Your Computer Can’t Keep Time

A computer needs a certain amount of information to operate; for example, the date and time, the amount of memory installed, the number of drives and their configuration, and so on. In the early days of computers, either the user typed in this information each time the computer started, or it was set using DIP switches and jumpers. Today, computers store this information in a CMOS chip that uses a small battery to retain the information when the computer is shut off.

CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) is type of chip that consumes very little power; therefore, while the computer is turned off, the battery discharges very slowly. But the battery will totally discharge if you leave your computer turned off for a year or so. Even if you turn your computer on every day, the battery is designed to last only a couple of years. Occasionally a battery will fail prematurely.

Today’s plug-and-play computers can detect most of the necessary settings, but if your CMOS battery is dead, your computer will not be able to retain the date and time. The computer will also lose any custom settings, for example, the boot sequence. If you set a password in CMOS, you may be locked out of the computer. If the CMOS battery does fail, you might receive the message “System Configuration Lost” when you start the computer. It would be wise to record all the CMOS settings as a precaution.

To record the CMOS settings, watch for an on-screen prompt when you first start your computer. The prompt tells you to press a key, usually the Del or F2, to enter CMOS. To enter the CMOS configuration utility, you have to press the indicated key while the message is on the screen. After the CMOS configuration screen appears, follow the instructions provided to page through all the screens and record all the settings.

If your computer loses its time setting overnight, the CMOS battery may not be holding a charge. The CMOS battery is located inside the case on the motherboard. Changing the battery is usually a job for a computer technician. In fact, a layman might not even be able to find the battery.

If you want to locate the CMOS battery in your computer, be aware that a static discharge from your hands can damage components inside the case. After taking proper precautions, open the case and look on the motherboard for a battery. If you have a diagram of your motherboard, locate the battery on the diagram first.

Different motherboards use different types of batteries. The battery may be shaped like a barrel or a coin. Some motherboards use a component that resembles a chip which contains the CMOS and the battery (made by DALLAS or Benchmarq). Batteries come in different voltages, so make sure you get an exact replacement.

Sometimes the battery is mounted in a holder. Sometimes it is soldered to the motherboard. De-soldering and re-soldering a battery is usually a job for a computer technician. An inexperienced solderer can cause a lot of damage. If you want to try to do it yourself, first practice on an obsolete circuit board. You may change your mind.

If the CMOS battery has failed because it’s too old, this might be an opportunity to upgrade your motherboard. When upgrading a motherboard, the most important considerations are to make sure the new motherboard is the correct form factor for your case, and that the new motherboard has the correct bus connector slots for your expansion boards.

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Source by Stephen Bucaro

3 Important Reasons Why to Buy the ESET Antivirus

It has been quite a while since someone mentioned the name ESET; the Slovakian organization faced an obvious difficulty regarding their status in the previous couple of years. In any case, they are back with a new type of their antivirus, with numerous additional elements that adapt well in the present age. The most up to date version offers a capable layer of defense from most of the regular PC treats on the web. The software is mostly helpful for the new PC users, who face malware consistently. Virus protection aside, the product secures clients while they are on the web, by blocking phishing attacks and filtering email for treats. In the event that you are a novice in the IT universe, check out these three reasons why you ought to get ESET NOD32.

Undeniable Protection.

The ESET software shields clients from both recognized and obscure infections, malware, adware, and so on, which is vital, because every day, there are over 150.000 new threats on the web. The antispyware incorporated into the frameworks safeguards your identity while searching on the web and the Host-Based Intrusion Prevention System impairs the majority of the unapproved changes to your apps and programs. The system deals with malware assaults by blocking applications interfacing with unchecked and unsafe URLS and showing a pop-up window to notify you of about the action. What’s more, ESET has the Removable Media Control, which shields you from the most dangerous sources of infections, which a lot of users tend to forget about – USB drives.

HIP System.

If you search for a ESET review, you will most likely see the reviewer praising the HIP system. The antivirus filters your entire PC in under 30 minutes, which is a well-below the present business standard of 40 minutes. Keep in mind, ESET doesn’t offer firewall insurance; however, it includes a Host Intrusion Prevention System that is there to stop intrusive attacks and breaches, just like a full-time firewall for your framework. The antivirus recognizes the majority of these assaults utilizing the official CVE name. The system recognizes more than 40% of these assaults, which, despite the fact that it doesn’t approach Norton’s 100 percent recognition rate, is really superior to most antiviruses on the market that even have full time firewall security.

Incredible Help and Support.

Notwithstanding the normal scanning functions, ESET has a couple of more tricks ready for you. When you start up your antivirus, you don’t have to go further than the primary page. Seeing how navigation is intuitive, you simply need to tap on the Help and Support page and you can begin utilizing Specialized Cleaner, which aims to eradicate mind boggling and diligent infections that attack your PC’s central system. In addition, for malware that meddles with booting your operation system, or with the antivirus, you can scan it from an alternative OS. SysRescue function on the Tools page gets you the alternative of downloading the ISO of the antivirus scanner or an app that can make a bootable CD containing the scanner.


