Motherboards – What Are They, and How to Choose One

One of the most basic requirements of any home computer system is the motherboard, and whilst you may have heard of this part of the computer, you might be unsure as to what exactly it is. If you’re thinking of building your own computer, or upgrading your existing computer, you might be considering which motherboard to purchase. But what decisions will you need to make, and how will your choice of motherboard affect the other components you choose?

If you look inside a computer, you’ll notice that there is one main circuit board which covers most of one side of the computer. You’ll probably notice a number of other small circuits and components which are plugged in to this main circuit board too. The main circuit board inside a computer is the motherboard, and it is this circuit board which most other components communicate to each other through.

The motherboard is where the processor of the computer is connected, and this can make a good deal of difference when it comes to selecting either a processor or a motherboard for a new computer or upgrade. Not all motherboards and processors will go together. There are a number of different fittings attached to each, and just like puzzle pieces, only some processors will fit certain motherboards.

More usually you will choose your processor first, and then once you have made this choice, you’ll identify a motherboard which will be able to accommodate the type of processor you have. There are other features of motherboards which you will need to consider too – such as number of available slots, and size.

Because all other circuit boards, such as memory, graphics cards, sound cards, modems and ports all connect to the motherboard, it is essential that you think carefully about which components, and how many components, you are likely to need. It’s always best to overestimate, since often after a few months or a year or two you’ll want to upgrade again as technology continues to improve and prices continue to come down.

Some of the cheaper motherboards have onboard sound, and some even have onboard graphics. This means that the motherboard will include both sound and graphics cards. This can help with cost, but it may also mean that there is not room for adding a separate sound card or graphics card, and the quality of the video and audio generated by a motherboard is almost certainly going to be considerably less than having a dedicated card.

The other aspect to consider is size, since motherboards come in a number of different sizes, although generally there are two popular ones. These include the larger size, which allows for plenty of additional cards and memory to be added, or the smaller size which has less room for adding extra components, but will mean that the eventual size of your computer is not too big, and will fit into even cramped conditions.

So while motherboards are the essential base for the rest of your computer, often they are amongst the last things to decide upon, as so much else needs to be considered first, and then fitted together once you have made your separate choices.

When Sales Are Down Turn Yourself Into a "Cold Calling Killing Machine"

Your sales are down and your blood pressure is up. You check your voicemail for some referrals or “easy money” you like to call it. Zilch. Nothing. You check your calendar in Outlook for appointments and you have nothing scheduled for the rest of the week. Sad part is its only Tuesday. What are you going to do?

Before you cancel your club membership and you tell the kids that vacationing over Labor Day weekend is overrated and moving back to the smaller house is “more cozy” do this. Turn yourself into a “Cold Calling Killing Machine.” This is the frame of mind of calling up prospects that you would never consider when times are good and the economy is booming.

The following action steps will get you ready to get out of the slump. Good times and bad habits have made you a prisoner of your own success. Now is the time for a breakout month but before this happens…. Jail Break!

Refuse to be taken alive

To get in the right frame of mind for cold calling you have to view yourself as a fugitive. You have been wrongly accused, on the run and you want your life back. Financial pressures are mounting and the only refuge you have is to get people that don’t know you to believe in you, trust you and most importantly buy into you.

The more prospects you talk to the more you keep your “would be captures” at bay. It’s either them or you! Before they get to you they will have to pry the phone out of your cold, dead hand!

Get desperate

We all know telesales is a number game. It’s also an activity based game which requires urgency. Now is the time to acquire a “Manageable Obsessive Compulsion Disorder.” Besides family time, you should be thinking about calling a prospect.

Whether you’re in a meeting or in traffic you should be wishing that you were cold calling. You should be thinking about it now as your reading this article. Brushing your teeth, in the shower, you get the idea.

Go long and strong and don’t go home

Placing business calls is a tedious, monotonous process. Unfortunately cold calling, if done correctly, is also very time consuming. Once you get this emotionally reconciled with yourself (this will take some time) you need to have a family sit down.

Golfing, fishing and hunting trips need to go by the wayside before you cut into family time. It’s the personal extra-curricular items that tend to be the culprit anyways. Why else are your sales suffering?

Now that you have squeezed extra hours out of your schedule for prospecting it has to get put to good use. If you can make 50 calls an hour and you’re working and additional 20 hours a week you should expect an extra thousand calls a week.

If you are working longer your amount of work has to be in proportion to that. It will take a week or two to get used to the extra work load. Get your hours of calling in when the office is at low activity. Generally early mornings and late evenings work best but it depends on your sales territory.

When you’re laying in bed thinking about hitting snooze imagine the search teams with dogs out sniffing for your scent. Helicopters with spotlights are searching for you in the marshes. Now get out of the bed! At night when you don’t feel like making an extra 30 calls just tell yourself the place is surrounded and the coast isn’t clear until you do!

Get emotional and kill them with kindness

Your mind is in the right place and your time is set now comes the killing. (For any sociopaths lurking by killing we mean cold calling.) You will test your emotional maturity at this stage because you’re more tired and irritable; you’re not having as much fun, now it’s time to take it out on the customer.

You take it out on the customer by killing them with kindness. Every time you pick up the phone you smile. Every time you get resistance by a prospect you say “Thank you for your time.” This ability separates “the Sales professional” from “the Rookies”.

