So there I was, sitting there looking at my yahoo home page for the hundredth time. It was telling me....no, it was begging me, to download the new Internet Explorer 7 with the built in yahoo search bar. It was too perfect, an upgraded browser with the search bar built right in. I was already using the add-on yahoo tool bar that you can download separately. But this looked so much easier. I could have the search bar WITHOUT the rest of the yahoo toolbar, and that would save a little space on my monitor. I could just type in my keyword at the top, and all would be well.
Or so I thought.
Then I downloaded it, and tried to use it. This is where the anger began. To be honest, I knew better. I have been using Windows since 3.1 was out. I have gone through the nightmare of the new software that spends the next 12 months crashing computers, freezing browsers, getting hacked, and just making people want to punch a hole in a wall. I knew better than to download an upgrade that was brand new.
Everything slowed down. I couldn't download, my yahoo email wasn't working, and pretty much every site was snail pace.
But it was ok I thought to myself. I would just go into my control panel and uninstall. But before I uninstall, I better make a backup of all my favorite sites. Wait a minute, what happened to my favorites folder? Where did it go? Seriously, if anyone who reads this knows what happened to the file with my favorites, let me know. I can't find the thing anywhere now. I can still get to my favorites on the browser, but I can't find the actual folder on the computer to back them up now. It has been months now and I still haven't found the folder.
So if I can't back up my favorites, how do I get rid of version 7 without loosing them. I was certain that I was sunk. I would either risk loosing them when I uninstall, or I am reduced to surfing like I am on one of those dial-up modems from the mid-nineties.
Then it hit me. I would check out Mozilla Firefox. Worse case, I could use IE to check all my favorites, and then go to those sites in Firefox, and save them in the new favorites. Well, I didn't even have to work that hard. When I was installing Firefox, it asked me if I wanted to keep all of my history and favorites. Simple enough, don't have to go through all that work now. Bonus.
As it turned out, Firefox also had a search bar installed in it, this one by Google. This was convenient because I was studying how to advertise websites and blogs using Google. Now I could search Google without going to the site. I also noticed that Firefox uses the tabs that I saw on IE 7. Then something else hit me. Firefox had tabs at the top so that you could search multiple sites without having to open up new browser windows and it had the Google search bar. IE 7, which was making me angry, had the same tabs and a search bar from yahoo. IE 7 was a rip-off of Mozilla Firefox, and a bad one that screws with your processor.
So now I use Firefox, and I won't go back to Explorer. In fact, I don't even like using other computers now because IE is still on everyone else's computer. Not only is it faster than IE 7, but it is also faster than the older IE 6 which wasn't screwing with my computer at the time.
Doug Ragan is a self taught internet and computer guy who is putting the finishing touches on his internet based empire.
We know that laptop computers are portable, convenient, and very necessary in today's fast-paced world. A laptop gives its owner a renewed sense of freedom and capability. With a strong wireless Internet connection, business may be conducted from anywhere in the world. Cubicle walls expand to reveal wide open spaces, where people may communicate, shop, and accomplishment countless tasks.
Choosing the right laptop to suit your needs may take time and research, but one thing is for certain: all laptop owners should have the basic programs installed to get through daily life and work. Whether you are a writer, a computer programmer, a businessman, or work at home, these four programs are irreplaceable and versatile. Each should have a shortcut icon right on your startup screen.
Let's take a look at what you need:
Word Processing Program
You don't have to be a student to need a good word processing program. Can you think of a day where you haven't written anything? Even for a one-page note, it is hand to have a word processing program installed to suit your needs.
These days, many computers come equipped with such software, though what is included may not necessarily meet your requirements. While all programs allow you to type, save, edit and print with ease, some programs go the extra mile and allow you to enhance presentations with embedded imagery, video, and font manipulation. Microsoft Word, as part of the Office Suite, lets you these things and more. A simpler program will limit the boundaries.
As you shop for your next laptop, consider what word processing packages are included, and determine if you need an upgrade.
Accounting Software Whether you use the laptop primarily for business or household purposes, a good accounting program can serve as a solid backup for your traditional system of bookkeeping. Using accounting software to keep track of your income, bills and other expenditures is a good way to maintain organized focus throughout the year. You condition yourself to keep better track of your finances, and should you lose any paper you have that backup to consult onscreen.
Quickbooks is one example of such a program, and offers various features for whatever organizational purposes you seek. If the laptop you buy does not include accounting software, consider looking for some.
Electronic Book/Document Reader Electronic book, or e-book, technology has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. With the Gutenburg project, students and other avid readers have access to thousands of classic and academic texts, and third-party retailers like Fictionwise and Amazon.com offer instant downloads of electronic novels for sale. With a laptop, you can shop for a book, purchase and download, and read it instantly. You don't even have to be in a bookstore!
