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: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop


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: debian.org

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is based on innovating and keeping the list of packages up-to-date (unlike other versions where you often have months out-of-date software listed).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.


This entry was posted on May 30, 2018.

Why Is Test Documentation So Important

A well-functioning interaction system inside the team is a key to successful testing. This condition can be achieved through many factors, but the primary is the order in documents.

Any decent software testing company takes care about its internal organization and selects the convenient documentation strategy. The presence of such plan of actions is aimed to simplify the working process and to satisfy the client’s requirements in the best possible manner.

What Are the Main Test Documents?

    • Test strategy – contains the description of the testing organization as a whole, its goals and priorities, using tools, documents and resources, the team composition and its functions, schedule, and so on.
    • Test Plan – the main document provided by testers independently under the specified project, which characterizes its version, the list of responsible team members, the purpose of testing, the methods of checking, test coverage, and summary.
    • Test scenarios – the description of the entry conditions, data inputs, user’s actions, and the expected results.
    • Test cases – a set of conditions, realized in certain steps with expected result. It is created by testers, and then the test execution takes place. The test case is based on the listed above documents and also client’s specification.
  • Automatic tests – script-based tests which do not need manually written documentation.

All of the listed documents are severe important in the case of a test procedure, as within the whole working process as under the determined project.

One very important type of data, mentioned slightly, but truly the most essential – software test documentation, is provided by the client. One should note here that the absence or incomplete documentation can significantly complicate the life of a tester, performing, for example, functional testing or localization testing.

What Are the Consequences of the Inferior Test Requirements?

    • Skipping – one or more functions is not written in the specification. For instance, the “Error message” is not displayed after the “Password” field is filled with spaces during white-box testing. The tester has detected the bug, although, this bug was not specified in the spec.
    • Disputing – there are several requirements that cannot be carried out simultaneously, but the system necessitates exactly this.
    • Gap information – executing manual testing, a tester can face with the problem of data lack. For example, the realization of the filter criteria on the online shopping website is not specified, thus the system provides unnecessary requests.
  • Equivocal statement – double entendre is a frequent problem under software product testing. Different people can consume the same information in various ways.

To perform mobile testing, desktop testing or web site testing efficiently these methods should be adjusted for each company and each project.


This entry was posted on May 21, 2018.

Are They Competitive and Compatible?

Windows Mobile is the term used to refer to the large umbrella of ‘mobile operating systems’ developed by Microsoft mainly for Pocket PCs and Smartphones.

The earliest origins of Windows Mobile came in 1996 although it wasn’t until after 2000 that several versions of the operating system were released, marketed for business and corporate customers, similar to the Windows desktop operating systems. With stiff competition from iOS and Android operating systems targeting consumers, Windows Phone superseded Windows Mobile and hence Windows Mobile operating systems became redundant with the last version on Windows Mobile being the 6.5.5 version. Post that, it has been only Windows Phone for Microsoft as it takes on more popular and widely used mobile systems like the Android and the iOS. With several smart and easy to use applications and features like live integration, office integration, futuristic interface, snappy keyboard etc. the Windows Phone packs punchy software that is used on many mobile devices.

The debate on ‘which is the most suitable Windows mobile?’ keeps raging. From the first Windows Phone 7 version to the 8.1 showcasing several unique features like customized ringtones, visual voicemail, messaging conversations, gaming, competent web browser enabling multi-tasking and messaging using Windows Live Messenger, Facebook, Twitter and more, it offers a complete product and competes in the consumer market with Android phones. The multi-core processor and high resolution screen provide superior hardware features and support to the operating system.

While industry experts are quick to point out that Microsoft is not positioning itself as a competitor to the more used and constant Android and iOS platforms, the company is quick to reaffirm its ‘commitment to mobiles’ and stays that posts commenting on the ‘death of Windows phone’ are exaggerated.

