Here's an interesting article on security flaws in the Windows operating system that I found at CNN. These are actually critical vulnerabilities, so is worth a read.
Getting Your Digital Photos Ready For Sharing
by: Valerie Goettsch
One of the main reasons people buy digital cameras is so they can share their photos with others. Even if you are just going to print your photos for yourself, you will want them to look their best. Here are some tips on getting your images ready for sharing or printing.
1. ORGANIZE YOUR PHOTOS
Delete the ones you don't like or those that are near duplicates of others. No sense in clogging up your hard drive or CDs with junk. Use a good photo management software program like ACDSEE 7, Adobe Photoshop Album 2.0 or Jasc Paint Shop Photo Album 5 to view, organize and name your images. These programs also let you batch rename so you can give more descriptive file names to a group of photos at the same time. You can add key words and tags to make finding your photos easier. Be detailed in your photo descriptions, not just "John and Laurie." You'll probably have hundreds of photos of your kids and it will be harder to find the one you're looking for. Better to say "John and Laurie waterskiing on Lake Powell, May 2004."
2. BACK UP YOUR ORIGINALS
Mistakes can happen. It is a good idea to back up all your images to a CD before you start editing or changing them. That way you always have the original to go back to if you accidentally save over an image or made changes to a photo that you later decide you don't like. CDs hold lots of photos, making it cheap insurance.
3. ROTATE IMAGES
Trying to look at a sideways photo is annoying. Use your photo management or editing software to rotate photos as needed. And if you have any images that are a little crooked, you can fix that using your editing software. Most photo editors have an automatic "straighten" function, or you can manually rotate the image a few degrees to straighten the horizon line.
4. REMOVE RED-EYE
Even with your digital camera's auto red-eye reduction function, your subject's eyes may still have red-eye. Use your photo editing software to remove it. Zoom in on the eyes and it will be easier for you to correct the red-eye. I've tried a number of red-eye correction tools and find that the one that comes with ACDSEE 7's photo editor is among the best. It zeros in just on the red eye and doesn't darken the surrounding eye area like some other software does.
5. CROP YOUR PHOTOS
Crop out unnecessary or distracting backgrounds and focus in on your subject. Most photo editing programs will keep the aspect ratio, so when you draw a box around the area you want to focus on it will crop it as 4x6 or whatever you have specified. That way you won't end up with an odd size photo. Ofoto, the online photo printer (now called Kodak EasyShare Gallery), also has a very good cropping tool for maintaining the proper print size. It comes with its free photo editor.
6. ADJUST LIGHTING AND CONTRAST
Some of your photos may have come out washed out or too dark. You can automatically adjust the color, brightness and contrast of your photos. The better programs like Photoshop Album 2.0, Jasc and ACDSEE also have tools for making manual adjustments for fine-tuning. Be careful not to overdo it, though, or your picture could come out grainy.
7. PREPARE TO SHARE
There are a number of ways to share your images. Several programs, like Roxio Photo Suite 7, ACDSEE7, Photoshop Album and Paint Shop Photo Album allow you to create digital photo albums or slide shows, complete with music, transitions and captions. You can burn them to CD or resize and optimize for emailing directly from the program.
Online photo services such as PhotoWorks, Shutterfly, Snapfish and Kodak EasyShare Gallery (Ofoto) also let you share your photos on line, for free. You simply upload your images to their server into your own photo albums and add captions if you wish. Then email your friends with a link to your albums. With most of the online services your photos stay on their servers as long as you have an account with them, for free. Signing up for an account is free, you only pay for photos you choose to purchase.
For hardcore photo sharers, there are also dedicated photo sharing applications such as PiXPO v1.5.0, which lets you share photos right off your hard drive. This is a peer to peer software application that allows you to connect directly with your friends and family to share and view pictures online with no uploads. Unlike traditional photo sharing services, you have unlimited storage and you don't have to upload your photos to a distant server or wait for friends to log onto some photo sharing site. The application is easy to install and use and it's inexpensive, around $30. PC Magazine rated it an Editor's Choice in their January 3, 2005 issue.
