Apple IPhone Vs AT&T Tilt Comparison Review

Both the iPhone and the Tilt are AT&T smartphones (at least in the United States), however, the overall main difference between the iPhone and the AT&T Tilt, according, at least, to the way the two devices are being marketed, is that the iPhone is being targeted more towards the consumer-user and the AT&T Tilt towards the business-user. Both smartphones, however, have excellent qualities appealing to both types of users.

Both the AT&T Tilt and the iPhone are touch screen smartphones, though the iPhone touch screen can be controlled by your fingers whereas controlling the AT&T Tilt touch screen requires using the included stylus. Beyond the touch screen, the iPhone has a single multi-purpose navigator button while the AT&T Tilt has several additional buttons.

Unlike the iPhone, the AT&T Tilt sports a unique screen design that allows users to slide out a full QWERTY keyboard from behind the main casing and tilt the display upwards so the user can view and control the phone similarly to the way one would a laptop or PC. The iPhone is a single candy bar unit with no sliding parts, though both the iPhone and the AT&T Tilt can be turned sideways for a widescreen view of the display screen as an alternative to the standard portrait.

The weaknesses of the feature-rich iPhone are in the way of the basic, essential functions of a smartphone – call quality and speed of the data network. Even though the AT&T Tilt uses the same EDGE data network as the iPhone, the Tilt has a wider array of wireless options available, including access to the 3G network, a feature the current generation of iPhone’s cannot claim (though a 3G iPhone is reportedly in the works). Also, according to a perusal of online customer feedback, the Tilt also boasts superior call quality over the iPhone. Having said that, however, the iPhone has up to 480 minutes of talk-time whereas the max talk time on the AT&T Tilt is only about half that.

In the way of features, the digital camera on the AT&T Tilt is 3.0 megapixels while the iPhone’s is only 2.0 megapixels. The Tilt includes a GPS but the iPhone does not. The call history on the Tilt is more substantial, indicating talk time duration and other details not available in the iPhone’s call history. Likewise, the Tilt displays a distinction between calls received and calls made whereas the iPhone does not. The processor on the AT&T Tilt is significantly slower than that of the iPhone, with a much higher tendency to freeze up and necessitate a reboot. The iPhone has a much larger built-in storage capacity (at 4-8 GB) while the AT&T Tilt can only hold 128 MB.

The major sweeping difference between the two devices is that the iPhone runs on Apple’s Mac OS X while the AT&T Tilt runs on Windows Mobile 6 Professional, which is tantamount to the difference between any Mac PC or laptop and the equivalent Windows PC or laptop. So the AT&T Tilt offers users, for example, the full Windows Office Mobile suite of programs (Excel, Word, PowerPoint) while iPhone users benefit from all the innovative software resulting from the newly issued iPhone SDK (software development kit). The bottom line here is that, since most computer-users classify themselves as either Mac-people or Windows-people, the decision as to which device is “better” really boils down to one’s personal preference between Mac and Windows.

The AT&T Tilt sells for at least $100 less than the iPhone.

Why Choose Asphalt Paving For Driveways?

Driveways add beauty to the house exteriors. They add value to any property with the attractive design and pattern of construction around the house or commercial place all the way to the street or roadside.

But with driveways, there is a synonym associated with it. This is Asphalt VS concrete which has become synonym with driveway construction. All over Vancouver, it is used for construction of pavements, driveways, walkways, parking areas etc.

Most paving contractors in Vancouver prefer the use of Asphalt for durable and resistant against serious wear and tear as well.

Some of the prime reasons for selection of Asphalt for driveway construction include:


It is economical since it is costlier to get concrete pavement for your driveways and walkways. Asphalt is more economical and easily available at reasonable rates.

Easy To Use

It is easy to use and can be applied to the damaged pavement area without much hassle. Even for new construction, one can apply it in the form of hot patch. Cold patch, simple mixtures etc.


It is far more flexible than other forms since it can be easily mould to suit the varying needs like sealing cracks, patch work on sidewalks, walkways etc.

Effortless Patch Paving

Patch paving is simpler and requires no efforts in comparison to concrete and other hybrid forms which take more effort and time to set in.


This form of paving is considered more durable than other forms. It is seen as a better resistant to wear and tear and can resist damage for a longer period of time. Hence, its durability also makes it economical.


It is also a weather-resistant form. It can resist any type of weather condition and does not wear out even in excessive heat or rains. There are other forms which are not able to withstand extreme temperature or excessive rain.

