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Beginner’s Guide: Run Linux like any other program in Windows

Beginner’s Guide: Run Linux like any other program in Windows
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    There are many reasons people are hesitant to try Linux. The biggest of these reasons is that installing Linux generally requires people to do a list of difficult and unfamiliar tasks. However, I am going to introduce “virtualization” which is a fancy term for running Linux like any other program in Windows. The following article will guide you through the process of setting up Linux so you can run it like any other program in Windows. Don’t be intimated, these directions are designed for the absolute beginner and will not require you to do anything unfamiliar, threatening, or permanent to your computer. When you are finished you will be able to run Linux like any other program in Windows and share files between Linux and Windows.

    The first step is to install VMWare Player. This is a free program and it installs just like any other Windows program. You can go to the VMWare player homepage and download it. You will have to answer a short survey.

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    The second step is to download Linux. There are many different kinds of Linux with varying programs and setups. Understanding this can be difficult if you have never tried Linux. You can compare the different versions of Linux to Windows XP. There is Windows XP Home, Windows XP Professional, and Windows XP Media Center Edition. When you download Linux, it will be in the format of .ISO. Don’t worry if you have never seen this file type before. I will list several different versions of Linux below. You need to download only one version. The different flavors of Linux differ in size and thus, how long they will take to download. For the remainer of this tutorial, I will be using a version of Linux known as Fedora. However, it is 682MB in size and can take a long time to download. If you do not want to wait for Fedora you can complete the remainer of this tutorial equally well with any other version of Linux. Please note that this list is by no means exhaustive and there are hunderds of other versions of Linux available. I wanted to compile a short list to make choosing easier:
    Fedora (682 MB)
    Ubuntu (698.4 MB)
    Suse (679.3 MB)
    Damn Small Linux (50.8 MB)
    Puppy Linux (84 MB)

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      The third step is to setup VMWare to communicate with Linux. You need to do this by downloading a file from Wolphination.The following is the direct link: OS.zip. After you download OS.zip extract its contents to your C: drive. You should now have C:OS. Inside the OS folder I want you to put your version of Linux. So on my computer, inside C:OS I have OS.VMX, OS.vmdk, and FC-6-i386-livecd-1.iso (this is shown above). We are almost ready to run Linux for the first time.

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      The fourth step is to setup your VMWare configuration file. This file is called OS.VMX you need to right click on this file and select “Open with…” and choose Notepad. On the line that says ide1:0.fileName “C:Your file” you need to change this to point to the Linux version you downloaded. So in my case it would get changed to C:OSFC-6-i386-livecd-1.iso. Now resave the file and you are ready to go. Click on OS.vmx and VMWare will open and Linux will start. It may take a minute or two for Linux to fire up (depending on how much RAM your computer has).

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        Congratulations, you can now run Linux like any other program in Windows! In order to create a shortcut to put on your desktop, right click OS.VMX and choose Create Shortcut. Drag the shortcut to your desktop (or the location of your choice) and Linux will launch when you click it. My shortcut is shown above.

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        Sharing files between Linux and Windows
        Using Linux on Windows will be much more helpful if you can share files between Linux and Windows. This process is really easy to set up. The first thing you need to do is to create a “New Folder” on your Windows desktop. Right click on the folder and choose “Sharing and Security…”. On the following screen, choose “Share this folder on the network” and “Allow network users to change my files.” This will let Linux read and write to the folder.

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          In Linux, go to Places >> Network Servers and you should see your computer. Double click on your computer and you will see all your shared folders. Any data you would like to be used in both Linux and Windows should be saved into this folder.

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          Please feel free to pose any questions in the comments. We will walk you through any portion of this process if you get stuck. Enjoy!

          Notes: the following notes are somewhat technical in detail:
          1. The download links listed above are for “Live CDs.” Live CDs allow you to use Linux without installing anything on your hard drive.
          2. If the mirrors linked to above are very slow, you can find alternative download links on the homepage of each version of Linux.
          3. Since Linux will be running as a Live CD, if you powerdown and exit the virtual machine (exit VMWare) you will lose your information. However, there is a way around this. Simply choose “suspend” and VMWare will suspend and exit your virtual machine state. This will not take any memory and will allow you to “save” data to your virtual machine.
          4. The above steps work equally well on Linux and Mac.

