Andrew Saladino Selected as 2014 30 Under 30 Award Recipient by The National Kitchen & Bath Association

NKBA 30 Under 30 Logo
NEW YORK, 10/22/2013 — Andrew Saladino has been selected as one of the 30 Under 30 recipients by The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) for the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show 2014 (KBIS®), to be held February 4-6 in Las Vegas.

“We are excited to present our 30 Under 30 young professionals at KBIS 2014 for the second year in a row,” says Nancy Barnes, NKBA Director of Learning. “The program launch in 2013 was a huge success with the group, which included enthusiastic entrepreneurs, forward-thinking CEOs, and cutting-edge designers who are all still in their 20s.”

The goal of the NKBA 30 Under 30 Program is to acknowledge outstanding young professionals, while helping these individuals to immerse and apply themselves to new opportunities for growth and development in support of the industry.

On Thursday, February 6, 2014, the group of 30 young professionals will present their findings on the Las Vegas show floor in a featured speaker presentation for KBIS 2014 Conference attendees. They will share the results of their explorations and answer questions from the audience.

About the National Kitchen & Bath Association and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show

Now celebrating its 50th Anniversary, the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is a not-for-profit trade association that owns the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS®). With nearly 60,000 members, the NKBA has educated and led the kitchen and bath industry since the association’s founding in 1963. The mission of the NKBA is to enhance member success and excellence, promote professionalism and ethical business practices, and provide leadership and direction for the kitchen and bath industry worldwide. For more information, visit the NKBA Press Room or call 1-800-THE-NKBA (843-6522).

KBIS® and NKBA® are registered trademarks of the National Kitchen & Bath Association.

Andrew’s Tips for Starting & Maintaining a Diet

I’ve lost a lot of weight over the past year and I wanted to share some tips that have helped me along the way that might be able to help you with your goals as well.

Fat Intake

Dropping too low on daily fat intake, over a long period of time, causes massive cravings/binges and can mess with your hormones. If I go any lower than 50g/day of fat, I tend to start craving food obsessively. If you turn into a food obsessed emotional monster, this is might be why.

Meal Planning

When you really nail down a good diet, you might start finding new foods to slip into the mix to make things fresh/new. Keep this in mind: The more you think about food (Planning meals, recipes, etc), the more you will crave food. The best thing you can do for your appetite is minimize the time you spend thinking about food. You do this by preparing 2-3 menus of food you adhere to on any given day – like wearing a different suit on any given day of the week. “Oh, it’s Tuesday – that means it’s 1 lb chicken breast, 8 eggs, 500 calories of fruit/veg, and a serving of butter today”.

Intermittent fasting

Looking forward to only one meal (maybe spread out a bit) requires less conscious thought than looking forward to 3 meals + snacks. Less thought = less appetite. There might also be weird hormonal reasons for IF curbing appetite, but it works regardless. Less meals.

Filling Foods

Foods that fill you up are foods that have a lot of fiber and/or absorb a lot of water. Examples include fruit, vegetables, and oatmeal (with 3 cups of water per 1 cup of oats). Protein and fat also satiate obviously, but the satiety from protein/fat feels more hormonal than physical. Fiber/water absorption satiates on a very physical level.

Momentum

When you start a new habit or routine, it will feel very hard at first. You’ll find that after 2 weeks it starts to seem “easy” to you to do the new routine, and after 4 weeks of repetition it will seem “default” or “automatic”. After a month of doing something it will become your natural state, and it will be hard for you to think of any way else to do things.
I like to think of this as a kind of psychological momentum. Every positive routine you have creates a feedback loop where doing it becomes easier the more you do it. The same can be said for bad habits though. This leads to two lessons:

  • When you’ve established an upward spiral (You have good routines), don’t stray from them! It’s easy to say, “Oh I’ll just have one donut”, or “Oh I’ll just order pizza this one time”, but one diet break might be a “combo breaker” for your winning streak. It might push you out of your upward spiral. That single lapse has a greater psychological burden than it seems to from first glance. Preserve your positive momentum.
  • Breaking a bad habit is hardest to do during the first two weeks. Don’t think about making a life change – just beat that habit for 2 weeks. If you can make it those 14 days, you can make it to the 30 day point EASILY. When you make it to 30 days, it will feel NATURAL and DEFAULT to never do that bad thing again. 2 weeks is the goal. It is not insurmountable.