To practice this skill wait until you are so angry that you are seething. Then pick up the phone and call a prospect. Do this at every opportunity. A sales manager told me this and then showed me after disciplining an employee.

When you can talk calmly and project a professional demeanor while you are livid. You are becoming cold blooded calling machine. Infrared and Thermos won’t be able to detect you!

Imagine and Improvise

There will come a time when all the extra hours won’t complement your lifestyle. After three months you should see a significant increase in your leads and your closes. After fattening your pipeline it is time to wind it down.

When you slow the tempo it is time to substitute quantity for quality. You will have to use your imagination and improvisational skills to accomplish this trick. For example:

Call your next potential customer before you leave at night and then hang up! So when you come through the doors in the morning all you have to do is hit redial. That’s 25 extra calls a month.

Take a list of 20 people with for the road. Also bring a tape recorder. As soon as you hit the road use your voice activated caller to start prospecting. These are still prospecting calls so they shouldn’t be too in depth. You can record any information and remain hands-free. Another 400 calls a month.

Cut your lunches shorter and work on better scripts and more effective rebuttals and you can go from 4000 additional calls a month to 1000 without working any more hours than before your “Cold Call Killing Spree”.

Heed this advice and happy hunting!

© Copyright 2010 by Curtis Dilworth

Painting Tips For the Exterior

The biggest problem that faces most people with painting houses is peeling, moisture is the culprit. Whether it's rain or just morning dew it'll penetrate the paint causing it to first crack which in turn results in peeling. Paint peeling is often found at the boards edges.

Cracking is another problem with older homes, that had lots of paint jobs already. Cracking can not be really fixed effectively. In places where you have serious cracking it is best to strip that area clean to the raw wood, sand and clean the raw wood off and then prime the wood.

Step one-scrape down the area that you want to paint. I suggest not to scrape only in one direction, but in a variety of different directions because if you scrape the one direction you might not be lifting the edge up that is still loose. So if you go in the opposite direction this should remove the loose edge. Visually inspect the scraped area for any more loose or loosing edges.

Step two-once you're confident that the area has been completely scraped of loose paint you should sand the edges between the sanded paint and raw wood to feather out the remaining edge. Do not over sand the bare wood because this will create an indent.

Step three-choose a good high-quality exterior primer. If your house paint colors are a light color then you can stick with a white primer but if you have a medium to dark exterior color I would have the primer tinted to match as closely as possible the finish coat.

Step four-applying the primer can be done with either a brush or a roller. If the whole job has a very nice finish on it you might want to use a low pile mini roller to eliminate brush marks. If you do end up brushing the bare spots, do not put it on so thick that it leaves heavy brush marks.

Step five-now that you have let the primer dry for the day you can put on the finish coat, again with the same method as before. To re-coat wait a few hours and apply again.

These are the very basic steps for a simple scrape and paint job. Later I will cover things like; house paint colors which will discuss ways of deciding on choosing house paint colors and then I will discuss a topic on house painting interior where I will cover everything from choosing colors and types of paints. you should consider painting your house.

How to Paint Flowers – The Best Way to Begin is Botanical Art

If you are a flower painter who is often frustrated and disappointed by your finished painting, then you need to go back to basics and learn how to draw. Maybe you already have good painting skills, but if you don’t know the basic principles of accurate observation and how to build up form through tonal value, you are wasting valuable time – and probably talent too.

How to Paint Flowers – The Best Way to Begin is Botanical Art

Learn how to paint flowers successfully by doing what I did. Learn how to draw. Botanical art is the best way I know of teaching you how to become an able and accurate drawer.

I love botanical art. I run botanical courses and workshops, and sell my flower prints around the world, but before I became a painter of flowers, I first learned how to draw them.

The skill of accurate drawing is vital to botanical art, a magical and increasingly popular art form that I love to teach. Botanical art has its origins in scientific illustration, whose aim is to impart knowledge. Before the advent of photography, the botanical illustrator was the lens of the camera, recording the natural world in all its astonishing beauty and complexity.

The basic principles of creating a believable 3D image on a 2D surface are exactly the same for both painting and drawing. For me the only difference is what you hold in your hand – a paint brush or a pencil.

Drawing and painting are like walking and running: one skill follows naturally from the other. After all, you learnt to walk before you could run, didn’t you? First learn how to draw, and then move on to painting. And when you have mastered the skills of painting, then move on again, if you want to, to a more approximate, more impressionistic, more abstract style.

I think all painters should be able to draw competently and accurately – if they have to. Whether they choose to is a different matter. Of course, this is a purely personal opinion, but in its defence, I’d like you to name me one great painter who couldn’t draw.

How to Select the Right Foods on Your Diet Food Plan

If you want to lose belly fat and weight, you need a good diet food plan. While there is no magic diet out there, there are some good diets that can help you to lose weight by providing you with a healthy mode of eating. This does not mean that you have to go on some restrictive diet, but with a good diet food plan you will find that the right foods can help you to start losing.

The key is to cut back on calories. This means you need to add the right foods to your diet that are healthy, that will make you feel full, all while being low in calories. Not sure how you can do this? Here is a look at some good food choices that will help you to eat to lose.

Start Adding Salads to Your Diet

You can start working on weight loss by adding salads to your diet. The great things about salads is that they do not have a lot of calories in them, but they are filled with great veggies that offer excellent nutrients. Salads make you feel full as well.