In the end, you can easily see that ESET is one of least demanding and most secure safety solutions on the market. The default mode is ideal for novices, there are numerous shortcuts buttons to simplify everything and the advantageous Laptop Power Mode ensures your gadget without draining the battery life like numerous other antiviruses these days. ESET performs extremely well in execution tests by autonomous labs. However, just remember that this is not an ultimate security solution, there are more expensive and secure programs available. In spite of that, ESET still has enough security features that are far superior to your average antivirus functions.

Source by Mark Williams

Japanese New Year Celebration (Shogatsu or Oshogatsu) – Traditions, Customs and Facts

In Japan, New Year is the most important holidays. People will say “ake-mashite-omedetou-gozaimasu” (which means “Happy New Year”) to each other whenever they see at the first time in the New Year. The events are widely celebrated and enjoyed, most business are closed from 1st to 3rd January, excluding some retailers. Many people who have moved to big cities will return home during the holidays to be with family and friends. Since most businesses are closed on the first three days of the New Year, the streets tend to be very quiet except for those near temples and shrines.

Before the New year, the Japanese usually have bonenkai party which held among office colleagues and bosses. The word “bonenkai” means “forget-the-old-year party”. The party is meant to forget the unpleasant memories of the passing year as well as to welcome the New Year. At the party, bosses will usually tell all their stuff to be Breiko (means to forget their position and be impolite!).

Omisoka is the day of the New Year’s Eve and it is the second most important day of the year in Japan. The Japanese are very busy on omisoka because they need to do house cleaning (called osoji) in order to get rid of the dirty of the passing year. Everything has to be cleaned before the New Year day. The newly cleaned home is festooned with certain auspicious images such as kadomatsu and shimekazari. After cleaning, Japanese will have the largest dinner of the year.

At the very end of the day, usually around 11 pm, it is very common to have toshikoshiudon or toshikoshisoba, a kind of Japanese noodle. The long noodles are eaten to symbolize long life. Joya is the night of New Year’s Eve. Shortly before midnight, temples and shrines throughout Japan strike their huge bells 108 times, a precaution intended to drive away the previous year’s sins and ensuring a fresh new start.

Japanese New Year celebration (called shogatsu in Japanese) takes place from 1st to 3rd January, the first day of the New Year is called gantan and is a national day in Japan. Families usually gather to spend the days together. During shogatsu, people will eat special dishes called osechi ryori which is packed in a Jubako box and has several layers. Each dish has a particular meaning. For example, kuromame (sweet black beans) for health, prawns for long life, kurikinton (sweet chestnuts and mashed sweet potato) for happiness, tazukuri (terriyaki taste small sardines) for a good harvest, kazunuko (herring roe) for fertility, and so on. It is also traditional to eat mochi dishes (rice cake) during New Year’s holidays. The most popular mochi dish is zouni (rice cake soup). But of course the ingredients are vary depending on regions and families.

There is a custom of giving money to children during these holidays (it’s called otoshidama). It would be a good idea if you prepare some money in small decorative envelopes if you are going to family gatherings. On the first day of the New Year, Japanese people will usually visit a temple or shrine to pray for safety, good fortune and health. This first visit to a shrine or temple is called hatsumoude in Japanese (meaning ‘first visit’) and it is one of the most important rituals of the year.

Source by Susan Wong

Installing Linux – Linux Tips For New Users

About 4 years ago, I was fed up with Microsoft, and had known about Linux, heard that it wasn’t that easy install and use, but I figured I’d give it a go anyway. It’s not hard at all, that might have been 10 or 12 years ago. In any case, once I found Ubuntu, one of the most popular and easiest to use Distros (versions) I had found MY Linux. And it wasn’t hard to install or use. AND It’s even more easy to get going today then it was 4 years ago.

It’s easy enough to go to the Ubuntu website, and DL the latest copy in an ISO image format and burn that to disk. But you don’t feel geeky enough to burn your own ISO image? Or if you don’t have a wildly fast Internet connection. You can always go to and request a CD. OR purchase a magazine at a Borders or other book store that has a rack of computer magazines, but usually you’ll find some Linux magazine that includes a CD that has a distribution on it. It may or may not be Ubuntu. If you’re not shy of getting into things there’s many other distributions to choose from. They’re referred to as Distros tho among the Linux Community. Don’t get hung up on this, there is plenty of time to find out what these things are, I want to keep this simple for the new person who would like to check things out. And for that reason, I will focus on Ubuntu, the most widely used and popular desktop Linux to date. Fedora, the free Version of Red Hat Linux comes in second.

If you go to you’ll see many Distros listed, and the most popular downloads, where you can also purchase a disk to be sent by mail, and most of all Reviews of different Distributions.

