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There may be times when you have reached the end of your patience with a student’s behavior. They may disrupt learning or repeat a negative behavior too many times. What do we do as teachers in these scenarios? Sometimes the simple answer is assigning detention.
Yet detention is not an effective discipline tool for some students, and in fact it might increase the recurrence of negative behavior. Detention and other punitive measures, like suspensions and expulsions, can contribute to other issues, such as recidivism among students, despite harsher or longer punishments. These measures have the potential to increase apathy and defiance. They can jeopardize teachers’ and staff’s efforts to build relationships and trust. Finally, they can have a negative effect on a student’s academic performance.
There is evidence of racial and ethnic disparities among students assigned to detention. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights sent a letter to educators outlining the disparities and offering alternatives to detention and suspension. Instead of detention, the DOE recommends restorative practices and positive interventions, such as counseling.
There may be severe circumstances that require removing a student from the school environment and placing them on off-campus suspension, such as hitting, fighting, threatening, or verbal assault. But before submitting a detention referral form for minor, day-to-day offenses, consider these three alternatives.
One suggestion is to create a reflection room in place of one for detention. In it, teachers, administrators, caregivers, and the student go through a reflective process to understand the root cause of a conflict and assist the student in understanding and identifying better options. Reflective practices teach students what actions they can take in the future when confronted with difficult situations.
As a middle school assistant principal, I recently had two students referred to me for pushing each other during recess. As I spoke with each of the students individually, I realized they had very different perspectives on what had occurred. “I tripped and landed on him. Really!” versus “He deliberately ran into me!”
These two students needed to learn how to see a situation from another person’s point of view. They each wrote a narrative description of the scuffle as if they were the other person. I followed up with each student separately, and both realized that perhaps they had misinterpreted the other person’s intentions. After writing a reflection, there’s no guarantee that they will never push each other again. But maybe they’ll take a moment to consider what the other person is thinking before they react physically.
If you are familiar with the concept of the Responsive Classroom, you might have heard about logical consequences. Instead of harsh punishment, the teacher gently instructs the student on how to correct their errors.
At the end of the discussion, students become empowered because the teacher assists them in reaching epiphanies like “When I knock things down, I have to help build them back up,” “I can fix things when I mess up,” or “My teacher helps me solve problems.” If a student leaves a mess at the lunch table, the obvious next step is to clean it up. Please keep in mind that this is not a suggestion to assign illogical chores, such as “You forgot your homework, now scrape gum off the sidewalk.”
The tone of the teacher is critical when using logical consequences. It should convey problem-solving and learning rather than anger or frustration. Maintaining students’ dignity is essential for assisting them in learning from an experience.
Logical consequences do not always have to be negative. When students make thoughtful decisions that result in good outcomes, note it. Ask your school administration if they will accept “positive office referrals” in which a teacher refers a student for helpful behaviors. How cool would it be if your students routinely wondered, “Is she there for a positive referral?” whenever the principal called a student out of class.
Restorative practices, in a nutshell, teach students how to right the wrongs they have caused. They provide alternatives to using punishment and build healthier learning communities. To quote Arkansas principal Chelsea Jennings, “Kids who are frequently in trouble are often testing a system that has repeatedly failed them, but a restorative approach says ‘we are not giving up on you.’”
If a student disrespects another student or staff member in words or actions, how can that student attempt to repair the harm done? A science teacher at our school implemented this approach when a student disrupted her class. The teacher informed the student that her disruptive behavior had taken away instructional time, and as a result, the student would have to help the teacher recoup some of the lost time by assisting with the prep for the next lab before school. Even if the student thought that prepping for a lab was enjoyable or fun, that student was fulfilling the spirit of the consequence: making up for the lost time.
Peer conflict resolution assists students in working to repair the harm done to another student. Students can be taught conflict resolution with the help of a faculty member or counselor. If a student uses a slur or disrespectful language, that student should investigate why that language is harmful. By conducting research first, the offending student can craft a more sympathetic and informed apology to the victim.
An example of this is a middle school student who made a racially insensitive joke. From speaking with the student, it was clear that he did not know the joke was offensive. He was repeating what he had read on the internet. After doing some research on the origins of the joke, the student realized why it was hurtful and sincerely apologized.
There would be no growth, no new understanding, no repairing of harm, if I simply assigned him detention.
The alternatives suggested above are not quick and easy. Some people will object, fearing that restorative practices are letting students off easy or with just a slap on the wrist. These are valid concerns, but one important point to remember is that restorative practices are preventive actions based on relationships.
Building the relationships necessary to guide students toward positive choices requires creativity, planning, and a lot of patience. So why do it? It pays off when students’ behavior improves and the community becomes a more positive environment.
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AutoCAD is a flagship product by Autodesk, the drafting industry’s juggernaut, designed to help its users with product or building design, manufacturing planning, construction, and civil infrastructure. It also costs much more than other programs that match its capabilities. For this reason, we are sharing this list of the best alternatives to AutoCAD.
Tip: If you just need to draw diagrams, you don’t need AutoCAD. Check out some of the best online diagramming software.What Makes a Good AutoCAD Alternative?
If you’re an average student or hobbyist working on a lean budget, you don’t have to always pick AutoCAD. There are some worthy contenders with similar supporting infrastructure and critical functionality.
The challenge is in deciding which AutoCAD alternatives are worth your time, as the market is awash with ghastly knockoffs. You’ll obviously want more affordable alternatives to AutoCAD that offer similar features and read similar files, easily integrate with AutoCAD, and are intuitive to learn.
