Chances of making a successful mobile app

Chances of making a successful mobile app

Very sad news on the changes of making a successful mobile app to make you millions of dollars is next to nothing at this point.  Check the following web page with the similar concerns of getting the first cool million dollars.  The article is stating that most mobile developers are making next to poverty amounts.

Now this is a sorry state of affairs that you cannot make an amount of cash that would help pay the mortgage.

By 2015, 60 percent of app developers were earning under the poverty line, making profits of less than $500 per month. Older statistics indicate that 80 percent of developers don’t earn enough to turn their development into viable businesses. But things are improving; more money is being paid out, so surely developers are being paid more, right? Well, as it stands, Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store are horribly stacked in favor of the largest players in the market, and the current trend would seem to indicate that this divide will only grow, despite the fact that barriers to entry to the market are apparently falling. After all, with a mere $124 you can get access to both the Apple and Google app stores — and with that, access to tens (soon to be hundreds) of billions of app downloads.

This brings everything to the forefront, can you survive development of a mobile app on the Apple store ?  The yearly fee must come into mind so that any profit is paying for getting the app approved and on the store.

Very sad when you take into consideration what software you are using to develop the product.

How to purge Microsoft SQL email Items

How to purge Microsoft SQL email Items

Purge

There are times that housecleaning older mail in your database needs to be done.  A simple scheduled task can be done every month to purge what is no longer necessary.  SQL Server stores all mails and attachments in msdb database. To avoid unnecessary growth of msdb database you should remove these mail history unless it is required for auditing or other purposes.

As always make sure you have your backups done prior to running any sort of removal in the event you did something incorrectly.  By purging you are reducing the amount of wasted space in the msdb database that could be used for other things activities.

Simply running the following statement using T-SQL you can check the amount of database mails that have been processed from the catalog msdb.dbo.sysmail_allitems.   There are 3 additional  views which shows mails in their different statuses:  sysmail_faileditemssysmail_unsentitems and sysmail_sentitems.

 

SELECT  COUNT(*)  FROM  msdb.dbo.sysmail_allitems

You should get back the count of how many mail items are stored in the msdb.

How to delete mail

To delete mail items you can use system stored procedure sysmail_delete_mailitems_sp, it has below syntax:

sysmail_delete_mailitems_sp [@sent_before] [@sent_status]

You can delete mail using either of the parameters, @sent_before deletes all mail that were sent before specified date, and @sent_status deletes all mails with specified status.

For example, to delete all mails which are sent and are older than current month we can use:

EXEC  msdb.dbo.sysmail_delete_mailitems_sp

@sent_before = ‘2017-05-10 00:00:00’,

@sent_status = ‘sent’

You can modify the @sent_before to do the following:

DECLARE @PurgeDate datetime = dateadd(dd,-30,getdate());  

@PurgeDate will be the date from 30 days or older which is a good idea to remove that or you can change it to
-10 for anything older than 10 days.

So the statement would be

EXEC  msdb.dbo.sysmail_delete_mailitems_sp @sent_before=@PurgeDate;

You may choose to only delete mail items that have been successfully sent.  If that is the case then you can run the following code to delete your database mail based on the sent­_status of “sent”.

If you are not periodically deleting your mail then you might want to consider cleaning up old database mail that no longer has value.  Determine what retention period you should use for your database mail.  With your established retention period then just set up a SQL Agent job to purge your database mail based on your retention period.

TechSmith Camtasia 9.1 is now available!

Camtasia

Camtasia 9.1 is now available

The latest Camtasia is here with faster video rendering, free video assets, and new features that make it easy for anyone to create professional-looking videos.  One of the best video capturing software tools available to create webinars or technical videos for internal usage.

The Camtasia product has gotten mature and better over the years. The latest upgrade has the features listed below but based on experience you can do so much with the software and a Blue Yeti Microphone.

It is worth the investment if you have decided to bring your company’s knowledge into a new realm of possible business.  There is a free trial that is available that you can use for 30 days.  This allows you to create a webinar to grasp what Camtasia can do for you.  Highly recommended from Baron Software.

 

Faster rendering

Camtasia now takes full advantage of your computer’s 64-bit processor. Get more responsive performance, faster rendering times, and improved stability—even on your most complex projects.

Drag-and-drop editing

Now, what you see is what you get. Every effect and element in your videos can be dropped and edited directly in the preview window.

PowerPoint import

Import an entire PowerPoint presentation or specific slides into your video projects. Turn your presentation into a polished video that can be viewed over and over again.

Windows and Mac—better together

Camtasia now has one, fresh design across both platforms. It’s easier than ever to work on videos with others since recordings and projects can be shared between Windows and Mac.

