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In programming, memory leaks are a common issue, and it occurs when a computer uses memory but does not give it back to the operating system. Experienced programmers have the ability to diagnose a leak based on the symptoms. Some believe every undesired increase in memory usage is a memory leak, but this is not an accurate representation of a leak. Certain leaks only run for a short time and are virtually undetectable.

Memory Leak Consequences

Applications that suffer severe memory leaks will eventually exceed the memory resulting in a severe slowdown or a termination of the application.

How to Protect Code from Memory Leaks?

Preventing memory leaks in the first place is more convenient than trying to locate the leak later. To do this, you can use defensive programming techniques such as smart pointers for C++.  A smart pointer is safer than a raw pointer because it provides augmented behavior that raw pointers do not have. This includes garbage collection and checking for nulls.

If you are going to use a raw pointer, avoid operations that are dangerous for specific contexts. This means pointer arithmetic and pointer copying. Smart pointers use a reference count for the object being referred to. Once the reference count reaches zero, the excess goes into garbage collection. The most commonly used smart pointer is shared_ptr from the TR1 extensions of the C++ standard library.

Static Analysis

The second approach to memory leaks is referred to as static analysis and attempts to detect errors in your source-code. CodeSonar is one of the effective tools for detection. It provides checkers for the Power of Ten coding rules, and it is especially competent at procedural analysis. However, some might find it lagging for bigger code bases.

How to Handle a Memory Leak

For some memory leaks, the only solution is to read through the code to find and correct the error. Another one of the common approaches to C++ is to use RAII, which an acronym for Resource Acquisition Is Initialization. This approach means associating scoped objects using the acquired resources, which automatically releases the resources when the objects are no longer within scope. RAII has the advantage of knowing when objects exist and when they do not. This gives it a distinct advantage over garbage collection. Regardless, RAII is not always recommended because some situations require ordinary pointers to manage raw memory and increase performance. Use it with caution.

The Most Serious Leaks

Urgency of a leak depends on the situation, and where the leak has occurred in the operating system. Additionally, it becomes more urgent if the leak occurs where the memory is limited such as in embedded systems and portable devices.

To protect code from memory leaks, people have to stay vigilant and avoid codes that could result in a leak. Memory leaks continue until someone turns the system off, which makes the memory available again, but the slow process of a leak can eventually prejudice a machine that normally runs correctly.

 

Related:

The Five Principles of Performance

In Demand IT Skills

In most business circles, the question of whether or not a website truly helps a company's business has become somewhat moot. Simply put, a website is a necessary evil, like it or not. The question is no longer, should a company have a website, but rather, is the website optimized to ensure the best potential results. Of course, it is important to understand what is meant by "helping a company."

 

Many businesses are under the assumption that a website is going to turn into cold hard cash for the company. Well, that could be the case if the organization is using a type of e-commerce platform to buy and sell goods. Many businesses are service oriented and as such, the website serves an entirely different purpose.

 

Although reports made in May 2010 indicate that Android had outsold Apple iPhones, more recent and current reports of the 2nd quarter of 2011 made by National Purchase Diary (NPD) on Mobile Phone Track service, which listed the top five selling smartphones in the United States for the months of April-June of 2011, indicate that Apple's iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS outsold other Android phones on the market in the U. S. for the third calendar quarter of 2011. This was true for the previous quarter of the same year; The iPhone 4 held the top spot.  The fact that the iPhone 4 claimed top spot does not come as a surprise to the analysts; rather, it is a testament to them of how well the iPhone is revered among consumers. The iPhone 3GS, which came out in 2009 outsold newer Android phones with higher screen resolutions and more processing power. The list of the five top selling smartphones is depicted below:

  1. Apple iPhone 4
  2. Apple iPhone 3GS
  3. HTC EVO 4G
  4. Motorola Droid 3
  5. Samsung Intensity II[1]

Apple’s iPhone also outsold Android devices7.8:1 at AT&T’s corporate retail stores in December. A source inside the Apple company told The Mac Observer that those stores sold some 981,000 iPhones between December 1st and December 27th 2011, and that the Apple device accounted for some 66% of all device sales during that period (see the pie figure below) . Android devices, on the other hand, accounted for just 8.5% of sales during the same period.

According to the report, AT&T sold approximately 981,000 iPhones through AT&T corporate stores in the first 27 days of December, 2011 while 126,000 Android devices were sold during the same period. Even the basic flip and slider phones did better than Android, with 128,000 units sold.[2] However, it is important to understand that this is a report for one particular environment at a particular period in time. As the first iPhone carrier in the world, AT&T has been the dominant iPhone carrier in the U.S. since day one, and AT&T has consistently claimed that the iPhone is its best selling device.