The most important factors to consider include:
Cost – free drafting software is always a great option, but even lower-cost premium options are still better than the more than $1,700/year you’ll pay in subscription fees with AutoCAD.
Compatibility – if you previously used AutoCAD or need to view and edit AutoCAD files, you’ll want to choose an alternative that’s compatible. It’s important to note that there is an official free AutoCAD file viewer available if you just need to view files.
Cross-platform compatibility – even though AutoCAD is available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, a Linux version still doesn’t exist.
Built-in toolsets – AutoCAD contains built-in toolsets to get you started quickly with common tasks, such as architecture and electrical.
Intuitive interface – despite all the complex tools and features, AutoCAD is still incredibly intuitive. The best alternatives are easy to learn and use and will ideally have ample documentation.1. FreeCAD
While LibreCAD works great for 2D models, FreeCAD is one of the best open-source alternatives to AutoCAD for 3D modeling, though it supports 2D as well. Plus, it’s designed for Windows, macOS, and Linux environments.
Parametric modeling is a core feature, allowing you to go back through various changes to build upon them. Dozens of file types are supported, included DWG. Grouped workbenches make it easy to find the tools you need for specific tasks, and more are being added regularly.
The large variety of tools in this free architectural design software can easily rival those in premium alternatives and AutoCAD itself. Plus, it’s free.Pros
Support for dozens of file types
Uses minimal resources to run on older systems
Active community for support
Parametric 2D sketcher
Workbenches make it easier to useCons
Steep learning curve
Some features may be outdated, depending on community development2. SolidWorks
AutoCAD has had pretty good support for 3D modelling, but its greatest strengths remain as a 2D-design and drafting architectural software.
Solidworks is a parametric solid modeler focused mainly around 3D designs, so you’ll need to have some knowledge of engineering terms rather than just geometric ones.
The latest edition of SolidWorks has excellent features, like the ability to do freehand sketches on touchscreens. Despite being primarily focused around 3D modelling, its 2D sketching tool still remains functional, even though it’s much lighter than what you find in AutoCAD.Pricing details
You have to request a quote for exact pricing, but the starting price is around $4,000 a year, along with an annual maintenance fee of over $1,000. Students can pay as little as $60 a year, and qualifying startups and entrepreneurs can even get it for free initially. The reason it’s so expensive is that it is so similar to AutoCAD. There’s also a cloud-based version, but once again, you have to request a quote.Pros
Excellent 3D modeling functionality
Unbeatable in the fields of engineering and automation
Compatible with DXF files
Assesses weak points in designs
Good 3D-printing compatibility
Some command-line functionalityCons
Limited 2D sketching
Good to know: for those who just want to create beautiful images to share via social media, check out these design tools.3. BricsCAD
This CAD platform is known for its reach features and has several familiar features, including native .dwg applications.
If you’re familiar with AutoCAD’s 2008 version, BricsCAD has a somewhat similar interface, plus rich features in 2D design and 3D direct modeling. You can use it with the major operating systems, such as macOS, Windows, and Linux, and hundreds of third-party apps from across the world that are based on .dwg.
Despite being a paid software like AutoCAD, BricsCAD is more affordable with four editions: Lite, Pro, BIM, and Mechanical. The latter two are feature-packed with tools that aren’t found in AutoCAD, such as Sheet Metal, 3D Compare, and BIM.
BricsCAD also integrates with the cloud, has a robust rendering engine, recognizes XREFS, and is customizable.
If you just need a basic 3D modeling solution, BricsCAD Shape is free. While it doesn’t have the same powerful features, it’s still an impressive offering for free architectural design software.Pricing details
One great thing about BricsCAD is that you can try it for free for 30 days without a credit card. After that, you’ll have several options, including:
Lite – $314/year or $560/lifetime
Pro – $615/year or $1150/lifetime
BIM – $1,010/year or $1,890/lifetime
Mechanical – $950/year or $1,780/lifetime
Ultimate (bundle of all editions) – $1,120/year or $2,100/lifetime
As you can tell, lifetime licenses make this significantly more affordable overall.Pros
Easy to use if you’re familiar with AutoCAD
Faster LISP execution
Perpetual licenses available
Broad customization and development capability
Built-in tools such as IFC import/export, architectural direct modeler with BIM database and SketchUp SKP
Opens complex drawings faster
You can read, edit, save AutoCAD files to .dwg
Can use AutoCAD customization
AI-enhanced predictive QUAD cursor works faster on large drawingsCons
Has a difficult document management tool
Limited scope4. DraftSight
Draftsight is a professional-grade alternative to AutoCAD, designed for users looking for better ways to read, write, and share .dwg files.
Through its clear user interface, which makes DraftSight easy to use and learn, you can make accurate revisions, as design elements are stored in layers. You can also create G-Code directly in the program and save and open DXF and DWG files. It has a huge design library from which you can use existing designs, do batch-printing, and access macro recording.Pricing details
A free 30-day trial is available. This is one of the most affordable professional alternatives to AutoCAD. The plans are as follows:
Professional – $199/year
Premium – $480/year (adds 3D functionality)
Enterprise/Enterprise Plus – pricing by quote onlyPros
Good for 2D modeling
Easy to run with storage space
Easy to learn and use
Perpetual license available
Save and open DWG and DXF files
Compare designs, add symbols, or append PDFs to project filesCons
Doesn’t run LISP routines
No express tools
Not useful if you want specialized solutions
Good to know: you can also design a beautiful poster with Microsoft Powerpoint.5. SketchUp
Formerly Google SketchUp, this free tool is an excellent pick for CAD professionals.