TechSmith Motion

Bring static images on your mobile device to life by highlighting your product or brand with video effects and text overlays.

TechSmith Capture

Record your iOS screen for training and app demos and share them directly to Camtasia for video editing.

 

Hackers hid malware in CCleaner software

Hackers hid malware in CCleaner software

Hackers have successfully breached CCleaner’s security to inject malware into the app and distribute it to millions of users. Security researchers at Cisco Talos discovered that download servers used by Avast (the company that owns CCleaner) were compromised to distribute malware inside CCleaner.

CCleaner Version 5.33 being distributed by Avast also contained a multi-stage malware payload that rode on top of the installation of CCleaner.  CCleaner has been downloaded more than 2 billion times according to Avast, making it a popular target for hackers.

CCleaner is a software utility that wipes out application leftover garbage, can view the registry for entries no longer wanted, remove applications, etc.   Piriform believes that all users are now safe but the real question is how was this even possible to happen.

Trusted by consumers and businesses, CCleaner will lose some of the trustworthiness they have built over the years. The malware itself appears to have been designed to use infected PCs as part of a botnet.

The hackers have proven that this could lead to other companies not securing their software.  The danger is that anyone who allows their people to not protect their workstations from the outside world can affect millions others.  Similar things have happened to Equifax and Sony, if you do not have the latest Anti-Virus software on your workstation you need to make sure you are protected today.

A end user can remove the CCleaner application for now and run a malware check on your machine for protection.

Advanced iPhone X Design Holds Spotlight

Advanced iPhone X Design Holds Spotlight at Steve Jobs Theater Debut

iPhone

For the first time Apple on September 12th held the iPhone X Spotlight at Steve Jobs Theater. The iPhone X is a sensational-looking iPhone  but it comes at a huge cost, and you’ll have to wait to get it.  Will Face ID become a way of unlocking the phone, but if your face truly does get ‘learned’ over time, it could work well.

  • Screen is stunning
  • New user interface is intuitive
  • Portrait Lighting is effective
  • Face ID was erratic in demos
  • Cost is so, so high

Let’s get the important bit out of the way first: the iPhone X is one of the most expensive flagship phones ever made. It’ll retail at $999 / £999 / AU$1,579 for the basic model. In terms of when you’ll be able to get your hands on it, the iPhone X release date has been set for November 3, with pre-orders going live on October 27. It’ll be coming to the major territories first, with the UK, US and Australia all tipped to be included in the first wave of shipments.

iPhone X Details

The resolution of the screen has been upgraded from the iPhone 7, as the sub-HD pixel count wasn’t really something Apple could hope to get away with in 2017 in the face of such strong competition from the rest of the industry.  The iPhone X has been upgraded to match its rivals, with a resolution of 2436 x 1125 on the new Super Retina HD display.

The ‘lip’ at the top of the phone, where a section of the ‘all-screen’ display was cut out to place the cameras.  The True Depth camera at the top is needed for Face ID, so it makes sense that a small portion would need to be kept for all the technology – but it does ruin the aesthetic somewhat. The screen is 18:9 (although that’s not been confirmed by Apple) so a movie that’s in a standard 16:9 format won’t fill the display.

The new iPhone X is easily, easily the best-looking phone Apple’s ever made.  The rear, which is now glass, doesn’t feel as premium as the almost-ceramic metal of previous models, but it still feels solid and secure in the hand. The edges aren’t sharp, instead folding into the palm in a way that’s pleasant to hold.

Face ID is the major shift here to allow the iPhone to know it’s owner but can you reset it in the event it is being resold or given away.  iOS 11 is the operating system with new features that will improve things.  The cameras also provide excellent quality and depth but the big question is battery life which sucks the life out of a user.

You can even get a fast charger – 50% within 30 minutes from dead – but only with a USB-C cable. A USB-C to Lightning Cable retails for $25 (£25 / AU$35) on Apple.com, while a USB-C Power Adapter is available in a few sizes: 29W, 61W and 87W. And if you want it, the price of the cheapest adapter (29W) is $49 (£49 / AU$69) from Apple.

Pumping at the heart of the iPhone X is the new A11 Bionic chipset, designed to handle the heavy lifting the new iPhone is calling on it for.

Final verdict is whether you really want to drop $1,000.00 on a phone or wait for the prices to drop when the ‘s’ version is release in the September of 2018 as it has been done before.  The iPhone 7 still does the job for most folks as well as the iPhone 6s so you get a new tool at a high price.

 

 

 

How to tell which iPad model you have

How to tell which iPad model you have

iPads

iPads aren’t as easily distinguishable as iPhones are the following article will assist.