Chart courtesy of Mac Observer: http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/iphone_crushes_android_at_att_corporate_stores_in_december/

A more recent report posted in ismashphone.com, dated January 25 2012, indicated that Apple sold 37 million iPhones in Q4 2011.  It appears that the iPhone 4S really helped take Apple’s handset past competing Android phones. According to research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Apple’s U.S. smartphone marketshare has doubled to 44.9 percent.[3] Meanwhile, Android marketshare in the U.S. dropped slightly to 44.8 percent. This report means that the iPhone has edged just a little bit past Android in U.S. marketshare. This is occurred after Apple’s Q1 2012 conference call, which saw themselling 37 million handsets. Meanwhile, it’s reported that marketers of Android devices, such as Motorola Mobility, HTC and Sony Ericsson saw drops this quarter.

 
One of the biggest threats facing small businesses right now is cyber security. Hackers have figured out that small business don’t have robust systems; therefore, they are easy for the picking. If you are a small business owner, you know how limited your resources are. As such, every dollar counts. Therefore, you can’t afford to lose customers, deal with lawsuits caused by data breaches or pay IT help staff to try to fix the issue. Below are some of the IT risks faced by your business and potential consequences. Try your best avoid them at all costs. 
 
1. Phishing 
 
This is perhaps one of the easiest ways to detect if a hacker is trying to get into your system. If you happen to receive an email that claims to be from a financial institution and asks you to provide certain data, ignore it. In fact, delete it. This is because once you make the mistake of opening such a mail or clicking the link provided, you provide a gateway for hackers to penetrate your system and steal information. For this reason, it's vital that all employees  are aware of such emails and delete them without clicking on any links.
 
2. Passwords 
 
Another way that hackers can attack a small business is by cracking system passwords. If the hackers manage to crack the password of even a single employee, they can use that person’s account to gain unrestricted access to confidential company records. Therefore, tell your workers that they should never forgo strong password creation procedures. They should take their time to create a password that can’t be easily cracked. 
 
3. Vulnerable Devices 
 
In your small business, you probably use printers, routers, and other electronic hardware to execute office tasks. Most of the time, such pieces of hardware are connected to your firm’s network. If you have not updated the software on these machines, hackers can use them to gain access to your network and steal invaluable information. Therefore, make sure that you install patches in all electronic devices connected to your network. 
 
4. Lack of Data Encryption 
 
In the modern age, you can send information through various electronic devices. Some of those machines can have inbuilt security features to protect the data while others may not have. Data from the vulnerable devices can be easily intercepted by hackers. If the information is your password, your network is no longer safe. To counter such interceptions, always encrypt your data before your send it. 
 
5. Seemingly Misplaced USB Drives 
 
Some hackers will infect a USB drive with malware and then drop it outside your offices. An unknowing worker may pick up the drive and use it on a company computer. Immediately the drive is plugged in, it releases the malware and creates a unique access point for the hacker, allowing them to steal information. To avoid such a scenario, warn your employees against using any USB drives without a proper source. 
 
 
Managing a small business means that you’re a lean, mean business machine. Often, it’s just you and a few trusted staff members. This is the reason, business owners need to have solid knowledge of where and how most important data is held. Whether it’s on site, in traditional desktops and servers, or in cloud services or mobile devices including those "BYOD" devices of your employees, in order to avoid risks, always pay attention to your enviroment. It's important to make sure that you regularly update your system, train your employees, update software and fix bugs. Often, many IT issues are caused by the smallest, almost unapparent mistakes that will affect how a program runs or a web page looks. You might not see IT as your highest priority, but in the right hands, it can become your most powerful tool for growth. 