Think About Your Goal

As previously stated, the more you think about something the more you will gravitate toward it. If you’re having trouble sticking to your goals, think about how much you want them every time you find yourself straying. If you think about where you DON’T want to be two minutes a day for every minute you spend thinking about where you DO want to be, you can’t expect yourself to succeed. Force yourself to stack the odds in your favor by thinking about your goals more than you think about your temptations.
If I find myself day dreaming about my weakness foods, I consciously force myself to spend more time immediately after that thinking about how awesome it would be to look amazing, and to be ripped. IT WORKS.

Slip Ups

You’re going to slip up. When you do, your focus will be to abolish the bad habit you’ve picked up and re-establish your positive momentum. During this time, the name of the game is DAMAGE CONTROL. Putting on 5 lbs during a bad time is a huge psychological burden compared to just “stalling” in your weight loss. Minimize the damage you do during your “slip ups” by eating less for a few days after you splurge. Your body takes DAYS to process food. When you overeat you incur debt. You have a few days to pay it off with a correction to your diet. You have about a day to exercise as much of it off as you can while it’s still being processed before it turns to fat. DO NOT use this as an excuse to binge-starve-binge. That is unhealthy for obvious reasons and will lead to an eating disorder. This method is occasionally used to temporarily correct a lapse in control or judgement – it is not a pattern you want to adopt.

Diet Composition

Your body talks to you. It tells you what nutrients you need by giving you cravings for certain foods. Your body doesn’t know what a pepperoni pizza is, or what a sweet potato is. All it knows is, “That fatty thing with a lot of sodium I ate yesterday (pizza)”, or “That filling starchy thing with vitamin A (Sweet potato)”. If your putting pizza and hamburgers into your body, your conscious mind will interpret those cravings as “Eat more Pizza!”; and If you are constantly craving pizza, it will be very hard to lose weight, and very easy to over eat.
For this reason it is important to eat “healthy” foods. After a few weeks of eating fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods, you will start CRAVING THEM. it’s easy to stick to your diet when you’re craving veggies and chicken breast.
This is also why you want varied food in your diet. Your body needs to be able to put a name to the nutrients it needs. If you need more vitamin C, and you’ve eaten peaches recently (they have vitamin C), then you crave peaches. If you aren’t eating any peaches though, you just get “hungry” without knowing why, and you stay that way after you should be full. Eat a somewhat varied diet so you know what to eat to satisfy yourself.

The End.

Stretching Routine: Starting Stretching for Beginners

Starting Stretching for BeginnersI am probably the least flexible person in the world and have always struggled to find ways to improve my flexibility. Most stretching routines too complex and time consuming to do on a daily basis so I’ve gone my whole life without ever stretching. Now that I’m constantly in the gym, I’m finding that my limited flexibility limits my ability to properly do some workouts and I knew that it was time for a change.

I started doing a bit of research and found a beginner’s stretching program called ‘Starting Stretching‘ created by phrakture. It’s the perfect program for a person like me who has absolutely no idea what they are doing and is too overwhelmed to know where to begin. The routine should take about 15 minutes to complete and should be performed in succession daily and after every workout. Keep reading below for the complete program pasted from Phrakture’s website as well as some pictures to help with the explanation of the movements.

The Starting Stretching Program

This program covers a series of 9 stretches – 3 upper body, 4 lower body, and 2 torso. Each is to be done for a total of 60 seconds. Doing this in one stretch is the best, but if you need to stretch for 30s, relax, and finish 30s, that is fine too. Try not to go lower than 20s intervals – if you can’t do a stretch for at least 20s, lessen the intensity.

These stretches are to be performed in succession after every single workout. This should take only 10-15 minutes. It is recommended, however to do them every single day. If you have time, repeating the stretches 2-3 times is also recommended.