When you eat salads as a part of a good diet, make sure to add plenty of veggies. Add spinach, cucumber, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, and other raw veggies that you enjoy. This gives you a great amount of vitamins and nutrients, while still being low in calories.

Snack on Grapes

Looking for a good snack? Snack on some grapes if you are hungry between meals. This is much better than some of the high fat and high calories snack options that are out there.

Grapes are so good for you because they offer some great nutrients and they are very tasty. Even though they have quite a bit of sugar for fruits, they taste wonderful and give you the hand to mouth action that you want when you are snacking. There is no fat and you can eat a serving for only 70 calories.

High Fiber Foods

Eating foods that are high in fiber is also very important if you want to lose weight. Foods high in fiber help to make you feel full without consuming a whole lot of calories. This can be helpful when you are eating to lose weight.

On your diet food plan, try eating foods high in fiber like high fiber cereals, bread high in fiber, beans, oatmeal, or even some brown rice. These are great choices to add to your diet that will make you feel full without ruining your calorie take for the entire day.


Another great snack that you may want to try eating is popcorn. The best way to eat popcorn is air popped, or you can eat 100 calorie packs that you can make in the microwave. It will give you the hand to mouth motion as well with little fat and few calories. It's tasty too.

High Protein Choices

Foods high in protein should definitely be a part of a good diet. Protein can help your body to make more muscle and helps to give your metabolism a boost. Adding protein to your diet by eating lean meats is one great way that you can work to eat well and lose weight at the same time.

Top Off with Plenty of Water

A great diet food plan should be topped off with plenty of water. The right foods are definitely important to help you lose weight, but what you are drinking is very important as well. Drink plenty of water each day along with your diet food plan and you will get the best possible weight loss results.

Installing a Solar Panel Aboard Your Boat

Following a recent five-day trip aboard our trawler where we had to frequently start up the genset to provide electricity to the 115 volt AC freezer to maintain temperatures, I began to mull over options. We put in an excess of ninety hours on the vessel generator in only five days; time for another oil change! I put in an inverter soon thereafter and that improved the run time for the generator drastically, but there was still work to be completed. I nonetheless needed to keep the batteries fully charged to operate the inverter. Then it occurred to me, why not explore solar panels for use aboard our yacht. Solar panels have been successfully utilized since the mid 1950s, originally utilized in manned space exploration. They have been dropping in cost since rough 2004 when their popularity really went up. And now with the Green pressure going on, solar panels are as accepted as ever. So I committed to delve into them and find out how to purchase and mount one; I was in for a big surprise. You can come across many retail vendors over the internet that will sell you a solar panel but now could I locate a detailed description of how to determine what to buy and how to install it; much less on board a yacht. So this piece was written as I made my way through the progress; therefore is a really a learn-as-you-go article.

What Exactly is a Solar Panel and How Do They Work?

Solar panels are basically any panel that makes use of the sun's thermal energy to create electricity. A solar panel can be described as a photovoltaic panel, the name used in the business, for panels intended to create electrical energy from the emission of the sun. Despite the group of solar panel being discussed, almost all solar panels are flat. This is because the surface of the panel needs to be at a 90 degree incline from the sun's rays for the best angle to soak up the sun's rays. Solar panels are able to absorb energy from the sun through a collection of solar cells on their surface. Very similar to how a plant is able to take in energy from the sun for photosynthesis, solar cells function in a comparable way. As the sun's rays hit the solar cells on a photovoltaic panel, the energy is transferred to a silicon semiconductor. The power is then changed into (dc) direct current electrical energy and then passed through connecting wires to extremely enter a storage battery.

Kinds of Solar Panels

Types of panels most commonly used in yachting uses either have multicrystalline or amorphous thin-film cells. Multicrystalline panels are the oldest technology obtainable and in addition the strongest. When sized correctly and paired with suitable batteries, these are the panels to make use of for operating large loads such as refrigeration.

Amorphous thin film solar panels are only about 50% as effective as multicrystalline panels, but can be bought in flexible varieties so they can roll or fold, or change to the shape of a boat cabin top or bimini. They do not often have adequate yield for considerable energy replenishment, but can be used to lightly charge a battery bank.

How Much Power Can Solar Cells Make?

Normally, we measure solar panels by wattage and that is how we buy them. You can get solar panels for boats as small as 10 watts to as great as 200 watts or even larger. But it is simpler to understand when we change watts to amperage. We calculate these values ​​by multiplying the number of hours the panel is in full sun (usually defined as 5 a day in Florida) by the panel's wattage. For a 195 watt solar panel the amount produced would be 195 x 5 hrs = 975 watts / day. We can then figure, 975 watts / 12 volts = 81.25 amps per day.

Power Consumption

Before considering which size panel to purchase for your boat, you will need to complete an energy budget to ascertain what sources of power consumption you have aboard while at anchor. I use the at anchor scenario as this is the place you will use the most energy; under power and your trawler can supply its needs without any issues.

Example, if you have 3 inside lights that pull 2 ​​amps each and you keep them on for 4 hours per night, your consumption would be 3 x 2 x 4 = 24 AH / Day. We are not concerned by running lights and electronics as they will not likely be running while at anchor.

DC Loads – calculate how many amps hours are used by each appliance

House Lighting
Anchor lights
Electric Toilet
Fresh Water Pump
Sanitation System

Inverter Loads

Inverter loads also make use of DC power but they are powering AC appliances and equipment. If you want to change watts to amps use (12watts / 12 volts = 1amp).