Wow! You’ve made it this far, but some things need to be explained, so you have some idea of what is what.

Now, you’ve got your Ubuntu disk in your hands? What’s cool is that it’s a “Live CD”. Meaning that you can reboot your computer off of the CD-ROM and it will start a Live Session of Linux on your machine, without changing a thing to your hard drive. You can also install it to a Thumb Drive and run it off of that too, that’s much faster than the CD Rom. You can run the standard Desktop version of Ubuntu with as little as 256k, but it’s geared more towards machines with 1 gig or more of RAM. IF your machine ran XP, or a newer version of Windows, Ubuntu will run just fine with those specs. There is also the slight chance that the hardware of your computer isn’t supported well by the Linux Kernel and those issues will take additional addressing. Ubuntu’s online community and their forums, are usually fairly good about giving one a hand at solving an issue.

OK, it’s time to re-boot, and let your computer boot off of the DVD/CD-ROM. You’ll see Linux loading up, and Viola! you’ve got it running on your computer off of the live CD.

You can click on the install icon on the desktop, and you’ll be taken through the process of installing it on your hard drive, a USB stick and boot off of that, or use the WUBI installer and run Linux inside of Windows, as a program. This is much slower as your computer has to run two Operating systems at the same time, via an emulator. I tried it, and it was just to sluggish for me. Running it off of the Live CD is OK, but you won’t be able to save any of your settings. So, I’d suggest installing it to a 5-10 gig hard drive partition. Or a USB stick. Included in the install process is Gparted, and open source disk partitioner, that works very well. So you don’t have to bother with trying to make room on your hard drive prior to booting up Ubuntu.

So in review, the best way to install Linux you need to:

  • Get a Live CD
  • Boot your Computer into Linux, and check it out, surf the web, etc..
  • Install Linux from the Live CD to Your Hard drive, USB Stick, or use WUBI.

Please take note, that the Ubuntu installer will make Ubuntu the default Operating system when you re-boot, you can easily change this from within Ubuntu, but I’d hate for you to be surprised, and not know how or where to get it to boot back into Window’s if that’s what you’d like to do.

Also. Don’t do this, if you’ve got sensitive data that you don’t want to lose. Always backup, and remember any time you’re changing around with your computer’s partitions, there could be an error and you can suffer data loss.

Source by Randy Noseworthy

Book Review of Your Care Plan: A Nurses’ Guide to Healthy Living

Julia Buss, saysit best in her book, Your Care Plan, when she said, “Nurses are without a doubt experts at caring for others, but are not always experts at looking after themselves.”

Julia’s book uses the template. DECIDE.

“D= Detect if you have a problem with your lifestyle.

E= Estimate what it could mean for you. You could be putting yourself at risk for serious illness, or even premature death.

C= Choose your outcome. Do you want to lose weight, or exercise or both?

I= Identify what you are going to do to make changes.

D= Do it.

E= Evaluate your progress. Celebrate and reward yourself” (page 5).

I liked the self assessment in the chapter, Detect your problem. She gives the correct answers right up front. Personally, it helps me to have the answers after I do the self exam. That way I’m not biased by what the answer should be – but am really answering how it is for me.

Julia offers seven excellent questions for you to reflect upon. Space to write the answers to the introspective questions would have been helpful to me. I like to go back later and see how I’ve changed or grown or identify if I’m still doing what I’ve always done (be it healthy or unhealthy).

In the chapter titled, Estimate the Risk, Buss reviews the frightening facts of overweight -obesity, inactivity, excess alcohol, and tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke. I would encourage readers to write in the current date and add their body mass index (BMI) and their waist measurements right there is the book on page 19. Then in one, three, six, nine months and one year revisit the book and see the progress have made by following your care plan. Julia has a comprehensive yet brief listing and explanation of all the risks of the four areas addressed. It would be enlightening to let the reader list the ones he/she can think of and then add the information. As nurses’ we know the information however it would serve to reinforce any risks we do not readily consider when making life decisions.

Our Bodies, Our Behaviors, and the Environment, reviews genetics, epigenetics (environmental influences) biochemistry, stress, meme (cultural influences) and our surroundings are reviewed. I was unfamiliar with the term “meme” so found this information very interesting and informative.

Julia reviews the guidelines and the bottom lines surroundings food, sugar, carbohydrates, fiber, salt, fats, protein, meat, water, supplements, organic, seafood, chocolate (my personal favorite), exercise, alcohol and tobacco. She has selected the most appropriate sources for the guidelines and has worked to make them meaningful by providing examples to translate the guidelines into lay terms.