SketchUp is a 3D-modeling program used for a wide range of uses, including interior design; architectural, civil, and mechanical engineering; and video game and film design.
Available as a freeware version, the tool works with several types of files, including DWG, DXF, OBJ, XSI, and more, and can export HD animations and PDFs.Pricing details
While the architecture design software is mainly known for its free version, there are three premium plans available if you need more functionality, such as unlimited access to pre-built 3D models, unlimited cloud storage, and a desktop edition. These include:
Shop (Web only) – $119/year
Pro (desktop/Web) – $299/year
Studio (desktop/Web) – $699/year
Promo codes are often available on the site to get the Pro and Studio plans on a discount.Pros
Easy to learn and use
Easy to import different types of files
Vast library to upload or download drawings
Good for creating 3D models
Integrates with third-party pluginsCons
Less detailed designs owing to lesser rendering ability
Doesn’t let you create NURBS
Desktop version is only compatible with Windows6. LibreCAD
This is another free alternative program that is feature-rich and commands a large following of customers and designers.
LibreCAD is a high-quality open-source 2D-modeling software birthed from QCAD (later known as CADuntu) and resembles AutoCAD in concept and features.Pros
Easy to learn and use
Writes DXF files
Source code is available on GitHub
Seamless transition from AutoCAD
Multilingual (more than 30 languages)
Cross-platform support for Mac, Windows, and Linux OS
Can export JPG, SVG, PDF, PNG, and other file typesCons
Only displays 2D views
Can’t work on 3D models and rendering7. QCAD
If you prefer to try what LibreCAD started, check out QCAD. It’s one of the best AutoCAD alternatives for 2D models and is regularly updated.
It’s open source and cross-platform, working Linux, Mac, and Windows. If you’re new to CAD tools, it’s a good beginner-friendly option, but has ample features for more experienced users. The free version offers more than 40 construction tools and over 20 modification tools.
While the basic version is free, a Professional edition is available with a healthy dose of extra features, such as support for more file formats. However, it’s fairly inexpensive at just $39. The Professional version trial is bundled with the free version and offers a 15-minute trial per session.Pros
Built-in part library with over 4,800 CAD parts
Basic version free
Import and export DXF and DWG files
Support for SVG, PDF, JPG, BMP, PNG, XPM, XBM, ICO, TIFF, and more
Detailed documentation and active communityCons
Some file formats are Professional edition only
2D only8. OpenSCAD
OpenSCAD is one of the more unique free AutoCAD alternatives that focuses on 3D modeling for machinery and parts. It’s designed for Linux/Unix, macOS, and Windows.
It works a little differently than most of the alternatives to AutoCAD on this list. It’s not an interactive 3D modeler. Instead, it works more like a compiler. You’ll use the code editor to make adjustments to colors, sizes, shapes, and positions. Instead of drawing things out yourself, you import libraries (which are free) to build your creation.
You may want to use a mind-mapping tool like the ones on this list to plan out your design before diving into the tool.Pros
Numerous libraries and free resources available on the website
Has an active Thingiverse community
Supports DXF, STL, and OFF filesCons
Isn’t a true design tool
Has a learning curve9. JTS IntelliCAD
When you need professional features at a fraction of the cost of AutoCAD, look no further than JTS IntelliCAD. Formerly known as TrueCAD, this premium tool supports all DWG and DXF versions from R2.2 and later.
Most of the the file formats you would want are supported, such as JPG, STL, BMP, TIFF, and more. Easily import and export PDF. There are numerous 2D design tools along with 3D modeling features. You can even use LISP programs within IntelliCAD or create your own.
While the software isn’t free, it’s just $149 for a perpetual license. If you choose to upgrade to a new version (which isn’t required), it’s only $80 to upgrade.Pros
Offers many of the same features as AutoCAD
Supports many file formats
Works for both 2D and 3D modeling
Great support for DWG and DXF file versions
No subscription or upgrades requiredCons
Only available for Windows Vista and later10. CMS IntelliCAD
CMS IntelliCAD is powered by IntelliCAD, just like JTS IntelliCAD. It’s often considered one of the best AutoCAD alternatives due to the features and file support.
While it may seem overwhelming to beginners, this is a tool experienced AutoCAD users could fall in love with. A free trial is available.Pricing
Perpetual license – $250
One-year edition – $130
Plus perpetual license – $300
Subscription – $150/yearPros
Close AutoCAD competitor
Advanced design and editing tools
Native DWG and DGN supportCons
Only compatible with WindowsHonorable Mentions
While the above are some of the best drafting software alternatives to AutoCAD, they’re not the only options that deserve a mention.
Some others you may want to check out that aren’t quite as feature rich but still great for personal use and smaller projects include:
nanoCAD – Offers a free basic option for educational and personal projects only. Five premium plans are available starting at $180/year. It provides all the tools you need for most drafting projects and is compatible with DWG files. For commercial use and additional features, you’ll need to upgrade to a premium plan.
Tinkercad – This is a free educational tool from Autodesk. While it’s not as feature-rich as AutoCAD, it’s an ideal alternative for beginners, hobbyists, and personal drafting projects. While it’s made for students and educators, you can create a personal account for free to start tinkering with new designs.Frequently Asked Questions How can I get the premium AutoCAD alternatives cheaper?