Calculate the amp hours used by each appliance

Hair Dryer

Add up your overall daily energy use AH / per day

Solar Energy Creation

Different sources of power similar to solar panels can replace the amp / hrs dropped from the batteries. But similar to the power budget that determined your usage you will also need to compute your re-supply of amp hours. Keep in mind the formula – (12 watts / 12 volts = 1 amp). But be mindful, the formula is only a gauge; complete accuracy can only be where the panel production is constant and a solar panel may at times function ineffectually due to cloudy skies. Compare the day by day power use in AH / Day to the solar power creation. Your solar energy production must be larger than the use. If it is not, pick a larger wattage panel and recalculate. Always purchase more solar panel output than you think you will need; some professionals recommend at least 30% in excess.

Case in point – 100 watt solar panel / 12 volts = 8.3 amp x 5 hours = 41.66 AH / Day production

Installing Your Solar Panel

Now that you have got your solar panel, where do you put it on board your yacht? As we mentioned before, installing the panel ninety degrees to the sun is best. You will get the best power production this way. But on yachts, finding a fitting spot is tricky at best. A number of boaters put them on brackets placed on the rails, others position them on top of the bimini, and I have seen them positioned on the trawler dingy stanchions. But when you decide to mount them, bear in mind that to get the most out of them they bought to be in the open, away from any shading from booms, vessel radar arches, or cabin structures. Bear in mind that while at anchor, the boat will turn to the sun twice daily because of the tides. I opted to mount our panel on the top of the boat back deck hardtop in a horizontal position. Here it will get the greatest view of the sun and be clear from the radar arch shade as the boat swings at anchor. The slope toward the sun is not necessarily at ninety degrees but it will have to do. I selected a 195 watt panel so I get almost a 50% reserve ability in my panel to compensate for the small inefficiency of the sun's angle. We got the panel from Sun Electronics in Miami , as they had the best prices I could find anywhere on the web. But bear in mind, panels must be shipped using freight as they are heavily packed to reduce the chance of damage so be sure to calculate those expenses in your acquisition.

What is the best way to attach the panel to your vessel?

There are a variety of manufacturers of solar panel mounting rails and supports but almost all of them are made for roof or ground mounting. West Marine does carry a product for mounting small panels to the rails. A good number of boaters make their own mounts. I found a mount developed by Sunsei known as a Sunsei Glue Mounting Kit that is attached to the vessel and panel using 3M 5200 Marine Adhesive. The mount allows the panel to be installed with about 2 inches of space benefit the panel for aeration. I did not need to drill any holes in the hardtop either. You can locate these mounts at

Wiring Your Panel

Marine electrical wiring is incredibly specialized and hazardous; If you are not comfortable in performing this part of the task, please check with an experienced marine electrician. Your panel will be prewired for attaching to your vessel but you will need to provide the connecting cables that will also be sold by your panel provider; they are known as MC4 cables. The cables will be made in different lengths appropriate for your needs with a male and female connector affixed; you cut one connector off.

In addition, you will also require a controller. The controller regulates the power stream from the panel to your batteries keeping your batteries charged yet stopping over charging. A number of controllers are easy but others have LED displays indicating the amount of charge etc. The more fancy features the more cost it will be. Your panel dealer will be able to suggest a controller that will satisfy your needs. I chose a controller developed by Specialty Concepts. It is straightforward but does the job. And the people at the company are a big help in helping you to select the best model for your panel. When you get in touch with them, they will want to understand which size panel (wattage) you own and what the voltage is. Check them out at I also got my controller from the individuals at Sun Electronics in Miami.

The individuals at Special Concepts have also calculated how heat will have an effect on current flow and suggest that their controllers will not be placed in engine rooms as the heat produced will diminish the controller effectiveness by roughly 25%. I put mine in the electrical panel under the lower helm. And finally, you will require the correctly sized cables to go from the controller to your batteries and a fuse to connect the controller to the battery bank. In deciding on the correct fuse, you need to locate the short circuit current for your panel and rate the breaker at 125% of that number. This will give you the amperage of the breaker you will need. Your controller operating manual will have information on these too.

Owning a solar panel to preserve your batteries would seem like a great plan but you'll want to have a way to keep an eye on your batteries. I opted to also install a Trimetric 2025RV Battery Monitor; This smart device is wired into your battery bank to provide a genuine measurement of voltage going in to the bank, amps being used by your yacht, the percent full charge on the bank, and the amp hours used from the last charge.

Panel Functionality

So we have now installed a 195 watt solar panel in addition to an 1800 watt inverter and a battery bank with 443 amp hours. We ran our tests this week on the hook with clear skies. I concluded that our energy consumption is 112.5 amp hours per day. The freezer is the major draw using 60 of the amp hours followed by the refrigerator. Did you know that a standard anchor light pulls 18 amp hours each night? I think I'll check out LED bulbs now.

The battery monitor indicated that our actual draw from the battery bank was merely 65 amp hours which indicates we received the remaining from the sunlight, an entire 42% was from the sun. Now we will turn on the genset for around an hour to bring the battery bank up to complete charge.

Achieve Better Results With Concrete Stain By Using Concrete Stain Prep

Concrete stain which was once a specialty flooring product and found primarily in commercial applications has quickly become a residential product as well. Now found in many homes and gaining popularity, it has become today’s alternative to traditional flooring, being used both indoors and outdoors. Though it was once available only to contractor’s, the increased demand for concrete stain from the do it yourself population has brought the product into the mainstream.

