DBA Assistant released!

Exciting news: We have released a brand-new mobile app - DBA Assistant!

If you work with SQL Server, this app is for you. DBA Assistant helps you diagnose your database performance issues in such areas as Waits, Blocks, Deadlocks, CPU, Disk, Memory and Indexes. Follow our guide and you will be on your way to a well-tuned SQL database!



Check out DBA Assistant on the App Store!

Quiz Voyage v 3.5 released

New version of Quiz Voyage is available on the App Store! Check it out!

Enjoy and get smarter!


Quiz Voyage v 3.4 released

New version of Quiz Voyage is available on the App Store. We updated U.S. Presidents and U.S. Naturalization Civics Test.


Happy quizzing!


Quiz Voyage v 3.3 released

Check out our new Chemical Elements quiz in Quiz Voyage v3.3.

Happy Holidays!

IT Skill Assessment v 3.0 and Quiz Voyage v 3.1 released

New versions of IT Skill Assessment and Quiz Voyage are now available on the App Store.  

All topics are accessible for FREE. Enjoy and get smarter!

Quiz Voyage v 3.0 released

Our Educational Quizzes have gone through exciting changes to make you enjoy the app more than ever!


What is new in Quiz Voyage:

1. All educational topics are now available absolutely FREE!

2. New speed control options are available for Quiz Voyage Premium Customers.

3. The new name ‘Quiz Voyage’ paired with the new icon will shine on your home screen.


Check out Quiz Voyage on the App Store. Happy quizzing!


Book Review: Understanding ECMAScript 6

Nicholas Zakas
Understanding ECMAScript 6

ECMAScript 6, aka ES6, is the 6th edition of ECMAScript specification. Released in 2015, ES6 adds many new features for writing complex web applications:

  1. Classes and Modules
  2. Promises
  3. Arrow Functions
  4. Symbols
  5. Sets and Maps
  6. Iterators and Generators
  7. Proxies and Reflection

For a number of years, I felt uncertain about building high-complexity JavaScript applications. Even best examples lacked organizational and interface clarity and testability and often produced unintentional side-effects. ES6 is a giant step forward in allowing developers create clean and intention-revealing JavaScript code.

Today, ES6 has become the foundation for building modern web applications. Understanding ES6 is now essential for all web developers. Nicholas' book will help you get started. It is well organized, easy-to-read, and especially well-suited for developers with previous ECMAScript 5 experience. Each chapter highlights the problem addressed by ES6, demonstrates what had to be done previously in ECMAScript 5, and how the code changes in ES6.

This is a great ES6 book. Find it on LeanPub. Happy reading!

Book Review: Hooked

Nir Eyal
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Easy-to-read, insightful, and practical book on the Hook Model, a 4-step process to build customer habits. Habit-forming products have competitive advantage since the first-to-mind solution typically wins.

Nir's Hook Model consists of 4 stages:

  1. Trigger
  2. Action
  3. Variable Reward
  4. Investment

Triggers activate behaviors. They can be external, such as email, or internal that emerge inside users' minds. Triggers reduce the thinking required to take the next step.

Actions are behaviors done in anticipation of the reward. Nir provides the following formula: B=MAT

  1. The user must have sufficient Motivation
  2. The user must have the Ability to complete the desired action.
  3. A Trigger must be present to activate the behavior.

Variable Reward rewards users by solving their problem. It creates desire. Nir idenitifies 3 types of rewards:

  1. Tribe (social rewards)
  2. Hunt (the need to acquire physical objects)
  3. Self (intrinsic motivation)

Investment increases chances that users will keep using the product and start another Hook cycle. The more users invest their time and effort into a product, the more they value it.

I highly recommend Nir's book to anyone involved with product design and development. The book provides a structured framework for how to build successful products and includes many useful tips and insightful examples. Happy reading!

Black background in RDP solved

I run into an issue with my RDP client not rendering correctly Windows applications. For example, SQL Server Manager and Notepad displayed large black areas:

Black Areas In Remote Desktop Picture

The fix is to add the following line at the end of your .RDP file: 

IT Skill Assessment v 2.7 released

Screen your job candidates and challenge your team members with IT Skill Assessment. Or, test your own knowledge and prepare for an important interview. IT Skill Assessment covers a wide variety of topics: ASP.NET MVC, C#, CSS, HTML, iBatis, JavaScript, LaTeX, Objective-C, SASS, Selenium, Silverlight, SQL, WPF, and others. New quizzes are added monthly. Includes free HTML5 quiz.

What's New in Version 2.7

  1. Multi-Level Quizzes. Sharpen your skills with multiple levels of difficulty.
  2. Timer. Race against time while answering challenging questions.
  3. Detailed scoring. See what is going on inside your points.
  4. Lifelines. Use Time Freezer and Time Extender when in time trouble. Use Extra Life and 50/50 when you need help with an answer.
  5. Game Center Leaderboards. See how you rank among all users or your friends.
  6. Game Center Achievements. Earn coveted achievements: Perfectionist, Genius, and Savant.
  7. Integration with Facebook. Invite and challenge your friends or share your quiz results.
  8. Bonus Lifelines. Earn daily lifeline when you login. Get additional lifelines when you earn achievements.
  9. Quiz Preview. Take a peek inside the quiz before downloading it.
  10. Configuration. Decide whether you want timer and lifelines available and at which levels.
  11. Improved User Interface and Usability.Invite your Facebook friends, configure timer and lifelines, and check out our new IT quizzes.

This is a big update. I hope you get a chance to check it out. Happy quizzing!

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