Shoulder Extension

Starting Stretching - Shoulder Extension

Place your hands on some object that is overhead, while keeping your arms straight. You may bend forward to an object, as long as it is still “overhead”. Attempt to push your head and chest through so that the arms are pressed behind the body. Variation 1, Variation 2.

Beginner: As above, with palms facing down

Intermediate: Place your elbows on the object and bring the hands together as it you were praying.

Advanced: Rotate the palms facing upward. Holding a stick might be useful to help keep the hands from rotating. Alternatively, a dead hang from a bar in a chinup grip might be used.

Underarm Shoulder Stretch

Starting Stretching - Underarm Shoulder Stretch
While seated, place your hands behind you on the ground, fingers pointing away, and slide your butt forward, keeping the arms straight. This can also be done by placing your hands behind you on a tall object, and squatting/crouching down.

Beginner: As above, keeping hands on the ground, approximately shoulder width.

Intermediate: Use a stick or resistance band to keep arms narrower than shoulder width.

Advanced: Do this while hanging from a bar. Also known as a “German Hang”

Rear Hand Clasp

Starting Stretching - Rear Hand Clasp
With one hand overhead and the other hand behind your lower back, attempt to grasp fingertips behind your back. Make sure to do this on both sides. Example Video.

Beginner: Use a towel or strap to bring the hands together

Intermediate: Grab opposing fingers or hands

Advanced: Grab opposing wrists

Full Squat

Starting Stretching - Full Squat
Keeping the heels on the ground, squat down as far as your body will allow. Keep your arms inside the knees and press them outward. Feel free to hold on to something for balance, as it should not affect the stretch, but free balancing is preferred.

Beginner: Just get into the position and hold

Intermediate: Work on sitting up as straight as possible. Chest and head held high

Advanced: Sit up vertically and attempt to keep the toes pointed forward

Standing Pike

Starting Stretching - Standing Pike
Bend forward, hinging at the hips while trying to keep the back flat. Do not try to touch your toes – instead, try to touch the ground 1-2 feet in front of your toes. This will help you hinge at the hips and not bend at the back. When you can get decently below parallel with a flat back, then you can grab your calves and attempt to pull your head to your knees.

Note: When returning from the stretch, bend your knees and let your hips drop, before lifting your upper body up. Stand up as if squatting. Doing otherwise can risk back injury

Beginner: Forward bend with a flat back

Intermediate: When below parallel with a flat back grab your calves and pull your knees to your chest

Advanced: Pull your knees to your chest without using your arms to pull

Kneeling Lunge

Starting Stretching - Kneeling Lunge
Kneel on the ground and place one foot in front of you, flat on the ground, in a lunge position with the back knee and top of foot on the ground. Squeeze the glutes and press the pelvis forward, stretching the rear leg. Move the front foot forward as needed to ensure the front shin remains roughly vertical. Ensure the torso remains vertical, and not bending backwards or leaning forwards.

Beginner: Perform the kneeling lunge with hands on the front leg, supporting some of the torso

Intermediate: Keep the hands at the side of the torso, with palms facing forward and shoulders pulled back

Advanced: Raise the rear leg up against your glutes and hold with both arms

Butterfly

Starting Stretching - Butterfly
Sit on the ground, and bring the bottoms of your feet together in front of you. Hold your feet together with your hands and pull them slightly towards you. Actively try to press your knees towards the ground. See here for more instruction

Beginner: Use strength alone to push the knees towards the floor.

Intermediate: Lean forward slightly (with a flat back) and press the legs towards the floor by using your elbows.

Advanced: Lean forward with a flat back, attempting to touch both your chest to your legs and your knees to the ground.

Backbend

Starting Stretching - Backbend
Backbends are fairly difficult for people who have never done them, so we’re going to scale it with a few other stretches first. With any of these stretches, if you feel pinching in the lower back, you’re doing it wrong. Take a step back and don’t push so hard.

Beginner: Glute Bridge. While lying on your back, bend your knees and put your feet near your buttocks. By squeezing the glutes, lift the hips and pelvis off the floor and press it towards the ceiling.

