I got my first cell phone when I was in college. Having a cell phone was a good idea considering I had an hour drive each way and a slightly unreliable car. My first cell phone was a big, clunky Motorola flip phone with service through Frontier Cellular. It was also analog instead of digital like today’s cell phones. Frontier Cellular was bought out a few times and eventually became Verizon Wireless. Over the years, I’ve upgraded my cell phone a few times. My current phone, Samsung Stratosphere, is my first smartphone. I really don’t use it for much other than checking email and occasional Google searching. I only use about 1GB of my 4GB monthly data plan, so I should probably try to use it more often. I just prefer a larger screen, so I use my laptop for web activities.
These days, there are a ton of options to consider when you are signing up for cell phone service. There are a lot of different carriers with varying plans, including prepaid plans. Each carrier has it’s own line of cell phones too. Even prepaid plans offer only certain phones. T-Mobile prepaid cell phones can be an entirely different selection than the prepaid phones offered by Tracfone.
Prepaid phones are actually a pretty good idea if you don’t use your cell phone much. Prepaid phones are even available as smartphones. Data usage just comes out of your minutes.
. Prepaid plans also let you carry unused minutes over from month to month. My mother has a Tracfone that she uses to carry in the car with her. About four times a year she buys a 60 minute, 90 day card for $20.00 and adds it to her phone, so that it remains active. She has a ton of minutes from being lightly used and carried over from month to month for years. Her total cell phone bill for one year is about $80.00. Most people have a monthly cell phone bill that costs way more than that, whether they use it or not.
If you have a cell phone that isn’t used much every month, a prepaid cell phone plan might be worth looking into.
In the chemical manufacturing industry, good quality chemical mixers and totes are important. There is a company called Dynamix that specializes in tote mixers. They design tote mixers especially for tote mixing. They view tote mixing as a key part of quality control, so that a good tote mixer can be part of a strategic quality control plan.
Dynamix has an integrated line of tote mixers in addition to bridge tote mixers, which are designed for stainless steel or plastic mixers.
Plastic tote mixers are a fairly new line of mixers that use an impeller technology. Plastic totes are a result of the evolution from stainless steel to plastic. There are several different types of plastic totes, including rotationally molded and bow molded plastic totes.
The stainless steel tote tank mixer was originally designed for the automotive industry. It continues to be used in new industries to increase quality control. The stainless steel tote tank mixer allows for processing of batches which are too small for processing in a large steel tank.
Dynamix has a large knowledge base for dealing with mixing challenges specific to steel tank or steel totes.
Dynamix steel tote mixers can be used with steel totes of all sizes and shapes.
I live in a rural area of upstate New York. I’m only five minutes outside of town, but I’m in a valley surrounded by mountains on all sides. When I moved here nine years ago, analog television was still available. I received pretty static reception for just two local channels. Even though there was static, the channels were still viewable. I could still watch ABC and NBC soaps and Live with Regis and Kelly. Two years later my oldest son was born and I went on maternity leave for three months. I finally caved in and signed up for directtv. I signed up directly through them, but you can also sign up at www.dx3.net. The downside, no local channels, so I was stuck watching my soaps through static. The upside, direct tv has a channel called SoapNet, so I could watch my soaps perfectly clear when SoapNet re-aired them at night. At that time, SoapNet also aired old episodes of Ryan’s Hope and Search For Tomorrow. Pretty great, not to mention all of the other channels that I now received.
When all local channels went digital and analog became obsolete, I couldn’t receive local channels anymore. I tried several different converter boxes, but could never get a stable reception. Just lots of pixelized boxes that would fade in and out, so I pretty much gave up trying to watch any shows on the local channels. The main thing I missed was the local news.
A few years ago, I signed up for ABC through Directv’s long distance networking plan. It was nice being able to watch ABC’s primetime shows, even though the news broadcasts pertained to New York City and New Jersey.
Last summer, Directv finally enabled local channels in my area. An installer had to come and replace the old box and satellite. I do wish they had sent a more experienced installer as the one they sent was young and ran the cable from the satellite down the whole backside of the house rather than run it down through the inside of the walls, so that it’s not visible. Oh well. Receiving local channels is really nice though! Now I can watch the local news and primetime shows. I even receive CBS, FOX and PBS. I’ve never been able to watch those channels, even before I moved here. Receiving local channels was a long time coming, but well worth the wait.
An important part of running a successful, small business is making sure the financial records are accurate and kept up to date. Good, financial software is a must. There are many different financial applications available for purchase. There is also a free online accounting website called Outright that is geared towards helping small businesses manage their finances.
Outright automatically pulls all of your financial information from across the web into one place. It will import your information from sites such as ebay and amazon.com. It will also import your banking and credit card information.