How to find your iPad model number

In addition to the marketing names that we all know so well, all iPads have a model number. Two of them, actually. The first one is on the device itself. If you flip over your iPad, you’ll see a bunch of tiny writing below the word “iPad.” That’s where you’ll find the model number.

At the end of the top row, you’ll find the world “Model,” followed by an “A” and a four-digit string of numbers. The number string tells you what screen size and generation of iPad you have, as well as whether it’s cellular-equipped. For example, the latest 10.5-inch iPad Pro is A1701 for the Wi-Fi model and A1709 for the LTE version.) There is also a serial number printed here, but it’s unlikely you’ll ever need it.

In addition, some cellular-equipped fourth-generation iPads and first-generation iPad minis have an “MM” version indicating CDMA compatibility—though you’ll see that designation only on spec sheets. If you use one of these iPads on Verizon’s network, the MM version is probably the one you’ve got.

Please click here to review the chart on PC World

You’ll also find a model number in Settings.

The second model number (which is really an internal SKU number) is in Settings. If you tap General and then About, you’ll see a Model tab that lists a completely different number than the one on the rear of the device. This is a much more specific identifier, which provides information about the capacity and country, as well as the type of iPad.

If you’re selling or buying one internationally on eBay, it’s an important number, but otherwise the number on the back will tell you everything you need to know.

How to stop Robocalls to your cell phone.

How to stop Robocalls to your cell phone.

Robocalls

 

There are over 2.4 billion Robocalls made every month reported by the FCC.  A Robocall is usually an advertiser spreading some sort of message. It can be annoying to receive countless calls during the day.

Follow these steps to see which ones help.

  1. Google your cell phone number to see who has the ability of viewing it.
  2. Add your number to the www.donotcall.gov registration which is a free service.
  3. If you are receiving calls and you are registered send the robocall numbers to to the FTC.
  4. You can block messages or phone numbers in your phone listing.
  5. Download apps which you may have to pay a subscription to stop the calls.

There are numerous apps available that can cost between pennies to $10.00 per month which is dependent on the amount of calls you receive.

The Better Business Bureau suggests hanging up when you encounter recorded messages trying to sell you something. Never press any numbers on your phone to speak to an operator or to be removed from the company’s call list. Pressing a button confirms the solicitation is being heard and can lead to more robocalls.

Report illegal calls. File complaints with the FTC at 888-382-1222 or DoNotCall.gov

Also, don’t rely on caller ID. Scammers can make it appear as though calls are coming from legitimate businesses. Most important: NEVER give out financial

 

Guide on building a PC step by step

Guide on building a PC step by step

Whether you are a person that loves to put things together or build a great gaming machine the following steps will assist you in the building planning stages.

The major difference between purchasing a BOX versus a BUILD can be vast based on your budget.

Step 1 – planning

Planning involves what you expect at the end of the build.  What type of case, power supply, motherboard, etc. are you looking to use.  Here is a listing of parts you will have to consider:

  1. Computer case
  2. Power Supply 700 Watts or higher
  3. Motherboard
  4. CPU – Intel I7 or AMD.
  5. Memory 8 GB or higher
  6. DVD Drive or do you get a portable.
  7. SSD Drive and what size.
  8. Extra Hard Drive to store data you do not need on the SSD
  9. Video card, gaming you need something that is similar to a rocket in comparison to spreadsheets which only needs a standard video card but can play videos without lagging.
  10. CPU fan, something has to cool the beast.

Step 2 – Budget

Next step, how much can you afford and can you work on a tight budget.  This does not mean you have to put the house up for sale to get something you can live with and build on in the future.   The following breaks down what you can expect to pay between for items:

  1. Computer case – $35 to $150 – depending on whether you want smoke and lights or storage space.
  2. Power Supply –  $70 to $150 – depending on the make, wattage you should be able to find them on sale.
  3. Motherboard – $70 to $600 – future growth or if you plan to keep the machine on a 5 year plan.
  4. CPU AMD is cheaper but Intel is better and costs are high, anywhere between $300 to $500
  5. Memory – $30 to $100, memory is cheap and you might as well make sure you get at least 16 GB.
  6. DVD – $30 to $50, portable is just as good as a internal, USB versus internal cables.
  7. SSD Drive – $70 to $200 – Size will deem what you will pay out.
  8. Extra Hard Drive – $70 to $100 – store photos, documents, files anything not needed on SSD.
  9. Video Card – $130 to $1,000 – Hardest decision, can the card you pick do everything you want.
  10. CPU Fan – $20 to $40.
  11. Operating systems, Windows Pro 10 is the choice for $130.00 at the moment or you can go with Linux Ubuntu Desktop which is $0.00

You can read more on PC World on steps to watch during building a machine.

