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Chrome Web Store

There are many gems out on Chrome Web Store which has grown considerably over the years. If you are a blogger, then there are quite a number of tools that can help you blog better.

There are 3 categories: Apps, extensions and theme.

An advantage of using the webstore is that you DON’T have to search and install all over again if you do re-install your google chrome or operating system for that matter. It should re-install on its own once you signed in. That saves lots of time for your favourite tools!

For example if you are starting a new blog and need an idea:

1. Ideas for Blogging

Search for: The Blog Post Ideas Generator on https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/apps

This will install an app on Google Chrome, and you can access this by clicking the Apps icon in your bookmark Bar (Should be the first leftmost colourful icon).

2. Evernote

If you like and uses a notepad or frequently needs to copy and paste or wishes to keep all your content easily without losing them: Evernote.com is a good way to go! Your can search for evernote and install it as from Chrome Webstore App. Evernote keeps things simple, beautiful, free unless you upgrade, and works across platforms on desktop and devices. Alternatively, keep.google.com can be an easy choice too, however, when content gets huge, it may take longer to load.

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3. What about just bookmarking? Pocket is good one!

Install it as an webstore app, it is visually appealing, and an easy use for free! What else can you ask for. Sometimes, you may just want to keep some web pages so you can refer later for your blogging needs. Getpocket can be easily accessible from +500 apps, web browser and email, and across devices too. Alternative bookmarking tools are xmarks and bookmarks.google.com

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Happy Learning!

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House With Innovative Indoor Cat Playground

How cool is that?

These cats really seem to be enjoying and loving it. Brings on a whole new meaning to the word catwalk. Isn’t it wonderful? These walks and cats looks beautiful, not only do they get to exercise indoor, but seem to have fun at it too. Cats are generally docile and can be a beauty to behold. The pet owners also somewhat mention hearing the cats walking at night. Well, cats stay up at night too, and they seem to love the walks. Bear in mind some these walks are high up near the ceiling, some other than cats or other animals unafraid of heights may also enjoy these walks e.g birds perhaps? To see them walking around like these really bring the place alive, don’t you think?

This can be a whole new way of interior decoration, and for modern architecture. In my opinion, this is also perfect for tiny houses. In case you are not familiar, tiny houses lovers share the love or live in such smaller but cozy houses or rooms, some are portable. They come in different styles and sizes. Some can be economically built for sale, while others can be creative innovations by the owners themselves. Here’s a site with so many of these beautiful homes for your viewing pleasure:- http://tinyhouseblog.com/

Hopefully these ideas and pictures brings some inspiration and joy to you for years to come!

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Learning with Udemy

What is Udemy?

An online learning portal with over 22,000 courses, 5 million students and option to learn at your own pace on any devices. The part I like about this is the option to download Udemy courses for offline access on devices such as Iphone or Ipad. Udemy courses are video lessons, generally clearly recorded.

Savings with Udemy

Udemy often has savings or discounts. Just signup with udemy for notification or google udemy retailmenot for coupons. Go to the course you are interested on, and enter the coupon to redeem coupon. Sometimes the coupon codes are promotion offer a lot of discounts.

But Udemy are not only offering paid courses, there are also many free courses you can learn from. Now, I am not saying go take every single courses out there nor am I validating every courses out there. Our time is limited, we need to better spend our time on quality courses that better fits out needs. Feel free to do your due diligence, read through the reviews for results and not just for raving reviews but more realistic ones. Contact the reviewers even. Free does not really mean wasting our time on useless information justifies it or even ‘advices’ that rips or results us losing much money and time! Udemy, like google in a sense, is just a portal medium or tool to access information, and I think they are doing a good job at it. At least as far I know, Udemy or Google has established themselves as a reputable brand for their service/s. And justifiably so, given the general quality of course delivery in Udemy case. However, we must understand Udemy cannot be held responsible for every single course content out there, because ultimately, it is up to the the course trainer or lecturer to be responsible for delivering quality information and support. Having said that Udemy has done a great job at what it’s doing, well, there is probably no other like Udemy in its class league I know right now.

With 22,000 courses out there, there are quite a bit to learn out there! If you are not able to find what you want to learn out there, then of course, there is the free youtube videos. There are some other paid learning portals out there, but Udemy is still a good, general choice to go with. Unless its a specialised niche you are into where only other portal conent can offer, then Udemy may offer you information and even saves you time and money.

Also worth a mention is Udemy’s 30 day money back guarantee. Just contact them. Of course, to be fair, we should ask for authentic refunds and not be serial refunders just to take advantage of others.

Happy learning success with Udemy!

