How to Find Your IP Address

July 23, 2008 by  
Filed under Technology

how to find your ip addressThere are many ways to determine your IP address. IP stands for Internet Protocol address, and this address allows your computer to “talk” to other computers online. Programs such as certain scripts require you to know your IP address to ensure only you are using the program. A VPN or a virtual private network can be established using your IP address to link your home and office computer. This allows you to work at home with ease. There are countless other tasks which require your IP address or use it in some way.

Regardless of why you might need your IP address, here’s how to find it.

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Use a Specialized Website

A "What is My IP" site pings your computer and immediately offer up your IP address along with plenty of other details. The site can tell you about proxies, languages, cookies, screen resolution and more. Of course you can also find that information on your own or you might already have it committed to memory.

Find a Local IP Address

This is your internet IP address. You also have a local IP address that is very basic and has little purpose other than to be a placeholder. Your Internet IP address has many functions, your local (or LAN) one does not. But to find your LAN IP address, you can:

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  • Go to the Start Menu.
  • Select Run.
  • Type in CMD and press Enter.
  • Then in the DOS box that appears type in “ipconfig” and press Enter.
  • Your local IP address should appear.

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How to Choose What Size TV to Get

July 23, 2008 by  
Filed under Technology

how to decide what size of a tv to getLooking for a new TV? Sometimes bigger isn’t better, but often times it can be more fun. When you need a TV, choose the size wisely to avoid wasting money on too much television or straining your eyes to try and see your bargain buy.

Consider Your Location

Where is the television going to be used? This can make the most important distinction in television size. A TV for the kitchen is usually small, twenty inches or less, as it sits on the countertop and you don’t want it blocking any cabinets or hanging off. A television for the living room, on the other hand, should be large enough to be enjoyed by everyone. At the minimum, a family television should be twenty seven inches.

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Consider Your Space

If you’re planning on putting your television on top of your dresser in the bedroom, you’ll want something small enough to fit the space easily, but large enough to see while laying in bed. You can opt for a larger television if you plan to use TV shelves to store cable boxes and DVD players as the shelves will put these bulky items above the television rather than beside it. If you have a television niche built in to your living room, find the size of television that fits more comfortably. Be sure to include the dimensions of any stands or carts as well.

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Consider Your Budget

Smaller budgets will most likely be buying a smaller television. Of course, you might be able to buy a larger television with a less quality picture, but you’ll have to decide which is more important to you – size or graininess. Look around for televisions on sale to find a bargain on a high quality television in the exact size you need. If you’re forced to buy a small television now, never fear. There is always a place for a small TV somewhere in your home when you’re able to upgrade to the big screen.

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How to Replace a Window Screen

July 18, 2008 by  
Filed under Home & Garden

how to replace a window screenA torn window screen is a simple fix provided you have the right tools. When you’re ready to replace a window screen, a quick trip to the local hardware store and a free hour will be it takes to get the job done right.

Head to the Hardware Store

Get the dimensions of your torn window screen and then head to the hardware store. You’ll need a roll of netting, the rubber casing to hold the netting in place, a roller to work the rubber casing and a utility knife to make the cuts. A Craft Lite Cutter or similar product can handle a window screen and be an excellent investment for other household chores as well.

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Remove the Old Screen

Take the screen off of the window and lay it flat in the grass. Find a corner of the rubber casing inside the edges of the screen and gently pull it out. As you pull off the old casing, the torn screen will loosen and you can remove it. You should be left with a window screen frame.

Install the New Screen

Unroll your new netting and use your knife to cut a section of screen slightly longer and wider than your window frame. Measure out a new section of tubing and cut this as well. Place the netting over the screen and hold the end of the rubber tubing. Very carefully push the tubing into the recessed area of the screen being sure you are securing the netting in place at the same time. Getting one corner started is the trickest part of replacing a window screen, so don’t be surprised if it takes a few attempts or an extra set of hands.

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Once you have the corner installed correctly, use the special roller to gently roll the rest of the rubber tubing into place. As you roll, be sure you’re pulling the screen taut without stretching it or causing the window screen to bow. Again, it may take a few attempts. Finally, when all the tubing is in place, trim away the excess screen and tubing. Your window screen is ready to be put back in place.

