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***The Sweet Shade of a Chinaberry Tree*** Fascinating from unimarter UniMarter
***The Sweet Shade of a Chinaberry Tree***

Fascinating from the start, The Sweet Shade of a Chinaberry
Tree, by Janice Parrish, is certainly hard to classify. A
creative fiction based on the author?s own experiences while
growing up in Southern States in the tumultuous 1960?s ? a
time of great change for America - could also be classified
as an inter-racial romance or possibly a drama.The Sweet Shade of a Chinaberry Tree involves multicultural
and social issues, true young love, the relationship between
the main character and her parents and so much more. The
setting is based in Alabama, USA during the summer of
1963.The novel follows 19-year-old Gaynell McGowan from the
moment she returns to her home town during a summer
break from college where she had learned all kinds of novel
ideas that would forever alter her view of the people she
once believed in and knew so well. Failing to fully complete
her college course, Gaynell is assigned a paper, which lead
her into the most tender and truest of loves anyone could
ever experience. Readers will thrive on the thrilling,
secretive, inter-racial romance and the incredible sacrifice
Parrish?s characters endure.A town, stubborn in their ways, is afraid of racial change and
this fear empowers a threat so great that it has begun to rip
the town apart and shatter families. The small town is facing
the challenge of having the first school in Alabama become
integrated with black students. Under orders from the
government, bigoted and heartless behavior toward a set of
people who just happen to have a darker skin begins to tear
the town apart. So-called "normal, god-fearing" individuals
strengthen their resistance and suppression, while a few
individuals turn to hateful, murderous, cross-burning tactics.My respect for the author grew when I read her statement "In
Gaynell McGowan, I have found the voice to express the
inhumanity we Southerners covered with good manners
and lace tablecloths."So many aspects of this time period and radical change are
covered in her fantastic array of characters that I could not
possibly do it justice in this book review. All that I can say is
that this book has found a spot on my shelves indefinitely
and the characters are locked in my mind forever. While I did
not spend time in the Southern US, I did grow up around
those that struggled with this issue and feel the way this
author portrayed the people could not have been more
realistic or more heart-felt.The Sweet Shade of a Chinaberry Tree would be an
excellent historical fiction movie not just because of the first
hand experience, but also due to the excellent research the
author put in to get the right feel for this dramatic period.ISBN#: 0-7599-4807-0
Author: Janice Ward Parrish
Publisher: Hard Shell Word Factory
Published: 2006~ Book Reviewer: Lillian Brummet - Co-author of the book
Trash Talk, a guide for anyone concerned about his or her
impact on the environment ? Author of Towards
Understanding, a collection of poetry.
(http: / / www.sunshinecable.com / ~drumit)

#fiction #historical #romance #multicultural #inter -racial #blackhistory #African -American
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***Little Giant Ladder Models - Little Giant Ladder 22, Little Gi unimarter UniMarter
***Little Giant Ladder Models - Little Giant Ladder 22, Little Giant Ladder 26 And Other Models***

The multipurpose ladder little giant has brought respite to all and is the right choice for every household. The sleek body of little giant ladder makes it easy to store at any corner of the house. The little giant ladder is marketed as ?24 ladders in one.? Every time it transforms into a new shape, it gives you the feeling that you have bought a new ladder.The little giant ladder22 is very much adaptable. The 22ft version called as little giant 22 replaces all 5ft, 6ft, 7ft, 8ft, and 9ft ?A? frames. It further replaces 22ft extension, 2 scaffolding trestles, and staircase ladders. You may require at least $600 to replace the capabilities of the little giant ladder. Even then also, you may still be short of the durability, storage benefits and versatility that you can get from little giant ladder.Little Giant Ladder 22 features: Will reach most second story rooflines, Storage Height- 5ft7in, Extension Height Maximum- 19ft - the best selling ladder, Step Ladder Height Maximum- 9ft, Weight: 42 lbs.Little Giant Ladder Model 26.The little giant ladder 26 is sturdier than any usual ladders. ?6005-T5 aluminum? thick-wall grade is used to build it. While it possesses a ?workload capacity? of ?300 pounds?, it has been tested to withstand four fold that amount without ?structural failure?.Features: ?Extension Height- 13ft-23ft?, ?Stepladder Height- 6ft-11ft?, ?Scaffolding Height- 6ft?, ?Storage Height- 6ft 7in?, Weight- 54 lbs.Little Giant Ladder Other ModelsLittle giant ladders have many other models, such as model 13, model 17 and more. All the models are unique of its versatility and user-friendly appealing.Model 17 is suitable to reach second story windows, its storage height is 4ft7in, extension height is 15ft, stepladder height is max 7ft and its weight is 35 lbs.
Model 13 is still lighter than model 17. It has 7ft 11in extension height, 3ft 7in storage height, 3ft 5in stepladder height and weight is only 26 lbs. It is most convenient for domestic little works.The little giant ladder is the champion of all home renovation projects. Everyone should have a little giant ladder for his work convenience.We offer the most comprehensive source on Little Giant Ladders. All the models and ladders purchasing info on the multipurpose ladders guide. All about ladders on - www.leandernet.com / Ladders / Little_giant_ladder.php

