Xbox 360 E71 Error Repair Tips

One of the errors that you can experience on your Xbox 360 e71 error. Quite often this problem may be accompanied with a ring of red lights on the front of your console. In this article you are going to learn what causes the Xbox e71 code, as well as if there is anything you can do to fix the problem.

Unlike the more common "red ring of death" and e74 problems, the Xbox 360 e71 error is not caused by overheating damaging the graphics processor unit (GPU) or video scaler (HANA / ANA) chip. However, the problem is that nobody is 100% sure what actually causes the e71 in the first place.

Most likely the problem relates to dashboard and console updates, such as the fall update of 2006. Also, the problem appears to arise from gamers incorrectly jumping their hardware or doing botched firmware hacks which then prevent the system from functioning correctly.

Have you recently updated your Xbox 360 in anyway, or have you (or anyone else) tried some form of firmware hack or flash? If so, this is probably the cause of the e71 code on your Xbox, however, it could also be completely random.

Fixing the Xbox e71 is quite tricky. Firstly, you could try completely resetting your Xbox 360. To do this, enter the dashboard, go to the right-most column, go and press "Initial Set Up" then follow the instructions on screen.

If you can not access this screen due to the e71 error on your Xbox 360, you can try holding the "Y" button on your controller as you switch the console on. This will enter the same process, and restore default factory settings. However, there is still a chance that this might not work, and that you could be stranded with the e71 code.

Challenges for a Mobile App Development Company

India stands second in the world, in the number of active mobile phones users. The number of people who own and use cell phones continues to grow. 1 billion Smartphone users are expected to sell in the coming year, doubling that of the number of PCs. With over 10 billion mobile Internet devices expected to be in use by 2016 which is 1.4 device per person on the planet. According to some recent research Moms spend 53 percent of their app-usage time playing games with Android phones. On iPads, that's 48 percent of their app time, and on iPhones, 31 percent. "Moms are gamers, too." So, you can certainly experience its explosive growth.

But it is not as green as it appears. Starting and establishing a mobile app development business is a hard nut to crack. Few challenges faced by start-up companies are:

  • Resource restraint: It's not that corporations do not have access to in-house programming talent-they usually do. However, most of that talent is going to have experience on the Windows side; not necessarily on popular mobile platforms like Android and iOS. Windows can and should be a part of any mobile platform discussions. However, it's only a part and there's got to be work done on Android and iOS. But, let's be honest. If you're a hotshot 27-year old mobile programmer, are you going to look for work inside a corporation's in-house app development team? Or are you going to try and join one of the seemingly never-ending supplies of mobile startups who seem certain they can make millions with the latest hot app?
  • Security: Every mobile device manufacturer understands the importance of security, and offers accommodations for it. Sometimes different mobile platforms provide varying degrees of support for securing data stored on the device. At the same time, not every mobile application needs the same level of security, and users dislike multiple login to access data on the device itself or back-end data. However, the responsibility for protecting data falls squarely on the application developers' shoulders, so they must incorporate encryption into the application down to the file system level
  • Gathering & Implementation of Ideas: When you start a new business the very first point that matters is objective evaluation. Gathering all ideas. And not just falling in love with those ideas. Doing rigorous study and investigation also matters. Referring experts and then taking a decision. According to a popular business trainer "When you choose to open a business, your chances at success-and satisfaction-are greater if you love the work you do".
  • What is their business model? Do they sell their own apps?
  • Finance: Most people assume that this is an easy ride especially for someone whose father is already a billionaire, whereas, whether it's an investor or your own father he wants to see great projections before he agree to invest in your new business. Whatever kind of business you're setting up – from a one-person operation based at home, to a high-tech manufacturing plant – you need to be clear about how much money you're going to need and where you're going to get it.

Regardless of your challenges, that you'll be facing. There are a few important qualities that may lead you to success:

  • Platform appropriate – Your app should be optimized for a mobile user. Make sure your app is compatible and functional for all brands and devices.
  • User Friendly – Your app needs to look amazing. Even the best app idea could falter if it is not packaged in a fully branded, colorful enticing way. Your app needs to be easy to install, easy to access, and easy to use. Sketch out how you think you'd like your app to work and spend time making it simpler.
  • Memorable & shareable – Your user should be left with a major impression. Use any design, wording, and interface techniques you can to make sure your user never forget their experience. The most successful mobile apps are the ones that are easily shareable. Your app needs to have a feature that rewards users for sharing it with other users.
  • Spontaneous – Any app needs to be accessible for short bursts of user activity. If your app only is good for long, drawn-out sessions of use, it probably will not succeed.
  • Cheap – It's a no-brainer. The cheaper something is, the more users are likely to download it. Try a free version coupled with a full version.
  • Demographic targeted – Know your audience. Not everyone in the world will want your app, so focus on the users who will.
  • Fun – Possibly the most important quality in any app is its level of enjoyment ability. Take the time to entertain your users in addition to whatever your app's primary function is.

