Monthly Archives: November 2017

How to Remove Any Unwanted Program

What is an uninstaller program and why do you sometimes need to use it?

Well, if you’re reading this article, you may know the answer already? Yes, to remove those pesky little programs, that does not appear in windows’ ADD/REMOVE utility. Or those sneaky spy ware programs, that, having installed itself on your computer, without your permission, proves almost impossible to remove via the conventional uninstall methods. As well as those programs, where the program manufacturer, after you got to uninstall the unwanted programs, intentionally left behind myriads of scattered files, which may either act as hidden spy ware, collecting data unobtrusively, or frequently causing pop-up messages, which warns you of virus infections, every 60 seconds and prompting you to download additional software, from a particular site. Aside from driving you crazy, these files can cause all sorts of problems, such as error messages popping up constantly i.e. runtime errors, rundll32 errors etc.

Now this is one of the reasons, that Stand Alone Third Party Uninstaller Programs exists. In a Perfect world, there shouldn’t be any reason for such programs to be around. However, there are those manufacturers, that creates great products ,with excellent features and properties, but sadly, the big let down comes with the uninstaller section. This is the section, that not enough development and testing resources are spend on. These manufacturer’s don’t always realize that there software causes major changes to the operating system, through file associations and / or file replacements, and if these changes are not logged in a log file, during the installation process, it may prove very difficult to reverse these changes , when you wish to uninstall or remove some unwanted program. It may even put you in a spot, where you have no other alternative, because of the instability of your operating system, caused by files which were deleted ( maybe accidentally, perhaps), to format your hard drive and re-install windows or whatever operating system you’re using. If , like me, you have a lot of files and programs, which you’ve accumulated over a long period of time, possibly years, and you have no backups, then it can really be a disaster which can set you back for some time.

There are ways and means to manually uninstall and remove unwanted programs, but let me emphatically stress : Do Not Simply Delete These Files From Your Computer’s Program files section, without having tried using the program’s uninstall function. You may unknowingly delete system files that are used by more than one program. If you cannot find an uninstall function, or if the program does not appear in the windows Add/Remove list,– and this is for advanced PC users only,– you may access the windows registry, where you will find data entries, related to the unwanted program. However, I suggest you stay away from the registry, even if you are an advance user, and rather make use of one of the many uninstaller programs out there. This type of program has been specifically developed to assist with the uninstallation of “hard to remove programs”.

Here are a few general guidelines, to what makes a good uninstaller.

A good third party uninstaller usually consist of the following parts :

A logger : This is simply a program that writes all installation changes to a log file – i.e. files that were added and /or changed, as well as registry entries etc. ( You may have tried to uninstall a program and getting and error” log not found”. The log referred to, is the log file entry of that particular program at the time of installation. Without that information, uninstallation of that program becomes quite a daunting task )

An Uninstaller : This program reads the log file (if there is a log), noting the system changes, and proceeds to reverse these changes during a program uninstallation, hence the uninstaller tag.
An Analyzer : Not all uninstall programs incorporate an analyzer. Basically what this program does, is, if no log file exists, it scans the windows registry for all entries and traces relating to the program in question, and then proceed to delete those files and remnants, which were found.
A Watcher : After installation of the uninstaller program, the watcher will automatically activate every time a program run its installer program. This is especially useful in cases of spy ware or browser hijacking software, which will start occasionally, to send information, or activate a pop-up banner. In this case the Watcher will log this and allow the computer user to uninstall such applications.

Very important : Always, and I cannot stress it enough–Select an uninstaller program, with a build-in logger module. That way, if you need to uninstall those dastardly unwanted program you’ve installed the day before, and which is causing your computer to behave like C-3PO ( LOL – the Star Wars Android robot ) , then you don’t need to panic, because getting rid of it, is now very easy.

Prior to 1992, when Jack Bicer, who worked for Symantec, created the original uninstall idea, computer users frequently, had to completely uninstall their computer operating system ( formatting the hard drive) and re-installing, to get rid of unwanted programs. Most of these programs were written when the idea of an uninstall program, were not even conceived at the time. Imagine still having to do that nowadays.

Now any good, uninstaller program, should be able to do most of the following :

Thoroughly scan the registry for any files related to the programs you wish to uninstall.

” Allow you the option to choose which files you want to delete.

” Forcibly remove programs that do not have an uninstall option-such as certain spy ware or pop-up banners ( such as browsers hijackers).

” Back up your registry before activating any changes i.e uninstalling certain programs and then find finding your system becoming unstable after the installation. This will allow you to reverse these changes, by installing a saved version of your registry.

” Monitor running programs to detect start-up programs, such as auto dial spy ware, banner popup programs, pop up blocker and browsers dialers. These applications can then immediately be removed.

” Auto update function as well as excellent product support may often be lacking on the free software versions. You got it for free, didn’t you?