Time-saving Driveway Construction

It is time-saving since it sets quicker than other forms of pavement service.

Bridge Game Tips: Improve Your Bridge Game by Understanding the Suit Quality Test

The Suit Quality Test guide measures how strong a suit you hold. The Suit Quality or SQ often decides whether the suit is strong enough to bid at a given level. Useful just about whenever suit quality is a relevant criterion, it is useful for pre-empts, weak twos and overcalls. The SQ determines whether you can afford to insist on your suit as trumps.

Count the number of honors in the long suit and then add the total number of cards in the long suit. The answer is the SQ of that suit. For example, Q-8-7-4-2 has 1 honor and 5 cards. 1 + 5 = SQ of 6.

The SQ should equal or exceed the number of tricks for which you are bidding for an overcall. With an SQ of 6, such a suit is not good enough for an overcall even at the one-level (seven tricks requires an SQ of 7). K-J-9-5-4 has an SQ of 7 (2 honors + 5 cards). That is good enough to overcall at the one-level (assuming you have enough extra strength) but not strong enough for a two-level overcall.

Count the J or 10 as an honor card for the SQ Test only if you also hold a higher honor in the long suit.

J-8-5-4-3-2 has an SQ of 6. Do not count the jack if you have no higher honor.

K-J-8-4-3-2, however, has an SQ of 8. The jack is full value as an honor because the king is also present.

The Rule of 10 is a useful product of the Suit Quality Test. You may insist on that suit as trumps if you have a suit with an SQ of 10,. For example, suppose you hold:

A 3

K Q J 10 6 4

8 7

Q 3 2

Partner opens 1D , you bid 1H and partner rebids 2D . What now?

The heart suit has an SQ of 10 (4 honors + 6 cards). Therefore, you should insist on hearts as trumps and jump to 4H . Even if partner is void in hearts, chances are you will lose only one trump trick.

Change the hand to:

A 3

K Q 8 6 4 3

8 7

Q J 10

Now, after 1D : 1H , 2D , you should bid only 3H . That is a strong rebid and shows six hearts, but the suit needs support from partner. You would not fancy being in 4H opposite a void or low singleton.

Deer Antlers – What You Need to Know to Mount Your Own

As a hunter, you not only hunt for the purpose of putting food on the table, but each year, like the rest of us, you have high hopes of bagging a nice set of antlers, with further hopes of bragging rights.

So the season is over, you’ve earned your bragging rights, now what? You can show all the pictures you want, but think of the statement it will make to have that nice set of antlers hanging on your wall!

Of course, if you want to mount the whole head, then a taxidermist is what you want.

Mounting just the antlers can be an inexpensive and very attractive addition to any home or office wall. And yes, anybody can do this, it can be a little time consuming, but well worth the time spent when you are finished. My husband Bob has been doing antler mounts for many years, and each one is as beautiful as the last.

These are the tools you will need:

¾ inch Plywood (or other soft wood)

Precision Knife

Drywall Powder

Rasp File

Sanding paper or Sanding blocks

Finishing material (the material you want it wrapped in)

¼ inch Hemp rope

The First thing you want to do, is cut the skull cap, including antlers, from the skull, a good rule of thumb is to cut just above the eye sockets and about an inch or so behind the antlers, you want it to lay flat on your plywood without the antlers touching the wood.

Remove all hair and meat from the skull cap and surrounding the antler base, your precision knife works well for this. Allow the skull cap to dry, usually 3- 4 weeks.

Once dried, you can get to work.

Prepare your wood base:

Using ¾ inch plywood cut an oval shape measuring 4 ¼ inches wide X 6 inches tall. The edges should be some what smooth.

Drill two 1/8 inch holes through the antler base, to allow screws to go through into the plywood. Depending on the thickness of the antler base, use screws that will securely anchor into the wood without coming through the back side.

Align the base of the antler knurls even with the top of the plywood, and making sure it is centered; screw the antlers to the plywood base.

You can attach some form of filler, that’s even with the skull cap, to fill in space and help with shaping.

Using drywall plaster, form your shape, the shape will eventually be the size of the plywood, but only after multiple applications, you want each application to thoroughly

Once you have formed the shape you want, use the rasp file to sand down all the real rough edges and bumps. Continue sanding with sand paper or blocks till you have a nice shaped and smooth surface.

The material you use to cover with, is all personal preference, we have found that pigskin is very easy to work with, its thin, comes in many earthly colors and on the stretchy side.

