Laminate Flooring Cleaning Tips

Laminate flooring may be made to look like other kinds of floors, but that does not mean it is not unique in other ways. When it comes to cleaning laminate floors, for example, there are some definite do's and don'ts. True, when it comes to cleaning laminate is not as demanding as, say, carpet or certain types of tile flooring. But it still needs thorough, periodic cleaning.

To begin with, the most important thing is to give your laminate floor a regular light sweeping. This prevails any dirt or grit from building up, detracting from your floor's appearance. It also brings the dust that goes into the room's air.

If sweeping is not going to get the job done you can try damp mopping. Use water with a little vinegar in it and make sure to wring the mop out thoroughly before applying it to the floor. You do not want to use excess water. In fact, any time you find standing water on your laminate floor, it should be soaked up immediately.

Sometimes a little extra elbow grease might be needed, in which case cleaning by hand with a cloth moistened with a cleaning solution should do the trick. Just make sure that the solution is one that the manufacturer of your laminate flooring has approved. Using the right cleaner will make the job easier and help remove sticky and stubborn substances. Once again, when the job is done, soak up any excess water.

Water and humidity are laminate flooring's enemies. For this reason you should not even consider steam cleaning. Steam cleaning is fine for certain other floor types – like carpet and tile – but is highly likely to damage a laminate floor. If you're faced with cleaning challenges that the above methods just can not handle, you might try applying a little acetone or alcohol to the problem area and using a soft bristled brush to scrub it. This method can often be used to successfully remove asphalt, paint, crayon and even cigarette burns.

And never let your laminate floor fool you: Even though it can be made to look just like real wood, it is not – which means no sanding, refinishing or waxing. Also, avoid using cleaning products of an abrasive nature. And keep those harsh scouring pads and that steel wool away too. These will only cause scratching, and over time, more serious wear.

Quarter Sawn Wood Furniture VS Plain Sawn

Furniture artisans such as Gustav Stickley, Frank Lloyd Wright and the Amish used and often preferred the look of quarter sawn woods, especially oak, over any other woods. In oak the quarter sawn pattern exposed is often informally known as "tiger oak", especially when the cut has created that amazing striped effect. Popularized in the Arts and Crafts era by Mission furniture designers, the quarter sawn look is timeless and intriguing.

What then is the difference between plain sawn lumber and quarter sawn? Why does each one present their own beauty and production issues in furniture making?

The various sawing techniques used on the timber will affect and cause a difference in the wood's appearance. The way it is sawn even affects the properties of the tree and eventually its final use. The efficiency of the plain sawing technique means the production yields more. It is much faster and more efficient to plain saw and leaves less waste that can be sold for much less. An important factor furniture makers must consider is that the nature of wood is to expand and contract depending on the grain. Plain sawing timber can typically cause the board to be less stable. Because of wood movement plain sawn wood has some disadvantages. Plain sawn wood, however, can even have a very thoughtful after and interesting pattern to its grain called cathedrals and really can not be recreated by any other method.

A real prize of any furniture craftsmen or collector is in the grains and the ray flecks, of the woods. A tree always display growth rings and rays but the more obvious the rays, the more character is in the wood. Irregular growth rings can actually enhance the character of the rays. The proper cutting technique alone will bring out these other hidden lustrous rays. The nature of the oak is always beautiful and strong but the true beauty, much like in a good diamond cutting, is arguably revealed in higher priced quarter sawn oak. A log is first cut into quarters lengthwise and then each quarter is cut again lengthwise with parallel cuts. These cuts run sort of perpendicular to the tree's natural growth rings. This style of cutting, while less cost effective to produce, has an advantage. Because of the properties of the grain quarter sawn lumber makes it less pre to warping and shrinkage. Plain sawn lumber's grain is in many directions so making it more vulnerable to these two common enemies of wooden furniture. Quarter sawn wood adds a certain stability to furniture. Also, because of the features of quarter sawn boards, furniture makers can glue together boards for large projects and the grain can be matched as if it were seamless. This can make larger high end quality designs a masterpiece of nature and man.

Since cost is a factor in many furniture designs plain sawn boards have been used by many furniture manufacturers for decades since they are less expensive. Depression era furniture is often identified by its plain saw cut woods, or by its slightly more expensive quarter sawn veneers. That said not all veneers mean low end furniture but in many cases it is a cost cutting measure. Like Gustav Stickley, honorary father of American Arts and Crafts Mission furniture, the Amish still carry on the use of quarter sawn white oak with no veneers in their Craftsman style furniture.

Low Dose Birth Control Pills

Reducing the side effects of birth control pills (cheers in the gallery!) led to the reduction of the amount of synthetic hormones, estrogen and progestin, that they contained and to the development of the ‘new generation’, low dose birth control pills. “Low dose’ won’t have much meaning for you if you don’t know what this term refers to so the basic information below may help.

So How Low can I go with the dose of hormone ingredients to still be effective at preventing pregnancy?

Good question, as not all birth control pills contain exactly the same amount of estrogen and progestin. I thought a useful reference for you would be a list of low dose and ultra low dose pills so that you can at least discuss the pros and cons with your doctor and see if you are a good candidate to move from say, a low dose 0.035mg estrogen pill down to an ultra low dose 0.020mg estrogen pill. You may find you experience fewer or reduced side effects. Generic brands in low dose birth control pills are also available.