Handicapped Accessible Shower Design for Veteran Amputees

To veteran amputees, one of the most difficult things to do is to take a bath. Going to the bathroom is already difficult, even if they have someone to guide them or push their wheelchair to reach the bathroom. While in the shower, there is often the danger of them hitting the walls should they slip accidentally. Reaching all their bathing needs is also another challenge that they have to go through each day. For your convenience, the comfort and convenience are provided. This bathroom bathroom shower stall is usually portable and foldable, making it easy to setup and remove.

Handicapped people deserve much care and attention, especially the veterans who had many times in their lives experienced great distress, hardships, and difficulties. They deserve understanding, since it's normal for them to show irritability and bad temper, considering their incapacity to move freely and independently. So to make things lighter for them, one significant way to do that is to install a wheelchair accessible shower design unit near the patient's room. As long as there is a nearby water source, probably a faucet or a sink, it can easily be setup. The good thing for you is that a bathroom doesnt require drilling or hammering to be installed. In fact, some units are already assembled when bought.

Portable shower bathrooms are designed with the handicapped in mind. As mentioned, they are easy to install in any part of the house as long was a nearby water source is available. And when the patient is not using it, it can easily be removed and folded. Those who are in wheelchairs can simply slide the wheelchair inside the shower stalls. Meanwhile, for those who do not want to bath on a wheelchair, they can simply sit, lie down, or place themselves in a comfortable position while inside the shower. A curtain can be used to add some privacy while the disabled is taking a bath.

Showers for the handicapped are essential because they allow the disabled to take a bath without the need of assistance of others. Bathing is a private thing and if the Veteran amputees need another person's help to clean up themselves, this can be very embarrassing on their part. But with handicapped showers, the personal needs of the disabled are taken care of.

Showers for the handicapped are available from various manufacturers, each product comes with special features depending on the needs of the disabled. Before purchasing one, make sure that you get the measures right. There are showers for adults and there are for kids. There are also plenty enough to accommodate those who weigh on the heavy side. Make sure that the unit that you will purchase, besides from addressing the personal needs of the amputee will also make him or her feel comfortable. That is, he or she can freely move while inside the shower without compromising his or her safety.

House-Training a Puppy – Top 10 Survival Tips

House-training a puppy does not have to be a difficult or time-consuming process when you have the key points covered. I find that many new dog owners approach house-training as if they were dealing with another person.

Let me assure you that this approach will not work. You actually need to appreciate and take advantage of differences between dogs and people. For any kind of dog training, the most important difference is that dogs are creatures of habit and not creatures of reason.

You can not simply appeal with a dog or punish him in order to make him understand what you expect from him. You must correct his bad behavior and praise his good behavior. Then do this over and over until your dog gets it. Once you realize this key to successful dog training, house-training will become much easier.

I'm about to give you 10 of the most important tips for house-training your puppy. These tips, which apply to both housebreaking and paper-training, cover all of the essential components of successful house-training.

  1. Visit your veterinarian . This is always a good first step because it will help to ensure that there are no medical reasons preventing or hindering your house-training efforts. Plus, it's always a good idea to have a new pet checked out as soon as they're introduced into the family unit.
  2. Start house-training your puppy early . As soon as your new puppy arrives in your home, start house-training him. But, do not expect too much from a very young puppy. They have almost no control over their bladder and bowels. So it's up to you to get them outside regularly.
  3. Decide what method of house-training is right for your situation . If you live in a high-rise apartment building or if you're disabled or handicapped, you might want to consider paper-training rather than housebreaking.
  4. Get your puppy on a schedule immediately . Do not miss the importance of this step. Puppies need to eliminate shortly after they eat, drink, play, and sleep. If you can schedule these events, you can get them outside (or onto papers) at the appropriate time. This can speed training considerably!
  5. Use confinement and supervision religiously . Never allow your puppy to wander around the house unsupervised. I can guarantee that he will have an accident. And, every accident that goes unaccompanied slows the training.
  6. Consider Crate Training to speed house-training . When done correctly crate training is very beneficial for any puppy. It provides a secure retreat for your puppy and it also helps him to learn to control his bowels and bladder. That's because dogs by nature do not like to eliminate where they sleep. So as long as you do not leave him in the crate for hours on end, your puppy will try to hold it until you let him out.
  7. Correct an accident only if you witness it . Without you see your puppy eliminating in the house, you can not do anything except clean it up and try to supervise him better next time. If you do catch him, do something to interrupt him (like saying "NO!" In a strong tone) and get him outside immediately. Never hit him or try to punish him after the fact! You'll only be teaching him to be afraid of you. This could backfire causing him to urinate every time he sees you.
  8. Praise every successful elimination . Never miss the opportunity to praise your puppy profusely when he goes where and when he should. Praise is the golden key to successful and quick house-training.
  9. Be patient . Try to be as patient with your young puppy as you would be with your child being toilet trained. Different children take to toilet training at different speeds. The same is true for puppies and house-training.
  10. Be consistent . I saved this for last because its probably the most important. If you're not consistent in all your training efforts, your puppy will find it hard to recognize exactly what you want him to do. And, failure is assured.