Many of the premium options on this list offer free and low-cost student editions. There may also be discounts for non-profits if you contact the company directly.Is a free alternative to AutoCAD powerful enough to compete?
Yes. While they may not be as feature-rich, you can still create detailed designs. If you’ve ever used AutoCAD and never used even half of the features, you’d be much better off with a free alternative. If one doesn’t meet all your needs, consider using two different alternatives with complementary features.Do these tools let me sketch out designs first?
Not really. Built-in shapes and lines are used to develop your designs. If you prefer a sketching tool, try these Windows-based sketching tools. Some are cross-platform, such as GIMP.
Image credit: SolidWorks, BricsCAD, CHIP, SketchUp, LibreCAD, CMS IntelliCAD, Kumpan Electric via Unsplash
Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.
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A backup is a safeguard against catastrophic damage to your computer or data loss. But many disasters that could take out your computer might also destroy your backup. Think about theft, fire, or flood, for example.
So, you need to keep a backup in another location. The easiest way to achieve this is with cloud backup. Carbonite is popular, offering both unlimited storage plans (for a single computer) and limited storage (for multiple computers).
It’s recommended by PCWorld as the “most streamlined” online backup service. That might be true for Windows users, but the Mac version has severe limitations. Carbonite is reasonably affordable, starting at $71.99/year, but two of its best competitors are significantly cheaper.
This article will introduce you to several Carbonite alternatives that run on both Mac and Windows. Some offer unlimited storage to back up a single computer. Others support multiple computers but offer limited storage. All are subscription services costing $50-130 per year. One or more of them should suit your needs.
Carbonite Alternatives That Offer Unlimited Storage
1. Backblaze Unlimited Backup
Backblaze is an effective and affordable “set and forget” service for backing up a single computer and the winner of our Best Online Backup roundup.
It’s simple to set up because it intelligently does most of the work for you. It’s easy to use—in fact, your computer is backed up continually and automatically. We have a detailed Backblaze review that provides more detail.
In our Backblaze vs. Carbonite comparison, we found that while Backblaze is the obvious choice for most users. It’s not the best for everyone, though, especially those who need to back up multiple computers. Businesses that need to back up between five and twenty computers would be better using Carbonite, which is cheaper when backing up five computers or more.
Keep in mind, though, that only 250 GB of storage is offered, while Backblaze imposes no limit. We list several other cloud backup solutions for multiple computers in the next section.
Backblaze Personal Backup is a subscription service that costs $6/month, $60/year, or $110 for two years. One computer can be backed up. A 15-day trial is available.
2. Livedrive Personal Backup
Livedrive also offers unlimited storage to back up a single computer, but that’s where the similarities end. It’s a little more expensive (6.99 GBP per month is about $9.40) and doesn’t include features like scheduled or continuous backups.
Livedrive Backup is a subscription service that costs 6.99 GBP per month. That covers one computer. You can back up five computers with the Pro Suite, which costs 15 GBP per month. A 14-day free trial is available.
3. OpenDrive Personal Unlimited
OpenDrive offers unlimited cloud storage for a single user rather than a single computer. At $99.00/year, it’s more expensive again. It’s not as easy to use as Backblaze, nor does it continuously back up your computer. The service offers a few additional features, though, such as file sharing, collaboration, notes, and task management.
OpenDrive offers 5 GB of online storage for free. The Personal Unlimited plan is a subscription service that offers unlimited storage for a single user. It costs $9.95/month or $99/year.
Carbonite Alternatives That Support Multiple Computers
4. IDrive Personal
IDrive is the best online backup solution for more than one computer. It’s very affordable—the cheapest plan provides 5 TB of online storage for a single user to backup an unlimited number of devices. Refer to our IDrive review for more details.
In our IDrive vs. Carbonite shootout, we found that IDrive is faster—in fact, up to three times faster. It supports more platforms (including mobile), offers more storage space, and (in most cases) is less expensive.
IDrive offers 5 GB of storage for free. IDrive Personal is a subscription service that costs $69.50/year for 5 TB or $99.50/year for 10 TB.
5. SpiderOak One Backup
While SpiderOak also lets you back up an unlimited number of devices, it’s significantly more expensive than IDrive. Plans for both companies start at around $69/year—but that gives you 5 TB with IDrive and only 150 GB with SpiderOak. The same storage with SpiderOak costs a massive $320 annually.
SpiderOak offers four subscription plans that let you back up an unlimited number of devices: 150 GB for $6/month, 400 GB for $11/month, 2 TB for $14/month, and 5 TB for $29/month.
6. Acronis True Image
Acronis True Image is a versatile backup subscription service that performs local disk image backups and file synchronization. Its Advanced and Premium plans include cloud backup.
That means you can realize your complete backup strategy in a single application, which is appealing. However, the Advanced Plan only offers 500 GB to back up a single computer. After that, upgrading becomes expensive. Backing up five 500 GB computers (something that IDrive’s cheapest $69.50 plan can handle) costs $369.99/year.
Like SpiderOak, it offers secure end-to-end encryption. Learn more in our Acronis True Image review.
Acronis True Image Advanced is a subscription service costing $89.99/year for one computer and includes 500 GB of cloud storage. There are also plans for 3 and 5 computers, but the storage amount stays the same. The Premium subscription costs $124.99 for one computer; you choose the amount of storage from 1-5 TB.
So What Should You Do?
