Stuff I like & Resources

Here's a bunch of blogs I like, the gadgets I own and the books I love...

Blogs I Like

During my time blogging at Bonkers About Tech, I've come across some awesome tech blogs, so I thought you might like them too and so I've decided to share them with you. Here they are (in no particular order of awesomeness).

Digital Inspiration

ErgoHacks

Coolest Gadgets

Guiding Tech

Ampercent

Tekrevue

Online Tech Tips

Ashik Tricks

Lifewire

MakeUseOf

Tech Viral

Here's also a list of non-tech blogs that I like to read:

Matthew Woodward

Tinker Travels

Niche Hacks

Neil Patel

Shout Me Loud


My Gadgets

I don't have a ton of gadgets, but the one's that I do own are awesome. Here's my stuff:

HP ENVY 15 TouchSmart Notebook

I absolutely LOVE my HP laptop and I use it every single day without fail. The best thing about it is that it's fast - I literally don't wait for the computer to do anything, it's generally waiting on me! Sometimes I'm running Chrome with many tabs open at the same time and often run three instances of Intellij and it barely breaks a sweat. I put this down to the i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM and a really fast SSD. I also upgraded the SSD to a Samsung 850 EVO 500GB mSATA SSD which has made a big impact on the the laptop's performance.

The HP ENVY also comes with a dedicated NVIDIA graphics card and BEATS audio (the sound is amazing). The only downside to this laptop is that the battery life isn't amazing, but you can't have everything ;)


HTC One M8

This is my current phone and I have to say it's the best phone I've had to date. It's getting a little slower now compared to when it was new, but it's still pretty nippy. The HTC One M8 received an awesome review by Techradar when the phone first came out, and for good reason - it's a fantastic phone even by today's standards.


Lombex Smart WiFi LED Light Strip

Lombex kindly sent me this WiFi light strip for review and I've included it here because it's awesome. It's added a really nice glow to my living room and you can change the color of it, set schedules, integrate it with the Amazon Echo or Google Home and more using your smartphone. If you want to know more about it, check out my Lombex WiFi LED Strip review.


Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

The Fire TV stick is awesome. In case you're not familiar, it's a small device that connects to your TV through the HDMI socket. It's great for watching on demand stuff like the BBC iPlayer, YouTube, ITV Hub and much more.

Also, if you've got Amazon Prime, then you can watch a huge selection of films and Amazon TV series like "The Grand Tour", "Outlander", "Mr Robot" and much more. Of course the other perks you get is free next day delivery on millions of products, access to Prime reading and more.

Even if you don't watch a lot of TV, Prime is still worth it in my opinion, because if like me you find yourself buying stuff on Amazon on a regular basis, then Amazon Prime will save you a decent amount of money on postage. At the time of writing, it's $10.99/month after the Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial which I think is really good value.


My Books

Against the Odds: An Autobiography (James Dyson)

James Dyson is incredible and I have a lot of respect for him. What he has achieved, most people can only dream of. He designed, built, marketed and sold his own invention which was the world's first bag-less vacuum cleaner, oh and he toppled the market leaders in the process.

It wasn't without years of personal struggle and crises for James Dyson though and he was faced with little or no support at every turn. It took James 15 years to build his first model of vacuum cleaner (the DC01) and he famously built 5,127 prototypes in the process.

If you want some inspiration READ THIS BOOK.


Anyone Can Do It: My Story (Duncan Bannatyne)

I've read this book a couple of times now and I've included it as I think it's really inspirational.

Duncan Bannatyne was previously a dragon in the UK version of Dragons Den and his book tells the story of his colourful path to riches, from ice cream salesman to multi-millionaire and explains how anyone can actually achieve the same success if they really want to. I think this is really worth a read for any budding entrepreneur and proves that with enough application and determination, you can achieve what you want in life.


The Web Application Hacker's Handbook (Dafydd Stuttard)

This book is authored by the founder of Portswigger, the company behind the popular pentesting tool called Burp Suite. I've included this book because it's a comprehensive book that I've found useful as a developer in cyber security.

The book takes you from the basics of the internet, through to how to find the most vulnerable areas of an application and finally through to finding vulnerabilities within a web application

I've previously listed this book in my list of best hacking books.


Want to start blogging or build a website yourself?

Well first of all, you're going to need a domain name (like thenameofyourblog.com). Personally I've always used and recommend Godaddy for this.

I think you only get to know how good a company is when things go wrong and so when an old domain of mine automatically renewed (which I wanted to expire), I contacted Godaddy and they refunded me straight away and the customer service was excellent. And that's why I recommend them.

Now once you've got a domain, you'll want to think about how you will build your website and where it will actually be hosted.

If you're new to blogging and website building, then I recommend Wordpress. In fact, 26% of websites on the web use Wordpress and the vast majority of blogs on the Internet are also built using Wordpress. Wordpress is a fantastic CMS and has a plugin for just about everything you'll ever need (ranging from SEO through to image optimization). It is also incredibly easy to setup and you can create an awesome looking blog in minutes.

In terms of hosting, for pure simplicity, I recommend Blue Host as it's a hassle free way of creating a blog (they have a one-click install for Wordpress!). At the time of writing, it's just $3.95/month, so it's not going to break the bank either :)

Want more control?

If you know what you're doing, want total control over your website or you've decided you'd like to build a website from scratch (like I did), then I recommend getting a Virtual Private Server (VPS) like Linode where Bonkers About Tech is hosted. You can still install Wordpress onto a VPS, but it's not for complete beginners.

If you want to find out more information about Linode, you can read my personal experience with Linode.

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