Intermediate: Camel. Kneel on your shins on the ground. Curl the toes under your feet, and reach behind you, grabbing the heels with the respective hand. From here, squeeze the glutes and push the pelvis forward as much as possible while holding onto the heels. Look upward and pull the shoulders back. You may need to use blocks or pillows to raise the heels higher at first.

Advanced: Bridge/Wheel. Lie on your back with your knees bent and pulled into your glutes. Place your hands on the ground beside your head, with fingers pointing down towards your shoulders. From here, press with the arms and glutes to lift yourself onto the top of your head. Hold this position for time. As you get better in this position, you will eventually be able to lift your head off the ground by pressing the arms straight. In doing this, make sure your shoulders remain above the hands and much as possible, and strive to straighten the legs.

Lying Twist

Starting Stretching - Lying Twist
Lie on the ground, facing upward, and extend your arms out to the sides. Lift one leg up at a 90 degree angle (bend the knee as much as necessary). Now lower the leg to the opposite side of the torso while keeping the shoulders on the ground. Attempt to touch the ground with the leg while maintaining shoulders on the floor. Turn the head in the opposite direction of the leg. Repeat for both sides.

Beginner: Bend the knees at 90 degrees and press down with the arm to deepen the stretch

Intermediate: Use a straight leg (locked knee) and press down with the arm

Advanced: Use a straight leg and no arm assistance – use only muscular power to maintain the position

After every stretching session, it is also helpful to work on weaknesses. Choose 1-3 stretches above where you’d most like additional flexibility, and add those at the end. I’d also suggest wrist and ankle stretches here as well.

Starting Stretching Cheatsheets

Starting Stretching Cheatsheet

What I’m Watching: Luther

What I'm Watching: Luther TV Show

Name your top five favorite TV shows right now? GO! If Luther wasn’t on that list, you are missing out. This show is absolutely amazing! It has everything that I look for: British Accents? CHECK! Awesome Bad A$# Main Character? Insane Interrogation Scenes? CHECK! Crazy Psychological Battles? CHECK! Insert Thing You Want In A TV Show? CHECK! It really is unlike any show that I’ve ever seen before. Still not completely sold on how great of a show Luther is? Watch the first two minutes of the below YouTube video and then decide for yourself:

How IMDB Describes Luther:

“Luther” follows the cases of a troubled yet brilliant English police detective, DCI John Luther (Idris Elba). Separated from his wife, whom he loves passionately, he is torn between an unrelenting approach to solving serial killings and his attempts to rekindle his marriage. Luther is a highly charged emotional man who is not above stretching the law to solve a case or save a life. In episode one, Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson) proves she is equally brilliant by committing the perfect murder of her parents, which challenges Luther as never before. Alice develops a strange fascination for Luther and their continued exchanges and interplay serve as a backdrop for the rest of the season. Luther’s edgy police tactics make him a serious concern to his superiors, who feel that he is a threat to their reputations and that of the Police force. From the opening credits to the end of season one, “Luther” is a fast paced mystery presented with many plot twists and insights into the human psyche.

Where to Watch?

Luther is on Netflix! I’m sure that most of you either have your own Netflix account or have a friend’s account that you can borrow to watch it. If you have neither, I will gladly let you watch it at my apartment whenever you want (please call 24 hours in advance).

Disclaimer:

I have been told by many people that I like and watch really bad television shows and movies all the time. I really do think that if you’re a fan of those criminal drama shows like Law & Order, that you will not be disappointed.

Want To Sleep Better? Use f.lux

Want to sleep better? Use f.luxDo you have trouble sleeping at night? Do you use your computer before bed? f.lux might be exactly what the doctor ordered! This program made my List of Applications That Everyone Should Have on Their Computer so if you already have it, good job! To those of you who didn’t go through every single application in that list, WHY NOT??? I personally think it is amazing so read this post to learn more about it.