Concrete stain promises to give beautiful results while being very simple to use. The cost savings as compared to other flooring products is substantial, and the extremely low maintenance of concrete “acid stain” is being enjoyed by all who have it. It tends to marbleize the concrete when used on smooth concrete and gives it more of a stone appearance when used on rougher concrete. It also has many other uses, such as garden statuary, retaining walls, water features, and more.

Along with homes and many commercial applications, such as restaurants and malls, anyone who has been to an amusement park has seen concrete stain. The boulders, waterfalls, and cave walls are usually made of concrete and then stained. Concrete Camouflage® says that certain major cities have began to use their concrete acid stain for curbing and cross walks. This a great idea. Once the other states and cities catch on to this, you’ll finally start to see much less peeling paint.

Concrete stain can be sprayed on, brushed on, and some stains are rolled on. It can be sealed and/or waxed, or just left in a natural flat state. However, as great as concrete stain is, anyone that has seen and recognized very much concrete stain has inevitably seen a bad job as well. One that has spots, blemishes, or patches of trouble areas.

Many blemishes and even hairline cracks are usually considered character and are actually desired to some extent, for the added character and uniqueness. Although the obvious “job gone wrong” blemishes are not at all desired and can ruin an otherwise beautiful project. So you have to ask yourself, if concrete stain is so simple, then why and where are these bad jobs coming from? Well, that’s easy. Incorrectly cleaning and preparing the concrete to be stained, is definitely the primary cause, hence the creation of Concrete Stain Prep TM.

When staining concrete, or when applying any decorative concrete product for that matter, cleaning and preparing the concrete is all important. If the concrete has not been adequately cleaned and prepared, then inferior results will ensue. If you were to look at concrete under a microscope you would see that it looks like a sponge. Though it appears to be a smooth surface to the eye, it is actually very porous. The need to clean the surface is obvious and fairly easy, it’s what stays trapped in the pores that will work against you. This is the piece of the puzzle that makes the difference.

“Concrete acid stain” which is by far the best concrete staining product, works by penetrating the concrete surface and pores, and reacting chemically with the cement and minerals within. Thereby permanently changing the surface color, it tends to mottle and give you the darks and lights, highs and lows, naturally. Obtaining the marble or stone look.

“Acrylic concrete stain” or other types of topical stains, which are similar to paints, come in solid colors, transparent, or semi transparent and still needs as clean of a surface with as clean of pores as they can get, to grab on. Without clean pores, no type of stain can work or perform as well.

Even when staining new concrete, oils, glues, curing agents, and other undesirables can be found. Many times you do not even realize that they are present, until after you have stained the concrete. Then you definitely know where your oils, paints, and trouble spots are, because acid stain simply will not take as well in those areas or spots, if at all. And acrylic stain or topical stains will not stick as well as they need to, leading to premature failure. Trouble spots can be caused by many different foreign substances, and once you’ve stained the concrete, it’s a little late to go back to the cleaning stage.

Some suggest acid washing the concrete first, however, acid washing the surface greatly diminishes the effects of concrete stain and should definitely be stayed away from, along with cleaners that contain heavy alkali’s. And besides, acid washing will simply not work on many substances. Especially if your dealing with an older floor or one that has been covered in glues, paints, or muck.

That’s why Concrete Stain Prep TM was developed. The latest product by Concrete Camouflage®, it is sure to revolutionize the concrete stain industry. Concrete Stain Prep TM is a biodegradable concentrate formula that you mix with water, and that replaces the need for multiple cleaning and stripping products. It deep cleans the concrete. Getting into the pores and lifting oils, dirt, and grime, as well as stripping contaminants. It leaves the concrete and it’s pores squeaky clean and ready to stain. Finally you can clean and prepare concrete adequately, easily, and economically. Though formulated to mix with water, you can also use Concrete Stain Prep TM straight if needed, but beware, it will soften or melt rubber tires when used straight. If that doesn’t remove whatever is plaguing your concrete and standing in the way of a beautiful stain job, then nothing will.

So whether you’re an artist, a professional contractor, a do it yourself enthusiast, or someone who teaches people how to stain concrete. If you decide to clean, stain, or decorate your concrete, you should try Concrete Stain Prep TM. You’re sure to enjoy better results and easier cleaning, as you more successfully Camouflage Your Concrete! TM.

Article Copyright 2006 David S. King, freelance writer. / Concrete Camouflage®, Camouflage Your Concrete! TM, and Concrete Stain Prep TM are Registered and non registered trademarks of the Camouflaged Concrete Corp. All rights reserved.

10 Tips For Business Startup Owners

Every entrepreneur can use some advice when it comes to making sure their business startup gets off on the right foot. From the best way to run your business to following your dreams, these tips offer sound recommendations that can help your business startup maintain its operations and find success at every turn.

Sure, your business may run into challenges, and you may make some mistakes along the way, but it is how you recover that matters. Use these tips to your advantage when it comes to ensuring you avoid the pitfalls that others have fallen into as a first-time entrepreneur.

1. Be Passionate About What You Do

When it comes to business, doing what you love makes it that much easier to do well. Find a business that you can excel at and throw yourself into. You should have an underlying passion for the market, product, service, or brand that you are selling. In order for it to succeed in the market place, you need to believe in it, and then your customers will follow suit.