The sugar information is plentiful, as is our consumption and prompted me to read the labels on numerous items in my refrigerator and cabinets. The fiber guideline of “14 grams per 1,000 calories consumed” for me needed an additional example as I can’t quite visualize what that is telling me. Since I’m a vegetarian I know that I get plenty of fiber but as a nurse I have difficulty translating this to clients/patients. She mentions the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s website as having a helpful guide on seafood. Here’s the url for the site:

The next chapter, Take Action for Health introduces an analogy that is creative and thought provoking. Thinking of your body and your choices during your life as a pilot thinks about his plane and his safety during his flight. Julia discusses our individual choices and encourages readers to record in a notebook. This is an excellent strategy as I find that writing things down really helps you identify the issue and helps you meet your goals if you identify areas needing change.

In regards to exercise guidelines and bottom lines I find the pedometer to be a very valuable tool to help people obtain more exercise in their life. Measuring steps helps encourage and motivate taking even more.

Buss offers great suggestions, my suggestion is to eliminate the word, “try”. I find that when people say they are going to “try to lose weight”, or “try to quit smoking”, or “try to…” they are actually saying, “No”. By simply eliminating the word “try” the recommendations are more direct and powerful. For example, “…take time for yourself,…Share the practice of…Use a new recipe… on page 93 instead of “try to take some time,…try sharing the practice…try a new recipe”.

I would add that consulting with a dietitian to review your 24 hour or one week food diary can be very informative if you are working on weight reduction strategies. My Food Pyramid ( ) is another great source of information about what to eat, how much to eat and the amount of exercise you need based on your age. It also gives examples of all the food categories (meat, fruits, vegetables, etc.) and helps you identify appropriate portion sizes for your specific caloric needs.

For stress reduction at home or at work I would strongly recommend using the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offered by your employer if one exists. I have found this extremely valuable. Also, talking to the Human Resources specialist may also be effective if you have work related issues that you need assistance in solving.

Buss includes easy recipes and as a non cook I do believe these to be not only easy but quick. For nurses after a long day at work, typically 12 hours, it’s nice to be able to come home and create a quick and easy meal, and a tasty one at that.

Of course as a non cook – I need a little clarification. Am I really looking for stones (as in rocks) or lentils that have hardened. I also need to know what it means to “sweat” an onion – is that similar to sauté. As you can see- I truly am not a cook!

Julia’s colleagues have participated through recipe submissions and Jean’s 10 minute pea and mint soup sounds lovely. I’m going to submit it to the cooks where I work and see if they’ll give it a try.

The noodle soup sounds divine with udon noodles, vegetable broth, low sodium soy sauce, sesame oil, shitake mushrooms and tofu. Perfect! As a vegetarian I’m always looking for recipes that offer vegetarian options. If you prefer you can use chicken broth. I’m going to try this recipe this weekend- just need to get some sesame oil and shitake mushrooms.

Under salads Julia offers two of her favorite salad dressings. Balsamic and olive oil and Lemon and olive oil. From an editing perspective I would have put the two salad dressings on the same page as the lemon and olive oil is on the next page with green salad and beet salad. Or just numbered them. Both dressings sound light, yummy and healthy.

In this day of pre-prepared foods she has an easy pasta with tomato sauce. So instead of buying jars of Prego or Classico this tomato sauce would be fresh and original.

Under desserts she recommends a fruit salad. My additional recommendation is to freeze fresh fruits during the summer and then toss them frozen into a serving bowl. Eat them for dessert after they have defrosted on your table. Not only are they delicious but they make a lovely center piece on your table while they defrost with all the colors of the berries, peaches,…using whatever fruits you like.

Buss’ resources are excellent and comprehensive. I learned of two sites that I was unfamiliar with. I have now added them to my personal resource list.

Throughout the book the photographs are nicely done and add to the delightful presentation of each page.

Julia also throws in some fun United Kingdom sayings such as, has now and truly gripped (page 35) , full of beans (page 96) and splashing out on a meat thermometer (page 127) which adds her unique voice to a fact filled book.

Overall, I thought this was well written, full of great information, and a resource that nurses can use in their own life as well as share with others. Non nurses will find this book helpful as well as they learn about healthy choices they can make.

Source by Kay Rosenthal Ph.D.

How To Write An eBook Template

If you operate an online business, there are some very good reasons to write an eBook. Your own eBook will help to establish you as a recognized specialist in your field.

Another reason to consider writing your own eBook is the passive income it can generate for you. You do the work once and you can sell the eBook again and again on your website.

Here’s the template for writing an eBook.

Break It Down Into Workable Tasks

The hardest part of writing an eBook is the title, first and last sentence. Breaking it down makes each task seem smaller and more manageable. When you look at the whole project, it seems like an impossible task, but if you can get the project started, even if not perfectly, at least you have begun to get the words down.

Determine A Good Working Title

Titles help you to concentrate writing on your subject matter. Write down a few different titles and gradually you’ll find that one that starts to grow on you. Your title will guide you in predicting and responding to your readers’ questions.

