Thursday, June 18, 2009

Structured File Naming Strategy For Managing Scanned Images

by: Vince Santaguida

Many organizations purchase document scanning devices as a first step initiative to convert their paper-based filing system into an electronic one. Their second step may involve the acquisition of a document management system but because of effort and cost implications there is a common tendency to try managing with the free organizer software that comes bundled with the scanner. An affordable and more effective alternative is to use structured file naming. When using this approach there is no need to input metadata for each document or have to rely on visual identification to locate a specific document. The file name is sufficient. Structured file naming can be done manually of course but for speed and precision, it is best to use a tool such as eXadox™ that enables semi-automated structured file naming and advanced search.

Structured File Name

A structured file name consists of multiple segments where each segment provides specific information about the document. The quantity and type of segments employed is dependant on the type of documents and the business activity. A general purpose file name structure used within eXadox that can handle most requirements consists of the following segments:



The following are some examples showing how this structure can be used:




In the examples above, each segment can convey different types of information based on need. The following provides some insight on how to exploit each segment in the structure:

SUB-FOLDER NAME is the primary entity (e.g.: clients, suppliers, employees, projects, etc...) for which/whom we are filing documents. A sub-folder should be created for each entity name. If the list is available from a CRM or business system, eXadox could auto-create all the sub-folders instantly. The sub-folder name can automatically be injected by eXadox as a prefix for easy document identification. This segment is especially important if the documents are mobile.

REF ID LIST is a list of possibilities that can logically categorize the primary entity or perhaps the type of department, employees may be divided based on work classification or perhaps department. An insurance brokerage firm may offer insurance protection by different companies based on the type of insurance required. The resulting list is used by eXadox to ensure consistency and to help auto-populate the segment.

REF-ID - is a free-text segment used to help identify a specific document or a group of related documents. For example in an accounts payable department this segment can be the supplier invoice number. A legal firm may use it to input a case number as a provision to enable the grouping of case specific documents.

DOC TYPE is a list of possible document types (e.g.: invoice, letter, contract, policy, accident report, etc.). Because this is a list, eXadox uses the entries in the list to auto-populate the segment as per user needs.

DOC NAME is a free-text segment used to provide specific information on the document content or purpose (e.g.: type of statement, invoice date, type or purpose of a report, etc...)

VERSION is a free-text segment that is used for version control. The entry gets auto-incremented when a document with identical name exists in the same folder.

[TRACKING] is a list driven segment that can be used to track the status of the document or where the physical document is located (e.g.: BOX 235, SHREDDER, PAID). eXadox uses the list to auto populate the segment and/or embed the tracking info into the PDF.


• Focus on the part of the business that is the most paper burdened and that could bring the most value.

• Start with current incoming documents immediately and work on old documents as time permits.

• Make a decision on whether you wish to save or destroy your physical documents. If you wish to maintain them you may pack them chronologically (based on scan date and time) in numbered banker boxes destined for storage.

• Use suitable structured file naming conventions for each business activity.

• Get consensus with coworkers on a suitable file name structure in collaborative work environments.

• To maintain policy adherence, accuracy and minimize keyboard input, consider semi-automated structured file naming.

For more info visit or refer to: eXadox White Paper: Semi-Automated Structured File Naming and Storage.

Computer Repair Done Right For FREE

by: James Perrin

This article will help users to perform a complete computer cleanup, which will improve the overall performance of their computers. It's not meant as a substitute for regular computer maintenance, performed by a professional computer technician.

Almost every computer user knows that, from time to time, your computer starts to run a little slower or you notice that you hard drive space is dwindling. So many people shrug this off and choose not to do anything about it. They think that it's normal to have these kinds of computer problems and that there isn't anything they can do about it. Your computer is trying to tell you's time for a cleaning. It's time to clean up the junk and organize the files on your computer, just as you would clean and organize your office.

This step-by-step tutorial will put you on the path toward a cleaner, more efficient computer. You'll learn how to perform a complete computer cleanup and you just may save yourself some money, in the future, by maintaining your computer, instead of just taking it to a repair technician when it breaks.

In this tutorial, we'll only concern ourselves with Windows XP (I guess I'll have to re-write this article for Vista), for a couple of reasons.

Microsoft has ended support for Windows 98, 98SE and Millennium.

If you still have one of those earlier operating systems, your computer is just too old to become "efficient" by today's standards.

Follow these cleanup steps and you just may learn to love your computer, again.

Unused User Accounts If you have any User Accounts that are no longer active, logon as a computer administrator and remove them.

1.Click START, then CONTROL PANEL. 2.When the Control Panel opens, click USER ACCOUNTS. 3.Click CHANGE AN ACCOUNT. 4.Click on the name of the account you want to remove. 5.Click REMOVE THIS ACCOUNT. 6.When given the option to "delete files" or "keep files", choose to delete them. 7.After removing all unused User Accounts, restart the computer. Windows Updates Make sure you have all of the latest Windows Updates installed by visiting and following the instructions on the website.

