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Killexams : GIAC Programmer tricks - BingNews Search results Killexams : GIAC Programmer tricks - BingNews Killexams : 5 C++ Tricks for C Programmers

Over the past several years, C++ has become a more popular language to use in embedded systems than C. Don’t get me wrong, C will continue to be a dominate language for years to come, but C++ offers developers modern tools to leverage when designing more reusable, scalable, and portable code. Teams aren’t just abandoning C, but instead, when starting new product development are instead adopting C++. The language has been evolving with the times and offers many improvements over C. In this post, let’s examine five simple C++ tricks that C programmers will immediately appreciate.

Trick #1 – Conditional Compilation Using Constexpr

The bane of many embedded code bases written in C is the large numbers of #if / #elif / #else preprocessor directives. The preprocessor directives are often used to conditionally compile code in and out of the image. For example, if we have three different versions of hardware, we’ll often create a macro that is used and then checked based on the build configuration to determine pin assignments and so forth. The problem with conditional compilations using the preprocessor is that the code gets messy and sometimes quite difficult to follow.

Starting in C++ 17, the language introduced the ability for developers to conditionally compile code using constexpr. Developers can leverage this compiler feature to optimize code based on templates and even to remove preprocessor directives that are using #ifdef blocks. For example, if we had a code base that had three different hardware configurations, we might find that our code to initialize GPIO looks something like this:

void Gpio_Init()


#ifdef __HARDWARE_REV1__

            // Initialize pin set #1

#elif __HARDWARE_REV2__

            // Initialize pin set #2

#elif __HARDWARE_REV_3__

            // Initilialize pin set #3



The code above is configurable, but it’s quite nasty to look at. Yes, a modern IDE will shade some of the options, but it’s just not a very elegant solution and leads to some messy code. In C++, we can leverage the constexpr compile time optimization and write code like the following:

constexpr Hardware_t HardwareRev = Hardware::Rev1

void Gpio_Init()


    if constexpr (HardwareRev == Hardware::Rev1)


        // Initialize pin set #1


    else if constexpr (HardwareRev == Hardware::Rev2)


        // Initialize pin set #2


    else if constexpr(HardwareRev == Hardware::Rev3)


        // Initialize pin set #3



When we compile the above code for Rev2, only the code for “Initialize pin set #2” makes it into our executable. If we compile for Rev1, only the code for “Initialize pin set #1” makes it into the executable, and so forth.

Trick #2 – Ranged for Loops

A fundamental flow control mechanism in C and C++ is the for loop. The C for loop has been stuck in the dark ages by not having a simplified range-based option. For example, languages like Python allow a programmer to iterate over a range using syntax like:

for x in range (1, 5)


In C, we need to write (depending on the C standard used of course):

for(int x = 1; x <= 5; x++)


    printf(“%d \r\n”, x);


Starting in C++ 11, an additional version of the for loop was added that makes working with ranged values easier. For example, if one wanted to write the above code examples in C++, we could now write it as:

int MyNums[] = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5};

for(int i : MyNums)


    std::cout << I << std::endl;


At first, to a C developer this may seem awkward; However, given how often we want to work over a range in an enum or object, the syntax is cleaner and easier to read.

Trick #3 – Use Auto

For C developers, auto is a language keyword that was deprecated a long time ago. Developers used to use auto to specify a variable that was limited to the current scope. Auto is a storage class specifier like static, only it specifies that the storage is local and the variable should be automatically destroyed once our of scope, unlike static which allows the variable to persist.

In C++, auto can be a very useful keyword that tells the compiler to automatically assign the datatype for the developer. For example, in Trick #2, we had the following for loop code:

int MyNums[] = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5};

for(int i : MyNums)


    std::cout << I << std::endl;


MyNums is already defined as an int, so I can let the compiler decide on the type that should be used for i as follows:

for(auto i : MyNums)


    std::cout << I << std::endl;


At first, this may appear sloppy. As the developer, shouldn’t I control what my variable types are? The answer is yes, but we should allow the compiler to manage types where it could save us time or where we don’t care to manually specify. Do we care if i for example is uint8_t, uint16_t, uint32_t and so forth? Probably not. We just want something that can iterate over the range of one to five and the compiler is more than capable of deciding. Auto can also help when we change a data type. We can change it in one place without having to worry about changing anything downstream that uses or interacts with it.  

Trick #4 – The Spaceship Operator

It can sometimes be annoying when you need to write a conditional statement that checks whether a value is less than, greater than, or equal to another value. Just recently, C++20 add a three-way comparison operator that can simplify readability and the code. This operator <=>, is often called the “spaceship” operator because it looks like a spaceship.

Using the spaceship operator is simple. For example, if we have two variables and we want a three-way comparison, we might write code like the following:

int Var1 = Value1;

int Var2 = Value2;

auto Result = Var1 <=> Var2;

If Var1 < Var2, then Result will less than 0. If Var1 > Var2, Result will be greater than 0. If Var 1 is equal to Var2, then Result will be 0.

Trick #5 – Getting the Size of a String

Strings in C are nothing more than a char array with ‘\0’ as the last array entry. Many bugs have resulted in applications from how C deals with strings. It’s not uncommon to forget the string terminator in a string, incorrectly size the array, or use string functions that can result in buffer overruns, and so forth.

In C++, strings can be managed much more safely. I’m not going to go into all the cool details in this post, that is up to the reader, but I do want to just point out how simple things can be in C++. For example, if a developer needs to get the length of a string, they can simply use the length() method associated with the string. A simple code example might be where we allow the user to input a string and then verify its length prior to use:

string Input;

getline(cin, Input);

if(Input.length() < 50)


    std::out << “Processing String …” << std::endl;




    std::out << “String to long! Try again” << std::endl;


It’s a simple example, but I highly encourage the reader to investigate the string libraries that are provided in C++. You’ll be surprised how safe, and easy it is to use strings!


C++ is gaining traction in many embedded applications, especially ones that are developed from the ground up and don’t rely on large amounts of legacy code. At first glance, C++ may seem intimidating to C programmers; However, C programmers will find that C++ is a natural extension of C into a more modern programming language. Design patterns and techniques that would be nearly impossible in C are easy in C++. In this post, we’ve explored a few simple C++ tricks that I think will interest C developers. We’ve barely begun to scratch the surface, but if you are a C programmer, I think you’ll find that C++ has a lot to offer to embedded applications.

Jacob Beningo is an embedded software consultant who works with clients in more than a dozen countries to dramatically transform their businesses by improving product quality, cost, and time to market. He has published too many blogs to count embedded software architecture, processes, and development techniques, is a sought-after speaker and technical trainer, and holds three degrees, including a Master of Engineering from the University of Michigan. You can contact Jacob at [email protected] and sign-up for his monthly Embedded Bytes Newsletter.

