The Twitch Streamer Startup Kit

Who would have thought a decade ago that becoming a professional gamer could be a viable career? Those who “make it” in streaming are still a small portion of everyone who tries, but whether you’re looking to turn your passion into a living or you simply want to share your hobby (and your personality) with the world, it’s no longer just a pipe dream. So, here’s everything you really need to become a Twitch streamer.



Streaming from consoles

Now that it’s a very common hobby, as well as a career, for gamers, it should be no surprise that even console manufacturers are making it easier to stream. You can stream directly from the Xbox One and the PS4, both of which have Twitch and Youtube streaming software built into them. However, your ability to set up your studio and to add effects in editing is diminished by this rather bare bones software. If you want to create a professional quality stream on either platform, or you want to stream on Switch, then you’re going to want a PC streaming setup, as well as a capture card to provide a live feed to the PC.

Streaming from PC

If your PC or laptop is barely chugging along, it might not be the best machine for streaming. Though streaming software isn’t too intensive by itself, when it’s running alongside video games, it can be demanding. You want at least 8GBs of ram, as well as a processor that’s as good as or better than the Intel Core i5 series. For streaming the latest games, you need a top-of-the-line graphics cards like an Nvidia RTX 2080. A headphone and a webcam can help you complete the professional streamer setup.

Streaming software

Unless you’re streaming directly from the Twitch app in PS4 and Xbox One, you’re going to need the right software. While there are free options, Xsplit is the most popular tool amongst established Twitch streamers. Some streamers will even use two systems, one to focus its resources on playing the games, and a second system to run their streaming software and focus on uploading to Twitch.

Building your account

Setting up an account on Twitch’s website is relatively easy, but if you want to take streaming seriously, it’s wise to go even further than that. Having a social media account that can help you engage viewers and share stream news can help you work on building that viewership. While you should play games you’re passionate about, there’s nothing wrong with playing some games with viewing experience as a priority, whether it’s popular online games like Fortnite or Overwatch, or even asking viewers for recommendations for the next playthrough. Keep an eye on what games are trending on Twitch’s front page if you’re looking for ideas.

These are the basics of what it takes to become a Twitch streamer. Finding success, or even keeping a small community of viewers, isn’t easy, but if your passion for the games you play is strong enough and you put real effort into engaging your viewers, you have a real chance.

Why More Students Are Taking Microsoft Training Courses

Over the past few years, there has been a noticeable increase in demand for Microsoft training. This is relevant for all programs; encompassing everything from Publish and OneNote to Outlook and Visio. It is also relevant for all types of training; from online to in-house. Let’s discover why this is the case…


All businesses are IT orientated nowadays

One of the main reasons why there has been a huge increase in training is because all businesses are very Information Technology orientated at present and students need to be prepared. You will struggle to find a company who does not use IT for a good proportion of their business on-goings. It doesn’t matter what industry you operate in. After all, every business needs to keep a track on accounts, profit, expenditure and alike. Every company needs to send emails. Every business needs to give a presentation at some point. The world has become dominated by technology recently and thus it is of little surprise that Microsoft training is soaring. People needed to adapt to this new way of carrying out their company’s duties.

Microsoft programs enhance productivity

Another reason why Microsoft training is on the rise is because knowing how to use the programs properly can lead to productivity improving dramatically. Competition is fierce in the modern day and you need to use all tools at your disposal to ensure you stay ahead of the pack. Productivity is imperative because the more productive your staff are, the quicker tasks can be done, the more efficiently customers can be handled, and the more profit that can be made. There are lots of great tricks, tips and shortcuts that can be found within all of the Microsoft programs. A company who has had their staff take Microsoft training can complete tasks at a much more rapid pace. Students know this, and so they are preparing for the job market by taking Microsoft training alongside their degrees. With online courses, like an online MBA from JCU, this is easy. Plus, it is likely that such degrees will require you to use Microsoft programs in any case.

Securing a job is almost impossible without Microsoft training

Nowadays you need to be competent in most Microsoft programs if you want to secure a job. The competition is fierce because of the recent recession and the lack of employment opportunities available as a result. You would have once been competing against ten people for a position, now you will be competing against 100. If you don’t know how to use Microsoft properly then you will be at a massive disadvantage. If your CV says that you have embarked on Microsoft training then your potential employer will be extremely impressed – especially as it means he or she won’t have to sort out training for you to get you up to speed with all of the current employees.

