Wednesday, December 23, 2009

4 Tips For Choosing An Mp3 Player, Part 1

Choosing an MP3 player used to be a much easier shopping decision than it is today. Just a couple of years ago, only MP3 players played MP3 music. Nowadays, every man and his dog that has a mobile phone, laptop or memory storage device can play MP3 music. Now that there are a few more things to take into consideration, it is wise to think about a few issues before splashing out some serious money (or trying to save some serious money).

Part I - Do you need an MP3 player?

Probably the most important question you need to ask yourself. Why do you want one? Does your mobile phone already come with an MP3 player? What about your laptop? Why would you need one if you've already got one? The only reason MP3 players exist in their own right is because a mobile phone is a much better device for making phone calls on the go, and an MP3 player, well, it is a much better device for playing MP3 music. When there is a comprise in function, there is a comprise in function (i.e. quality and performance).
Part II - Do you need a good MP3 player?

Probably the second most important question you need to ask yourself. It does sound like a rhetorical question. Of course you want a good MP3 player, but please provide a definition for "good". Do you want something that looks good, plays good (well is probably a better word) or sounds good (or all three perhaps). Remember that these days people will buy things for the image (looks/sounds good), performance (plays good) and quality (lasts good).
All three come at a cost (though not necessarily equal in weighting), and usually you'll find that two out of three ain't bad. Sometimes big name brands not only looks good (the Japanese designers are experts at this), sounds good (for example, hey look, I've got a Sony -insert model here- !), but they might actually have good performance or quality as well (Some say the iPod belongs in that category, but I don't want to start another online forum about it).
But most of the time, practical people start with performance or quality, and just hope that it's something they can hide in their designer label clothing's MP3 pocket.

Read More → 4 Tips For Choosing An Mp3 Player, Part 1

Monday, July 6, 2009

Certification Q&A: Types Of Certifications To Consider For Computer-Related Careers

* What kinds of certifications should I consider for a PC Specialist career?

As a PC Specialist, people will rely on your specialized computer training and skills to keep the office running smoothly. You must have the following certifications:

• PC Specialist Certificate
• Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer
• Microsoft Certified Professional

* What kinds of certifications should I consider for a Software Engineer career?

The software engineer designs and develops systems to control and automate manufacturing, business, or management processes. To obtain a position as a Software Engineer, you must have:

• A four-year degree in a computer-related discipline is required for most software engineering positions.

• Certification in various software applications is suggested.

• Training programs are available at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and in the Armed Forces.

Earning and maintaining certification is a good way for software engineers to keep their skills up to date. In addition to Microsoft, Novell, Cisco and other high-tech companies, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society offers relevant computer certifications.

* What kinds of certifications should I consider for a Systems Analyst career?

These workers figure out how to use computers to get things done. They tell businesses and other organizations which computers and software to buy, and they decide how to get those tools to work together. To qualify on this position, you must have:

• A four-year college degree in science, information science, or management information systems.

• Microsoft Certification and Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)

* What kinds of certifications should I consider for a Systems Engineer career?

Systems engineering is like putting together a puzzle, matching varied pieces together to make one cohesive whole. Here are some certifications you need to comply:

• BS in systems engineering or other related engineering discipline or an equivalent combination of education and work related experience.

• Novell certifications

Earning computer certification at a prestigious educational institution is impressive. But, if you don't have that kind of money, you may take computer certification training courses anywhere and anyway you wish and then pay to take the exams. Passing the exams is what earns computer certification.

* What kinds of certifications should I consider for a Technical Instructor career?

As a technical instructor, you need to be mature and very oriented towards people. To be considered, you must have the following certifications:

• A four-year degree in a computer-related discipline is required for most software engineering positions.

• CompTIA’s Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+) certification.

* What kinds of certifications should I consider for a Wireless Specialist career?

Career certification programs are critical for aspiring Wireless Specialists. Many are looking for programs that have a complete engineering curriculum that concentrates entirely on wireless application. Some of these are the following:

• Certified Wireless Professional includes application for wireless development, its networking elements and security, and embedded systems. Number of hours needed to complete the certification depends on the institution offering the program, but in most cases these certifications requires minimum of 200 hours lecture in class room and an average of 200 hours in laboratory practice.

• Cisco Security Professional Design Certifications merely concentrates on the perimeter security of the data in the web site, largely to avoid being hacked. Different versions of Web security courses such as DVS 1.0 and DPS 1.0 are available for reference.