Birth control pills with the very lowest amount of estrogen, that is 0.02mg of estrogen (usually ethinyl estradiol) are classed as ‘ultra low dose’ contraceptive pills. 0.020mg of estrogen is sufficient for contraception but the side effects of spotting and breakthrough bleeding are more common with these types of ultra low dose birth control pills than with low dose pills containing 0.030mg or 0.035mg of estrogen.

Here are some brand names of the “ultra low dose” birth control pills on the market , you may find a generic version on line now that you know what amount of estrogen to look for. The estrogen component is listed first and the progestin component second.

  • Alesse (Aviane,Lessina,Lutera,Sronyx) contains 0.02 mg ethinyl estradiol and 0.1 mg levonorgestrel
  • Mircette contains 0.02 mg ethinyl estradiol and 0.15 mg desogestrel

Pills containing 0.02mg- 0.035mg.of estrogen are classed as ‘low dose’ pills. Here are some brand names of “low dose” birth control pills :

  • LoOvral contains 0.03 mg ethinyl estradiol and and 0.3 mg nogestrel
  • Nordette contains 0.03 mg ethinyl estradiol and 0.15 mg levognorgestrel
  • Ortho-Cept (Reclipsen, Solia) contains 0.03 mg ethinyl estradiol and 0.15 mg desogestrel
  • Desogen contains 0.03 mg ethinyl estradiol and 0.15 mg desogestrel
  • Levlen21 contains 0.03 mg of ethinyl estradiol and 0.15 mg of levonorgestrel
  • Seasonale/Seasonique contain 0.03mg of ethinyl estradiol and 0.15 mg of levonorgestrel

If you are a fan of triphasic pills, here are some low dose ones: Cyclessa

Phase 1: ethinyl estradiol 0.025 mg and desogestrel 0.1 mg

Phase 2: ethinyl estradiol 0.025 mg and desogestrel 0.125 mg

Phase 3: ethinyl estradiol 0.025 mg and desogestrel 0.15 mg

In a study of 5,654 women, over six menstrual cycles, some used the popular triphasic Ortho-Novum 7/7/7 and others used Cyclessa. It was found that women who used Cyclessa had significantly less breakthrough bleeding or spotting and experienced an average weight loss of 4lbs. versus an average weight gain of 2lbs. with those who took Ortho-Novum 7/7/7.

Ortho Tricyclen Lo : 3 types of pill in the pack

  • each white tablet contains 0.025 mg ethinyl estradiol and 0.180 mg of norgestimate
  • each light blue tablet contains 0.025 mg of ethinyl estradiol and 0.215 mg norgestimate
  • each dark blue tablet contains 0.025 mg of ethinyl estradiol and 0.250 mg of norgestimate

(Ortho Tricyclen and Ortho-Cyclen, each with 0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol, contain slightly higher amounts of estrogen in each type of pill than Ortho Tricyclen Lo)

YASMIN and YAZ are two more low dose birth control pills containing 0.03 mg and 0.02 mg respectively

of estrogen but they have a different type of progestin from the other pills called drospirenone (3.0 mg). On the down side, since Yasmin/Yaz can increase levels of potassium, it is not recommended for women with liver, adrenal or kidney problems but on the up side, Yasmin/Yaz appear to reduce water retention and therefore bloating and in some women gives a sense of well being. These pills also have a following among acne sufferers as they seem to improve this skin condition in a lot of cases.As with many other types of birth control pills, Yasmin may not be suitable for you if you also take other over-the-counter pain relievers, potassium sparing diuretics, potassium supplements or specific medications so you MUST check this out with a physician first.

Nursing Moms

You will have heard of the ‘mini’ pill (progestin only pill or POP) which is usually prescribed for women who are breastfeeding or who have an intolerance to estrogen. A ‘Mini pill’ can be started immediately after childbirth or abortion. There is no 7-day break or dummy pills as there are with the combined pill and it must be taken at the same time every day. Micronor contains 0.35 mg norethindrone and NO estrogen whatsoever. In other countries some brand names include: Microlut 28, Microval 28, Locilan 28 and Noriday.

Pills that contain high amounts of estrogen or progestin are used for emergency contraception and are known as ‘the morning after pill’ or Plan B. One common pill is Preven -each blue film-coated pill contains 0.25 mg levonorgestrel and 0.05 mg (that’s MILLIGRAMS not micrograms) of estrogen – usually you take 2 doses, 12 hours apart. Plan B is a ‘morning-after’ pill that contains only one hormone, progestin (Levonorgestrel) Tablets, 0.75 mg.

Starting a Cleaning Business, Get Free Cleaning Logo Ideas!

Did you recently get an LLC for your cleaning business but having a terrible time coming up with any logo ideas to go on your website and business card?

Have you been looking for free cleaning logo samples for weeks and all you can think of is a bucket and a broom or a mop?

Have you been surfing websites with pictures related to cleaning for your brand identity but to no avail?

Small startups face these issues because they do not have the appropriate knowledge and expertise of designing a logo but they still try to design it on their own. A well-designed logo has 3 key elements: Imagery, font, colors.