It's critical that you keep your computer up-to-date. Microsoft releases new security updates all the time and it's easier just to set your computer to automatically download and install these updates. Here's how to do that:

1.Right-click on MY COMPUTER. 2.Click PROPERTIES. 3.Click the AUTOMATIC UPDATES tab (reference the illustration, below). 4.Choose "Automatic (recommended)". 5.Click APPLY and OK.

Remove Unused Programs This is pretty basic stuff. Most Windows users have already been through the steps of adding and removing programs, but we'll list the steps for those who haven't.



3.When the window that opens has fully loaded, scroll through the list of programs and remove any that are unwanted or no longer used.

4.Just a piece of advice...any programs listed that mention anything about "bargain", "cash", "search", "web" or "fun", in the program name, should probably be removed.

Temporary File Cleanup Temporary files are one of the biggest wastes of hard drive space, hogs of computer resources and major causes of recurring spyware and virus infections. They need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Follow these steps to remove ALL temporary files from your computer:

1.Double-click MY COMPUTER. 2.Open the root drive (usually C:). 3.Open DOCUMENTS AND SETTINGS. 4.Click TOOLS, then FOLDER OPTIONS. 5.Click the VIEW tab (reference the illustration, below). 6.Under "Hidden files and folders", click "SHOW HIDDEN FILES AND FOLDERS". 7.Uncheck "HIDE EXTENSIONS FOR KNOWN FILE TYPES". 8.Uncheck "HIDE PROTECTED OPERATING SYSTEM FILES (RECOMMENDED)". 9.When the warning message pops up, click YES. 10.Click APPLY, then OK.

***It's recommended that you change the file folder settings back to their default settings after you fully complete the computer cleanup.***

1.With the Documents And Settings folder opened, open a user account folder. 2.Open the LOCAL SETTINGS folder. 3.Open the TEMP folder. 4.Press CTRL+A to select all files. 5.Press SHIFT+DEL to permanently delete all selected files. *Note*: you may be unable to delete ALL of the files and folders because some of them may be "locked" by the operating system or another program. Select smaller groups of folders or files in order to remove as many as possible. 6.Navigate back to the LOCAL SETTINGS folder. 7.Open the TEMPORARY INTERNET FILES folder. 8.Repeat steps 4 and 5. See *Note*. 9.Repeat steps 1 through 8 for all user account folders. 10.Empty the RECYCLE BIN and restart the computer.

Virus And Spyware Scans If you don't already have an antivirus program and two or three antispyware programs installed and updated on your computer, then you're BEGGING for problems. I use Webroot Antivirus/Antispyware and Spybot Search & Destroy (free). If you're relying solely on "free" programs for your computer security, you're likely making a big mistake. I understand that you don't want to pay for software. Nobody does. You just have to look at the value in investing a little bit of money toward preventing the problems that might arise from choosing the "cheaper route". Ok...enough said on that subject.

The most efficient way for antivirus and antispyware products to complete their scans successfully is to run them while the computer is in Safe Mode. To restart Windows in Safe Mode, tap the F8 key about every half-second or so, at computer startup, once you see the manufacturer's logo. You'll then be brought to a screen where you will use the arrow keys to choose the boot mode. Use the arrow up or down key to choose SAFE MODE. Press enter and let Windows do it's thing. When the computer has fully booted, complete FULL SYSTEM scans with your antivirus and antispyware programs. When they are completed, reboot the computer, normally.

Defragment The Hard drive(s) This is the final step in your major computer cleaning. This will insure that the files on the disk are organized in such a way that makes them more quickly accessible, causing less "wait time" and less wear and tear on your drive.

1.Click START. 2.Navigate through ALL PROGRAMS to get to the ACCESSORIES folder. 3.Choose SYSTEM TOOLS. 4.Choose DISK DEFRAGMENTER. 5.Select the main disk (C:). 6.You shouldn't need to "analyze" the drive. At this point, it's better just to choose "DEFRAGMENT". 7.Let the program run through the process and reboot the computer, normally, when completed.

That's it! You should see a HUGE improvement in the performance of your computer.

For More Computer help or advice please Visit

James Perrin

How To Throw Your First Lan Party - Trust Us: Networking Will Never Be This Fun Again

by: Joshua LaTendresse

LAN parties are the perfect way to spend a rainy weekend with friends,all it takes is a little planning to make sure that things go smoothly.

Whether you are planning a PC or console oriented LAN party, getting the right mix of gear together is the first and most crucial step. Console players have it a little easier, since the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are much more portable than their full sized PC counterparts. However, don't forget that you'll need extra monitors, game titles, LAN cables, and a hub or switch big enough to handle as many consoles that you need to connect everyone. Having a buddy with a 16 or 24 port switch is always handy,but an older 10 or 100 switch is all you need. Spending hundreds on a Gigabit grade switch is overkill.