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How To Write An Email

July 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Education & Reading / Writing

how to emailEmail is among the most common forms of communication in businesses and between friends and family. Writing an effective email is different than writing a letter or chatting through a chat room or IM. To be easily read and deliver your message, email must be clean and concise. A good email follows the most basic rules of on screen writing – it must be easy on the eyes and easy to process.

Basic Formatting:
Much of an email follows the basic format of a letter. The first thing you must do is give your email an applicable subject. Avoid non-descriptive subjects like, “Hi!” as these might be overlooked or seem unprofessional. Use a good subject, even for personal emails, to help your recipient know what he’s about to read.

In the body of the email, use an introduction of some kind. A first name will often suffice for simple emails, but business emails should be more formal. “Dear So and So” is standard, or if you don’t know whom to address, you can use, “Dear Sirs.” The greeting can be removed if a conversation springs up between you and the recipient via email, but it should always be used on the initial contact or response.

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Be sure to use paragraphs and complete sentences in the body of the email. Punctuation and capitalization is crucial not only to appear educated, but to help convey your message. Paragraphs should be short, often no more than 1-2 sentences to help they eye stay focused. Use an extra line between paragraphs to help break up longer messages.

The end of an email should have a closing or a signature. A signature is a message attached to the bottom of all messages. It usually contains your name, title and contact information. At the very least, you should put your name at the bottom of an email. That will help your recipient identify you and give him an idea of your preferred spelling or contact information for his records.

Email Formatting:

Certain formatting is required for emails that differs from that of print letters. The most important is to AVOID SHOUTING. Typing in all capital letters is shouting online and can be greatly offensive to readers.

Emoticons and text abbreviations are debated in professional emails, but common in personal ones. Be sure to know your audience – they may not know what “ttyl” or “LOL” means. Emoticons and abbreviations are generally accepted in casual style emails among professionals. A smiling face or “j/k” can help clear up meaning and keep the message light. Be sure to limit the use overall as too many symbols or abbreviations can be distracting from your message.

Be aware of your color and font choices. You may love pink, but pink words on a white background are almost impossible for most readers to decipher. Use a clean font and easy-to-read color palette.

Email Messages:

The message in emails is often short and sweet. Ideally, a reader won’t have to scroll through pages of text. A long chatty email is great between friends, but inappropriate in business. Get to the point quickly and use short sentences. Explanations should be simple and follow the main idea. Most professionals skim emails looking for the message and action points – don’t tangle up your reader with too many extra words or an unorganized message.

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How To Write an e-book

July 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Education & Reading / Writing

how to make an ebookIf you can write a letter or an email, then you can probably write an ebook. The most important thing to remember about the ebook market is that it is based upon information. An ebook which informs its reader is a successful ebook – you don’t have to be a literary genius, you merely need to either have knowledge or experience you can communicate, or else you need to be able to find some knowledge or information on a subject and communicate that. The best tip is: don’t think of yourself as writing a ‘book’, since that idea seems to intimidate people, think of yourself as writing an informative email; or a series of informative emails.

Think of someone you know who you write easily to then just think of yourself as writing to them. Maybe even write to them – you could always ask a friend if it’s ok to write and tell them about your subject, then do so and use those emails as the body of your ebook. The main point here is: if you can write atall, and you can communicate information, then you can write an informative ebook. It is that simple.

The length of an ebook depends upon the information you are putting in it. There’s no strict length – although if it’s only a few pages then it may be better to call it a ‘report’. The important point I shall stress again is that it is informative to the reader. The reader is the one who pays for this information, if they finish the ebook and feel as if it has informed them, then they are a happy reader, if not, then not. An ebook could be as short as one page if the information on that page were worth the price of the ebook. So decide hat the information is that needs to go into the ebook, and write it for as long as that information is adequately communicated. Sure you can fill i8t out a bit with ‘chat’ but not too much. When ‘chat’ becomes ‘fluff’ readers become impatient – even if the ebook is informing them. If the ebook isn’t informing a reader and they think it’s full of fluff you will have a refund request on your hands and a complaint.