#littlegiantladder #littlegiantladder22 #littlegiantladder26 #Multipurposeladder
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***Understanding The Operation Of Mobile Phone Networks*** M unimarter UniMarter
***Understanding The Operation Of Mobile Phone Networks***

Mobile phones have become as commonplace as pocket radios. There is no where you will go without finding someone with the palm tucked close to the ear receiving or making a call.
Mobile services differ greatly from the traditional telephony service in many respects. Here, we try to look at how cellular phones phones operate and how calls are made and received.The first thing you will have to understand about mobile technology is mobile phones are essentially radios. All communication ? to an from the device ? travel along radio lines and is bound by radio transmission rules we see in the old Motorola two way radio systems. The only difference is that cellular phones are able to apply computer concepts such as advanced networking and sophiscated programming into their functions and that is how we come by SMS text messages, conferencing, call waiting features and calendar systems.The second concept is that of cells. There is no single block of network but rather a city may be divided into several cells and a call from one cellular device to the other keeps hoping along the cells till it gets to the destined number. The advantage of the cell system, is that it allows for frequency reuse, meaning several users can use the same small cell and permits the company to use the same frequency over and over again without locking resources to one phone call only. Typically, one cell covers about 26 square kilometers and each one has a base station which is just a tower and some radio equipment to manage the signals.
Of late, cell phone technologies are laden with computer applications. SMS and WAP access are for example typical computer applications that have found their way into cellular functionality. SMS operates like the traditional email system and is controlled by a server just like we have a network server. WAP dwells more on computer programming and is also controlled by a WAP server. When you send a text message, it travels over the cellular network and is stored in a server and delivered to the recipient. The reason why it is purely a computer network facility and independent of the cellular service is that even whilst receiving calls SMS messages can come through.WAP is purely an internet driven service integrated into cellular networks to enhance experience normally reserved for internet surfers. Examples of these facilities are downloads and information services like flight schedules and weather updates which are obtained from cellular operators via handsets.
As mobile users grow in sophiscation, so does the technology that drives the device. Each new day we shall see what we call convergence technology whereby other fields of communication shall be gradually fused into mobile operations to give customers enhanced experience.For more more information about mobile phone network please visit http: / / www.cell-phone-nation.com

#mobilephonenetwork #selectcellphone #multimediamessaging #cellphone #voicedialing #mobile
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***Plan Ahead - Determine Your Bandwidth Requirements For Video C unimarter UniMarter
***Plan Ahead - Determine Your Bandwidth Requirements For Video Conferencing Early***

