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Archive for October, 2006

10 reasons why Vista is much more than a spoon full of sugar

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

Descriptions of Vista are glowing; it is seen as a vision of the future. High definition graphics, the ‘z’ level in organization, greater clarity, unbelievable security, and boundless thinking power are what it is about. The operating system is set to fulfill all needs, it has a secure and speedy start up, not just when booting but also when returning to active status from standby mode; improved and strengthened driver design which protects the os from crashing when other things go wrong; and an antiphishing device or filter that identifies and confirms phishing sites by using a dynamically updated database. Technically, the Vista uses an image-based installation thereby facilitating deployments by IT professionals. An advanced event log simplifies administrative tasks.

The October 2005 new test build of Windows Vista has fulfilled expectations by incorporating several new IE 7.0 features, new networking and diagnostic functions. Of all the most significant is the incorporation of the core of Microsoft’s Antispyware product in Vista. A key feature of the Vista system is deployment, the inter-dependent modules permits easy customization of Vista to fit individual needs. The WIM format allows a single image to be used or accessed by different computer hardware irrespective of individual language requirements, you can easily add or remove drivers, include updates and windows components offline without having to boot the operating system image.

The system comes with features like:

1.A new graphics engine that has easy navigation, toolbars with inbuilt intuition, high resolution graphics, movie action that is better that real-life, and easy to learn tools.

2.Revamped Windows Explorer with a next generation navigation structure, tool bars, and icons. The user friendly design incorporates clear glowing buttons and an interface that can captivate a user for hours together.

3.Virtual folders offer permanent storage with dynamic interaction possibilities.

4.The user account protection features shield you from rouge programs and security risk.

5.The system ensures easy installation of programs with “Click Once.” This energizes an installation experience by lending the function speed and security.
6.Error messages are handled by “Task Dialogues” an integral diagnostics that warns of a problem and helps with a solution.

7.New and improved technologies include, PNRP, Peer Name Resolution Protocol, a brand new technological revolution that enables applications to find and connect to one another; WWAN, a router; WLAN, indoor connector; VLAN, allows LANS to communicate; Wi - Fi, deals with radio frequencies.

8.A system where snap-ins to MMC can be moved up or down as per convenience.

9.Has XImage which is non-destructive.

10. Improved up-time with an automatic Restart Manager.

According to computer experts, Vista conquers new horizons while it takes technology into a new realm. It introduces joys of working along with hum drums like increased productivity. Whether or not the features commented upon and tested by many techies across the world will be incorporated in the final version of Vista is not certain as it will be decided by Microsoft based on surveys, marketing projections, costs, and technical reasons.]]>

10 Tips For Using Adobe Photoshop

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

There are so many hidden features and insights to software, that it is often impossible to know them all.

1.There is a hidden option using which you can simulate bold and italic formatting styles for fonts that do not have these options. Click the button on the type tool option to bring up the character palette. Then select text and click the arrow in the upper right hand corner of the palette menu where faux bold and italics are present. However you will not be able to warp type when formatting has been applied.

2.One can quickly flip through blend modes while trying out effects by using the keys “shift+ to change to next mode and shift- to go to the previous mode.” When a painting tool is active this shortcut will change the blend mode of the painting tool. However, if anything is highlighted then the shortcut will not work. You will have press esc and then use the shortcut keys again.

3.The photomerge feature can be used to seamlessly combine multiple images to create a panorama. This feature can be accessed from the Automate menu. You can even refine the composition using tools like rotate, zoom, pan, and set vanishing point.

4.When re-sampling images one can use either Bicubic Smoother or Bicubic Sharper. You can use Bicubic smoother for up sampling and Bicubic sharper for down sampling. You can actually specify which interpolation method is to be used by going to general preferences and setting a default.

5. There are two features for printing. You can use contact sheet II or picture package. Use contact sheet when you want all images in the same size and you want to print the name below the image. Use printer package when you want different image sizes on the same page, or multiple copies of the same image, or a text overlay.