Have A Good Reason For Your eBook

Be absolutely clear what issue you’re dealing with and how your eBook will fix that issue for your target audience. Make sure there’s good reason to write your eBook so that it helps your target audience.

Don’t Write For Everyone

Remember you’re writing an eBook for your target audience. It’s not possible to write an eBook that will be liked and read by everybody. Know the expected age range of your readers, their main interests and the socio-economic group they belong to.

Keep Your Writing Interesting

Generally, stories, testimonials, pictures, charts, guidance and tips will keep an audience reading the pages. Use sidebars on the page for quick, accessible information. This will help break up the density of the page.

Let Somebody Read It First

Before you release your eBook, get someone to read it first. They may spot something that you have missed. Also don’t forget to make backups of all your work. There’s nothing worse than having your eBook practically completed only to lose it if your computer crashes all of a sudden.

Write Down Your Objectives

The more you know your objective, the less complicated the actual writing will be. Are you writing an eBook to sell it as an information product on your website? Or do you want to offer it as a free gift to encourage people to opt in to your email list? The more you know about how you plan to publish it, the more you can write toward that objective.

Source by Jon Allo

Mexican Cookware – Equipment Used in Mexican Cooking

Mexican cooking at home doesn’t have to an impossible task to accomplish. Try using the following kitchen equipment for the next in-home Mexican meal.

Comal: Basically, a comal is a cast iron griddle and is used without oil. It’s flat with a handle and is used for making tortillas and roasting foods that require no oil. Mexican comals also can be made of clay.

Molcajete and Tejolote: Mortar and Pestle, these are used for crushing and grinding herbs, spices and seeds. The bowl and grinder are made from porous volcanic rock and are still used today. You can also make traditional Mexican salsa in the Molcajete and Tejolote.

Prensa (Tortilla Press): A tortilla press can be metal or wood, with two hinged plates and a handle. A tortilla press is used to flatten the dough for making tortillas.

Tamale Steamer: Tamale Steamers can be purchased at any Mexican cuisine store or market or you can make one yourself. Using a large enough stock pot to fit a metal colander lined with foil in the bottom, pour about an inch of water in the pot. The foil keeps the tamales from touching the water. Place the tamales in the colander and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Cover the pot tightly with a lid.

Cazuela: a clay pot or bowl still used in Mexico today for boiling corn, stews and beans. Though many Mexican households now use Olla Express (Pressure Cooker) to make beans, they still place the beans in a cazuela for the final few minutes of cooking to give beans that authentic Mexican flavor.

Metate y Mano (Hand Grinder): This tool looks like a short 3 legged table with a concave surface about the size of a platter. A large cylinder of stone is used for grinding spices, herbs and seeds. You can also find larger versions made for sitting at. Metate y Mano is made from stone or lava rock and is still used today in many Mexican households.

Molinillo (Wood Whisk or Stirrer): This ancient tool is used to create foam in hot chocolate. Place between your hands and rotate the whisk back and forth briskly. Molinillos can be plain or highly decorated.

Olla: A bean pot made of clay. Most Olla’s are beautifully decorated and glazed. Cooking beans in an olla gives beans a far superior taste than cooking them in metal pans or even a slow cooker. Olla’s look beautiful sitting on the counter when not in use and make a great gift. Fill the pot with bags of beans and seasoning and give to your friends or relatives who love authentic Mexican cooking.

Most of the cookware mentioned above can be purchased online, in a specialty Mexican market or store.

Can’t wait to learn more about Mexican cooking? Visit Mommies Magazine for more Mexican Cooking Techniques that you won’t want to miss.

Source by Wendy Wood

How to Make Damiana Herb Tea

Damiana herb tea has been used for hundreds of years to treat a variety of medical conditions, most commonly constipation and low libido. The herb itself is quite gentle and lends itself well to the tea medium. Dried leaves to make tea can be obtained from natural health stores or purchased online. The following recipe yields about 1 cup of damiana herb tea.


Many benefits are provided by taking the herb. Traditionally, it was used as an aphrodisiac, though modern science supports this as well. Recent tests show that taking damiana herb tea on a regular basis increases sperm count, increases the strength of the eggs, and improve blood flow and stimulation. The herb is also a mood balancing agent, that boosts the overall feel and brings a general feeling of well-being.

It has also been shown to regulate hormonal imbalances in women during menopause. Damiana also boosts energy and reduces the detrimental effects of exhaustion. Additional uses include being a laxative, astringent, diuretic, antiseptic and cough suppressant. If you can’t find a reason to take this herb, you aren’t looking hard enough.

Making the Tea:

The process of making the tea is simple, and is similar to making tea from traditional tea leaves. However, using dried leaves makes it more difficult than simply soaking tea bags in water. Begin by adding two large teaspoons of dried damiana leaves to a clean coffee mug. In a small saucepan, heat one cup of water to a boil, and then pour it into the mug over the damiana leaves.