When you consider the three points that have been mentioned in this article it is quite easy to see why Microsoft Training is in much higher demand nowadays.

Coping With College

College, the time in your life when you have a little more independence, a little more money but a whole lot more work.

While for the most part you’ll sail through your college years, studying the subjects you love and creating new, long lasting friendships, there will be pressure points and times when the sheer volume of work and study pressure will feel overwhelming. It’s at those times when you need something more than your books to help you through.

We explore some antidotes to the stresses and strains of college life and how you can come out the other side calmer and ready to face anything life throws at you.


Image courtesy of Pexels

Learn some top techniques

Mindfulness might be just a buzzword but this technique is a tried and tested way to help you cope with stress points in your life. If you’re someone who feels anxious or finds it hard to cope with pressure, then learning a few mindfulness techniques can really help.

Just hop online to find about guided breathing exercises, mindful meditation and how to stay in the present, keeping your mind focussed on calming thoughts and feelings.

These techniques can come in especially handy when you’re facing a tough paper in an exam hall and begin to feel anxiety building up inside your body. It does take practice though, so try out several techniques before settling on one or two that really work for you.

It’s also really helpful at getting you to sleep when you’re worried about what the coming day will bring. When you need to sleep and you’re stressed out, try a few breathing and thought exercises and you’ll be drifting off before you know it.

Be prepared

Like a good scout, get organised. Education bloggers will tell you the worst thing you can do is to add to your stress load so even if your files are all over the place or your notes make no sense, now is the time to carefully and meticulously go through everything. You are guaranteed to feel a whole lot better knowing where everything is and being up to date with your schedule.

If having too much paper is a real problem, spend an hour converting everything to digital and have it all stored electronically instead. Books can be transferred to an e-reader on Setapp, for example or any app that allows you to make notes in the margin, just like the paper version. Only this time, you’re less likely to lose it.

College life can be among the best years of your life but they can also be the toughest. Learning to balance study with all the activities that take place outside of class is hard but with a little organization, it doesn’t have to be impossible.

Fight stress and anxiety with breathing, mindfulness and meditation and start getting organised for a college experience that will rank as one of the best.  The techniques you put into practice now will stand you in good stead for the rest of your life.

Here's How to Create the Ideal Home Study Space

Your home can sometimes be the best place to study, but it might also be the only place you have. Whether you choose to study at home or you just have to make the best of it because you have nowhere else to go, there are a few things that you can do to set up the perfect study environment. Everyone has different preferences for their ideal place to study, but there are some things that most people will want to have to make their study experience better. You don't have to have a whole office or study of your own, but being able to carve out a small space for yourself is helpful.

Get Comfortable - But Not Too Comfortable

When you're studying, you don't want to be so uncomfortable that you can't stay sitting down. However, you also don't want to be so comfortable that it's easy for you to get distracted. When you're setting up your study space, make sure you have a supportive chair to sit in. Rather than lounging on the sofa, at least consider sitting up in an armchair so that you're not at risk of accidentally taking a nap. If you're going to be typing a lot during your studies, you should have a desk or other surface and consider having a support for your wrists.


Sourced from Pixnio

Remove Distractions

There are so many distractions that can stop you studying, especially when you're at home. It's so easy to wander off and grab a snack, start watching TV or even start cleaning the house when you don't feel like studying. If you want to create the perfect study space, you need somewhere that has as few distractions as possible. That's why it's useful to create at least a small area of a room, if not a whole room, where you can remove distractions as much as possible. Try to get rid of anything that you might be tempted to fiddle with or even look at.

Store Some Snacks

Some people like to get snacks while they're on their breaks so that they have something to get up for. But if you study better when you have snacks next to you, you should have somewhere to keep them. Use a cupboard or cabinet to store a few snacks so you can easily reach for something to give you energy when you need it. You could even have a mini fridge for cold drinks if you don't want to go too far to get one.

