offers over 70 lectures as well as 13 hours of content, which is much more than what other courses offer. Even though beginners are encouraged to take this course, it is good to note that the course goes deeper than most of the other beginner courses.

4. Code School

The code school course will make you feel like you are recreating a retro videogame. The videos featured on the course focus on learning through doing. The ‘Try Objective-C’ is a free course that does not contain any videos but a fun, 8-bit arcade theme that gives it a unique touch. Code school offers different options of both free and paid modules.

One great thing about Code School is that it always manages to take a fun and interactive approach to its tutorials. Here you will learn Objective-C by going through five different levels featuring different theme elements. Each of the levels has 9 to 24 coding challenges that help you to practice as you go. In case you read the reviews on the website you will discover that nearly all of them are positive and this is for good reason, the course is wonderful.

5. Ray Wanderlich

The Ray Wanderlich website is perhaps one of the most popular hubs for free iOS programming tutorials online. The website has a series on everything related to iOS: Objective-C, Swift, debugging, data saving, and much more.

Many programmers across the web recommend him constantly for his written tutorials to the point that he has even started making videos. If your wish is to start with Objective-C, then you should head over to his Crash Course. You can take the data-type series later if you need to learn more about Objective-C. In his course, Ray covers all the important elements such as methods, classes, properties, initializers, and so much more.

Conclusion

This article has been a discussion about Objective-C along with the top 5 courses for learning this programming language. The article has looked at both free and paid resources, which means that you have at least a starting point if you do not have the funds to pay for a course. If you desire to add Objective-C and iOS programming to your skill set then you need to consider signing up for the courses above to receive your training. Considering that most of the courses have free trials, you really have nothing to lose and you should be willing to invest the time. It pays a lot in the long run.

Best Role Playing Games for Mac

Knights of the Old Republic II

Ten years have past since the original KoTOR was released, but for some reason this version won’t be available on as many platforms as its predecessor –at least for now KoTOR is available for those who operate the iOS. The original game enjoyed huge popularity –and still does– and the latest installment will not disappoint.

Much like everything else in the Star Wars Saga this story begins a long time ago and far far away… in the aftermath of an apocalyptic battle between the Jedis Knights who guard the republic and the Sith Lords who have a completely different agenda for the galaxy –and negotiations are always short and aggressive.

Our hero is one who barely escaped the wars with life and limb and is now missing a good deal memory and some important inventory items –and the game just goes on from there with a full spectrum of engaging missions and encounters that will test your wits, knowledge of the force, skill with the light saber, moral fiber and tendency to the light or dark side of the force.

Their is a very appealing plot and storyline that unfolds with the game. Needless to say the decisions you make and the role you play can make a huge difference in the final outcome of the game as well as the development of your character and their special abilities.

The graphics display have actually improved very little since the original KoTOR but what the game may lack in aesthetics it more than makes up for with intriguing political decisions and fast paced lightsaber and grenade chucking action, detailed inventory and More.

This game is an absolute must have for all fans of the Star Wars Series as well as Die hard Fans of RPG in all its splendor –even a good choice if you are new to both.

Diablo III

Twenty years have past since a brave hero pursued the lord of terror across the world of Sanctuary to finally confront him in his own Hellish Cathedral –and rout his brothers, minions and cohorts all along the way. Well what happened is all happening again…

Now Tristram is once again besieged by loathsome creatures who manage to kill everyone except the store owner and a few other NPCs that will give you the stuff you need to turn you from a whimpy looking chicken chaser to the kind of Hulking brute that can make the burning hells tremble before you.
This time you will have a far more fascinating selection of characters –old Favorites like the Barbarian meet new concepts like the Witch Doctor– and an impressive assortment of deathly skills to unleash on the minions you encounter.
It does seem like it took blizzard long enough to come up with the next installment of the hugely popular Diablo series –Diablo was released in 1996 and Diablo 2 in 2000– yet when you see the amount of essential game concepts — heroes, storyline, graphics, inventory dynamics, armor, buffs, runes, potions and hirelings– that have been fully improved you will see why it was essential to make the Diablo 3 perfect before releasing it to die hard Diablo-philes.
The true 3D view of the hero in action plus the stunning realism has made the game much more attractive to new gamers and the appealing storyline and familiar world will captivate fans of the classic series.This is a game no true fan of swords, spells, potions and demons should be without –and if you’re feeling old school pick up Diablo 2 as well.