The Lilliput Lane And David Winter Cottages – The Early Years

Lilliput Lane Cottages have been long regarded as one of our favourite collectables, along with Willow Tree, Border Fine Arts and Lladro figurines. Lilliput Lane was founded in the early 1980’s as a competitor to David Winter Cottages. David Winter had been around a year or two and had the market pretty much to themselves. The phenomenon of miniature cottages was in its infancy, but was booming fast. The difficulty we had was that the company was run in an eccentric fashion. The cottages were modelled by David Winter, but he wasn’t in any sense, a businessman.

The commercial side was run by a chap called John Hine, a great self-publicist, who took delight in flying in the face of convention. He didn’t believe in showing at trade fairs. Neither did he like employing agents, so getting information as to new launches and discontinuations wasn’t easy at the best of times. A further eccentricity was that the delivery man used to deposit the cartons of stock on our doorstep and then demand a cheque – not the best way to build relations with your customer. Furthermore, and most worryingly, the quality of David Winter Cottages wasn’t good enough. They were plaster based, and tended to chip easily.

So, the market was crying out for a competitor. And like a knight in shining armour, along came Lilliput Lane Cottages. What a refreshing change. The concept was evolved by David Tate. He saw the potential for the collectability of miniature cottages designed in the vernacular style. He was also, as he never tired of telling me, multi-talented. Not only did he develop the knack of modeling cottages, but he also was an engineer and was able to work out the best manufacturing technique that would, on the one hand, preserve the astounding attention to detail that characterize Lilliput Lane Cottages, but also make them harder wearing. He increased the polyresin content of the cottages and, as a result, came up with a far more successful formula.

David Tate also appreciated the importance of regular introductions and retirements, the idea that you have to keep the collectors on their toes. From day one, Lilliput Lane was always run in the most professional manner. We received regular visits from our rep, the product was always well presented and properly boxed. Trade fairs were attended and Lilliput Lane usually had the reputation of having one of the most innovative and attractive stands.

Over the years, Lilliput Lane grew in popularity and it didn’t take long for the range to soar past David Winter Cottages as the number one cottage collectible. As time went by, David Winter became more desperate and it seemed that corners were being cut. In some cases, sadly, it seemed as thought the collector wasn’t being treated seriously. In one infamous case, a range of castles was introduced in a fairly high edition number. Simultaneously, the same models were produced but on a resin base, but at a much lower edition number and at a much higher price. It was decisions such as these that really put the final nail in the David Winter coffin. Owners came and went, but try as they might, the slide continued unabated until the only real demand was in the USA, and that too was negligible. In the end, and ironically, the brand was taken over by Enesco, the distributors of Lilliput Lane cottages. They were able to focus on the tiny dwindling band of collectors, whilst concentrating their main efforts on their own excellent brand.

How to Set Up Your Erhu, Chinese Violin, or Fiddle

I have heard a lot of stories of people who bought an erhu but have no idea how to set it up. Honestly speaking, if you are buying from a reputable music store or online shop, they should already have set up your erhu nicely so that you can start playing it with minor adjustments. But I suppose not all music shops are created equal and there are people who might have bought a used erhu off eBay or some garage sale out of curiosity.

Here’s are the things you need to check to get your erhu to a playable condition:

1) Strings – The erhu should come with 2 strings. If you are missing them, you need to purchase them. One string is thicker than the other. The strings goes round the peg and hooks on to the bottom of the erhu.

2) Qianjin – An erhu qianjin is what a nut is to guitar. It is a bunch of nylon like material thin rope that pulls the strings nearer to the neck of the erhu. If the qianjin is not there, you can for the time being use thicker nylon strings to replace it. Best is to buy a roll of qianjin string because it is waxed and of optimum thickness.

3) Bridge – The bridge is placed in the centre of the snakeskin resonator and held down by the tension exerted by the 2 strings. Take note that the grooves on the bridge are made such that the thinner string goes on the smaller groove and the thicker string goes on the bigger groove.

4) Damper – The damper is a piece of cloth that is lodged under the strings next to the bridge. The damper should be folded such that it is not too thin nor too thick. With the correct thickness you should be able to lodge the damper under the strings with a little effort, and not effortlessly.

5) Bow – The bow hair of the erhu bow is lodged in between the 2 strings. You push the bow hair inwards to play the inner string and the bow hair outwards to play the outer string. If the bow hair is not lodged between the strings, twist the end pin of the bow in an anticlockwise direction. Remove the end pin completely and you can detach the frog from the bamboo part of the bow. Pass the frog in between the strings and re-attached it to the bamboo part of the bow with the endpin. If the bow is not rosined, it will not produce any sound. Take a piece of rosin and rub the bow hair on both sides till the bow hair is lined with rosin powder.

6) Tuning – The thinner string is tuned to A and the thicker string is tuned to D. Push the pegs inwards while tuning so that they do not slip. If your erhu comes with bronze tuners you can just turn the pegs.

You are now ready to rock and roll!

The Benefits of Decorative Crown Molding

Decorative crown molding will add charm and elegance to your rooms just by their very nature. Even the most plain looking of rooms can be transformed into tasteful spaces just by adding crown molding. The available choices of decorative styles today make the options almost limitless, giving the homeowner the ability to turn his living room into a Victorian parlor or a warm rich library.