While it certainly hasn’t given up on the mobile market, it has however made it clear that there is no competition with the app-centric mobile systems developed by Apple and Android. This realization has come about but only after Microsoft tried long and hard to be back in the reckoning through seeking app developers creating apps for Microsoft and by making apps for third party mobile manufacturers and even attempting to port Android and iOS apps to Windows, efforts that did not meet with much success. Unlike Android and iOS which constantly upgrade apps for future cycles, Microsoft has been unable to compete in that area.

This entry was posted on May 13, 2018.

Understanding Cloud Computing or a Pay-As-You-Go Utility Model

Let’s understand what cloud computing and “Pay-As-You-Go” (PAYG) models are. Let’s first tackle PAYG. Simply put, PAYG is a “utility” computing model that allows a user to pay based on the incurred machine hours or the amount of resources consumed. This is a very interesting utility computing model. Users are charged based on their usage hours rather than on the entire infrastructure or computing resources present on-premises.

So when it comes to low costs – and mind you, it always does, it’s a perpetual necessity for organizations looking to cut down a lot of up-front charges and on-going IT expenses – for companies, what you have is billable hours on used services verses an actual, entire infrastructure fleet of computing resources. Which one wins? Of course, “utility” or on-demand usage wins hands down. A large capital expenditure may not be very beneficial when you know that using cloud services give you the low cost/low entry point. Therefore, you don’t require a complete infrastructure to serve your purpose; you just need an on-demand Cloud solution which gives you the biggest advantage of curtailing the upfront capital expenditure you’ll incur from traditional on-premises or in-house infrastructure.

Under this model, a dedicated cloud server – including software, storage, and development platforms – can be provisioned for your use and the billing for it can be done according to the use of server power and storage. This mechanism is called utility computing. PAYG is also known by other names such as Pay-Per-Usage, Pay-Per-Use or Pay-As-You-Us.

Uncover the Riches in the Clouds

The next facet of this automated delivery of IT and business services is the phenomenon called Cloud computing. In the past, users had only one way to run their applications or programs that is by using the services of their physical computers and servers present within the premises of their organization. But now, things have changed dramatically for the better because they can do that without setting up any extravagant infrastructure to run their applications/software. They can perform all their computation tasks, remotely, by going pay-as-you-go style. Cloud computing allows you to access your information via the high-speed internet connectivity, anywhere, and at any time.

For business and consumer communities, in terms of innovation, mobile access, immense computing power, and on-demand delivery, it is proving to be highly affordable and continues to be productive.

Some of the players in this space are:
Amazon EC2, Flexiscale, GoGrid, Joyent, AppNexeus RightScale, ElasticServer

Enterprise-Class Business Model, For Everyone

A little bit more on cloud computing: Cloud Computing is an all-inclusive term that describes a wide scope of computing services. As a matter of fact, as with other critical improvements in technology many vendors have simply begun to use the expression “Cloud” for products that sit outside of the basic definition. However, in order to really understand how the Cloud can bring value to an organization, it is important to figure out what it truly is and its availability through the ‘as-a-service’ paradigm. Its virtual and “open” business architecture enables organizations and different stakeholders like business partners, customers, etc. to connect and move into the cloud to do business.

The Cloud is a broad collection of services that gives organizations the high flexibility to choose where, when and how they use the technology of Cloud solutions, usually referred to as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), and public, private or hybrid.

Now, let’s take a closer look at cloud pricing of cloud offerings. Cloud pricing is based on a fixed or a subscription-based pricing model: basically, a usage fee that allows customers/organizations/subscribers to purchase for a set payment for a specific period of time, typically on a monthly or annual basis. In the PaaS and IaaS models, however, a mix of billing for storage, server type, CPU usage, etc. is offered, for example, pay-as-you-go, monthly, quarterly, and annual. Move to the Cloud; make it a new business model for your organization and become more competitive.

Environmentally Friendly: Go Green Factor

Being energy efficient matters the most. Whether you have an internally hosted service or your requirement is outsourced to third-party cloud services providers, businesses can still be energy efficient either way. With cloud computing, be rest assured that you can save energy costs and contribute to a healthier planet by leaving a smaller carbon footprint.


This entry was posted on May 12, 2018.