6. If you want to remove a glare on the eyeglasses of an image you should use a part of the lens that does not have a glare and use it to layer the lens with a glare. Use tools like rotate and skew and soft-tip eraser to soften the edges. Ensure the glare does not show through from below. Or, do some careful work using the clone tool.

7.The online services enable you to connect to online photo printing and sharing sites.

8.The Web Photo gallery can generate hyperlink pages that can be uploaded to a server.

9.The Picture Package option will help you prepare photos in layout with multiple size prints on one page.

10.You will never forget how you achieved a certain result because the History Log will detail every step taken by you as well as time-tracking, and a legal record. There are three choices wherein, you can create a sessions only record where, it will record only when Photoshop is opened or closed; or a concise record which will record each action including the text that appears in the history palette; or the complete editing history including the text that appears in the actions palette.

Adobe Photoshop is a dream tool for every designer and one can over time master every subtlety of the tool and crop, rotate, resize, create shapes, add layers, change text, and play with colors. It is a hands on software where the more you use it the more you will learn.]]>

12 Essential new features of Office 12

Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

1.All programs like Word, Excel, and Power Point have a new look. The new user interface has a ribbon of frequently used commands and operations which will enhance usability instead of drop down menus.

2.The server based capabilities include document rights and work flow management.

3.In the case of the revamped Excel, it will support SQL Server 2005, and have much awaited features like greater spreadsheet capacity, tools for sorting and filtering, as well as extensive data visualization capabilities. The user will be able to access, analyze, and share information securely and easily not just within the system but between databases and enterprise applications.

4.The new system will support sharing of workspaces and exchange of information across corporate boundaries. Incorporating P2P capabilities, the system it all set to take a giant leap forward.

5.One aspect under consideration is “out-of –the-box secure enterprise instant messaging.”

6.Deeper incorporation of XML will make the system a development platform. Developers will be able to create software that interoperates with the system without hitches.

7.Specially designed Contextual Command Tabs. These will only appear when a user is all set to modify a document or Excel sheet. Just clicking on the page will call up the Command Tab with relevant tools for making changes.

8.Galleries is an innovation that is promoted as the ‘heart’ of the redesigned applications. In this the user will be able to see how his document will shape up. This will simplify the process of creating professionally layed out documents.

9.A system known as Live Preview is a brand new technology that will enable the user to view in a gallery the editing or changed formatting executed on a document.

10.Faster document authoring will be possible with incorporation of custom built layouts and slide libraries. Through SharePoint the user will also be able to store their personal slides and layouts in this function. The system is designed so that it can be accessed offline.

11.Rapid email and document searching will become feasible through the Fast Search technology in Vista (Longhorn).

12.Using new innovations in integrated technologies the system will support multiparty audio, video, as well as data collaboration.

The system is designed to run on Windows XP Service Pack 2, or Longhorn client, or updated versions of windows with at least an SQL server 2000. Office 12 will support x64 platforms but it is not certain whether the support will be shipped with Office 12 or separately.

The very purpose of Office 12 according to Microsoft is to make life easy for users with better presentation, organization, and capabilities.]]>

12 Tips To Find The Best Online Program

Saturday, October 21st, 2006

There are many programs on the net, all claiming to be the best. Some will take you forward and some will take your money. How do you decide which is the best online program for you?

Here are 12 tips to finding the right one:

1. Longevity. Just like the offline world, programs come and go. You will invest a lot to promote your new online program. You need to be sure they will be still be in business in the years to come. Some of the best have been around 20 years or more. There is a reason why they are still there. Look for a program, which has been in business for at least 2 years.

2. Safety in numbers. If many other people have joined of this program, it means a good cross section of the community feels there is something there for them. The larger the member base, the better the chance that you too will be successful.

3. Product Line: A broad product line is very important. Partly because the larger the product range the more people you will be able to sell something to. Secondly, because you will want to grow the number of products you sell over time. Having a broad product range means you don’t have to join another program to add a product to your line.