When you tell your buddies what to bring to a console LAN party, don't forget to tell them to haul along their monitor, correct video cables, game titles, wired controller, and networking cable. The A40 Audio System is the ideal solution for a console LAN, so don't forget your audio gear, even if your friends don't have ASTRO equipment yet. If your buddies have an extra network cable and wired controller, have them bring those too after they've marked them with initials. Someone is bound to forget theirs. Remember that a wired controller is required more than four wireless controllers are going to interfere with one other unless you are a fair distance away, which takes away from the fun.

The same advice for a PC LAN applies,with the addition of needing a place to put computers,monitors,and mouse pads in addition to a spot for everyone's butt. Beg and borrow every card table,picnic table and folding chair that you can scrounge from relatives, neighbors and friends.

Lastly, whether you go the PC or console route, don't forget to sort out the power situation well beforehand using industrial grade extension cords to draw power from multiple circuits in your house is a smart way to go. Nothing is a bigger drag than blowing a fuse or tripping a circuit breaker mid match. Having your buddies bring their own power strips with surge protectors is also a smart idea.

What to play? This is the all important question, and one that will make or break your party. Start with your friends what games do you usually play? This game whatever it may be will be the game that gets the most mileage during your party. Being all together will certainly open up new strategies and new wrinkles to whatever you are playing if only the 'in yer face!' factor of in person versus play, in addition to the tactical advantages of having a 'Lag-free' connection that is only possible when you are on a LAN.

If you have another game that people might enjoy, but haven't necessarily played yet or perhaps not for a long time, this can be a welcome break from the main attraction. Mix and match your genres as well if everyone got together to play an intense first person PC shooter like Counter strike or Battlefield, be sure to take it down a notch by starting a friendly pickup game of an RTS classic like WarCraft III or Dawn of War. If you've got newer gear and newer game collections, Dawn of War II and Supreme Commander are incredibly fun. Most RTS titles have 2v2 or even 3v3! modes that enable you to put noobies with more experienced players, and advanced controls that enable you to balance things to a fine degree guaranteeing that everyone is enjoying fun and challenging games.

If you are gearing your LAN toward PC play, take a break by firing up a fun, tried and true console game. Sure, everybody knows Halo can be a great way to blow off some steam, but after playing PC shooters, a console FPS will seem like it is in "slow motion". It's better to fire up Mario Kart, Bomberman, or Boom Blox try it, seriously! if you have a GameCube or Wii. If you have an Xbox 360 handy, the Xbox Live Arcade selection should have something for everyone old school multiplayer titles like Gauntlet and Joust are a riot, while new school faves like Geometry Wars are extremely entertaining just to watch. And of course, fighting games like Super Smash Brothers, Street Fighter, and Soul Caliber are perfect for a quick player versus player fix.

For console centric LAN parties, taking a break from the controller is the way to go. Try loading up the universal LAN party standard Unreal Tournament 2004. 2k4 is a stellar run and gun action title that is 10lbs of fun in a 5lb bag even if you are playing for the very first time. It's also an older title that even low spec laptops will be able to handle nicely, and available dirt cheap in most stores' bargain bins, or downloadable from Steam.

Once you've attended or held a few LAN parties, you'll start noticing games in the bargain bin that will be ideally suited to a LAN, especially those "forgotten" shooters. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. has an amazing deathmatch mode that is wildly popular in places like Russia, but if you live in the West, you'll need to create a local server and a LAN party is the perfect opportunity. Likewise, Prey is an ideal PC LAN game if your group is on the small side this console centric shooter fared poorly since it was too claustrophobic for 16 to 32 player servers, but is ideal for 4 to 8 friends at a LAN.

One last thing unless you are getting your Guild together for some in person raid action, it would be wise to ban World of Warcraft during the weekend. WoW has a tendency to divide your group into ever-smaller chunks, and really takes away from the mano a mano spirit of a LAN.

Good luck and save us a slice of pizza!

Recommended Technologies by SAP for Integration

by: Venkatesh Pai

Seamless integration across business applications has always been a critical area of interest for any organization. The criticality of application integration is obvious from the fact that this is often a critical factor in purchase decision making.

SAP recommends the following technologies for integration:

1) SAP BAPI (Business Application Programming Interfaces)

2) Remote callable function modules (RFMs) that have been released for customer / external use

3) IDocs (Intermediate Documents) provided by SAP, that are sent or received by mySAP Business Suite components

4) Data Transfer Programs provided by SAP

1. SAP BAPI (Business Application Programming Interfaces)

Business Application Programming Interfaces (BAPIs) are standard SAP interfaces that enable software vendors to integrate their software into the mySAP Business Suite. BAPIs are technically implemented using RFC (Remote Function Call) enabled function modules inside SAP systems.

BAPIs are defined in the Business Object Repository (BOR) as methods of to SAP business objects that perform specific business tasks. They allow integration at business level, not technical level. This makes it much easier to find suitable BAPIs compared to non-BAPI based function modules.