To start, lay the material evenly on top of the mount and staple on the back top and stretch around to the bottom and staple. Continue all the way around, ensuring the material stays taut to keep from getting wrinkles and or folds. You may have to pull some staples along the way in order for the material to lay nice and tight.

To add a finishing touch, hot glue the ¼ inch hemp rope around the very base of the antlers, with the cut to the back. We soak the hemp rope in coffee to get a darker shade.

You now have a finished antler mount ready to be attached to your board of choice.

Basic Gardening Tools and Equipment You’ll Need

Before you start your home garden activities, it’s a must to provide yourself with the needed tools and equipment in your nursery. These tools and equipment must be available all the time to make your gardening works easy and convenient.

You can work peacefully and efficiently if you have a complete tools and equipment in your nursery. You would not be worrying where to borrow because you have a complete sets of them always at hand when eventualities so arises.

You don’t need big amount to start collecting your tools and equipment. You can visit some agriculture stores for garden tools and buy at bargain those that are not so costly, especially during yard sales. As a gardener, you’ve to follow this slogan ” Use the Right Tool to the Right Job” to make your gardening work successful.

Some Basic Tools and Equipment

• Shovels – A round-ended shovel should be preferred for digging especially for planting trees and smaller shrubs.

• Garden Hoes – A garden hoe is useful for weeding and cultivating soil surfaces to allow for deeper plant root penetration of nutrients and water.

• Bow Rake -Provide a good heavy duty bow rake, which has short tines on one side attached to a metal frame or ‘bow.’ This tool is vital for leveling the soil to make it ready for planting, or for removing large clods of earth or rocks from the soil.

• Spading Forks – The spading fork is needed to open and improve the soil. It looks like a pitchfork but has a shorter handle and wider tines. It is used to dig down into hard soil and break up the ground.

• Dull Bolo – This tool is common in the Philippines, its uses is similar with a garden used for weeding and cultivation.

• Sharp Bolo – A sharp bolo is used to cut some grasses and small branches or generally for clearing operations prior to soil cultivation.

• Garden shears – Select a pair of garden shears that fits comfortably in your hand. Shears, sometimes called clippers, are used for pruning, shaping and removing foliage or branches.

• Garden Hose – Hose is necessary to water your garden. Depending on how much there is to water a sprinkler is also a good addition to the watering garden equipment list.

• Sprinkler Can – This is essential for watering your plants. Long nozzles allow the water to come out at a very gentle flow rate and are useful for reaching across long distances. Select a watering can that has a detachable spray head – this type of watering can is perfect for watering young seedlings.

• Hand Sprayer – Hand sprayer is useful for spraying some minor insect pests that are easily managed for minor insect attack in the garden.

• Spade – Similar to shovel, but it has a square end point used for digging and making a straight plots and beds.

• Carts and wheelbarrows – are necessary to transfer some gardening tools and equipment used in your garden works. Some other uses for carts and wheelbarrows are to collect and remove your full grown vegetables from your garden and carry dirt’s and grass clippings away from the garden. • Garden Pruner – When you want to shape and cut back longer plants you will use the pruner garden tool. Pruners come in two styles. One is the bypass style and the other is the anvil. Pick up a couple of varieties to see which style is best for you. Pruners that have changeable blades and parts that are possible to sharpen will assist in extending the life of this piece of gardening equipment.

• Garden Trowel – A garden trowel is also used for weeding and cultivation. Select the one with a steel blade to make it last longer in use. There are different types of handles to choose from. You can either select the one with rubber handles that make them easier to grip while using them and there are some that are designed to relieve stress from your wrist during use.

There are still some equipment to be purchased in your gardening operations, but these tools and equipment mentioned are the basics you should purchase. If you have already your bigger capital, Roto-tiller or Tractor is also important in your garden. For the meantime, be satisfied with the basic garden tools and equipment identified, you can already start you garden operations. Happy gardening!

Hiring a House Painter – 7 Questions to Ask Their References

Painting your home is more than just paint colors and wall textures. When you are selecting a company to paint your house they are going to be spending time inside your personal space so you want someone that will not only do a great job, but someone you can trust, too.

When we repainted our house a few years ago we took extra precaution, because we knew the painter would have full access to our home while we were away at work.

We made a list of criteria, and then interviewed several different painters before making our selection. We wanted to review references, proof of license and insurance, and of course information about how they planned to paint our house.

