What Stable Equipment Do I Need To Care For My Horse?

When you own a horse, there’s some basic equipment you need to have around. Most of this is designed to keep your horse’s stable clean, tidy and safe. You’ll also need containers for food and water. This article looks at some of the essential equipment required to keep your horse’s stable clean and tidy, and the basic feeding equipment you’ll need.

Stable Equipment

In terms of maintaining your horse’s stable, you’ll need:

  • A Wheelbarrow – With endless uses around the stable and yard, but perfect for mucking out and transporting stuff (make sure you get a reasonably big one!).
  • A Metal Fork – For mucking out and fluffing up bedding. If you use shavings, make sure you get a shavings fork as they’re specifically designed for this job.
  • A Stable Broom – Essential for tidying and cleaning. You’ll also need a scrubbing brush for thorough stable cleans.
  • A Rake – For cleaning out stables, metal ones are more resilient than plastic ones.
  • A Shovel – Again for mucking out, sometimes a fork alone is not enough!
  • Buckets – Like wheelbarrows, these have many uses. For example transporting water, bathing wounds, and carrying things like grooming kit.
  • Disinfectant – It is essential to maintain a high standard of hygiene and cleanliness in the stable for the health of both horses and humans. Specialist cleaning detergents and disinfectants that have been developed for this purpose are widely available.
  • Hooks, Rug Rails, Racks and Saddle Racks – With all the equipment required to care for a horse, it’s sensible to have storage in place to ensure everything stays tidy.

Feeding Equipment

  • Water and Feed Buckets/Troughs – These can be pretty much any buckets, barrels or tubs. If they’re to be left in the stable, plastic or rubber flexible tubs are ideal as they are soft and won’t break if knocked over or trampled on. You’ll probably need at least two for water and two for food.
  • Hay Nets and Haylage Nets – Available in a range of sizes, these can be hung up in your horse’s stable, so they can help themselves as and when they fancy. Haylage nets have smaller holes than hay nets, to encourage your horse to feed at a slower pace.
  • Feed Scoops & Stirrers – For measuring, mixing and serving up feeds, these are really handy to have around.

This article covers the basics of what is required in terms of stable equipment. As with all horse equipment, it’s always a good idea to speak to horse owners to get their views on what they use, and what they’d recommend. Good stable management is essential for both your horse’s and your own health and safety, and having the right tools for the job will definitely help with that.

Is It Safe to Work Out With a Sinus Infection?

There are many schools of thought that say that working out and sweating is the best thing for an illness. The thought behind that is to sweat out what ever infection is ailing you. However, if your immune system is already struggling, is it really safe to workout with any sort of infection? I will go over the ins and outs of working out with a sinus infection, or other illnesses.

Sometimes, when you are at the end of a cold or something like that, working out can be a really good thing. Allowing the body to sweat out the rest of the cold can be quite helpful. However, that is only the case if you are not lifting heavy weights, and just doing some light cardio exercise. Maybe riding a bike, or doing a brisk walk.

The problem with lifting heavy weights or even weight lifting with a sinus infection is this…. Our bodies immune system is already stressed and working over time to help us with the sinus infection. When we lift heavy weights, we are actually creating tiny tears in the muscle. That is how we build muscle. Building muscle is a good thing! But, not while we are sick. If we lift weights, and tear the muscle, our immune system is busy healing those tiny tears. That means, our immune system gets really taxed when we have an infection, and then, adding weight lifting on top of it, our recovery for both the sinus infection, and the muscle tears are both lacking. It’s better to have a good recovery. So, therefore, I do not recommend heavy weight lifting or strenuous exercise during a sinus infection.

However, someone recovering from cancer, or other serious illnesses can benefit from a new workout routine. Always consult your doctor before starting anything new. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend diving in with hard strenuous exercise, but, starting off slow and easy would be a good thing. Once your doctor has released you for exercise, you can contact your local personal trainer to find out where to get started.

Once again, if you are at the end of a cold or sinus infection, some light exercise could be beneficial. Make sure you are drinking plenty of fresh water to help flush your system of what ever ails you. Exercise is like any other science, and they are always finding out new benefits to it. Make sure to read, and educate yourself in regards to your own personal health.

Financial Advisors – Do You Have an Elevator Speech?

If you’re in a financial advisory career, you’d do well to have a short, compelling, knock ’em between the eyes elevator speech. An impression is made about you in the minds of those you meet within the first 7 seconds.

What’s an elevator speech? A 15 to 30 second commercial about you and what you do. It includes your unique selling proposition (your USP).

Before you can craft this most important tool, you must first answer the following:

  1. Whom do I serve?
  2. Is it a niche?
  3. Who do I work really well with (e.g. business owners, retirees, young parents)?
  4. What’s my motivation for being in the financial planning industry? What do I hope to accomplish?
  5. What makes me different from the other thousands of financial advisors out there?

Getting clear on the answers to these questions will give you an uncommon advantage.

Next, use power words and phrases that are also action words that you’ll use to construct your elevator speech:

  • I empower ____________(your target market) with strategies for wealthy living…
  • I give _________(your target market) the tools to create wealth…
  • I teach strategies that enrich the lives of ____________(your target market)…

You’re starting to get the idea, I presume.

One thing you must absolutely avoid, and that is, when people ask you what you do, you must NEVER simply say “I’m a financial advisor” or “I’m a financial planner”.

There are two reasons you never want to give this canned response:

  1. You miss a golden marketing opportunity, and
  2. You leave the person to think of you according to the image they have in their own mind of financial planners. (And you never want to leave clients, or potential clients, alone in their heads without adult supervision.)

Your elevator speech should:

  • Be compelling
  • Arrest the attention of the person(s) you’re communicating with
  • Be intriguing enough that the person is curious to know more about you and what you do

Once you’ve constructed it, try your new elevator speech out on folks you know and respect to get their feedback. After incorporating the feedback, hone your speech by practicing it over and over until it becomes natural and the words roll off your tongue.

Remember, you only have 7 seconds to impress someone new. Make them count!

Mighty Profits From Mini License Plate Items On eBay

License plates are big on eBay right now with over 150,000 title listings. Amongst those listings are items that are not true government-issued registration tags, but they are, in fact, an offshoot of their popularity. Collectors of automobilia know about them, and you should be aware of them too, if you want to cash in on the license plate craze. The demand for items such as vintage chrome frames, booster plates, toppers, DAV key chain tags, and cereal box novelties can mean serious profits for any eBay seller.

You are bound to pick up many of these items in your quest to find standard vehicle plates. I often find these items included in boxes of plates I’ve purchased at auctions or estate sales. When I was first starting out in the business, I foolishly gave away some of these items, not knowing their true value.

License plate frames are a good example. I undoubtedly dumped some valuable frames in the trash once I freed the plates from their confines. Little did I know that classic car owners love to put old chrome frames on their restored vehicles. Dealership frames are particularly hot, especially for Volkswagens. There is even a company that specializes in restoring these old metal frames.

Booster plates are now a very collectible item. Booster plates are mounted on the front of vehicles and usually promote a local community event, civic organization, town, school, sporting team or a private company such as a car dealership. They are not issued by the DMV and are not street legal. Depending on the age and graphics on the plate, you could be sitting on a jackpot. I recently sold a $5.00 booster plate promoting a local road race for $80.00 on eBay. It was not a particularly old plate, but it had a very nice graphic of a Chevy Corvette on it.

Next on the list are toppers. Toppers are emblems, markers or badges usually made of metal and attached to the top or the bottom of the license plate frame. Like booster plates, they promote different organizations or companies. Motor club toppers are particularly prevalent. I’m not sure that anyone even makes toppers these days, so we really are talking about a vintage item here.