Here they are in detail …

Here Are 3 Free Cleaning Logo Ideas That Will Get Your Creative Juice Flowing ….

1) Best Color Combinations For Your Logo

Usually cleaning companies use shades of blue and white in their logos because these colors are associated with hygiene and purity. Not only this, blue color also symbolizes trust and dependency. Tans and grains appear good on a business card, but they do not really send the message of 'clean' like white does. Cleaning businesses are now increasingly using green and lemon color to signify the freshness and environmental-friendly element.

Green, brown, and some shades of yellow can give a feeling of dirt or grime, something you definitely want to avoid in a cleaning company logo.

2) The Imagery For Your Logo

Ensure that your logo makes sense. For example, a logo for a dry cleaning company that includes aircraft imagery serves no purpose, and will not be memorable. It does not mean that you should not be creative.

A leaf logo could be a great option if you focus on green cleaning. Just make sure that your imagination appeals to your target audience. The image to be used in your emblem depends upon what you want to covey to your target audience. It can be anything from shimmers, sparkles, glints, water, mop, duster and other cleaning equipment.

3) Logo Fonts

Decide one and stick with it. Make sure that it's very easy to read from a distance. Traditional font for details / small print is always easier to read than a script one, 'copperplate' is very businesslike. Select a crisp, elegant font but not a display font. Nothing bold. When designing your logo, use a different font for your tag line.

Once you have your logo designed, use it on every piece of marketing -no exceptions. Use the color palette from your logo to create your other marketing collateral. Get your cleaning business off to the best possible start by viewing free cleaning logos samples and getting cleaning logo ideas including carpet, window, house, dry cleaning, green, and blur business logos.

Georgian and Victorian Grand Entrance Doors

For homebuilders planning a Georgian or Victorian style home, one of the most important element decisions will be choosing a grand entrance door, the distinct signature of a home's character. Whereas windows are considered the eyes of a home, the grand entrance door is the open, welcoming embrace, the gateway to the warmth within. Of course, the entrance door also must serve to be a barrier of a kind, to both unfriendly visitors and unkind weather, and the need for strength and security is just as important as a stylish appearance. Before choosing a period door, consulting with a bespoke joinery that specializes in period reproduction style doors would be a wise decision. Both Georgian and Victorian style doors are meant to give a grand first impression, and they are designed to enhance the overall appearance of an entry.

Georgian architecture is a broad term defining all styles created during the reign of the first three King Georges of England between 1750 and 1820. The three most important elements of the period of design and construction style were proportion, symmetry, and elegance. The elegance leaned toward simplicity, however, and ornamentation was muted. More emphasis was placed upon solidarity, and Georgian dwellings tended to be so sound constructed that many remained standing in their near-original state centuries later. In keeping with a balanced façade, great attention was given to the doors and windows. The grand entrance door was especially important as the principal feature of a Georgian home.

Doors were usually set back at least four inches from the brick, stone or timber front. They were very sturdy, thick-timbered doors, but usually simple in design with four or six panels, and they often had a semi-circular or semi-elliptical fanlight above the door, which is a window with glazing bars that radiate out like a fan. Later Georgian doors became more ornate, with more intricate transom windows and sidelights adorned with tracery. Fine examples of Georgian style grand entrance doors with beautiful fanlights and sidelights can be found in London on Portland Place, in particular on the west side, numbers 27 to 47, south of Devonshire Street.

Victorian style architecture broadly encompasses any building or style created during her reign from 1837 to 1901, and much is constructed in brick, stone, and timber incorporating an eclectic mix of other architectural styles and motifs. The Victorian period designers and craftsmen were quite fond of ornament, patterned details, plenty of trim, and bold colors. The homes most often had bay windows, ornate string courses, decorative gables and keys, interesting brickwork, and elegant grand entrances. Stained glass became popular, especially among the affluent, and soon became a standard inclusion of many Victorian doors. The carved panel work became more stylish, divided into four to six sections, and great attention was given to gleaming brass door furniture. The mortise lock, developed during the Victorian era, replaced the rim lock. Fanlights and glazed upper panels replaced the above-door fanlights, but sidelights remained popular.

Both Georgian and Victorian grand entrance door styles have their own unique features and historical significance. When building a period style house, it is important to research and understand the architectural elements inherent in the period door design to match the home's architecture accordingly. A respectable bespoke joinery can assist homebuilders in choosing the right grand entrance door and in keeping true to history.

Basic CNC Preventative Maintenance Program and Best Practice

Its amazing how little preventive maintenance is ever performed within the majority of manufacturing companies today. I am often asked by Maintenance personnel on how other companies take care of there CNC equipment. What's my answer? This is typical if its not broken do not fix it.

What I have outlined below is how you can set up a preventive maintenance program based on little knowledge of CNC and maintenance and minimal amount of downtime by covering the most basic and important parts of a PM program. The items below will save you the most money down and prevent a future breakdown.

Minimum Basic CNC preventive maintenance program

1. Check your machine oil levels – turret, B-axis, ATC & magazine gear boxes, spindle gear box, hydraulics. If you have a leak-fix it. You are contaminating your coolant, reducing your tool life and putting more contaminants into the oil system every time you fill the tank.