A quick word of advice.. .. An uninstaller program is what the name implies. It uninstalls or remove unwanted programs.. A registry cleaner is just that.–A program that mops up any loose and scattered orphan files, finding broken links and redundant registry entries. Although they may have similarities, the two utilities have totally different architectures, and are mostly suitable for one particular job.

As to my experience, at the time, while I was conducting my own research as to how to remove these annoying programs, I quickly found, that, instead of causing myself more hardship over and over again, by trying to do it myself ( these uninstallations), it was best to invest in a good uninstaller program. That way, if the software didn’t do what it was supposed to do, I could yell at someone else.

Your system registry is a very complex and dangerous part of your operating system. By dangerous, I mean, you don’t want to fool around in there yourself! Any incorrect setting or accidental file deletion, may cause your system to become totally unstable, throwing up runtime errors, cdrom errors, exe or .dll errors etc. This might mean a complete re-install of your operating system . Save yourself the pain and trouble. Rather invest in a good uninstaller program.

Remember : Always use the right tool for the job. Do not simply delete program files in the program file section.! Some of these files may be used by other programs and simply deleting them, may cause your operating system to become unstable and unbootable. Rather use the normal uninstall function, and if this is not possible, you should invest in an the uninstaller program.

The Formula for Successful Market Programs

Awhile back, we wrote an Industry White Paper titled “Market Technology: The Missing Link.” In its simplest form, Market Technology outlined a methodology, which advocated that a company’s market program (effectiveness) was, as critical as, the product and services that a company engineered.

Possibly, more important – especially for small-to-medium, sized companies that had to get it right out-of-the gate and did not have the margin for error that larger firms have. Market Programs can make or break a firm. This article discusses a process orientation to define/develop effective, Market Programs, which can impact several areas:

  • Vertical Industry/New Market Development
  • Product Launch Introductions/Roll-Outs
  • Competitive Attack Campaigns
  • Target Account and Opportunity Base Development
  • Distribution Channel & Strategic Alliance Development/Stimulation

As we overview this process, it is necessary to insert a critical role in the organization – the Market Programs Designer. No matter what your firm calls this role, it is essential to have a defined “owner” and skilled individual on staff that can translate critical business insights into effective Market Programs. Without this, your organization will be driven by bold ideas that stumble along or go nowhere.

This is the primary reason that many CEOs are reluctant to put the power stick in the hands of Marketing and invest. If they have been let down by the lack of results in past efforts, it only makes it more difficult for the Marketing Team to have a voice. This may explain the reason that Marketing defaults to trade show coordination, product support, lead generation and collateral development, as their primary focus in many organizations.

Here is a summary of the process steps to feed/fuel effective, Market Programs development:

1. Research Phase (Doing the Homework) – this does not have to be a strict, empirical study. For each program, a range of outside sources should be tapped to obtain or reinforce the insights needed to develop a baseline program profile.

For example, if the focus is on New Product Introduction, then engaging with Industry Associations/Groups that cater to your target segment (niche) and key customers and prospects (and even some ringers – competitors’ customers that selected them over your firm) can be engaged to gain critical insights. Cover your bases – obtain pure, unsolicited responses on Market characteristics, buying attitudes, evaluation/selection criteria, price points, problem-set, perceived or derived benefits (from use), key applications, packaging considerations, economic factors, competitive influences (tactics, options, alternatives, etc.), timing, cost/return considerations (breakeven scenario), roll-out incentives, etc.

This can be garnered in thirty days or less and once you develop a knack, it can become a continuous process. Once the data is collected, have some of your “bright lights” interpret and translate the various inputs into a general Profile. Make sure that this step is not contaminated by individuals that will either incorrectly translate the data or influence it to be what they want it to be. That will only result in ineffective program definition, as we move through the process. Imagine implementing a Program where the timing or other factors were flawed or misjudged – it happens and it results in a bust program.

2. Program Profile – the profile is the baseline that will direct you to the make-up and elements that will fuel and shape the Market Program or campaign. The profile is a composite of the results of the research phase and the translations/interpretations that were made.

Example: Let’s say that your front-end, research indicated Middle Management (those with the problem to solve), within target accounts were ripe for change (given the capabilities of your new product launch), however Senior Management was uncertain or found it difficult to introduce change into the organization, at this stage. To ignore this input and launch a new product targeted at Middle Management (user community) and not factor-in sentiments of Senior Management and timing of launch – may be detrimental to program success.

Certainly, a necessary element of the program may be to conduct an educational webinar for Senior Management or to develop a series of Industry briefs that could bring them up to speed. Each element that was derived from the research phase must be sorted-out this way and then transferred to the Program Profile. When each element is outlined, it is then necessary to evaluate and select the overall, make-up of the campaign.

This would involve priorities and trade-offs, based on what would work with the target audience, funding availability, resource loading, desired or needed results (tangible and intangible), market readiness/demand, competitive barriers and other factors. These indicators will lead the Market Programs Designer to make the necessary selections on the vehicles and platforms that make-up the campaign.