Most of today's companies are maximizing their travel budgets and communication requirements by making smart use of videoconferencing as an alternative to face-to-face meetings. With this decision to implement enterprise-level videoconferencing comes a requirement for bandwidth solutions which are reliable and cost effective.Videoconferencing can leverage the existing public telephone network, a private IP network or the Internet. The target bandwidth for interactive video communications is in the 300K to 400K bit / sec per stream range. This includes audio and video as well as control signaling.The H.323 protocol does not require that two or more endpoints in a session send the same data rate they receive. A low-powered endpoint may only be able to encode at a rate of 100K bit / sec, but, because decoding is less processor-intensive, it could decode a 300K bit / sec videostream.Nevertheless, in videoconferencing, bandwidth is assumed to be symmetrical. In full-duplex networks such as ISDN, Ethernet, ATM and time division multiplexed networks, capacity is expressed as bandwidth in one direction, though equal bandwidth is available for traffic in the opposite direction.You need to estimate the number of simultaneous sessions your network needs to support, and figure out if your network has bandwidth end-to-end.A T-1 bandwidth circuit offers 1.5M bit / sec in each direction and would be ample bandwidth for two 512K bit / sec or three 384K bit / sec videoconferences, depending on the amount of simultaneous traffic on the network. Also, make sure that you have 10 / 100 switched Ethernet throughout the LAN segments where videoconferencing traffic is expected.Multipoint conference bandwidth (with which three or more locations can see and hear one another) is calculated separately from point-to-point sessions. Multipoint can be conducted in either IP or ISDN environments, and some conferencing units will support both network types.Multipoint conferencing products may be software-based or accelerated with special hardware, and their configuration can produce different bandwidth consumption patterns as well as different user experiences. For example, when an endpoint is used to host a multipoint conference, the maximum bandwidth for any single participant is the bandwidth allocated to that host divided by the number of locations participating. When you need to have more than four locations on a call at the same time, network-based products are recommended.If you decide that your IP network can't handle the additional traffic associated with live video sessions in a merged or converged network deployment, your options are to rely on circuit switched networks or to deploy additional IP bandwidth capacity. To assist in determining and acquiring the exact bandwidth to meet your requirements...it's strongly recommended to make use of a free technical consultation service such as via DS3-Bandwidth.com. Also, an excellent guideline resource for video conferencing set-up and management is available from "Video Conferencing Solutions".Michael is the owner of FreedomFire Communications....including DS3-Bandwidth.com. Michael also authors Broadband Nation where you're always welcome to drop in and catch up on the latest BroadBand news, tips, insights, resources, and ramblings for the masses.

#multimedia #videoconferencing #teleconferencing #bandwidth #broadband #streaming #ds3bandwidth
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***Cisco CCNA / CCNP Certification Exam Review: Protocol Basic unimarter UniMarter
***Cisco CCNA / CCNP Certification Exam Review: Protocol Basics***

To earn your Cisco CCNA certification and pass the BSCI CCNP exam, you have to know your protocol basics like the back of your hand! To help you review these important concepts, here's a quick look at the basics of RIPv1, RIPv2, IGRP, and EIGRP.RIPv1: Broadcasts updates every 30 seconds to the address 255.255.255.255. RIPv1 is a classful protocol, and it does not recognize VLSM, nor does it carry subnet masking information in its routing updates. Update contains entire RIP routing table. Uses Bellman-Ford algorithm. Allows equal-cost load-balancing by default. Max hop count is 15. Does not support clear-text or MD5 authentication of routing updates. Updates carry 25 routes maximum.RIPv2: Multicasts updates every 30 seconds to the address 224.0.0.9. RIPv2 is a classless protocol, allowing the use of subnet masks. Update contains entire RIP routing table. Uses Bellman-Ford algorithm. Allows equal-cost load-balancing by default. Max hop count is 15. Supports clear-text and MD5 authentication of routing updates. Updates carry 25 routes maximum.IGRP: Broadcasts updates every 90 seconds to the address 255.255.255.255. IGRP is a Cisco-proprietary protocol, and is also a classful protocol and does not recognize subnet masking. Update contains entire routing table. Uses Bellman-Ford algorithm. Equal-cost load-balancing on by default; unequal-cost load-sharing can be used with the variance command. Max hop count is 100.EIGRP: Multicasts full routing table only when an adjacency is first formed. Multicasts updates only when there is a change in the network topology, and then only advertises the change. Multicasts to 224.0.0.10 and allows the use of subnet masks. Uses DUAL routing algorithm. Unequal-cost load-sharing available with the variance command.By mastering the basics of these protocols, you're laying the foundation for success in the exam room and when working on production networks. Pay attention to the details and the payoff is "CCNA" and "CCNP" behind your name!Chris Bryant, CCIE #12933 , is the owner of The Bryant Advantage, home of free CCNP and CCNA tutorials, The Ultimate CCNA Study Package, and Ultimate CCNP Study Packages.You can also join his RSS feed and visit his blog, which is updated several times daily with new Cisco certification articles, free tutorials, and daily CCNA / CCNP exam questions! Details are on the website.For a FREE copy of his latest e-books, ?How To Pass The CCNA? and ?How To Pass The CCNP?, just visit the website! You can also get FREE CCNA and CCNP exam questions every day! Pass the CCNA exam with The Bryant Advantage!