4. Pricing: The pricing of the program’s products must be in line with its competitors. It is easy to check pricing on the net. Potential customers will do the same before buying your product.

5. Training. The Internet is constantly evolving and we must all constantly retrain to survive. A program with a comprehensive training program will ensure you keep up with the play with a minimum of effort.

6. Induction program. When starting with a new program you have lots of questions about the products, the compensation plan and marketing support. Its important the program has a good induction system to get you up to speed as quickly as possible. It’s also very important that the people you introduce to the organisation are trained quickly and with minimal effort from you. This allows you to focus on growing your downline.

7. Marketing tools. If the program provides you with tools like web pages, auto responders, hit tracking counters, banners, sample promotional copy, downline management systems etc you obviously don’t need to provide your own. This means two things. Firstly it minimises your costs and secondly saves you a lot of time setting them up.

8. Reputation. It’s more profitable to promote a program with a good reputation. Make sure the program is viewed as reputable in the marketplace. One way to do this is to conduct a search using the program’s name and the word “scam”. Do the same for a number of programs and you’ll soon get a feel for their reputation.

9. Profitability. The best online programs make money for their owners and for the people who work in them. Satisfy yourself that the program provides a profit for all.

10. Sales commission. Beware programs that pay very high affiliate commissions. If a program pays very high commissions the product may be over priced (a problem) or the program may not have a viable business model (also a problem)

11. Compensation plan. Ensure there is provision in the compensation plan for you to benefit from your direct sales and from the efforts of those you introduce to the business. Also look for a program, which pays residual income (sell it once, get paid forever) as well some up front payment.

12. Free look. The best online programs will allow you to join for free before signing up. These programs have nothing to hide.

With these 12 tips you can now determine the best online program for you.

Good hunting and here’s to your success!]]>

13 Comparisons of Vista vs Tiger

Friday, October 20th, 2006

While opinions vary and are really personal choices in many ways, the following sums up the functionalities between Vista and Tiger.

1.Vista has a completely redesigned look and feel; it is aesthetic, functional, and exciting according to industry sources. Mac Tiger on the other hand was always famous for its technology and aesthetics which are clean and clutter free. In fact, many of the visual effects that Vista has like translucent icons, high resolution, and animation effects have been integral to Tiger for more than four years.

2.Vista is yet to resolve problems caused by underlying windows, while Tiger has fine tuned the bleed caused by windows beneath the surface ones.

3.The 128 x 128 pixel icons of Tiger have better rendition and clearer resolution than the 32 x 32 or 64 x 64 pixel icons of Vista. However one will only know whether Vista will have resolution independent vector graphics once the final version comes to the market.

4.Both Vista and Tiger have closely similar desk top search functions. The only immediate difference is that in Tiger the filtering becomes operational only after creation of a Smart Folder or using the shortcut keys. The Virtual Folder of Vista is identical to the Smart Folder of Tiger.

5.Vista has next generation features, where the system has enough inbuilt intelligence that organizes data. This fine tunes any searches that need to be done. In comparison to this, the Tiger has an old fashioned system with no specials.

6.Vista supports meta data processing while with Tiger meta data can be created or edited only by using document processing applications.

7.Vista permits users to visually locate files while Tiger does not. Image previews in Tiger are turned off by default.

8.As far as security is concerned the Tiger is by far superior to Vista. Since the Tiger user base is small the number of hackers and attackers are fewer as compared to Windows.

9.User accounts and log ins are safer in the Tiger system and Microsoft plans to incorporate similar systems in Vista to strengthen security.

10.Vista has new systems similar to Tiger that will enable users to assert parental locks or blocks. Parental controls help limit computer usage by children protecting them from several dangers.

11.Security in Vista includes inbuilt protection against rogue attacks, malware, spyware, adware and so on. In the case of Tiger its security system has remained secure and unbreached. Whether Vista will earn the same distinction will be known only after it comes into use.

12.Both Vista and Tiger have great networking features making both immensely usable both at home and in businesses. The Tiger is simpler while Vista is a bit more complex to use.

