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Author: Will Chatham

Will Chatham is the Security Assessment Engineer for Arbor Networks. Since Netscape 2.0, he has worked in a wide array of environments including non-profit, corporate, small business, and government. He started as a web developer, moved into Linux system administration, and ultimately found his place as a security professional. Having most recently conquered the OSCP certification, Will continues to hack his way into various things in an effort to make them more secure.

Music Updates

It’s been a while since I posted any musical updates here, and I don’t have a ton to share, but I did get a surprise email from the venerable Jason Lowenstein the other day, with a remastered set of Crain’s studio appearance on WMBR in Boston back in 1991 that he had made.

The previous version of this, mastered by Bob Weston, who initially recorded it in the studio late that evening way back when, is still here on my Music downloads page, and it is great, but I thought I’d add Jason’s version for you to download in one fell swoop.

Grab it here.

Enjoy it, and let me know what you think!

http://web.archive.org/web/20131220092546im_/http://crainspeed.com/images/crain2.jpg
Crain, circa 1991. Photo by John Kampschaefer.

Why taking Breaks Can Improve your Mental Clarity as a Programmer

When it comes to programming, it can be stressful. From all of the different things that can go wrong, to even all of the different outlets you’ll need to use, a break is a great way to improve your mental clarity, but why is that? Well, read on to find out.

Improves Relationships

Your relationships matter, and if you feel like your marriage is on the rocks, or you need marriage advice, or advice in general, a break, or even seeing a therapist is really rewarding.  A break as a programmer also communicates to your peers, friends, and loved ones that they matter, and that you care enough about them to want to spend time with them.  Remember, if they know that, they’ll want to spend time with you as well, and it can help you do better too. So yes, taking breaks and checking on others can be beneficial, even if you’re not working out a complex issue.

Help You Handle Issues with a Clear Head

Programming is hard, and whether you’re using Python or another programming language, it can be overwhelming. This can be quite annoying, and sometimes you need a clear head just to deal with it. that’s why, taking a break and making sure that you understand everything with a clear head is important.  You may never know how much this can affect you till you start to do that, and you’ll be amazed at the difference this makes in your life. Sometimes, the reason why you struggle with code is because you don’t have a clear head, and even taking a small break can help with improving that so much more.

Reduces Stress

This works into the previous statement, but programming is a bit stressful. Whether you’re trying to figure out the Kali Linux dockerfile or trying a new code to see how this works, usually it’s tedious, and it can make you feel stressed, anxious, and irritated. This increases the risk for high blood pressure and heart disease if you’re not careful, so stress is something that can happen if you’re not paying enough attention to what you’re doing. A break is a good way to reset your mind and body, so that when you go back, you can find out what to do next.  you’d be surprised at how helpful this can be, since stress is often something that can grow within a person, but they don’t know how to handle it.  But yes, if you feel stressed, sometimes taking a break is good. 

A Break Can Be Anything

When you’re a programmer, you may wonder what type of break you want to take. Well, the answer is simple. It can be practically anything, from a small walk, to even spending time with your family. If you do choose to do the latter, there are a couple sites you can check out for some alternatives, including this one, and also this one. They have a bunch of wonderful activities that can help you get your mind off it, and if you do have a kid, these are some great options for the sites that you can try, and you’ll be amazed at the difference this makes in your own personal adventures, and your connections too.

So yes, take your breaks. Programming is stressful, and there is a lot that has to be done, and a lot that can go wrong. it’s better if you take it easy, and take breaks as needed, since it can help you keep a level head, and also not ruin your vision either.

Irresistible Gifts For Gadget Lovers

We all know someone who loves a good gadget and wants nothing more than to enjoy playing with them in the house or at work. As technology grows and improves over the years we get more and more amazing gadgets to play with and there are so many great options to add to our collection. Today we are taking a look at some of these gadgets and some of the best choices you can buy for a family member or friend this year.