Read More → Certification Q&A: Types Of Certifications To Consider For Computer-Related Careers

Thursday, May 28, 2009

3 Rad Ways To Pimp Your Cell Phone

Nine times out of ten you're thinking of dunking your cellphone into the fire or mixing it in the blender because everyone else seems to be sporting a snazzy, sexy cell phone, while you are stuck with one that's snarky, ugly, obsolete and so unhip that it's started to look like a pig's behind. Chances are that you are planning to call it an antique and shove it down the throat of some wacko buyer on eBay.

Let's move on to the next step – your new cellphone. Now you need to pick up something and jazz it up so much, that you can show it off and make your buddies go green with envy. So, here are the latest ways using which, you can pimp up your cellphone:

1. Turn your cellphone into an ecosystem: In other words, convert your cellphone into an environmental-friendly product and check out the "oohs" and the "aahs" you get when you gently explain, to the opposite sex, how your cellphone actually protects the ozone layer. Don't buy cellphones that use non-biodegradable plastics; don't go near cellphones that coat their phones with flame retardant chemicals such as bromine-based flame retardants; conserve electricity by charging your phone as much as is required – better still, there's a new kind of phone that's made using bamboo and is powered by solar cells. Go for that. Our planet is getting hotter by the day; at least make your cellphone look cool!

2. Go for total convergence: First, get your cellphone hooked into a mobile radio service – there are many mobile services available and many, many more are on the way. Next, get a mobile TV service going – it's about 10 bucks a month, but that's nothing if you want to really pimp your buddy up. Now, get mobile VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) going – make calls to anyone in the world using your local connection! Bang, that's gonna get you some cool eyeballs! Now – here's the sucker punch – build all these features into a full screen phone! Mobile companies are coming out with full screen phones where everything is touch operated and the screen lights up when touched! Imagine a full screen phone with radio, TV and Mobile VOIP! Cool!

3. Make it burglar-proof: There are applications available in the market that make your cellphone scream out like Bruce Springsteen did while bellowing out "Born In The USA". Okay, the Bruce Springsteen bit was a joke, but, seriously, mobile applications are available that make your cellphone scream if it is stolen. Not just that, these applications lock in your private data, which can be recovered when you find the phone. Imagine what a technosavvy image you will project! Move over Neo, you two-bit son of an antique!

These are the top three ways you can pimp up your cellphone. Not only will your cellphone increase your social rank, it will also offer you protection from theft and provide you with entertainment when you need it the most – while at work or while studying. Plus, it will massage the ozone layer for you. Now what more can you wish for – Go for it, dude!

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9 Tips To Keep Windows XP Running Smooth

There are many things that cause a computer to be sluggish from software to hardware. It can be too small a hard drive or not enough RAM. It can be anything from BIOS and/or Operating System Settings to programs that are eating up your CPU and RAM (no matter how much you have). Or it can be your network.

Personally, I work my computer like a young mother with a house full of kids 12 to 18 hours a day.

That mother needs to unwind at the end of the day and so does my computer and probably yours too.

Here are 9 Tips in the order they should be completed that can help keep your computer happy and working without complaining:

1. This is so basic I shouldn't need to say it, Keep Which Ever E-Mail Program You Use Cleaned Out. I have clients who are always complaining, but who refuse to dump years and years of accumulated e-mail.

2. Make sure you have a good anti virus program (Only one per computer please), have it up to date, and auto monitoring.

3. Make sure you have a good anti spy ware program (Only one per computer), have it up to date, and auto monitoring.

4. Run Disk Clean Up Daily (Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Clean Up - a box opens - make sure each box is checked, click 'OK' - a box pops up - Click Yes).

5. Delete Cookies and Cached Files Daily (Start, Control Panel -if you have not done it yet, click 'Switch To Classic View', Internet Options - a pop up box will appear - Delete Cookies, Click OK, Click Delete Files - check 'Delete All Offline Content' - Click OK, Now Set Your Clear History to no more than 7 Days - if you haven't used it for a week you probably won't miss it - Click OK)

6. A very important step almost everyone misses: Empty The Prefetch Folder (Start, My Computer, 'C' , Windows, Prefetch Folder, Edit, Select All, File, Delete - pop up box appears - Click Yes, Close Windows Window)

7. Empty Recycle Bin. For the sake of brevity, I am assuming everyone knows where it is and how to empty it.

8. Scan Hard Drive 'C' (Start, My Computer, Right Click 'C' - box opens - Click Properties at the bottom - another box opens - Click Tools, Click Check Now, Make sure both 'Automatically fix file system errors' and 'Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors' are checked, Click Start. Get a cup of java (oh, black, thank you) and Wait !