Once SAP has released a BAPI, its interface definitions and parameters will remain stable in the long term, which means third-party application programs will not be affected by changes to the underlying SAP software or data. If upward-compatible enhancements are made to the BAPIs, the integration of the existing applications is not affected. If incompatible changes to the BAPI become necessary, SAP will create a new BAPI and mark the old BAPI as "obsolete". Obsolete BAPIs are guaranteed to work at least in two subsequent functional releases, starting with the one in which they are declared obsolete. This gives developers approximately two years, depending on SAPs release cycle, to change their existing integration from using the obsolete BAPI to the usage of the new BAPI.

2. Remote Function Call

The SAP development environment supports several ways of structuring software. ABAP function modules are equivalent to what most programming languages call "functions". The SAP system contains thousands of function modules - for example more than 110,000 in SAP R/3 release 4.6C.

Only a subset of those can be called from external systems using a protocol called Remote Function Call (RFC). RFC allows for remote calls between two SAP systems (for example SAP R/3 and SAP BW) or between an SAP system and a non-SAP system. These remotely callable functions are called RFC-enabled function modules or RFMs in short. SAP R/3 release 4.6 C for example contains more than 10,000 RFMs. They can have import and export parameters to send and receive data between systems. Only RFMs with a 'released for customer/released for external use' status will remain stable in long term. Only these should be used for third-party integration projects and are eligible for interface certification. As the special set of RFMs that are linked as methods of the business objects in the SAP systems, BAPIs are explicitly released for customer usage.

3. Intermediate Documents

Intermediate documents (IDocs) were originally invented by SAP to support Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) in a generic fashion. Later, IDocs were also used in the SAP Application Link Enabling (ALE) technology as data containers, which allow exchange of business information between an SAP system and other SAP or non-SAP systems.

IDocs are based on a hierarchical, tree-like segment structure. The syntax for each IDoc type is defined in the SAP system. IDocs can be used in the following business scenarios: ? ?Application Link Enabling (ALE): Communication between logical systems (intra-company relations).

Logical systems can be either SAP systems or non-SAP systems. ALE distribution models are based on message types and BAPIs that indicate the appropriate IDoc types. ? ?Electronic Data Interchange (EDI): Communication between SAP systems and the 3rd party EDI subsystem which is typically connected to an EDI VAN (inter-company relation).

IDocs are created when message types and (object) methods are distributed. The message type is the semantic information which identifies the usage of business data. The IDoc type defines the syntactical format in which the data for a specific business process is transferred.

4. Data Transfer Programs

Some SAP applications provide data transfer programs that can be used to transfer data into or out of SAP systems. The Data Transfer Workbench is a tool that supports the transfer of data into the SAP system with these data transfer programs. The Data Transfer Workbench is particularly useful for business objects with large data volumes. It guarantees that data is transferred efficiently and ensures that data in the SAP system remains consistent. The data transfer is performed in a batch-like fashion.

The Role of Software Development & Other Knowledge Based Technologies in Dubai’s Development

by: Kate Henlay

Stability and strong fundamentals, not high growth and high returns, are very important to develop an economy. This is the lesson the global economic crisis has taught us. Dubai has also suffered by the worldwide financial downturn and financial pressure.

But indications of improvement are now emerging both at home and abroad. Assuming that we have learnt some lessons from the faults, it is high time to re-evaluate, reorganize and prepare a new plan for permanent economic expansion and prosperity. Various nations have come out smarter and wiser from fiscal and economic problems in the past and there is no reason that Dubai cannot do the same. But there are many challenges. Some need rapid solutions and others need a long-term strategy to fix. If we analyze even blogs in Arabic language, one can easily understand that even commoners can understand the problems.

The Minister of Labour lately said that the UAE is heading towards a knowledge-based economy which needs a smaller but extremely skilled workforce. The report shows that the government of UAE is looking forward at the future forms of things. According to new theories of growth, knowledge can lift the profits on investment, and as a result contribute to the accumulation of knowledge. It does this by inspiring more well-organized methods of organizing production as well as new and enhanced products and services. This creates the prospects of sustained increases in investment which can lead to nonstop rises in a nation’s growth rate. Knowledge can also spill out over from one section of industry to another, with fresh ideas used constantly at modest additional cost. Such spillovers can relieve the constraints placed on growth by scarcity of capital.

The example of the industry of web development in Dubai is a case in point. As the industry grows it not only involves software computer engineers but also provides opportunities of jobs for other professionals. For example thousands of professionals are involved in copy writing in Dubai. Because of the overflow of web sites in this digital age of ours the professionalism in any field is required to such a degree that content management systems in Dubai becomes a separate specialized field.

In this age of knowledge based economy, the commerce world has embraced novel concepts that have radically changed the way in which organizations are structured and the method in which they operate. With the arrival of the World Wide Web, worldwide economic struggle is now a brutal reality and is always on the increase. The world of business has become an ever-changing atmosphere in which organizations are compelled to adapt quickly as a means of endurance and competence. A key to survival is the generation of knowledge to understand a strategy to stay inventive and synchronous with the fast pace of economy and business. The development of soft industries has created a path for electronic business.