Allow the tea to steep in the mug for 15 to 20 minutes. During this time, the flavor and essence of the tea leaves is being extracted into the water. After this time has passed, strain the tea into another clean coffee mug and discard the excess tea leaves. Drink the warm tea immediately for optimal health benefits.

You can improve the flavor of the damiana herb tea by adding a number of different ingredients. Adding a teaspoon of pure honey, for instance, will sweeten the flavor substantially. However, granulated or refined sugar should never be used as this can be detrimental to the healing components of the tea. Otherwise, a small amount of lemon juice can be added if desired.

Side Effects:

Though damiana can be taken in large quantities with no real detrimental effects, the long term effects are yet to be tested. Damiana herb tea should not be consumed by pregnant women or by children under the age of 13. Additionally, people suffering from diabetes should not take this herb. Always consult a doctor or herbalist prior to consuming any type of herb on a regular basis.

Source by Caryn Windfield

Behind the Scenes of Video Production: The Green Screen

If you’re planning on having a video production company produce a short Web video for your website, be prepared for a flurry of behind-the-scenes activity. After all, there’s much more involved than lights, camera, and action. When you arrive at the studio, you may be surprised at the lack of a set. In its place, you may see a gaudy green screen.

What Video Green Screens Do

The green screen may be bright and unattractive, but it serves an important function. This green color can effectively be removed from the video and replaced with other images. For example, when you watch a television weather reporter standing in front of weather maps and radar images, the weather reporter is actually standing in front of a green screen. In the television control room, a technician uses a switcher equipped with what’s known as “chroma key” technology to replace the green with a computer generated image. If you’ve ever watched the Suze Orman Show on television, her entire set is chroma key green and computer generated.

Why Chroma Key Green?

Theoretically, you could use chroma key technology with other colors. However chroma key green and chroma key blue are the most popular. These garish colors aren’t commonly used in clothing and props, making them a good choice. Remember, the technology finds all instances of the selected color whether the color is painted on the set or worn as clothing. If the on screen talent were to wear a chroma key green necktie, that necktie would be replaced with the video intended to appear on the screen behind the talent.

The Green Screen and Online Video

While green screens are commonly used in broadcasting, they’re also used for Web video. If you want a unique background or a polished “broadcast-like” look, shooting your Web video in front of a green screen and replacing the green background with a computer generated or b-roll video background can accomplish that.

Another use for chroma key in the Web video realm involves virtual spokespeople who are superimposed over the actual website. In this case, the chroma key technology doesn’t replace the green background with a new image; it removes the background completely. With a transparent background, only the actor or actress appears. This allows for frameless video overlays and creates the illusion of the actor being a part of the website itself.

When you head to the studio for your next video shoot, don’t be surprised if you’re placed in front of an ugly green screen. If you’re curious, ask the director to show you the composite picture before or after the shoot and enjoy your time behind the scenes!

Source by Ken E Adams

Don’t Feed That to Baby!

Not all grub that’s yummy for mummy is fair game for baby’s tummy. Think twice before offering these to your kids.