That said, with certain e-book formats you will need specific readers. A PDF document will not open in a word processing program, and an e-book formatted for the Microsoft Reader will not open in Adobe Reader. Therefore, it is wise to keep such programs on hand in the event you need or want to read a book from your screen. The best thing about such programs is that they are offered for free by their respective companies. A quick Internet search will lead you in the right direction.
Security Software No laptop is complete without a strong security program. As viruses and spyware become more prevalent and more sophisticated, the need to protect your computer is very important. Especially if you are a frequent user, you would be best suited to a program that offers anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall capabilities. Options to filter junk mail and prevent annoying pop-up advertisements is also a plus.
Not every computer system will offer such protection, so be sure to consult with a sales person before buying. Make sure your security programs are updated often to combat new issues.
From composing mail to battling SPAM, your laptop should be ready to do everything you need. Take care when shopping and don't forget these essentials when you are ready to work.
Kathryn Lively writes for The Computer Connection computer military financing at affordable rates.
Professor Bhiku Pareskh, from the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster once said:
Diversity is a fact of modern life. It is an unavoidable fact of life because not all differences can be rationally and conclusively resolve. It is also an important source of moral, economic and social energy. It brings together different ways of looking at life and therefore enables us to learn from others and deepen our insights into human life.
Coming from a country where there is a population of 1.5 million, from Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Shango and all the mixes in between with as many permutations of ethnicity possible, I must admit, diversity was a hard concept for me to grasp! I had to ask- what is diversity? This reminds me of filling out the boxes at the end of an enrolment form as I always wonder why there is not a box for those who have to figure out whether they are BC, BA, AB, who simply identify themselves as H for human!
So when did this term become so popular? The simple answer for me sometime when economics began to make it viable. Cynical? Well, perhaps a little. After all there have been government mandates on Equal Opportunities, quotas and the like. And why has the business sector embraced diversity? One could delve into recent research showing that 80% of 140 UK organisations view the development of diversity as a key contributor to their overall business success. Direct benefits include better recruitment, improved understanding of markets and communities, increased retention, enhanced reputation to cite a few.
Organisations in the voluntary and public sectors may be more focussed on fairness and justice as motivating factors for embracing diversity, consistent with their beliefs and values.
Whichever way organisations and companies broach the subject, simply having policies in place is not sufficient to ensure successful implementation. It is indeed, the depth of integration into any strategy that produces success.
So how does Leadership fit into the diversity agenda?
Leadership is quite simply critical in taking forward the diversity agenda. Leaders need to know how to manage and create culture, along with setting strategy for the future that incorporates a diverse workforce for the benefits of individuals and the organisations key objectives. To have positive performance outcomes of diversity in Leadership, one needs leaders who:
Are skilled in communicating with and coordinating among members of diverse teams
Are good at dealing with group process issues ie. Problem solving and communicating without prejudice
Can build on teams creativity and innovation, even if it does not look like anything to which we are traditionally accustomed.
To gain value from diversity in leadership requires a sustained, systematic approach and long-term commitment. Success is further facilitated by a perspective that considers diversity to be an opportunity for everyone: an opportunity to learn from each other how better to accomplish great achievements.
Marcia Granger MCC Leadership Coach helps those in new leadership positions create the perfect work/life balance. Find out how having the right Leadership tips and tools can change your life at http://www.1stleadershipcourse.com
At a recent forum the panel the discussion was around programs that lead an organization to excellence. The most consistent views seemed to suggest that few programs on their own will achieve excellence. There needs to be an overall strategy moving an organization towards excellence. Nothing occurs overnight and each piece of the puzzle has its own pitfalls.
Looking at the Ford Motor Company, as an example. They have implemented almost every business improvement or business excellence strategy possible and they recently posted losses of about $12 BILLION. Clearly, the strategies they have implemented (TQM, TPS, JIT, Lean, Six Sigma, TOC, and probably more) as well as new IT systems that have been installed, have not led to business excellence.
I have seen companies get results from each strategy individually but few have had breakthrough results. Each strategy has usually only focused on one aspect of the business, mostly process. Yes, Lean is moving into the office but it is still process. It is now about shuffling paper faster and more efficiently. Big deal. ERP systems moved companies to think in terms of processes and attempted to break functional silos, but ERPs are transactional systems that move companies forward incrementally, by creating piecemeal savings. Yes in a F50 the numbers are large but relatively speaking they are incremental. People in the business require new skill sets and ROIs are hardly ever equal to those planned or projected by the IT departments and consultants! Been there seen that.
GE is often mentioned as an outstanding organization. Business owners and managers often mention GEs success and Six Sigma in the same breath. What they fail to realize is Six Sigma was part of an overall plan. Some GE companies only started on their road to excellence and using Six Sigma after many years had been spent re organizing, redesigning, re hiring and focusing the business in minute detail. Six Sigma was not the cause and final end result of their improvement, nor their excellence!