2. Clean chips out of every corner of the machine.

3. Pull back the waycovers and clean out the troughs in the ballscrew area and allow coolant to drain properly and avoid flooding into your bearing housings.

4. Check for lube on your box way machines. There should be a line from the wiper every time you reverse the axis on the leading edge.

5. Check the clamp force of the spindles every 3 months- this is a 15 second check. This PM check is so important- you could save a spindle, increase tool life and part quality.

6. Check your pallet change alignment and operation if equipped. The last thing you want to do is throw a fixture in a machine. Also clean chips from under the pallets and B-axis

7. Perform a basic inspection of cables, hoses and electrical fans on the outside and inside of electrical cabinets. Do not forget to check the drive fans or computer fans as well.

8. Clean & replace any filters as necessary.

9. Check your CNC tool change alignment. Maybe not the easiest for a novice but at least look at it for something obvious. Fix any CNC machines that are dropping tools on occasion. There is a reason! Do not let it go. Damages to waycovers, ATC cam followers and gear boxes, tool fingers, and spindle damage will occur.

10. Check your backup batteries and make backups of parameters through your DNC system. With today's economic times many machines are powered down for intensive periods of time. Hope you have backups or original data sheets.

Innovations In Construction Technology: Hercules Single Strand Tensioning Systems

Prior to the 1950s, one of the biggest recurring costs in the construction industry was replacing concrete forms that had cracks and fissures brought on by the ravages of age and stress. Time consuming and costly, it was a continual headaches that most companies and their clients dreaded. Pretty soon an experimental method of using concrete in the construction of bridges and buildings arrived in the form of prestressed concrete, in hopes of reducing this costly and constant maintenance. Experimentation leads to product development, and one of the most popular innovation survives to this day, the Hercules Single Strand Tensioning Systems.

The Advantages of Using Prestressed Concrete

The science behind producing prestressed concrete forms for construction purposes overcomes the material’s natural stress points and allows for using it in construction without the need for reinforcement. It also allows for more flexibility in the use of concrete, enabling construction companies to pour and create longer spans of bridges, floors or beams that would ordinarily not be possible without first utilizing a costly network of reinforcing rebars and bars to act as load bearers over time. Its success in use has made it the preferred choice for use in high rises and nuclear reactors everywhere, thanks to its stress reducing nature.

Tendons made out of high tensile steel cables or rods are strung throughout concrete forms made out of steel. By pouring the concrete into the forms, it forms around these tendons and their adjustable clamping devices to create a longer and thinner slab. Without all the joints associated with using bars and rebars, the finished product is just as strong, easier to use due to its reduced weight, and has its weight bearing load points evenly spread throughout. When weak points develop in reinforced concrete, it generally begins at the joints of the pipes. With strung cables being stressed through the slabs, there are no joints and no potential for future problems in weak points developing.

Hercules Single Strand Stressing Systems

While the technology rejuvenated the construction industry, especially when it came to building infrastructure sites like bridges, it was not completely flawless. Early stressing methods either manually drew the cables through the hardening concrete or the cables were laid first and the concrete carefully manipulated around and over them, adding a lot of manpower and labor hours to every project. What they were initially saving in repair and replacement costs started to be eaten away in payroll hours.

Prestress Supply Incorporated developed one of the first automated concrete stressing systems in the early 1960s, and with only a handful of companies in practice that were devoted to developing this new technology, they soon became industry leaders and would remain dominant in the market to this day. Their Hercules Single Strand Stressing Systems, as well as later innovations, operate on a design that utilizes low pressure hydraulics with jacks and chucks that distribute the tension cables faster and without the shock gaps that can form through the manual pulling.

New Innovations

Known for decades as the stressing system with the gentle touch, the latest systems Hercules B and Hercules C are still very easy to use and guarantee the safety of all employees using it by allowing them to set the exact pressure needed on the cables and chucks to create the stress network, eliminating tension snapping and damage to the delicate workings.

Built around an open-face draw system, the newer models make it easier than ever to change out cable, jacks, chucks and pulling jaws. They also feature the ability to switch strand diameters throughout the forming, without having to completely restart the process, should your designs call for it. One hundred percent mechanical in nature, with no electronics to short out, Hercules Single Strand Tensioning Systems are ideal to use in any environment or terrain. Even replacing forms on bridges are now easier, since the systems allow workers to pull, form and install on site with ease.

Mixed Media Painting Tips

I have been painting, as a hobby and commercially, for approximately 10 years now. I first started with acrylic but have more recently dumbled in watercolors. I have always loved texture in my art work but could never afford to buy oil paints. I consider myself quite a resourceful person and this has led me to think out of the box. I will hopefully enlighten you as to some of my more creative ideas which you may want to incorporate into your own pieces.

Before I start I apply Gesso primer to my canvases. This assists with ensuring any medium added to the canvas adheres well.

Tip One

I have found a product called "Decorator's Caulk" which works as a great way of adding texture to your canvas. I buy trade tubes which can be fitted to a "Sealant Gun" and this is the tool I use to apply the caulk to the canvas. From there you have to let your imagination take over. I use a large pallet knife as well as various other tools to manipulate the caulk across the canvas.