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          Last Updated on February 13, 2020

          What Is Speed Reading and How to Successfully Learn It

          What Is Speed Reading and How to Successfully Learn It

          Too much to read, too little time! Don’t you wish you could read faster without compromising your knowledge intake? This is where a valuable learning technique comes to the rescue: speed reading.

          Speed reading is the top skill to learn in 2020. Read on to find out all about this amazing technique!

          What Is Speed Reading?

          On average, an adult can read somewhere between 200 to 300 words per minute. With speed reading, you can read around 1500 words per minute.[1] Yes, that sounds impossible, but it is true.

          In order to understand how this skill works, you first need to know how the reading process works inside a human’s brain.

          The Reading Process

          The first step is for the eyes to look at a word. This “fixation” on every word takes around 0.25 seconds.

          Next, the eye moves on to the following word. It takes 0.1 seconds for the brain to move from one word to the next. This is called “saccade.”

          Usually, a person reads 4 to 5 words or a sentence at once. After all the fixations and saccades, the brain goes over the entire phrase again in order to process the meaning. This takes around half a second.

          All in all, this allows the average person to read 200 to 300 words in a minute.

          Speeding up the Process

          The concept of speed reading is to speed up this process at least 5 times. Since the saccade period cannot be shortened any further, speed reading emphasizes quicker fixations.

          To accomplish this, scientists recommend that the reader skips the subvocalization: when the readers actually say the word in their mind, even when reading silently.

          Basically, speed reading is the technique of only seeing the words instead of speaking them silently.

          Do not confuse this with skimming. When a reader skims through a text, they skip the parts that their brain considers to be unnecessary.

          You may skip important information in this process. Moreover, skimming does not allow the brain to retain what has been read.

          Why Speed Read?

          Speed reading is not just quick, but also effective. This skill saves a lot of of time without sacrificing information.

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          Also, it has been proven to improve memory. The brain’s performance improves during speed reading, which allows the reader to remember more information than before.

          Since speed reading stabilizes the brain, the information is processed faster and more efficiently.

          Believe it or not, this technique leads to improved focus, too. As the brain receives a lot of information during speed reading, there is far less chance of distraction. The brain focuses solely on the job at hand.

          Since the brain is, after all, a muscle, the process of speed reading acts as an exercise. Just like the rest of your muscles, your brain needs exercise to grow stronger, too.

          A focused brain means improved logical thinking. As your brain gets used to receiving and organizing so much information so quickly, your thinking process will become faster.

          As soon as a problem is thrown at you, your brain will quickly put two and two together. You will be able to retrieve stored information, figure out correlations, and come up with new solutions, all within seconds!

          Still not convinced? Read 10 Reasons Why You Should Learn Speed Reading

          Greater Benefits

          With a healthier brain, you can expect better things in other parts of your life, too. A boost in self-esteem is just one of them.

          As you begin to understand information at a faster pace, you will also begin to figure out more opportunities all around you.

          With the ability to deeply understand information in a shorter period of time, your confidence levels will quickly grow higher.

          Moreover, all the aforementioned benefits will relieve you of stress. You will manage your readings in lesser time, your brain will be healthier, and you will feel so much better about yourself.

          With all these advantages, your emotional well-being will be healthier than ever. You’ll feel less stress since your brain will learn to tackle problems efficiently. Speed reading will lead to a relaxed, tension-free lifestyle!

          How to Learn to Speed Read

          Speed reading is a superpower. Fortunately, unlike other superpowers, this one can be learned!

          There are different techniques that can be used to master this skill. Opt for the one that best suits your learning style.

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          1. The Pointer Method

          The person who is credited for popularizing speed reading, Evelyn Wood, came up with the pointer method. It is a simple technique in which the reader uses their index finger to slide across the text that they’re reading.

          As the finger moves, the brain coherently moves along with it. It is an effective technique to keep the eyes focused where the finger goes without causing any distraction.

          Readers have a tendency to back-skip. The pointer method prevents this from happening, thereby saving at least half the reading time.

          2. The Scanning Method

          In this technique, the reader’s eyes move along one part of the page only. This can be the left or right side of the text but is usually the center since that is the most convenient.