Example: If the target market (segment) for the new product launch is the Avionics Market (Airborne Platforms) – with emphasis on surveillance and reconnaissance applications and Program Managers and Engineering Management being the key prospects – it would be doubtful that Twitter or Facebook would be selected, as critical elements. LinkedIn might be an element of the program, however depending on your internal trade-offs (like sense of urgency and budget availability) – E-Mail Marketing may be chosen, as a lead.

Direct- response programs, Webinars and other direct vehicles may also be selected to support the program. These are the type of considerations that must be brainstormed to derive the Marketing Mix for each program or campaign. We prescribe integrated marketing programs that combine different program elements into one campaign, although this must be well-grounded and justified. Each campaign must also have “metrics for success” that will set the targets to be realized and attained.

Examples: to support the product launch campaign, the following target objectives might be set (tangible) – to generate $1.5 Million sales over baseline, due to new product launch, by December 31, 2011 or (intangible) – to achieve best in class reward at upcoming MTI event for new product introduction.

3. Implementation – whether you represent a large company, a small-to-medium, sized firm or start-up – conduct a pilot phase to a well-rounded, target audience to iron-out the program, before full product launch.

This will allow you to gain valuable insights that can be factored-in to strengthen the overall, make-up of the campaign. Obtain key insights not only from prospects/customers, but also members of the Sales/Support Team and Distribution Partners prior to formal launch. Their insights will make a difference and in many cases – they are the implementation arm that will drive your program to success. This approach will breed ownership. Enroll them early and often and provide them the right combination of motivation, recognition and reward.

4. Management and Reporting – to reinforce the point – assign an owner to each Market Program or campaign for the program life. This individual will be accountable for all aspects of the program, serve as, a focal point/interface to both internal and external program participants and manage and provide program linkage.

Program reporting must be simple, useful and not imposing for program participants. The emphasis is on generating information that will determine how effective the campaign is (at different stages) and capturing vital and timely data to make mid-course, program corrections. The program owner must be an individual that has respect, within the organization and has power and clout to get things done.

5. Program Continuum – although most programs and campaigns have a life-cycle, it is necessary to note that the Market Programs process is self-perpetuating. As a program goes through different phases, there may be occasions where a program needs to be refreshed, redefined, combined with other initiatives or programs or obsoleted.

6. Putting it all together – An early-stage, technology provider decided to change its focus from varied commercial markets to the Defense and Military Market with emphasis on training and simulation applications. Their business suffered from a lack of focus and a range of discrete commercial projects that provided no sustainable base of business. The company secured several projects directly with large, Defense Contractors and could see the potential of establishing its innovative, 3-D Simulation Platforms, as a standard within this large and potentially, rich niche.

Their dilemma was that the company and its technology were literal unknowns and they were not well-connected with the TOP Defense Contractors/Integrators, and Program Offices/Agencies that were key to their success. The company was in the midst of introducing a 2nd generation platform that not only would change the rules, but also determine the survivability and continued success of the operation. Where to start?

Step 1: the company conducted a front-end, research effort to identify the TOP 50 Defense Contractors (cross-division) and the companion Program Offices/Agencies that represented its prospect set. This included full contact data on Program Managers and Engineering Management – the primary target audience.

Informal sessions were conducted with a prospect sample to gain insights into current methods of training/simulation, competing alternatives, price bogies, applications emphasis, budgetary cycles, funding allocation priorities, etc., which provided a base of understanding. The information collected was then translated/interpreted by company principals, with the help of an outside, Industry specialist.

Step 2: a baseline profile was developed, which outlined the key elements captured in the front-end, research. Primary insights revolved around the buying attitudes/opinions of the target audience, strength and weaknesses of competitive offerings (included in-house solutions), cost/pricing considerations, delivery vehicles (web-based, preferred portable devices, etc.), risk profile of prospect audience (would they buy from a small, unknown technology company), budget availability and timing, etc.

This output also paved the way for determining the “right” program mix and fueled the positioning/messaging and format that supported the program.

Step 3: the program was implemented with the following elements:

-3-Phase E-Mail Communique – this segmented campaign introduced the company and built awareness and credibility, as a dedicated Defense & Military technology supplier. Phase 2 outlined the technology with example applications, based on real customer projects, with the 3rd mailer setting-up the target audience to attend a powerful, problem-solving webinar – which encouraged potential customers to bring some of their toughest problems to solve.

-Media Coverage – featured interviews and contributory articles were set-up with major, Industry publications to reinforce the company’s commitment to the Defense & Military Market and promote its new product introduction.

-Target Account Development – direct sales efforts were directed at the TOP 10 Defense Contractors/Integrators (cross-division) and selected, Program Offices/Agencies – LinkedIn and other social media vehicles were leveraged to reach and engage with target prospects. A well thought-out and executed plan of attack to crack these accounts open was put in-place.

-Distribution Channel – to broaden the company’s coverage and build a rich, opportunity base, an active recruiting and selection program was initiated to create more “feet on the street.” The selected Reps were well-connected with the target audience and conversant in simulation and training systems.