The caulk can be found in all trade shops and is not a specific art product. It is typically used to fill gaps and cracks in walls. It can take up to one one hour to dry but this will depend on how thickly you applied it to the canvas. I just touch it light and you can tell when it has hardened. You are ready to paint over it. You will find acrylic paint sticks to it with no fuss. The result is awesome and you have the perceived texture of an oil painting but at very little cost.

Tip Two

Crepe paper is a cheap and interesting way to add texture. I usually make a solution of PVA glue with some water to assist with sticking the paper to the canvas. Again your own imagination has to come to play here and depending on the look you want as to how layered and textured you want your piece to be.

Tip Three

Plaster of paris infected crepe bandages. These are a tad messy to work with but the results can look fantastic. I find that rather than trying to achieve a perfectly smooth finish it can look great if you leave it rough and if not all of the bandage is covered with the plaster of paris it adds a mottled porous look which is spectacularly organic in its texture.

Tip Four

Rope of all size and thickness can add a really great three dimensional quality to your piece. I use decorator's caulk to stick it to the canvas as not only does this act as a great adhesive you can also paint over it quite easily.

Tip Five

Cutting into the canvas. I know this sounds like a cardinal sin but the results can be quite spectacular. I have created many industrial looking pieces by combining rope, netting, plaster of paris and by cutting into the canvas and bending it back upon itself you can achieve a very raw look.

These are just a few ideas which will hopefully fire up your imagination and assist you with trying out different materials. I am sure your artwork will take on a whole new look and feel with the added bonus of very little cost.

Clay Footer Drain Tiles – a Danger For Basement Waterproofing

One of the most fundamental elements of any good drainage system for protecting your home’s foundation walls from water damage are footer drains, which act as conduits to move excess groundwater away from your basement. Footer drains are not a new modern concept, and have been around for many years. Still, the materials used to construct drains today are superior to those used years ago, which deteriorate and become ineffective over the years. Traditionally, basement waterproofing footer drains were made using clay tile, which worked well at the time. But if your house is several decades old, these clay footer tiles may be losing their effectiveness.

The problem with clay tile pipes and drains is that they can deteriorate over time, and develop cracks, breaks and slips that allows sediment and tree roots into the system. When enough roots and dirt have clogged a clay drain, it can become completely blocked and no longer allow the conveyance of water out away from your foundation. And if this happens, it’s only a matter of time until excess groundwater builds up around your basement walls and begins to cause problems like water damage, mold, mildew, cracking and leaking. Any of these can end up being much more expensive to fix than simply fixing your current clay footer drain tiles.

That’s not to suggest that you will necessarily have to replace your clay drains with modern PVC pipe drains in order to solve your basement waterproofing problem. on the contrary, in many cases your clay drains can be serviced by simply tapping into one corner of the drainage system and cleaning the drain itself. This is possible with either a drain snake auger or a high-pressure water jetting system, which can blast obstructions out of the drain and allow water to flow freely through it again.

If, however, your clay footer tiles are severely cracked, broken or slipped out of place, it may be necessary to replace some or all of your foundation drainage system. This can involve an extensive amount of work, since a complete excavation of your foundation is necessary to reach the footer drains themselves. And if your basement walls have been significantly damaged by hydrostatic pressure already, it may be necessary to also replace the blocks themselves, as well. As you can tell, it’s better to service your existing clay footer to work properly before the damage becomes irreversible.

The advantage of having modern, perforated PVC pipe footer drains is that the materials are vastly more durable than clay and last longer without the need to clean them out as often. While newly constructed homes are now built using modern drainage materials, older homes that were built before PVC pipe may have to be serviced more often to ensure that there is no flooding or water damage in your basement. By having your clay footer drain tiles serviced regularly by professional drain cleaners, you can ensure that costly water damage and flooding issues won’t be in your future.

Service Virtualization Facilitates DevOps Implementation

DevOps is the new paradigm in software development that is meant to bring about synergy amongst development, quality, operations, delivery and management teams. This helps to bring out better quality products in the shortest turnaround time, thus helping businesses to stay ahead in competition. Traditionally, various departments within an enterprise worked in silos with different work ethos and more often than not, at cross purposes with each other. DevOps adopts lean and agile methodologies to break barriers between various disciplines and work seamlessly to achieve optimization and automation.

DevOps is more to do with a change in the work culture of an organization, where synergy and collaboration are the buzzwords. As development and testing of software simultaneously by incorporating various discriminates of an organization becomes the new norm, creation of a real test environment where different components of software can be tested assumes significance.

However, there are a few challenges to create a real test environment for DevOps testing:

• The software architecture has individual components that are either evolving or not tested properly.

• The individual components or dependencies are mostly developed and controlled by third parties or partners – at locations that are far off from the parent organization.

• Ensuring dependencies and various teams handling them to work in tandem is difficult.

• The dependencies may be separated by distance, language and time zones, which are not always possible to be included in a real test environment.

• Dependencies need real datasets to validate their results, which are not always available.

• The task of aligning dependencies for testing purpose is cost prohibitive.

• Delays are inevitable if testing teams have to wait for dependencies to be ready.

The above mentioned challenges can be addressed by using Service Virtualization technique. In this process a virtualized test environment is created, wherein the behavior of dependencies is simulated as if they form part of the embedded software architecture with connections to other parts of the system. Here, the entire system architecture is not simulated, but only the ones that are needed for testing purposes. Service Virtualization strategy does not require setting up a real test infrastructure or data sets, but helps testing or development teams to record the behavior of dependencies – if they perform as desired.