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Home Learning

Love Home Learning! With internet, tons of educational materials can be found.
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Quality,  excellent or good learning
Below courses or sites are recommended because of the quality of software, information and/or delivery.
IT
  1. Udemy.com – Many video courses. Some of which are free. Of course, not all courses are of equal quality. However, recordings are usually high quality resolution and delivers well on desktop and iPhone (can be downloaded for offline viewing). Please read the reviews before decide to sign up.
  2. Blender is a free open source quality content creation suite. e.g make 3D models and animation movies.
  3.    GameSalad for free easy, cross-platform, modern, rapidly drag-n-drop, quality game creation.     Udemy courses on game salad are available.
  4. Gimp GNU Image Manipulation Program. e.g photo-retouching.
  5.    Canva – Free online graphic design tool. Design posters, Facebook covers and more, some elements are free while other images may just cost $1.
  6. Ubuntu is a free, open source and popular operating system for desktops, servers, netbooks and laptops.
  7.    Codeschool and Treehouse are modern online videos or interactive coding environment that teachings programming with rewarding batches. Diveintopython offers good, free python (a free and powerful programming language) learning. May find both python and Ruby fun; Free or GPL, concise and productive. Heard of Ruby Language? “A dynamic, open source programming language with a focus on simplicity and productivity. It has an elegant syntax that is natural to read and easy to write”. Have fun at shoesrb.
Others ; Art etc…
  1. Fivepencilmethod.com is a high quality pencil drawing course. The free online course is taught by a professional and sincere artist. Amazing beauty!
  2. Wikipedia – the free, web-based encyclopedia comprising millions of articles.
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Beginner IT books easy on readers
Still publishing new books of an older but of simplified, tutorial style is the Sams Teach Yourself series. On learning from modern books, esp. IT, there are some interesting trends of new writing ways for learning. For example, there are the Head First Series sold at Amazon.com that are filled with pictures and materials presented in casual style, the friendly-looking getstartED with friendsofED series, the Cookbooks (O’Reilly) series that lists questions or problems and the and the solutions, rather like the FAQ style.  Then, there are the LiveLessons that teaches from videos in DVDs, accompanied with thin booklets (IMHO, learning from these DVDs can be a fast help for beginners or as refreshers). On purchasing books, depending on your location, Amazon and Barnes & Nobles are excellent for U.S customers. Worldwide readers may consider Kobobooks. Retailmenot sometimes offer discounts for Kobobooks.
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Free Certification
  1. Homeandlearn.co.uk – Free Tutorials, exams and certification.
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Notes
Of course, if you just wish to blog or publish some stuffs online with good visual themes & some basic widgets yet without the hassle of the concerns of hosting and costs, WordPress may indeed be the answer. WordPress can also host your domain name for a fee. Enjoy!
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Edubuntu

If someone were to ask me which linux or ubuntu variant to take or start, I would probably say Ubuntu. Having tested with quite a number of linux for years, I do have certain expectations and preferences. Despite the years, I still prefer ease, simplicity, clarity and less technical burden on the user.

There are a number of reasons why I prefer Edubuntu.

First, let’s start with the philosophical view. Born of Linux, being free and only wishing to give others, then gradually maturing into debian and Ubuntu – ‘Humanity’, and blossoming into Edubuntu – The ubuntu variant that offers free linux and educational games to kids, teenaagers and adults alike.

Secondly, in terms of technicality, not only can it give new life to old and lower-specs laptops and PCs, it is relatively problem-free upon installation and new software addition, at least in my case.

Thirdly, the eye candy and ease factor. This has one of my highest vote. The Unity-2D allows a large search and results box to display upon the top left-hand corner click. The auto-hide left-hand side large icons for shortcuts and running programs is pleasant.

A few recommendations to install via Ubuntu Software Center

  • Docky – The floating icons below
  • Uget – Downloads resume
  • Chromium Web Browser – A pleasant browser
  • Calibre – Ebooks Library Manager
Some shortcut keys :-
To copy highlighted text : Ctrl + C
To paste after copying : Ctrl + V
To switch between programs : Alt + Tab
To search or show available programs: Press Windows key and start typing to search
To switch between the four available work-spaces : Press Ctrl + Alt + the arrow key
Other website/s to note or bookmark:
Sky.fm – Free, stable internet radio of acceptable quality and various genres.
If Edubuntu does not work out for any reason, the Dream Studio may be a good option for the better PCs and Notebooks that can support it or the Peppermint OS, light weight and Cloud/Web Centric.
Piano Booster – If you are adult beginner interested in learning piano and have a USB piano keyboard (maybe virtual keyboard may work too), this small, good and free software may just be what you need to get started and begin playing within minutes after download and installation.
Good Luck and have fun!