Another vintage item you’ll come across are the tiny DAV Key Chains that have mini license plates on them. DAV stands for Disabled American Veterans. The DAV started manufacturing these key chains in the 1940s and used the tiny tags as a way to collect donations. With the help of various state motor vehicle departments, they mailed car owners tags with their license plate numbers on them and requested a donation. The premise was that if you lost your keys, the finder of the keys would drop them into a mail box, and the DAV would return them to you. They stopped making these key chains in the early 1970s, and they have since become very collectible. Recently, four Arizona DAV key chains from the 1940s and 1950s sold for over $400.00 on eBay.

Finally, we have the mini license plates that were issued in cereal boxes. In 1953 and 1954, Wheaties Cereal issued tiny tin license plates inside their boxes. The entire set included 48 states, Alaska, Hawaii, Washington D.C., 10 Canadian Provinces and several foreign countries. In 1959, Bakers Chocolate issued a set of all 50 states. And Post Cereal reinvented the idea with its own tin sets starting in 1968. They issued license plates in one form or another until 1991. You’ll often find all these different plates sold both in complete sets and individually.

You can’t go wrong with any of these license plate related items. List them and watch the profits roll in.

Positive Discipline – The Hot Stove Rule

Recent studies have shown that industrial supervisors are working at less than 60 % of their potential. Basic management skills training is guaranteed to change all this and at such little cost

Introduction

The word discipline has a negative sound as we immediately think of authority and punishment. However, there is another more constructive way to think about this, which we can call – POSITIVE DISCIPLINE.

Positive discipline is all about creating an orderly environment where people can conduct themselves to agreed standards of behavior to the benefit of everyone. In this way we avoid unnecessary conflict and potential accidents.

Most family groups establish an atmosphere of Positive Discipline, which protects individual’s rights but also develops harmony in the family. Positive Discipline is also an excellent learning medium for our children, which allows them to develop in a safe environment.

NEGATIVE DISCIPLINE is conflictive by nature and is damaging to group harmony. A potential negative discipline situation occurs when rules are disobeyed or when they are clearly accepted reluctantly.

Discipline line

The first step is to establish and maintain a reasonable, but firm discipline line.

TOO HIGH – People are insulted. Productivity drops.

TOO LOW – People take liberties. Productivity drops.

This line must be a well-defined set of behavior standards that you expect all employees to abide by and support. It is also important to ensure that these standards, rules or regulations are well-communicated and everyone is fully aware of them. This will tell an employee what is expected and what is not permitted.

It is essential to set a discipline line that is achievable and effective in the real world. The key success factors are:

Consistent

Well communicated

Reasonable and justifiable

Flexible

Immediacy

There are many aspects to positive discipline and the following is an interesting one.

The “Hot Stove Rule”

However well you handle discipline it remains an unpleasant task that often causes resentment. The challenge to the supervisor is to apply the necessary disciplinary action so that it minimizes damage to individuals and to the manager himself.

A really effective way to incorporate all the rules that are described above is to adopt the hot stove rule. When you touch a hot stove, the reaction is immediate, with warning, consistent, and impersonal.

For example:

The burn is immediate; there is no doubt about the cause and effect

There was advance communication, since everyone knows what happens if you touch a stove when it’s red hot

The result is consistent; whoever touches a hot stove will always get burned

The result is impersonal because whoever touches a hot stove is burned. The burn was caused by the act of touching the stove, not because of who the person is. Discipline should be directed against the act and not against the person.

The comparison between the “hot stove rule” and disciplinary action is obvious.

How to Make Souffle in a Crockpot

Souffle is one of the easiest crockpot recipes to make, since it is a question of combining the ingredients and leaving it to cook for a couple of hours. If you like the sound of that easy recipe, you might enjoy making a crockpot souffle recipe.

A souffle is a fluffy, light dish which is made with beaten eggs. They are supposed to be light and airy and they are normally baked, but slow cooking is a good preparation method for them too. Souffles can be sweet or savory and popular flavors include cheese, chocolate, spinach or mushroom. A souffle can be served as an appetizer, entree or dessert.

Tips for Super Souffles

This dish is known for being difficult to make but actually there is nothing too difficult about making a souffle recipe, as long as you follow some good tips.

First of all, it is vital that the mixture has the right consistency, else it will not rise properly or be light and fluffy.

If you are following a traditional recipe you will need to whisk the egg whites and blend the egg yolks with the other ingredients. With a crockpot recipe this is not necessary. When making a conventional souffle it is important to separate the egg yolks and egg whites. There should not be any trace of egg yolk in the egg white, else the egg white will not be able to form peaks.

You can add some lemon juice or cream of tartar to the whites to help the stiffening process. Fold the egg whites into the rest of the mixture using a wide, flat spoon. This helps to keep the air bubbles in the mixture.

You should use a large dish to allow the batter to rise and expand. Serve it as soon as it is cooked, because this dish deflates as it cools down.

Recipe for Slow Cooker Spinach Souffle

This recipe is extremely simple and you just need to combine the ingredients and add them to a lightly buttered crock pot. Your crockpot needs to have at least a three and a half quart capacity. If you have a souffle dish and a big crockpot, you can use the dish in the crockpot. The cooking time varies from two to three hours but you will be able to see when the souffle has risen.

What you will need:

  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 lbs thawed, drained spinach
  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

How to make it:

Combine the spinach and onion. Beat the eggs, nutmeg, cream cheese, black pepper, cheddar and mayonnaise together and add the spinach and onion.

Transfer the mixture to a greased crockpot and cook for about two and a half hours on high.

What Are Frameless Glass Doors and Glass Curtains?

Frameless glass doors are the same product as glass curtains. Glass curtains has been accepted throughout Europe as the brand name of this new product range. However, now the product has moved away from the balconies and terraces of Spain and is now becoming increasingly popular in Britain.

The concept behind this new product is that they will be completely frameless. Therefore allowing for an amazingly clear view even when closed. They do not use the conventional method to bi-folding or French doors. Instead the doors glide across an aluminum rail one by one to either side of the opening then one by one they pivot and stack to the side. This then allows for a nearly 100% opening which is the same attribute as bi-folds but without the frames.

OK now let’s get down to pricing. You would expect frameless glass doors to have a premium price tag but that is not the case. Glass curtains come in two forms, a single glazed and double glazed system. The single glazed which is currently becoming very popular is used as a glass partition. On the other hand the frameless patio door system which is to be realised in April will be able to be used for external projects. The single glazed system will work out at a slightly lower price than aluminum bi-folds and the double glazed system will have a slightly higher price tag to the aluminum bi-folding door.

The all important question of weather protection is crucial when creating an external system. How is this achieved? Well the double glazed frameless glass door is weather proof by using a compression lock on the side of the system which compresses each panel of glass tight together. In between the glass panels there is a clear plastic spacer which makes the gaps weather proof when the unit is compressed together.

So there you have it the frameless glass door, having the capability of being fully retractable as well as totally frameless. For further information Sunseekerdoors Ltd has its own website dedicated to this innovative new product range of glass curtains and frameless glass doors.

Sunseekerdoors Ltd is one of the only companies to manufacture all of their frameless glass doors in the UK.

Westhollow Laminate Flooring Will Improve Your Home

Laminated flooring is gaining in popularity every year because of it’s high quality and durability at a low price. Westhollow laminate flooring compares well to companies like Shaw, Mohawk, Armstrong, Mannington, Alloc, Nirvana, Kronoswiss  and Floor Trends while bringing it’s own unique qualities and patterns to the consumer. The Westhollow collection of wood laminate floors is extensive with 11 attractive ranges to choose from. This company is unique because it uses up to 90% real wood and wood products in its laminate flooring.