Computer backups are essential. One human error, computer problem, or accident could permanently erase your valuable photos, media files, and documents. Offsite backup should be part of your strategy.
Why? Learn from my mistake. On the day our second child was born, our house was broken into, and our computers were stolen. I’d just done a full backup of my machine, but I left the disks on my desk right next to my laptop. You can guess what happened—the thieves took them, too.
Carbonite offers several cloud backup plans at reasonably affordable prices. Safe Basic gives you unlimited storage to back up a single computer for $71.99/year. Its more expensive plans let you back up multiple computers.
However, some options offer more storage or let you back up more computers at a lower price. It might be worth switching, though that would mean starting your backup over. With cloud backup, that typically takes days or weeks.
If you only have one computer to back up, we recommend Backblaze. If you have more than one computer or device, check out IDrive.
Introduction to Ubuntu Alternatives
Web development, programming languages, Software testing & othersTop 6 Ubuntu Alternatives 1. Debian GNU/Linux
Debian is one of the Ubuntu alternatives as it is a freely available distribution over the internet offering stable CD images specifically meant for GNOME. In Debian, finding help is extremely easy as it is one of the most popular distros; therefore, many of the community are there to support and assist those needing help. It has a standard Linux-based desktop and not some specialized desktops, making it easier and more convenient for people to use this. It also provides a vast variety of hardware platforms and packages which are very helpful when it comes to enhancing the support and the productivity of the application. Another reason to choose Debian is its offering of a high level of security and stability, which establishes a solid foundation for a robust operating system through rigorous testing of packages before they are productized.2. Deepin OS
Deepin forms another one among the list of Ubuntu alternatives. One of the prime reasons it is an excellent alternative to Ubuntu is its interactive and design-based desktop interface. Simple activities such as sharing, searching and moving around are quite easy in this interface. It can look like a mac based operating system and a Windows-based operating system. It would be best if you changed the mode from Fashion to Efficient. It also provides a rich set of apps to simplify your daily tasks. It gains recognition for its automatic clearing of the package cache, resulting in faster program execution and launch than other operating systems in its league. It also has varied support for plugging graphics cards, providing a rich gaming experience.3. Linux Mint
Linux Mint is a modern-looking operating system that becomes convenient for people who still find it easy to use traditional operating systems. It has huge release support. The simple and elegant user interface, which goes by the name of Cinnamon, can customize many desktop features. It is derived from Ubuntu and shares the same code base; hence, all the underlying features are well-standardized and well-built, like those of Ubuntu. Many other applications are forked and meant to be used by the masses. It is the best bid for the people who want to extend the capabilities of Ubuntu but with the traditional look and feels user experience.4. CentOS
This is one of the most famous alternatives present for Ubuntu today. It is a stable operating system based on Red Hat Linux with a modern desktop environment and comparatively easy installation. CentOS is the community version of the Red Hat Linux Distribution and is probably one of the most popular Linux distributions and versions ever used. The GNOME project provides the default look and feel, which is extremely easy to install. It uses the Anaconda installer, which is more or less the same as the Fedora Linux Distribution. There is no comparison to the quality and quantity of applications installed in CentOS and Ubuntu. The primary difference lies in the fact that it uses Red Hat Linux Distribution and not Debian or Ubuntu, and therefore, there can be a slight difference in commands that can be seen.5. OpenSuse
The rich set of applications, features, and GNOME-based desktop interface makes OpenSuse a good fit as an alternative to Ubuntu. The two versions, Tumbleweed and Leap, have their mechanism regarding the update frequency. Tumbleweed receives rolling updates, so you don’t need to worry about the installation part once you install it. On the other hand, Leap is a point distribution that is responsible for periodic updates. Generally, this periodic cycle occurs over 6 months. Regarding package management, OpenSuse also leans towards the Red Hat side rather than the Debian or Ubuntu-based side. The Unique selling proposition of OpenSuse, however, is its stability. It includes the software, tools, and applications such as Firefox web browser, music player, video player, etc.6. Fedora
The Fedora distribution is one of the best alternatives for Ubuntu, as RedHat backs it and constantly focuses on innovation. It uses the latest software and extensively tests before releasing its product. It was out-of-the-box integration with GNOME and spins and labs, specifically different images with WM/DE and particular themes, along with fast, stable updates and high performance. One of the main features of Fedora is that installation is also possible on the hard disk’s bad sectors and provides a vast array of binary packages ready for installation.Recommended Articles
This has been a guide to Ubuntu Alternatives. Here we have discussed the introduction and top 6 popular Ubuntu alternatives. You may also look at the following articles to learn more –
Are you aware that OpenAI has discontinued Codex? Therefore, trying excellent AI code assistant tools similar to Codex may be a great time.
Some great Codex alternatives include Github Copilot, TabNine, GPT-CC, IntelliCode, SourceAI, Code Whisperer, and DeepCode, which provide access to unique coding features.
Read on to discover how these alternatives fare to Codex.What Is Codex And How Does It Work?
Codex AI or OpenAI Codex is a natural language processing (NLP) technology developed by OpenAI to generate custom codes.
Unveiled in 2023, it became an instant hit with programmers to create code responses, complete codes, and correct coding errors.
However, it was discontinued by OpenAI on March 2023 and consolidated with GPT’s other coding models.
Therefore, users are less likely to access Codex as a standalone service.Features Of Codex
Although it has been discontinued, Codex was known for some fantastic features, including:
Code Generation: Codex AI can create code in multiple programming languages based on natural language input from users.