How Service Virtualization works to the advantage of DevOps

• Creates a functional test environment without real dependencies and datasets

• Leads to cost savings, as setting up real test infrastructure is not required

• Shorter turnaround times as testing teams need not wait for dependencies to be ready or available

• Any number or type of datasets can be used to check the behavior of dependencies, which can be helpful to study abnormal behavior of components (if any)

• Glitches thus identified are addressed promptly leading to better quality software made available in the shortest time

• Better quality product leads to better user experience, so better brand value

Conclusion

The integration of various disciplines in a business to work in tandem is the hallmark of DevOps testing and leveraging service virtualization to achieve the same is the proverbial icing on the cake with respect to savings on cost and time, and enhancement of an organization's brand value.

10 University of Georgia Quirks, Facts and Traditions

o “The Arch,” an iron gate found on everything from the UGA logo to t-shirts is representative of the Arch on campus which was an original gateway to the school. Legend has it that if a freshman walks under The Arch during his first year, he will never graduate.

o When the UGA Bulldogs have won a home football game, the school’s Chapel Bell traditionally rings until midnight. Except when Georgia beats Georgia Tech, one of their biggest rivals- then the bell rings the entire night! In the old days, it was the job of freshmen to do the hard work of ringing the bell- today, fans, students, and alumni all take turns.

o During the 2007 Season, the bell was ringing after UGA’s defeat over the University of Florida, when the 877 pound bell fell. It has since been returned to the platform.

o The Bulldogs like to get their opponents ‘Between the Hedges.’ This is a reference to the hedges that grow all the way around the playing field of Sanford Stadium, and dates back to the 30’s, when a sports writer made the reference.

o In 1939, Coach Wally Butts decided silver pants would pair well with red jerseys- thus began the start of the Bulldog’s ‘silver britches.’ Although Coach Vince Dooley changed the pants to white for several years, the silver britches were brought back in 1980, and were worn during the school’s National Championship season.

o UGA has a student ID card and travels in his own dog house- with air conditioning! Because bulldogs are susceptible to heat stroke, he spends football games perched on bags of ice. If opposing teams get to close to his precious ice, he growls ferociously. He’s a tough pup, who wears a jersey with a Varsity letter and a spiked collar.

o The costumed bulldog mascot is called ‘Hairy Dawg.’

o Football players go through the ‘Dog Walk,’ which features players walking through crowds of fans on their way into Stanford Stadium, led by the Redcoat Band.

o Georgia’s original colors included ‘old gold,’ until the intense rivalry between Georgia Tech and Georgia resulted in a skirmish over colors- Georgia students declared yellow an unfit color for the Georgia Bulldogs, deeming it a cowardly color, and yellow was removed- and Crimson (also referred to as ‘Good old Georgia Red) and black have been the official colors ever since.

o College Football was nearly outlawed in 1987, after UGA Quarterback Richard Gammon was injured so severely in a game against the University of Virginia, he died as a result. In those days, players did not wear helmets. Football was immediately disbanded in schools across Georgia, and just as the Georgia Legislature was gearing up to formally outlaw college football, Richard’s mother wrote a letter, published in newspapers, asking the legislature to save football, saying it was her son’s most cherished object.” The ban was defeated, and college football in Georgia survived! Today, visitors to Rome, Georgia, Gammon’s hometown, can stop and pay tribute at the family graves, complete with plaques detailing the sad death and a mother’s great plea to rescue the sport so beloved by her son.

What Is The Difference Between ERP And Enterprise System?

Enterprise system and Enterprise Resource Planning System terms are similar but there is difference between an enterprise system and an ERP system. An ES or enterprise system is a large scale system which includes packages like ERP and CRM. ERP is a subset of Enterprise System or it can be said that ES is a superset of ERP. It contains a variety of solutions. ES contains applications and packaged solutions which can be directly used in an enterprise. On the other hand ERP system is the automation of the business processes and the solutions are in the form of modules which are designed according to the client’s requirements.

The functions are customized according to the client’s business environment. Enterprise system does not include architecture of other solutions whereas an ERP implementation automates systems using technical aspects. ERP system includes architectures and databases and is client server architecture. The system is server based therefore the consultant needs to be aware of the technical aspect too.

Another difference between an ES and an ERP system is that the ERP is aimed at improving the functionalities of the organization whereas the ES helps to improve the overall maintenance and accuracy. It provides for better solutions and aids in decision making. ES is difficult to implement compared to Enterprise resource planning and even the timeframe needed for implementation maybe more. The overall impact is high but so are the risks involved. If the ES is not implemented in the right manner, it can cause business failure and if implemented properly it can increase the efficiency and profits of the business organization. It is normally required when there is a big drawback in the current procedures and methodologies in the organization and need to be corrected. The company going in for enterprise system needs to be careful while choosing the software and the vendors due to the risk of failure involved.

The difference between an enterprise system and an ERP system is that ERP is mostly used for medium scale companies to big companies and ES is restricted to the big companies. There are many complex functions involved in big companies which cannot be provided solutions for alone by ERP. The role of ERP is restricted when compared to enterprise system because it does not include customer relationship or vendor management.