13.The hibernation mode works instantly in Tiger and Vista is also trying to match its facilities.

While the above draws tentative comparisons between the two systems a true evaluation can only be made once Vista is released in its completed version and comes into use.]]>

2 Super Simple Ways to Speed Up Your Computer

Thursday, October 19th, 2006

Tweak #1: Speed up your hard drive

All of the files that your computer needs to operate, and all of the files and programs you have on your computer are saved on your computer’s hard drive. After awhile all of the files saved on your hard drive become “fragmented”, meaning that they are spread around on various sections of your hard drive. Your Windows computer has a handy little tool that will Defragment, or consolidate all of the files on your hard drive, making access to files on your hard drive faster and smoother.

Here’s how to Defragment your hard drive:

Click “Start”
Click “Programs” / “All Programs”
Go to “Accessories”
Go to “System Tools”
Click “Disk Defragmenter”

You will then see a window that shows, among other things, you hard drive, probably called “C”. Click on your hard drive, then click the analyze button. After the program is done analyzing your hard drive, it will tell you if you need to defragment your hard drive. If it tells you that you need to, just click “Defragment”.

Tweak #2: Speed up Internet Explorer

If you’re having problems with Internet Explorer locking up or running slowly, you should try cleaning out IE’s temporary files.

To start, open up Internet Explorer, click “Tools” then “Internet Options…”. Click “Delete Files” then confirm that you do want to delete the files.

Note: If you have a slow internet connection, deleting the temporary files may slow down your browsing speed for awhile.]]>

7 Easy Tips On How To Improve Your Website Sales Letter Instantly

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

1. Have a Strong Call to Action. Decide what is it that you want your prospect to do when reading your sales letter. Are you asking your prospect to subscribe to your mailing list? Or is it to make a purchase? Lead your prospect to the conclusion you want by making your offer sound really attractive (eg. give valuable bonuses) and making it easy for him or her to take action.

2. Get help in spotting Errors. It’s tough to have a 100 percent perfect ad copy. Solve this problem by giving a reward to your readers who spot more than five errors in your ad copy. Alternatively, ask your personal friends to help you to check for errors and buy them lunch!

3. Give a percentage of your sales to a charity. Mention this in your ad copy. This is a good strategy because your company gives back to society plus it also “propels” your prospect to act charitably (and hence make a purchase).

4. Include a good, solid guarantee or x-days-money-back period in your offer. In all respects, you are likely to improve your website sales conversion if you offer a lifetime guarantee.

5. Use the checkmark or a bulleted point against each benefit of the product or service that you are selling. You want to have as long a list as possible! And present features of your product or service as benefits or solutions to your prospect’s problems.

6. Include P.S., P.S.S. and P.S.S.S. at the foot of your sales letter. It has been shown that many busy website visitors do not have the time to read your entire sales copy. They are likely to scroll to the bottom of your sales letter to check out the conclusion, summary and how much your product is selling for. As such, in your concluding paragraph, including post scripts is a good idea. Here, you can summarise the main points of what you are selling, repeat your bonus offers and once again, your call for action.

7. Include your contact information prominently. The feeling of security is important to prospects who do not know or have met you. If they do not feel secure, they are not likely to do business with you. Including your contact information helps in that they know that you are reachable, that you are a REAL person and you are running a genuine business.]]>

Google Catalogs - Old fashioned mail order meets high tech search

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

http://www.sitetube.com

In addition to Google’s Froogle shopping service (still in beta), which features a searchable database of online merchants, Google is also beta-testing their Google Catalog service. Google Catalogs provides a searchable central repository of hundreds of mail-order catalogs.

The service includes the full scanned contents of the catalogs, not just a photo and subscription information. And these aren’t database entries, but real high-quality images of the catalog images themselves. When you are browsing Google Catalog search results, you will see user interface controls at the top and bottom of each page. These are reminiscent of Acrobat and many other browser plug-in controls or common Windows print preview controls, and you can page through each catalog, zoom in/out, switch between one, two, and thumbnail views, jump to a specific page, and search within the current catalog. As with other Google searches, an advanced search feature is also available.