Investments in the teaching and enhancement of newly emerging knowledge like software development can increase the overall economy of UAE and transform it from a monotonous oil based economy to a multi dimensional post modern financial power.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Third Wireless Wave - Sensor networks

by: Cees Links

If you ever had the foresight in 1970 to wonder along what sequence of events wireless technologies would start penetrating society, you probably would not have started first with high quality voice networks, then followed with high speed data-networks and finally ended with low data rate, low duty cycle simple sense and control networks. Most likely you would have suggested a sequence the other way around: let’s start “slow and easy” with sense and control networks (sending temperature information every 5 minutes and control our heaters or air conditioners); then you may have guessed that this would have been followed by more complex data networks, as a higher speed next generation data network, and finally the wireless revolution would have been completed with the most complex voice networks with its high demands on low latency and high quality.

Not so. The first revolution was about wireless voice networks, in two steps: in-house and then outdoors (DECT/GSM). The second revolution was about wireless high speed data (Wi-Fi) in every laptop, you can’t buy them without it anymore. And finally, the third wave with sense and control networks (ZigBee)?

Actually: remote controls for our televisions have been around for a while, our remote keys for our cars, for our garage door openers. But that never grew out of the stage of the wireless extension of a push button… Something feels wrong with this picture, what are we missing?

As usual the devil is in the details and going back to the 70-ies, it seemed that we missed an essential point, the usage model. And interestingly, only very recently we have started to pick up on this. The difference between voice and data networks on one side and sense and control networks on the other side is how to use these. We are used to live with handling a phone or a laptop and make sure that the batteries are charged – actually we have learnt it the hard way (“Where can I find an outlet?” Or worse: “I forgot my adaptor”). But with sense and control networks we need a “use and forget” model, that is, we do not want to be bothered with making sure that we have to regularly charge our remote control(s) or our car key(s)… and here is where trouble starts.

Let take our “house of the future”… remote controls for switching on/off lights; temperature sensors; motion sensors (whether someone is in the room) for comfort or security, etc. Without having to be too creative we can easily calculate 50 sensors (actually a not too sophisticated car has already 50 sensors today). Well… let’s assume a battery life of 1 year per sensor. This means that we have on average to change a battery every week. And worse: to find out which battery we have to change, we will have every week at least one sensor down. OK, battery life will increase, but so will the number of sensors.

But there is more, and everyone who has a wireless switch in his house for a lamp will recognize this. In the past if a lamp does not work, well… change the bulb. But with a wireless switch this game has changed. If a lamp does not work, what is the problem: is the bulb broken, or is the battery of the switch empty?

All of a sudden “changing a bulb” has become a “diagnostics problem”, with different possible outcomes: the lamp is broken, the battery is empty (,or both!?). All of a sudden something as simple as “changing a light bulb” is not anymore what it has been.

So, after all there is a simple explanation that the acceptance of sense and control networks is lagging compared to their sophisticated cousins in voice and data and this has nothing to do with the network sophistication, it is purely about the usage model: ease of installation/maintenance (and: “fix and forget”).

With the arrival of standards for sense and control networks, as well as with the increased possibilities for energy harvesting out of the environment (solar cells, motion energy), all the focus is going towards making these networks low maintenance, or better: total maintenance-free – and this will become the time of arrival of the third wireless wave, that originally was considered to be the most simple one.


The Internet of Things

by: Cees Links

Our Internet connected world is experiencing a revolution that is still in its early phases. New technologies, applications and online concepts are springing forth every day, changing the way we work with the net and how we connect and communicate with each other. Even though it is hard to predict what will happen next, the high rate of change and progress of Internet functions and applications indicates the Internet has not yet matured and will continue to develop and evolve in many interesting and powerful ways.

One area of progress that is difficult to predict and that has been seriously lagging – seemingly just waiting in hiding to emerge and blossom – is the integration of the Internet with our physical world. Today’s world of the Internet and our physical world are essentially two standalone worlds with humans functioning as the interface between the two. In the future, these two worlds will become significantly more intertwined, and this intertwining will become a sort of revolution in its own.

Let’s take a practical example. It has been a hard day of work and you are driving home. It’s a cold day, and you want to turn on your house heating system so your home will be nice and cozy when you arrive. Or you are rushing off to work and all of a sudden you start to wonder whether you remembered to turn off the heat before you departed.

Despite all our technology sophistication you are probably best off by calling your neighbor (who has a reserve key of your house) to go inside and do the job. This is an interesting example because most likely you already have a little control network at home controlling your heater with a thermostat and you probably also have Internet access at home.

Still, the lack of integration between these networks leaves you no other option than calling your neighbor. In addition to checking our heating, this is also how most of us check that the whether the door was locked and the windows were closed. Wouldn’t it be great if you could control your house with a few buttons on your cell phone? Interestingly, it does not require any major technology breakthroughs to make this happen.

All of us are using the Internet today for communication and reading the news (with blogging as an interesting new phenomenon filling the hole between the two). We are also using the Internet for shopping, where every brand or store nowadays has a point of access to the Internet. What is not connected to the Internet are all the functions that could be useful for making our lives comfortable and saving energy.