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The main principle I am going to stress is ‘delivery’: that is, the delivery of information. This means everything from sitting down to write, to producing your ebook in a finished readable and downloadable format. What is the best, simplest, clearest, most accessible way of delivering this information to the reader?

First, decide what information you are going to deliver to the reader, then write that ebook. Don’t worry, initially, about how many pages it takes up – do your research and decide what to tell your reader and how to tell it. If you think the clearest explanation will include graphs or pictures, then include them, if you think the clearest description requires a step by step tutorial then write it. Deliver the information that the reader wants and expects and they will be happy.

When I wrote earlier about ‘fluff’ I was talking about additional ‘chatty’ or superfluous text which didn’t add to the reader’s enjoyment or experience in any way. I will now say it also includes unnecessary decoration or ‘over-design’. This is a rule for information ebooks as much as it is for any other book – don’t add unnecessary decoration in the form of decorative type faces, multiple colours, coloured backgrounds, borders, unrelated or vaguely related images or anything else which isn’t directly contributing to the communication – the delivery – of the information. If the information is well researched and informative then that is the product and any thing extra just gets in the way of the delivery of that product, and that includes distracting backgrounds and borders and coloured decorative typefaces. All an ebook needs is readable text and informative headings.

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Remember also, that just because an ebook can be increased or decreased in size, it doesn’t mean that the size of your text doesn’t matter; it does. Do not be tempted to use big text with wide spaces between the lines to make your ebook appear to have more pages. This gets in the way of the delivery of information. Do not, either, make the text small to give the impression of good value by filling pages upon pages with fine text, this also gets in the way of the delivery of information. When deciding upon the text size and spacing there are two simple things to consider: one is that the reader may print out the ebook and will, therefore, require each page to be formatted to print, without any additional formatting, on an average A4 letter sized page. And the second thing to be aware of is that the ‘optimal’ reading text is about twelve words per line.

‘Optimal’, in terms of reading, means that the reader’s eye is most comfortable when there are about twelve words on each line. If lines are too short then the eye is constantly jumping down to the next line and concentration is lost. If the lines are too long then the eye will often ‘lose’ it’s place in the middle of all the text, and find it difficult identifying the next line down due to the distance between the end of one line and the beginning of the next. If you have taken your time writing an ebook and filling it with good and relevant information, if you have delivered the information in the text then you need to back that up by putting it in the optimal format. For an ebook that tends to mean about 14pt text with about a 1.2 to 1.3 line spacing. One and a half line spacing is far too wide and makes reading uncomfortable. Single line spacing is acceptable but if you want to hit the optimum then go for a little extra.

Finally, don’t put in any blank pages or massive white spaces – this looks bad on the screen, and uses up paper when an ebook is printed out. It won’t, by itself, lose you a sale, but it doesn’t deliver a good experience. With these simple points in mind all you need to do is convert your document to a PDF and you have your finished ebook ready to satisfy your customers.

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How to Find the Perfect Home

July 11, 2008 by  
Filed under Business & Finance

how to find the right homeWhen you’re ready to buy a home, you don’t ever want to settle for less than what’s perfect for you and your situation. Buying a home is a combination of emotional decision making and rational thought processes. You want to research your areas but also fall in love with your property. Here’s how to find the perfect home.

Consider Your Budget

Your first consideration for a home is how much you can actually afford to spend. Use financial calculators available on almost every bank’s website or speak to a lender to determine how much you are realistically able to spend on your new home.

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Check Your Location

When buying a new home, location is everything. You can buy a cottage in one area for the price of a mansion in anther all based on the value of the location. If you’re trying to get within walking distance of your work, do research on that area and particular neighborhood. Speak with a realtor about the prices of homes in that area and compare it to other areas in the city or town.

A valuable location, such as Colorado real estate, will almost never lose value, but will continue to become even more worthwhile as home builders are forced to move farther out from the center of town to find new land to build upon. Find an ideal location first before looking for a specific property.

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Plan Your Home

Before looking at properties make a realistic list of what you want from your home. If your budget is low, don’t expect five bedrooms and marble, but you can certainly list the number of bedrooms you’d like, the number of bathrooms, the living areas, the style of home, the type of garage, the size and presence of a yard or patio, and the type of kitchen in the home.