About The Author
Valerie Goettsch publishes the digital photography website http://www.digitalphotos101.com featuring reviews of photo editing and album software and digital photo printing services.
Working with Royalty Free Music
by: Alan Steward
When creating Multi-Media Content, Flash or Video Clips for a client's web site or CD Rom Project, the last thing you want is to get him in trouble with the law. If there's a need for music in a project, using royalty free music is essential.
Here are some general music tips that you may find useful:
1) Finding the right kind of music
There are hundreds of choices when it comes to royalty free music and making the right decision can be hard. After all, most TV production companies have music supervisors on staff whose only job it is to select appropriate music for projects. Selecting music is an art in itself. In general, you will find that your clients would prefer to use something they heard on the radio, something from their favorite album etc. Unfortunately, that's copyrighted stuff and licensing an N Sync song for your next 'how to' video or CD-Rom may cost you a fortune. What you want to do is find buyout music that sounds similar to today's popular music. It's a little harder to find than your typical 'canned' music. A lot royalty free music may sound like music from a 70's sitcom or worse, a cheap porno flick.
A good place to check out is http://www.buyoutmusictracks.com All their tracks are created by established record producers with grammy and gold record credits so you get music that sounds as up-to-date as what you may hear on the radio.
Our tip: Always use music that sounds just a little more energetic than you think you may need. You may listen to the music over and over while you're putting together your project while the end user may only hear it a few times.
2) Less is not more in production music
When you are looking for background music for a project, choose music with some impact. I know it is supposed to be background music but if you choose high energy tracks, your whole project will leave more of an impression. Listen to a sampling of today's TV commercials and you'll find that most of them use very powerful music. You want your work to create an impact and keep viewer's attention and a strong, powerful soundtrack can do that.
3) When 'legal' music is not legal
The usage license on your buyout music CD may be very liberal but it is not a license to steal. You can use royalty free music on all of your projects and as you have the legal right to use the music, your customers can be assured not to get into legal troubles.
However, that license is only extended to you, the purchaser. You cannot transfer that license by copying your CD and giving it to somebody else or by selling the CD. This may be news to you but there's no such thing as a 'used buyout music CD' If you don't purchase the music from the producers of the music, it won't be legal still. So, next time you browse Ebay for royalty free music, make sure you are buying a new CD, not a used one or it will be useless to you.
4) You get what you pay for
While we're on the topic of Ebay: You may find offers for entire 4 or 6 CD libraries for $75 or other ridiculously low prices on Ebay. The truth is, these CDs may not even be worth that low price.
One good quality royalty free music CD will cost you between $29 and $69 (some even more) If it's less than that, here's what you are likely to get:
5) CD or Download?
With the event of high speed internet, you don't really have to wait anymore to receive your Royalty Free Music CD in the mail. If you need tracks fast, you can now download buyout music from the net. You can choose only the tracks you need and get to use them within minutes. Single downloadable tracks usually cost a little more money per track than buying a whole CD. On the other hand, you don't have to buy a whole CD if you only need one or two tracks.
My advice, if you are buying music to 'keep on the shelf' for future projects and for your customers to choose from, buy physical CDs. If you need just one or two 'perfect' tracks or if you are on a deadline, downloadable purchases may be perfect for you. I don't know if I have to mention it, but purchasing a Mariah Carey track from Itunes or Napster for a buck does not entitle you to use the music. You have to download your music from a buyout music company so the track is licensed to you.
6) Make your own
You may think, 'are you crazy? I'm not a musician' You don't have to be a music genius anymore these days. Programs like Acid and Apple's Garageband allow you to create original music by using 'loops' Loops are pre-made musical chunks of drums, bass, guitar, strings, whatever, that you can put together like a mosaic to create your own music soundtrack.