Remember, your puppy would like nothing better than to please you. As soon as he figures out what it is that will please you, he'll be eager to do it! And, the training will be pretty much complete.

Therefore, your task is to make it very clear to him exactly what you want and expect from him. And you do this by correcting mistakes WHILE they're happening and by seeing his successes.

If you do this consistently , you can not fail!

Emphasis and Balance in Interior Design

Emphasis in interior design can be used to draw one's eyes in a particular direction or to a specific detail. For example, if you are working with a room that has a low ceiling vertical stripes can be introduced so as to make the room seem taller. Vertical stripes will draw the eyes upwards and therefore create vertical emphasis or also known as stress in a design. Alternately, the use of horizontal stripes would create horizontal stress or emphasis and draw the eyes around the room. Think about wooden moldings such as picture rails and dado rails which are often introduced into a scheme to break up large wall spaces. These kind of details although often subtle can have a major impact on your design.

Another factor to consider when planning an interior design scheme is that of contrast as without it any scheme would be bland and boring. By consciously choosing contrasting elements such as plain and patterned textures or by combining modern styling with antique furnishings, the details will often complement each other theby intensifying prominent characteristics of your design. Choosing contrasting details is the same as choosing contrasting colors and they key to success is getting the balance right.

Symmetrical balance in interior design occurs when one side of a scheme is the same as the other side but in reverse. Symmetrical balance is often seen in classical interiors which due to its more formal styling ratios heavily on proportion, symmetry and balance. Whilst such a scheme would obviously be well balanced, it can be deemed safe and therefore somewhere boring.

Asymmetrical balance is the opposite of the above. In this type of scheme objects on either side of the room would be different in proportion, size and layout. This type of scheme creates the impression of activity and movement and often comes across as being informal and more individual in style. Since asymmetrical schemes do not follow strict guidelines they offer more flexibility but by doing so make it harder to achieve visual balance.

Radial balance occurs when a scheme is arranged around a central point or focus but is less common in interior design. Such schemes often focus on setting on a round table or floral arrangements. Radial balance suggests movement through the circular arrangements and symmetry is used t achieve overall balance. This type of scheme is more individual and can therefore cross any number of interior styles.

There are many elements to consider when planning a scheme and it can be easy to get things wrong which is why people employ interior designers. It is important to take the time therefore to plan a scheme carefully so that you can visualize the end result and achieve balance in your design.

Veneer Brick Looks and Feels Like Real Brick But is Much More Affordable

Veneer is a material that is used in construction for decorative purposes. The material is also referred to as facing and can be found in many different materials. Veneer brick is one of the most popular kinds of this material and has the appearance of brick without the cost of brick.

Facing is a term used to identify the application of a material to a wall surface. This material is often used on both exterior and interior walls. Veneer provides a textured finish and creates a richer appearance than a standard flat painted wall. Both brick and wood are common veneer materials.

There are many different types of hardwood that can be found in veneer. Typically exotic woods have a prohibitive cost for the average homeowner, but these same woods are available in veneer at much more affordable prices. Also popular among veneer finishes are plaster and stone. By using these materials a space can be transformed.

The good look and durability of veneer make it just as qualified for commercial spaces as it is for residential ones. In fact, if the material is applied properly it may be impossible to tell the difference between the real thing and veneer. This is particularly true with woods such as oak or pine.

Veneer brick can be commonly found in rustic settings, but is just as conducive to classic or contemporary decors as it is to rustic decors. It all depends on how it is used and what materials are used to accent it. By using the correct type of brick and the right decorating accents, you can use veneer to create a setting style you desire.

Applying veneer is actually pretty simple and quick. Before starting the process it is necessary to apply a damp cloth to the wall and make sure the wall is clean and free of bumps. If there are bumps on the surface of the wall they should be sanded down. Once the surface of the wall is clean and free of debris, mortar can be applied. The mortar adheres to the wall and is used to stick the veneer to the wall in a manner that is similar to applying tile. The veneer is placed over the mortar and allowed to dry. While it is drying, there is a plastic mold that is commonly used to make sure the brick places in place and is uniformly placed around the entire wall.

Brick veneer looks particularly smart used around a fireplace and has the illusion of being the chimney. This material also looks good as a closure around a wood burning stove. Another neat decorating trick is to use this material along with some plaster to create the feeling of an old factory loft. A wine cell or the new cool 'man cave' can also be decorated with this material.