You can use decorative crown molding to highlight and feature different areas of your room. By using pieces that are complementary to the trim around your fireplace or French doors you can seamlessly pull the design together. The most effective technique is to paint or stain the crown molding to match the existing trim of the room. If you aren’t able to do that, then at least match the trim types. For instance, if your windows and doors are trimmed in a dark stained wood, don’t use a white plastic on the ceiling. While this isn’t a terrible look against your white ceiling, it wouldn’t quite flow with the room’s other dark trim. Try to maintain consistency.

One other option is to redo the room’s trim to match the crown molding if you’ve found a favorite molding style that doesn’t currently complement your décor. It’s more work to replace everything in the room, but if you’re fallen in love with a particular style then don’t make sacrifices if you don’t have to.

Some homeowners have gone so far as to extend their new wood crown molding all the way across the ceiling in the form of natural wood ceilings instead of the common plaster. Just be sure you don’t darken the room so much that it becomes gloomy and depressing. If you prefer this option be sure to use light airy wood stains instead of the darker ones.

Most good molding installations are handled by professionals, but we always champion the skills of a do it yourselfer. If you can’t handle the complicated corner cuts we suggest using corner molding and corner blocks designed specifically to avoid those difficult cuts.

Trick My Truck & SUV – Ford Expedition Add Ons to Increase Horsepower and Gas Mileage

Ford’s Expedition line of full size sport utility vehicles are among the most popular selling vehicles in their class. With dependable quality, powerful engine choices, and a variety of trim levels available, they are the most diverse group around. Ford’s 5.4 liter V8 engines delivers smooth yet powerful performance, there’s very little that the manufacturer needs to improve on with exception of gas mileage. That’s where the aftermarket community comes in. There are a large number of available performance products that will increase your gas mileage and horsepower. Don’t worry about rising summer gas prices, here are a few products you can buy at auto retail outlets and install in the same day with basic hand tools.

Probably the easiest and most widely available performance part you can buy is a higher flowing air filter from. A performance air filter will do a couple things for you. A higher flowing filter will help the engine breathe better by intaking more clean air into your intake, therefore netting you 8-10 more horsepower and increasing gas mileage 1-3 mpg’s. Another great feature is the reusability of the filter, there are cleaning solvents available you can use or just rinse off the dust and debris. Therefore making your overall maintenance costs lower. These particular air filters are made by K&N and Airaid and are available at retailers like Wal-Mart, Autozone, and Pep Boys. A great addition to any vehicle for only $35-55 and you’ll notice the change immediately.

Another great performance add on is a custom exhaust. Custom exhausts not only look great, sound great, but you’ll get better performance because of its efficient design to dispel burnt gases. Kits are available from Flowmaster, Borla, Magnaflow and Ford and have all the available hardware and instructions to make installation a snap. And best of all, ready-made kits can be installed in several hours using just basic hand tools. Custom welded exhaust jobs can be done but may cost more money unless you can perform the welding duties. As a result, you will notice the difference in you 5.4 V8 and you’ll get more satisfaction over the throaty sound it will make on the street.

And finally, another fantastic modification is a performance chip. With a performance chip installed on your Expedition, you will net extra ponies and better gas mileage. Chips are designed to enhance the transmission shift points and fuel curve by relearning the computer’s dynamics with the new info on the chip. Chips are made by well known companies such as Hypertech and Superchips. Typically, they only cost about $80-100 and they can be installed in less than half an hour with basic hand tools. Don’t leave this inexpensive part off your customization list for better performance.

So as you can see, there are a lot of available parts that you can purchase at your local retail outlets. An approximate combined increase would be about 30-40 HP gain and about a 3-6 mpg increase. To maximize the increases, there are lots of other ways to modify your Expedition to achieve those numbers. For instance, there are conversion kits you can make that can transform your truck or suv into an electric/gas hybrid. Made popular by the Prius, hybrids will multiply your fuel economy and the IRS will pay you tax credits just for driving a clean fuel vehicle.

How to Avoid the Line Extension Trap

If you follow the prevailing logic of most modern companies, you will inevitably fall into this trap. Line extension is using an existing brand name or image image and extending it to new products. Sounds like a good idea, right? Why not use the equity of your known brand to draw attention to a new product? The reason is that you tend to confuse customers as to what your brand means, and in the long run this strategy decreases overall market share.

For example, in 1978 7UP was the lemon lime Uncola with a 5.7% share of the soda beverage market. Trying to capitalize on this significant market share, they created 7UP Gold, Cherry 7UP, and assorted diet versions. Logic would dictate that with a greater product offering that they would have gained a greater share of the market. On the contrary, their sales plummeted to 4.2%. Line extensions confuse customers.

Why do so many companies use line extensions if they tend to fail? I'm not really sure why they continue to ignore the data, but here are some possible reasons:

o They do not do their homework. If companies took the time to investigate the lack of success of line extensions by other brands and companies, they might think better of the idea.

o Ego. They feel so successful with their current brand that they can carry the momentum to the next item by slapping their name on the label. They also do not think the seven keys to marketing apply to them.

o Copycats. Everyone else has line extensions so they reason that it is the proper strategy, not taking into account the number of line contracts that constantly occurs.

o Appearance of success. An insidious feature of this trap is that line extension usually has initial success. Consumers are usually curious about the new product with a familiar name and will try the new item initially, but long-term sales plummet. Some line extensions become market leaders further muddling the argument. But in those cases, it is usually because their direct competitors are also using line extensions such as Diet Coke vs. Diet Pepsi.

o Appearance of growth. Most executives are paid to come up with ideas on how to grow the brand. By concocting new versions of a brand, it appears as though they are approaching their paycheck since there are more items in the market with their brand name on the label.

o Appearance of cost effectiveness. It would seem that extending a brand would be cheaper, since the company already has a place in the mind of the consumer. On the contrary, it often costs just as many, if not more, marketing dollars to educate the public about the new product line. In many cases, brands try to reeducate their consumers about what their name means. They are changing the promises made by the original brand.