-Collateral – creative material was developed to support the campaign – with emphasis on Customer Project Profiles – many of which were implemented on iPad and other portable media devices. This allowed the company to reach a broader audience and “strut its stuff.”

Step 4 – a Senior Manager was assigned Program ownership. Reports were generated bi-weekly at the start of the program, which was extended to monthly, as the company gained more experience with the program. As the company ramped-up its new Distribution Partner Network – the reporting requirements became more diverse, but meaningful. There were several shifts in the program format, during the campaign based on new insights that were derived from prospect and Rep Partner inputs.

This particular program is currently in-motion and will be driven for the balance of 2011. To-date, the program has created an active forecast and rich, opportunity base for the technology company, put them in the media forefront, established them with key contacts, within the TOP 50 Defense Contractors (cross-division) and netted them Industry awards for the impact their simulation and training platforms are having on redefining standards and for their innovative use of portable media devices to demonstrate product capabilities and application benefits.

Biased Review Of The Truth About Abs Program

Now with this review I’m going to break it down into three different sections.

First, I’m going to start off with what the product is, some behind-the-scenes looks at the product, and the background of the creator behind the whole scheme of things. Generally this will be where I give you quality information so you don’t have to go through all the muggy research yourself.

Second, I’ll talk about how this product helps you, the negative things behind it (if any), and if there’s anything comparable to it in existence.

Thirdly, I’d like to give you my complete honest opinion behind this product, and just pour out my honest thoughts about it, so you have a strong opinion behind this to base your decision off. I never want to give false information about a product, but rather I want to be completely open to you guys and help you out any way I can by either recommending it or not.

I want you succeeding with your Fitness Program and truly obtaining your goals, so if that means telling you that a product really isn’t worth your time, I’ll do that.

So, in case you don’t like reading millions of words (I often write too much), let me break down my four sections for review articles into a small list.

1. The basics of the product, what it does, the background, and how it work

2. How the product helps you, the negative feedback, and anything comparable to i

3. My completely honest opinion on the product and a run down of why I feel this way

The Truth About Abs Program

You may or may not have heard of this program but my guess is that you’ve heard of it some way or another. Now there are two types of audiences when it comes to this program: those who stray away from anything that has to do with this, and those who back this up 100% because they’ve personally seen success with this.

Now I’m neither one of these groups of people because honestly, I’ve never tried it and I don’t intend to. I’ll get into exactly why in a minute here. This program has a reputation around the internet, and it isn’t exactly bad or good. It’s just well-known because there are countless review of this program across the internet, and whenever you type in anything related to “six pack abs” this program will pop-up right in your face.

Nine out of ten times, it won’t be the real product sales page, but will usually be a review of the product intending to drive you to want to buy it from a link that they have on their personal review page. This is sort of a “spammy” tactic you see come along with this program a lot, and that’s the reason it has a reputation across the internet.

What Is This Thing?

This product is a complete fat-blasting, abdominals-developing program intended to help you achieve toned, six pack abs, or for women, just a flat stomach. It includes some great videos, dietary guides, and weight loss tips that are virtually unknown by most every individual.

The Author Behind The Program: Mike Geary

Mike Geary is the creator of this program and is well known for his expertise in nutrition and fitness. I’ll be honest, I haven’t personally tried the program, but I’ve read a bunch of reviews and success stories from this program.

Mike Geary has a BS degree from Susquehanna University and is honestly, a Certified Nutrition Specialist and Personal Trainer. I say “honestly” because you’ll hear of so many fake personal trainers and nutrition specialists out there who just use those two qualifications as a means of getting more attention to them. These kind of people are fake and need to get kicked off of the internet, permanently.

However, with Mike Geary it’s a different story. Out of all the reviews I’ve read and testimonials I’ve hear about, there’s been one thing that’s been consistent with this program. This is the fact that Mike Geary truly is what he says he is, and that he does have the knowledge to back up this program’s success.

Now I’m not saying this program is amazing (we’ll get into that soon) but I am saying that the creator behind the program does have a true passion for helping people and also knows what he’s talking about, since he went through that “fat stage” of his life.

And, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you can look past a program’s “testimonials” and all the hype around it and get to the true core of the program when you determine the kind of person who created the product him/herself.

Fun Facts About The Author Mike Geary

He’s been a certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist for over ten years and has helped millions of people get weight off of their waistline. Being a Nutrition Specialist or Personal Trainer, or in Mike’s case BOTH, is an extremely commendable accomplishment and should say something about him.

He constantly is improving and developing his program according to the feedback he receives from customers and he’s put his program through multiple beneficial changes in order to develop a program that really works in getting rid of that belly fat. Constantly improving a product to help others more and more is just something you don’t see nowadays, so when I notice an author constantly updates his program or makes little tweaks here and there, it really gives me confidence in that person and their product.