Instax Camera

If you want to enjoy that #instagoals for yourself this year or you know someone who does, the Instax camera is the ULTIMATE trendy gift. The instax camera is a retro looking camera which comes in many colours and allows the user to take a print out pictures instantly. You’ll be able to produce adorable little polaroid pictures to hang on the wall or pin above your desk at work. It’s the ultimate gift for anyone who loves taking photos.

iPad

If you have a family member who loves nothing more than to read and create and browse in their spare time, an iPad can be a great gift as an alternative to reading paper books, sitting at their desktop, ot painting at the table. An iPad is an all-round great computing tool which is wonderful for anyone who wants to work and play on the go. As a side gift you could also get them a 2019 ipad air cover and a keyboard case which they can use when writing.

Wireless Sport Headphones

For anyone who loves to be outdoors and love to stay active, a great gift option could be some sport headphones which they can use and enjoy on the go. If they often go for runs and have been struggling without music, headphones like these can be exactly what they need to make them feel better. There are tonnes of options out there you can you take a look around and see which ones you think will suit your friend the best.

Philips Hue Lights

If your family member has a house and you want to give them a fun and useful gift this year, a great choice would be Philips Hue Lights. These lights can be awesome for the home because with an app on your phone, you can turn on any light in the house within seconds. This is useful if you get home late at night and don’t want to run around trying to find the light switches, and it can also be something which is useful if you forget to turn off your lights after you have set your alarm in the evening.

Amazon Echo

The amazon echo is one of the most fun home hubs you can buy. If you love to listen to music, listen to audiobooks and you sometimes need advice such as recipes and such while in the house, it can be a fun gadget to play with. The echo is a gadget which can be as fun or useful as you want it to be and this is a great choice for anyone who loves to play around with technology.

Raspberry Pi

A raspberry pi is a wonderful gift idea for anyone who is interested in computers and creating their own system. A raspberry pi is a tool which allows the user to make a computer from scratch using a basic operating system, and for the right person it can be a tool for creativity like no other. There are so many different elements and uses which can be utilised with a raspberry pi and it can be a fun gadget for the home or for work.

Quadcopter

There are a lot of gadgets out there in the world which can be used for a number of uses, and if you love filmmaking, a quadcopter might just be the best gadget of all. A quadcopter is a small drone which can fly in the air and be controlled by a small remote. It is something which can be super handy to use and you can set up a camera on the bottom of it to catch some stunning footage. If you ever need a panning shot of a landscape or a beautiful long exposure shot, a quadcopter is the ideal thing for you to use.

Charger Pad

If you have device after device to charge every single day and it always feels like there is a web of cables around the house, a charger pad is the perfect solution. A charger pad needs to be plugged into the wall, however all you have to do is place your phone, tablet or watch on there and it will charge without the need to plug it in!

PS4

Who doesn’t love a good game now and again? If you have a family member or a friend who loves playing games, the PS4 has to be one of the best possible gadgets of all. A stellar game console, the PS4 will allow you to play a mix of racing, RPG, adventure and family games all in the comfort of your living room. You could choose to play something open world such as Assassins Creed Origins, something guides like Call of Duty, or a family game like LEGO Batman. The options are endless and giving this as a gift means that you will always have the ideal options for gifts in the future as new games come out!

Kitchenaid

For anyone who loves to cook and play around with food, the KitchenAid is the best accessory you can have in the kitchen. A KitchenAid has options to make bread, cakes, batters, grind foods, mix and more. It is a one stop kitchen tool and it can make life in the kitchen so much easier, and it comes in so many different colours that no matter what decor the recipient has in their home, you can find one to match their tastes and needs!