You Need to Understand the Extent of the Sin of Fornication and Adultery Which Are Against God

Have you read of the story of Joseph and Portiphar’s wife in the Bible? The Go to Genesis 39:6-12. Most youths and individuals of our present generation will marvel and exclaim “wow!” he is super human to resist such a caliber of lady and who knows, she may be as well a very pretty woman. But if you understand why fornication or adultery is sin against God, then you must have understood why Joseph did that, and you can also have the strength to say “NO”. Here are several reasons:

1. Such sin gives Satan a chance to taunt Christ and ridicule His sacrifice on the cross. It is Satan who charges God, “You are unfair to expect mankind not to sin! sin is my invention, and it is so strong that it is impossible to say ‘No’ to it! The Bible says Christ died to save His people from their sins: not in them. (Matthew 1:21) ha ha ha! look at your ‘child’ who has fallen into adultery-that proves I am right, God, and You are wrong! Christ has died in vain.” If Joseph had said “Yes” to Mrs Potiphar, Satan would have taunted God like this.

2. It is because of our sin that murdered the Son of God on the cross. “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5); that hurt! Someone may object, “Yes, but was nearly two thousand years ago. and His suffering was “once for all” and it is finished now. My continued sinning doesn’t hurt Him any more!” This is the lie that many professed Christians believe. Let us read how Hebrews describe man’s fresh re-crucifixion of Christ.

There is no longer any sacrifice that will take away sins if we purposely go on sinning after the truth has been made known to us. What, then, of the person who despises the son of God? Who treats as a cheap thing the blood of God’s covenant which purified him from sin? Who insults the spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:26).

This was what Joseph “saw”, and his faith kept him from doing it. It wasn’t fear that held him back. He didn’t say, “oh, maybe my father or my brothers will hear about it”, or “perhaps I will get a venereal disease.” or “maybe portiphar’s wife will get pregnant by me.” No! “By faith Joseph…” felt a deep heart-appreciation of the sacrifice of the son of God for the sins of the world. How could he treat it as “cheap”? “Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul!” he prayed; he would not “insult the spirit of grace,” nor “crucify the son of God and expose Him to public shame.” Yes! Joseph may have lived years before Christ won born on earth, but in general he saw the mercies of God, His grace as something not cheap to be thrown in the gutter by compromising his faith. Thank God for Joseph! The world owes a great debt to him….

3. Adultery or fornication always brings sorrow and suffering to someone; in fact, there is murder wrapped up within it. Millions of people, for example, openly recognize that abortion is murder; and it is almost always the result of sin. Even when fornication or adultery is done only for “recreation” or “fun”, someone will surely get hurt. The pleasure of the moment is offset by the guilt that will remain, poisoning the heart and life. In order to silence the sense of guilt. many people simply renounce all title to heaven, give up, and choose to go to hell. They may appear outwardly to be happy once they have made that final choice, but as Jesus says, “Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.” And they know it. And since it takes two people to commit fornication or adultery, one has led the other to the loss of his/her soul eternally. also many a marriage is poisoned within the painful memories of pre- or extramarital sexual transgression; and again, the children are the unfortunate losers. They are deprived of the happiness and peace of a home every innocent child has a right to have. Their parents always bear the “wound and dishonor” that their sin brought (see Proverbs 6:33).

Many girls are also led into prostitution. They are to blame, of course, but others are to blame also. Those who patronize them help to make and keep them what they are. What a misuse of human capability! Even when the girls become so hardened that they have forgotten how to shed tears and have become dehumanized as it were, the misery is deep. Joseph didn’t want to add to this destruction of humanity. And it was in Africa that this mighty victory was won for the world!

4. All this resultant pain and suffering Christ feels. The Bible teaches, “In all their affliction He [Christ] was afflicted” (Isaiah 63:9). HE feels it even more keenly than we humans feel it. for He sees the end from the beginning. “His souls was grieved for the misery of Israel” because of their wrongdoing (Judges 10:16). A wise writer once said:

Few give thought to the suffering that sin has caused our Creator. All heaven suffered in Christ’s agony; but that suffering did not begin or end with His…. humanity. The cross is a revelation to our dull senses of the pain that, from its very beginning, sin has brought to the heart of God. Every departure from the right, every deed of cruelty, every failure of humanity to reach His ideal, brings grief to Him…. As the “whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together” (Romans 8:22), the heart of the infinite Father is pained in sympathy. Our world is a vast scene of misery that we dare not allow even out thoughts to dwell upon. Yet God feels it all. In Order to destroy sin and its results He gave His best Beloved, and HE has put it in our power through cooperation with Him, to bring this scene of misery to an end- Ellen G. White..

This is what Joseph “saw”. This is why, when Potiphar’s wife offered him that alluring, almost over-mastering temptation, he said “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Someday we shall see all the fruits that have been borne by the seeds of sin. It will be a terrible sight. God will not say one word to condemn us- He won’t need to. We shall condemn ourselves, and the whole universe will condemn us as the world today condemns Hitler. Is it not good that the Holy spirit convicts us of sin today so we can find repentance before it is too late?

God has revealed His grace for the salvation of all mankind. That grace instructs us to give up ungodly living, and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this world, as we wait for the blessed day we hope for, when the glory of Our great God and savior Jesus Christ, will appear. He gave Himself for us, to rescue us from all wickedness and to make us a pure people who belong to Him alone and are eager to do good (Titus 2:11-14).