Again, I’m not saying the product itself is going to revolutionize your life and you HAVE to buy it now, but I’m stating solid facts that affect many consumers’ decisions when they purchase products. This is my way of helping you decide if this program really is for you or if it isn’t. I don’t base my success on how many programs I can get people to buy, but I base my success on whether I helped someone make the right decision to benefit them and ultimately help them get to where they want with their health and physique.

Fun Facts About This Program

Now these aren’t by any means my way of trying to sell you the product, but it is my way of giving you some fun facts that you probably wouldn’t have found out about the product unless you went through me (all pride aside).

The first fun fact is that the Refund Rates for this program is less than 3 percent. Do you have any idea what this means? Let me put it into a good perspective for you. Only 3 out of every 100 people that buy this program end up returning it for the full refund. My point in sharing that with you is to show you that this really does satisfy customer’s wants and desires by helping them achieve their goals, since people are rarely unsatisfied with this program.

Secondly, this program is NOT, let me say that again, is NOT for undetermined, lazy people who don’t want to work hard. If you’re lazy and don’t want to work hard in getting fit, then I hope that one hit home for you, just being honest. I say this because the whole point of any Fitness Program to ever come into existence since the dawn of creation, was to make you work extremely hard to get results. No one said you can get toned, six pack abs by lying on your couch watching Disney Channel all day, although I love Disney.

You have to work hard to get anything you want out of life whether it be making money, getting healthy and fit, or even becoming an actor for Disney. This program is meant to make you work hard, because you won’t burn any fat or build any muscle at all if you don’t first realize that you have to work really hard. This isn’t just for this specific program but is for any other Fitness Program you’ll find on the market.

The last fun fact is that this program is completely proven by scientific analysis, trial-and-error methods and shows the success behind this program isn’t “assumed” but rather “proven.” Regardless of my personal opinion on this product (which I WILL get to) there definitely are commendable qualities to this product when you put it in the perspective of whether it will help you get real fat off your belly.

Now, we’re almost at the fun part where I spill my personal thoughts on this product and if it really is worth your money, so just hang on.

Overview Of Truth About Abs: The Meaty Content

Now that we’ve gotten through all of the fun parts, it’s time to dive right in and find out exactly what this program contains. I’m not going to hold back anything in this section because what I know is what you’ll know. What I mean is that everything I possibly know about this program (which isn’t much) I’m willing to throw out on the table for you, so you don’t have to purchase the product yourself to find out if it really works or not.

Many people out there will tell you that they can’t reveal too much because…No. I don’t believe in any of that because I see it like this. I should give you my full thoughts and knowledge about this product and give you any and all information that benefits you because I’m here to help you.

I’m not here to give you information that causes you to want more and end up purchasing the product, but I want to be as honest and transparent as I possibly can with my writing.

Now Mike Geary explains to you that you don’t have to perform thousands of sit-ups a day but instead introduces powerful exercises that target belly fat naturally. I don’t know exactly what these exercises really are, but I do know that if they’re Mike Geary’s exercises, then you better be prepared to work hard and get success.

Another thing with this program is that it gets straight to the simple point of fast weight loss (especially in abdominals area), which is that you don’t need fancy workouts that other people “stumble upon” but rather you need full-body workouts that incorporate high-intensity intervals.

I know this is very true as I’ve posted about high-interval exercising before and the connection between working hard and weight loss is definitely 100%. So, when Mike Geary states that you need full body workouts incorporated with high-interval cardio, he knows what works fast in terms of fast fat burning techniques.

The other main element to this program is that it doesn’t focus on unnecessary “crap” but instead tells you the “truth about abs,” literally. You get what you need in order to start trimming your waistline and Mike shows you exactly how to get this done by focusing your efforts on certain elements the lower your overall body fat percentage. Many programs cut out the most important element to permanent fat loss, which is lowering overall body fat percentage, but luckily Mike swoops in to save the day.

Positive Feedback For This Program

First of all, you can trust that this program really is reliable because it didn’t just pop-up overnight like many other programs out there. Instead Truth About abs has been reliable for several years now in helping people honestly get rid of their belly fat permanently.

One thing I always look for in possible purchases is the reliability of the product. I measure this reliability by seeing how long it’s been around, how many people return it for their money back, and the creator behind the product. Reviews have stated that you’re guaranteed to learn surprising techniques about destroying fat permanently and naturally through some surprising techniques that Mike doesn’t reveal in his intro video. Dang it I wish he would.

There are some elements that cause your stomach to be soft and flabby, when you could easily be avoiding these things on a daily basis, and this program focuses around that key concept and really drills certain elements into your head for future success with complete fat loss. The cool thing is that He doesn’t just get into the physical, tangible aspects of this program but he also gets into mentality and how it affects one’s ability to obtain success.

Unlike many programs, Mike truly aims to change your mentality to one that encourages success in order to help you be rid of that unwanted belly fat. Mentality is huge with anything, and it’s really cool that he goes past tangible aspects and also focuses on helpful mental preparation ideas and checklists.