What is f.lux?

f.lux is a computer application that changes the color temperature of your computer’s display depending on the time of day. It produces warm colors at night and bright vivid colors during the day. f.lux makes the colors on your computer screen look like the room you’re in, all the time. At nighttime, it makes your computer look like your indoor lights (using color temperature that is easy on the eyes). During the morning and daytime, your screen is much brighter as it would normally be and you probably won’t even notice a difference. f.lux is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and jailbroken iPhone / iPad devices.

How do I configure f.lux?

Configuring f.lux takes less than 5 minutes. Download it via one of these download links: WindowsMacLinux, and jailbroken iOS and run the installer. When you start it for the first time, the settings page will appear. Enter your location and the type of lighting that you have in your room and you’re done! It does the rest.

I don’t like this! Why does my screen look pink / orange?

When you first use f.lux, you’re going to hate it. The colors are really weird and your eyes will be so used to seeing the normal blue light from your computer screen that it’s going to look horrible. Your eyes will slowly adjust to the colors (about an hour) and you won’t even realize it afterwards. You need to get through this initial phase! Once you do, you’ll wonder how you lived without it.

Why does this help me sleep?

There’s a lot of research that was done by the f.lux team and you can read all about it on their website. To summarize: Blue light affects sleep. Night-time exposure to blue light keeps people up late. f.lux adjusts colors in a way that greatly reduces the stimulating effects of blue light at night. If my summary wasn’t good enough, read the official research on the f.lux website.

Final thoughts

You really have nothing to lose by trying this application (and so much great sleep to gain). Leave me a message below in the comments if you tried it and hate it / love it / want to say hi. Download links one last time: WindowsMacLinux, and jailbroken iPhone / iPad devices.

Spotify & Songkick: The Perfect Combination Of Music Awesomeness

Do you use Spotify for your music? Do you like going to shows of your favorite artists? If you answered yes to both of these questions, you need to install the Songkick application right now for Spotify. If you answered no to the first question, you need to go download Spotify now and start! If you answered no to both questions, then you should probably stop reading this post because it’s useless to you.

What Does Songkick Do?

Songkick’s slogan is, ‘be the first to know about concerts‘ and this application will make sure that you never miss your favorite artists show ever again. What exactly does Songkick do? In tech speak, they index different ticket vendors, venue websites, and local newspapers to create a database of upcoming concerts for artists happening around the world. In normal speak, you tell Songkick where you live and your favorite artists and they send you a personalized concert alert when an artist’s show is announced in your city.

How Does Spotify Help?

When you install the Spotify application for Songkick, it will scan your Spotify music and automatically add all of your favorite artists to the tracking list. Using Spotify’s interface, you can click ‘Songkick Concerts’ on the left side and see a complete list of concerts that are coming up with your tracked artists without doing nearly any work at all.

Sounds Good, How Do I Do It?

Depending on how fast you type, setup probably takes less than 5 minutes. First step is to create a Songkick account. Here’s a link directly to their signup page where you can create an account using Facebook with one click or the traditional way by entering in a username and password. Once you’re all signed up, open the application installation page on Spotify for Songkick, agree to their terms of service, and enter your login that you just created. After you’ve put in your information, you’re all set! You’ll never miss a show again.

Closing Thoughts

In addition to Spotify, Songkick also lets you track artists from Pandora, Last.fm, Facebook, and iTunes so there’s no excuse NOT to use it. I’d like to send a quick shout-out to Matt Ramos for originally showing me this application and yelling at me to download it. If it were not for him, this post might not exist. If you have any problems setting it up, send me a message and I’ll help you (it’s pretty darn easy and I hope I really don’t need to help you with this). If you need someone to go to a show with, let me know! I’ll probably come.

What I’m Drinking: Yame Kyushu Gyokuro

As many of you know (or may not know?), I’m a huge tea drinker and have probably 20 different types of tea in my apartment (tea is addicting). I wanted to let everyone know about my new favorite tea, the Yama Kushu Gyokuro (or Yame Kyushu Gyokuro as it says on my bag) from Wellness Tea Dynasty. Take a look:

The Bag

Yama Kushu Gyokuro
The first thing you’ll notice is that the instructions are written CLEARLY on the packaging which helps create the perfect cup of tea (I </3 tea that has been steeped too long). Did you know that depending on what type of tea you’re making, you’re supposed to steep it at a different temperature and time? Pro Tip: Don’t order tea from Starbucks — the water they use is way too hot and by the time you figure out how long to steep it for, it is probably too late.