Tue, 13 Sep 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : The Psychological Mind Tricks That Actually Work

Photo: fizkes (Shutterstock)

Despite our illusions of independence and control, it’s possible to manipulate people using a variety of psychological tricks—heck, that’s what the entire advertising and marketing industry is built on. So it stands to reason that a little light mind control could make things go your way a bit more often. When you dig into supposed psychological tricks, however, you often get mired in a lot of pseudo-science and dubious claims. But while it’s true that you’re not going to be controlling minds and hypnotizing people into doing your bidding any time soon, there are psychological tricks that do really work—and that are backed by scientific evidence.

If you’re looking to gain a little bit of an edge in your everyday life, here are some mind tricks that actually do work.

Create a debt

If you want to make someone do something for you and meet resistance, one trick you can employ is to create a debt by doing something for them first. This hinges on what’s known as the Norm of Reciprocity—basically, the pressure people feel to return a favor. An easy example of this is when someone cleans your windshield when you’re stopped at a light, and then asks for a tip. You didn’t ask them to clean your windshield, but once it’s done, you feel pressure to reciprocate.

You can create this debt in a wide variety of ways. Servers in restaurants jot personal notes on your bill to create a debt of goodwill, encouraging larger tips. Companies offer free trials of products and services because they know that once you use the product, you’ll feel a debt and be more reluctant to cancel or return the item. So next time you need someone to do something for you and you sense their reluctance, do something for them and you’ll increase your chances of success.


Yes, something used by Andy Bernard on The Office is a legit psychological trick with science backing it up. Personality mirroring, or The Chameleon Effect, is when we unconsciously mimic the people around us—their postures, attitudes, and other behaviors. We all have a tendency to do this because of what’s known as the “perception-behavior link,” wherein observing a behavior increases the likelihood that we’ll repeat it.

You can use this to your advantage by consciously mirroring people you’re trying to influence, matching their mannerisms and other behaviors. This increases trust and will make you seem more authoritative and trustworthy, because you’ll literally remind people of themselves.


Are you trying to get someone to do something? Try the Door in The Face (DITF) technique. You use this trick by first asking your target for something much harder or more outrageous than what you really want—something they’ll doubtlessly refuse. Then, back down and ask them for your original desire. The chances that they agree are now much higher because of DITF, which pivots off the Norm of Reciprocity discussed above (the name of this technique is taken from the concept of people slamming the door in a pushy salesperson’s face). When you downgrade what you’re asking, it’s perceived subconsciously as a concession—which creates a debt. People will have a strong urge to erase that debt by agreeing to your “lesser” request.

Repeat yourself

If you’re trying to convince someone of something, one of the most powerful psychological tricks you can employ is what’s known as repetition bias. Basically, the perceived legitimacy and truth of any statement increases the more frequently it is repeated—in other words, the more you repeat even blatantly untrue or incorrect information, the more likely people will start to believe you. This results in what’s known as the “illusory truth effect,” and the last few years have shown just how powerful it can be even when dealing with huge populations that have access to factual information. So the next time you need to convince someone of something, just repeat it doggedly—you’ll eventually wear them down.

Imply scarcity

The scarcity principle is one of the most common examples of blatant psychological trickery we encounter on a daily basis. Any time you see an advertisement that promises something is limited—in time or quantity—it’s using the scarcity effect against you. It’s easy to see why this works: We tend to place more value on something when we think it’s rare. When you’re told that an opportunity only exists for a short time or in a limited supply, your fear of missing out (FOMO) hits hard, and you almost instinctually want to avoid it.

While this is most useful with marketing products, you can also employ this trick in other ways. You can trick people into spending time with you by implying that you can’t fit them into your busy schedule, for example.

Speak with confidence

Being thoughtful about your vocabulary choices when speaking can have a huge impact on how you’re perceived, and how often people do what you want. We often unconsciously “hedge” when we talk, using phrases like “I think” or “I’m not 100% sure, but...” This gives your audience wiggle-room to doubt what you’re saying and to perceive you as less than reliable.

On the other hand, using confident phrases like “I know” or “I believe” will make your arguments seem more authoritative even if nothing else changes in what you’re saying. In other words, your statements might be as dubious as before, but because you’re stating them so confidently, people will have a stronger tendency to believe you.

Use names

If you get the sense that someone’s attention is wandering from you, or if you want to ensure that they’re focused on you no matter what else is going on around you, try using their name. Science tells us that hearing our name pivots off the “Cocktail Party Effect,” which describes the way we instinctively filter out all other stimuli when we hear something interesting—and our own names trigger this effect in spades.

That’s why salespeople are usually trained to repeat your name often as they deliver their pitch to you, and you can use this simple technique to ensure that people are paying attention and feel engaged with you as you speak. Your audience may not even realize why they remember their conversation with you so well, or why they failed to notice other people in the room while you were speaking.

Be present

If you’re trying to establish a bond of trust with someone, you can use something called “affinity” to trick people into trusting you. Affinity is a sense of familiarity people have when they’re used to seeing you all the time—the more “present” you are in their lives, the more likely they are to feel close to you and to trust you.

For example, an experiment was conducted in which four women posed as students in a class. The women did not interact with any of the other students at all—they merely showed up. The impostors attended different numbers of classes, and at the end of the term, the other students were shown photos and asked their opinions. The women who had attended the most classes—who had been most “present”—triggered higher levels of affinity, even though they hadn’t spoken to anyone.

Dish the compliments

One of the trickiest mind tricks involves something called spontaneous trait transference. In a nutshell, this means that people tend to view you with the adjectives you use on other people.

So, if you want someone to see you as smart, start calling other people smart. If you want to be seen as confident—or even attractive—describe others using those terms. Over time, everyone will start to view you through the lens of those comments. Keep in mind that this works in reverse, too—if you spend your days crankily insulting other people, those around you may start to view you in a very negative way.


Want to influence people? Try some subliminal touching. Subliminal touching is simply making casual interpersonal contact while interacting with someone. Touching their arm or shoulder briefly has been shown to make people instantly feel warmer toward you. While you often hear this advice in the context of dating and romance, it’s a powerful mind trick any time you’re trying to be perceived in a positive light. For example, a study conducted by the University of Mississippi and Rhodes College found that waitresses in a restaurant who lightly touched their customers received significantly larger tips.

There’s no true mind control, but you can use these real, real mind tricks to deliver yourself some advantages. Just remember that other people are probably using these same tricks on you.


Mon, 26 Sep 2022 09:11:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : 3 Raspberry Pi Tricks To Get The Most Out Of Your Pi Project

When tinkering with your Raspberry Pi projects, there will often be times when having a monitor connected to your board is inconvenient and unnecessary. You might be turning your Raspberry Pi into a weather station or making a smart human-following robot. Neither project would need a display to fully function, and having one would only make things too bulky to be portable.