If their quote was in the right range, and they had proof of insurance and licenses, the next most important thing for us was their references – we asked for them to provide us with customers names and phone numbers – and then we called them.

When people give references they are often reluctant to give a bad reference for someone they know – so don’t ask ONLY questions that have yes or no answer, encourage them to have a conversation about the painting experience.

Remember, your are entrusting your home and its contents to the company you select, it is important that you can rely on them to be trustworthy.

We asked several specific questions when we were verifying the references:

1) On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being perfect and 1 being disappointed, how would you rate your satisfaction with the painter and the results and WHY?

2) What do you wish the painter had done differently?

3) Did they finish their work within the scheduled time?

4) Was the work completed professionally?

5) Were there any hidden charges or extras that were not included in the original price quote?

6) What was the best thing about working with this painter?

7) Would you recommend them to your family?

Number 7 is my personal favorite, there are folks you’d recommend to work for your friends, but do you like them enough to recommend them to work for your family.

Ultimately the painter we selected had not only great references, but brought along a portfolio of painting jobs to show us the styles and options and not just a bunch of paint chips.

As your shop around for a house painter, always remember to check their references.

Classy Trends in Chandeliers

Contemporary Options

While traditional chandeliers are heavy and heavy looking – made of wrought iron and lead crystals – contemporary chandeliers are much lighter. Made of aluminum, these beauties are lightweights in terms of weight and corresponding price. Thanks to new advances in design and materials, you don’t have to pay for raw materials that aren’t seen or needed for strength or support. One of the great things about these contemporary chandeliers is that they go with a wide range of styles, from traditional to modern. Let’s face it. It’s hard to match an overly ornate gold and crystal chandelier with a modern furniture grouping. They go together about as well as peanut butter and Swiss cheese. Eschewing complex designs, contemporary chandeliers get their beauty through intriguing and innovative design concepts. But don’t think these chandeliers are blasé. Hardly. They instantly draw the visitor’s eye while adding superior lighting design to any space in your home.

Thinking Small is Big

These Days Not all chandeliers are monstrosities that require a crane to install. Mini chandeliers are really popular these days and fit into smaller spaces than their full-sized counterparts. Minis are particularly well suited for hallways and open spaces where a full sized chandelier would look silly. Thanks to their smaller size, they’re also easy for any homeowner to install. If you’ve mastered a ceiling lighting fixture or a ceiling fan, a mini chandelier is a snap to add to your home. The process is virtually the same and they can usually be installed without the need for additional support or bracing in the ceiling.

The Lowdown on Installation

If you ignore their haughty-taughty legacy, a chandelier is basically just a lighting fixture. Its primary purpose is to bring light to an area of your home. The design is really secondary. When shopping for a chandelier, be sure that you consider the space you’re going to install it in. You don’t want to pick a chandelier that’s too tall for the ceiling height you have or get one that’s too small for a larger space. Most home modern lighting and home improvement stores have plenty of choices available for you to look at, ranging from the gold and crystal masterpieces to the more modern and contemporary models If you’ve settled on a mini chandelier, replacing an existing fixture is a snap. First, be sure that you shut off the electricity to the outlet on the ceiling. Turning the light switch off on the wall is not the way to do this. You need to do it at the main service panel in your home. If you’re not comfortable doing this, then it’s probably best to call in a handyman. More than one do-it-yourselfer has become French fried by an outlet that was still hot. If there is no existing wiring in the ceiling, you probably want to call in an electrician.

Adding a new junction box isn’t something an amateur should tackle, particularly one that is on the ceiling where everything is upside down and it’s easy to become disoriented. If you’re installing a large chandelier, you may need additional support in the ceiling. Cross braces may be needed to distribute the weight of the chandelier over a wider area so your ceiling doesn’t end up on your floor. Mini chandeliers aren’t this complex. Usually the instructions found in the box are all you need. Once you shut off the power at the main service panel, the installation is fairly quick. While you’re doing it yourself, you may want to consider adding a dimmer switch to the wall to control the chandelier. The dimmer will allow you to create a mood or alter the intensity of the lighting.

Have You Ever Considered Using Banana Plugs and Spade Terminals Together?

The debate about whether it is best to use banana plugs or spade terminals has been raging for a long time, indeed this is one of the oldest and longest running arguments in the AV industry and it is showing no signs of slowing down. This has led to many of you becoming totally confused as each of these termination methods has its advantages.