The advantage is clear. By creating your own music with a loops program you can make absolutely sure that nobody else is using the exact same music on their project. This will give you 'original' music at Buyout Music Prices. All you need is a good musical ear and a couple of loops CDs to get you started. You can find lots of loops CDs and more info at http://www.acidmusicloops.com Their Groove Construction Kits are a great way to get started with music loops. And here's the best news, you can download the Acid program for free. Just visit http://www.musicleads.net/articles/freestuff.html for free (and legal) downloads of Acid, Protools and many other great music and sound tools.
I hope that these tips were useful to you. You are free to use or re-print this article in your newsletter, ezine, or on your web site.
About The Author
Alan Steward - www.musicleads.net
Optimize your Photos for the Web
by: Kelly Paal
It doesn’t matter if your emailing photos of your grandson or putting images of your latest product on your online store. Too many people don’t consider optimizing their photos for the web. We’ve all been on too many web pages where it seemed that the photos would never load, and sometimes they didn’t. So here are some steps to make sure that your photos show up on your site.
1. Always have a back up original format copy of your image. Never alter the original. Believe me you will regret it.
2. Crop to size. Make sure that you crop out any extra information that isn’t needed. Remember the larger the photo the longer it takes to load or send.
3. Resize to reduce pixels. There should be an option to resize according to pixels. You’re going to want the largest size to be no more than 250 pixels or you can reduce the dpi to no more than 96.
4.Reduce the color palette. Many images have millions of colors so the first thing that you need to do is reduce the colors to 256. You will lose some depth with this.
5. Save the file in a standard format. JPEG is the most common for photos and you can compress the image with a JPEG for further reduction in file size. It’s not unusual to see GIF or PNG as well.
Remember that with a 56k connection a 150k file will take 20 seconds to load. If you’re creating a web page every photo that you add will add to the time it takes to download all of the images. If you keep the images small in size the smaller resolution will not be as obvious.
About The Author
Copyright 2004 Kelly Paal
Kelly Paal is a Freelance Nature and Landscape Photographer, exhibiting nationally and internationally. Recently she started her own business Kelly Paal Photography (www.kellypaalphotography.com). She has an educational background in photography, business, and commercial art. She enjoys applying graphic design and photography principles to her web design.
Tools of the Trade: Photo Editing
by: Lala C. Ballatan
With digital cameras becoming a hit not only to professional photographers, it is understandable that creations of digital image files are also increasing. It is actually the magic of being able to manipulate your photos – edit and organize them and make certain special effects that digital image files become interesting and essential. In order to keep in line with the best and easiest ways of editing, organizing and storing digital photos, latest software application programs for digital photo enhancements are being introduced.
Here, we give you an overview of the features of some of the newest tools to maximize your digital image editing efforts:
1. Adobe Photoshop Elements 3 – this latest offering of Adobe offers enhanced features not only for editing your digital photos but also helps you in organizing your files. Ten new features makes it an all-in-one home photo solution: 1)could perfect, transform, organize and share your digital photos; 2) ability to brush away flaws on your photo; 3) can create dynamic slideshows; 4) can send themed photo e-mail; 5) you can enjoy flexible print options;6) you could get high quality images with camera raw and 16-bit support; 7) you’re given the chance to pick your best shot from among many; 8) photos for safekeeping can be archived; 9) gives you the full color range, and; 10) have intuitive capability to instantly fix common flaws.
Can’t wait to get your hands on this new software? You may expect its shipping on November. It costs $99.99 and can be ordered from the Adobe Site!
2. Microsoft’s Digital Image Suite 10 – this offering by Microsoft debuted last month, with expanded set of tools to satisfy your passion for digital photography. This includes all new features found in Digital Image Pro and more and Digital Image Library for those dead– set in a digital photography career0.