However, without a monitor, how do you control your board? This is where the handy SSH feature comes into play. The Secure Shell (SSH) protocol lets you access the Raspberry Pi command line from a remote PC as long as both devices are connected to the same network (via Raspberry Pi). Here's how you can enable this tool from the command line:

  1. Open the terminal window.
  2. Type sudo raspi-config.
  3. Go to Interfacing Options.
  4. Select SSH.
  5. Hit Yes.
  6. Choose OK.
  7. Select Finish.

If you haven't installed the Raspberry Pi OS on your microSD card yet, you can also enable SSH using the Raspberry Pi Imager's advanced options (via Raspberry Pi). Simply click the gear icon on the app before writing the image.

Wed, 12 Oct 2022 05:56:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Fortnite: 10 Building Tips & Tricks No result found, try new keyword!If you are ready to become a top-notch builder in Fortnite then check out these excellent tips and tricks. Whether a life-saving bunker or skyward sniper tower, it’s not Fortnite unless you’re ... Thu, 13 Oct 2022 06:01:00 -0500 Killexams : Splatoon 3: Tableturf tips and tricks

Between the campaign, Turf Wars, Salmon Run, and competitive modes, there’s no shortage of things to do in Splatoon 3. This latest entry is packed with content to keep you engaged, no matter how you like to play this third-person shooter, but it doesn’t just limit itself to that genre. Despite being a unique game in its respective field, focusing on teamwork and covering the ground with ink over purely eliminating other players, Splatoon 3 went the extra mile to create a fully featured side-game based on their iconic Turf War mode.

Called Tableturf Battles, this card game follows a similar ruleset to Turf Wars, only played in a 1-v-1 format on a grid. At first, this might seem like an easily ignorable distraction, but can actually be a very fun and tactical way to spice up your time in Splatoon 3. Plus, you can earn even more special rewards to bring back into the core game. If you’re not familiar with card-based games like this or are having trouble developing a good deck or strategy, here are some key tips and tricks to help you dominate in Tableturf.

See more

How to play Tableturf Battles

Staff explaining tableturf.

Before you can even access Tableturf Battles, you need to play enough of the core game modes to at least hit rank four. Once you’re at level four or higher, you can participate in these battles by going to the Tableturf Battle Dojo behind the Grizzco building. Talk to the staff there to receive your first deck of 15 cards and a brief tutorial on how the game works.

The basics of the game are simple to understand but allow for plenty of complexity and strategy as you progress higher in the ranks. Here’s how the game functions:

A single match is 12 rounds long, with you and your opponent each starting with a hand of four cards. These cards have shapes that indicate what squares on the grid you will cover in ink. You both choose a card and where you want to place it at the same time. Note that you can rotate these cards like Tetris pieces to better cover the area. These cards also have a number value on the lower left. This comes into play when you and your opponent play cards that have ink spaces that overlap. If your card is higher, any contested ink square will be yours, and vice versa. If the cards are equal, neither player will claim that area.

You will also notice that almost all cards contain something called Special Spaces. When placed, you will want to surround these spaces in your own color to collect a Special Point (SP). Building up SP allows you to use a Special Attack that can let you play a card directly on top of an area your opponent has already inked, taking it for yourself. The only restriction is that this Special Attack card has to be connected to a Special Space.

After all 12 turns are up, whichever player has the most area of the grid covered in their color ink wins. Depending on how well you do, expect to earn anywhere between around 40 to 150 points per match.

You will only be able to play against NPCs, there’s no PvP mode for this game, and you start out with just one opponent: Baby Jelly. Each opponent has three difficulty ranks to overcome that unlock by beating their current highest rank three times. As you rank up yourself, you will unlock more familiar NPCs from the game to challenge.

Build and upgrade your deck

Building a tableturf deck.

As stated, you are given your first deck of 15 cards, which you are forced to use in your initial battles. However, there are a total of 162 different cards in Splatoon 3 to get. You will earn new cards via Card Packs by increasing your Tableturf rank and Catalog Level, spending Card-Bits, finding them in the campaign, or getting them out of the Shell-Out Machine. Each pack adds five more cards to your collection, but you can never have any duplicates. Any duplicates you would get are turned into Card-Bits. Your deck can also never have more than 15 cards in it, leading to an absurd amount of possible deck configurations. To make things more convenient, you can save up to 16 different deck configurations to swap between.

Once you’ve gotten more cards, you can customize your deck by opening the menu and going to the Status screen. Here, choose Tableturf Battle, and you will see all your cards and be able to build custom decks. While every Card Pack you get has random cards, you can purchase specific individual cards with your Card-Bits. Each card is priced depending on how rare it is, with Common level costing five bits, Rare costing 15, and Fresh at 40.

Upgrading your cards, despite how it sounds, actually isn’t important to winning. Upgrades are purely cosmetic and won’t make your deck any stronger. To do this, you will need those Card-Bits mentioned before. Using the Card-Bit Exchange, you can upgrade any card twice. The first changes the card’s background color, while the second makes the image holographic. Common, Rare, and Fresh rank cards each cost 10, 20, and 30 bits to upgrade respectively.

Try and construct decks with configurations that fit well (literally) together. You want to cover as much area as possible, just like in Turf War, so having cards that link together with as few possible blank spots will save you from leaving points on the table or wasting cards to clean up spots you missed.

Because the grids will change depending on who you’re battling, you will need to adjust your deck to best suit the shape of the map. It’s never a bad thing to try out a match, lose, and learn what cards you would want to best suit the map.

Focus on the center

A tableturf battle.

Unlike in Turf Wars, you should immediately press the offensive by attacking the center of the map with a high-level card right away, rather than covering your starting area. By conquering the middle ground early, you will have a much easier time covering your own territory later, since you will basically be locking your opponent back to their side of the map. If you manage to cut them off early, there’s not much they’ll be able to do in retaliation.

The best way to do this is to deliver your deck a good number of cards that have nice long edges to effectively wall off space. These are best used early anyway, since later in the game there won’t be many good locations left to fully take advantage of their long coverage.

Pivot to the sides

A speecial attack screen.

Once you’ve fought over the center, you will probably have to cover your flanks right afterward, since maps almost always are too wide to fully block off in a single move or two. This will all vary depending on the layout of your current board, as well as which side your opponent seems to be angling for, but aim to completely block them off from getting a foothold on your side as fast as possible. Even if you just match their card on a flank and make neutral spaces, that’s still better than them creating an opening on your side.

Tableturf rewards

A ton of Splatoon 3 cards.