Westhollow laminate flooring combines traditional craftsmanship with innovative technology to give the consumer a floor with durability, beauty and value that makes it one of the leading providers of laminated flooring for business and residential uses. They are involved in the whole manufacturing process for better quality control. Because of their manufacturing processes, their wood laminates look more like solid wood and has a richer look. The wear layer on Westhollow laminate flooring goes from 8mm in the beginning ranges to 12 mm in the higher ranges of patterns. That is impressive.

You will have an easier time installing Westhollow laminate flooring because of their own Uniclic installation system. It requires no glue or nails and is a floating floor that can be installed over old vinyl, cement, ceramic or wood. The required foam underlay can be purchased in rolls to be installed before laying the laminate, or attached to the back of each plank on some ranges of patterns. Attached underlay is more expensive, but saves on time and labor. There is a great installation kit available that has spacers and the tool to help you click the planks together without damaging them and more. The only other tools needed are a saw and a hammer. You will be leaving a small space all around the exterior edges of the room for expansion. There is very little waste because of the staggered seams and 4 foot lengths of planking.

You can wait for your local flooring distributor or building center to have a sale on laminated flooring, or look for flooring liquidator and discount stores. They are in many cities and on the Internet. They sell discontinued, overstock and slightly damaged flooring at highly discounted prices. For these cheap prices, just be sure to buy enough to do your whole project plus some, because they have limited quantities and can’t order more.

Top 5 Characteristics of a Good Weight Loss Plan

A great weight loss plan strikes a good balance between a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. It sounds so simple in theory, yet most of us who want to lose weight find it hard to stick to this philosophy alone. What’s worse is that we have read a tumultuous amount of literature regarding the “proper” or the “best” way to lose weight, and, somehow, we end up confusing ourselves even more.

When you make a commitment to lose weight, you have to make sure that you’re choosing a healthy weight loss plan. You may ask how can you ensure that the weight loss plan you’re about to make is the right one that will work for you. Well, simply put, it is all about watching what you eat and making sure you are engaged in an active sports or exercise program. For people who are bordering to obesity, it is best to consult a health fitness coach or a nutritionist to ensure that you get professional advice on the best weight loss plan that will suit your needs and lifestyle. However, for people who have gained a bit of weight and are wanting to live a healthier lifestyle, here are the top five characteristics of what constitutes a truly healthy weight loss plan.

1. Proper Nutrition Over Single-Item Diets

There is no short cut to healthy eating. For your benefit, simply avoid any weight loss plan that urges you to eat only one food item. Most people are under the impression that if we eat only foods that will increase fiber or protein intake, we’re good to go. It is worth emphasizing that healthy weight loss means eating a well-balanced diet from all food groups. Starving and food deprivation will definitely crash your system in the long run. You may lose weight temporarily but this will only encourage an unhealthy relationship with food. The key thing to remember is moderation.

2. Calorie-Conscious Diet Plan

Being mindful of what you eat is the first step to healthy eating. The best way to do this is to follow a plan that allows you to track your calorie intake. Being aware of how much calories you take in is an essential part of losing weight. A lot of us find it tedious to count calories. However, a healthy weight loss plan ensures that you get just the right amount of calories your body needs to burn energy. There is no need to eliminate caloric foods in your diet. Just choose a diet program that makes it convenient for you to calculate the number of calories you need to lose a certain amount of weight. Reading food labels is a good start.

3. Portion Management, Water Intake, and Weight Loss

Aside from calories, a good weight loss plan should encourage you to cultivate portion control. Again, there is no need to deprive yourself of food. A good weight loss plan allows you to exercise your inner discipline to consciously eat in moderation and in reasonable amounts to keep you satisfied and healthy at the same time. In addition, proper hydration is a key factor in healthy weight management. Most of us take water for granted. We don’t drink enough water during the day. Worse, we forget how important water is in healthy living. Proper hydration plays a major role in detoxification. Drinking 8 or more glasses a day washes away all the toxins, wastes, and even excess water weight, making you feel light, healthy, and fit. It’s even a good technique for enhancing satiety when eating.

4. Workout Program

A good weight loss plan should involve a regular exercise program. Regardless of what type of sports or exercise you wish to participate in, being active is a major requirement for losing weight the healthy way. Make sure you engage in a gradual change. Nothing too intense at first, and then slowly increase the intensity to ensure proper body conditioning. A lot of people who have gained weight have lived sedentary lifestyles for a long time, so it’s important to get active slowly but surely to avoid injury and to ensure long-term success. You should start gradually, say 20 minutes a day. You can start by simply taking a walk or a jog around the park. Overtime, you can then increase the intensity and duration of your exercise program to avoid exercise rut and to keep the challenge. Just like a well-balanced diet, there is no short cut to losing excess fat than moving your body. A workout program is also a great way to enhance your mood and self-esteem in the long run.

5. A Weight Loss Plan That Suits Your Lifestyle

Losing weight the healthy way is basically a big lifestyle overhaul. You don’t have to be fazed by this long-term goal. Choosing a healthy weight loss plan should require an assessment of the lifestyle that you currently have. To ensure that you can stick to your weight loss goals, plan a weight loss regimen that allows you to still live the way you want to without compromising your health and your happiness. If you are a career-driven individual who is always on the go, choose a weight management plan that doesn’t require 24/7 of your time. Better yet, find inspiration in the current lifestyle that you have and extend it to your healthy living goals. Busy people can stick to an afternoon or weekend schedule for their exercise regimen. Eating healthy food when you’re always on the go requires a bit of meal planning and time management. There is always a way to adapt a good weight loss plan regardless of your career or family demands. You just have to manage your time well, and be committed to making healthy choices.

Your VPN Doctor for Virtual Private Network Troubleshooting VPN Guide

Here are some troubleshooting guides for particular topics.

(1) Your Virtual Network Connection

(2) VPN Troubleshooting Error Messages

(3) VPN Modems Troubleshooting Guide

(4) VPN ISP Troubleshooting Guide.

(1) Your Virtual Private Network Connection

Having trouble connecting to the Internet at home try these steps before calling for help.

1. Do you have an IP address? Try ipconfig /all. If you do not have an IP address reboot your PC. If that doesn’t work power cycle your Cable/DSL modem and routers and reboot your PC again after the network devices are up and stable. Be sure all of your network cables are plugged in tight.

2. After your PC reboots check that your network adapter is active and packets are flowing. Perform the ipconfig /all check again.

3. Check your connectivity by pinging several Internet sites. If that does not work, ping the loopback address 127.0.0.1. If that fails, your adapter may not be working or it is not properly configured.

To check your IP address. From command prompt enter ipconfig /all (as shown in the picture) you should see an IP Address and several DNS Server addresses. The domain name system (DNS) is the way that Internet domain names are located and translated into IP addresses and is required for browsing the Internet.

Ping 127.0.0.1 – loopback Test (as shown in the picture). The loopback test is used to check if the IP stack is responding. If it times out or you get an error the problem may occur if any one or more of the following conditions is true:

*The TCP drivers are corrupted

*The network adapter is not working

*Another service is interfering with IP

Check your network adapter, click the Start menu, Settings, Control Panel, and select Network Connections. Double click on the Local Area Connection or the Wireless Adapter whichever one you are using. Be sure its Connected. If you have multiple network cards disable the one you are not using.

There should be Packets displayed in both the Sent and Received counters. If the Received counter is 0 check that the adapter has an IP address. Select Properties.