Outright makes it easy to analyze your information since it provides quick view graphs and charts. Graphs and charts are automatically updated, so you always have the most up to date information.
Outright allows you to track where your money is going. You can quickly view what you are spending money on and who your biggest vendors are.
You can also quickly view customer information. You can see who your best customers are and how much each customer has paid you. Outright helps simplify your taxes by automatically categorizing transactions according to IRS guidelines. A preview of your taxes and what you may owe, is available at any given time. You are also notified by email of any upcoming tax deadlines. With Outright, you can easily track how much customers have paid you in sales tax and how much you need to pay the IRS.
Outright is very secure as it uses 256-bit SSL security, which is what banks use. It is monitored and verified by TRUSTe, VeriSign and McAfee. Servers are housed in facilities with tight security that includes security guards and biometric scanning. Outright does not allow you to transfer funds. It is only for importing, organizing and categorizing data.
Outright is web-based, in the cloud. Data is backed up regularly and can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection. Since data is not stored on your computer, you don’t have to worry about losing data if your computer is stolen or breaks down.
If you have a small business that is in need of accounting software, Outright may be worth looking into.
One item on my to-do list is to tackle organizing my digital photos and printing out a few of the photos that I would like to frame. My digital photo collection isn’t really in too bad of shape. Last year I started organizing some of the photos. I sorted them by year and within each year, I created a month directory to sort them by month. This method of organizing my digital photos has worked out well so far. The problem is I have digital photos on two different laptops. I also have a whole bunch of more recent photos on my cell phone and digital camera.
I also really need to back them up. I have an external hard drive that is almost full. I have a few thumbdrives that are either full or need cleaning up too. I’m thinking about buying a few new data storage systems. My external hard drive is only 250gb. That was pretty good sized when I bought it almost ten years ago. Today you can buy an external hard drive that holds terabytes of data. My external hard drive also requires plugging into an electric outlet. Today you can buy external hard drives that just use a USB port. Prices are also pretty reasonable now. I paid around $100 for my 250gb hard drive. Today you can buy a $100 hard drive with much larger amounts of data storage.
There are also many online data storage sites where you can store data in the cloud, including Amazon.com, Google.com and Nexsan.com. Some of the services give you a certain amount of storage space for free. I don’t like the idea of depending on a third party website to store my files. If that site goes away, there go my files. It is convenient to be able to access your files from any computer with an internet connection though. A third party online data storage site might be a good idea to use as a secondary backup. It’s always a good idea to keep an extra backup off site.
There is a company called TGI that offers ERP software. They are based in Toledo, Ohio and have been in business since 1990. Their main focus is on development, implementation and support of its business management software. They offer a complete manufacturing software solution that aims to improve order line item fill rates and inventory costs while increasing customer satisfaction. They also offer distribution software that includes an RF and barcode-enabled warehouse management system allowing for smooth warehouse opertations. Features include inventory control, transportation, financial and pricing management, and quality control. There are a few key differences that make TGI a unique company. They offer one complete solution that includes free source code at no additional cost. They offer a 24 hour customer support hotline training system and online tutorials. For the first year, software maintenance is free. Customer satisfaction is guaranteed, or your money back. TGI’s Enterprise 21 software is also platform independent, so that it will work with any ODBC compliant database. TGI’s Enterprise 21 software is used by many different small to mid size manufacturers and distributors from many different industries, including agriculture, construction, defense, electric, food and beverage, industrial and plumbing. If you would like to check the software out before buying, an online demo is available. TGI can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/TGILTD. You can also check out their blog at http://www.tgiltd.com/blog/.
In 2009 – 2010 it is estimated there were 15,000 to 40,000 Twitter users from the Middle East. It is estimated there are 15 million Facebook users from the Middle East. Those approximations are actually considered to be low. When I first got the internet at home about 12 years ago, I would use Yahoo chat once in a while. I would get quite a few chat requests from people appearing to be in the Middle East. A lot of times when I perform Google searches on technology related terms, search results bring up sites maintained by users in the Middle East. One site I looked at had OpenGL examples that were really good. It was maintained by a teenager. Many areas in the Middle East have poor economies, but internet is available, so some of these teenagers spend every waking moment learning all they can about programming and the internet. Technology has definitely provided them with a way to improve their lives. Setting up a website for financial gain is fairly easy these days. If you have the know how and the time to devote to promoting, maintaining and enhancing a site, a good amount of money could be earned. Learning the skills required can be time consuming though. If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, hiring a third party to might be a good idea. Internet marketing in the Middle East is a popular area of interest. There are even companies, such as Levant Digital, that specialize in internet marketing. They just might have the expertise and know how to bring your site from the bottom of the search engine rankings to the top.