So, aside from the pure fun of a new way to play Splatoon 3, what are the benefits of playing Tableturf Battles? Well, rewards, of course! There are 50 levels to rank up through, with each one offering something, such as a new opponent, Card Packs, Badges, Banners, Emotes, boards, and Stickers. Each rank will take more XP to hit, but win or lose, you will earn XP. Here’s how much XP you get for how you do and what level opponent you play against:

  • Lose a match – 40 XP
  • Win against a level 1 opponent – 100 XP
  • Win against a level 2 opponent – 115 XP
  • Win against a level 3 opponent – 130 XP
  • Win against a player character around Splastville – potentially 150 XP

As far as rewards go, here’s a full breakdown of what you get at each rank, starting at two, along with how much XP you need to hit that rank.

XP Level Reward
100 2 Rival: Cool Jelly
250 3 Pack of cards
400 4 Rival: Aggro Jelly
550 5 Stage: Thunder Point
700 6 Title: FunTableturf Battler
850 7 Rival: Sheldon
1000 8 Stage: X Marks the Garden
1150 9 Pack of cards
1300 10 Banner
1500 11 Rival: Gnarly Eddy
1750 12 Locker sticker
2050 13 Rival: Jel La Fleur
2400 14 Stage: Square Squared
2810 15 Rival: Mr. Coco
3270 16 Pack of cards
3790 17 Rival: Harmony
4370 18 Stage: Lakefront Property
5000 19 Rival: Judd
5690 20 Card sleeve
6440 21 Rival: Li’l Judd
7250 22 Stage: Double Gemini
8120 23 Pack of cards
9060 24 Rival: Murch
10060 25 Banner (TableTurf Tiles)
11130 26 Rival: Shiver
12260 27 Stage: River Drift
13460 28 Locker decoration (Tri-Stringer Card)
14730 29 Rival: Frye
16070 30 Emote (Card Shark), and badge
17480 31 Rival: Big Man
18960 32 Locker sticker
20510 33 Pack of cards
22140 34 Rival: Staff
23840 35 Stage: Box Seats
25620 36 Locker sticker
27480 37 Locker decoration (Trizooka Card)
29420 38 Rival: Cuttlefish
31440 39 Locker sticker
33540 40 Card sleeve and badge
35720 41 Rival: Agent 1 (Callie)
37990 42 Locker sticker
40340 43 Locker decoration (Smallfry Card)
42780 44 Rival: Agent 2 (Marie)
45310 45 Locker sticker
47930 46 Banner
50640 47 Rival: Clone Jelly
53450 48 Locker sticker
56350 49 Card sleeve
59683 50 Title: The StrongestCard Gamer and badge

Editors' Recommendations

Sun, 09 Oct 2022 02:01:00 -0500 Jesse Lennox en text/html
Killexams : The Best Laptops for Programmers in 2022

Any laptop on the market can be used for coding in some form. Heck, you could bang out a quick "HELLO, WORLD" in Basic on any of the oldest systems PCMag has reviewed. That said, if your livelihood relies on turning plans into reality via programming, you won't want to settle for a machine that's underpowered or out-of-date.

Whether you're a hobbyist coder or a seasoned software engineer, you need a developer laptop that enables you to do your best work—fast. You want something powerful enough to compile code while you continue to work without getting bogged down by slow components. You also need a laptop for coding with features that support longer code sessions, with better displays, comfortable keyboards and touchpads, and long battery life for working on the go.

In short, you need a great laptop, and one that's well-suited to today's programming needs. So, we've handpicked the best laptops from among some the most esteemed models we've reviewed. We've laid them out below in detail, followed by a guide to how to choose the right coding laptop for you.

More About Our Picks

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 (2022)

Best Laptop for Programming Overall

Bottom Line:

A 12th Gen Intel CPU, a sharper webcam, and more display options cement the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon's place as the finest laptop for business—and likely the finest laptop, period.


  • Sleek, sturdy, and ultralight
  • USB-A and HDMI as well as Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • Unbeatable keyboard
  • Top-quality screen choices including OLED and 4K
  • Solid productivity performance and battery life


  • Business-class price
  • No SD or microSD card slot
  • 5G option not yet available

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2022)

Best Budget Choice for Programming

Bottom Line:

It's pricey for a Chromebook, but Acer's Chromebook Spin 713 remains a world-class alternative to Windows convertibles.


  • Tall, high-res touch screen
  • Snappy performance
  • HDMI, Thunderbolt 4, and USB-A ports
  • Roomy 256GB SSD instead of eMMC flash storage


  • Rather costly for a Chromebook
  • Half a pound overweight
  • No stylus or fingerprint reader

Apple MacBook Air (2022, M2)

Best Ultraportable for Programmers

Bottom Line:

The 2022 version of Apple's MacBook Air gets a fresh look and the more powerful M2 processor, making it Apple’s best ultraportable laptop yet.


  • Stunning, slim design
  • Larger, more vibrant 13.6-inch display
  • Multiple color options
  • M2 chip delivers excellent performance


  • Shorter battery life than 2020 M1 MacBook Air
  • Camera notch encroaches on display panel
  • Limited to two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports (though mitigated, in part, by MagSafe connector)

Best 17-Inch Laptop for Programmers

Bottom Line:

The updated 2022 Dell XPS 17 adds Intel’s latest 12th Gen "Alder Lake" CPUs to its winning design, amping up this already impressive laptop. It remains one of our top picks among 17-inchers.


  • Maintains earlier version's slim, classy design
  • Beautiful 4K touch-display option
  • Strong overall performance with new 12th Gen Intel CPU
  • Graphics options up to GeForce RTX 3060
  • Four Thunderbolt 4 ports


  • Pricey as configured
  • No OLED screen option
  • Subpar 720p webcam is disappointing for the price
  • USB-C ports only

Best Laptop for Game Developers

Bottom Line:

The Alienware m17 R5 is a powerhouse gaming laptop with the latest and greatest components and configuration options, keeping the brand's unique aesthetic while hitting new performance highs.


  • Standout style
  • Sky-high frame rates from our all-AMD test unit
  • Display options include 480Hz full HD and 120Hz 4K panels
  • Many configuration choices including Nvidia GPUs and satisfying Cherry MX mechanical keyboard
  • Impressive battery life


  • Bulky and heavy
  • Intel 12th Gen CPUs outpace our Ryzen chip in processing tasks
  • Full Speed mode is awfully loud with little performance gain

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (2022, M2)

Best Mac for Apple Developers

Bottom Line:

The 2022 reboot of Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro gets points for its peppy new M2 processor, which delivers a raw-performance uptick, and remains an iconic design. But we'd have liked to see more daring innovation on the rest of the laptop.