Click the check boxes for Show icon and Notify me below. A twin PC icon will appear on the lower right portion of the taskbar in the tray area and will flash while sending and receiving packets. You can place your mouse over the icon to get the status and click on it to get more details.

Tracert displays the connection path to the target location and the number of hops. Each hop is the trip from one router to another. Tracert is a handy tool both for understanding where problems are in the network and for determining latency between hops.

Ping is used to determine whether a host exists and is active on the network and can determine the round trip time to the device. You can enter a host name or an IP address if you know it. If the request times out then the host is not reachable because it’s offline or there is a problem with the connection. Try several sites, if none work then ping the loopback address 127.0.0.1 Also, if your DNS is not working or properly configured you can only ping the host with an IP address and you will not be able to browse the Internet.

If you are having intermittent problems, perform a ping -t for 5 to 6 minutes then hit CTRL C to see the results of the test to determine if you are dropping network packets (lost packets). If you are, this usually indicates an ISP problem or Cable/DSL modem problem. See VPN ISP Troubleshooting Guide

(2) VPN Troubleshooting Error Messages

Q1 Error Message: Remote Host not responding: or Unable to Resolve the IP address of the Remote Server

Cause: This indicates that the Contivity VPN Switch never responded to the connection attempt. The problem could either be with the Contivity switch itself, (switch may be down) or your machine may be having a problem resolving the IP address.

Action: Try pinging your destination name (Example: VPN.something.com). If you received a message that says “Request Timed Out” from the ping command, call your ISP to make sure that their DNS is functioning correctly.

Q2 Error Message: Maximum number of sessions reached

Cause: This indicates that the maximum number of users for the account you are using are currently logged on.

Action: If you are the only user with VPN to your account, it is possible to get this error if you restarted a connection immediately after losing the dial-up connection to your ISP. This is because the Contivity VPN Switch takes up to one hour to determine that your connection has been dropped and log you off from your account.

Q3 Error Message: Login failed, Please consult the switch log for further information

Cause: The User Name or the Password is incorrect for the user name entered.

Action: Verify that the User Name you entered is correct and retype the Password before trying the connection again.

Q4 Error Message: The physical connection has been lost

Cause: Your connection to your ISP was disconnected.

Action: Re-establish your connection to your ISP before you re-establish the Contivity connection to the remote network.

Q5 Error Message: The secure Contivity connection has been lost

This message can result due to a number of different reasons, and there are several recommended actions you can take to try and re-connect.

Cause(s):

If you receive this error before the client connects then something is blocking a necessary port (such as ESP port 50). This can result if your firewall is not configured properly and is restricting the necessary port(s).

If you receive this error during a connection and you suddenly get the error it may mean one of the following:

1. Something closed the connection;

2. The VPN Contivity switch where you were trying to connect to thought your client was down or timed out;

3. Your local ISP did something that interrupted your network connection long enough for the VPN Contivity switch to identify your client was not responding;

4. The VPN Contivity switch that you are connected to has either logged your connection off or the Switch is no longer responding, or a device that does not support IPSEC NAT Traversal is causing the connection failure.

Action(s):

1. Try re-establishing the Contivity connection by clicking the Connect button. If this works, the connection was probably lost due to the Idle Timeout configured on the Contivity VPN Switch. If no data is transferred through the Contivity connection for a long period of time, 15 minutes or more, the Contivity VPN Switch automatically disconnects the connection;

2. If you were unable to successfully re-establish the Contivity Connection, the dial-up connection may be preventing data from traveling between the Contivity VPN Client and the Contivity VPN Switch. Hang up the dial-up connection and reconnect before you try to re-establish a connection to the Contivity VPN Switch;

3. If you are still unable to connect to the Contivity VPN Switch, open a Command Prompt and try pinging the Contivity VPN Switch using the host name or address that you specified in the Destination field.

(a) If you receive a “Destination Unreachable error” there is a routing problem at the ISP.

(b) If you receive a “Request Timed Out” error message, the Contivity VPN Switch is probably not available, and you should contact your Network Administrator.

4. If you keep getting this message and are unable to connect, then it may indicate that the Contivity VPN Switch is unable to communicate with the client because it is behind some kind of NAT (Network Address Translation) device. NAT (Network Address Translation) Traversal allows a number of devices on a private network to access the Internet simultaneously without each requiring its own external IP address. Most hotels and airports that provide Internet connectivity use NAT to connect to the Internet.

Q6 Error Message: Cannot Alter Routing Table

Cause: Message means the you the user, an application on your machine, or your ISP attempted to change the routing table via an ICMP redirect attempt and it was not successful. The client detects the attempt to make the change, determines it’s a security breach and shuts down the client’s connection. Any time you make a VPN connection, you cannot change the routing table, because the VPN Client views this as a security risk and you will get disconnected.

Some applications require an ICMP redirection in order to work such as a game or other third party software.

Action: If you receive this error and cant connect due to an ICMP redirect attempt, shut down any other applications you are using which may be causing the ICMP redirect attempt. If it is the ISP that is doing it, you will need to block the ICMP redirect request. You can identify that ICMP redirect has occurred, by seeing a message saying there has been an IP address routing table change.

Q7 Error Message: Receiving Banner Text Information

Cause: Message means you are experiencing a Banner Sock issue, and will see a window displaying the “Receiving Banner Text” message and then gets disconnected.

Actions:

1. Disable the firewall completely to test. This is a port 500 issue and often means that the you have a personal Firewall that is blocking port 500 or you have a router that does not support IPSEC pass-through, and the you are connecting to a VPN switch that does not have NAT Traversal enabled.

2. If using wireless, temporarily remove Wireless from the picture and focus on the Ethernet card. Check the Ethernet card speed and duplex parameters and then make sure that the hub, switch, or router that is on the other end has the same parameters. If not, the VPN connection will drop as the link goes up and down, or due to a large number of errors on the port from a duplex and or speed mismatch.

3. Firewall that blocks the connection, such that system will crash. (This will rarely happen) NSDF (Norton Symantec Desktop Firewall) and NSPF (Norton Symantec Personal Firewall) can do this though, if you do not trust the IP address of the VPN connection.

If you do not trust the VPN address of the VPN client, the firewall will cause you to crash. In your Internet browser click on “Tools > Internet Options > Security > Trusted Sites > Sites” and add the destination VPN address(es) to your trusted sites.

Q8 Error Message: You already have the maximum number of adapters installed

Cause: You may have installed to many virtual adapters in your IP Stack

Actions:

1. Remove any unnecessary adapters;

2. Create multiple boot scenarios disabling the adapters that are not required for that function;

3. You may also get Banner Sock errors on Win 95 & 98 units with this condition;

4. For more information, see this Microsoft article: KB217744: Unable to Bind Protocols to More Than 5 Network Adapters (copy and paste into the search tool bar > enter).

Q9 Upgrade Errors: The following are some errors that may occur when trying to upgrade / install the Nortel VPN Client 4.65

Error (1): Failed to get Registry key value for NT_IPSECSHM

Cause: This is caused because an important registry key that cannot be found in the system registry.

Actions:

1. Uninstall and Reinstall the VPN Software

Error (2): Login Failure due to: Driver Failure

Cause: This is generally caused by either not having Admin rights to the PC or by trying to install/use a Nortel VPN client that predates the operating system.

Actions:

1. Ensure that you have admin rights to the PC.

2. Update/Install the most current version of the Nortel VPN client.

Error (3): Create socket failed with 10048.

Cause: This problem generally will occur whenever you have another VPN client software installed on the system. The most noted conflicting clients are: AOL, Cisco VPN Client(s), SSH Sentinel and PGP.