These applications are needed when the business process is complex and on a big scale. Therefore bigger organizations need to go with ES instead of enterprise resource planning alone. ERP is also an important system to streamline the internal processes but it does not provide for taking care of the external processes. Enterprise system takes care of the end to end business process of organization since it involves other applications also like SCM and CRM. There is quite a lot of difference between an enterprise system and an ERP and it depends on the company whether it wants to go with an ES to streamline the entire process starting from supplying, production and customer or whether he wants to go with an ERP system to streamline the internal process.

How to Put a V8 Motor in a Corvair

Sometimes a challenge is just that and no more. Not practical maybe but fun nonetheless. I owned at the time, a small shop repair shop where I would tinker with cars and motorcycles and make a few dollars as well. One afternoon during a bull session with some buddies, one of them said it would be neat if we could put a V8 motor in one of my Corvair cars. I had several of them and loved to tinker with the Monza model which was Chevy’s souped up version of this rear engined car. The Corvair had no independent frame and was one of the first uni-body cars on the market. Extremely lightweight, the six cylinder motor with the factory blower made the car zip right along. It really was a silly looking car in the first years of production, kinda boxy and square. Later models became more streamlined but suffered the same engineering problems of the early years and quickly the car faded into obscurity. I had one car with no motor and the body was not in the best of shape. I remember saying I could put the V8 in that car and the guys quickly put me to the challenge.

My shop had a pretty good assortment of tools, torches, welders, jacks and power hand tools that allowed me to make just about anything in metal. A big drill press, a good vise and tons of nuts and bolt

assortments put most of what I needed at hand. After the guys left the thought of doing this V8 conversion nagged at me and I found myself checking out the car to see if it was really possible. Putting the motor in the car could always be done but I thought how about doing it so you could not tell from the outside that the car was altered? At least until you started it up. There was no way I was going to be able to make that V8 motor sound like the wimpy six cylinder factory motor.

The first item on the agenda was to remove all the factory drive train components. Since the motor was already gone, the rear end, including the wheels were a snap to remove. I had a Chevy V8 short block that I could use for test fitting the engine into the trunk. The trunk of a Corvair was in the front of the car. A major amount of sheet metal had to be removed to squeeze the engine down into the truck compartment. I had to mock up the motor with some heads and intake manifold to assure the trunk lid (hood) would close after the engine was in place. Once I managed to get the engine into the trunk and was satisfied with it’s location, motor mounts became the next item to complete. Since there was no frame under the car I had to fabricate a partial sub-frame that was able to accept bolt-on motor mounts. I had several transmissions to choose from including a used manual three speed Chevy unit. This was a direct bolt-on to the V8 so in it went. Making a tail mount for the trans was nothing more than some three inch channel iron that spanned from one side of the car to the other. So far with the doors and hood closed the car looked stock. I purchased a used small pickup truck rear end and began altering it to fit under the Corvair body. No easy task I can say. Concealing fourteen inch wheels where thirteens were before required even more modification to the cars sheet metal including new wheel wells and interior wheel covers.

With the three major components of the drive train now mounted in the car, I was able to start on all the smaller items that a car needs to run. The drive shaft had to be custom made as it was less than three

feet long and needed a mid-point universal to offset the different heights of the transmission and the rear end. The radiator was made from an old V8 Chevy unit but had to be altered to be able to lay on its side. A friend of my Dads owned the local radiator repair shop and was more than wiling to do the alterations at almost no cost as he too thought the car was pretty neat. Wiring the car in those days was a simple task as there were none of the bells and whistles in cars today. No computers, no special sensors for this and that. Just whatever a car needed to run and work the lights and so on. I retained all the Chevy factory lights, turn signals and so on and really just needed to wire the engine components and battery. I placed the battery in the rear of the car as even then I realized the car was going to be light in the rear. What an understatement that was.

The conversion took about four months to do as I remember. There were a few bugs to work out of course as I had no engineering staff to advise me what I was doing wrong but all in all the bugs were pretty minor. The first time I started the car the thrill of hearing the motor growl under that hood cannot be described. The first time I put the car in gear and drove it around the property was a real kick. I purchased license plates for the car and drove it for a couple of weeks to work out the kinks and have time to complete some type of interior. I added only one other bucket seat as the car was not a touring car but would certainly be fun at the local drag strip. I clearly remember the first time I actually drove the car to my buddies house to show him the V8 motor in the car and take him for a ride. On a back road, holding one foot on the brake pedal and punching the gas with the other, I was able to smoke the tires with no effort at all. From a slow roll or moving at 40 MPH, punching the gas pedal would squeal the tires and create tire smoke instantly. The car was a real gas.

I drove the car that summer and had a ball taking it to Stewart’s drive-in in Paramus, New Jersey on Friday and Saturday nights. It was fun to have other guys laugh at the car and ask to race for papers. After a few races the laughter stopped. I didn’t take their papers but my little Corvair was a hit that summer with all the custom car guys. I sold the car that winter to a young fella who wanted to complete the interior and exterior paint. He drove the car for quite a while and then I lost track of it’s where abouts. I had already moved on to another project but I had proven that you could squeeze a V8 motor into a stock Corvair body.