  • Performance tops M1 predecessor and Intel competitors
  • Tried-and-true design
  • Fantastic 22-hour battery life


  • Dated physical design
  • Lackluster 720p webcam and 2,560-by-1,600-pixel display
  • Supports just one external display
  • Touch Bar has its proponents, but feels like a design throwback

Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch (2021)

The Most Powerful Mac for Apple Developers

Bottom Line:

The new ultimate Mac laptop, the 2021 Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch is a finely engineered, high-octane workstation that will thrill content creators. The pumped-up M1 Max silicon in our tester, though, is beyond mere bragging rights—it's reserved for creative pros with specialized needs.


  • Seriously powerful components
  • Exceptional battery life
  • Impressive audio performance
  • HDMI output and SD card reader
  • High-quality 1080p webcam
  • Gorgeous Mini-LED display
  • High-quality keyboard, huge touchpad


  • M1 Max CPU option, as tested, represents poor value for most workloads
  • Configuration upticks are expensive
  • Obtrusive camera notch
  • Weighs nearly 5 pounds

Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 Gen 7 (2022)

Best 2-in-1 Laptop for Programming

Bottom Line:

Lenovo's 14-inch Yoga 7i Gen 7 is the most polished in a long line of successful 2-in-1 laptops, with a stellar design and superb battery life.


  • Superb, sturdy design with elegant features
  • Bright, colorful 2.2K touch screen
  • Comfortable keyboard and touchpad
  • Robust port selection
  • Solid performance and battery life


  • Integrated graphics limit gaming and media creation potential
  • Active pen is supported but not included

Best Tablet PC for Programming

Bottom Line:

Microsoft's Surface Pro 8 doesn't revolutionize the iconic 2-in-1, but it delivers the most noteworthy update in years, with a larger display, an attractive chassis redesign, and improved performance.


  • Modern design with thin bezels and larger (13-inch) display
  • Superior 1080p webcam
  • Two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 support
  • Well-implemented kickstand
  • User-accessible SSD
  • Perky performance in tested Core i7 configuration


  • Higher starting price diminishes entry-level appeal
  • Accessories and configuration upgrades are pricey
  • Keyboard base still sold separately
  • USB-C ports only

Best Workstation for Programming

Bottom Line:

HP's slim ZBook Firefly 15 G8 is a compelling mobile workstation for professionals and creators with 2D and mild 3D needs.


  • Sharp 4K screen
  • Thin and light design
  • Impressive battery life
  • ISV certifications
  • Top-notch input devices and speakers
  • Available with 5G WWAN


  • A bit expensive for the performance level
  • Tops out with a quad-core processor

The Most Upgradable Laptop for Programmers

Bottom Line:

A unique notebook PC with admirable goals, the Framework Laptop is built from the ground up to be user-upgradable and sustainable for the long term, letting you swap out almost every part and keep your laptop for years.


  • Most components fully replaceable by end user
  • Sustainable concept and design, including recycled materials
  • Sold pre-configured or in DIY kit form
  • Clever accessibility and QR code instructions


  • Concept is reliant on long-term company support
  • DIY aspect may be intimidating for less-savvy laptop users

A good programming laptop will have the performance to support the unique demands of software development. That means looking closely at every aspect of the laptop: the processor (CPU), the memory (RAM), the storage (solid-state or spinning drive) and the graphics (GPU).

The Apple MacBook Air (M2)

(Credit: Molly Flores)

From the design to the operating system (OS), the right machine has to be a good fit with your work. Here are some of the specifics you need to consider when shopping for your next laptop for coding and development.

Which CPU Type Is Best for Programming?

While all of the advice in our guide to choosing the right processor still applies, there are a few elements to focus on. Core counts and multi-thread processing are a good place to start, along with power ratings and even broader divisions, such as manufacturer.

Multi-core CPUs with multiple processing threads are a must, letting you manage multiple tasks at once. These CPUs also handle complex tools, like virtual machines and compilers, in addition to simple tasks, like an integrated development environment, or IDE.

The insides of a laptop, including the storage, processor, memory, and graphics processor.

(Credit: Molly Flores)

Power ratings are another good indicator of overall performance. While there is more nuance to it, a good rule of thumb is that the higher the wattage—presented as thermal design power (TDP) or "Base Power" on the latest Intel chips—the better the relative performance. Lower-wattage CPUs may not offer the same muscle, but they have the alternative benefit of being more battery efficient. Knowing which you prioritize more between power and efficiency will help you find a good match.

The other question is manufacturer. Intel is the biggest name in processors, but AMD chips can provide an affordable alternative, and Mac users will be getting Apple Silicon by default.

Is 16GB RAM Enough for Programming in 2022?

The rule of thumb for RAM is always the same: More is better. But this is especially true for programmers, because you'll need enough to support memory-intensive tasks, like running a virtual machine or emulators.

Ask yourself: How much data are you loading into memory? In a professional environment, we recommend choosing a minimum of 16GB, but more is always better.

Which Storage Type Is Best for Programming?

For most users, we recommend solid-state drives (SSDs) simply for the snappier performance. But for programming, where you may be calling up several files at once, or storing a huge number of support files and programming tools, the speed is essential. An SSD is a must—a traditional spinning hard drive will only slow you down.

Some of the ports found on the HP ZBook Firefly15 G8 laptop

(Credit: Molly Flores)

Capacity is another question. When you need to store a lot of data locally, more storage is also a plus. While budget machines may only offer 256GB or 512GB drives, you'll probably need more than that, so we recommend a minimum of 1TB.

Is a GPU Necessary for Programming?

Trying to decide between a laptop with integrated graphics or something with an additional graphics processor? It's a common enough question for the average computer shopper, but programmers have a different set of needs.

If you need to leverage machine learning for your projects, a GPU-equipped system is a must. Nvidia's GPUs contain dozens of its proprietary CUDA cores, which can be harnessed for all sorts of extra processing. Plus, if you're like most programmers, you love computers, and you want to use your machine for play as much as work. If that's you, you'll want a laptop that can play games when you're done debugging.

Apple's integrated graphics in its M1 and M2 processors are also a great option for machine learning, but without a discrete GPU. That's not to say that it's less capable. In fact, the machine learning capability built into the latest Mac processors is surprisingly powerful.

What Is the Most Important Part of a Computer for Programming?

Speedy performance may deliver you a boost in productivity, shaving off time when you're compiling code, but those minutes saved will only help you out over weeks and months. The display, on the other hand, will impact your comfort and capability immediately.

A larger screen will let you see more information at once, while a brighter, more vivid display will deliver you better readability as you parse lines and lines of code. Similarly, a taller screen, with a 16:10 or 3:2 aspect ratio, will be helpful because it will provide more vertical space to work with than the more common 16:9 panels most laptops use.

The Dell XPS 17's keyboard and touchpad

(Credit: Molly Flores)

Other features to watch for include anti-glare panels, blue light mitigation, and touch screens. Touch capability may not be a must for every programmer, but if you're developing apps for touch-screen devices, you'll want to be able to test the touch input when needed.