Awesome Gadgets To Make Your Life Easier

Gadgets are something which most of us use in our day to day lives for a number of different uses, and some can be more helpful than others. Today we are taking a look at some of the most handy gadgets of all which should make your life so much more simple this year.

iPad

The first handy gadget we are going to talk about to make life easier today is the iPad. The iPad is a device which is essential like a whole computer bundled up in a sleek package, and you can do almost anything on here on the go. You can make documents, surf the Internet and create art on the go and it can be super handy for working people. You can also use a 2019 ipad air case to cover the protect the iPad when you have it in your bag for maximum handiness.

Dash Cam

If you have a car and you want a super helpful gadget for yours this year, there is nothing more useful than a dash cam to keep you safe on the road. A dash cam will record your front and back of the car as you drive and if an incident happens involving you or anyone else on the road you can use the footage as evidence to ensure that justice is done and the right people are charged for the crime. It is a gadget which can save you a lot of hassle and money and will make all the difference to you this year.

Ring Doorbell

If you have been hearing about a slew of robberies in your area this year and you want to know how to better protect your home, a ring doorbell can be an amazing option. It will allow you to see people who approach the door when you are out and you can even talk to people and deter them away if they try to break into the house. You can also use it for when you need a parcel delivered and you have to go to work, because you can simply talk to the delivery driver and tell them where to put the parcel on your behalf until you get home.

Heated Razor

For those of you who often shave your face or any other part of your body to keep it looking trim and tidy, this next gadget is ideal for you. We all want a close shave and also one which lasts for as long as possible, but sometimes when using a razor to get close to the skin we can catch and cut ourselves. However if you use a heated razor instead, you will not catch the skin because your pores will better open up and release the hairs inside. It will ensure you get a super close shave and avoid any injuries you might normally suffer from.

Any of these gadgets are handy for different aspects of your life so give them a try this year and see if they work for you!

Careers That Pay Well And Are A Lot Of Fun

When it comes to doing a job you actually love – whether it’s through your own business or working for someone else, many people are under the false impression that you can’t do a job you love that pays well, and that you can either have a fun job or a well-paid job, but not both.

For starters, this isn’t true – it’s an old mindset story that’s been passed down through the generations and that really has no place in modern society.

The fact is, if you’re doing something you love, then it means you’re passionate about it and that’s going to be reflected in the results you deliver, which means you’re going to be helping people, so you absolutely should be getting paid well for that.

Whether you’re just starting out with your career or are in a period of transition and looking to make a change, then you may not know exactly what you want to do, and have even less of an idea of where to start with it, so in this post, we’re going to give you a list of careers that are seriously fun to do, but that also pay well, so that you can see you don’t have to settle for one or the other, and hopefully we’ll get you inspired and fired up so you can make a choice that’s good for you.

Copywriter

Copywriting is a seriously in-demand service, and you really have so many opportunities in this area – you can choose to work freelance for the clients you choose or you can work in-house directly for a company within their marketing department or even in an advertising agency as many copywriters do. Of course, you need to have a certain skill set to work as a copywriter, but if you’re able to engage people and get results through your writing, then you can definitely make a good name for yourself and make great money. Copywriting is not only well-paid, but it’s really fun, and you’ll get to really unleash your creative and work on all kinds of projects with companies from all kinds of industries.

Coach

If you love working with people and really making  a difference in their lives by helping them overcome a certain challenge or hit a specific goal, then coaching could be a great career choice for you. You will typically work on a self-employed basis as a coach with the exception of corporate coaching where some companies will actually hire as a full time staff member, for example to come in and show their employees how they can start getting the most out of Power BI. However, this can be a great thing because then you have the freedom to set your own hours, set your own rates, and work with the kinds of clients you really want to work with.

Personal Trainer

Personal training used to be looked at as something that only the rich and famous could afford, but nowadays with so many people really starting to pay attention to their health, it’s becoming something that many people are looking for. If you have a love and passion for fitness and really want to work with people one to one whilst helping them achieve their goals, then a career as a personal trainer could be perfect for you. The other great thing about being a personal trainer is that you can add income streams to your business through things like digital products which can be complementary to the services you already offer your clients such as diet plans.