  • Popcorn – This delightful snack is reposted to be one of the most common choking hazards for kids. Parents must remember not to offer them unless Baby is supervised and over a year old. If given to babies over one year old, choose only the fluffy parts of the popcorn. Avoid the husks and unpopped kernels, which are sharp and can get stuck in the teeth and airway. Opt for plain over caramel or cheese-flavoured versions, because of the high sugar and salt content found in the latter.
  • Cakes with Honey – Honey should not be given to babies under one year old. That’s because the Clostridium botulinum spores can germinate in his digestive system and cause infant botulism, a rare but fatal illness. For the same reason, don;t give him cakes or bread baked with honey, because making alone may not totally destroy the spores. However, commercial foods that contain honey (such as baby food and breakfast cereals) are safe for your baby because they’ve been heated sufficiently to eradicate the spores.
  • Tiramisu – Because of the alcohol in it, babies and toddlers consuming the popular italian cakes. The dessert contains caffeine, which can cause stomach upsets, headaches and increased heart rate.
  • Bird’s Nest – Pricy as it may be, bird’s nest is and allergenic food that can cause symptoms such as vomiting, rashes and abdominal pains. This is especially so if other family members are allergic to the protein found in it. Only introducing this Chinese delicacy to your child only after he turns one. If your baby is healthy and has no allergy, bird’s nest can be consumed in small quantities as a tonic. It can sometimes provide relief for prolonged dry coughs.
  • Ginseng – The doting grandma may want to brew double-boiled ginseng soup for the family, but this is one herb you’ll want your baby to steer clear of, unless advised otherwise by a physician. Panax ginseng is unsafe for kids and can cause infant death as a result of intoxication. Some physicians may advice against eating particular types of ginseng when the baby suffers from qi deficiency. But even for healthy babies, long-term consumption is not recommended, as it may bring about early puberty.
  • Pearl Powder – When you were little, your mother may have lured you with the promise of radiant skin as she made you down a vial of it. Truth be told, the preparation of crushed pearls is not a health supplement. It’s a mineral that can be difficult for a baby’s digestive system to absorb. It should be consumed only under the advice of a physician, and is often reserved for treatment of more serious ailments like spasms or extremely high fevers. Children with G6PD deficiency must steer clear of it.
  • Sashimi – No matter how reputable the restaurant you’re dining at is, do not give this to babies under two, even in tiny amounts. In fact, raw food is forbidden territory for young ones because intestinal parasites present in it are nothing to sneeze at.
  • French Fries – Because they are high in saturated fat and loaded with salt, Charlotte frowns upon these for kids. But if Junior won’t stop pestering you for is happy meal at a fast food restaurant, you may introduce french fries and other fried foods in moderation after he turns one. This is also the age when you can start using oil while cooking his food.
  • Fizzy Drinks – You may be a fan of soft drinks, but before you empty the remainder of you soda into the sippy cup, think about your baby’s health and pearlie whites. The sugar and acidic content may also damage Baby’s emerging teeth. Dental concerns aside, carbonated drinks can also ruin your kid’s appetite for nutritious foods.
  • Runny Eggs – Crucial for cell growth and tissue repairs, eggs are known to be a wonderful source of protein. They are also rich in cholesterol and choline, which are both essential for brain development in the first three years of life. However, runny eggs should not be given to babies below one because of a risk of salmonella-related food poisoning. Cook the egg thoroughly until it is firm and there’s no trace of visible liquid egg. Then have Junior eat it immediately.
  • Ham – You shouldn’t add salt or sugar to Baby’s food until he turns one, so ham shouldn’t be permitted. There’s no added nutritional benefit in choosing ham over fresh meat. Besides, introducing flavoured foods (with high salt content) too early would encourage him to develop a preference for salty dishes.
  • Whole Nuts – These should be reserved for when your little one turns two. Otherwise they may pose a choking risk. Nuts need to be chewed well, but a baby’s molars are developed only after around 24 months. When Junior is ready for whole nuts, the dietician recommends healthier, unsalted, oven-baked varieties.

Source by Shirley Chin

Revolutionizing Excel Budgeting

A survey related to Excel Budgeting conducted by Adaptive Planning in Nov 2006 revealed that 78% of the respondents use spreadsheets as their company primary budgeting and forecasting tool. This phenomenon is not limited to only small and medium companies. It’s noted that amongst the large companies, 68% rely primarily upon spreadsheets as their budgeting and forecasting tool.

Despite the number of limitations in using Excel as a budgeting tool and the availability of Business Performance Management Systems (BPMs) in the market, the host of benefits offered by Excel in budgeting continued to be unrivalled. BPMs overcome some of the limitations of Excel but eroded the advantages at the same time. Hence, many budget managers choose to overlook the Excel limitations (such as cell links across workbooks) and enjoy the benefits of using Excel as a budgeting tool.

As previous budget managers, we have gone through the same pains and could understand and identify the needs and wishes of every budget manager who are using Excel as a budgeting tool and looking for solutions to undermine its limitations. We have concertedly diverted some of our resources from our key activities to research and work on fulfilling those unmet needs. And today, we are excited to see the results — a breakthrough in removing each of those Excel limitations while preserving all the benefits of the current excel budgeting method. In other words, we have a revolutionary solution that enhances the existing way of Excel budgeting!


Breakthrough # 1:

JUST by using formulas, we are able to align the headers and sub-headers to the budget numbers. This means that each set/line of the budget numbers has its own classification, be it the header, sub header, product categories, etc. Unlike linked cells where we have to manually specify the description we have to point, our formulas are intelligent enough to detect which header and sub-header each budget line belongs to.

Benefit #1:This means that every budget manager has total control over the layout of the template. Budget managers can easily customise the template to their organisation needs.

Benefits #2:Budget users can re-arrange the row layout of the budget items and budget managers can still easily capture the inputs into their consolidated worksheet. All they have to do is to populate the formula in the first row to the remaining rows in the template and the headers & sub-headers are re-aligned to the new layout.

Benefits #3:Budget users no longer have to keep separate worksheets for their own workings and for submission.

Breakthrough # 2:

JUST by using formulas and not cell links, the details in the template can be easily transferred to another worksheet. Updates to the numbers usually take less than one minute.

Benefits #4:Budget managers and users can make use of the database to create pivot tables and perform analysis on their budgeted numbers. With pivot tables, budget managers and users can analyse the numbers from more than one perspective (e.g. by distribution channels followed by product groups or vice versa).

Breakthrough #3:

We can consolidate the numbers provided by each budget users (e.g. business units, departments, countries) into a worksheet using a relative unknown function which existed even in older versions of Excel such as Office 2000. It is not a macro and yet it has the power to automatically update the budget numbers when the consolidated workbook is opened (Note: Only one worksheet is needed to perform the consolidation).