Over the past few years I have been working with companies to achieve their strategies. What this has meant is looking at business in a holistic manner and making sure each piece of a strategic plan is budgeted for and is executed to achieve the desired results, or better. Essentially companies realize that no matter what happens in their strategic planning sessions they are not realizing the results they would like to see. Yes, one can just imagine FORD executives saying" OK guys we are going to drop $12 Billion this next year!
What this means is companies needs to improve their performance in a multitude of areas. This can be done without a name brand process, or a software package. To reiterate, it is not about ERPs, CRMs, Lean, Six Sigma, TQM, or anything else you can think of. Sure you may add one later but that is not the reason for success, although it probably will assist in reinforcing the changes that are made along the way.
The key to excellence in performance is rather simple; It is not easy but it is simple.
1. Have a great strategy.
2. Surround yourself with people who believe in the strategy.
3. Aggressively execute the strategy.
4. Measure your results along the way.
5. Celebrate your successes
This very simple strategy is often scoffed at as not possibly being able to work. The reasons for chuckles are typically; my business is too complex, we are different, and you dont understand my business, I am sure you have all heard these and more, yet this process has never failed. Its tried and tested. Everything else clouds your vision and makes things seem more complex than they really are.
There are, however, any number of small, middle market, and transitional businesses who have grown 3 - 5x their revenue using this very simple strategy. Again, the simplicity should not overshadow the difficulty of actually implementing it. It is tough. People are the issue. Its about challenging paradigms. Moving through false assumptions and mental models which may have become ingrained over many years.
So how do you get this right? Get your top team together. For a session with a difference. Develop that strategy that everybody can support from the get-go. Start with assessing and analyzing the things you do well and the things in which you are challenged. Be rigorous and hide nothing. Your failures reversed could just propel you to success. Failures are an indication of trying new things and just not having figured out all the kinks. Develop working guidelines for achieving success when implementing new approaches. Ensure these are in line with your companies values. This step is all too often overlooked and very quickly leads to discontent and resulting failure.
Next step is letting each team member developing process based, or even functional based priorities for the year. Present these to the group with the rationale as to their inclusion. Once they are all up there select no more than ten as the major objectives for the organization. This is not as simple as it sounds, mind you. A good facilitator will certainly help.
List those top ten objectives. Determine the metrics of success. Define monthly targets. Determine how to get the data in a format to present to your group and the company to show success.
This will be the basis of a monthly review. You will be visiting the exceptions in detail and celebrating successes. This will be the cornerstone of achieving strategic success and corporate excellence. Focused monthly review session based on the top ten objectives will place you squarely on the path to success and excellence.
Like I said, simple. Not easy.
Graeme Nichol Arcturus Advisors (http://www.arcturusadvisors.com)works with business leaders and their teams to close the gap between great strategies and mediocre results. (Newsletter
There are so many sleek and impressive looking cell phones on the market these days that it's hard to resist the temptation to buy one. There is perhaps very little in the world of modern technology that now rivals the prevalence of the cell phone. Just imagine -- it can help you communicate with practically anyone at practically any time. Plus, you look good doing it, too.
Today's cell phones are so much more than means to communicate. You can use your cell phone as a personal planner, check on breaking news on the internet, send email, take photos, take videos, play games, send text messages and even dial numbers by through mere sound of your voice. Of course, having a phone with all this is not cheap, so it's important to determine just exactly what we need our cell phones to do.
The first choice is almost always dependent on our preference for a wireless service provider. The key items here are the kind of coverage it offers and the type of monthly service plan it has in your location. Once done, you will then have to select from the wide array of phones that your service provider has to offer.
Next, you have to think of the phone's features. If you're a world traveler, then you need a phone with global wireless standard. You will probably need a dual-mode phone that can communicate in both digital and analog. These are much more dependable for globetrotters than single-mode models, especially if you will be going to isolated places or rural areas where digital service may be nonexistent.
The next decision you will make is probably the most fun one: design. Do you want one of those phones that are designed like a clamshell and just flip open? Or are you more inclined towards those that look like candybars and don't flip open? For convenience, flip phones are tougher to use, especially if the base is lighter than the cover. Would you like a phone with a dual screen, the one with a small LCD on the cover as well as an internal display? The main considerations are that the phone should be easy to use, comfortable to your ear and made of a design that reflects your personal tastes.
Finally, you will want to decide on special features. What do you want your cell phone to do? Oftentimes, this consideration is tied in to how much we are prepared to spend, so it's not that difficult a decision after all.
Kadence Buchanan writes articles on many topics including
Shopping, Real Estate, and Investing