Pre-steep Leaves

Yama Kushu Gyokuro Leaves
These are some great looking leaves! They are a nice long size and a great dark shade of green. They also smell incredible (if it were a cologne, I’d wear it).

Post-steep Leaves

Yama Kushu Gyokuro Post Steep
The first thing you’ll notice is that they expanded and are now overflowing from the tray! I wonder if I could’ve used less leaves when making it and still had the same taste? When it comes to tea, I don’t question the tea masters so I don’t think I’m going to attempt it.

The Final Product

Delicious Yama Kushu Gyokuro Tea

The tea has a very light color and I was afraid that it wasn’t going to taste like anything  – I was wrong! This tea has a complex flavor that isn’t overly strong (like cheap teas), great mild flavors, and a refreshing aftertaste. What I’m trying to say is this tea will make your tastebuds happy.

In Summary

If you like green tea, I highly recommend trying the Yama Kushu Gyokuro from Wellness Tea Dynasty. It’s one of the most expensive teas on the website but this high quality tea is definitely worth every penny. This post took a long time to write and I think it’s time for me to make another cup.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional tea drinker nor do I know everything about teas. The only thing I truly know is that I like this one :D

My 2013 Goals

Andrew Saladino's 2013 Goals
On the last day of 2012 and 2013 hours away for the East Coast, I thought it would be the perfect time to start planning for next year and write down my 2013 goals that I want to will accomplish by December 31st, 2013. Some of these are year-long goals while others are achievements that I want to conquer before the year is over. As I complete my goals, I will put a check! next to it and write the date it was done.

Why I’m putting my goals for 2013 on the Internet and public for everyone to see:

  1. So they actually get done – If I just wrote them in a notebook or on a Google Doc somewhere, I’d probably forget about them and give up halfway through the year. With this approach, everyone in the world will see them and can (and should) make fun of me if I don’t finish them all by the end of 2013
  2. So you can help - I’m not going to be able to do it alone — I need your help! If you see me slacking on any of my goals, please yell at me for motivation (I promise I won’t get mad)

Andrew Saladino's 2013 Fitness GoalsFitness Goals

  • |  | Run a 5K – This is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time but I keep putting it off. 2013 is the year this is going to happen! I know that a 5K isn’t very far but I absolutely hate running (it hurts so much) and I’ve always told myself it’s not possible. Who wants to help me train?
  • |  | Join the 1000 pound club – This simply means that my one rep max on bench press, squat, and deadlift are equal to or greater than 1000 pounds. I’ve been going to the gym for 4 months now and if I keep it up, I should be able to do this by the end of the year. #SWOLE

Andrew Saladino's 2013 Personal GoalsPersonal Goals

  • |  | Write in my blog once / week – I clearly don’t do this enough and need to get better at it. Please yell at me if it’s the end of the week and I still haven’t done it yet.
  • |  | Read a book once / month – I tell myself that I’m going to ‘read more’ every day but I never do. I think putting an actual number (ONE) to how much to read might help me out with this one. Any good book suggestions?

Andrew Saladino's 2013 Financial GoalsFinancial Goals

  • |  | Save more – I have a bad spending problem and don’t save as much money as I should. My goal in 2013 is to buy half of what I bought in 2012 (which is still a ton) and put that money in a savings account that I won’t use.
  • |  | Stop shopping at Amazon – They make it too easy to buy things with one click checkout and free two day shipping from Prime and it is at a point where I buy something almost every day (ask my coworkers for proof). In 2013, I plan to only buy things I need (or really awesome discounts) from Amazon and not buy things like the 30 pack of Scoth-Brite sponges that is going to last me a lifetime.