2. Believe In Yourself

Every entrepreneur doubts themselves at one time or another, but you need to fully believe in your capabilities and strength. Mistakes are inevitable, but understanding that you will fail at times can help you rebound and move forward with great resilience. Recognize that you have what it takes to make it and send that doubt packing as only when you truly believe in yourself and what you are doing will success come knocking at your door.

3. Listen To Advice From Others

Many others may have come before you with their own business startups. Learn from their challenges and heed their advice. They can allow you to steer clear of potential issues and make it easier for you to operate as a business startup. From finding funding to working with an angel investor, other entrepreneurs have experience that you can gain from and use to your advantage if you are willing to listen.

4. Watch Your Overhead

You need to realize that you are business startup out of the gate. This means watching your cash flow and setting up shop in that swank office building on 5th Avenue may not be a possibility at this time. Keep things simple and observe your cost structures. You may need cash down the road and being on the hook for high rents or loan commitments can make it difficult to spread your wings. You’ll get there. Have patience and watch for the right opportunity to grow. Remember that patience is a virtue.

5. Know Your Competition

Ignoring your competition as a business startup will get you nowhere. Be sure to thoroughly investigate everything there is to know about your competition and make your products and services better. Find out where your competitors are lacking and seize this opportunity to secure market share. Knowing your competition can give you that leg up your need to get ahead in the market and appeal to consumers in a new way. Do your homework and keep an eye on your competitors at all times.

6. Practice Your Pitch

You are the greatest salesperson for your business startup. Whether you are looking to secure funding from an angel investor or looking to gain more customer loyalty, you need to have a pitch on the ready to tell anyone and everyone you come in contact with. Be concise in your approach and be sure to mention your goals, values, and vision. You never know who you’ll meet, and you need to be ready with a pitch that impresses.

7. Get Out And Network

Networking is a key part of any entrepreneur’s success. Connecting with others in the industry can help you develop relationships that may come in handy for your business startup down the road. Plus, you will continue to learn from these individuals and a new opportunity with one of them may be just around the corner.

8. Ask For Help

As much as you want to do it all, there comes a time when we all need to ask for help. There is no shame in getting someone involved in your business startup to help take it to the next level. You are going to need help as time goes on to evolve your company and reaching out to someone you trust may be the best thing that you can do for your business startup. You’ll be able to offload some of the burdens and free yourself up to focus on new projects that have been sitting on the back burner.

9. Continue Learning

With the most successful CEOs reading four to five books a month, taking a page from their playbook can help extend your business startup and move it forward in new ways. Keep the door open and continue to educate yourself by learning from others. Reading books that focus on self-help, business, motivation, leadership, and communication can continue to motivate you and your company. If you keep your learning continuous, you’ll find plenty of new ideas just waiting to be realized.

10. Don’t Give Up

Above all don’t give up on yourself. Even when times get tough, and you feel like throwing in the towel. Take a step back and appreciate how far you have come. If you have the drive and motivation to succeed the potential to make it in the market is there. You need to believe that you can do it and push yourself harder than you have ever done before. With hard work comes success and you are most likely just on the cusp of winning.

These tips will help you find the recipes for success for your business startup and set you on the path to thrive in the marketplace. If you are looking to secure an angel investor for your business startup, We can help you. It offers an array of informative resources on creating business plans as well as a diverse and extensive range network of angel investors.

How To Find Upper East Side Apartment Rentals

One of the most affluent and fashionable areas of New York City is the Upper East Side. People living here are among the richest and most influential individuals of America. Artists like Woody Allen, Madonna, former president John F. Kennedy's family, a host of other celebrity film personalities, and authors make this area of ​​the city their home. Even many of the foreign embassies and diplomatic missions are located in this part of NYC. Understandably, Upper East Side apartment rentals are among the costliest and most sought after in New York.

People seeking rental apartments in the Upper East Side of NYC are not ordinary renters. You must be earning a substantial income to live here. In fact, this area is not among New York City's most popular rental areas. This is primarily because most people seeking rental apartments are students or working individuals who can not afford to buy good housing of their own in NYC. Still, it's not impossible to get Upper East Side apartment rentals for people who might want them for some luxury and pride.

Rental rates in NYC are very high because this is one of the busiest and costliest cities of North America and very possibly USA's most popular city. Most of the commerce happening in the US and the world happens from the blamed Wall Street. Art and culture is nurtured in Broadway at its famous theaters. Here, locales like the prestigious Upper East Side are among the priciest areas of USA.

In 2009, the median rate for rent in NYC was about $ 3,000 per month. In 2010, the rise was about 30% when the median rate rose to a monthly $ 3,800. The expected 2011 figures could well exceed $ 4,000! The reason for this phenomenal hike in prices in NYC was because of the rest of stability in the economy post recession. With new jobs opening up with hicked salads, people have more spending power. There is increased demand for rental apartments because people began relocating in or moving back to the city.

Understanding that NYC is a costly city, the Upper East Side apartment rentals are obviously very high. The rent for a good apartment here may well exceed $ 5,000 a month! In the rental business, agents and brokers raise costs with their responsibilities and fees. The Internet has given a new platform for people seeking rentals by making information transparent and cheap. While a broker would never tell you all the details to raise prices and fees, online rental listings are most accurate and clear. It is also much easier to look for multiple options online, because a broker will have fewer apartments to rent out.