The Internet is like a big nerve center that still has to build a smaller nerve system that connects to all the supporting functions of our lives. The backbone is there but not the final end connections to our senses and muscles.

So far, our view of the Internet has been quite “human-centric”, but that is going to change. It is quite likely that sooner or later the majority of items connected to the Internet will not be humans, but things: heating/cooling systems, health sensors, security systems, central door/window locking systems, remote controls, etc.

It is here where wireless networks will play a major role. There are many more “things” than “people” and to physically “wire” all things to the Internet is just not feasible. The good news is that recently communication standards (like IEEE 802.15.4 and on top of that ZigBee) have been ratified to make this possible. But it is not only wireless technology that is required - “energy harvesting” from the environment will also be an essential element. In addition to removing the data communication cables, it is also important to eliminate the power cable and the need for batteries, along with their negative impact on the environment as well as the huge labor costs associated with charging and maintaining batteries.

Energy harvesting is the rapidly emerging technology that pulls energy out of the environment (IE - a solar cell on a pocket calculator or a kinetic device that converts vibration to electrical power) and can provide the energy needed for the “thing” to have it connected and controlled over the Internet. The development of energy harvesting devices is making big steps forward, but there is still a long way to go, in particular in reducing the cost of the harvesting devices.

Looking into the future, the “Internet of Things” could very well be the next revolution on the Internet where integration of our physical and virtual worlds will be the main driver. The new “Internet of Things” will enable a new class of applications that will make our lives more comfortable and that will help us to reduce our wasteful use of energy.

Converting E-booklets To Real Ones

by: Lynne Saarte

There are a lot of royalty free instructional custom booklets over the Internet these days. These free “e-books” and “e-booklets” can provide a project or firm with easily accessible information that is perfect for its staff. Even big businesses are starting to take notice of this fact and sometimes do minor booklet printing projects based on these royalty free e-books. This is because the process of converting e-books to real kinds of books and booklets is extremely easy. If you want to know how to convert e-books for booklet printing here are five simple steps on how to go about it.

1. Preparing the file for printing.

First you need to prepare your file for printing. Some free E-books can come in the Adobe “.PDF” file which can be readily printed with the Adobe Reader application. Others meanwhile can also come in a “.doc” Microsoft Word document or other word processing file. Finally, some e-books can also be made in the E-book reader file formats such as the Microsoft “.lit” file format. For your own purposes however, always try to aim for a file format that you can work with. The easiest is of course the PDF file since there is little lost in terms of details and layouts when you use this. Other formats though may be some trouble since you will need to have the applicable expensive software for them to print them as well. To prepare these e-books however for booklet printing, it is best to focus on one file format like the PDF. There are a lot of free file conversion software out there that can change the file format of your E-book to the format that you desire. Our recommendation is that you always convert your e-books or download them in “.PDF” format so that is easier to deal with.

2. Proper settings for prints.

Now with your file all ready, always try to make sure that you have the proper setting for your prints. Make sure that the paper size is right and that it is indicated as the right paper size in the file format. Make sure as well that the printing quality for the e-book is set to the highest amount as possible so that you will get high quality prints. Depending on your format as well, you might want to adjust the margins so that the left and right pages have the correct amount of adjustments to accommodate binding.

3. Printing at home.

Now if you are printing at home, make sure to buy lots of paper. Make sure that it is set properly in the paper tray and that it is the right size that has been set in the file format. It is usually best to print at home if you have a high quality printer, since you always want to print all these pages with the best look possible. Otherwise if you do not have a good quality printer, skip to step five below.

4. Binding at home.

Once done with your prints, you may now want to bind them as well. Some people just make do with a stapler, while others use plastic binding combs that are easily available for use at your home along with a simple comb binding machine. You can also try buying custom “clear books” where you can slide in your pages in plastic sleeves within a hard binder. There are actually a lot more home binding techniques that you can use to bind your printed e-books. Just use the one that is best for your budget and abilities.

5. Using professional booklet printing services.

If you however do not have the patience to print and bind at home, do not worry. There are online booklet printing services out there that can print your ebook for you as booklets. Just send them your own edited version of the book file and setup the transaction including a choice of right binding techniques. Once you are finished just wait for your booklets to arrive and you are all set. You should have ebooks printed as booklets for easy use in your project or firm.

So now you know how to print free royalty free e-books for your own benefit. The process is simple enough to follow so everyone can try it.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Keep A High Performing System Thru Registry Cleaners

by: Menno Spijkstra

The main function of Windows registry is to keep all important program operation information in your computers. This is an ultimate function and must be taken seriously. Otherwise, your whole computer system will crash down and all your important files will be gone forever. When you are having problems with the performance of your computers, one of the aspects that you need to consider is the status of the Windows registry. This especially happens when you have not cleaned up this very vital part of your computer system. Oftentimes, computers that are used regularly can result to a slow and cluttered registry.