Natural Language Processing: The tool can understand and respond to natural language questions, enabling users to interact with it using human-like language.
Speed And Efficiency: Codex AI produces code more accurately and quickly, making it a valuable tool for developers.
Integration With Development Tools: Codex AI is integrated with various development tools, such as GitHub’s Copilot, which allows developers to write code more efficiently.
Customization: Codex AI can be customized to specific domains, enabling it to provide more relevant and accurate code suggestions for particular industries or topics.
Continue reading to learn about the similarities and differences between Codex and ChatGPT.Top 7 Codex Alternatives To Use In 2023
Although very helpful, Codex was older technology with limited features. Maybe it is why OpenAI decided to discontinue it.
Nonetheless, here are some excellent code assistant alternatives you should try.1. Github Copilot
GitHub Copilot is an AI-powered code completion tool developed by GitHub in collaboration with OpenAI.
The tool is integrated into the Visual Studio Code editor so programmers can use the feature in conjunction with the code they are working on, which saves time.
It helps programmers write code more efficiently by providing intelligent code suggestions and autocompleting code snippets based on the code’s context.
Moreover, you can use it to create a boilerplate, debug existing codes, generate test cases and assertions, and more.
Copilot uses OpenAI’s GPT-3 architecture to generate responses, but the reactions are limited to coding activities.
Here is how GitHub Copilot fares to Codex.
GitHub Copilot can be integrated into VS Code editor to generate suggestions while working on the codes.Codex works as a standalone API that can be used in various applications.
It is only available to selected users who have been accepted into the technical preview chúng tôi is available to anyone with access to the OpenAI API.
GitHub Copilot is a joint venture between GitHub and OpenAI.Codex is solely owned and operated by OpenAI.
It is developed in close collaboration with the developer community, with feedback and input from chúng tôi was primarily being developed by OpenAI’s research team.
Continue reading to discover some of the best alternatives to GitHub Copilot and ChatGPT Vs. GitHub Copilot.2. TabNine
TabNine is an AI-powered code completion tool from Codota that uses deep learning algorithms similar to GPT to provide intelligent code suggestions to programmers.
It is designed to work with various code editors and IDEs, including Visual Studio Code, Atom, Sublime Text, and IntelliJ IDEA.
It makes TabNine a better alternative to Codex and many other code completion tools.
Moreover, you can customize the tool to disable specific suggestions and fine-tune them for specific codebases.
Here is how TabNine fares to older code completion tools like the Codex.
TabNine integrates with a wide range of code editors and IDEs.Codex works as a standalone API through the Open AI.
It can be customized to disable specific suggestions or to prioritize suggestions based on the user’s coding chúng tôi can be fine-tuned for specific domains, providing more accurate and relevant suggestions for specific industries or topics.
Offers self-hosting capabilities via VPC or on-premises chúng tôi can only be accessed through OpenAI platform.
It uses less data than Codex AI, which can be beneficial to work with limited bandwidth or have data usage chúng tôi is based on token system, where each token will have a set bandwith usage.3. GPT-CC
GPT-CC is an open-source version of GitHub Copilot based on GPT architecture, designed specifically for code completion tasks.
It was developed by researchers at the University of Hong Kong, EleutherAI, focused on developing large-scale language models.
One of the critical features of GPT-CC is its ability to generate code suggestions beyond simple code completion.
It can suggest entire functions, classes, and modules based on the written code, making it a powerful tool.
Here is how GPT-CC compares to Codex.
GPT-CC is based on the GPT architecture and NLP.Codex uses a combination of transformer and neural network architectures.
GPT-CC is an open-source model, meaning it can be used and modified by anyone.Codex is owned and operated by OpenAI, and access to the model is controlled by OpenAI.
It is highly customizable, allowing fine-tuning the model for specific domains or chúng tôi can be can also be fine-tuned, but this requires access to the underlying code and infrastructure.
It supports a range of programming chúng tôi supports a more limited set of programming languages.4. IntelliCode
Another excellent AI-assisted development that makes a perfect alternative to Codex is IntelliCode.
As the name suggests, it learns from individual developers’ code patterns and practices, improving its suggestions over time based on the developer’s coding style and preferences.
Intellicode also learns from code repositories on GitHub and suggests the most popular and relevant code snippets to the developer.
One exciting thing about IntelliCode is that it integrates with GitHub, allowing developers to collaborate on code and review pull requests quickly.
Therefore, it can make a valuable alternative to Codex in many ways.
Here are some unique differences between IntelliCode and Codex.
It provides code completion suggestions and refactoring recommendations for the programming languages it chúng tôi can generate code in various programming languages, suggest codes, and improve existing codings.
It can learn from individual developers’ code patterns and preferences to improve its code chúng tôi can only be fine-tuned for specific domains and topics.
It supports a wide range of programming chúng tôi supports a more limited set of programming languages.
Intellicode is developed by Microsoft and is integrated into their VS and Visual Studio Code IDEs.Codex AI is developed and owned by OpenAI and is accessible through the OpenAI API.5. SourceAI
SourceAI is a code assistant tool based on GPT-3 model, designed to provide intelligent code suggestions.
It uses machine learning algorithms to analyze the code in real time and generate intelligent suggestions for the following line of code, saving time and effort.
Developers can use it for code completion, refactoring, and optimization. Additionally, it can detect and correct errors in the code.
Additionally, it can be integrated with various IDEs, such as Visual Studio Code, Atom, and Sublime Text.