          Instead of pacing through the entire text from left to right, the vision shifts from top to bottom.

          This method involves fixation on keywords such as names, figures, or other specific terms. By doing so, the saccade time is minimized.

          3. Perceptual Expansion

          Generally, a reader focuses on one word at a time. This technique, on the other hand, encourages the brain to read a chunk of words together. In doing so, this method increases the reader’s peripheral vision.

          Here’s the thing: even though the fixation time remains the same with perceptual expansion, the number of words that the eyes fixate on increases.

          So basically, the brain receives 5 times more information within the same amount of time.

          This technique is the hardest to master and takes the most time to learn. You’ll need help from speed reading tools in order to practice the perceptual expansion method.

          However, once you master it, this technique will offer you the fastest reading pace with the maximum knowledge intake.

          The Best Speed Reading Apps

          The easiest tool to aid any process in any part of life these days is your smartphone.

          You can use mobile applications to learn speed reading on the go. It has been proven that regularly practicing speed reading is the fastest way to learn this skill. [2]

          Here are a few great options to look into:

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          1. Reedy

          If you own an Android smartphone, you can download Reedy to your mobile. Otherwise, get the chrome extension on your laptop to enjoy speed reading with Reedy.

          This app trains readers to read faster by displaying words one by one on the screen. Instead of having to go through lines or long texts, Reedy prepares the user to focus on one word at a time.

          Although this isn’t an effective method to learn speed reading long texts, it is a great way to start.

          Once your brain gets used to the idea, you can shift to another app to train speed reading sentences or longer texts.

          2. ReadMe!

          Whether you’re an android or iOS user, you can take advantage of the ReadMe! application. This app even comes with some e-book options to practice speed reading on.

          Start by choosing your desired font size, color, layout, etc. Other than that, there are different reading modes for the user to choose from.

          If you want to practice reading sentence by sentence or in short paragraphs, you can choose the focused reading mode.

          The beeline reader mode changes the color of the text to guide the eye to read from the beginning to the end at a certain pace.

          Lastly, there is the spritz mode in which the app focuses on chunks of words at once. This controls the reader’s peripheral vision. However, this mode is not fully available in the free version of the app.

          3. Spreeder

          Spreeder is available on both iOS and Android. However, users may also gain benefits from Spreeder’s website. This application lets the reader paste in any text that they would like to speed read.

          Starting off at a rather low speed, the app flashes words one by one. Gradually, as the user becomes more comfortable, the speed increases.

          Slowly, the user is trained to speed read without having to skip any words.

          This app is different from the rest because it tracks the user’s reading improvements, recording the overall reading time and speed.

          The progress and improvement are tracked in order to motivate the user to perform even better.

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          Adjustable settings, such as the speed of the text, background color, etc. are in the control of the user.

          The Controversy Surrounding Speed Reading

          Truthfully, speed reading does sound too good to be true. It’s hard to believe that it is humanly possible to attain such a fast pace in reading without compromising the quality of information you receive.

          Perhaps as a result, there are people who do not trust the process of speed reading. They believe that when you read through a text at such a high speed, you cannot comprehend the information successfully.

          According to these people, your brain is unable to process information at the speed that you’re reading, and so, they regard speed reading as problematic.

          It is true that speed reading will be of no use if you do not understand the text you’re reading, no matter how quickly you did it.

          Similarly, if you were to read slowly and still not retain or understand the information you read, that would be useless, too.

          However, there a few factors to consider here. When reading at a normal pace, there is enough time in between every step of the process for the brain to get distracted.

          Conversely, speed reading leaves behind no time for the brain to focus on something else. It is unlike skimming. No part of the text is skipped, which means that the brain receives every single bit of information.

          Conclusion

          Keeping all of this in mind, speed reading cannot be labeled a hoax or a failure. Science has backed up this technique, and numerous readers have been using this skill to improve their learning ability.

          At the end of the day, it is your decision whether or not you want to trust this process.

          However, if you decide to take advantage of the opportunities speed reading provides, you will find a world of possibilities opening up to you.

          We live in a fast-paced world. Consuming information faster will help you keep up with that pace and find further success.

          Speed Read Like a Pro!

          Featured photo credit: Blaz Photo via unsplash.com

          Reference

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