The keyboard is another big one. While no laptop keyboard will provide the comfort and durability of something like one of the best desktop mechanical keyboards, you'll still benefit from a good set of keys.

The same holds true for the touchpad. It may not beat navigation with a mouse, but you want to maximize both capability and comfort, so check out the relevant portions of our in-depth reviews.

Which OS Is Better for Programming?

Finally, deciding which OS you need will sort out a lot of systems very quickly. Our guide to operating systems provides a great overview of features and interface differences, but for programmers, it's more than your favorite flavor of computer. If you're developing software for iPhone and iPad, then it's a safe bet that you'll want to work on macOS, and that means buying one of the Apple laptops on our list. Conversely, if you need Windows, you'll want to stick to laptops running Windows 11.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 in its tent position

(Credit: Molly Flores)

Aside from those two major players, a few programmers may want to do things differently. If you're a Chromebook diehard, you can still work with Microsoft Visual Studio code, Python, and any number of web-based applications. You can also work in Linux on a Chromebook, or buy some of the laptops on our list with a Linux package instead of Windows. The important thing here is to know what sort of work you're going to be doing on your system, and what OS is needed to support it.

So, What Is the Best Laptop to Buy for Programming?

We've chosen our top candidates among the more than 120 laptops we've tested and reviewed over the last year. Checked out our detailed summaries of each laptop above? Roll down the page to the spec breakdown below for much more on our picks.

Thu, 06 Oct 2022 02:57:00 -0500 en text/html Killexams : Tips, Tricks, and Secrets No result found, try new keyword!Here are some tips and tricks to ease you into this new era of Overwatch. For more on the changes to Overwatch 2, be sure to check out the Overwatch vs Overwatch 2 Major Changes page. No matter ... Wed, 05 Oct 2022 06:46:00 -0500,_Tricks,_and_Secrets Killexams : 13 Outfit Tricks to Look Instantly Younger 01-embrace-outfit-tricks-look-younger © iStock/porechenskaya 01-embrace-outfit-tricks-look-younger

Embrace patterns

No matter what the pattern, that visual interest will look playful and fun, says Dina Scherer, wardrobe stylist and owner of Modnitsa Styling. But picking the right ones will have an even bigger impact. The straight lines in stripes, zigzags, and geometric patterns can look conservative and strict, so pick ones with softer edges instead. “If you’re wearing patterns to increase your youthfulness, I recommend more curved ones that are on the brighter or more colorful side, versus two-toned,” she says. Avoid these style mistakes that make you look older.

02-go-outfit-tricks-look-younger © iStock/neyya 02-go-outfit-tricks-look-younger

Go fly-free

You might start carrying weight in different areas as you get older. If you have more around your muffin-top area, pants and jeans that fasten with a zipper or button can squeeze in, creating that uncomfortable spillage. Ditch the fly and find a pair of flattering pants that you can pull right on, says Lauren Rothman, fashion stylist and author of Style Bible: What to Wear to Work. And she’s not talking about those elastic-waist mom jeans you might have in mind. Think skinny ankle pants, cropped styles, and culottes instead. “A pull-on pant can be very flattering and is not as dated as it once was,” she says. “At this point, it’s so stylish that they come in all silhouettes.” Check out these other fashion tricks to look 10 pounds thinner.

03-brighten-outfit-tricks-look-younger © iStock/sensay 03-brighten-outfit-tricks-look-younger

Brighten up your color palette

“Darker shades tend to read more conservative and deliver off the message of more of an authority, polished feel,” says Scherer, “which is not bad but can age you because it takes away from your approachability feel.” On the other hand, lighter, brighter shades make you seem more open and fun, which in turn make you look younger, she says. Wearing bright-colored accessories like scarves, necklaces, and broaches near your face is a particularly good way to highlight your features and make you look fresh-faced, Scherer says. Find out what else your outfit color says about you.

04-dont-outfit-tricks-look-younger © iStock/peopleimages 04-dont-outfit-tricks-look-younger

Don’t stick with crew necks

If you spent your younger years in higher necklines, your chest will be untouched from the sun—meaning you won’t have the damage that sunbathers might.  Choose tops that reveal your décolleté to display a spot that shows little aging. “If you’re lucky enough to be one of those women without sun damage, you won’t have wrinkles there,” Rothman says. “When you do choose to show that off, you’re going to win the war on aging.”

05-dont-outfit-tricks-look-younger © iStock/iprogressman 05-dont-outfit-tricks-look-younger

Or go for more coverage

While a bare décolleté can be flattering, covering up more won't make you look matronly. Styling a turtleneck right draws the eye up, meaning you’ll bring less attention to any extra weight around your midsection. If you think of your body like an exclamation point, you want to keep the attention to the top and bottom, Rothman says. “You want to hit either the point on the exclamation point with a great pair of shoes or cropped pants, and/or concentrating on that top part of the exclamation mark,” she says. “Anything around the neck is important.” If turtlenecks feel stifling, try a shawl collar, which looks like a waterfall of fabric around your neck and chest, she suggests.

06-replace-outfit-tricks-look-younger © iStock/iprogressman 06-replace-outfit-tricks-look-younger

Replace your black clothes

Black is popular because it’s so versatile, but its starkness can make you seem older. For your new go-to versatile pieces, choose browns and grays, which will make you seem younger and more approachable, says Scherer. “Browns and grays can replace it in a way that’s very slimming and very neutral,” she says. “There’s not that intensity that ages you and makes you a bit more strict.”

07-slave-outfit-tricks-look-younger © iStock/svetikd 07-slave-outfit-tricks-look-younger

Don’t be slave to trends

Jumping on board with every fashion fad could make you look out of touch. “If you’re trying to follow the latest trends then you’re automatically going to be thrown into the ‘trying too hard’ group,” says Jack Prenter, founder of style website “It’s important that you try and dress younger, not like your children or grandchildren.” Establish a signature style that won't get dated, and fill your wardrobe with timeless pieces instead.

08-prepare-outfit-tricks-look-younger © iStock/oleh_photographer 08-prepare-outfit-tricks-look-younger

Prepare to show some skin

Just because you don’t have the body you had in your 20s doesn’t mean you have to spend the rest of your life avoiding skirts and dresses that show your legs. “Sometimes women are aware of veins and the way their legs have perhaps aged or feel self-conscious that they are not tan enough,” Rothman says. Her advice: Quit worrying—after all, you’re not the only one out there with pale calves. Prep your legs with leg makeup, which helps cover imperfections, or just slick on some lotion to add smoothness, she suggests.