Here is how Source AI can become your best alternative to Codex.
It features code completion, refactoring, optimization, error detection, and suggestions for code snippets and chúng tôi offers code generation, natural language processing, speed and efficiency, customizability, and integration with IDEs.
It offers code completion and other suggestions for specific programming languages such as Python, Java, and chúng tôi is been designed to generate code in various programming languages.
It offers a free community edition with limited features, as well as paid plans for individuals and chúng tôi is currently only available as a paid service for businesses.6. DeepCode
On the list is a powerful AI-powered code analysis platform, Deep Code, which provides unique code assistant features.
Developed by Swiss developers in 2023, it uses machine learning algorithms to analyze and identify potential errors, analyze data flow, process natural language, and improve code quality.
Here are some of the features of Deepcode.
Improved Code Quality: It detects and highlights potential issues in code.
Time-Saving: It can identify potential problems much faster than manual code reviews.
Comprehensive Analysis: Covers many potential issues, including security vulnerabilities and code smells.
Integrations: It can integrate with popular development tools such as Visual Studio Code and GitHub.
However, it is not just an analysis tool; it specializes in multiple programming languages and improves the overall coding experience, making it very different from Codex.
It is a code analysis tool that identifies potential errors and vulnerabilities in chúng tôi is a code generation tool that can write code based on natural language inputs.
It can be integrated with popular IDEs like Visual Studio Code and chúng tôi is integrated into GitHub’s Copilot, allowing developers to code more efficiently.
DeepCode offers both free and paid plans.Codex AI is currently only available through GitHub’s Copilot.7. Code Whisperer
Code Whisperer is a more recently developed code assistant tool developed by Amazon.
It can generate whole lines and fully functional code as an AI coding companion through your preferred IDEs.
In fact, it was developed by Amazon to overcome the limitations of previous code assistant tools.
Moreover, it is trained on billions of lines of code retrieved from open-source repositories, including Amazon repositories, API documentation, and GitHub, which makes it quite robust.
Code Whisperer can become a great chance for developers looking for something unique.
During the preview period, developers can use CodeWhisperer at no cost.Codex is only available through OpenAI API obtained through paid package.
The code recommendations are based on different repositories and chúng tôi code recommendations are obtained from GitHub and GPT library.
It is most efficient when user input is short and directed to discrete tasks so that no single function is too chúng tôi can generate, improve, correct, and complete codes.The Bottom Line
Some Codex alternatives can undertake and autocomplete complex tasks, saving developers much time.
Now that Codex is discontinued, you should adopt many great alternatives that offer more unique features.Frequently Asked Questions Can I Use IntelliCode With Languages Other Than C# And Python?
However, the level of support may vary depending on the language and the specific features you are using.Can TabNine Generate Code In As Many Languages As Codex AI?
TabNine currently supports more than 50 programming languages, which is lesser than Codex AI, but TabNine offers more accuracy and speed.How Customizable Is Source AI Compared To Codex AI?
Source AI is highly customizable compared to Codex AI, which can be trained on custom datasets and tuned for specific use cases.
In contrast, Codex AI does not currently offer the same level of customization.
This article was published as a part of the Data Science Blogathon.
Over the past few years, Snowflake has grown from a virtual unknown to a retailer with thousands of customers. Businesses have adopted Snowflake as migration from on-premise enterprise data warehouses (such as Teradata) or a more flexibly scalable and easier-to-manage alternative to an existing cloud data warehouse (such as Amazon Redshift or Google BigQuery).Snowflake: Data lake or Data Warehouse?
Data lakes offer low-cost object storage of raw data and rely on external query tools to analyze large datasets using highly available computing resources. Because they access a file system rather than a structured format, data lakes are not highly performant without optimization. But once optimized, they can be extremely cost-effective, especially at scale. They are also well equipped to process streaming data.
The Data warehouse stores structured data in a proprietary format for analytical access through a tightly coupled query layer. Computational speed is high compared to a non-optimized data lake but is also more expensive.So, where does the Snowflake fit?
With other data warehouses, Snowflake requires a proper data format, works with structured and semi-structured (but not unstructured) data, and requires its query engine. However, it differs from a traditional data warehouse in two key aspects:
1. It is only offered in the cloud
2. It separates the storage from the elastic compute layer
These improvements initially differentiated Snowflake in the market from Teradata and Redshift. However, each has tried to match those attributes—Teradata with its Vantage cloud service and Amazon with Redshift, which separates compute and storage. As a result, these services now share these two properties with cloud data lakes, which can add to the flurry of confusion about when to use which.Where to store the data for cost optimization?
So Snowflake is not a data lake. But is there any reason not to store all your information on it and rely on its ability to process data with SQL quickly? One reason you should consider it is the cost.
Of course, the cost is essential when deciding how to use different analytics platforms. Using Snowflake to run complex queries on large volumes of data at high speed can significantly increase costs.
Snowflake charges based on how long the Virtual Data Warehouse (VDW) is running, plus VDW size (number of cores) and prepaid feature set (Enterprise, Standard, or Business-Critical). A given VDW, the rates are identical to the load on the VDW. This differs from the data lake, which offers spot pricing; a cheaper instance can handle a smaller bag.
Snowflake processes data in its proprietary format, and data transformation for Snowflake acceptance can be costly. Because receiving data streams creates a continuous load, it can keep the Snowflake VDW meter running 24/7. Since Snowflake does not charge differently for a 5% or 80% load of a given virtual datastore size, these costs can be high.