No Splashing

An example of this is V8 Splash. V8 aired a commercial where a person drinking the new line of product is shocked to discover there is no tomato-y aftertaste. After decades of advertising and millions of dollars trying to get consumers to recognize V8 as a tomato inflation, they change the rules. In my book, this is a classic example of the line extension trap, and what not to do.

Of course there are times when it is a good move to expand a company by offering more products. A better strategy is to use co-branding (same company, different brand names). Coke has found success in this area with Sprite. Imagine if Coke had named its product Lemon Lime Coke. Sounds absurd, but think of the brands that have gone that direction. There is Pepsi Blue, which I still am not sure if it is berry colored, or berry flavored and I do not really care to find out. The new Mountain Dew Code Red is another confusing moniker, why did not they just come up with a new name? But even a giant like Coke does not learn from its own success and follows with Lemon Coke. Each product needs its own image and word associated with it. If you feel you have a significant market share where you are and you need to expand into new markets, co-branding is the better route. Proctor and Gamble has built an empire on co-branded products.

Narrow Your Focus

The 20th century taught businesses the power of specialization. Line extensions go against this theory by trying to make one brand all things to all people. As the saying goes "jack of all trades, master of none." People may not realize it at a conscious level, but they do categorize and choose brands known for a particular specialty. For this reason, marketers must narrow the focus of their product. The brands that stick in the brain are those that have a narrow, sharp, and focused tip. The broader the description and lines of a brand, the less likely it is to pierce the consumer's psyche. It is helpful to picture the brand as an actual object penetrating the brain tissue of the intended receiver. Imagine the customer standing in front of you with the top of his or her skull sawed off. The squishy gleaming brain matter is sitting exposed before you. If you are using a broad, expansive tool, it will not get past the gray matter. By creating a narrow focused point, the brand is able to puncture the brain tissue. I know this is a grotesque illustration, but I bet I got it to it stick in your brain.

Wired vs Wireless Mouse

It’s a question almost as old as Windows 95: is a wired mouse better than a wireless mouse? This real answer is: it’s all up to your personal preference! There is no right or wrong answer, only what suits your life better.

Wired

A wired mouse offers you reliability. Unlike a wireless mouse, a wired mouse will almost always work (barring any hardware failures). You plug the mouse in, it works, and you’re off to the races – there are no wireless signals you need to worry about. Unlike a wireless mouse, a wired mouse doesn’t require batteries to operate, since it’s powered by the cable attached to the computer.

On the other hand, a wired moue also restricts you:

Cable length – you’re limited to the length of your USB cable. You can’t go beyond the bounds of that cable, and if it’s too short you may have to end up moving your entire computer just to use your mouse.

Twisted cables – the mouse cable can get in the way of your activities (which can be especially problematic for gamers), which causes you to tug, pull, and reposition the USB cable.

Wireless

A wireless mouse offers the freedom to use the mouse just about anywhere you want to: you’re not limited by the length of your cable. Plus, you’re not going to get trapped in a mess of USB cables (which can be a godsend to some gamers who often find them tugging on their mouse cable in order to get more slack).

There are some significant disadvantages to a wireless mouse:

Batteries – the mouse has to be powered somehow, which means you’re going to be replacing the batteries every time they run low, which can end up costing you a significant amount of money in the long run.

Wireless signal – since the mouse is wireless it’s susceptible to wireless interference. If you find that you get a lot of wireless interference with your other devices, there’s a good chance your mouse will run into the same problems, causing you to not be able to use your mouse at all!

Decision

In the end you’ll have to choose the mouse that’s right for you. If you find that your mouse cable is just getting in the way of your activities you may want to invest in a wireless mouse. On the other hand, if you’re getting annoyed at the amount of times you need to replace the batteries in your wireless mouse you might want to stick with a wired mouse.

Of course, the only way you can know what’s right for you is to go out there and try various devices out for yourself. Since this is all based on personal preference you need to have experience with the difference devices before you can make a judgment call.

Buying a Home Off of Parents or Grandparents – Can I Get a Home Loan for a Favourable Purchase?

Favourable Purchase: What is it?

A favourable purchase is a bank term for what they call a transaction where a property is sold “off market” and under “market value”. Off market means without a real estate agent involved so the buyer and seller either know each other or it’s a private sale. Under market value refers to the situation where the seller is not selling the home for what the property is worth and are therefore in essence gifting the purchaser equity.

The most common example is where mum and dad may be retiring or looking to move or downsize and will want to sell the family home. Sometimes the children decide they would like to purchase the property off their parents. The parents will then sometimes sell the property to the kids for a price less than what they could sell on the open market to help their kids out or keep the home in the family.

This is a favourable purchase and different Australian lenders apply different policy on this issue.

How do the banks view a favourable purchase when approving a home loan?