Here are some vendors that are trusted by Baron Software to purchase parts from at a reasonable cost

  1. Newegg.com
  2. Microcenter.com
  3. CDW.com

Step 3 – Work Area and installation

Once you have all of the components order and are ready to build the machine, read this listing.

Normally what i tend to do when i am building a machine is to turn it on and off as i progress thru putting in the parts to make sure i have the machine working up to the point of installing the OS.

  1. Clean area, make sure you are working in a dust free area, watch for static which could damage parts, careful if you work on carpet.  Ground yourself.
  2. Make sure you have close to a router so that you have internet connection for the machine.  Do not rely on wireless to update OS or software which could fail during the machine build.
  3. Plenty of room to move around and place parts on the table.  Dining room tables are fine but there is always folks in the house who prefer to eat from the table and put heat sinks in.
  4. Start with the case and power supply.
  5. Next step is to place the motherboard into the case.  You must make sure no edge is touching the case otherwise it can short out.
  6. You can start to put in the CPU with the heat sink.
  7. Normally for myself i do turn the machine on and off to ma
  8. Place the rest of the components.

If something does not work make sure you do not panic but instead look at the simplest thing you can think that could disrupt the build, lack of power, incorrect seeding of modules, not placing cables correctly, etc.

Final Step – Install the OS

The final step in this process is the installation of the Operating system, on a Windows 10 Pro installed on a SSD, it takes no time to do so.

All in all, these are small things you need to consider before building a new computer.  Equipment and budgets go hand in hand so be careful of you can afford versus what you want.

 

How to handle Open Source Software and Security.

How to handle Open Source Software and Security.

Open source has always left so many questions unanswered on whether your comfort level for software security is high or you have sleepless nights.

The keys for open source have the following open questions, can someone else view the source and modify it  or do you rely on internal software developers fix the security flaws.   Open source is mostly freely written software by developers who love to write software code and do not mind submitting their projects for all to use.

When using open source, the internal developers need to test the piece out and whether it can be used in the production systems.  It is up to the developer to test the code on a machine that can be safely removed from production.  After the testing / QA phase the software can then be released into production.

The one key piece of the above paragraph is that the word testing is involved.  There are quite a few developers that tend to think they can incorporate their code as well as open source into a production system without even testing it.  Those are the companies that tend to write terrible, buggy nonsense and could open up lawsuits due to the damages incurred by their clients.

 

 

How do I secure the Open Source code that i download ?

Download only from a trusted source.  You should be able to grab code from GitHub or a download center that you can trust but if you think you can download a piece of code from any FTP or WEB server, you open up the door for anything to happen.  As described in the terminator, you are the virus.

You have the option to insert or update the open source when a patch / upgrade is released.  That is one way but if you think about it, you have the internal developer who should be able to update the code themselves otherwise what is the point you might as well hire the open source developer.

 

Maintain security on your software by simply locking down the production release and update only when you have QA/test the application in a test environment.  You need to make sure that your internal developer understands the legal aspect as well when using the open source in a commercial product.

So using open source is not bad but you need to make sure you read the code and any document associated whether you have the legal right to use it in a major distribution.

 

Four steps to reduce the pain of Windows 7 installations using cumulative updates

Four steps to reduce the pain of Windows 7 installations using cumulative updates

Excellent article by Ed Bott about reinstalling a fresh Windows 7 machine.  A few simple steps and you can cut down the amount of time necessary to install Windows 7.  As an technical person the time and effort to reinstall any operating system can be long and boring.  Various times in the day you need to stop to review what point you are up to and go back to the other tasks at hand.

Windows 7 celebrates its eighth birthday in 2017.  Based on Microsoft there will be a 10-year support plan so the phase out will happen sometime in 2020.  There has been numerous updates over the past 8 years so it does take a lot of time to download and install the pieces.  As everyone knows there are so many security updates with Windows 7 and the operating system is still very populate with folks.  Baron Software still recommends to move over to Windows 10 but if your machine is running fine then wait until a new machine is necessary.  On the corporate side it is much more difficult due to the facts that there could be many machines within a company that have to be upgraded.

Bott also provides a link for the users that use an offline image for distribution using different deployment tools.

The biggest thing as time progresses is whether to use the 32 or 64 bit versions.  You have to keep that in mind.  The time it has taken for everyone to move from 32 bit has been long but we do believe within the next 5 years the 32 bit will go along with the 16 bit.

These simple steps are described in the article by Bott in detail

Step 1: Download the updates you need, before you need them

Step 2: Install Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 without connecting to a network

Step 3: Install the standalone update packages offline

Step 4: Connect to the internet and check for updates