Constructing A Retaining Wall

There are many circumstances in a construction project where retaining walls may be required. One of the most common is to retain an earth bank, either to prevent the earth from sliding or to protect an object or building. There are many ways and materials that can be used to construct a wall including; wood, metal and concrete. Wooden crib walls and sleepers are commonly used for domestic purposes as they are affordable and easier to handle. The domestic uses also tend to be small and have less loads placed on them, there is also an aesthetical requirement specifically for garden wall purposes.

Metal sheet piling is a fast and efficient method of creating a retaining wall. Large sheets of corrugated steel are forced deep into the ground and the material is backfilled against this. One of the main drawbacks of using Wood and Metal for the construction of a wall is their corrosive nature. Wood will rot and metal will rust, this gives them a short life span. Concrete is an excellent product for building a retaining wall as it has excellent structural properties and it also repels the elements. The concrete products are made with steel reinforcement is encased in the concrete which results rust occurring and once cured the concrete provides excellent protection for the steel and a very strong structure. The reinforced concrete retaining wall can be either constructed onsite using steel cages for the reinforcement and wood shuttering to form the structure. The other alternative is to use precast concrete sections manufacturer off-site and then install them on-site which will help reduce the construction time.

There are other types of precast blocks that can be used. These generally interlock to create gravity retaining walls which will sometimes require a gradient sloping back. These are useful where the end product needs to fit into the environment. It may be that plants can be used in order to help the wall blend it into the surroundings. These types of walls may be used near bridges, on the side of roads, or on residential developments. An example of this would be crib walling. These are reliably large precast blocks that interlock and build up to create the wall. They need a granular infill and then plants and other vegetation can be put on the wall so that over time will blend the wall into its surroundings.

There are many options out there so have a look around and work out which products is most suitable for your job.

Jobsite Cleaning is a Must For Building and Remodeling Contractors

When I first started working in construction, I was constantly stepping over large pieces of lumber that were spread all over the jobsite. I would often trip or fall over these large cumbersome items and never even think about cleaning any of it up. A clean job can make all the difference in the world and I'm going to tell you why.

When I used to work on jobs that were not clean, I would come home tired and thought it was because I worked hard all day, until I actually worked on a job that was clean. Just the fact that you have to step over construction debris all day long can wear anyone out and it definitely took its toll on me.

Almost everyone has seen pictures of students and people in the military on an obstacle course, running through a bunch of tires. If they do not place their feet directly in the center of these tires, they can easily trip and fall. This is what it feels like to me, when I'm stepping over cumbersome pieces of lumber on the jobsite obstacle course.

It was not until I met one contractor that changed my way of thinking for ever. This man would often spend an hour or two each day cleaning the job himself. I always thought that he was trying to avoid working and this was one way that he could look busy. I still think this was his main objective, but the lesson I learned is stuck in my head for ever.

If you're the type of person who does not keep their jobs clean, I suggest that you try it for a few days and see what it feels like. It changed my way of thinking and I'm sure that it will change yours.

Civil Engineering Jobs in India to Rise in the Coming Years!

Civil engineering, one of the oldest and broadest branches of engineering offers vast career opportunities in sectors across. Although in 19802s, the demand of civil engineers slowed down a bit, it has regained its importance and today is one of the hottest career domains to be in. People in this domain are mostly involved in construction, design, development and maintenance of buildings, roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, dams, railway lines and so on.

The demand of civil engineers is anticipated to be on the rise till 2030. According to a report by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), the country will need around 76.5 million skilled workforces in the India's prospering building, construction and real estate sector. In fact the construction sector particularly is projected to grow INR 11,954 billion by 2017, which is simply amazing! And it is likely to create more than 45 million jobs catering to people from all walks of life.

The construction sector is the second largest employer in the country after agriculture. It may surprise you but during 2000 and 2013, the industry wooed USD 40,399 million as foreign direct investment (FDI). It is further expected to rise and attract FDI of USD 180 billion by 2020. In fact the capital investments in the sector is expected to reach USD 1,181 billion in 2019-20 from USD 651 billion in 2012-13.

Moreover, with the govt's impetus in fast tracking investments in infrastructure projects across oil and gas, power, telecommunications The job creation process has been hastened in the engineering, construction and procurement sector.

Since, these particular industries are the typical recruiters of civil engineers, it is expected that civil engineering jobs will grow exponentially in the near future. It would be good to say that civil engineers in India enjoy plush job opportunities and are always high on the priority list of the employers.

Some job profiles-

Given the interdisciplinary nature of this stream, the candidates enjoy huge career prospects. Some of the prominent job titles in this field are listed below-

· Construction engineer

· Project engineer

· Field technician

· Structural engineer

· Site engineer

· Quality control engineer

· Estimation engineer

The employment prospects for the graduates is varied and not limited to just any one area. The best part is candidates enjoy an edge over other career fields when it comes to government jobs. Job seekers whether fresher or experienced are easily absorbed by various govt offices. Some of the most predominant workplaces for civil engineers in govt sector include irrigation, road and building and CPWD. Further, they also find placements in both private and public sector undertakings and infrastructure and construction companies.