9. Defrag Computer (Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Defragmenter - window opens - Select 'C' Drive, Click Defragment). Pop a top and Wait !

The last two steps (8 and 9) can take awhile if they have not been done recently. I complete this entire routine on my computer just before I stop work for the day everyday and the entire sequence takes no longer than 20 minutes and often much less.

You can find more help with free download links at

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Computer Consulting Profit Secrets

Do you own or manage a computer consulting company? Are you having trouble growing your computer consulting company's profits?

If so, then you must learn how to focus on your computer consulting firm's profit and bottom line.

In this article, we'll look at 7 profit secrets and strategies you can use in your computer consulting business, to ensure that you are able to balance your clients' small business IT needs against your own computer consulting company's profitability challenges.

Origins of the Problem

While focusing on your computer consulting profits may sound simple enough at first glance, this business-focused discipline often eludes many a computer consulting firm.

This usually happens because many computer consulting business owners fall in love the technology gadgetry, and get seduced by seemingly attractive reseller channel programs, at the expense of their business' profit.

At the end of the day however, your computer consulting company is a business… not a charity and not a hobby. And your computer consulting company must be run like a business.

Profit Secret #1: Show motivation with your small business computer consulting clients.
To avoid being labeled as just another clueless geek, you need to position your computer consulting services to be more in line with those of a virtual CIO for hire. So always be on the look out for new ways to enhance your clients' businesses… not just fix broken desktops and servers.

Profit Secret #2: Be dedicated to the task and relentless in your pursuit to improve the status quo.
Because it takes a lot of work to land the best computer consulting clients, you need to focus on lifetime customer value… not just one-shot-deal sales. So always remember that your proposed or recently implemented computer consulting technology solution isn't a one-shot deal. This kind of long-term vision and planning requires tremendous staying power and perseverance… which often escapes many computer consulting business owners.

Profit Secret #3: Don't be afraid to be creative with your client engagements.
Small business technology solutions often need to stay within relatively modest budgets. And your computer consulting solutions must work without the need for in-house IT staff. To satisfy these challenges, don't be afraid to think outside of the box when appropriate.

Profit Secret #4: Evaluate how your clients' systems, both paper- and computer-based, function today.
As part of your virtual CIO role, look at how these existing clients systems are meeting or not meeting present and future needs. Most of this work will be done during IT audits… another key computer consulting profit secret that can really help to separate you from the pack of mediocrity.

Profit Secret #5: Put yourself in your clients' shoes and think about what THEIR clients need from them.
Yes, as a computer consulting business owner, you need to have good people skills and a certain degree of empathy for your clients' business problems. But an even more advanced computer consulting business owner doesn't just stop at understanding their clients' business problems. The virtual CIO really digs in and learns about their clients' customers' business problems… one layer down on the value chain.

Profit Secret #6: Keep up with advances and new versions.
As virtual CIO for your computer consulting clients, your clients depend on your firm to advise them on what tools can better help their businesses grow. So while you can't allow this R&D and training to consume and devour all of your scarce weekly schedule, you do need to stay a few steps ahead of your clients' IT needs at all times.

Profit Secret #7: Summarize and share that information with your clients.
The essence of your R&D and training should focus on one major objective: will this new platform or tool add value to your computer consulting clients' existing or future installations? And how you can best summarize this information, in layperson language that non-technical clients can understand?

The Bottom Line
Your computer consulting firm's needs to be your client's virtual IT department can often be at odds with your computer consulting firm's need to be profitable. A big part of this problem happens because computer consulting business owners fall in love with technology, at the expense of their marketing and sales activities.

To make sure you don't fall into this same strap, which can kill your computer consulting profits, don't go overboard with your training and R&D activities. Be sure to keep business development activities in your weekly schedule… EVERY week. If you want to keep your computer consulting profits as healthy as possible, make sure that you're proactive in your marketing and sales activities… dig the well for computer consulting profits BEFORE you're thirsty. And a great way to start is by listening to the profit-generating secrets at

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