• Computing snowflakes is more expensive than running the same job in a data lake.
So there is a real risk of Snowflake running into an inexorable cost scenario. When you realize that you may have too much data stored in Snowflake, it can become even more expensive to get the data out because it needs to be transformed into a different format.
A similar scenario could arise involving your data scientists, who may repeatedly analyze the same or similar data sets as they experiment with different models and test various hypotheses. This is highly computationally intensive. They must be able to connect to the ML or AI tools of their choice and not be locked into a single technology just because a proprietary data format requires it.
For these reasons, relying on Snowflake for all your data analysis needs can be inefficient and expensive. From a business perspective, it may be better to supplement Snowflake with a data lake.Compare Snowflake and Databricks
There are a lot of people who are confused between snowflake and Databricks. How does the Snowflake approach compare to Databricks’ self-proclaimed Lakehouse tool, and how stark are the differences between the two? Check out our Databricks vs Snowflake comparison to find out.
Snowflake + optimized cloud data lake = flexible and affordable analytics
None of the above is meant to disparage Snowflake or to suggest that it shouldn’t be part of your overall solution. Snowflake is a handy data warehouse and should be considered a way to provide predictable and fast analytics performance. However, by incorporating it as part of an open, optimized data lake architecture, you can ensure that you get all (or most) of Snowflake’s benefits while keeping your cloud costs under control.
Using an optimized data lake and cloud data warehouse like Snowflake allows companies to apply different patterns to different use cases based on cost and performance requirements.
You can use cheap data lake storage and keep all your data – not just recent or structured data.
Data transformation and preparation are likely much cheaper in a data lake than in Snowflake, especially for streaming data.
You are not limited in choice of query tools and can query the data lake directly or send it to Snowflake as needed. With additional tools such as search engines, time series databases, or ML/AI tools, you retain maximum flexibility and agility to work with the rest of the data as you please.Prepare your Data Lake for Analysis
Manually preparing data in a data lake using tools like AWS Glue or Apache Spark is usually resource-intensive. Here we will use Upsolver’s Data Lake engineering platform. Upsolver provides a low-code, self-service, optimized compute layer on top of your data lake, making it powerful to serve as a cost-effective repository for analytics services.
Upsolver includes data lake engineering best practices to make processing efficient, automating the essential but time-consuming data pipeline work that every data lake requires to function well. It includes:
Converting data into columnar formats with efficient querying like Apache Parquet instead of requiring engines to query raw data.
Continuous file compression ensures performance by avoiding the “small file problem.”
Appropriate data partitioning to speed up query response.
Upsolver uses low-cost compute options such as AWS Spot EC2 instances whenever possible to reduce query costs. This can reduce calculation costs by 10X compared to standard EC2, which is much cheaper than a data warehouse.
Upsolver handles UPSERTS tables correctly, meaning you can continuously load tables from streaming data that stay current as the data and even the schema change.
Use Upsolver to normalize, filter, aggregate, and join data to your liking through a visual SQL IDE to create transformations. Then run these transformations directly in the data lake before writing them to Snowflake (including joins, aggregations, enrichments, etc.) or querying them as an external table from Snowflake’s SQL query engine.
Combining Snowflake with Upsolver’s data-rich data lake gives you the flexibility to run processing where it makes the most sense in terms of cost and choice of analytics tools.
You can even use Upsolver to continuously transform and stream data directly to Snowflake.How to build a real-time streaming architecture using Snowflake, Data Lake Storage, and Upsolver on AWS?
First, and most importantly, be clear about which of your data streams must go to Snowflake and which can be stored in raw format in a lake for other purposes. (Remember not to keep ancient data on Snowflake; Athena is a much better tool for querying large datasets.) Then design the architecture so that the transformed streaming data is automatically sent to Snowflake.
In this reference architecture, Snowflake is only one of several data consumers. Data is optimized (sometimes significantly) for each consumer. In some cases, prepared data is most economically queried on a data lake with a query tool such as Athena; in others, the output is to a specialized data store:
• search analysis or logging (Elasticsearch)
• OLAP (Snowflake) querying
• chart analysis (Neptune)
With an open data lake architecture like this, you keep a single version of the truth in the data lake as raw data, plus you can refine and distribute the data for specific purposes.
1. Upsolver receives data streams and stores them in raw format in a data lake.
2. Data intended for OLAP or ad hoc queries are prepared, cleaned, aggregated, and formatted for direct question by Athena and output to Snowflake for processing and processing.
3. As requests come in from other analytics services, the data is prepared and then delivered to the service.Conclusion
Data lakes are open, more scalable, cost-effective, and can support a broader range of business cases. Now, you can use a codeless data lake engineering platform to create a pipeline to receive, prepare quickly, and format unlimited amounts of streaming data. You can then directly query or send to Snowflake—the best of both worlds.
The Data warehouse stores structured data in a proprietary format for analytical access through a tightly coupled query layer. Computational speed is high compared to a non-optimized data lake but is also more expensive.
Snowflake offers some separation of storage from computing. It cannot be considered a data lake due to its reliance on proprietary data formats and structured storage. A data lake is built on broad access to data and the ability to choose between different compute queries and data tools;
Snowflake charges based on how long the Virtual Data Warehouse (VDW) is running, plus VDW size (number of cores) and prepaid feature set (Enterprise, Standard, or Business-Critical). A given VDW, the rates are identical to the load on the VDW.
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