In summary, it would be good to say that civil engineering has a wide career scope and its demand is not going to fade at least in the near future.

You Gave Me What I Asked for But Not What I Wanted! (Part 1)

Picture the following scenario: You're the project manager ready to deliver the new system your team has been developing for the past two years. Millions of dollars have been spent during those two years to gather requirements, define the system, build an architecture and models, create a work breakdown structure and project schedule with resource allocation, build the system components, integrate, test, validate, fix problems and finally the day is at hand: delivery. You deliver the system with great fanfare and you are confident the system will deliver as promised: greater efficiencies, cost savings, improved customer service, and increased revenue.

Your systems engineering team did an amazing job collecting and vetting requirements from the users, customers, and even the "C-Suite" crowd. Everyone agreed the requirements were well defined and prescribed what the system should do. Your enterprise and systems architects defined the architecture against the requirements, built models of the system, and re-vetted them with stakeholders. A final design was developed and was handed off to the development team to implement. The development team tested their components worked and validated them against the requirements. Once any discrepancies were fixed and regression tested, the systems components were handed to the integration team to "stich" everything together. Again, more testing and validation are completed, problems fixed, regression testing completed, and the system is packaged up for delivery to the stakeholders. Your work is done, and a promotion and a raise will certainly be in the offing for pulling off such a complex project.

Exception … it quickly turns into a disaster. The users start using the system and find it's not doing what they thought it would do. Processes are radically different, data management requires a new set of skills, some people find themselves overburdened with activities while others are now idle, the newly formed help desk is swamped with calls and trouble tickets, customer service takes a beating, and the C- Suite quickly finds out about the mess you delivered. They order the system be taken down immediately and fixed. Instead of that promotion and raise, you're looking at the real possibility of termination and no income at all. What you quickly learn doing a "post mortem" on the project is a very common problem in requirements gathering and management: the stakeholders will say, "You gave me what I asked for, but it's not what I wanted!" Somehow, the project management and systems engineering roles should have been described as "being able to read minds" rather than collect, structure, and vet requirements for a system. But was it the inability to read minds or the process that replied in this fiasco?

Before I go on, I want to quickly define what I mean by "system." Most people reading this article will assume I'm talking about software. In many cases, the system that fails to meet customer expectations is a new software capability. In business, these systems can be bespoke applications developed for a very specific capacity; In many cases, it can be an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution based on applications from SAP, Oracle / Peoplesoft, or Microsoft Dynamics, to name some well-known ERP solutions. However, a system can be anything: an airplane, a ship, a spacecraft, a car, a power generation plant, medical devices … really, anything that meets the definition of "a set of interacting or interdependent components forming an integrated whole . " Think of non-software-based systems that failed to deliver as promised or processed delays and cost overruns: The Ford Edsel and Pontiac Aztec, which had market failures (requirements developed in a market vacuum), the Airbus 380 and Boeing 787 (requirements and implementation mismatch), and the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), to name a few.

Now that I've defined what a system is, I want to return to the fictitious, but very familiar, story I crafted for the introduction to this article. I posited the question of whether project managers and systems engineers need to read minds or should have changed the process to avoid the disaster. Well, it turns out that mind reading is not a prerequisite for either of these positions. What could have avoided the problems is employing chaos theory and emergence as the approach to systems development. These theoretic constructs are what drive Agile development, which I will provide an overview on how Agile methods work and their implementation.

Agile development, which includes such techniques as Scrum, eXtreme Programming (XP), and Design Systems Development Method (DSDM) are rooted in the idea that the end users must be involved in the entire development process, and that nobody really knows what the end state of the system will look like: the end state emerges from the entire process. This article will not discuss how to implement an Agile process; rather, it will describe some key aspects of the approach and why it works.

Agile methods are fundamentally designed to facilitate communication between all the stakeholders in a project. The processes encourage teams to develop as self-organizing systems, with people assuming roles based on their strengths and interests. Communication is facilitated with "information radiators" that have team members post their progress and issues in a "war room" planning board with Post-It notes. It also recognizes that end-users of the system are both instrumental in the development and do not really know what they want until they see it. That encourages the development of small, incremental solutions to a problem, rather than a monolithic solution that often does not satisfy anyone.

It is the antithesis of how organizations typically operate, because there is a great deal of unpredictability in what the final system will look like and the apprehensive lack of control during the development process. Further, Agile processes tend to have sparse documentation: "ornamental" document deliverables, which provide no value value to the team's ability to develop and deliver a solution are almost entirely eliminated; Much of the text-based documentation are replaced by diagrams, models, and storyboards. Metrics that are grouped are more focused on keeping the team aware of what has been completed and what is in the pipeline rather than the classic Gantt chart progress reports and earned-value data that management is always focused on. Instead, daily "stands" are held: these are short meetings with all the team members to discuss three things: accomplishes, today's objectives, and roadblocks / problems that need to be addressed. The team members include the developers, and end-user representative, testers, user experience developers, and testers.