If you don’t have registry cleaners to work on the cleaning up, your system's performance will deteriorate. Thus, it can eventually affect the whole performance of your computers. With a PC software maintenance, it will be easier for you to regularly keep this part of your computer well-maintained. It will contribute greatly for your computers to have better speed and be error free. Any problems with windows registry can be avoided if you have the right back-up software to look after it. One of the most frequent reasons why problems occur in this part of your computer system is the improper way of uninstalling softwares.

Maybe you thought that you have removed a program or a software adequately from your computers, but as matter of fact you have not. Registry cleaners function to ensuring that they clean up the system every after you do some tasks like this. Somehow you will have the peace of mind that somebody else will clean up the mess after you do what you want to do with your computers. Also, corrupt hardware drives can also cause problems to this windows system. Thus, be aware if you hardware drives are functioning well or not. If you begin to notice that your computer’s speed is slowing down, or you experience erroneous problems with Windows, check your Windows registry.

The problem may originate from there. Registry cleaners make sure that this part of your computer is well-taken care of as this part of your system is perhaps the most important. It make sure that your system does not gather unwanted things that may cause it’s performance to deteriorate. For this reason, you need to have reliable registry cleaners for your system. There are free cleaners on the net. This is especially recommended to those who want to install it for personal purposes only. However, if you are into online business, it is more apt to have a better performing and reliable registry cleaners.

Quality service can be demanded if you know you are paying for it. Freebies may only have limited features or options. Better yet, optimize your PC with the best registry cleaners there are. For online marketers especially, you cannot sacrifice a vital part of your online business operation by keeping a slow performing system. You may become too busy with your business and cleaning your system might be neglected. By having this kind of systems cleaner to do the job for you, you can be assured of a smooth system operation with less hassles.

Social Media Is Not Just For Kids Anymore 10 Quick Start Tips

by: Michiel Van Kets

It was not so long ago that social media was thought by many to be a short-lived trend and not an internet marketing tool that could be facilitated by the business world. However, as the number of users of popular social networking sites increases every day, can your business really afford to continue ignoring this phenomenon?

Having a website for your business simply isn’t enough if it doesn’t have a high visibility. Your objective should be to get your website noticed, and the way to do that these days is by writing about it, and getting it written about in blogs and other social media sites.

Some of the social media tools that you can use to help achieve your objectives include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and related forums and blogs.

Twitter is the newest social media tool to appear with a reputation that has grown extensively in a very short period of time and now ranked as the third most used social network. Twitter’s attraction is that it offers a very simple way for people to connect with each other, even President Obama is known to use it. Twitter is an effective business marketing tool to point to your website and/or blog updates.

Facebook is one of the largest social networking site around, with more than 200 million active users worldwide. It offers fantastic business features and the opportunity of making business contacts. Facebook now has “Pages” you can promote your business on and get “fans”. Another attractive feature of Facebook is the advertising opportunities which reach your specific demographic. There is also an “Events” feature to help with your internet marketing.

Integrating blogging into your marketing plans is an effective way to connect with your target audience. Blogs are useful places to post questions and get feedback about products and businesses. A business blog is an effective internet marketing tool because it contains specific industry related content. Search engines will pick up on the keywords and phrases used and attract a high number of visitors.

Here are some tips to get you started in your social networking and internet marketing.

1. Set up a business blog. For an online business, they are perfect as you can build awareness, establish expertise and create a practical communication channel between you and your customers which is ideal for building trust and reputation. Business blogs are generally successful because they allow you to connect directly with your customers and give them an avenue to communicate directly with you.

2. Track and identify those blogs where your consumers hang out and integrate yourself into this community. Post interesting content, make contacts and form relationships. Time spent creating awareness around your brand in this environment is time well spent because you are so significant within that position.

3. Append your signature to all blog comments and outgoing email messages as it offers a personal and effective, and free, way to market your business. Insert your keywords, into your URL in your signature line. Make the actual link your URL. The keyword link to your site may help your search engine rankings.

4. Use video to show your product or service, particularly popular are ‘How to..’ videos. Put it on your blog and website and send it to YouTube. You can also post it at YouTube and simply embed it into your sites.

5. Open an account in a couple of social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Create content that is highly relevant and link worthy. DO NOT SPAM the groups, you’ll lose followers and fans very quickly if you do. Some groups such as Facebook will close your account.

6. Learn Twitter etiquette. The main rules are, don’t spam, spammers don’t last long on Twitter. Always give credit for retweets, don’t do spammy auto direct messages.

7. Add links from your Twitter and Facebook pages to your blog, website and email.

8. Have a plan as to how you will research and investigate social media networks and follow it. Don’t rush things, learn the ropes first.

9. Don’t directly promote your business all the time. Instead, offer ways to help others such as providing resource links, articles and helpful tips.

10. Link to other blogs and websites. Links are what search engines and users make good use of, and search engines need them.

Consumers don’t only want to communicate with each other; they also want access to the businesses and companies they buy their goods and services from. Your customers want to connect with the real people behind the company and know what you are doing and planning to do.