It is important to distinguish a favourable purchase from a sale where the buyer believes they are getting a great deal and buying the property at well below market value. Banks will always lend and base their LVR and deposit requirements on the lesser of the contract of sale price or the valuation unless an exception applies. If for example you purchase a property for $500,000 and the valuation did come in higher at $550,000, the bank will base their LVR and deposit requirements on the lesser of the two, in this case the purchase price of $500,000. If however the valuation came in lower than the purchase price then the banks will base it on the lower of the two being the valuation.

Just stating that you have got a great deal is not sufficient to get the bank to make an exception to the rule and base their deposit and LVR on a valuation that came in higher. There must be a compelling reason why the vendor is selling under market value – the fact they are going bankrupt or it’s a deceased estate is not a compelling reason as, theoretically, what you are paying is market value as that is what the market has deemed the property worth on that given day.

The primary reason why the bank would make an exception is where a favourable purchase is involved. If parents are selling to children the banks understand that there is a reason there, essentially being for love and affection, why the parents are selling below market value. The result is that many lenders will base their LVR and deposit requirements on the actual valuation and not the purchase price.

So what does this mean to me and how much deposit will I need?

When purchasing a home in Australia and getting a home loan you need a deposit. Generally the absolute minimum deposit you would require would be 5% and the bank would then loan you the other 95% of the purchase price.

In a case of a favourable purchase, some banks will actually see the gift equity as your deposit. For example, if you were purchasing a property from your parents for $400,000 that was valued at $500,000, some banks will view the $100,000 gifted equity there as your deposit and therefore you can borrow the entire $400,000 without having to put in any deposit of your own.

Every bank has their own policy on this with some only lending against the actual purchase price – ie, they might only lend 95% against the $400,000 purchase price or will only lend to a maximum of 80% of the valuation. But there are lenders that will lend the full 100% of purchase price plus costs up to 90% of valuation without the client having to put in any cash of their own.

Here is another example to illustrate how the different bank policies work:

Assume David was going to buy his grandmothers property so his grandmother could move into a retirement home. The property valued at $300,000 and his grandmother needed $270,000 to ensure she had enough to pay the accommodation bond etc. So the purchase price was below market value at $270,000 and it is between related parties. The banks will deem this a favourable purchase.

The bank will base the LVR/Deposit on the purchase price of $270,000. This particular lender required a 10% deposit which is $30,000. $300,000 less $30,000 leaves a loan amount of $270,000 which means that David could borrow 100% of the purchase price and would only have to pay for his stamp duty and legal costs.

Another lender though will only lend to 80% LVR. 80% on $300,000 is $240,000. If David went to this lender he would need a 20% deposit which is $60,000. $30,000 is available in equity and therefore David would need to contribute $30,000 of his own cash plus stamp duty.

Every lender has their own policy on favourable purchase home loans so it is recommend you engage a mortgage broker who has experience in favourable purchases.

Paint Jobs – How Much Does it Cost to Paint? Estimating Paint Jobs

Nobody wants to work for nothing, but many painting businesses do when they don’t charge for all the things that are part of each job. If you intend to do a complete job, and your customer is asking for a complete job, then you should be charging for a complete job. Leave something off of the estimate and you are working for nothing. Doing a complete and thorough estimate involves everything that takes time whether it be screwing that switch plate cover back on or painting the altar in that church. Many painters brag about what they describe as an almost mystical experience, like walking into a room and a price comes into their head. I never liked that because it is inaccurate, lazy and likely to end up poorly, at best you will just miss something and work for nothing on that part of the job. Another reason why this lump sum magic is bad is that someone is always surprised when the customer finds something that wasn’t done and they thought it was part of the job. And they tell you do it or don’t get paid. I talk about this when I discuss the Proposal itself.

Setup – Whether it be driving 100 miles to the job or 2 days setting up scaffolding or 20 minutes unloading drops, ladders and paint, it is part of every job. And because it is part of the job it is included in the cost of the job and needs to be estimated. Some thought should be given to special circumstances as mentioned above, or keep a percentage to use as a formula for each job. For example: if you are scaffolding out that church steeple to scrape and paint, then you need to figure everything involved with this stage including take down. This type of setup is likely to be much more costly than the actual paint job. Whereas painting the interior of your average customers home can be done room by room as a percentage of the total hours. For example: if you are dropping out a room, removing switch plates, moving furniture, etc. Then an easy way to do it is to take the total hours painting and multiply by.1 or.2 or whatever you think is an average time. Estimating setup, prep, and cleanup as a percentage on average jobs saves time when estimating.

Preparation – Lots of times this costs way more than the paint job. For example: we did a paint job on a big 1840’s wood clapboard monster of a house. 15 weeks removing paint before one drop of paint went on the house, the painting itself was about 3 weeks. Not only time but lots of sanding disks, respirators, disposable coveralls, cleanup daily, and removal of all dust and chips was all a big deal because of the size of the job and because of the old lead paint. The opposite is the average home interior that can be estimated like the setup example above using a percentage. Most of the time interior prep is just small surface repairs, and some caulking, the stuff that is the same from job to job. Special repairs or problems should be itemized.