The focus is on delivering small, incremental pieces of functionality rather than large, monolithic solution. Remember: the users are getting things done without any new systems, so even small improvements in their operations will be appreciated. And because they helped develop it, they will be vested in its success. The interesting piece is that there's no prediction on what the final product will do: as needs change, people change, and missions change, the incremental approach allows the system to evolve as it's developed. With this approach, the problem of "You Gave Me What I Asked for But Not What I Wanted!" is a thing of the past.

In Part 2 of this article, I will discuss why an Agile, incremental, and adaptive approach works, why the old ways of doing business fail so often, and how to sell the approach to a C-suite staff that wants a predictable end- state, lots of meters along the way, and reams of documentation.

Save For A Home – Vintage Collectible House Banks

I wanted a house for so many years before I could afford one it’s no surprise that I began to collect small, affordable houses. Vintage banks shaped like houses that is.

One year, at an antiques show in Boston, I found a small house-shaped bank marked “Save For A Home.” Since that’s precisely what I was doing it was a must have. Several months later I found another vintage house bank at a garage sale marked “Save For A Purpose.” Voila! A collection in the making.

Trouble was, it turned out to be a fluke that those two vintage collectibles had turned up so easily. For the life of me I couldn’t find another. Obsession set in. Every time I cruised the aisles in an antique shop I was really looking for just one thing. Soon half a dozen of my friends and family were enlisted in the search. My collection grew at the rate of about one house bank per year — with a lot of hunting in between each discovery.

And then they created eBay. My collection doubled in size within three weeks and the obsession was lifted.

The focus of my obsession is small — about 3.5″ wide and 2.5″ high at the peak of the roof. These banks were give-aways — usually by banks or credit unions, sometimes by insurance companies. They are made of an early plastic with a metal bottom that is opened with a key. If you’re lucky the key will still accompany the bank. There’s a metal plate affixed across the front of the base that reads “Save For A Home,” “Save For A Purpose,” or “Save And Have” and a metal plate on the other side that has the bank or company’s name and address. The body is off-white and the color of the metal plate matches the color of the roof — red, green, or blue. Earlier versions were made of cast iron or tin.

Shaped like a quintessential Cape Cod style house the banks are charming and remarkably detailed. The Cape is complete with dormer windows, shutters with cut-outs, and a fanlight over the door. There are miniature details like a door knocker and a pair of lantern-style lights that flank the door.

The best way to track down house banks is to search on eBay. Do a search that includes the item description field for the term “save for a home” in quotations and you’ll find them.

My grandfather built a Cape in the 1960s financing the construction in large part with the coins he’d been collecting. It’s probably no longer feasible to finance a home purchase with change but I still think these house banks are a great inspiration for somebody who’s trying to amass a down payment or who’s dreaming of their first home. “Save and Have” is certainly a better plan than “Borrow and Spend.”

As for me I just like houses – in any size – so my vintage house bank collection lines a shelf above my desk

How to Stop Being a "Commitaphobe"

For some of us, commitment is a terrifying prospect. Whether it be marriage, moving in together, or simply labelling a relationship. When things get too serious, our fight-or-flight response kicks in and we bolt like the demons of hell are chasing us.

It’s unfair for us and the people we’re dating. So how do we change it?

Take Things Slow

There’s no need to rush these sorts of things. Relationships don’t have time limits. If you take it one day at a time and just enjoy doing things with your partner, there won’t be anything to panic over. Don’t think that after a certain time period, you need to either “move things along” or break it off. It takes a while to know if you’re with the right person and you don’t need to rush into making that decision.

Communicate with your Partner

Communication is everything. If your partner tries to take a step that you’re not ready for, let them know. If they care about you, they’ll be understanding enough to wait until you feel comfortable advancing the relationship. Make sure they know that you are still invested in them, but that you’re just not ready for the next big thing. Take time to think about why exactly you’re nervous about it and discuss it with them. Then, when you’re ready, proceed.

Focus on the Now

The biggest issue for people that struggle with commitment is that they worry too much about the future. What if we don’t know each other well enough to make our relationship official? If we move in together, what will happen in the event of a break up? If we get married, what happens if I fall out of love with you? Thinking about every possible outcome of doing something is, of course, going to make you think that ending things is the best option. Instead, focus on the present. Think about how you feel now. If you love that person, really, truly love them, then make the most of it. Don’t worry about how long it may or may not last. Just enjoy it while it does.

Change Takes Time

If you’re afraid of commitment, it’s likely because the relationships around you haven’t been great examples. You’re terrified of getting stuck with the wrong person. Don’t fret. When you do meet the right person, you will know. And taking these steps will help you to properly commit to them.

Pubic Hair Removal-How To Safely Remove Your Pubic Hair With Pubic Waxing

If you are interested in pubic hair removal and are thinking about removing your pubic hair using pubic waxing, there are a few important points you need to consider before you start.