The problem is that a lot of the people who support banana plugs tend to say that you should only ever use banana plugs, you should use them throughout your whole system and that’s the end of it. It’s much the same story on the spade terminal side. Naturally, this leaves you in a bit of a tricky situation when you’re trying to figure out which option you should go for.

Well here’s an idea that will probably cause a few waves: why not use both? Why not use banana plugs AND spade terminals? Both of these products have their benefits and they both have limitations too, so instead of making a compromise by only using one method of terminating your cable, why not incorporate both methods so that you get double the benefits without any limitations or compromises.

If you like the sound, no pun intended, of a home entertainment system that isn’t held back by your choice of cable terminations then let’s take a look at how you can use both of these products in the most beneficial way.

Where To Use Banana Plugs

As you know, these are probably one of the easiest and most convenient terminations to use; no more messing about with fiddly connections that just won’t seem to fasten together; no more standing on your head while you try to get in a position where you can actually see the back of your device. With a banana plug all you do is insert the plug into the jack to make the connection and simply pull it out to break the connection.

So where would you use them? It’s best to use them on equipment that you hook and unhook on a regular basis, after all convenience is the main selling point of these plugs, so use them at the ‘speaker end’ of your speaker cables.

Where To Use Spade Terminals

Banana plugs definitely have their advantages, but one main drawback with them is that they add quite a lot of extra depth to the back of the component, so it can be tricky to use them when space is at a premium. Spade terminals on the other hand don’t suffer from this problem seeing as they sit practically flush against the back of the component, so therefore they are ideal to use at the ‘amplifier end’ of your speaker cables.

It’s true that spade terminals are slightly harder to hook up than banana plugs, but you are much more likely to shift your speakers around rather than your amp, so therefore you shouldn’t need to worry about it taking a few seconds longer to hook up the spade lugs.

Is It OK To Use Both These Methods?

Now, some of you may be worried about mixing and matching different ways of terminating your cables like this, but there really is nothing to worry about. So long as your banana plugs and spade terminals are properly fitted then you won’t be able to notice any different in performance between them, but you will be getting the benefits, so it’s the best of both worlds. Using banana plugs on the speakers and spade terminals on the amp really does make a lot of sense, so you have to wonder why these simple little terminals continue to cause such a huge outcry amongst audio lovers the world over.

How to Shovel Snow and Save Your Back at the Same Time

Who would think shoveling snow would be hard work? But it is. Shoveling is a physical exercise and if you do not take precautions a simple chore could injury your back. It is not uncommon to hear stories or even know of someone who “threw out” their back while shoveling. Or an elderly person having a stroke while clearing the driveway. Shoveling snow could be compared to weight lifting. Most of us simply start doing chores around the house without thinking. No one ever thinks they can or will be injured at home. But they are and that is not the time to figure that out. Be smart follow a few basic pointers below and save yourself from a lifetime of potential pain.

Stretching your muscles before shoveling, this is very physical activity.

Do not eat, smoke or drink before shoveling, you will need all the energy and strength you have to scoop, push or throw.

Use a long handled shovel or an ergonomic shovel to keep your back straight

Plastic shovels are lighter than metal shovels

Shoveling can raise your blood pressure and heart rate, so pace yourself

Snow shovels are designed to push snow, not lift.

If you have to lift, do small scoops, not big ones

Lift with your legs, keep your back straight, this reduces pressure on your back

Toss snow the same direction you scooped it, Do not twist, twisting can damage muscles in your back.

If you get tired take a break, stretch your back gently

Stretch after you shovel to prevent your muscles from stiffening

If you are in poor health or physical shape consult a doctor before picking up the shovel. Or hire someone to do it for you. Shoveling snow is must if you live in a snowy area, but it also comes with hidden hazards. You have a few basic steps to prevent a simple chore from turning into a nightmare. Always think safety, it only takes a minute to do, but the failure to do it could haunt you for the rest of your life.

Residential Cargo Lifts – 5 Key Terms To Know

A few words used in the cargo lift industry are everyday terms that you’re probably already familiar with, but some terms you’ll see for residential usage are less known or have special considerations.

Let’s learn about the 5 key terms you’re likely to see when evaluating and researching lift equipment designed for use in and around your home or property.