One example of this mental strategy (which I somehow got hold of) talks about how many of us blame our work, schedules, and genetics for our fat belly, when in fact there are surprising factors that we don’t know of which increase fat build up. I really wish I knew exactly what those secrets were because I can guarantee you I’d pour them out onto this page for you, but unfortunately Mike keeps that confidential until you actually purchase the program.

The last thing about this program is that you have the option of paying $4 for the product instead of the full $35. You only pay $4 for a full 3 weeks to try it out and see if it really works, and the cool thing is there’s absolutely no risk with it. Yes, that may sound a little sketchy, but this is a legitimate offer with no catches.

So, if you’re deciding on maybe purchasing this product, just keep in mind that there’s no risk as you get your full money back guaranteed and you get a trial period for only $4.

Negative Feedback

While there are some commendable things regarding this program, I’ve also gotten some negative feedback regarding this product. Again, I want to be completely honest and open with you and share with you my thoughts about this product. Though at times it may seem like this, I really don’t have any intention of making you buy this program, but rather I give you insightful information to help you decide if this will benefit you.

Now the first thing about this program is that it is $35 (at the time I’m writing this). Regardless, that may change later down the road, but right now it is $35 which to many people is a lot of money. Now I will let you know you only end up paying $4 for a three week trial, so you don’t even have to pay that full $35 if you decide you don’t like the program.

Another negative thing about this program is that very little information is given out to the reader, even with the little introduction video on Mike’s sales page. I’d love to get more information on it, but the truth is that this program doesn’t reveal too much until you buy it. So we, as consumers, are left puzzled and confused as to whether we should buy the program based off of what little information was given out in the introduction video.

My Honest Opinion

The last thing regarding Truth About Abs is that you don’t need it. Yup, I said it, you don’t really need it.

Now you may be thinking, “Wow Jason you hyped me up with all of those cool features only to drop a bomb on me saying not to buy it?”

Well yes, I told you I was going to give you my honest opinion.

My goal in this whole article was to supply you with every little piece of information I could possibly gather about the Truth About Abs program and give you my honest opinion based off of what I know.

Now just because I say you don’t need this program doesn’t mean you should toss yourself off a cliff and forget the whole program. In fact, if you really think this program will help you trim your waistline and lose fat permanently, then by all means go ahead and purchase it, but I want to explain why I say not to purchase it.

Based off of what I know, everything that Mike includes in his program, is information that you can easily find on other blogs around the internet.

The honest truth is ANY program on the market will work for you, and I mean any of them, even the crappy ones. It doesn’t depend on the program, it depends on how hard you work and how dedicated you are to reaching your goals. Fitness Programs are just small tools to use to achieve your goals, so don’t get it all twisted and think that Fitness Programs like Truth About Abs are your only means of accomplishing permanent weight loss.

First Programming Language

Introduction

Programming is a very useful and rewarding hobby. There are few better feelings than when someone sees you using a program you lashed together to make your life easier and says that it looks really useful. Most people have, at some point in their lives, really wanted to be able to do something on their computer or phone and been unable to. If you know a programming language, then there is often a fair chance that you can write a program to accomplish that task yourself. While there are a huge number of programming languages, many of them have a lot of similarities; this means that once you learn one language quite well, in most cases you will be able to pick up a new one far quicker.

Limits

One thing that all new programmers must come to term with is the amount of time learning a programming language takes. Although when you have become an expert you will be able to write many programs quickly, you must remember that many programs have taken whole teams of expert developers years to create. So it is important to understand that knowing a programming language or even several is not enough to write some of the more complex programs you have seen. Don’t look upon this new hobby as a way to save yourself a lot of money, as writing your own version of most of the programs that you need to pay for now will be out of your reach.

The most important thing that a new programmer needs to know is that the “Learn Programming in 24 hours” sort of books are simply not true. A more accurate title would be “Learn Programming in 10,000 hours”. If you put 24 hours or a week into learning a language you will not be creating the next Windows or a new, state of the art game. It is possible to learn to write a program in 10 minutes, and really all you need to learn a new language is your favourite search engine, but you will not be an expert. The only way to become an expert is much like learning the violin; the answer is practice, practice and practice some more.

Selecting Your First Language

Now that we have examined the limitations and handled some of the more unrealistic expectations, those of you still wanting to learn to code will be happy to know that programming is not a hard thing to start learning and will not require you to pay out huge sums of money. If you are reading this article on-line, you already have the resources to start with some languages, so let us consider what your first language ought to be.

Traditionally the first language a programming newcomer learns is either Visual Basic or Python. The first thing to understand is that these two languages are very different. The simplest difference is one of price. Python is totally free; you can start writing python now with just a text editor on your computer, though if you are on Windows, you will probably need to install it first. However Visual Basic, often abbreviated to VB, is both free and not free. On the upside, VB can be simpler for newcomers to learn because it allows you to build the interfaces (the part of the program the user will see) by dragging and dropping the different parts much like designing it in some basic art application. The version of VB newcomers learn is usually Visual Basic 6, but this is rather outdated and has been discontinued. So these days the version learned is often VB.NET which can be considerably less simple for newcomers.