Available catalogs cover a full range of goods from business to consumer, from household names like Harriet Carter to obscure supply catalogs for specialty manufacturers. For easy online shopping, even the order forms, toll-free numbers, and vendor web sites are easily accessible. While beta testing, many of the catalogs are from one to three years old, but that’s to be expected. When fully released, this service will almost surely feature not only current catalogs, but a lot more of them, as merchants become aware of the service.

Google recommends using a broadband internet connection to search their Google Catalog service. This is because all search results include images of the catalog pages themselves, and download speed over dialup will be too slow for most users. Google states that they aren’t associated with the catalog merchants in any way, and receive no compensation when you buy something from an included catalog.]]>

Google Page Rank Updates

Monday, October 16th, 2006

It all starts with somebody noticing the PR update in progress. This event will find its way into forums and newsgroups fast. Within minutes and hours the Internet community becomes aware of a Page Rank update. As Google.com uses several different data centers for its search engine services and also updates them in different intervals webmasters all over the world will see different results when looking for Page Rank results. A Page Rank update will also not complete within an hour or a day. For several days results will fluctuate.

With that in mind it is a funny event watching the hype surrounding a PR update. Webmasters get nervous if the PR of their website suddenly changes. A change can mean that the PR completely disappears or that the webmaster sees different (conflicting) results. As a high Page Rank can mean higher amounts of traffic and eventually higher income from a website this event often feels like a rollercoaster ride for the people who depend on having a successful website. Imagine the website you worked for so hard suddenly going up and down in Page Rank during a PR update. Now the same people start posting questions and comments in forums and newsgroups. The more experienced webmasters know the game and react professionally. They know that the publicly visible Page Rank is just a moment in time to display a snapshot of what is in Google’s database. They know that PR actually updates daily or weekly internally, but that these more frequent updates do not show up as publicly visible PR updates. But no matter how often it is pointed out that the publicly visible PR is not important - the hype around this topic by a large group of webmasters does not quiet down. “How many links does it take to get a PR 5?” - “Why does my PR suddenly went down? I added x number of back links to my site.” - “I hate Google for doing this.” - These and many other comments or questions will show up. But in the end it all comes down to: Public PR is just a snapshot in time of what is in Google.com’s database. PR changes much more often than what is showing up in the Google Toolbar.

And so it comes as no surprise that about every 3 months the tensions go high up in newsgroups and online forums when it comes to discussing Google Page Rank. If you are on the hunt for a high Page Rank for you site - don’t waste time looking for the publicly visible PR. Use the time the others need to discuss PR to actually work on the Page Rank for your site. Establish high quality back links to your site. Grow these numbers slowly. A large increase in a short amount of time is not natural. Back links grow slowly and that is what Google is looking for. Be smart - be in it for the long run and not some short-term PR gain that won’t last.]]>

Google’s Good Writing Content Filter

Sunday, October 15th, 2006

I was recently struck by the fact that the top-ranking web pages on Google are consistently much better written than the vast majority of what one reads on the web. Yet traditional SEO wisdom has little to say about good writing. Does Google, the world’s wealthiest media company, really only display web pages that meet arcane technical criteria? Does Google, like so many website owners, really get so caught up in the process of the algorithm that it misses the whole point?

Apparently not.
Most Common On-the-Page Website Content Success Factors
Whatever the technical mechanism, Google is doing a pretty good job of identifying websites with good content and rewarding them with high rankings.

I looked at Google’s top five pages for the five most searched-on keywords, as identified by WordTracker on June 27, 2005. Typically, the top five pages receive an overwhelming majority of the traffic delivered by Google.

The web pages that contained written content (a small but significant portion were image galleries) all shared the following features:

Updating: frequent updating of content, at least once every few weeks, and more often, once a week or more.