09-try-outfit-tricks-look-younger © iStock/neustockimages 09-try-outfit-tricks-look-younger

Try a slight crop

Even if you’re too self-conscious to show your whole calf, don’t hide your ankles. “As we age, we’re so consumed with how many parts of our body we feel like we have to cover up, but a few don’t need to be covered,” Rothman says. “Elongating the leg a bit with that cropped pant is very flattering and sexy, and it's a part of your body that doesn’t tend to show age.” Plus, the shorter hemline gives you the chance to show off gorgeous shoes, whether you like booties, flats, or pointed-toe loafers, she says. Make sure you have these other fall fashion staples in your closet.

10-find-outfit-tricks-look-younger © iStock/nks_imagery 10-find-outfit-tricks-look-younger

Find the right balance between slouchy and polished

Structured two-piece sets and other tailored pieces look polished, but that sophisticated look can also come across as more aging, says Scherer. Go for pieces that fall off the shoulder a bit or have a longer, asymmetrical silhouette to shave years off your look. “If it’s a little oversized, it can read as a little more casual and doesn’t hug the body the same way, so it has that message of a more youthful feel,” she says. Just don’t cross the line too far—baggy jeans and sweatpants will swallow up your whole body. Find oversized pieces with clean lines, avoiding embellishments or details, to look younger while staying age-appropriate. Don't miss these secrets of women who always look put together.

11-bare-outfit-tricks-look-younger © iStock/peopleimages 11-bare-outfit-tricks-look-younger

Bare your shoulders

Don’t be afraid to show off your arms with a sleeveless or cap-sleeved top. “Unless you need it for warmth, you don’t need the shawl,” Rothman says. Keep it age appropriate by picking tank tops that aren’t too tight, and make sure you have a well-fitting bra that doesn’t create bulge. Use these tricks for arms worthy of showing off—no exercise required.

12-simplify-outfit-tricks-look-younger © iStock/darunechka 12-simplify-outfit-tricks-look-younger

Simplify your accessories

Be picky when deciding which to show off every day. Instead of piling on bracelets and necklaces, remove a few pieces before heading out the door. “Whilst older generations are huge fans of jewelry and watches, the youth of today are generally very minimalist,” Prenter says. You can keep wearing all your favorite pieces, just with a more youthful twist.

13-add-outfit-tricks-look-younger © iStock/sasimoto 13-add-outfit-tricks-look-younger

Add a bit of height

Getting older, you might shift from a “pain is beauty” mindset to wanting more comfort from your clothes. No need to teeter along in stilettos—especially if your balance isn’t what it used to be—but don’t banish all your heels just yet. “It’s still age-appropriate to wear heels,” Rothman says. “The perfect level of style is when there’s some comfort in there.” Swap out your five-inch pumps for kitten heels, platform shoes, or wedges so you can wear heels without the pain.

The post 13 Outfit Tricks to Look Instantly Younger appeared first on Reader's Digest.

Mon, 19 Sep 2022 20:43:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : 7 hidden iPhone 14 Pro tips and tricks to boost battery life

The results of iPhone 14 battery life tests are already in. The iPhone 14 Pro Max is the best, although it can’t quite surpass its predecessor. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 also offer excellent battery life that should satisfy most people’s needs. The iPhone 14 Plus is not out yet, but it should also provide spectacular battery life.

That said, you can do plenty of things to ensure you get the best possible iPhone 14 Pro battery performance. The following tips apply to all iPhone 14 models, although some tricks are only available on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Turn off the always-on display on iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max

We’ll start with a feature exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pros. The handsets support always-on display functionality, which means the screen stays on almost all the time. iOS 16 might dim the brightness, and the refresh rate drops to 1Hz. But the always-on display still uses energy. In other words, it impacts battery life.

Head to Settings, Display & Brightness, and disable the Always On feature to turn it off.

There’s another unexpected downside of having an always-on display. Various reviewers have complained about the user experience. The dimmed screen is too bright.

Years of iPhone use taught us that the iPhone screen lights up only when you get a notification. Therefore, you might be more likely to pick up the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max when seeing that the screen is turned on.

It’s a reflex that leads to unlocking the screen to check notifications only to discover that you don’t have any. And, you’ve guessed it, you’re killing battery life in the process.

If you must use the always-on display, make sure you’re aware of all the situations where the screen turns off completely so that you can make the most of them to conserve battery life.

Turn off keyboard haptics in iOS 16

iOS 16 introduces a neat little trick many people love: support for haptic feedback on your iPhone’s keyboard. In addition to making sounds, the keyboard now emits a vibration to indicate that you’ve pressed a key.

But that combo will consume energy. The iPhone has to play sounds and generate vibrations. And Apple has a support document that explicitly warns users that “turning on keyboard haptics might affect the battery life of your iPhone.”

To improve battery life on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models, you’ll want to turn both the Sound and Haptic off. Go to the same Settings app, head to Sounds & Haptics, and Keyboard Feedback. That’s where you’ll find toggles for both settings. Make sure you turn both of them off.

Enable the iPhone’s auto-brightness feature

The OLED screen on your iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro consumes the most energy. Because it’s OLED technology, it uses energy to display colors other than black. The brighter it gets, the more power your battery will provide for the experience.

To optimize battery life, make sure that Auto-Brightness is turned on. You’ll find the setting in Settings, Accessibility, and Display & Text Size. Once you enable it, the iPhone’s ambient light sensor(s) will automatically reduce the screen brightness. This isn’t just great for the eyes, it’ll save battery life.

Using Dark Mode permanently might also help you squeeze additional minutes out of your battery. Black colors do not use any energy with an OLED screen.

While in the Accessibility menu, you might be tempted to also manage the Motion settings. Whatever you do in there, you can also enable the Limit Frame Rate option. This is another battery life-saving trick that only applies to iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.

The feature will set the maximum refresh rate to 60Hz on the Pros, which will cripple the ProMotion feature. Mind you, the screen refresh rate will still fluctuate between 1Hz and 60Hz when the setting is on. You can test that by having Always On enabled. This feature does not work unless the screen can go down to a 1Hz refresh rate.

You’ll conserve battery life by preventing the screen from climbing to 120Hz. ProMotion is a great feature to have on iPhone, but it’s not as game-changing as 120Hz on Android. Some people might not even see the differences between 60Hz and 120Hz on iPhones, or care about them. Those people can enable the Limit Frame Rate feature.

Remember battery health

The hidden tricks above will not do wonders. Battery life will probably Improve by several minutes but not several hours. Still, any improvement will be good news for people who feel battery life anxiety.

Those iPhone users should remember to also take care of the iPhone’s battery health. That means having Optimized Battery Charging enabled in the Battery Health settings under the Battery menu.

The feature fights battery aging by learning from your daily schedule. The iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro will finish charging beyond 80% only when you need it. For example, the phone will end charging before your alarm is set to go off in the morning.

You don’t want just excellent battery life from your iPhone. You want years of great battery life from it, and this little setting will help you get there.