Ensure a Strong Connection

It would be great if you could turn off your internet connection to study for maximum concentration. Unfortunately, you often need to be connected to the internet to study. At least if you can't prevent the internet distracting you, you can at least avoid being slowed down by an unreliable connection. One of the benefits of getting high speed internet is that you won't have to deal with dropping out and slowness when you're trying to be productive. A fast connection can help you to get your studying done quicker and easier so that you can get on with other things.


Sourced from Pixnio

Get the Lighting Right

The lighting in your study space can make a big difference to how well you can work. To begin with, you don't want to have any glare on your computer because it could be very distracting. You don't want it to be too dark or you might just feel like falling asleep, but too much artificial light could cause eyestrain. Try to maximize natural light when you can and use a warm but bright light when there's no sunshine to rely on.

Create a Comfortable Temperature

Temperature can also affect how well you are able to study. If it's too warm, you can feel hot, sticky and frustrated, or perhaps like you want to take a nap. Too cold, and you might be using up all your energy trying to stay warm, so there's none left for your brain. Set the temperature in your study space at a comfortable level so that you don't have to think about it while you're trying to study. If you're trying to save money, put on an extra layer when it's cold instead of turning up the temperature.

Choose Between Silence or Music

Some studies might show one way or another whether silence or music is best for being productive. But it often just comes down to personal taste when you're studying. Total silence can be hard to get at home anyway, so you might prefer to create a setup for listening to music instead. For a balance between the two, try ambient sounds or instrumental music. If you do decide that you would prefer quiet, you could create a study space that helps to block out and absorb sound. Soft furnishings help to prevent echoing noises, but closing your window and door will keep sounds out.

Bring in Some Nature

Having plants in your study space can be a great way to make it more calming. House plants can help to improve the quality of the air indoors too, so it could even help to make your study space healthier. A couple of plants can give you something to look at when you want to rest your eyes and remind you to take a breather now and then.

Use a Clock

Studies have shown that working in short bursts can be a good way to be productive. A 20 minutes study period, when you concentrate the whole time, followed by a short break of a few minutes can help you work in short but intense chunks of time. Hanging a clock on the wall or having one on your desk can be a good remind of the time, instead of just having a computer clock which you might block out. It's also a good idea to have an alarm that you can set.

Create the perfect study space by setting up somewhere comfortable and free of too many distractions.

Things You Can Do To Help With Boredom When You’re Broke

We’ve all been there, right? We’ve spent a little too much money, and it’s a few weeks away until your next paycheck. So now you’re broke and bored, so what can you do that’ll help with the boredom but not cost you money? Here are a few suggestions!


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Play Video Games

You can spend hours on a video game, living out a fantasy life and there are so many to choose from. Driving games and adventure games will keep boredom at bay and doesn’t cost you any money to enjoy them...unless you buy more of them.

Invite some friends round, cook a big meal that costs very little and have an evening of gaming. It’ll be as much fun as it would going out and spending money.

Start A Blog

If you enjoy writing, then you might want to consider starting a blog. It’s a great platform to get your voice and opinions across to a wider audience and with blogging becoming even more popular, you could even make money from it.

It’s very simple to start a blog, and you can write about any topic you like from beauty to health, cars to gardening. The opportunities are endless!

Do A “Spring Clean”

Unless you’re one that hates tidying up, doing a spring clean can be a great way of decluttering your home and getting rid of stuff you no longer need. You can always sell anything of value too, so it’s a win-win situation.

Put on some music to get you in the mood and take your time with it. You can waste away hours tidying.

Work On A Skill

Perhaps learning a language is something you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time. With so much available online for free from videos to articles, developing a skill has never been so easy to do.

Think about what you’ve always wanted to do, write a list and get started.

Take Advantage Of Free Attractions

You’ll be surprised by just how many free attractions there are in your neighborhood, just waiting to be explored. From parks to museums, there’s plenty to do that won’t cost you anything at all. Check out local venues for free concerts and seek out food markets as they’ll tend to offer free samples that you can take full advantage of.

Have A Movie Night

Explore your DVD collection or see what films are available on any streaming services you may have like Amazon Prime or Netflix. A movie night is the ideal night in whether you’re on your own or with friends and family. Buy some cheap snacks, curl up in a duvet on the sofa and watch a film or two. Have a movie themed night where you watch films in the same genre or trilogies.