Actions:

1. Removing these clients will in most cases, resolve the issue.

(3) VPN Modems Troubleshooting Guide

Q1 Are Cable Modems supported for VPN Access?

Yes, you can use cable modems for VPN access. However you must be aware of the following conditions and be able to work within them:

*Some cable modems require that you log into an NT network to get authenticated.

*Some cable modems use a client similar to the Extranet Client for VPN and both will not run at the same time.

*Some cable modem Contracts/Acceptable Use Policies specify that you cannot use them for business purposes or they want to charge you another fee to use them for business purposes. Make sure you read your contract thoroughly.

*Your Cable modem provider is your ISP. Please see the VPN-connection-guide.html”>ISP Troubleshooting Guide for more information.

Q2 Why does my modem seem to perform erratically?

Always make sure that you do not let the operating system select a generic modem. If required, go to the appropriate web site for the vendor of the modem and get the updated INF file so that the proper parameters are configured for the modem.

Q3 Why do I always seem to get a slower connection speed than others with the same modem?

1. Always check the modem configuration to verify that its maximum speed has been selected.

2. It is common when auto-installing modems that the highest speed is not selected automatically.

3. Do not check the box that says run at maximum speed only.

Q4 I plugged my modem into the phone line at the hotel or customers office and now it does not work.

Always make sure that the phone line you are plugging into when visiting somewhere is an analog line not a digital one. Plugging into a digital line can permanently damage your modem, requiring a replacement unit. To avoid these situations please contact the local site phone support personnel.

Q5 Why cant I get a 56Kb V.90 connection from some locations that I go to?

Here are some of the reasons why you might not get a 56K connection:

1. You are located more than 3 ½ miles from your telephone companys central office (CO).

2. A SLICK or Subscriber Loop System is used in your area.

3. You are calling from a digital PBX system, which creates a Digital to Analog conversion and then an Analog to Digital conversion.

4. Your line contains digital pads or Robbed Bit Signaling (RBS), which can degrade your connection speeds.

5. Your wiring may be of poor quality.

6. Your modem’s firmware may not be up-to-date. Check that your modem has the newest V.90 code installed with all the patches from the vendor’s web site.

Q6 Why cant I get higher speed on my 56K v.90 modem into some NAG?

Here are some possible reasons:

1. A 56k v.90 modem is asymmetric by design where download speed can be as much as 56k but upload speed will be up to 33.6bps. For 56k to work, there must be only one analog-to-digital (A/D) conversion in your local phone loop. Thus when modems at both ends are analogue, 56k speeds will never be achieved as most PSTN exchanges run digital routing between the exchanges.

2. Some NAG sites use analog phone lines with Cisco and standard 56k modems, and most PC’s dial-ups use a similar modem. Between the two modems, it limits the download speed to about 33.6kbps maximum.

3. Also, many users might experience lower connection speeds due to other reasons, such as more poor line quality. These factors will also contribute to the quality and speed of the line.

(4) VPN ISP Troubleshooting Guide

Q1 If you are getting the message “Unable to Resolve the IP address of the Remote Server. Verify the Host Name in the destination field is correct.” when trying to connect with the Extranet Client.

Try pinging your destination name (Example: VPN.something.com) and if it fails call your ISP to make sure that their DNS is functioning correctly.

Q2 Why do I get No Domain Available when dialing my ISP?

On your Internet Service Providers (ISP) dial connection. Right click the mouse and select the properties button. Click on the Server Type tab and make sure that the Log On To Network box is unchecked.

Q3 Why do I seem to be running slowly through my VPN connection?

Try turning off the Software Compression option on your Internet Service Providers (ISP) dial connection as the VPN client has it’s own compression. Right click the mouse and select the properties button. Click on the Server Type tab and uncheck the

Q4 I keep getting busy signals when trying to connect to my ISP, what should I do?

Contact your ISP giving the numbers you are trying to connect to. Many times you will find that can give you an alternate number not published yet that will work just fine. If not you may need to find another ISP that provides better service.

Q5 When configuring the dial icon for my ISP what should I put in the DNS/WINS settings?

Your ISP should supply you with the DNS/WINS settings of your dial connection. Most only give you DNS, in this case just leave the WINS settings blank.

Q6 Why when I load the Extranet Client on my PC and Winpoet is installed on my machine it crashes or does not work properly?

There are issues running Winpoet software on the PC with the Nortel Extranet (VPN) Client.

To repair your system, boot in safe mode and uninstall the Winpoet Software.

A simple solution is to install the Linksys BEFSR41 hardware router. It has a firmware PPPOE connector, which eliminates Winpoet from the PC and provides the added benefit a NAT firewall with the ability to hook up to three other PCs.

A second option is to find a PPPOE Client that does not interfere with VPN Clients.

Please See Your VPN Doctor for Picture Guide and further Details.

Need a Qiuck Fix, Tool, Trick or Tip? Your VPN Doctor has the Cure!

Alzheimer’s Disease Signs and Symptoms Help Identify Alzheimer’s Disease Early

There are a number Alzheimer’s disease signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for which can help diagnose this disease. The most prominent which is memory loss? What seems to be a simple mistake in memory may be the start of Alzheimer’s. Anyone can suffer short periods of forgetfulness. Alzheimer’s is much more than that; it actually attacks your short-term memory first. Then slowly keeps progressing.

Since 1906 when the German born psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer first discovered Alzheimer’s disease in a patient, until this very day. Alzheimer’s remains a fatal ailment that has both absolutely no cause as well as no known cure.

There are however medications to help slow this disease from developing into its final stages. In addition there are drugs already available that can assist the sufferer and manage the side effects of depression, hallucinations and delusions.

As Alzheimer’s disease signs and symptoms progress the patient will start to forget familiar things and will begin to lose well-known skills. The patient will begin to start forgetting people’s names. Then they will actually become unable to identify their friends and family.

It wouldn’t be fair to blame all memory loss on Alzheimer’s disease. There are two basic reasons for memory loss. Naturally the patient’s age is a factor.One of Ten people 65 years of age and older will be experiencing some form of Alzheimer’s. And 50% of people 85 years of age and older will also experience some form, Alzheimer’s.

Presently here in United States as of 2011 there are over 5 million sufferers. As the baby boomer generation begins to reach their golden years, this monster of a disease will be waiting for them. The first early sign of Alzheimer’s is memory loss. Alzheimer’s disease will first attack the frontal lobe where the short-term memory is stored, and in many cases not affect the patient’s long-term memory. But as the disease progresses the patient will lose more and more of their skills. It will affect the way an individual thinks their ability to speak, and their behavior.

The patient will become indecisive and can start having trouble within decision-making processes. These lapses of memory as well as cognitive functions are based on the frontal as well as temporal lobes of the brain.

The patient may experience mood swings and may become violent or even excessive passivity. The later on stages will be more terrible. Alzheimer’s patients will begin to loss control of their body functions and muscle control as well as mobility.

Alzheimer’s generally develops and become deadly within approximately 5 to 20 years.

Since Dr. Alzheimer identified the disease in 1903, there have been medical breakthroughs and research studies that have been discovered to be beneficial in preventing or even delaying Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers believe that physical exercise and eating properly can reduce the chance of contracting this disease.people with high blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol, and low levels of vitamin b appeared to be at higher risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.

Middletown CT Historic Homes: Samuel Wadsworth Russell House

The Samuel Wadsworth Russell House in Middletown, Connecticut was one of the first mansions built in the form of a Greek Temple that was pivotal in launching the Greek Revival style that profoundly influenced American architecture in the mid 19th Century. It was built between 1828 and 1830 by a man who became fabulously wealthy in the China Trade and wanted to build a monument to his success.