Benefits #5:
The details from the respective departments, business units or countries are not lost during consolidation.

Benefits #6:
We could still use pivot table to analyse the consolidated budget numbers and do detailed comparison of the budget numbers provided.

Benefits #7:
Reporting and presenting of the budget numbers becomes a breeze when you use pivot table as the source. It does not matter anymore which row the set of budget numbers is located. The row location can even change over time and the set of budget numbers you want will always be presented in the report or chart. This feature is available only in Office 2002 and above.

Benefits #8:
Budget managers can create each chart within a minute. And these charts can be set up such that they can be updated automatically upon opening or at regular interval. New data will be added automatically and old records are deleted when it detects that the record has been removed from the source.


This Revolutionary Breakthrough in Excel Budgeting is able to achieve a whopping time saving of up to 70% in the current Excel budgeting method. A lot more time can be freed up to perform analysis on the budgeted numbers and produce better quality results which otherwise could not be done due to time constraints.

Source by Jason Khoo

Ultimate Bread Maker Review

An Ultimate Bread Maker should have advanced features that will make it easy to bake a wide varieties of homemade bread from raw ingredients to a finished loaf.

A brief history of bread machine

In the year 1986, the world’s first bread machine home appliance was invented in Japan. Despite the limited loaf shapes and baking cycle in the earlier models, they usually produce satisfactorily results. It quickly become popular in the European countries where bread is a staple food.

Since then the design of bread machines has continued to evolve with advance features like automatic kneading of doughs and programmable baking cycles. Today, bread machine is so common that it has become a standard kitchen appliance in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States.

How bread machines work

A bread machine looks just like a small oven usually put on top the kitchen counter. It has a hinged lid at the top, some model also have a see through window on the lid. Beside the lid is an electronic control panel and keypad. Inside the machine is a removable baking pan or bread bucket.

At the bottom of the baking pan, there is 1 or 2 kneading paddles used for mixing and kneading the dough. The baking pan is where ingredients are put in and finished loaf are remove when done baking.

The typical process of creating a loaf of bread using a bread maker:

  1. The necessary ingredients are measured according to recipe into the baking pan.
  2. The baking pan is snapped into the bread maker and the lid is closed.
  3. The baking program or cycle is selected from the control panel and the baking is started.
  4. The baking cycle begin by first mixing and kneading, turning the ingredients into dough using the paddle.
  5. The baking cycle allow the dough to proof and rise using ideal temperature control.
  6. The baking cycle then start baking the dough into a loaf.

The above process usually takes 2 to 4 hours depending on the recipe used. Once the process finished, the pan can be extracted from the bread maker and the loaf is freed from the pan. The kneading paddle, now stick at the bottom of the loaf, is removed, leaving a small paddle-shaped indentation or hole.

An ultimate bread maker should have these features:

Built-in Fan

Conventional models uses regular oven that rely on heated air to flow naturally. The latest convection bread maker usually comes with built-in fan that forces air circulation around the baking pan, and thus achieved a uniform distribution of heat. Circulating hot air around the baking pan has a number of benefits, the most notable one is the elimination of “hot spots” around the loaf, resulting in evenly baked loaf with better crust and beautiful texture.

Because air circulation improves heat transfer onto the dough, convection bread maker can literally operate at a lower temperature than a standard conventional bread maker and yet bake more quickly. Another benefit is with preprogrammed cycles of various fan speed to achieve precise temperature control for special purposes like making sourdough starter, dough proofing, keep loaf warm after bake etc.

Programmable Cycles

Most modern bread machines today have different kneading cycles for different kinds of dough like Basic, Whole Wheat, Whole Grain, French, and Dough-only for pizza dough and shaped loaves baked in conventional oven. For the baking cycle, some models allow you to select crust setting for Light, Medium & Dark crust and some high-end models allow the user to program a custom cycles for example to make a meatloaf or even make fruit jam.

Advanced Timer

Timer is a must have feature to allow the bread machine to function without user intervention, or allow for delay baking. Advanced models timer can even sound a tone and pause the process in the middle of a cycle to allow user to remove dough for other treatment or to add nuts or raisin.


Check for the warranty period carefully before you buy, it should have at least 1 year limited warranty for the peace of mind knowing that one is protected from any manufacturing defect. I came across one manufacturer that offer a 3-year limited warranty, that shows how confident they are with their product quality and you should definitely take this into consideration.


The Ultimate Bread Maker should have the above features, it will makes it so easy to bake hundreds of variety of bread from raw ingredients to finished loaf. Homemade bread is safer, healthier and tastes better because you have control of what goes in it. It is also much cheaper than store-bought, thus a good decision in purchase can pay for itself in the long run, you will never want to buy commercial bread again.

Source by Danny Dee Gees