The best things in life are free, so when you find yourself struggling for cash, there are plenty of things you can do to help with the boredom and save on spending. It’ll bring around payday a little quicker, that’s for sure.

Excel in Your Exams: Preparation and Reducing Stress are Key

Exams are always going to be stressful. After months and months of study and hard work, it all comes down to how well you do in this set amount of time, which really does put a lot of pressure on you. Some people just naturally aren’t good at exams, and even the most level headed students can have an off day, and so if you have the date looming- chances are you’re going to be worried. Thankfully, there’s plenty you can do to get yourself as prepared as possible, reduce stress and go into the exam on the day knowing you’ve done everything you can. Sometimes, this thought alone is enough to give you the confidence to go in there and do your best. Read on to find out more.


photo sourced from Pexels.

Draw up a revision timetable

To properly revise a subject, you need time. Leaving it until the last minute and cramming is only going to add to stress levels, so get prepared and go about your revision in the right way. Once you’ve got an exam date, you can work out how much time you have to revise each topic, and set out a timetable giving you time each day to put in the work you need.

Find a method of revising that works for you

We’re all individual, and each of us will have our own methods of revising which work best for us. Some people are very visual, and find drawing up spider diagrams, posters and post it- notes to stick around the house can be effective. Others do better listening, you could read out all of your notes and record them on an app on your phone, and then listen back to them. Some people find that physically writing out all of their notes again with a pen and paper helps to secure it in their mind. And others might do better with things like flash cards and getting quizzed by others. Find a way to revise that works for you, and the information will sink in and stay in your mind much more easily.

Keep stress levels down

Stress makes everything worse. An anxious mind is far less likely to retain information from revising, and it can stop you from sleeping well. And we all know that when you’re tired, learning can feel impossible. While there’s always going to be an element of stress when it comes to exams, it’s important to find ways to cope. Have a relaxing bath, do some exercise or meditate as a way of managing the symptoms of stress and clearing your mind. You’ll do far better and will be able to focus more. Herbal remedies and over the counter medicines such as Rescue Remedy and Kalms can be effective if you’re really struggling. If your stress levels are impacting your life, you might even need to speak to your GP.

Take mock tests

A great way to test yourself, practice for the real thing and have a ‘test run’ of the exam is to take a mock test. These are often papers from previous years, and will give you a feel for the wording and what exactly it is the exams are looking for. Some companies offer specialist mock exams for specific subjects, you can find out more about this here. See if there are any online mocks as part of your revision materials from the school you’re studying at. If not, ask your tutor for some past exam questions and have them go through your answers with you to see how well you did. While the same questions won’t crop up again, if you’re able to answer these it shows you know the material well, and should be able to do just as well in your own exam. If you’re doing well in mock exams, it can really give you the confidence on the day to do your best on your own. If you’re struggling, you know that you need to put more work in. Better than turning up on the day and realising you weren't as prepared as you thought!

Speak to your tutor

If you’re able to get in any one-on-one time with your tutor, definitely use the opportunity to do so. Go armed with questions, and have them explain in more detail anything you’re not sure about. Classes in schools, colleges and universities tend to be fairly large and so it’s not going to be often that you get this kind of time with your tutor, so if you do, make the most of it. They should also be available via email to get back to you with any questions you have too. Don’t be afraid to ask, it’s their job to make sure you know the information. So if you’re stuck or unsure, let it be known.

Think about the day of the exam

On the day of the exam, you want to walk in feeling refreshed, well rested and confident. Do your very best to get a good night’s sleep, which will improve your mental clarity. Eat a light breakfast and make sure you’re well hydrated, since dehydration can lead to reduced mental performance. Have everything you need to take with you packed the day before, and even lay your clothes out. That way you can get up, get ready with no stress or messing around. Plan your route so there’s no risk of running late or getting stuck in traffic. This can help you to get off to the best start, so you can breeze in, do what you need to do and then breeze back out. You could have a notebook with a few points written down to revise on the day, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. With the right preparation you’ll have already covered everything you need to do and the knowledge will be in your head and ready to be used.

Do you suffer with bad exam stress? What do you do to ensure that you keep stress levels down enough to perform well?