Patio Fire Pit Design Ideas

Many people enjoy the warmth of a nice fire any season of the year. A nice, safe way to have a fire outside your home is to use patio fire pits. When you have a pit, you can provide heat and atmosphere on the colder days. They are also aesthetically pleasing and can add to the view in your yard. They can also be fun for family gatherings when you want to roast marshmallows or hot dogs.

Fire pits come in many different designs and sizes. You can find them at home improvement stores for varying prices. They are often made from metal, clay, or cast iron. One of the metal versions looks like a shallow bowl and has four legs that are curved. The center of the bowl is the pit where you can burn the wood. Other models look more like bronze kettles. There are also square boxes that have cooking grills and fire screens.

If you enjoy building things, you might want to create your own using rocks or bricks. You will want to first locate an area that is far enough away from your home as well as any trees or landscaping items that might easily catch fire. Once you find the perfect spot, lay your bricks or rocks in a circle and put mortar between each one. With a little effort, you can have a pit that is homemade and can last for many years.

If you are creating a new area in your yard, you might consider using a fire pit for the center. Make sure you buy the right sized pit for your needs. If you buy something too large, the fires will often grow too hot for your small area.

Once you have your fire pit designs in place, you can enjoy your patio area all year long, even when it is cold. The smoke from the pit can also help fight the insects that come to feed on you and your guests.

Having a fire place can be pleasant on any patio. It is warm and comforting, whether you buy one in a store or make one yourself.

Types of T1 Lines to Avail

The T1 carrier is a digital transmission service commonly used today. It consists of twenty-four separate channels using PCM or pulse code modulation signals with TDM or time-division multiplexing, at a total rate of 1.544 Mbps. Originally, T1 lines used copper wire but today they include wireless and optical media. The T1 outstate system is recently developed for long distance between cities. It is normal for the Internet access provider to get connected to the Internet as a POP or point-of-presence over a T1 line that is owned by a major telephone network. A lot of businesses make use of T1 lines in connecting to the Internet access provider.

T1 can be sold in any of three ways; full T1, channelized T1 and fractional T1. T1 circuit is dedicated and is always made up of two parts: the carrier circuit and the local loop. Local loop is provided by your local telephone company since they are responsible in putting the wire connected to the site in the ground. The T1 is outfitted for Internet service while the other circuit end is routed towards your telecommunications provider and the Internet service is activated. Hence, Internet T1 contains a portion of circuit owned by your local phone company nearest to you and a part of a circuit owned by your Internet Service Provider. Remember that when troubleshooting T1 Internet, you have to get both your local phone company and Internet service provider simultaneously on the phone to do the circuit work. Long distance companies in some places, usually the large ISP’s also own local circuits and are also the local telecommunications provider. This is rather uncommon. Oftentimes when buying T1 lines, you are actually buying a T1, by which part of the local phone circuit has been resold by the ISP to you as full T1. But this is better than having to purchase it if because this way you can hold the Internet service provider accountable for any and all problems that occurred in the local phone company circuit portion. However, it is usually more expensive.

Usually, full T1 lines are sold as complete circuit up to 1.544Mbps in total speed. This channel of communications is often referred as the digital trunk line. T1 is a dedicated circuit running from the provider to the customer and not shared with any third party customers. This is the reason it is often referred to as ‘dedicated’ line. The full circuit can be voice or data, but not both. A fractional T1 is one and more channels packed together and sold as set to customers. This allows the consumer to purchase lesser than full T1 bandwidth at lower cost. The T1 price has fallen significantly and fractional T1 service is becoming more uncommon. Just like channelized T1, each channel can be data or voice and a DSU/CSU is used to split channels, but less than full 24 channels will be available for customer use.

Save on Satellite Radio and Any Other Monthly Services!

As I sat on hold with SiriusXm Radio last night, I thought I would drop some knowledge on how to get the absolute BEST deals on satellite radio. I renewed my 2 satellite radios and this is how I get my service for more than half off the normal monthly rate. Follow these steps and I can almost guarantee you that you will save money and/or get them to throw in some freebies to keep you happy.

  • If you are a current customer, ask to speak to the Cancellation Department. BE NICE about it, but tell them you only want to speak with the Cancellation Department.
  • If not a current customer, use the tactics below for getting a new account also. Just do this with regular Customer Service person.
  • Once you get to these people, rule number 1 is to be NICE. Remember they are people too so treat them with kindness and keep it lighthearted. I am sure 90% of the people they talk to are angry, frustrated or just plain a-holes. Don’t be a 90%.
  • Don’t forget to smile while you are talking, this is a tried and true method that makes your tone over the phone much more upbeat and friendly.
  • Use their first name when talking to them. This is Sales 101. We all like to hear our names and I bet over 90% of the people never take the time to use the Reps. name.
  • I usually start off by saying, “Ok, Rep.’s name, are you ready to play, Let’s make a deal, tonight?” This almost always gets a laugh and starts off the conversation on a friendly tone. If they don’t laugh, oh well, they must be lame.
  • Explain to them that you really want to keep the service but you need a super good deal to make it happen. Remind them how long you have been a customer and if you can afford it, tell them that if you make a deal, you can pay for the full year while on the phone.
  • Don’t get frustrated and start threatening. Kill them with kindness if you want to end the call with a few extra bucks in your pocket. Take your time and remember, he who speaks first, loses. By that I mean ask for something then shut up, do not say anything and even though it is awkward silence, they will eventually start talking to break the silence. This also works if they offer you a deal that you feel is not any good.