Graphic Designer

If you have any kind of visual or drawing skills and really love to be creative, then graphic design could be a path for you to follow. Not only is this a seriously fun career that sometimes doesn’t even feel like work, but it pays well – especially if you work for yourself and can really build a good name for yourself. Whether you choose to work with big companies on their visual branding or want to go smaller and create things like stationery and clothing, you can really get creative when it comes to graphic design.

Animator

Animation has come such a long way from the days of the original Disney animations, and nowadays everything is super high end and digital to the point where it’s almost hard to tell what’s animated and what’s real. If you want a creative career that’s amazingly fun and pays well, then animation is definitely one to consider.

App Developer

The phrase “there’s an app for that.” is now more true than it’s ever been – there’s virtually an app for everything, and whilst some are definitely better than others, apps are on the rise and certainly not going anywhere, so the need for good app developers is quickly growing, and people are prepared to pay good money for these because they know the value of them in today’s world and they want to stay at the top.

Game Designer

If you’re a gamer of any kind, or even if you simply appreciate the world of video games, then like animation, they’re now to the point where the visuals are so good that it’s hard to tell them apart from real life, and this means that if you’re a game designer you get to be more creative than ever. If you’re looking for an amazingly fun career that pays really well, game designing could be a perfect choice for you.

Travel Writer

Do you love to travel and love to write, then a career as a travel writer is possibly one of the most fun careers you could ever hope for – and is well paid when you get hired by the right publications and even do partnerships for high end hotels and airlines who want their business to be featured in the best light. Not only do travel writers get paid well for traveling the world and staying in luxury resorts, often many of these expenses are covered for them.

Hopefully this post has shown you that you don’t need to choose between what you love and what you can make good money with – in today’s world, there’s really no reason you can’t do both.

How To Get Fantastic, Fun, Family Portraits

So you want to capture more of those special moments with your family, but you’re just not getting it right? Try starting with family portraits to get a strong photo but also to practice with your camera and get used to snapping away. If you’ve never done a family portrait before, don’t be intimidated, be honest with your family and tell them you’re just learning, and hopefully, they will be willing participants in helping you out and getting some beautiful photos in exchange, it will hopefully be fun for everyone.

Use a tripod

If you’ve got one, using a tripod for a portrait is an excellent idea as it allows you to get your eye away from the camera so you can make eye contact with your subjects. You can make gestures to get kids’ attention or make faces at them, and you’ll get way better expressions by interacting with them than you will from looking through the viewfinder. Plus it means you can set a timer and jump in yourself.

Stagger the heads

Avoid a boring straight line, row, or column of heads. Diagonal lines are more dynamic and add interest to an image, so try to do that with your family.

If it bends, bend it

This is a general rule from professional photographers when photographing anyone. People tend to stand stiff and rigid when having their, so you need to get them to bend a few body parts to look more natural. Get them to shift their weight to one foot and stick out a hip, or get them to put a hand in a pocket or hook a finger on their belt or a belt loop. There are many positions you can do so try a few and see what works best for everyone.

Let kids be kids

People often tell their kids to be good and smile; however, to get the best out of them say to your kids it’s going to be fun. Bring some props, some of their favorite toys, have some bubbles with you and if your kids don’t want to sit and smile, don’t force them, instead let them run around and be kids for a while and get some great snaps of that. Play with them and have some fun.

Have fun with it

The last tip is not to take yourself so seriously. Create a few whacky shots, tell everyone to do a group squish, do a pile on in the grass, ask everyone to jump in the air or make silly faces and you’ll be sure to get some cracking shots.

Use a good quality camera

While phones are great these days if you want to get some good photos of your family then invest in a decent quality camera. There is so much more you can do with it, and you’ll have high-resolution images which you’ll be able to send to people using a large file sharing service or make copies and resize to share on social media for everyone to see.