Several innovative features are: 1) by cataloging photos in Digital Image Library guarantee you quick storing and retrieving of photos; 2) with Photo Story 2.0, you could create videos using your photos, with all the audio-visual effects; 3) as you view your photos, flags allow you to designate the next-steps to do with your photos; 4) on-click Auto Fixes help you adjust color, exposure and more; 5) complex editing problems can be handled easily with Color and Exposure toolsets; 6) Panoramic Stitching lets you piece together multiple horizontal and vertical photos; 7) allows precise adjustments over five curves; 8) you can remove unwanted noise in your pictures; 9) with Fix Red Eye Tool to remove red eye from photos; 9) can delete unwanted things in the background of your photo by the Smart Erase tool.
Good news! It’s available on the market already and costs $129.
If the two tools given above doesn’t satisfy you enough, you could still have other reliable tools for your Photo Editing. You may try Jac’s Paint Shop Pro 9 and Apple’s iPhoto for other needed features to help you with your Digital Images. -30-
About The Author
Lala C. Ballatan is a 26 year-old Communication Arts graduate, with a major in Journalism. Right after graduating last 1999, she worked for one year as a clerk then became a Research, Publication and Documentation Program Director at a non-government organization, which focuses on the rights, interests and welfare of workers for about four years.
Book reading has always been her greatest passion -- mysteries, horrors, psycho-thrillers, historical documentaries and classics. She got hooked into it way back when she was but a shy kid.
Her writing prowess began as early as she was 10 years old in girlish diaries. With writing, she felt freedom – to express her viewpoints and assert it, to bring out all concerns -- imagined and observed, to bear witness.
For comments and inquiries about the article visit http://www.ucreative.com
The Great Ink Cartridge Conspiracy!
Buying an inkjet printer these days is no big deal. A reliable printer can be acquired very easily through a store or online for as little as $50. Some suppliers are even giving away inkjet printers on promotions or as free incentives when buying other products. On the face of it, it seems like too good an opportunity to pass by - a worthwhile investment you might say.
But, much like a traditional camera that uses film, an inkjet printer is only 'cheap' before you start using it. The cost of keeping it in ink soon mounts up, especially when you're buying OEM (original equipment manufactured) inkjet cartridges as recommended by the printer manufacturer. Before you know it you'll find that you've actually spent more on the ink cartridges than you did on the purchase of the inkjet printer itself!
If you're in this position - and let's face it, most of us are - what follows could be quite a revelation!
Five things inkjet printer manufacturers DON'T want you to know…
Inkjet printer manufacturers make their money selling ink cartridges NOT inkjet printers Selling recommended OEM ink cartridges is a very lucrative business for inkjet printer manufacturers. They know that once you've purchased the printer you'll be coming back to them time and time again to buy the ink that they recommend in the user guide and any other literature that accompanies the printer. Fair enough you might say, but given that the price of manufacturing an OEM ink cartridge is only a few cents why are the cartridges so expensive? The answer is that ink cartridges are in fact stuffed full of manufacturer profit. It is where they make their money, and is precisely why they are happy to give away an inkjet printer for nothing.
Inkjet cartridges supplied for 'free' with inkjet printers are rarely full OEM ink cartridges supplied with the printer are designed only to provide enough ink for a few pages to get you 'started'. From the manufacturer's perspective this is a great selling technique, as free cartridges can often make the difference between a retailer closing a sale or losing it…and once you've got the printer the manufacturer is going to make money out of you every time you order more OEM ink! Supplying ink cartridges that are not full shortens the timeframe over which consumers start ordering OEM ink cartridges too. This brings the manufacturer into profit on each customer much more quickly than had they supplied full cartridges for free with the printer.
Consumers have a choice about which inkjet cartridges to buy It's true! Contrary to popular belief consumers are not obliged to purchase expensive OEM ink cartridges from the manufacturer. They can in fact opt to buy cheaper 'compatible' ink cartridges or remanufactured cartridges, often realizing savings on their ink purchase of between 50% and 75%!! All major inkjet cartridge brands are covered, including Apple, Canon, Hewlett Packard, Lexmark, Brother, Epson, IBM and Xerox. What's more they do the job just as well as OEM cartridges but at a much lower cost!