Painting – What amount of time does it take to paint 5 wood casement windows on ground level without a ladder? How much time does it take to paint those same 5 windows at 40 feet on a hill when each window is 8 feet apart? Probably more than 2 times what it takes to paint the ones on ground level, each time moving and setting up the ladder on uneven ground most likely involving 2 people to move and setup the ladder for each window. So an easy formula to use on heights above 25 feet would be 2 times or 2.2 times or whatever the time it takes to paint the same window without ladder. Most of the time estimating painting costs can be done with a formula that works pretty well from job to job.

Cleanup – This part of the painting job is likely to be glossed over or ignored from an estimating position. This is a big mistake because it can take more time that the actual painting, depending on the job. If this part of the job is not done well the client may view the entire job as poorly done. And if done really well it may just put the crowning touch on the job. Estimating the time to properly cleanup after each job is critical to your estimate. If you short this part of the estimate, by not allowing enough time, then something has to give and the outcome is likely an unhappy customer. Average jobs can use a factor to estimate time. Example, an 8 hour interior job can be cleaned up in 8 hours x.1 =.8 hours.

When I watch some of these “home remodeling” shows blow through the painting as if it is nothing, I laugh but then I think how much ignorance they create. When Norm does his woodworking magic it is an event to behold; but, when Carlos spends 3 hours vacuuming, dusting and cleaning windows after a paint job, it is nothing, it is not even mentioned. Some many home owners tackle paint jobs and are totally clueless as to what is really involved. Like the time when we were called in to touch up walls in this multi-million dollar mcMansion following a $25,000 audio system wiring job where the technician cut holes in 11 different rooms. Each room had a different color, so we cleaned rollers, brushes, cut buckets etc. after each color. The owner gave me a big argument about charging her for the time to clean our tools. If it is part of the job and you wouldn’t be doing it except for their job, then they should be paying you for it.

My Cyst on My Ovaries Burst – What Happened and What Do I Do About It?

Ovarian cysts can be frightening, but they rarely cause problems. In fact, most will dissolve on their own without a woman even being aware that they exist. The main risk from ovarian cysts is rupture. So what happens when cyst on ovaries burst, and what should you do about it?

Causes of a Ruptured Cyst

The most common cause of a ruptured cyst is size. When a cyst grows too large, the wall around it becomes thin and stretched out. It will eventually break, spilling the fluid inside. This then irritates the surrounding area, causing the burning pain felt by many women.

The second, and debatable, cause of a cyst on ovaries burst is excessive pressure applied to the ovary. This can happen during exercise or even intercourse. The stomach muscles put pressure on the cyst, which can cause it to explode, especially if it already has a weakened wall.

Symptoms of a Cyst Bursting

There are a number of symptoms that occur when a cyst on your ovaries burst. You need to be aware of these symptoms, as if they occur, you should seek immediate medical attention.

  1. Pain – this is the most common symptom of a burst cyst. You generally will feel a sharp intense pain, followed by a burning sensation as the fluid from inside the ovaries irritates the surrounding tissue. Usually, if you have a sudden increase in ovarian pain, it’s a good idea to call your doctor.
  2. Bleeding – this is the second most common symptom of a burst cyst. Some cysts are endometrial, which means they contain blood. After a cyst on ovaries bursts, the blood inside may make its way out of your body, like a light period.
  3. Symptoms of Shock – If you suddenly feel cold, clammy, lightheaded, or listless, call your doctor. These could be symptoms of shock developing after a cyst on ovaries burst.

There are a few other symptoms that may indicate a burst cyst, but also may just occur with a normal cyst.

  1. Excessive urination – as a cyst gets larger, it may put pressure on the bladder. This then feels like you need to go to the bathroom all the time.
  2. Irregular periods – a cyst may interfere with normal ovulation.
  3. Vomiting and Nausea – this is the most suspicious symptom. If you suddenly develop vomiting or nausea along with abdominal pain, you should see your doctor. In your stomach, there is a large cluster of nerves known as the Vagus nerve. When something happens anywhere in your abdomen, this nerve can get stimulated, which can cause nausea, vomiting, and lightheadedness. Call your doctor to make sure there’s not a problem.

How a Ruptured Cyst is Treated

Once a burst ovarian cyst is diagnosed, you will immediately be started on antibiotics to prevent an infection, as that’s the most common complication when a cyst on ovaries burst. You’ll also be monitored to make sure that you don’t have internal bleeding. You may need to stay in the hospital for a day or two, but most women are treated and released quickly.

Accidentally Deleted Photos From Nokia E71? Try This Tool

Accidentally deleted photos from your Nokia E71 camera phone? Don’t know how to get them back? Accidental deletion is one of the major causes which give rise to unfortunate data loss situations. Thankfully, there are ways to recover lost photos. A Nokia E71 uses micro SD card to store photos clicked from phone’s inbuilt camera. If you delete photos from micro SD card, don’t think they are gone permanently. You can easily retrieve photos from your Nokia E71 camera on your own by using an appropriate photo recovery software.

Sounds too difficult and technical? Well, it is not, such utilities are designed to recover lost or deleted photos from mobile phone’s memory cards in an efficient manner. Even if you are not tech-savvy, you can use them quite conveniently as they come loaded with simple and graphical user interface. All you need to is download and install it on your system and follow the directions.

How can a recovery utility help you?

A photo recovery utility retrieves photos from various storage media under all possible data loss circumstances. You can recover photos from memory cards, memory sticks, digital cameras, camcorders, Zip disks, hard drives, USBs and other removable media in the following situations:

  • Accidental deletion of photos
  • Unintentional or intentional formatting
  • Corrupt storage media
  • Memory card errors
  • File system damage
  • Virus attacks etc

Which picture recovery utility to use?