It was the first luxury home in America executed on a massive scale using correct Greek Temple proportions with six Corinthian columns across the facade. Over the course of the next forty years, it would be widely replicated and spread throughout New England, the Midwest and come to define the antebellum South.

The Samuel Wadsworth Russell House represents a major turning point in American architecture in several important ways. Never before in America had the design of a single house been so widely publicized in the journals of the day and as a result, had such an influence on residential architecture. It was also a major catalyst in the emergence of the professional architect in America as a distinct occupation from the conventions of the day where the master craftsman was also the designer and builder.

Samuel Russell was born in Middletown, Connecticut in 1789 to a colonial family with a long history of learned ancestors. He was orphaned at 12 however, received no college education or inheritance, and served an early apprentice as a clerk in a maritime company in Middletown, Connecticut where he learned trading. After finishing his apprenticeship he began traveling on ships as supercargo who was the person employed on board a vessel by the owner of cargo carried on the ship.

Russell arrived in Canton in 1819 at 29 years of age. By 1824 he was the founder of Russell & Company specializing in fine silks, teas, porcelain – and the profitable opium trade.

China produced much that the rest of the world wanted in terms of trade items, but most western trade items had little market in China. Traditional Confucian values did not hold merchants in high regard, and unlike other trading nations, trade with China was highly restricted and done on the basis of acknowledgement of the supremacy of the Chinese Imperial Throne as the Son of Heaven.

To 19th Century China, trade was conducted more on the basis of tribute to the throne rather than free trade – and only silver or gold was accepted for payment. Opium was the one trade item where western traders could maintain a balance of payments because the west produced little else that had a market in China.

Before the Opium Wars forced China to open its ports, Canton was one of the few ports that China allowed to trade with the west in its attempts to isolate what it felt was the corrupting influence of foreign traders on the Chinese populace. Although opium was illegal in China, and the trafficking to China from the west largely controlled by the British when they acquired Bengal, Russell challenged their dominance of the far east trade by smuggling Turkish opium which had been brought across the Atlantic and Pacific.

He was clearly in the majority of foreign traders of his day who saw nothing wrong with the ethics of the opium trade, as there was only one foreign trading firm in Canton at the time that refused to partake in the trade on moral grounds. Russell & Company eventually became the largest and most profitable American trading house in China until the end of the 19th Century.

While Russell was in China, America was finding a new esthetic based upon classical Greek elements. This is evidenced by the number of towns being founded in America in the early 19th century with Greek names, and a generation of children named after heroes in Greek legends.

Russell commissioned Ithiel Town who was has been described as the "Father of the Greek Revival" to design his "Urban Villa." When the house was built in 1828, Russell was in China and had his friend Samuel Hubbard work with his wife, Mary Cotton Osborne supervising the building of the house.

Upon his return from Canton in the summer of 1831 Russell first laid eyes on his new home from the deck of a sloop on the Connecticut River. Yet even before he had seen it, the house had already been widely publicized to the American public from the engraving in Hinton’s "Topography of the United States" in January 1831, and later in the 1835 edition of Minard Lafever’s "The Beauties of Modern Architecture".

While in China, his wife Mary with whom he had had two sons died. The children were in the care of Mary’s sister, Frances. When Samuel returned in 1831 he married Frances and they had one son, Samuel Wadsworth Russell, from which the house gets its middle name as Samuel senior had none.

Between 1831 and 1836 Russell oversaw the completion of his new house furnishing it with wonderful treasures from the east and withdrew from the active management of Russell & Company in 1836. At the time, the Russell estate occupied the entire block bordered by High, Court, Pearl and Washington Streets. Russell planted the extensive grounds sloping down to Pearl Street with formal gardens which included plants he imported from England and had brought back with him from China.

He reinvesting his huge profits from the China trade in a number of successful American businesses including banking, industry and Western railroad stock that allowed him to live a very prosperous life until his death in 1862.

The house was widely imitated across the country and inspired other Greek Revival homes in Middletown’s wealthy High Street that Charles Dickens is said to have called the most beautiful street in America. The house remained in the Russell family for five generations until it was finally deeded to Wesleyan University by Thomas Macdonough Russell, Jr in 1937.

Currently the house is a facility of the Philosophy Department of the University and has been home to authors, poets and scholars. During the summer, it’s used for special events, weddings and gatherings.

The Samuel Wadsworth Russell House is frequently cited as the premier example of Greek Revival Architecture in America. In 1970 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2001. Located at 350 High Street Middletown, Connecticut on the southeast corner of High and Washington Streets, The Samuel Wadsworth Russell House is one of America’s most important historic homes.

Diagnosing And Troubleshooting Computer Hardware

What is Hardware?

Are these terms familiar to you? Monitor, RAM, CD drive, CPU, graphic cards are all hardware, or more accurately, computer hardware. These components make up a computer, working together with computer software to make a computer work.

Simply put, hardware is the tangible parts of your computer, parts you can touch, feel and so on.

Hardware Failures

As mentioned before, hardware and software work together to form a fully functional system, theoretically. However, rarely do you get a fully functional system all the time. There will almost certainly be malfunction of hardware, be it within the electronic circuits or even the whole component itself. Sometimes, the originating factor of the hardware failure is not the components of the system itself, but due to outside factors such as environmental disasters like fire, earthquakes and lightning storm.

Recovery of failed hardware components is not a big problem by itself. It is basically identifying and replacing the problematic component. However, hardware failures are most deadly, when it affects daily routine and affecting critical personal or business data. This is especially true of the most important component of a computer system when it comes to storage of data, the hard disk.

The following is a list of common hardware failures:

  • RAM Failures
  • Power Connector
  • Hard Disk
  • Overheating
  • LCD Failures
  • Motherboard
  • USB Box

RAM Failures

Bad RAM is somehow harder to diagnose as similar symptoms may be caused by software problems, other hardware problems or even motherboard failure. However if you experience any of these symptoms, users should check for bad RAM before attempting any other troubleshooting.

Symptoms:

  • Windows doesn’t start showing different error messages each time.
  • Windows crashes (blue screen) or freezes frequently.
  • Windows crashes as soon as you try to start a program.
  • Unexplained random crashes and freezes without error messages.

Power Adaptor

The common weak spot on any laptop is the DC power jack. If someone trips over the power adapter cable while it is still connected to the laptop, there is a high possibility that the power jack will get severely damaged.

On most laptops, the DC power jack is soldered directly to the motherboard and there are only three or four small pins holding it in place, which makes the power jack rather weak. Any sideways pulling of the DC power cord while attached to the laptop will usually dislodge at least one of these pins, breaking the solder around it. Modern laptops use quite a lot of power, from about 70W to 120W or even more. The bad electrical connection from the dislodged pin will cause sparks and heating that will eventually burn a hole through the motherboard and can even be a fire hazard.

Symptoms which indicates poor contact between the DC power jack and the motherboard:

  • The battery is not charging properly or stays at half charge despite having to use the power adaptor.
  • The screen flickers (the brightness is changing) while the power cord is plugged in. This is caused by the laptop switching between DC power (screen is brighter) and battery power (screen is dimmer).
  • The DC plug gets hot after a few minutes of use and may even smell of burning.
  • There are “scratching” sounds coming from the DC jack.

How to test for broken power jack:

    1. Remove the battery

    2. Plug in the power cord

    3. Start the laptop

    4. Gently wiggle the DC power plug on the back of the laptop

If the laptop shuts down abruptly (looses power), find the dealer to re-solder or change the DC power jack as soon as possible as the motherboard has already started to burn around the dislodged pins. The manufacturer might offer to replace the whole motherboard; however the price of a new motherboard together with the labor charge for installing it will usually cost more than the current value of that laptop and sometimes can the pricing can cost over a thousand dollars.