Business owners are becoming more aware how important using social media as one of their internet marketing methods really is. Consumers are more internet savvy, have more access to information and can search and compare easily. They expect (or at least want) a company to provide them the information they need and want with the ability to interact with the company. Social media marketing is a way to connect to consumers on a more personal level. Now is the time to put your energy into looking at and learning about these social networking sites as they are set to radically change the way businesses communicate.

How to Create an Audio or Video

by: Matt Bacak

If you get to a point in your internet marketing career where you need or want to learn how to create professional audio or video presentations I would strongly recommend using Power Point, Sony Sound Forge and Sony Vegas Movie Studio. I use all of these and I would have to say Sony’s got the best editing software out there. It is easy to use and it has a large, organized workspace from which to work.

Adobe Audition which is Sound Forge’s closest competitor is not very easy to use and looks like a cluttered mess. Sadie, another editing software is also hard to use and is extremely expensive.

If you are looking for a free option, I have in the past recommended Audacity. Now it’s not anywhere near the quality of Sony Sound Forge, but if you aren’t looking for anything fancy and don’t mind working in a confined editing window this could work for you. You can create a pretty good quality file without the cost of using high-end audio software.

Sound Forge comes in two different versions. There is the less expensive Sony Sound Forge Audio Studio, which will probably take care of most of the stuff you want to do and the more expensive Sony Sound Forge 8, which gives you better sound quality among other features.

Sony’s Vegas Movie Studio is outstanding also because it allows you to easily edit, capture and create DVD’s, CD’s and VCD’s. It is also very inexpensive compared to Adobe’s Video Collection Professional – although Adobe’s software is more geared towards the professional movie maker whereas Sony’s software is more entry level editing software.

If you already know how to use Sony Sound Forge then it will be fairly easy for you to figure out Sony Vegas Movie Studio. Basically, all you have to do is drop in the audio, import the audio into Sony Vegas Movie Studio and then you’ll simply need to import the PowerPoint in there. Then all you’ll have to do is render it as either an MP4, MPEC, .mov or .avi. Once you do that you’ll be able to create your video fairly quickly.

All of these options are an excellent choice if you’re venturing out into the web audio/video sphere. You really can’t go wrong and highly recommend you check any of the above mentioned software out.

Hijacking Google Maps: It's Easier Than You Think

by: John Sylvester

Over the past week I have seen results for localised keywords return a Google map for organic search. As a test, I entered property searches and found from the list of "property companies", item B on Google's map showing MBK, which as their website's title shows, is a "Center of Fashion Mall & Shopping Plaza in Bangkok Thailand: MBK Center". This is a shopping mall and has nothing whatsoever to do with real estate or property in Bangkok. Except, of course, their premises is a property.

So how could a shopping mall in Bangkok be displayed in the listings of real estate? And why are organic search results being listed in the form of Google Maps? That is for Google to reason and us to find out. So I did.

One of the real estate companies at the top of these lists has deftly registering their website on Google maps for a myriad of related search terms and they now appear in the #1 position for all, even though in organic search they are at the bottom of the page. Tip: change the address.

This process has therefore leapfrogged them to the top of Google search. I also assume that as the other real estate actors begin to notice what is happening, all will soon register their sites with Google maps in order to gain placement. And the quicker they do it (if my assumption is correct that it's first come, first served) the higher they will be listed.

The first thing to be clear about is that Google will initially check your phone number and reference with your registration, but companies that are cheating the system use different addresses thereafter to circumnavigate all verification. They do not check that a company does not have six to ten offices, all with different search terms, next door to one another.

Then I read What a lark they've had with Google.

The author had spoken with one of the florists in San Francisco that had been hijacked in Google Maps and the first thing he noted about this site was that the site owner estimated that his business was off 30% for the weeks of the hijacking. He commented: "That is a significant number that demonstrates the power that Google has conferred on local search."

He continued: "Every small business thinks that if they could only operate like the IBMs, Microsofts or Apples of the world, they would have their act together on these new marketing angles. If like, IBM et al, Podesta Baldocchi were on top of these details they could have prevented this hijacking.

"I wondered if that was in fact the case so I decided to see if some of the major Fortune 500 companies had in fact claimed their records and avoided the possibility of hijackings. Microsoft came to mind first. I grabbed one of their listings in Redmond and was able to change the location, url and their business name. Microsoft even managed to gather a spammy review in its short life as an escort service. Out of a sense of fair play, I changed it back although Google has not yet done so. I wasn't sure that that Microsoft or Google would appreciate my sense of humor."

On the blog he has screenshots of "Microsoft Escort Service", "Microsoft Corporation" registered at 1 Microsoft Way and last, to my delight, "Google Inc" as he discovered in the course of his investigation that "many of Google's local listing had been claimed and locked down, but not all had."

It appears that most businesses had better register and claim their very own Google Map, else someone is going to get in before you them and be at the top of organic search. That is if Google aren't embarrassed enough to end this crazy practice and put Google Maps on Google Maps, not at the top of organic search. That or get the title deeds or rental agreements faxed to them to verify.