Andrew Saladino's 2013 Productivity GoalsProductivity Goals

  • |  | Respond to emails within one day – I’m always multitasking and I always forget to respond to emails until days/weeks later (terrible habit). In 2013, I will either respond immediately to an email or use Boomerang for Gmail (awesome plugin btw) to send me a reminder to respond at a later date.
  • |  | Return phone calls & text messages faster – Pretty much the same as above except I don’t have Boomerang to help

Andrew Saladino's 2013 Embarrassing GoalsEmbarrassing Goals

  • |  | Learn to ride a bike (AGAIN) – There’s only one here because this one is bad. So, I technically can’t ride a bike. I learned when I was younger and didn’t really like it so I went through my childhood without riding a bike and now I don’t know how. I tried about a year and a half ago and it did not go well. My friend was convinced that I would remember how to do it again (the expression it’s like riding a bike) and it would be great — he was very wrong. Can one of my patient awesome friends please teach me??

I’m going to print these out and hang them by my desk as a constant reminder of what I need to do. I hope that you enjoyed reading my 2013 goals and I will write another post at the end of the year with a recap of my successes and failures. If you want to help me on my journey, don’t be shy! Give me a call, email, text, Facebook message, written letter, carrier pigeon, etc. and let’s make it happen. Do you have any goals that you’re setting yourself in 2013? I’d love to hear about them! Write them in the comments below.

List of Applications That Everyone Should Have on Their Computer

List of Applications Everyone Should Have On Their Computer

Andrew Saladino’s List of Must-Have Computer Applications

I haven’t made a blog post in quite some time but this list is something that I had to share with all of my amazing readers (all two of you). There was a post on reddit this week (see original post here) where a user asked, ‘What is something you think everyone should have installed on their computer or laptop?‘ and as usual, the reddit community delivered with some absolutely amazing application recommendations. I went through the comments and compiled this list of applications that you need to download ASAP:

Video:

  • VLC - Open source video player.
  • Media Player Classic – Home Cinema - Light-weight media player for Windows. I personally like MPC-HC much better than VLC. Supports more codecs/formats and video looks better.
  • Combined Community Codec Pack - A simple playback pack for Windows with the goal of supporting the majority of video formats in use today. Must have if you watch certain tv-shows or anime.

Audio:

  • Foobar 2000 - Extremely lightweight and customizable free audio player for Windows. Supports a wide array of different audio formats.
  • Audacity - Free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds.
  • Spotify - Listen to music for free.
  • Grooveshark - Listen to music and radio stations for free.

Browsers:

  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Waterfox - 64bit browser based upon the Mozilla Firefox source code.
  • Pale Moon - Open Source, full-featured, speed optimized browser based on the popular Firefox browser.

Extensions for browsers:

  • Reddit Enhancement Suite - Make surfing Reddit so much more enjoyable. Highly customizable and easy to set up.
  • Honey - Chrome extension that autoscans for working coupon codes during checkout.
  • Adblock Plus - Blocks annoying ads on webpages and in videos. Surf faster and safer.
  • Ghostery - Anti ad/tracking extension.
  • ProxTube - Circumvent blocked Youtube videos.
  • Speed Dial - Allows fast access to your most visited websites. Extremely useful if you visit or want to keep track off a lot of different websites.
  • NoScript - Open source add-on (for Firefox) which allows JavaScript, Java, Flash and other plugins to be executed only by trusted web sites of your choice.
  • ScriptNo - Similar to NoScript only for Chrome instead.
  • Search by Image for Google (Firefox) – Fast way to reverse search an image. Very handy if you’re looking for a source, more information or if anyone posts “original content“.
  • Search by Image for Google (Chrome)

Security:

  • Microsoft Security Essentials - Lightweight antivirus software.
  • Avast! Free Antivirus - Antivirus software.
  • Malwarebytes - Anti-malware software.
  • TrueCrypt - Free open-source disk encryption software for Windows 7/Vista/XP, Mac OS X, and Linux.
  • Keepass - Free, open source, light-weight and easy-to-use password manager.
  • LastPass - Another password manager that makes web browsing easier and more secure.
  • Prey - Lets you keep track of your laptop, phone and tablet whenever stolen or missing. It’s lightweight, open source software that gives you full and remote control, 24/7.