Compatible inkjet cartridges DO NOT automatically void a printer's warranty Regardless of what you might have heard compatible inkjet cartridges WILL NOT automatically void your printer warranty. In fact, it is ILLEGAL for manufacturers in the United States & Canada to claim that using compatible cartridges will automatically void your printer warranty. For more details on this go to http://www.prontoink.com/?T=Info&ID=printer_warranties
You can make money by reselling compatible ink cartridgesThe market for compatible ink cartridges is continually expanding. More and more consumers are choosing to switch to compatible inks that offer the same print quality at half the cost of OEM cartridges. This creates the opportunity for business-minded individuals to make money through affiliate reselling programs as well as save money on their ink cartridge purchases.
Having read this do you feel like you've been hoodwinked by the big boys? Well, it's now time to stand up for your rights! You no longer have to line the pockets of multi-nationals when buying ink cartridges. Think 'compatible ink' and save yourself hundreds of dollars each year on the cost of running your printer.
Seecrets on Security: A gentle introduction to cryptography
With the increasing incidence of identity thefts, credit card frauds, social engineering attacks, the digital world is facing challenges in the years ahead. Obviously, cryptography, a young science, will play a prominent role in the security of protecting digital assets. This article tries to explain the basics of cryptography (encryption) using plain language.
Let us take the example of scrambling an egg. First, crack the shell, pour the contents into a bowl and beat the contents vigorously until you achieved the needed result - well, a scrambled egg. This action of mixing the molecules of the egg is encryption. Since the molecules are mixed-up, we say the egg has achieved a higher state of entropy (state of randomness). To return the scrambled egg to its original form (including uncracking the shell) is decryption. Impossible?
However, if we substitute the word “egg” and replace it with “number”, “molecules” with “digits”, it is POSSIBLE. This, my friend, is the exciting world of cryptography (crypto for short). It is a new field dominated by talented mathematicians who uses vocabulary like "non-linear polynomial relations", "overdefined systems of multivariate polynomial equations", "Galois fields", and so forth. These cryptographers uses language that mere mortals like us cannot pretend to understand.
In the computer, everything stored are numbers. Your MP3 file is a number. Your text message is a number. Your address book is a longer number. The number 65 represents the character "A", 97 for the small "a", and so on.
For humans, we recognize numbers with the digits from 0 to 9, where else, the computer can only recognize 0 or 1. This is the binary system which uses bits instead of digits. To convert bits to digits, just simply multiply the number of bits by 0.3 to get a good estimation. For example, if you have 256-bits of Indonesian Rupiah (one of the lowest currency denomination in the world), Bill Gates’ wealth in comparison would be microscopic.
The hexadecimal (base 16) system uses the ten digits from 0 to 9, plus the six extra symbols from A to F. This set has sixteen different “digits”, hence the hexadecimal name. This notation is useful for computer workers to peek into the "real contents" stored by the computer. Alternatively, treat these different number systems as currencies, be it Euro, Swiss Franc, British Pound and the like. Just like an object can be priced with different values using these currencies, a number can also be "priced" in these different number systems as well.
To digress a bit, have you ever wondered why you had to study prime numbers in school? I am sure most mathematics teachers do not know this answer. Answer: A subbranch called public-key cryptography which uses prime numbers especially for encrypting e-mails. Over there, they are talking of even bigger numbers like 2048, 4096, 8192 bits.)
When we want to encrypt something, we need to use a cipher. A cipher is just an algorithm similar to a recipe for baking a cake. It has precise, unambiguous steps. To carry out the encryption process, you need a key (some called it passphrase). A good practice in cryptography needs the key used by a cipher must be of high entropy to be effective.
Data Encryption Standard (DES), introduced as a standard in the late 1970's, was the most commonly used cipher in the 1980's and early 1990's. It uses a 56-bit key. It was broken in the late 1990’s with specialized computers costing about US$250,000 in 56 hours. With today's (2005) hardware, it is possible to crack within a day.