VB.NET must be developed inside what we call an IDE (Integrated Development Environment); this is basically a special program you use to write other programs. They also exist for Python, but their use is totally optional. The free VB.NET IDE is called Visual Studio Express. At the time of writing, the latest version is Visual Studio Express 2010. Unfortunately, by using the free version of the IDE you are restricted with what you can do, and any programs you create cannot be commercially sold on. Regretfully, the full paid version of the IDE is not cheap, and probably not appropriate for a hobbyist, but fortunately to learn VB the free version is enough. In practice, very few commercial programs are developed in VB these days, but the Visual Studio IDE allows you to use many other languages. The familiarity you will develop by using it will also allow you to use the power of the IDE for development in many other languages. Some will argue that almost every language can be developed in a text editor and that they are by far the most flexible way in which to code. While this is technically true (and I do suggest trying development in a text editor to compare once you get a little better), I would strongly advise learning your first language with a proper IDE.

While traditionally, people learn Python or VB first and these are generally what is taught at schools, I would not suggest either of these. I am of the opinion that your first language should continue to be useful to you one it has served the purpose of helping you learn the fundamentals of programming. If I had to recommend one of these for newcomers, it would be VB.NET as often the most complex part of programming is the graphical side of things and in VB.NET this is very simple due to the drag and drop interface. These two languages are often used as introductions as they are very tolerant of mistakes, and allow you to become confident in programming principles without worrying about a lot of the more complex matters.

For those brave souls among you, I would actually suggest Java as your first language, even though it can be complex, and is therefore not a common choice for a first language. Java programs are different to most others in that they do not run on your computer. The user downloads Java, then your code runs on what is called a VM (Virtual Machine). This means that your code runs in a special place Java sets up for it – a fake copy of your computer – and handles the translation of this to the real machine for you. This means that Java programs are “cross-platform”, meaning that they will for the most part run on Windows, Mac, Linux and most other operating systems.

Java is a good language to learn, as it is very widespread and useful. Furthermore, it is very powerful, and is available for free for both hobbyists and commercial uses. However, in contrast to VB and Python, it does not tolerate mistakes and requires you to be very specific about everything. It is also an object-oriented programming language, which is a very complex issue which I will briefly try to summarise. Languages like Python and VB are what is known as procedural languages, meaning that the lines of code are run one after another, whereas Java is an object-oriented language. object-oriented development is a term thrown around a lot these days in the programming world, and while not always appropriate it is generally considered a good idea. At the most basic level, an object-oriented program is all about objects. An object is an “instantiation” of a “class”. A class is a blueprint used to describe something like a cat. The class contains both the data about the cat such as its name, age and owner as well as “methods” which are essentially actions the cat can perform, such as miaow. An instance of the class “cat” would give you a particular cat. However, this is not a Java tutorial, so if you are brave enough to experiment with Java you will come across this yourself in more detail. It is worth noting that VB.NET and Python both have support for object-oriented development, and Java has the potential to be used procedurally, but these are not the languages’ primary intended uses and are not often used. If you did not understand that comparison, don’t worry about it too much. Object orientation is hard to get your head around, but any basic Java or other object-oriented language tutorial will have you understanding everything in that paragraph.

A final reason Java is a good first language is that it is similar in many ways to Javascript, which is an entirely different class of language. Javascript is a scripting language (as is Python), and learning Java will mean you understand Javascript reasonably well. The difference is between scripting languages and normal programming languages is outside the scope of this article, but as a large generalisation scripts are generally used for automated tasks while programs are used interactively by users. This is not totally true, as both types of language are used for both tasks and most web programs are built in Javascript.

As for the actual language you pick, it is entirely up to you. Some may choose the traditional beginner languages or be brave and experiment with Java. Some of you may already have your eye on a language or fancy one of the more specialist languages like Scheme or Prolog. Whatever your choice, the way you will learn how to program is the same.

IDEs, Yes or No?

Many of the purists say that IDEs are a bad idea, and are packed with unnecessary tools and menus that take up disk space and time to learn. While this is true, I feel that an IDE is definitely worthwhile. Many people offer free IDEs, such as Eclipse and Netbeans, for the more popular languages. There is also Visual Studio, which I mentioned previously; it is very intuitive, very powerful and it supports many languages (much as Netbeans and Eclipse do). If you chose to use Java I would suggest Netbeans, as there is a packaged version of Netbeans with the JDK (Java Development Kit). Most languages need an SDK (Software Development Kit) to work with them, and getting it installed properly and linked to the IDE is often the hardest part of the procedure. Visual Studio already comes with the development kits set up, which makes life easier, but other languages like Java and Python can be quite hard to set up properly. This is why I suggested the Netbeans + JDK bundle for those experimenting with Java, as it handles the complex set up for you, which will save you hours of suffering.