Replacing or re-soldering the DC power jack is not an easy job. It usually takes a few hours depending on the damage and the model of the laptop. To reach the power jack, the laptop has to be completely disassembled and have the motherboard taken out. Then if the board around the dislodged pin is badly burned, the power jack has to be un-soldered and the board has to be patched.

After that a different power jack has to be installed, attached to the case of the laptop and connected with wires to the motherboard, as the patched board wouldn’t be strong enough to support the original type of power jack that was soldered directly to the board.

Hard Disk

Hard disk failures are the most common computer hardware problems. And laptop hard disks fail more often than desktop hard disks due to the portability of a laptop as compared to the rather stagnant laptop. If user knock hard or drop the laptop even a few inches while the hard disk is being accessed or powered up, damage can be done to the hard disk.

Symptoms:

  • The laptop starts as usual but when Windows starts to load it goes to blue screen with either “UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME”, “hal.dll is missing or corrupt” or “WINDOWSSYSTEM32CONFIGSYSTEM” (or similar) is missing or corrupt. All these error messages indicate a file system problem. Sometimes it can be fixed by just scanning the hard disk for errors. However more than half of these cases indicate that the hard disk is starting to go bad and is probably developing bad sectors.
  • The laptop starts as usual but Windows freezes on the initial “Windows XP” screen, although the blue bar continues to move, and users are able to hear feint but continuous clicking. Hard disks have to be replaced.
  • As soon as the laptop is started there are loud clicks or grinding sounds and Windows doesn’t load. Hard disks have to be replaced as well.
  • Shortly after starting the laptop a message appears (usually on a black screen) “SMART test failed. Backup your data immediately and replace the hard disk” or similar. Well, that says it all. S.M.A.R.T. is a self-test that is build into the hard disk.

In almost all cases the laptop can be started from a “live” bootable CD and everything works normal. In rare cases the hard disk PCB (printed circuit board) may get short circuited and even burn. In this scenario, the laptop won’t start unless the hard disk is removed.

A good tool to use to check for hard disk lifespan is ADRC’s hard disk checker. It will scan the hard disk for bad sectors and inform you if the drive is still of good usability.

Overheating

Overheating happens when inadequate airflow from outside the computer’s case across the CPU and motherboard and back out of the case usually via the power supply fan and other case fans.

Once the airflow is disrupted, heat builds up rapidly within the case. This causes components to either shutdown, if such protection is built in or performs erratically. Over the long term, overheating can irreversible damage components.

It is also advisable to keep the computer in a dry and shaded room, which is clean and little dust.

LCD Failures

The most common LCD or “Liquid Crystal Display” screen failure is the inverter, cable and backlight.

Symptoms:

  • The laptop appears to start as usual but the screen is black, if users move it, it turns on and works properly. Failed cable.
  • The laptop appears to start as usual but the screen is very dark, although it changes colour a little and users can see a very feint image. Failed inverter or cable 90%/10%.
  • Immediately after starting the screen has dark pink/red tint and turns dark after a few seconds. Failed backlight.
  • The screen flickers a few times but then turns dark, if users move it or tap it lightly on the sides, it flickers again. Failed cable or LCD 50%/50%.
  • Screen is either black or white (no picture) and external monitor works. Failed cable or LCD 30%/70%.
  • There are stripes on the screen (either vertical or horizontal) that change when users move the screen or tap it lightly on the sides. Failed cable or LCD 10%/90%.

Motherboard

Most motherboard related failures are due to the “On-board” regulated supplies and component failure within those circuits. The on-board power supply circuit had partially failed and was overloading subsequent components else the problem would be with the capacitors which are defective in the first place.

A motherboard failure on a laptop that is out of warranty would usually mean that it’s time for a new laptop. The price of a new motherboard is usually higher than the current value of the laptop.

Symptoms:

Plug in the power adaptor and try to start the laptop.

  • Nothing happens.
  • The “ON” light comes on, the fan spins, but nothing on the screen (black) and you can’t hear the HD working after 10-15 sec.
  • The “ON” light comes on, the fan spins, but after a few seconds the light goes off.
  • After pressing the “ON” button the screen stays black and you can hear a quiet high-pitched sound coming from the laptop.

Corrupted or improper device drivers and operating system

Invalid or corrupt device drivers can wreck havoc on a server, rendering the system unbootable in some cases. Device drivers may also conflict with certain application programs and cause problems with the computer system.

As Windows Vista has just made its launch, chances are some hardware is not supported or not supported fully by the new operating system.

Also, system updates, driver updates can also fix your “hardware” problems.

See updating and fixes

Also, it helps (occasionally) to call the respective support service for help on the driver that is with that particular hardware.

Controller Failure:

A controller failure can act much like a drive failure. However, when a drive fails, users cannot access that particular drive; when a controller fails, users cannot get access to all the drives, devices and any other components that is attached to that particular controller.

A controller fails because a component or components on the on the controller board fails. When users trying to boot the system, they cannot switch on, view, access, or even get hardware conflict messages.

Controller failure occurs due to one of the following reasons:

  • Devices/components not connected properly

      Verify that the cables are properly connecting the device /component to the controller
      If the component fits into a slot, see that the it is flushed in and not loosely connected.
  • Devices/components not setup properly

      Verify that the devices/components is being properly detected and setup in the respective controller setup screen
  • Bad connectors

      Replace the bad connectors with new working ones
  • Bad components

      Replace the component
  • Bad interface board or motherboard

      It is recommended that these components be replaced or that the computer be sent in for servicing

Hardware Failure: The big issue

The big problem, as mentioned earlier, is not replacing or repairing the non-functional hardware, but the time lost, interruptions to daily routine (especially for businesses), and the loss of critical data. If you need a running system at all times, have a backup system as a fail safe, or even two. If users want to ensure that none of their critical data is lost in the event of a hardware problem with their computer, there is only one way to do it — Back up the data as often as possible.

There are many different ways to ensure that the data is backed up, and as technology becomes advances, back up methods become much simpler.

Let’s look for a moment at what a back up is. Backing up of computer files means that users are making a copy of the data that will be stored somewhere other than on the computer. Everyone should always have a back up of at least the most important files, because should anyone experience a hardware problem, they could still be able to access the files.

Many people don’t back up their files, because they don’t know what they need to back up. Start with those files that cannot easily be recreated. Then, move on to files to which you make frequent changes just in case you accidentally change something that you shouldn’t have. Back up your music collection – because this can be quite expensive to replace in the event of data loss.

In general, best practice is to back up the files at least monthly and more frequently if users access the files regularly.

DIY Paper Lanterns

Paper lanterns come in various shapes and sizes and have become the most popular DIY decor idea, of late. They are used to light up apartments, homes, as well as used as Wedding decorations. Once can use plain copier paper, rice paper, paper doilies or any other translucent decorative paper of their choice.

These lanterns are most popular in China, Japan, and other South East Asian countries where they are used during the Lantern Festival as well as in traditional places.

In Japan, the traditional lighting equipment consists of:

  • Andon: – This is a lamp which was constructed by stretching paper over a bamboo, metal or wooden frame. Inside this, was a stone or ceramic holder with a cotton wick, which was lit (to light the lamp).
  • Bonbori – This type of a Japanese lantern was also constructed with paper stretched over a frame and was therefore similar to the Andon, but was smaller, portable as well as has a six-sided cross section.
  • Chochin: – This type of a lantern consisted of a split bamboo frame twisted in the form of a spiral. As an option to paper, silk was also used to cover the frame and protect the flame from the wind. This was mostly used as a hanging lantern and could be collapsed to flatten it.
  • Toro: – These are lanterns, which adorned the grounds of Buddhist temples, Shinto Shrines, Japanese Gardens, and other traditional places. These lanterns did not use paper or silk, but instead were made of stone, bronze, iron, or wood.