A Glossary of Residential Cargo Lift Terms

  1. Mast Technology: The mast makes up the structural support of a lift. Just like a flagpole mast, or sail mast, its function is to provide stability. There are 5 different levels of mast support. For a residential lift, dual masts are preferred. This level literally consists of two masts and provide more support than a single mast rig would. The mast(s) can be configured with the cargo cage in a variety of ways to accommodate the items being lifted. Good materials to look for in residential lifts are aluminum and stainless steel because they are more durable and resist environmental changes.
  2. Cargo Cage: This is the part of the lift that is designed to hold your stuff (the cargo). Another common term for this is a carriage. Anti-skid flooring is incredibly vital in a residential lift. The materials used to prevent skidding will not only keep your precious cargo from slipping off the cargo cage, but will also protect your household items from being scratched or damaged along the way.
  3. Rotary Limit Switch: Nearly all types of heavy lifting equipment which rotate or move up and down utilize something called a rotary limit switch. In a residential lift, you want the rotary limit switch to do more than just move the cargo cage up and down, though. The lift switch should give you the ability to smoothly control the stops, so household items (or individuals!) are not jostled around or damaged during transport.
  4. Winders: The winders are the mechanism in the lift that controls the cables. All residential lifts are different, so the number of winders in place can vary depending on the manufacturer’s specifications. When moving residential items (furniture, boats, or medical supplies for those with special needs) heavy-duty cables are used (such as aircraft cables which are made of stainless steel), so dual winders are preferred.
  5. Lifting Capacity: Not surprisingly, the lifting capacity refers to the weight that can be supported by the mast, cargo cage, rotary switch and winders. The gold standard for residential lifts is 1,000 pounds (or 450 kilograms).

There are a variety of other residential cargo lifting terms, but the ones mentioned above are some of the most commonly used. When installing a lift at your home or property, it’s pretty safe to assume that you will run into them. If you visit a vendor’s site and don’t see these terms, make sure you ask about them.

Since residential lifts are designed to transport more valuable “cargo” than commercial lifts, it is helpful if you understand some of the subtle differences between terms used for each purpose.

Small Home Elevators – Three Kinds of Home Elevators To Restore Your Mobility

Has your home become a prison for you? Is a recent injury, or a progressive disabling physical condition preventing you from effortlessly climbing the stairs in your home? If so, you are reading the right article. You will find out about three types of small home elevators that you can install in your house to completely bypass the difficulties in climbing the stairs, and the risks associated with climbing high stairs. By implementing one of them, you will regain confidence that you are in complete control of your house again. Moving about in your house will be effortless and safe once again.

The three types of small home elevators to install in your home are: Chair Elevator, Residential Elevator, and Inclined Platform Lift.

Residential Elevator

This is the most radical, and most expensive option. It will require a redesign of a substantial portion of your floor plan. If that is financially feasible for you, you will have the best possible solution to avoid the stairs, a bona-fide residential home elevator.

Chair Elevator

When your disability still allows you to walk safely on flat land, this could be the right solution for you. The chair elevator is installed directly onto the existing stairs, and just takes some space for the rail on one side of the stairs. It can be called by a remote control, and all you do is sit down into the chair, put a safety belt on, and press the “up” button or flap. Less than a minute later, you are delivered upstairs safely, quietly, and effortlessly. No more will you be risking a fall going up and down stairs on foot.

Inclined Platform Lift

When you need to use a mobility scooter or wheelchair inside your home, the inclined platform lift might be a much better option for you. Inclined platform lift works similarly to a chair elevator, but it has not a chair, but a metal platform on which both your wheel chair or mobile scooter will fit, with you still riding the wheel chair or the scooter. There is no transfers. Just drive onto the platform, secure your position, press the “up” button, and you are delivered upstairs where you simply take off with your wheelchair or scooter. It is just that simple. Inclined platform lift is indeed often termed a “wheelchair platform lift.”

Car Number Plates from European Countries

Although there are many new harmonisation laws across the European Union , each country still has its own unique way of identifying the vehicles registered in each country. The only common element is the blue border on the left edge of the number plate with the EU flag and country of origin and even this is optional in many member country. This article compares some of the member countries display of car registrations.

Beginning with England, number plates have black digits on white background ( front ) and yellow background ( rear ) with EU border optional number plates generally stay with the car during its lifetime.The numbering system has 7 digits with age and area identifiers.The first two digits are alpha characters and depict the area the car was first registered the next two are numbers giving the year of registration and the last three letters are random.France is adopting a new system in 2008 of 7 digits comprising two letters three numbers and two letters all purely random any area identify will be by a logo on the blue strip at the right hand side of the plate.The number plates will remain with the car during its life. France’s current system comprises 3 or 4 numbers then two letters the two numbers , the last two numbers are the area identifier and if a car moves areas it is re-registered.Similar to England the digits are black on a white background for the front plate and black on yellow for the rear.