Tech Life in Texas

Austin may be considered the live music capital of the world but the field of technology is becoming the new norm in the The Lone Star State. Home to Dell and Compaq computers, there is a reason why central Texas is often referred to as the Silicon Valley of the south. It?s rated third on the charts of the top computer places in the United States with a social learning and training IT atmosphere. Adding the fact that Austin offers fairly inexpensive living costs for students, software developers may take note as they look to relocate.
The wisest mind hath something yet to learn. George Santayana
other Learning Options
Software developers near Austin have ample opportunities to meet like minded techie individuals, collaborate and expend their career choices by participating in Meet-Up Groups. The following is a list of Technology Groups in the area.
Fortune 500 and 1000 companies in Texas that offer opportunities for Cisco developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
Dr Pepper Snapple Group Plano Manufacturing Nonalcoholic Beverages
Western Refining, Inc. El Paso Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Frontier Oil Corporation Dallas Manufacturing Chemicals and Petrochemicals
ConocoPhillips Houston Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Dell Inc Round Rock Computers and Electronics Computers, Parts and Repair
Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. Houston Transportation and Storage Transportation & Storage Other
GameStop Corp. Grapevine Retail Retail Other
Fluor Corporation Irving Business Services Management Consulting
Kimberly-Clark Corporation Irving Manufacturing Paper and Paper Products
Exxon Mobil Corporation Irving Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. Houston Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Cameron International Corporation Houston Energy and Utilities Energy and Utilities Other
Celanese Corporation Irving Manufacturing Chemicals and Petrochemicals
HollyFrontier Corporation Dallas Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Kinder Morgan, Inc. Houston Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Marathon Oil Corporation Houston Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
United Services Automobile Association San Antonio Financial Services Personal Financial Planning and Private Banking
J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Plano Retail Department Stores
Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. Dallas Energy and Utilities Energy and Utilities Other
Atmos Energy Corporation Dallas Energy and Utilities Alternative Energy Sources
National Oilwell Varco Inc. Houston Manufacturing Manufacturing Other
Tesoro Corporation San Antonio Manufacturing Chemicals and Petrochemicals
Halliburton Company Houston Energy and Utilities Energy and Utilities Other
Flowserve Corporation Irving Manufacturing Tools, Hardware and Light Machinery
Commercial Metals Company Irving Manufacturing Metals Manufacturing
EOG Resources, Inc. Houston Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Whole Foods Market, Inc. Austin Retail Grocery and Specialty Food Stores
Waste Management, Inc. Houston Energy and Utilities Waste Management and Recycling
CenterPoint Energy, Inc. Houston Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Valero Energy Corporation San Antonio Manufacturing Chemicals and Petrochemicals
FMC Technologies, Inc. Houston Energy and Utilities Alternative Energy Sources
Calpine Corporation Houston Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Texas Instruments Incorporated Dallas Computers and Electronics Semiconductor and Microchip Manufacturing
SYSCO Corporation Houston Wholesale and Distribution Grocery and Food Wholesalers
BNSF Railway Company Fort Worth Transportation and Storage Freight Hauling (Rail and Truck)
Affiliated Computer Services, Incorporated (ACS), a Xerox Company Dallas Software and Internet E-commerce and Internet Businesses
Tenet Healthcare Corporation Dallas Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Hospitals
XTO Energy Inc. Fort Worth Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Group 1 Automotive Houston Retail Automobile Dealers
ATandT Dallas Telecommunications Telephone Service Providers and Carriers
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation Spring Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Apache Corporation Houston Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Dean Foods Company Dallas Manufacturing Food and Dairy Product Manufacturing and Packaging
American Airlines Fort Worth Travel, Recreation and Leisure Passenger Airlines
Baker Hughes Incorporated Houston Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Continental Airlines, Inc. Houston Travel, Recreation and Leisure Passenger Airlines
RadioShack Corporation Fort Worth Computers and Electronics Consumer Electronics, Parts and Repair
KBR, Inc. Houston Government International Bodies and Organizations
Spectra Energy Partners, L.P. Houston Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Energy Future Holdings Dallas Energy and Utilities Energy and Utilities Other
Southwest Airlines Corporation Dallas Transportation and Storage Air Couriers and Cargo Services

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the hartmann software group advantage
A successful career as a software developer or other IT professional requires a solid understanding of software development processes, design patterns, enterprise application architectures, web services, security, networking and much more. The progression from novice to expert can be a daunting endeavor; this is especially true when traversing the learning curve without expert guidance. A common experience is that too much time and money is wasted on a career plan or application due to misinformation.

The Hartmann Software Group understands these issues and addresses them and others during any training engagement. Although no IT educational institution can guarantee career or application development success, HSG can get you closer to your goals at a far faster rate than self paced learning and, arguably, than the competition. Here are the reasons why we are so successful at teaching:

  • Learn from the experts.
    1. We have provided software development and other IT related training to many major corporations in Texas since 2002.
    2. Our educators have years of consulting and training experience; moreover, we require each trainer to have cross-discipline expertise i.e. be Java and .NET experts so that you get a broad understanding of how industry wide experts work and think.
  • Discover tips and tricks about Cisco programming
  • Get your questions answered by easy to follow, organized Cisco experts
  • Get up to speed with vital Cisco programming tools
  • Save on travel expenses by learning right from your desk or home office. Enroll in an online instructor led class. Nearly all of our classes are offered in this way.
  • Prepare to hit the ground running for a new job or a new position
  • See the big picture and have the instructor fill in the gaps
  • We teach with sophisticated learning tools and provide excellent supporting course material
  • Books and course material are provided in advance
  • Get a book of your choice from the HSG Store as a gift from us when you register for a class
  • Gain a lot of practical skills in a short amount of time
  • We teach what we know…software
  • We care…
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