System, cleaning and recovery:

  • CCleaner - A freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. For Windows and Mac.
  • Defraggler - Defragmentation software for Windows.
  • Recuva - File recovery software for Windows.
  • Speccy - Give you detailed statistics on every piece of hardware in your computer. For Windows.

Communications:

  • Skype - Call friends/family on their computers or phones. For Windows and Mac.
  • Pidgin - Open source chat client which is compatible with several different chat networks.
  • Trillian - A fully featured, stand-alone chat client that supports several different chat networks.
  • HexChat - IRC chat client for both Linux and Windows.

Documents, images and graphics:

  • Foxit Reader - Free PDF reader for Windows, Linux and smartphones.
  • Sumatra PDF - Free PDF reader for Windows.
  • Open Office - Open source personal productivity suite.
  • Libre Office - Open source personal productivity suite for Windows, Mac and Linux.
  • GIMP - Free image manipulation software.
  • Paint.net - A free image and photo editing software. For Windows.
  • IrfanView - The best freeware image/graphic viewer for Windows. Extremely lightweight and supports a wide arrange of different formats.

Compression:

  • WinRAR - File archiver (You can still use the software after the trial period has run out).
  • 7-Zip - Open source file archiver.

File sharing:

  • uTorrent 2.2.1 - uTorrent became extremely bloated after they released version 3.0 and on. Version 2.2.1 has everything you need without using many resources or having any ads.
  • Transmission - Extremely lightweight BitTorrent client for Mac and Linux. There’s an unofficial Windows version which you can get here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/trqtw/[46]
  • Deluge - Lightweight, cross-platform BitTorrent client.
  • qBittorrent - Free, lightweight cross-platform BitTorrent client.
  • Trixati - Free BitTorrent client for Windows and Linux.

CD/DVD-tools:

Online Storage:

  • Dropbox - Cloud storage. For Windows, Mac, Linux and smartphones.
  • Google Drive - Google’s cloud storage solution similar to Dropbox.
  • Skydrive - Microsoft’s cloud storage solution. Now also available on Xbox360.

Live streaming/recording:

  • Open Broadcaster Software - Free and open source software for media streaming/recording.
  • FFsplit - A free front-end application that allows you to capture and record what is happening on your desktop. For Windows.
  • DXtory - Dxtory is a movie capture tool only for DirextX/OpenGL application. For Windows.

Other:

  • Steam - PC-game client for PC, Mac and Linux (Linux version is still in closed beta).
  • f.lux - Makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. Must have if you have problems with going to sleep or have problems with eyes or headaches. For Windows.
  • RedShift - Just like f.lux but for Linux (there exists an experimental Windows build though).
  • Sublime Text 2 - A great text editor for code, markup and prose. For Windows, Mac and Linux.
  • Notepad++ - Free source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages. For Windows.
  • Rainlendar - A lightweight customizable calendar.
  • Hamachi - A hosted VPN service that lets you create LAN-like networks. Very useful if you want to play older pc-games with friends.
  • Tunngle - A p2p VPN tool somewhat similar to Hamachi.
  • Paint.Net - If MS Paint and Photoshop had a baby. It’s a free image and photo editing software for Windows and is a powerful yet simple image and photo editor tool.

There you have it — the complete list of software that you need on your computer to handle nearly every situation possible. I’m going to periodically be uploading this list so please leave a comment with your feedback or if there’s an application that you think I left out that belongs on this list.

Would You Rather Wednesday: Coke or Pepsi?

I apologize for not writing in my blog in ages but I thought it’d be the perfect time to start on a Wednesday with a ‘Would You Rather Wednesday?’ question. Today’s question is pretty simple: Would you rather drink Coca-Cola or Pepsi?

Coca-Cola: I’m referring to the Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, and Coca-Cola Zero products (this does not include all of the other beverages that Coca Cola owns)

Pepsi: I’m referring to the Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, and Pepsi Max products (this does not include all of the other beverages that PepsiCo owns)
Coca-Cola BeveragesORPepsi Beverages

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