Most importantly you need to make sure your pubic hair is dry and not wet prior to pubic waxing. Wet hair will make the wax less "stickable" as the hair is becomes softer and more pliant. You want the state of your hair as rough and course as possible when pubic waxing so that the wax can grip the hair.

However the skin does need to be cleaned before you start waxing. There are normal body secrets that will prevent an adequate grip on the skin. For smooth painless waxing the wax must grip the skin and hair tightly. So make sure that the skin is clean and dry before you start.

These days waxes used in pubic hair removal are typically hypo-allergenic meaning that sensitivity issues and allergic like reactions should not occur. However, it is always safest in any procedure such as pubic waxing to test a smallish patch of skin to make sure that there are no unwanted side effects.

The length of your pubic hair also needs to be considered. Too long and you can be in for some unnecessary pain. Too short (less than 2-3 mm) and you will not be able to perform the pubic waxing procedure.

The wax should be heated to a comfortable temperature. It needs to be hot but not painfully so. If the wax is heated too much, it will not only be painful, with possible burns resulting, but the wax will not be of a sufficient consistency to take hold of your pubic hair. Too thin a consistency will have the wax running everywhere but where you want it. Painful and messy.

Pain is always asked about when someone considers pubic waxing. As a form of pubic hair removal, waxing is probably the most uncomfortable, but there are measures that can be taken to help.

Numbing type ointment (not dissimilar to what dentists use prior to injections) can be used prior to waxing. These can be found in most pharmacies or you could try your local beauty salon. Applied up to an hour before waxing starts will take the edge of any pain that may accompany your pubic waxing.

Comfortable positioning is important when performing pubic waxing. No need to go crazy here and tie yourself in knots. A comfortable sitting position with legs spread as wide as is comfortable for you will suffice. Legs raised slowly is usually preferred, but any position that allows you to stretch the skin appropriately and get to all the areas that need attention is all you need to consider.

The actual waxing technique employs a spatula type implemented to apply the wax with the growth of the hair. That is, apply in the direction that your pubic hair is growing.

Now comes the scary bit. Very quickly pull back the wax against the line of growth. Please make sure to do this quickly. If you think sticking plaster smarts, just try removing pubic wax slowly for a new definition of pain.

When it is removed quickly, the discomfort is minimal. A useful trick to use here is just as the wax is being removed, cough forcefully. You will be amazed at what a distraction like this can do.

After you have waxed you can apply a warm damp cloth to clean away any wax residue.

With any type of hair removal, you will want to take whatever measures you can to prevent any localized irritation to the freshly waxed area. Ingrown hairs can be especially problematic so makes sure to exfoliate the area with a soft body brush.

Pubic waxing is a very effective method of pubic hair removal. If you follow the basic advice here you should be pubic hair free anytime you wish with a minimum of discomfort.

Should You Choose a Wood Or Composite Hockey Stick?

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the pros and cons of wood versus composite hockey sticks in the NHL that last couple of years. The fact of the matter is that wood hockey sticks are almost extinct in the NHL. But what about for the recreational player? Wood hockey sticks are a very viable, and sometimes preferred, option. We are going to cover the pros and cons of each stick.

The advantages of the newer composite sticks are many. The sticks are lighter, they are more consistent from stick to stick and they have been engineered to provide player with a quicker shot. The quicker shot comes from the lower kick points in composite sticks. The kick point is the play on the hockey shaft where the stick bends when your stick the puck. With wood shafts the bend tends to be where you place your lower hand. This causes a larger and slower loading and release cycle. Low kick point composite sticks place the bend point at the bottom of the shaft near the blade. This provides a shorter loading and release cycle and the net result is a quicker shot.

If you have played hockey before chances are good that you started with a wood hockey stick and that is still a good choice for today’s beginning hockey players. Wood hockey sticks are significantly less expensive than composite hockey sticks and this certainly helps the budget when you are just getting started and have to gear up with all of the equipment required to play hockey. Another advantage of wood sticks is that they impart a better feel for the puck for beginning players. After you have been playing hockey for a while you will be better able to judge the qualities of hockey sticks and how they match your style of play. That is a good point to investigate whether or not a composite hockey stick makes sense for you.

For a beginning player a wood stick is a great first hockey stick. In your early years playing hockey, the advantages of a composite hockey stick over a wood one might be beyond your ability to take advantage of. The one exception to this is the lighter weight of the composite sticks. Beyond that price is often the factor that most influences a wood versus composite purchasing decision. The key thing to figure out is if the benefits of a composite stick are worth the extra cost to you.

After making your selection you still need to choose the blade pattern to match your preferences and whether you shoot right or left handed. Your stick will need to be long enough to come up to your chin area when you are standing in skates and hold the stick vertically with one end on the ice in front of you. Hockey sticks also have a flex to their shafts just like golf clubs do. You will need a flex that woks for your skill, style on overall body weight and strength.

In the end it all comes to personal choice. You need to try out a large variety of sticks to find the one that is best suited to your skills and your budget. As your skills and experience improve over time you “perfect” hockey stick will evolve as well.