In, today’s DIY section, you can create your own paper lanterns. I have collated instructions from the Internet to 2 distinct type of paper lanterns (giving credit to the original contributors, of course) and I am hoping that you will enjoy folding these!

  1. Round Paper Lanterns:

First off, we’ll start with the traditional, round rice paper lanterns, which are very common, today. No doubt, you can purchase these at local craft stores and decorate them at home, but the instructions below will allow you to make the entire lantern from scratch. These instructions are courtesy eHow.com

Instructions:

Things You’ll Need:

Bamboo strips, Tape, Rice Paper, Glue Stick, Socket and light bulb.

  1. Design your rice paper lantern. You will need to decide on the number and size of your bamboo rungs. Spend time looking at different examples of rice paper lanterns for inspiration.
  2. Obtain your bamboo strips according to your design. Cut them to the desired length of your lantern’s circumference.
  3. Bend each piece of wood into a circle, attaching each end together with masking tape. To soften the wood for bending, heat it over a flame. Once bent and taped to your satisfaction, place the bamboo rings in cold water so that the new shape is made firm.
  4. Attach your bamboo circles to each other using either tape or string according to your design. The smaller loops are almost always placed on top and bottom.
  5. Attach a socket and bulb to the top rung using tape, with the socket hanging upside down. You can either run a line from the top of the lantern or use a battery-powered socket.
  6. Attach your tassel to the small bottom rung of your lantern.
  7. Cut out a piece of rice paper about an inch wider than the lantern’s circumference and slightly longer than the length of the lantern’s height. Wrap it around the lantern and attach both ends of the paper with a glue stick on the back side. Fold the excess over the top and bottom of the lantern frame and attach to the top and bottom rings with glue stick.
  8. Tighten the rice paper over the frame by lightly spraying a mist of water onto the paper’s surface and waiting for it to dry.
  9. Hang your rice paper lantern. Hang a cord from the top bamboo rung.

You can decorate your paper lanterns with tissue paper polka dots with the help of instructions from The Swell Life. You can also cut out other shapes or patterns for your lantern using this idea.

2. Paper Lantern Ornaments:

These lanterns are non-traditional and can be made with strips of paper or card stock. You will be able to get a good selection of wrapping paper as well as cardstock now that the holiday season is nearing. These DIY Instructions can be found at The Creative Place.

Kundalini: Opening the Third Eye

I’ve received many emails about the Awakening Kundalini CD. And I thank everyone who has taken the time to share their experiences with me. There are also a lot of great questions coming in, which are an inspiration for me to write more on the subject. A recent inquiry came in about what happens when the third eye opens.

One of the most widespread misunderstandings about awakening Kundalini is that it awakens all at once, and that the Third Eye opens completely, and we will suddenly be flooded with psychic visions that might make us feel crazy and out of control.

Charkas are like an aperture of a camera lens that when opened are flooded with light, with energy with information. To take a picture, to record every little point of reflection, the aperture need only open briefly to capture hundreds of thousands of minute details.

It’s the same with the third eye, or any of the charkas for that matter. When the third eye opens, the mind is flooded with light, insights, and inspiration. This is a very common meditation experience. It can happen gradually over time, or quite suddenly. If the third eye opens wide and it’s sudden, it usually occurs for a period of time, and then re-calibrates to a new aperture setting that is more open than before, but not wide open continuously.

When we fall in love. The heart chakra opens wide. Love pours in and gushes out. The world is ripe with possibility and charged with electricity. And then our hearts settle down and get comfortable with the relationship. I’m reminded of the Zen saying, “First enlightenment. Then the laundry.” Some people complain of boredom when all the excitement subsides. This grievance applies to both people who have had dramatic Kundalini experiences and to those who are hooked on the thrill of new love, but grow weary of working to keep a relationship vital.

Beginning meditators report all kinds of phenomenon, which aren’t really phenomenon, but rather the first opening of the inner senses: Visions, profound feelings, the smelling of scents that are not physically present, etcetera. Kundalini awakens through meditation, whether you put that name on it or not. When the mind is still, Kundalini can rise.

My first significant Kundalini experience happened quite early on in my meditation practice. I experienced it as a sudden blast of golden light that exploded in my head and then cascaded through my whole body. The aperture opened wide. My brain opened up to knowledge that seemed to reside outside the borders of my conscious mind. My heart opened and I felt the presence of God. I even heard a voice that was not my own. In that brief moment, perhaps 10 minutes, perhaps 20, I don’t know, the shutter opened and I received a vision that irrevocably changed my life. When I told my meditation teacher about the event, she smiled and called it an “illumination.” She gave me the impression that this is normal and that one mustn’t get overly identified or attached to the experience.

The bliss, the excitement, the love, the new knowledge and inspiration continued on for weeks. But then, as I acted on the guidance, the energy evened out. Another way of saying it is—It became familiar. This is how Kundalini awakenings can be. At first, utterly amazing; and then the body re-adjusts and it doesn’t seem so earthshaking.

Some accounts of Kundalini experience are profoundly moving and others sound like psychotic episodes. The scary accounts I believe are to be taken with a grain of salt. Kundalini experiences are subjective. It’s all in the interpretation. If your third eye opens and you suddenly know things that you didn’t know before, or see things that you couldn’t see before it could seem frightening, especially if you have no context for it. My gut reaction to the people who write about the terrors of Kundalini, is that they are working through their fears of powerlessness and victimization. If they owned their part in the process and did not blame it on Kundalini, they would tell quite a different story.

Kundalini pushes fears and egoic structures to the surface to be released. If you don’t want to let go of these, then it’s probably best not to practice Kundalini meditation. (visit The Center for Meditation & Transformation for more information and a free guided meditation [http://www.brainsync.com/medctr_main.asp]).

Granted, some Kundalini experiences can be unsettling, but these episodes rarely last long. A woman in my meditation class had a few weeks of involuntary undulating that happened when she meditated and even sometimes when she slept, which woke her up. When I say undulating, it’s not that her body was writhing, but the energy inside her was. It was intense, and she was unable to stop it. Whenever it happened her heart would race with fear. Gradually as she accepted this process as releasing old fears and simply observed and allowed it, the undulating energy smoothed out and became pleasurable. Since then she has less fear about everything in her life and is stepping out into the world in a way she wasn’t able to before.

In answer to the question, “Will I see ghosts or spirits? How can I prevent this?” If it is important for you to communicate with “the other side” and that is part of your path in life then, perhaps, when Kundalini awakens you might have the experience of “seeing spirits” or hearing them or communicating with them. You might discover newfound psychic abilities, which you can then use to help other people. Many of the psychics and shamans I know have shared that if they didn’t use their gifts to help other people, it would drive them mad.

We each have our own unique purpose in life, and Kundalini is the carrier that transports that knowledge to our consciousness. Kundalini awakenings are not random, but rather they are an affirmation of an immensely powerful intelligence at work.

I want to underscore the importance of being open to any kind of experience as Kundalini awakens. If you have fears or resistance about how or when Kundalini will awaken, then it’s important to face those fears and get to a place inside where you’re not anxious. In the end it’s a matter of faith. Having faith in the process, having faith in the wisdom and guidance that comes to you. And believing that the universe is a safe place for you to expand, grow and learn.

Namaste!