Not only does this work for radio providers, it also works well for Cell Phone providers. I have Sprint and I have received countless credits on my account, free smartphones, free extra line added to my account with a free BlackBerry thrown in to use on it and free monthly bonus minutes and texts added to my monthly plan. 

***BTW, I finished up with my wonderful Cancellation Rep. and she gave me another full year for $31.08 less than I paid last year! Cha-Ching!

Super Foods, All Natural Dense Foods Can Give You Great Health

NatraBurst is a premium, powerful nutrient dense food source consisting of a wide variety of the highest quality raw ingredients. Each serving contains the equivalent of more than 6 servings of vegetables and fruits, as well as high quality protein to help support lean muscle mass.

I take this product on a daily basis because of all the great benefits thats packed in every daily scoop I use. I have more energy, I’m more alert and overall just feel good on Natraburst. It’s not a vitamin supplement. It’s actually categorized as a food. That being said, it can actually be a meal replacement. It’s vegan and diabetic friendly

The highest quality raw materials obtained from the industry’s most trusted suppliers is used. NatraBurst is also manufactured in a ‘GMP Certified’ facility, which preforms multiple tests for quality, purity and potency. GMP Certification is voluntary and requires intensive inspections, procedures and rigorous documentation, all performed by an independent, third party, non-governmental organization.

Essentially, ingredients in NatraBurst is a synergystic blend of over thirty different “super foods” for maximum efficiency and absorption!

NatraBurst provides a wide variety of nutrients in ONE formula. You would typically need to purchase multiple products to achieve the same benefits. One serving of NatraBurst gives you more than taking dozens of capsules!

A Powerhouse of Vitamins, Minerals, Protein, Enzymes, Antioxidants & More…

  • High quality protein
  • Natural fiber
  • More antioxidants than 6 servings of fruits and vegetables
  • Digestive enzymes
  • Prebiotics & Probiotics for improved digestive health
  • Resveratrol, Grape Seed, Quercitin
  • Natural appetite suppressants
  • Good tasting
  • More than 30 super foods containing potent phyto (plant) nutrients

Multiple Uses

Improved Health

– Take it anytime for its high nutritional value. The addition of the antioxidant rich foods contained in NatraBurst can have a very positive effect on your overall health.

Control Hunger

– the high nutrient density and quick absorption of a serving of NatraBurst can take the edge off you hunger. Take in-between, or before a meal to curb hunger.

Weight Loss

– NatraBurst can be blended with other ingredients (milk, fruit, protein, powders, oatmeal, fiber, (I use it in my almond milk) etc.) to make a delicious smoothie which can be used to replace higher calorie/lower nutrition foods. You can increase the size of your NatraBurst serving to prevent hunger for even longer periods of time.

I love the Natraburst product. I can’t express how nutritious it is and the sense of “well-being” I get from it. Not getting enough fruits and vegetables into my daily diet (as with most people) is just why NatraBurst is perfect for filling in that all important void. Just knowing how good it is for you is all the reason I need to keep taking NatraBurst. I gave an order of Natraburst to my folks in hopes that they will use it for their “well-being”.

Visit my blog for more information on NatraBurst and how to get it.

Super Foods you and all you know shoud keep in the pantry.

Simple and Eco-Friendly Ways to Unclog a Drain

What options do you have if you're trying to unclog a sink or bathtub drain without using expensive and potentially hazardous chemicals? Here are some options to try that are quick, easy, inexpensive, and environmentally conscious.

Boiling water: Fill a teakettle or pot of water and boil it on your stove top, or use a microwave-safe container and boil it in the microwave. Once it's boiled, carefully transport it to the problematic drain and start to pour it in slowly. It's usually better to pour a little at a time, leaving a break of a couple of minutes in between so that the water can start to break down the clog.

Bent wire clothes hanger: Unwind a wire clothes hanger and make it as straight as possible, leaving a small hook at one end. Reach it past the drain cover and into the drain, being careful to pull clogs out rather than packing them down farther. Be aware that you may start to pull up some gross, smelly stuff! If you do not have a wire hanger, you can purchase a specialized drain cleaning tool at a hardware store. Once you've removed a bunch of hair and gunk, run the hot water – or revisit the boiling water technique.

Baking soda and vinegar: If you've ever combined these two ingredients before, you know that they fizz like crazy when you put them together. That fizzing can actually help unclog a drain – combine 1/3 cup baking soda with 1/3 cup vinegar in a measuring cup and immediately pour it down the clogged drain. You can also put the baking soda into the drain first and then pour the vinegar in afterwards. Let it sit for as long as possible – overnight is ideal. You can then run the hot water or pour boiling water down the drain.

Another technique for bathtubs is to add the baking soda and vinegar to the drain, plug the drain, and then fill up the tub. Once the baking soda-vinegar mixture has fizzed for about an hour, plug the drain and fill up the tub. Once it's full, unplug the drain. The pressure of the water pushing against any remaining clogs can help break them up.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: Hair that gets shed during a shower is the largest culprit, but letting soap fragments or other debris wash down the drain can also contribute to clogs. Consider getting a hair trap or other specialized cap for your bathtub drain.

Get help: If you've tried all of the above and the drain still is not working properly, it may be time to seek professional help. There may be a problem with the pipes, or the clog may be farther down the drain line than you can reach.