You may come across various promising and reliable-looking photo recovery utilities on the Internet. But, you should not blindly trust just anyone. Do proper homework and analysis first and then employ a particular software to perform recovery. To be on the safe side, you must always use the download version first in order to get an idea of a software’s recovering capabilities. If you see a ray of hope of getting desired results, then only go ahead with it. Ideally, a good recovery utility for recovering photos from your Nokia E71 phone’s memory card should have the following attributes:

  • It should support recovery of photos irrespective of the file type
  • It should support all brands of micro SD card which your your Nokia E71 uses
  • It should be read-only

Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery is a comprehensive utility which recovers lost, deleted or formatted photos from all types of memory cards including SD, SDHC, MMC, XD, CF etc. The photo recovery software can be used by both Windows and Mac users as it is available in two versions.

IT Job Titles – What Do They Mean?

Although only a few decades old, the information technology or IT field is as broad and deep as industries that have been around for centuries. IT job categories, titles and specialties abound – so many that anyone investigating IT as a career is likely to be very, very confused. What’s the difference between a Network Engineer and a Network Support Analyst? Between a Web Developer, a Web Designer and a Web Technology Specialist? Just what does a Database Administrator do?

Although labels and responsibilities tend to vary from employer to employer, here are some common IT job titles and their descriptions. Consider these when looking for an IT career that best suits your interests, talents and temperament:

Database Administrator – A database is any collection of information that a company or organization keeps on file (e.g. customer names, addresses, inventory, etc.) The Database Administrator (DBA) is in charge of organizing, maintaining and updating this database and creating systems so that people authorized to view, add or remove information are able to do so as quickly and as easily as possible.

Internet Solutions Developer – This is a “catch-all” description for a person responsible for devising and executing Internet-based projects. The job usually involves working with programs that allow the public to view and interact with a company, organization or agency’s Website.

IT Project Program Manager – This is a managerial position requiring some years of experience in the IT field. The IT Project Program Manager is responsible for finding solutions to IT-related problems and then implementing those solutions, often with the help of a team.

Network Administrator – A “network” is any collection of computers that are linked either to each other or to a central server so that information can be created, shared and updated. The Network Administrator is generally responsible for making sure than an existing network runs smoothly and for adding or removing hardware (computers, printers, etc.) and software (programs, applications) from the system.

Network and Security Specialist – The Network and Internet Security Specialist is the person responsible for making sure people who use a computer network only get access to that information they are allowed to see, that information in the network database’s is protected and properly preserved, and that the network cannot be accessed (or “hacked”) by unauthorized individuals, wherever they may be.

Network Engineer – The network engineer is usually responsible for 1) Designing new computer networks, 2) Actually creating these networks, 3) Installing the computers and software that connect to the networks and, 4) Ensuring the network is able to grow and function as needed.

Network Support Analyst – A Network Support Analyst is much like a Network Administrator in that he/she is responsible for keeping an existing network operating as needed, but has fewer managerial responsibilities. The Network Support Analyst may also be responsible for monitoring how people actually use the network, identifying problem areas and then recommending and implementing solutions.

Software Developer/Engineer – “Software” is the set of instructions that make a computer do what you want it to do. The Software Developer/Engineer is the person who writes the instructions, also known as “code,” for these computer programs/applications. Software Developer/Engineers may work “in-house” developing customized programs for a specific employer or client, or may work on programs that are then sold commercially.

Technical Support Specialist – Computers and networks invariably have problems, and it’s the Technical Support Specialist’s job to identify these problems and find a way to correct them. Technical Support Specialists often work at “help desks” where they communicate with company employees or customers by phone, IM or email.

Web Developer – Web Developers create, maintain and update the functional aspects of Websites, be they on the Internet or on a company’s internal Intranet. When designing a new site, they’re usually responsible for creating its architecture, navigation and interactive functions. They may also be responsible for creating programs or applications designed specifically for the Web.

Web Designer – While the Web Developer is concerned with the technical aspects of a Website or Web-based application, the Web Designer is responsible for how such a site or application actually looks. This is an artistic position that requires training and experience in graphic design and layout – and perhaps even animation — as well as the technical aspects of Web operations.

Web Technology Specialist – This position combines the responsibilities of the Web Developer and Web Designer. The Web Technology Specialist needs to not only the technical aspects of Websites and applications, but also needs to frequently handle the design and graphic aspects as well.

If you are considering career training in Information Technology, you need to understand these (and other) job descriptions so you can pursue the education and training that will qualify you for the kind of IT job that fits your talent and personality.

The Importance of Peace of Mind in Your Life

In a world where stress, strain, rush and restlessness abound, peace of mind is of paramount importance. It is a treasure that everyone desires, but only very few know how to gain it, and even fewer really do something to get it.

With all the advancement of science, no remedy has yet been found for lack of inner peace. Often, even when being in good financial condition and in good health, people have no peace of mind, which only proves that peace of mind does not depend on external conditions or on any scientific or technical progress. The solution has to come from within, not through external means.

It is not always possible to change external conditions, but you can certainly change your inner attitude and learn to stop allowing outside influences affect your moods and states of mind.

Peace of mind is not something to be found only on the Himalayas, by monks and hermits. It is attainable here and now, wherever you are, irrespective of your external circumstances, since it is an inner state, and is independent of circumstances and external conditions.