Subsequently, Triple-DES superseded DES as the logical way to preserve compatibility with earlier investments by big corporations (mainly banks). It uses two 56-bit key using three steps:-
1. Encrypt with Key 1.2. Decrypt with Key 2.3. Encrypt with Key 1.
The effective key length used is only 112-bits (equivalent to 34 digits). The key is any number between 0 and 5192296858534827628530496329220095. Some modify the last process using Key 3, making it more effective at 168-bit keys.
Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) was adopted as a standard by the National Institute of Standards & Technology, U.S.A. (NIST) in 2001. AES is based on the Rijndael (pronounced "rhine-doll") cipher developed by two Belgian cryptographers, Victor Rijmen and Joan Daemen. Typically, AES uses 256-bits (equivalent to 78 digits) for its keys. The key is any number between 0 and 15792089237316195423570985008687907853269984665640564039457584007913129639935. This number is the same as the estimated number of atoms in the universe.
The National Security Agency (NSA) approved AES in June 2003 for protecting top-level secrets within US governmental agencies (of course subject to their approval of the implementation methods). They are reputedly the ones that can eavesdrop on all telephone conversations going on around the world. Besides, this organization is recognized to be the largest employer of mathematicians in the world and may be the largest buyer of computer hardware in the world. The NSA probably have cryptographic expertise many years ahead of the public and can undoubtedly break many of the systems used in practice. For reasons of national security, almost all information about the NSA - even its budget is classified.
A brute force attack is basically to use all possible combinations in trying to decrypt encrypted materials.
A dictionary attack usually refers to text-based passphrases (passwords) by using commonly used passwords. The total number of commonly used passwords is surprisingly small, in computer terms.
An adversary is somebody, be it an individual, company, business rival, enemy, traitor or governmental agency who would probably gain by having access to your encrypted secrets. A determined adversary is one with more "brains" and resources. The best form of security is to have zero adversary (practically impossible to achieve), the next best is to have zero determined adversary!
A keylogger is a software program or hardware to capture all keystrokes typed. This is by far the most effective mechanism to crack password-based implementations of cryptosystems. Software keylogger programs are more common because they are small, work in stealth-mode and easily downloaded from the internet. Advanced keyloggers have the ability to run silently on a target machine and remotely deliver the recorded information to the user who introduced this covert monitoring session. Keystroke monitoring, as everything else created by man, can either be useful or harmful, depending on the monitor’s intents. All confidential information which passes through the keyboard and reaches the computer includes all passwords, usernames, identification data, credit card details, and confidential documents (as they are typed).
For the last definition, we will use an example. Let's say you have your house equipped with the latest locks, no master keys and no locksmith can tamper with them. Your doors and windows are unbreakable. How then does an adversary get into your house without using a bulldozer to break your front door? Answer: the roof - by removing a few tiles, the adversary can get into your house. This is an exploit (weakness point). Every system, organization, individual has exploits.
See, it is not that difficult after all. If you can understand the material presented in this article, congratulations - you have become crypto-literate (less than 1% of all current computer users). If you do not believe me, try using some of this newfound knowledge on your banker friends or computer professionals.
Stan Seecrets’ Postulate: “The sum total of all human knowledge is a prime number.”
Corollary: “The sum total of all human wisdom is not a prime number.”
About the author
The author, Stan Seecrets, is a veteran software developer with 25+ years experience at ( http://www.seecrets.biz) which specializes in protecting digital assets. This site provides quality software priced like books, free-reprint articles on stock charts and computer security, free downloads and numerous free stuff. © Copyright 2005, Stan Seecrets. All rights reserved.
Take your files anywhere with Yahoo Briefcase
Imagine you worked all week on a report for presentation to an important client tomorrow morning. At the end of the day you congratulate yourself and save the report files to your computer's hard drive.
The next morning you arrive at work only to find your worst nightmare coming true - your computer won't boot and you can't get the files. Your boss starts breathing down your neck to produce the report because the client arrives in five minutes. What will you do?