As for that battery anxiety life, you can always enable Low Power Mode to conserve energy in emergencies.

iOS 16 will stop charging when the iPhone is hot

Another battery safety feature that will Improve battery health and extend battery life is a new iOS 16 built-in feature available on all iPhone models.

If you see the following warning on your iPhone 14 model, it means the handset is too hot to recharge:

Charging On Hold. Charging will resume when iPhone returns to normal temperature.

You don’t have to enable anything in the Settings app for the feature to work. But you might want to take action, like removing the iPhone from direct sunlight. Or stop using energy-intensive apps as the phone is charging.

Get the right battery charger for the iPhone 14

One of the iPhone 14 Pro rumors that didn’t pan out concerns battery charging speed. The iPhone 14 models still have a maximum advertised charging rate of 20W instead of the rumored 30W. That’s enough to get you a 50% charge within 35 minutes on any iPhone since the iPhone 8/X.

Some Android phones support charging speeds that reach or surpass 100W. However, those speeds can degrade battery health. In turn, they’ll reduce battery life faster than slower-charging phones.

But the iPhone 14 Pro does support slightly faster charging speeds that Apple doesn’t advertise. We saw this happen in the past with previous iPhones, and Apple is quietly doing it again. The iPhone 14 and 14 Pro might not reach 30W, but some models might approach it. User testing showed the iPhone 14 Pro Max going up to 29W with larger USB-C charges.

The averages seem to be around 25W for the iPhone 14 and 27W for the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Rather than getting a 20W charger, you might want to use a larger model to speed up charging slightly. You can use any regular USB-C charger to recharge the iPhone, including your MacBook’s power brick.

You won’t get a continuous charging speed of 25W-27W, but the larger charger could reduce the charging time in emergencies and “kill” that battery anxiety feeling. All without degrading battery health significantly.

More tech coverage: Our guide on the best free and public DNS servers in 2022

Tue, 20 Sep 2022 12:01:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Why am I so tired in the morning? 6 tricks to get out of bed as autumn rolls in

Darker mornings in autumn can make it tougher to get out of bed and face the day. But there are lifestyle changes and routines that people can get into to help make mornings easier

Getting out of bed can be tougher in the autumn and winter months

Early risers will have already started to notice the delayed start to the dawn and the darker mornings.

Autumn has not long got going and yet sunrise is already well after 7am, meaning much of the country will be waking up and even commuting before the sun is even up.

And, on top of that is the bi-annual clock change, with British Summer Time (BST) set to end before October is out.

But how best to prepare yourself for the October 30 clock change and to beat the seasonal difficulties in getting out of bed?

Here are tips from sleep experts and the NHS on how to avoid getting into a rut with sleep and routines this autumn.

Get prepared for the clocks going back

The clocks go back an hour in late October (


Getty Images)

Dr Lindsay Browning, a psychologist, said our natural body clocks can be left confused by the decision to do everything later once the nation’s clocks go back an hour.

She recommends changing your routine before the BST switchover in order to ready ourselves for the alteration and certain that our sleep patterns do not get knocked off course.

The neuroscientist and sleep expert for And So To Bed said: "To help your body adjust quickly to the new time, it can be a good idea to gradually alter your bedtime two to three days before the clocks change so that you get used to falling asleep and waking up later.

“You can even move your breakfast, lunch and dinner a little later each day too, since the timing of mealtimes also has an impact on our internal clock.”

Light is your friend

A walk in the sunshine is good for regulating the body clock and getting exercise (


Getty Images/Tetra images RF)

Exposure to daylight is key to keeping the body’s rhythm going unabated.

With working from home having become much more popular since the Covid pandemic, some people might find they are not getting the same exposure to sunlight given they are doing no morning commute or not doing the office lunch run.

Dr Browning says finding time for even just a quick walk can have benefits.

“Make sure that you leave the house for a mid-morning/lunchtime walk to help you get some important sunlight exposure and a little light exercise,” she said.

Opening up curtains and blinds as soon as light is emerging can also help with routine and mood.

Waking up to light

Wake-up lights have been known to help some people adjust to the darker mornings

It may be dark outside, but some have found the idea of having a light lamp useful for counteracting what is known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

This form of light therapy usually involves buying a sunrise clock which gradually lights up the bedroom as you wake up, simulating a sunrise even when it is dark outside.

The NHS says: “Some people with SAD find that light therapy can help Improve their mood considerably.

“This involves sitting by a special lamp called a light box, usually for around 30 minutes to an hour each morning.”

Using a sunrise lamp might not cure SAD — it is likely to be needed again next autumn/winter — but they can produce good short-term results.

“When light therapy has been found to help, most people noticed an improvement in their symptoms within a week or so,” according to the NHS.

Eat apples for breakfast

Some British apples come into season during autumn (


Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Groggy when you get up? Most people reach for a pot of coffee when trying to get going during the darker starts.

But one expert says slow-burning sugars are a better way to keep stimulated during the day and fuelling those dark morning get-ups.

With many British apples in season during autumn, it could be a good time to kickstart a healthy breakfast habit.

Stephanie Taylor, managing director of StressNoMore, said: “An apple a day doesn’t just keep the doctor away.

“They also contain around 13g of natural sugar and according to studies, this has a similar effect on the body as coffee.

“Natural glucose from the apple is slowly digested, which makes you feel more awake. Not only this but unlike caffeine, there are no jolts or energy slumps once it has been eaten.

“Porridge and leafy greens will help you feel more alert in those early morning hours, once you’ve got out of bed.”

Sleep routines

There are regular pre-bedtime habits to get into that can help with a good night's sleep both in the colder months, but also all year round.

Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, increasing exercise levels and having a night-time detox from mobile phone and computer screens are all ways of getting yourself prepped for a better night’s sleep.

Dr Browning recommends cutting down on alcohol and also stopping caffeine intake five to seven hours before bed — and that includes refraining from chocolate, as well as tea and coffee.

Keep a diary

Keeping a diary can help declutter the brain before bed (


Getty Images/Tetra images RF)

Getting the day down onto paper and “brain dumping” before sleep can be a good way of destressing the mind, according to Dr Browning.

But it should be done the old-fashioned way, with a pen and paper, rather than being subject to a phone’s blue light or even being tempted to check social media late on.

She said: “Taking time during the day to write a journal or do a gratitude journal is a great way of helping to brain dump so that your brain isn’t overloaded when you are trying to switch off to go to sleep.

“Instead of your brain doing that thinking and processing during the night or in your dreaming sleep — which can also be disruptive to a good night’s sleep — write down any troubling thoughts, questions and ideas throughout the day in a journal, this will allow you to get those thoughts out of your head and out of the way of a restful night.”


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Mon, 10 Oct 2022 16:39:00 -0500 en text/html
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