Spain adopted a new system in 2000 which comprises 4 numbers the 3 letters , black digits on white backgrounds front and rear, although the last 3 letters can give an indication of where and when the car was first registered it is not as blatant as the old system where the first two letters of the registration number indicated the capital city of the region concerned e.g M for Madrid and MA for Malaga.The blue EU border at the left hand side is compulsory on new number plates but was optional on the old system.Germany adopted its current system after re-unification in 1990 with a maximum of 8 black digits on a white background.

Much emphasis is placed on the area coding and if the owner changes his/her area of residence new plates must be bought. The registration will start with letters identifying the city and even district with numbers following. The exact combination of letters and numbers depends on how big the city/district is and how many cars are likely to be registered there.Curiously a space is considered to be a character so any a gap between digits would have a hyphen in it if it was not a space character. In between the area code and the rest of the digits there is a sticker signifying compliance with emmissions and safety testing.

The EU blue strip at the left is mandatory with the letter D for Deutschland. Italy adopted its current system in 1994 comprising 7 digits starting with two letters then 3 numbers then two letters. They discontinued the area identifier with this system but this proved unpopular so since there is option of having a regional code on the right hand side blue band which also displays the year of registration they also added the blue EU band at the LHS at this time. Both front and rear plates are white with black digits.Belgian car number plates differ enormously from the previous countries in that they are specific to the driver not the car and when you change the car you keep your registration number.

The rear plate is government supplied with red digits on a white background . It is usually mounted on a further plate which has the EU blue band at the right hand side. The front plate can either be the same as the rear or can be a European style similar to the previous countries covered earlier. Current numbering system is three letters followed by three numbers although because they are driver specific there are many still in use with one letter and four numbers or 2 letters and 3 numbers.Obviously area and age identifiers are not used as the registration number is specific to the driver not the car.Dutch number plates have followed the format of two numbers two letter two letters with hyphens between since 1999 , earlier systems were similar but varied the interchanged pairs of letters for numbers and vice-versa.Both plates are yellow with black digits and have the blue EU band at the right hand side.

Apart from special plates such as dealer and export plates the numbers and letters have no significance. Danish number plates normally have two letters followed by 5 numbers, displayed by black digits on white background since 1969 there is no area or age identifier although the number part signifies whether the vehicle is a car or bike etc. The blue EU band at the left border is not due to be implemented in 2008. It is interesting to note that the United Kingdom is the only country amongst the above to use plastic car number plate , nearly all others use pressed metal plates.

Pellet Stoves Vs Wood Stoves: Which One to Go For?

Yes, it’s true. You’re not alone with your idea to augment your main home heating system. But it is important to decide on the right alternative heat provider. Otherwise you’ll not only end up with a heating device that doesn’t cater to your needs, you will also be wasting a lot of money along the way.

Fortunately, there are various options available now. Let’s take two popular options as examples- the pellet stove and the wood stove. While both stoves require regular cleaning and maintenance, that’s pretty much the only thing they have in common.

1. Cost- Because of the complexities of its program, pellet stoves are typically more expensive as compared to ordinary wood stoves. Even so, the venting system for pellet stoves is far more affordable so you will find there’s balance. Both their setting up costs are fairly similar.

On the other hand, a wood stove burns up firewood or wood scraps and these are relatively available and economical in several parts of the country. Some property owners may even salvage firewood free of charge.

2. Stove maintenance- Certainly, both stoves demand that they be cleaned on a regular basis. Even so, a wood stove is quite well known in terms of ashes and other by-product residue, while a pellet stove leaves very minimal ash amount.

And also, since it only burns pellets as fuel, you don’t see any chips and other messy dirt to clean up. Simply no creosote build-up either which in turn indicate significantly less probability of a chimney fire.

Additionally, it is prone to creosote formation, which can cause chimney fires. Its more modern designs however are now built with mechanisms that permit a much more effective and more reliable burn.

3. Efficiency- Pellet stoves hold a history of 90% general efficiency rating. Their BTU output is four or five times higher than several wood stove types, their particulate emissions about two to 5 times less than EPA-approved woodstoves.