Yahoo to the rescue! With lightning-like speed you jump onto a colleague's computer and pull up your personal hard drive on the http://briefcase.yahoo.com website. Log on to your free account with a unique user name and password and bingo, your files come up on the screen.
Almost instantly you download the report, print it off and produce life saving - not to mentions career saving -results.
Yahoo Briefcase, a free service of search portal giant Yahoo!, offers users a free 30 megabyte hard drive on the Internet. The site supports itself by -you guessed it -displaying banner ads to entice you to buy things. The advantages of the service, however, far outweigh any pains of viewing a few ads.
Remote file backups Everyone knows they should back up their files, but most people keep their computer and backup files in the same place.
Ever wonder what would happen if your computer and your backup files get destroyed by fire, flood or theft? Large corporations spend big money to keep their files archived on remote servers "just in case". Now you can do the samething with your vital files at no cost.
Mobile file access Everyone moves around so much these days. Have you ever wanted access to a file on your home machine while you worked at the office? Ever needed to finish up some work at home but with files on the office PC? Now you can easily access, edit, share and modify your files anywhere you can access the Internet just by uploading and downloading files through virtually any web browser on any web connection.
File sharing between users Do you enjoy waiting for huge files to upload or download through your e-mail program? Nobody does! Don't tie up thee-mail servers with file downloads, use Yahoo Briefcase to share files with other users. Simply upload your files to your briefcase and then email your friend a message with a link and instructions to download the file. Yahoo Briefcase even lets you place a time limit on how long the link remains valid. This means the link will "expire" after a certain period of time so people can't pass it around.
Digital Family Photos Another great use for the service involves sharing digital pictures over the web. As those file sizes grow with enhancements in digital photography, having a password protected spot online from which to share the virtual family photo album comes in very handy.
About The Author:
Jim Edwards is the co-author of an incredible new ebook that will teach you how to write and publish your own highly profitable ebook in a week or less... even if you failed high school English class!
Simple "Traffic Machine" brings Thousands of NEW visitors to your website for weeks, even months... without spending a dime on advertising! ==> http://www.turnwordsintotraffic.com
5 Ways to Speed Up Your PC
No matter how fast your processor and regardless of how much ram you carry, there comes a time when you realize your computer just doesn't run as fast as it did when you bought it.
Windows loads slower, programs take longer to launch, and, in general, your computer drags like it just came off a 2-night drinking binge.
If this sounds like your situation, these 5 tips should help you get some extra speed from your PC.
~ Disk Cleanup Utility ~
You may not realize it, but just because you finish with a file doesn't mean your computer does.
In many cases, if your computer's hard drive were agarage, you would have unused junk files piled 20 feet high and spilling out into the street.
Everyone should use the Windows "Disk Cleanup Utility" to delete old, unused, and temporary files that clog your hard drive.
Click Start, point at All Programs (or Programs), Accessories, System Tools, and click Disk Cleanup. Analyze your hard drive for files you can eliminate and it may shock you to see how much hard drive space (and speed) you can free up with a few clicks.
~ "Defrag" ~
Imagine a properly maintained hard drive as room the size of Wal-Mart filled with filing cabinets.
Now imagine ripping open every drawer of every filing cabinet, slinging the contents onto the floor and trying to find one document -that's a fragmented hard drive.
Sometimes lack of speed simply results from your computer working too hard to find the files it needs.
You can solve this problem by "defragging" your hard drive.
Click Start, point to All Programs (or Programs), Accessories, System Tools, and click Disk Defragmentor. Choose the disk you want to defragment and expect to let the program run for several hours.
~ Uninstall Unused Software ~
We all maintain software on our systems we rarely, if ever, use.
That software can steal system resources. Click Start, Control Panel, and "Add Remove Programs" to pull up a screen that allows you to remove old programs you don't use anymore.
Simply select and uninstall all programs you know for sure you don't need or want.