Peace manifests, when the incessant inner chatter of the mind slows down. When it appears, anxiety, stress, worries, fear, mental and emotional restlessness, nervousness and impatience disappear. It is a state of inner calmness, tranquility and serenity, which brings forth happiness, tolerance, inner poise, inner balance and self-control.

Peace of mind is an acquired skill, which requires time, practice and perseverance to develop, just like any other skill. With the right training, and with desire, motivation, patience and perseverance, you are sure to attain at least some degree of inner peace.

Peace of mind will enable you to manifest calmness and tranquility in your daily life, and also in difficult and trying situations. It will allow you to display emotional and mental detachment whenever needed, and thereby avoid being too affected by other people’s words, feelings and behavior. It will also enable you to control your reactions and become a happy, patient, tolerant and open-minded human being.

There are various techniques for gaining peace of mind, and following and implementing them, even for just a few minutes a day, will make a noticeable difference in your life, and you will soon become aware of positive inner changes within you.

You don’t have wait for the perfect circumstances to start working on gaining it. You can start here and now, regardless of the kind of life you are living, and irrespective of your circumstances. This might require some effort on your part, but it is a worthwhile project and the rewards are great.

You can continue living your own life, without changing your external condition, continue with your job and relationships, and yet work on attaining inner peace. This is done in a gradual manner, by learning to change your mental attitude, developing inner strength and inner detachment, through meditation and through other means.

It is not possible to teach this important and fascinating subject in such a short article, but you can find more articles and guidance at

www.successconsciousness.com/peace_mind.htm

Door Sweeps – What They Are, and How They Save You Energy

Door sweeps are the small pieces of rubber or vinyl at the bottom of your door that effectively cover the gap where the door meets the bottom of the frame. This area is almost always built with a gap to allow the door to open and close smoothly.

Contrary to its name, the door sweep doesn’t “sweep” anything. It acts as a buffer between the small gap and your home.

So does it save you money on energy?

In short: yes.

By acting as a layer of insulation between the air on the other side of the door (the outside) and the inside controlled temperature air, it is effective at prevent heat transfer or heat loss through air movement. Of course, it is even more effective when combined with a screen or storm door, because then less air is allowed to even come to the door in the first place.

It may also prevent heat loss if it is made of a good insulation material. Heat loss happens when heat is transferred between two materials when there is a difference in surface temperature. If the cold outside air touches the door sweep, and the door sweep is warmer than the air, the heat from the door sweep will be lost. If the door sweep is cooled and the material becomes colder, heat will be lost because the house is warmer. Rubber is a fairly good insulator for this purpose, which is why it is the material most often used in door sweeps.

The “brush” type of weep is good for reducing air flow, but will readily transfer heat if temperatures are different – which is why a lot of modern outer facing doors are longer sold with this type of sweep (though that may be the reason why “door sweep” adopted its name…it looked more like a broom attached to the bottom of the door.)

If your door sweep gets worn and falls off (they all do), you may ask yourself if you need to actually replace it? Do a simple test. If you feel air entering through the bottom of the door, then absolutely – you need a door sweep. If not, and you can not see the light from outside within your home, you may not need one. Though it certainly will never hurt to add one!

It also bears mentioning that your storm door could use a door sweep as well! Considering it is really the first line of defense against cold air entering your house, it should prevent as much heat loss as possible.

So…do you have a door sweep?

If not, or perhaps the one you have on your door is old or worn out, fear not! You can make your own out of rubber, a piece of vinyl (from vinyl molding perhaps?), foam, felt, or even a makeshift less permanent door sweep from a towel or heavy cloth. For instructions and more info, see http://www.utilitybillbusters.com/articles/heating/why-you-need-a-door-sweep.

A Genuine Collagen Moisturizer Will Hydrate Dry Facial Skin and Also Build Collagen Protein Levels

It’s amazing how many supposedly effective collagen-moisturizing creams there are on the market today that doesn’t actually do — what they are supposed to do!

Most of us have a general understanding that we need a good supply of collagen and elastin to give our facial skin the support and elasticity it needs to remain smooth, wrinkle free and youthful looking.

All the cosmetic and face creams on the market that contain collagen as one of its ingredients, and state that it will boost collagen levels in the skin is misleading the consumer.

Because collagen has molecules about four times too big to fit through your outer skin layer (epidermis) it can’t penetrate deeply into the dermis where it needs to be — to make any difference.

So… If the creams containing collagen don’t work! — How do you find a good quality collagen moisturizer that does. Well, the main criteria are — it must contain substances that can actually stimulate your own body to produce more of these proteins itself.

The following three natural substances have been proven in clinical trials to be able to stimulate the re-growth of collagen and elastin protein skin cells.

Cynergy TK”(TM)” is a substance developed by a small company in New Zealand. They have discovered a way to convert natural keratin into a functional nano bioactive form that is solublized. These small molecules can fit through your outer skin layer and penetrate deep within your skin to produce new collagen protein skin cell re-growth.

Studies have shown that by applying Cynergy TK skin moisture retention improved by 14% within 18 days, and a 42% improvement in skin elasticity over the same timeframe.

The second and more commonly known substance Coenzyme Q10 — can also stimulate your body to produce collagen and elastin protein re-growth. That’s provided it’s in the special “nano-emulsion” Nano-Lipobelle H-EQ10 form.