Find Your Home

Begin looking at properties screened to meet your budget and location. As you walk through each one, feel the home emotionally, but be sure to check for your attributes as well. If you love a home, but it is missing a bedroom, are you willing to sacrifice that space for the other features you love? Ideally you find a home you love that meets all your criteria. Otherwise find a home you love that meets enough of your criteria. That way you’ll always be pleased at what you’re coming home to.

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How to Evict a Tenant

July 11, 2008 by  
Filed under Business & Finance

how to evict an tenantIf you didn’t manage to prevent problems through tenant screening and are now stuck with a bad tenant, you need to be rid of the burden as quickly as possible. There are certain rules and regulations you need to follow, but here’s how to evict a tenant.

Determine the Exact Legal Problem

To legally evict (or kick out) a tenant, you have to have a legitimate legal reason to do so. Your reason can be something like “failure to pay rent” or “repeated failure to abide by the terms of the lease contract.” Usually, you give a warning the first time or two, but you must absolutely be sure to document every warning or conversation about problems. You need a paper trail to prove your tenant is bad, so be sure to send every notice in writing with a copy for yourself. If possible, have the tenant sign to verify the warning.

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Serve the Tenant with a Notice

When the tenant has been warned at least once (or twice for good measure) and you’re ready to move forward, check the regulations in your city and state. Then, following those regulations to the letter, properly serve your tenant with an eviction notice. Your state may require this be done by a licensed police officer. If you fail to serve the notice correctly, your eviction notice may not be valid or even legal.

Use the Legal System

Following the notice, hopefully your tenant will agreeably move out, and you can both move on with your lives. If this is not the case, however, you must use the legal system to get your freeloader on his way.

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File an eviction lawsuit against the tenant and be prepared to show every scrap of your documentation about how terrible a boarder he was. It’s very possible he will counter sue which is why you must follow the letter of the law. Do not give him a reason to sue you – you can’t “help” him move out, change the locks, or doing anything in retaliation other than filing the lawsuit following failure to leave.

The lawsuit may go smoothly, or it may get nasty. A knowledgeable real estate attorney can help keep the process moving and help you be sure you are staying well within the rules and regulations of your state.

Eventually, assuming you are in the right and have the documents to prove it, you will win your suit and your tenant will be moved along with the assistance of local law enforcement. If you’re very lucky, he might even be required to pay back rent and legal fees, but don’t hold your breath.

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How to Rent a Convertible

July 7, 2008 by  
Filed under Automotive & Mechanical

how to rent a convertableWhen you head to a fun destination such as Hawaii or Florida, part of the adventure can simply be getting from one place to another. Renting a convertible can bring an extra sense of excitement to your travels as well as letting you enjoy the warm sun and the ocean views. Here’s how to rent a convertible.

Choose a Proper Location

If you head to a sunny location such as Miami where the sun shines almost all year, a convertible makes wonderful sense. If you’re traveling to Fargo or Seattle with the high likelihood of cold or rain, a convertible might be a bit overly enthusiastic although you might luck out with bright sunny days.
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Be Qualified To Rent a Car

Your next step as you rent your convertible would be to check that you meet the eligibility of the Miami car rental agency. There are often surcharges for drivers under the age of twenty-five and you must have a valid driver’s license. Be sure to check the insurance requirements of the agency as well.

Plan Ahead

In popular destinations such as Miami or LA, the number of convertibles available may be low to nonexistent without an advance reservation. Reserve a convertible through the agency’s website or over the phone as far in advance as possible. That way your car should be waiting for you when you arrive.

You Need a Credit Card to Rent a Car

You often can’t rent a car without a credit card, so be sure you have one in the driver’s name when you go to pick up the car. As convertibles are easy to break into, also consider taking out extra insurance just in case a vandal decides to slice the top to reach your items inside. You can put this insurance payment on the credit card as well.
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Bring a Hat

Finally, once you have your paperwork arranged and keys in hand, throw the luggage in the back and climb in. Be sure to bring a hat and sunscreen to protect you from the sun as you’re now completely exposed. Then, don your hat and head off on your own adventure.
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