As you can imagine, a pellet stove is by far the most beneficial wood burning appliance on the market nowadays. In relation to simple operation, a pellet stove necessitates less reloading. Usually you just need to refill the hopper with pellets every one or two days. A few models include automated ignitions for easy lighting as well as auto on sensors to watch heat output. It enables the device to operate in the event the house temperatures are beneath the actual preset preferred rate.


As anything else, both pellet stoves and wood stoves have their justifiable share of good capabilities. Ultimately, the choice you make will definitely rely on your intended objective, choice, plus, of course, your budget.

Pressure Cooker Parts – Care and Maintenance

Pressure cooker is a very great tool to have in the kitchen as it cuts 2/3 of the cooking time while still maintaining the natural flavor and nutrients of the food you are cooking. I consider this a very indispensable and useful tool in my kitchen and it literally changed my life because of the good benefits that come with it. It does not require too much more maintenance than the average pot in your kitchen. However, putting in some extra care and maintenance can prolong its lifespan. Here are some few tips to consider.

1) Remove and clean the gasket after each use. Allow it to air-dry thoroughly before putting it back in the lid in order to preserve the life of this rubber gasket. Even if it last for years, its wise to have a back-up on hand when the time comes that you are not bale to use it anymore. So have one extra in your self or storage. Its suggested to apply a little vegetable or olive oil on the gasket before storing it.

2) Clean the vent/ valve area thoroughly. Take a quick look at the vent and valve area whenever you wash the lid so make sure that they are free of debris. Use a soapy scouring pad or toothbrush. There are also some models wherein you need to unscrew some parts in order to wash it well.

3) Clean the bottom. You can use some scouring cleanser if the bottom is scorched and bring it to a boil in the cooker. You can then remove it from heat and let it stay for a few hours and then scrub with a scouring pad.

4). Keep the pot shiny. If you want to look it shiny all the time, especially if its made of stainless steel, you can apply products that you can apply to polish it.

5) Store it properly. You can store the lid on top of the cooker or against its side. Avoid locking the lid in the pot when storing it as it will just trap unnecessary odor or it might even build some pressure.

Solar Power – The Future of Solar Technology

With solar power becoming more and more popular in today’s society, scientists are racing to find new ways to make the conversion of solar light into usable energy cheaper to manufacture and more efficient.

Currently solar panels are made by cutting crystalline silicon into really small disks less than a centimeter thick. These small thin disks are meticulously polished and treated to repair any damage caused by the cutting process. After polishing, metal conductors and dopants (materials added to alter the electrical charge in the photovoltaic solar cell) are spread across each disk. The disks are arranged in a grid-like pattern on the top of the solar panel. The panel is then covered with a protective sheet of thin glass that is bonded to the panel. It is then bonded to a base material with a very expensive thermal cement. The cement is needed to help channel excess heat away from the panel, so as to not overheat the cells. Although, these panels work, they are not as efficient as most researchers would like. They are also fairly expensive and still have a tendency to over-heat.

David Ginger, an associate professor of chemistry at the University of Washington and his team of researchers think they may have found the answer. They found a way to create images of super tiny bubbles and channels (apoximately 10,000 times smaller than a human hair ) inside organic plastic solar cells. It turns out that if the plastic polymers are spread thin and baked, the bubbles and channels will form as a natural consequence of the heating process. The intensity and duration o the heat affects the configuration of the bubbles. The configuration or the bubbles dictates the efficiency of the solar cell.

Paul Berger, professor of electrical and computer engineering and professor of physics at Ohio State has been expanding on the use of plastic polymers to capture and convert solar light into efficient energy. Berger and his team found that adding tiny silver nanoparticles to the plastic polymers increased the efficiency of the solar panels (electrical current generated per square centimeter) increased by almost 12%. “The small silver particles help the polymer capture a wider range of wavelengths of sunlight than would normally be possible, which in turn increases the current output,” Berger explained.

Meanwhile, Brian Korgel, a chemical engineer at the University of Texas is working on a solar “ink”. These nanoparticle solar inks can be printed on a plastic substrate or on stainless steel. Conceivably, they could be painted directly onto roofs or the sides of buildings. Korgel and his team are hoping that this technology can cut the cost of production of solar cells to 1/10th of what it is today!

As our society focuses more and more on “green energy” solutions, the demand for research into more efficient solar technology grows. It is the common hope that with the advancement of these technologies, the utilization of solar energy will become economically viable enough to someday completely replace fossil fuels.