Spelling and grammar: few or no errors. No page had more than three misspelled words or four grammatical errors. Note: spelling and grammar errors were identified by using Microsoft Word’s check feature, and then ruling out words marked as misspellings that are either proper names or new words that are simply not in the dictionary. Does Google use SpellCheck? I can already hear the scoffing on the other side of this computer screen. Before you dismiss the idea completely, keep in mind that no one really does know what the 100 factors in Google’s algorithm are. But whether the mechanism is SpellCheck or a better shot at link popularity thanks to great credibility, or something else entirely, the results remain the same.

Paragraphs: primarily brief (1-4 sentences). Few or no long blocks of text.
Lists: both bulleted and numbered, form a large part of the text.

Sentence length: mostly brief (10 words or fewer). Medium-length and long sentences are sprinkled throughout the text rather than clumped together.

Contextual relevance: text contains numerous terms related to the keyword, as well as stem variations of the keyword. The page may contain the keyword itself few times or not at all.

SEO “Do’s” and “Don’ts”

A hard look at the results slaughters a number of SEO bugbears and sacred cows.

PageRank. The median PageRank was 4. One page had a PageRank of 0. Of course, this might simply be yet another demonstration that the little PageRank number you get in your browser window is not what Google’s algo is using. But if you’re one of those people who attaches an overriding value to that little number, this is food for thought.

Frames. The top two web pages listed for the most searched-on keyword employ frames. Frames may still be a bad web design idea from a usability standpoint, and they may ruin your search engine rankings if your site’s linking system depends on them. But there are worse ways you could shoot yourself in the foot.

JavaScript-formatted internal links. Most of the websites use JavaScript for their internal page links. Again, that’s not the best web design practice, but there are worse things you could do.
Keyword optimization. Except for two pages, keyword optimization was conspicuous by its absence. In more than half the web pages, the keyword did not appear more than three times, meaning a very low density. Many of the pages did not contain the keyword at all. That may just demonstrate the power of anchor text in inbound links. It also may demonstrate that Google takes a site’s entire content into account when categorizing it and deciding what page to display.

Sub-headings. On most pages, sub-headings were either absent or in the form of images rather than text. That’s a very bad design practice, and particularly cruel to blind users. But again, Google is more forgiving.

Links: Most of the web pages contained ten or more links; many contain over 30, in defiance of the SEO bugbears about “link popularity bleeding.” Moreover, nearly all the pages contained a significant number of non-relevant links. On many pages, non-relevant links outnumbered relevant ones. Of course, it’s not clear what benefit the website owners hope to get from placing irrelevant links on pages. It has been a proven way of lowering conversion rates and losing visitors. But Google doesn’t seem to care if your website makes money.

Originality: a significant number of pages contained content copied from other websites. In all cases, the content was professionally written content apparently distributed on a free-reprint basis. Note: the reprint content did not consist of content feeds. However, no website consisted solely of free-reprint content. There was always at least a significant portion of original content, usually the majority of the page.
Recommendations

Make sure a professional writer, or at least someone who can tell good writing from bad, is creating your site’s content, particularly in the case of a search-engine optimization campaign. If you are an SEO, make sure you get a pro to do the content. A shocking number of SEOs write incredibly badly. I’ve even had clients whose websites got fewer conversions or page views after their SEOs got through with them, even when they got a sharp uptick in unique visitors. Most visitors simply hit the “back” button when confronted with the unpalatable text, so the increased traffic is just wasted bandwidth.

If you write your own content, make sure that it passes through the hands of a skilled copyeditor or writer before going online.

Update your content often. It’s important both to add new pages and update existing pages. If you can’t afford original content, use free-reprint content.

Distribute your content to other websites on a free-reprint basis. This will help your website get links in exchange for the right to publish the content. It will also help spread your message and enhance your visibility. Fears of a “duplicate content penalty” for free-reprint content (as opposed to duplication of content within a single website) are unjustified.

In short, if you have a mature website that is already indexed and getting traffic, you should consider making sure the bulk of your investment in your website is devoted to its content, rather than graphic design, old-school search-engine optimization, or linking campaigns.]]>



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