The third and final substance Phytessence Wakame is extracted from sea kelp from Japan… Along with collagen and elastin it’s essential to maintain your skins elasticity and smoothness and the proteins stick ability. It’s also a powerful moisturizing and soothing anti-oxidant.

Don’t be confused when you next go to buy a collagen moisturizer… If it contains the ingredient collagen, it won’t improve or boost its levels in your skin. So — remember you need to use substances that can stimulate re-growth of new collagen and elastin protein cells.

If your interested to find out more on how to increase your own collagen and elastin levels — to help improve your complexion and reduce wrinkles, visit my website today.

Discover Vitamins And Herbs For Anxiety

Indeed, there are vitamins and herbs for anxiety, but there are also minerals that can be of great help to anxiety sufferers and, as such, we will discuss them too. However, before we delve into these natural anxiety relievers, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that you should always consult a physician before taking any dietary and/or herbal supplements. In addition, you should never stop taking any anxiety medication prescribed to try any of these natural anxiety remedies before talking to a physician first.

That said, let’s begin by discussing vitamins and herbs for anxiety and then will close with minerals that may have a calming effect on the body.

From the herbal kingdom we present:

Befriend Passionflower. Passionflower is an excellent anxiety and general stress reliever. It helps to relax the nerves and muscles and it even helps to relax tight muscles. In fact, because passionflower does not promote any kind of sedating effect, it’s particularly effective during daytime hours to reduce the effects of anxiety and stress. In addition, passionflower is good for nervous insomnia. Indeed, this herb is highly respected as one of nature’s best tranquilizers and, as such, it is one that should definitely be on your list in regards to vitamins and herbs for anxiety.

Meet St. John’s Wort. St. John’s wort is best known for its ability to counter mild to moderate depression. However, this herb has another talent. It has been found to be as effective as pharmaceuticals in treating anxiety.

Get to know hops. Don’t be fooled by this herbs name, hops is highly valued for its ability to promote a calming effect on the body. It is used to relieve anxiety and to ease nervousness and restlessness. It is also useful for hyperactivity, insomnia, stress, ulcers, and others.

Become familiar with valerian. This herb enjoys a boastful reputation as being useful for tension, stress, nervousness, insomnia, anxiety, and possibly mild depression.

Check out chamomile for soothing jangled nerves. Chamomile is a popular herb used for anxiety due its nerve-relaxing properties. However, chamomile is said to work well for mild cases of anxiety because it is not as strong as some other nerve-soothing herbs.

Other anxiety herbal fighters: Kava Kava, Oat Straw, Motherwort, Lemon Balm, and Scullcap.

Now, let’s move forward on our topic of this article, vitamins and herbs for anxiety and discuss vitamins.

From the vitamin world of nature we present:

Make sure you’re getting your Bs. The B complex family is well recognized as vitamins needed to help maintain a normal nervous system.

Don’t forget vitamin C. Vitamin C is extremely important for dealing with stress and it is also necessary for proper function of brain chemicals and adrenal glands. In fact, it is said that in large doses, vitamin C promotes a powerful tranquilizing effect and is known to decrease anxiety.

Get help from your friend vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps transport needed oxygen to brain cells and protects them from being damaged by free radicals.

Kick in some chromium. Do you know that a deficiency in chromium can produce symptoms of anxiety? As such, make sure you’re getting your daily recommended allowance of this mineral.

As we mentioned earlier, besides vitamins and herbs for anxiety there are minerals that can help.

From the mineral world of nature we present:

Calcium does more than build healthy bones. Calcium can help alleviate tension, irritability, and promote relaxation, and, as such, it is a natural tranquilizer.

Pair calcium with magnesium. Magnesium helps relieve anxiety, tension, nervousness, muscular spasms, and is necessary for proper nerve functioning. Magnesium is best taken in combination with calcium.

Discover what zinc has to offer. Zinc can have a calming effect on the central nervous system and helps promote mental alertness. In addition, zinc aids in proper brain function.

But wait, we have one more nutrient to add to your list of vitamins and herbs for anxiety information. It’s name is inositol.

Who is inositol? Inostiol is actually considered part of the B complex family and has been used to help people with anxiety that have panic attacks. In addition, it is used in connection with obsessive compulsive disorder and depression.

Final note about vitamins and herbs for anxiety…

Discover the power of a comprehensive anxiety supplement. We believe that one should consider all their options when trying to combat anxiety. Therefore, it’s important to understand that a comprehensive formula using carefully selected ingredients can offer more therapeutic benefits, often better than taking a single nutrient or herb on its own. In addition, mixing and matching nutrients and supplements on your own, including vitamins and herbs for anxiety can be very dangerous to your health as well as costly.

However, if you select a comprehensive product make sure that it is professionally and scientifically formulated by a highly-credentialed scientific team that can ensure the proper blending of ingredients to maximize the therapeutic benefits needed to combat anxiety. In fact, nowadays there are highly sophisticated products designed to combat not only anxiety and stress, but depression as well.

Bottom line …

It’s important to understand the how and why of what makes some these comprehensive anxiety products useful – an important factor in making an informed choice. Thanks to the internet and web sites, there are some manufacturers that will go through great lengths to explain in detail the benefits of there anxiety product, including who formulated the product as well as manufacturing producers, product freshness and quality, money-back guarantee, contact information, etc.