The Advantages of Interactive Software Development

Businesses looking to consolidate their brand image and expand their horizons, need look no further than interactive software development for support in achieving this goal effortlessly. It helps connect businesses to their customers like never before. Not only is it informative and educative, it is also incredibly engaging and interesting. The latest technology for interactive software includes touch screens which increases the level of customer engagement with the software and indirectly, to the business or brand as well. It also helps to embed information in the minds of people very effectively and effortlessly. That is why businesses around the world are investing in this to leverage the power of technology to further their brand and increase business revenue.

Interactive software development can include touch screens, gesture recognition, etc. This goes a long way in impressing audiences around the world, from those that are tech geeks to those that are not! Not only touch screens, but touch tables are the latest in interactive software development. These can be deployed anywhere from restaurants to hotel lobbies, casinos to game lounges, etc. In fact, they can be successfully used in a variety of different industry verticals and not just for entertainment. They can be used for spreading information and education in a novel and engaging manner. These kinds of interactive experiences are attractive to people of all ages irrespective of gender, economic or educational background, interest level in technology, etc. There is no limit to what you can do with interactive software technology as the only limits are those set by your own imagination.

The interactive software that is installed in a number of locations can be easily managed, controlled, updated, and customized from a central hub of operations. This central hub can control the screens in different locations irrespective of the number of screens that are there. Interactive software can be used very successfully in business, from conference rooms to seminar halls, from engaging potential investors to attracting future customers.

Interactive screens that run on this technology can be seen in a variety of places all over the world. They can be seen in gaming zones to hospitals, the educational sector to the entertainment sector, from airports to aquariums and zoos. Interactive software-enabled screens never fail to attract the target audience, which is why it makes sense for businesses to deploy them in their business initiatives, whether it is a casual customer-centric approach or a more serious investor-themed application.


This entry was posted on May 11, 2018.

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 May 6, 2018.

5 Queries to Make Before Hiring Mobile App Developers

1. Core services in mobile app development

There are multiple platforms including the popular ones Android and iOS, aside from which there is Windows Phone and BlackBerry, and cross-platform options to be considered. Most mobile app development companies offer app development services for all these platform options, but their expertise remains in some key niche. Ask the company if they have an in-house development team or they outsource the project or aspects of it.

2. Location and Team

Enquire about the location the company operates from and if they provisions where you can hire Android app developers or iPhone app developers to work on-premise. This helps in projects that are long term in nature and you don’t want to hire any full time resource. Ask about the team size and the infrastructure set-up in the office to get a better idea of what services can be rendered. With new technologies in the IoT space and mobile platform SDKs coming, it is essential that the development company is fully equipped to address any demand you have.

3. Their past work

Enquire about the past clients and get names of past applications developed to check their work quality and success of the applications. It will give you an idea of the technologies used and the technical adeptness of the company. Also, enquire about the clients that have been serviced in the past and biggest project they have undertaken.

4. Project timeline and costs involved

Enquire about the duration of the project and get a step by step detail of the project detail to ensure that it is completed within the set timeline. The total cost of the project and any packages for further support in maintenance and servicing of the application must be enquired beforehand. Get complete details on how the app will be tested to spot glitches and fix them instantly. Enquire about the special features they can provide and what will be the costs involved for additional features.

5. Mobile app ownership

Most companies hand over the app ownership to the client, however, you can work out a partnership arrangement with the app developer to ensure their complete involvement in the success of the app. In such a scenario, the app development company will take over launching the app in the various app stores and its marketing too.

Hire mobile app developers who are passionate about their work and excited about using the technology to render a new service to end customer. This will ensure that your application is profitable and give you confidence in your venture.


This entry was posted on May 1, 2018.

How to Configure the Native Chart Web Part in SharePoint

downloadThe chart web part in SharePoint makes it easy for users to create beautiful, interactive charts with different data sources. What’s more – it also allows users to make changes to data sources and see the changes reflected in the charts instantly, making the tool nothing short of a lifesaver during a boardroom presentation. That said, this add-on needs to be configured properly, before it can do its job. Here’s how to go about it.