Pete Ackerson

Build a Handcrafted Log Cabin For Under $ 50,000 – A Log Home Guide For the Do-it-Yourselfer

Do you dream of owning your own log home or cabin?

Living in a mountain retreat, lakeside resort, or country ranch lifestyle, is continuing to grow in popularity. Studies show that people who trade their urban lifestyle for a simpler, less stressful natural setting, where they can relax more often, are also living healthy lives, and actually live longer as a result!

In recent years many of us are embracing this lifestyle as never before. But … Many of today's custom log cabin owners have become frustrated with the cost and length of time it takes to build their home. One would think that modern methods should reflect shorter construction times, but custom log homes today, on average, do take longer to build. This is due in part to some proven methods that can not be improved upon, going back in history to European craftsmanship, skills, and techniques still used today in the effort required to properly build a quality custom home built to last. This approach requires patience from the homeowner, but can lend itself to a beautiful dream home, with high quality of craftsmanship.

This is the standard of quality that folks today expect, but it comes with a price. You can avoid the higher cost of building a custom log cabin by doing most of the work yourself. It is possible to build a 1200 to 1500 sq. ft. Log Cabin for under $ 50,000 (land not included)

The right approach requires thought, creativity, and an efficient, yet patient application of skills, but can be very rewarding due to the custom nature of a handcrafted home. Comparing a log construction time frame, with that of a Custom, stick-frame home, is misleading.

Log Homes of equal square footage will always take a bit longer to build on average. A log builder with a good crew should be able to properly dry-in an average size milled D-style home in less than three months, after the log package has been delivered to the building site. A "Hybrid" (Log Accents & Stick Frame Construction), should take a little less time to dry-in. A do-it-yourselfer building a handcrafted home will take 6 to 8 months on a part-time building schedule, but you will be continuously saving a ton of money.

After dry-in is completed, it could take from 3-5 months longer to finish or "turnkey" a milled style home or a "Hybrid". These time frames could have been longer longer if you are building a handcrafted log home. The handcrafted cabin is the most time consuming style of construction, but is widely accepted as the "Ultimate" in a unique one of a kind log cabin. Weather, commute to the site, suppliers, building inspectors, or other factors can change this guideline. So … prepare yourself for this journey, and you will absolutely enjoy the rewarding experience of your own log home Lifestyle, with your own design and tastes, in the home you really want and can afford to enjoy.

How much does it cost to build a log home?

With this in mind … building a log cabin does not have to cost a fortune to become reality. If you choose to do most of the work yourself, you can probably build your home for as little as $ 45 per sq. ft. On the other hand, if you have all the work done by a builder, and purchase upscale fixtures and features, it could cost $ 250 per sq. ft. or more.

Although to suggest a certain price per square foot is only a guideline / starting point, I do think that an affordable custom log home without an owners participation can be built for around $ 110.00 – 150.00 per sq. ft … That is, if you do not go hog wild!

Bear in mind that depending on where you are at, you will always realize a larger home equity when you are building it yourself from scratch!

Significant Benefits of the Mini C-Arm

Ever since digital technology came into being, it has given rise to numerous amazing innovations in the medical sector. One of those innovations is the mini C-arm, which functions on the basis of digital electronics while offering such benefits that did not exist years back. The advanced C-arm possesses special features such as digital imaging technology, easy portability and image accessibility at varied spots at once. Also, this technology allows transmission of images from one place to another without hampering the image quality.

The C-arm system is based on fluoroscopy imaging. DNA may be transformed by the x-rays, which lead to atom ionization that results in free electron movement ie produces current. Around 3-6mA current value is used to conduct the fluoroscopy, which uses around 80-125kVp voltage. How the x-ray is produced depends on the current passing through x-ray tube, but an increase in voltage may increase the sensitivity.

Components of Fluoroscopy

The voltages and currents can be adjusted through the x-ray generator's x-ray tube, which works to turn electrical energy into a beam of x-ray. The collimator uses blades to determine this beam, while the patient table along with pad supports the patient's body, minimizing the x-ray attenuation alongside. X-rays are converted by the image intensifier and the image quality is improved.

Electromagnetic radiations are dubbed x-rays, which when hit a tissue end up infiltrating completely or get absorbed wholly or partially with disperse. The former indicates production of an image, while the latter hints to no image production. With partial absorption, it means an image that comes out with scattered radiation that may harm the theater staff. C-arm technology was brought out with the same purpose.

Significant advantages it provides

Fluoroscopic imaging systems use X-rays for image production. However, mini C-arm offers more advantages as compared to the standard C-arm technology. Being smaller in size, this technology paves a way for better access to workplace.

Various benefits it offers include:

  • Easy to operate
  • Does not require radiographer
  • Cuts cost
  • Cuts delays
  • Reduces screening time
  • Cuts risk of radiation with scatter
  • Immediate printout facility
  • Enhanced maneuverability
  • Better accuracy

Mini C-arms have shown the potential to cut scattered radiation dose to surgeon, patient or any theater personnel.

Uses

A diverse range of medical procedures, complying ankle, hand, or foot surgery, requires a C-arm. Stress views, bunion surgery, fracture dislocations, intra-articular injections, and fracture fixes can be easily detected with the mini version of this technology.