~ Buy More RAM ~
Increasing your RAM, a computer's memory, can dramatically increase speed when running certain operations or programs.
RAM costs so little now that you should install the maximum amount of memory your system can handle.
~ "Stop Them At Startup" ~
This operation requires a bit more technical savvy than the other four, so proceed with caution.
Many programs load into the system tray in the lower right of your computer's desktop and consume system resources even if you never use them.
Click Start, Run, type in msconfig, and press Enter. Click the "Startup" tab to see a list of programs that automatically start with Windows.
Clear the check box next to programs you know you don't want to load at startup.
But don't clear any check box unless you are 100% certain of a program's purpose.
Once you finish, click OK and it will prompt you to restart Windows.
About The Author:
Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the co-author of an amazing new ebook that will teach you how to use free articles to quickly drive thousands of targeted visitors to your website or affiliate links...
Simple "Traffic Machine" brings Thousands of NEW visitors to your website for weeks, even months... without spending a dime on advertising! ==> http://www.turnwordsintotraffic.com
Top 10 Tips for Blogging
by: S. Housley
Tips for creating a blog.
There are no hard and fast rules on how to blog. Having said that, bloggers will likely increase their exposure by following some simple blog guidelines.
1.) Stay on topic.
Opinions are generally accepted but the content of the items in the blog should all relate to a general theme. Unless you have an uncanny knack for wit, humor or cynicism, the majority of your readers will be interested in the content that relates to a specific defined theme or loosely defined area of interest. Most readers won't care that you eat Cheerios for breakfast. They may, however, be interested in the fact that vinegar takes out stains and that toilet paper rolls make great wreaths. Define a topic and stick to it. This will ensure that you create a loyal following of interested readers.
2.) Stay informative.
If you are attempting to create the impression that you are knowledgeable about a specific industry or sector, be sure that you stay current on news. If you are endorsing a product or voicing an opinion, be sure to check your facts; your reputation is at stake. If you are offering an opinion, be sure to qualify your post, making it clear that the content is intended as an editorial.
3.) Old news is not news.
While blogging every day can be a drain, it is important that the information presented is current and accurate, writing an article or blurb about something that happened 6 months ago, will not be of interest to many. Telling your audience that Martha Stewart was convicted and will be going to prison, after her sentence is completed will make people question the value of your columns.
4.) Adhere to a schedule.
Create a schedule and stick to it. Realizing that blogging requires time and effort, don't create unrealistic expectations and be unable to deliver. An occasional lapse or holiday is generally understood but readers returning to find stale, out-dated content are going to find another blog with similar content. New blogs and RSS feeds are popping up on a daily basis. If you have worked hard to develop an audience and a community you don't want to lose them due to lack of communication.
5.) Clarity and simplicity.
Keep your posts and blog entries clear and easy to understand. Remember, the web is global and expressions, idioms and acronyms don't always translate. Sometimes a little explanation goes a long way.
If the goal of your blog is to increase your visibility, include related keywords in the title of the blog. Use the title as a headline to attract interest. Each item post should have a title that will attract attention but still be relevant to the post. The title should be no longer than 10-12 words.
7.) Quantity matters.
In order to attract the attention of search engines, you will need to develop content and substance. A headline or simple sentence is not going to generate the interest of readers or help with search engine ranking. Be sure to archive old blog posts to develop a large portal of similarly-themed content.
If your blog content is updated frequently, search engines will tend to spider the pages at regular intervals.
9.) Spell checking and proof-reading.
It only takes a few extra moments and can save you from having to make embarrassing explanations. Remember that whatever you publish on the Internet can be found and archived. Think carefully about what you post before doing so.
RSS will increase your blog's reach. It is important that you include your blog's content in an RSS feed to increase readership and distribution.
Most weblog audiences are small, but with time and regular updates audiences grow. Bloggers may never have more than a few hundred readers, but the people who return to regularly are generally interested in what you have to say.
About The Author
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing and publishing RSS feeds and NotePage http://www.notepage.net a wireless text messaging software.