Adding the chart web part

Before the web part can be used, it has to be inserted into the SharePoint page where the user wants to build and display the chart(s). This can be done using the Chart Web Part control, available under the category Business Data. Adding the web part makes two options available for further configuration:

  1. Data & Appearance Advanced Properties
  2. Connecting the chart to the data source

Under Data & Appearance, there is an option – Connect Chart to Data. Clicking on it opens up a wizard, which allows the chart web part to be connected to one of the following data sources:

  1. Another web part that can provide data
  2. A SharePoint list
  3. An Excel workbook
  4. External content type defined in BDC

Once a source is selected, the same wizard allows the user to connect the chart to the data source. After connecting, the user need to retrieve and filter the data before creating the chart. Data filtering can be done with an existing column used as parameter, or by hitting the + sign next to the Filter Data option and mentioning name, type and value of the selected parameter. Next, the user has the choice to configure the data series, set properties like the fields to be displayed on the X and Y axes, perform analysis on data such as adding a moving average to the data set, and so on.

Determining how the chart would look

To customize the look of the chart, the user needs to click on Appearance & Data and then on Customize Your Chart. Doing so brings up a 3 step wizard. First off, this wizard allows the user to choose the chart type. Once the chart type is chosen, the right hand panel shows a wide range of chart templates for the user to select the most ideal one. Then, the user can select the Chart Appearance Properties, which grants control over the drawing style, appearance theme, size, format, and even the transparency of the chart. Chart element properties, accessible once the appearance has been configured, lets the user define the chart legend, title, grids and axes, hyperlinks, tool tips, markers and labels.

Finally, it is time to fine tune the chart

Clicking on the Advanced Properties presents the user with plenty of options to improve the look and feel of the chart. Available choices include annotations, legends, titles, chart areas, series, toolbar, and even properties of the context menus. As the user chooses each element to configure, the changes show up in the chart area immediately.

This entry was posted on April 30, 2018.

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.


This entry was posted on April 26, 2018.

The Newest Movement in Information Management: No More File Share

Close your eyes, and take a moment to visualize this: ‘No more file shares’. What do you see? How does it feel? For me, first of all I feel this is the core of my being as an enterprise content management professional. Second, it makes so much sense, that I really can’t grasp that there are such a large amount of them still out there. I envision a world without file shares, instead using the right tools for collaboration, content sharing, management and archiving. These tools have been around for quite some time and have proven their existence.

We all know human beings are creatures of habit. Well, the greatest proof of that is that all organizations which I encountered during my time as a consultant, still have a large, if not the largest part of their content stored on the good old file shares. People working together on these shares have not changed since the first time they started using them. On the other hand, everything we store on file shares has changed. The variety, volume and velocity of content has taken a giant leap forward in the last decade. But in many organizations, all of those different and new file types are still stored on the file share for collaboration.

Of course, everybody wants to create a somewhat manageable situation for themselves. Adding metadata through twenty-something deep folder structures, defining naming conventions for files, adding version numbers in titles, etc. Still, we are all making a mess, still, we are creating duplicate upon duplicate upon duplicate. Still, we violate laws and regulations because we store sensitive content. Well, I think it is time for a change. I want to initiate the following movement here and now:

No more file shares!

Every day, there’s something going wrong with documents. Especially on file shares. This results in frustration, lost time and therefore costs. In addition to the risks to your business, there are also legal risks and the risks of violations of the laws and regulations.

I know every content & information management professional, knowledge manager, and content manager can feel this in their bones. They know using file shares undermines a good information strategy. So my mission from now on is to create a world without file shares for collaboration. A world where your content is properly managed, and as user you have all the benefits of the systems that have been created for this, such as great findability and productivity.

For now, are you as excited as I am? Yes? Then store business documents on a real ECM system. So that everyone can find them, or at least so that not anyone can delete documents. It’s up to you to weigh the risks against the cost of a real ECM system.


This entry was posted on April 23, 2018.