There are, in my opinion, three major advantages to using a fully featured IDE. Firstly, they are usually extensible, meaning that there are many free plug-ins that could make your life a lot easier when you get a little more advanced. Secondly, and most importantly, is the ease with which an IDE allows you to debug your code. Most IDEs let you set breakpoints in the code, which will make the program stop when it gets to that point and let you step through it line by line, so you can examine the contents of all the variables at any time. (For those of you who do not know what a variable is, I will briefly explain. A variable is a bit like a train station locker. You ask for one big enough to hold what you want to store, and if what you want to store is the right shape, it can be stored there. When you write a program, any data you want to store temporarily will be held in one of these until you are done with it.) As the old programming saying goes, if you have not found any bugs, you are not looking hard enough. Almost no non-trivial program will work first time, and trying to work out where the problem lies without the use of a debugger is a pain I would not wish on anyone. Finally, an IDE will often give you advice on how to fix issues in the code. This can be very useful for fixing bugs, and saves you having to resort to Google every other minute.

Learning the Language

Now that you have a language and an IDE, it is finally time to learn the language. This, as you may or may not be surprised to learn, is not complex at all – it is simply time consuming. To learn programming for the first time, there is no better way than exploration. Buying a book that walks you through steps will not teach you anything, as you will not understand the reasoning behind what they are doing, and people often get disheartened by the tedium.

The key to learning programming is to have a goal. Think of a task, such as a system to keep track of where you are in all the various TV shows you watch, or a system to let you look at all the books you own in a particular category, or, if you feel brave, try to replicate part of something that you use on a regular basis. My advice would be to start small, perhaps by making a sequence of message boxes that insults the user or a really simple calculator. It is important when you first start that your goals are interesting, challenging and entertaining. If you try to make really boring programs you will quickly get disheartened, so try to inject some comedy into your program. The calculator is a very good introductory program, but after you get the general idea it is important to set quite ambitious goals, as if you keep doing simple things you will never learn anything new. It is important to try to incorporate some of the knowledge you have gained from previous work. One of the reasons most books fail to teach programming well is that they use small examples for each thing they introduce, whereas what you really need to do is plan the task without considering what you will need to accomplish it. This means you will be able to code some of it using what you already know, but most importantly, you will not know how to code some of it. The best way to learn is to learn by doing. Go for a full program that does a task you wanted to do on a computer in the past, work on it, and when you are finished you will have learned a lot and you will have a useful (or at least entertaining) program which is far better than some toy program demonstrating lists.

I have said that you learn by choosing to do projects where you are unable to do certain sections, thus requiring you to learn, but how do you go about finding out how to do them? It’s simple, and most likely the way you found this article. Go to your favourite search engine (like Google) and search for what you want to do – for example, search “drop down list Java” to find some examples of using drop down lists in Java. Because you will need it for another task, and not just to re-do the same thing the examples did, you will have to play with the examples you find and try to get them to do what you want. Just search each bit you need, and before long you will find that most of the basics are as natural as waking up in the morning, and you did it all without spending a small fortune on books, without getting bored and hopefully while being entertained. To this day, if I am bored, I sometimes break out one of my very first programs which is just a list of boxes and a random number generator. It is your task to try to fill all the boxes such that the numbers the random number generator gives you are in ascending order – if you don’t leave space and can’t fit a number in a hole then you lose and must start again. It’s a simple program, but it took a lot of work when I first made it and I learned a lot from the experience.

Once you have a few decent sized programs under your belt, you will find that you know the language well. You will also find that it is rare, no matter how well you know a language, to be able to write a program without resorting to Google at least once just to check something. So with that in mind, it could be argued that you learned the language without ever actually trying to learn it. Clearly there are standards and good practices that you may not pick up on your own, but as you see more examples and read the comments you will find you adopt your own standards rather rapidly.

Learning Another Language

Once you have learned one language, whatever it may be, the most valuable thing you will have learned is all the key words for searches. When you want to do something in a new language, you need only search what you want to do and the language name. However, by now you will know the names used to refer to what you want to do, allowing your searches to be more effective and yield examples and answers much more quickly. As the fundamentals of programming are mostly the same, regardless of the language you use, you will hopefully be able to guess at the meaning of most of the code much more effectively once you locate an example, allowing you to pick up most of the language very quickly indeed.

Conclusion

If you take nothing else away from this article, remember that the best way to learn a skill is practice, practice and practice some more, so don’t expect to become an expert overnight. Remember that programming is not something that can be learned overnight, and that to become a passable expert you probably need to spend at least 10,000 hours programming, so you will need to find ways to remain motivated. Don’t think of it as learning to program – rather, just start programming, and before you know it you will be an expert. Programming is a skill, and while it is quite simple once you have the feel of it, it can be quite daunting to see your little calculator that took you a week and then to consider a modern game like “Batman: Arkham City” and realise how far you have to go.