#ccna #exam #protocol #ccnp #bsci #protocol #rip #igrp #eigrp #multicast #address #free #equal #cost
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***Cisco CCNA / CCNP Certification Exam Tutorial: ISDN And Mul unimarter UniMarter
***Cisco CCNA / CCNP Certification Exam Tutorial: ISDN And Multilink PPP***

ISDN is a huge topic on both your Cisco CCNA and BCRAN CCNP exams. While many ISDN topics seem straightforward, it?s the details that make the difference in the exam room and working with ISDN in production networks. Configuring and troubleshooting multilink PPP is just one of the skills you?ll need to pass both of these demanding exams.With BRI, we've got two B-channels to carry data, and both of them have a 64-kbps capacity. You might think it would be a good idea to have both channels in operation before one reaches capacity, and it is a great idea Problem is, it's not a default behavior of ISDN. The second b-channel will not begin to carry traffic until the first one reaches capacity.With Multilink PPP (MLP), a bandwidth capacity can be set that will allow the second b-channel to bear data before the first channel reaches capacity. The configuration for MLP is simple, but often misconfigured. We'll use our good friend IOS Help to verify the measurement this command uses.Enabling MLP is a three-step process:Enable PPP on the linkEnable MLP with the command ppp multilinkDefine the threshold at which the second b-channel should start carrying data with the dialer load-threshold command.Let's say you wanted the second b-channel to start carrying data when the first channel reaches 75% of capacity. It would make sense that the command to do so would be dialer load-threshold 75... but it's not.R1(config)#int bri0R1(config-if)#ppp multilinkR1(config-if)#dialer load-threshold ? Load threshold to place another callThe dialer load-threshold value is based on 255, not 100. To have this command bring the line up at a certain percentage, multiply that percentage in decimal format by 255. Below, I multiplied 255 by .75 (75%) to arrive at 191.R1(config-if)#dialer load-threshold 191 ?either Threshold decision based on max of inbound and outbound trafficinbound Threshold decision based on inbound traffic onlyoutbound Threshold decision based on outbound traffic onlyR1(config-if)#dialer load-threshold 191 eitherAs illustrated by IOS Help in the above configuration, dialer load-threshold has additional options as well. You can configure the interface to consider only incoming, outgoing, or all traffic when calculating when to bring the next channel up.Configuring Multilink PPP is just one of the skills you?ll need to earn your CCNA and pass the CCNP BCRAN exam. Don?t underestimate ISDN on Cisco?s certification exams!Chris Bryant, CCIE #12933 , is the owner of The Bryant Advantage, home of free CCNA and CCNP tutorials, The Ultimate CCNA Study Package, and Ultimate CCNP Study Packages.You can also join his RSS feed and visit his blog, which is updated several times daily with new Cisco certification articles, free tutorials, and daily CCNA / CCNP exam questions! Details are on the website.For a FREE copy of his latest e-books, ?How To Pass The CCNA? and ?How To Pass The CCNP?, visit the website and download your free copies. You can also get FREE CCNA and CCNP exam questions every day! Get your CCNA study guide from The Bryant Advantage!

#ccna #cisco #certification #ccnp #bcran #isdn #multilink #ppp #encapsulation #bri #pass #free #ccie
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***eLearning Course Development: A How To Guide*** Developin unimarter UniMarter
***eLearning Course Development: A How To Guide***

Developing a Successful eLearning CourseOVERVIEWThis eLearning White Paper provides an overview of the steps involved in the development of an eLearning course. It is intended as a guide to avoiding common pitfalls that frequently occur during the development of a new eLearning course. Depending on the scope of your course some steps may not apply.The 10 steps that will be discussed are:1. Defining and maintaining a realistic project scope throughout the development process.2. Defining and documenting the business case / need for the training course.3. Identifying and recruiting business sponsors / champions.4. Identifying and recruiting team members to assist in the course development.5. Identifying and selecting the eLearning vendor.6. Developing the eLearning course.7. Testing the eLearning course.8. Deploying the eLearning course.9. Ensuring that there is sufficient technical support.10. Adding content to future versions of the course.STEPS TO DEVELOPING A SUCCESSFUL ELEARNING COURSE1. DEFINE THE SCOPE OF THE ELEARNING COURSEThis may seem like a logical place to start and most companies do start at this point. Unfortunately, most companies do not document the course scope and as the course grows so does the scope. Considering that this may be the first time that you have developed an eLearning course, combined with the fact that you will be working with a new vendor my recommendation would be that you limit the scope of the project. Keep it simple and allow for expansion once the first version of the course is deployed. Generally the second version of the course will require additional functionality based on end user?s input and feedback. You will also most likely need to add content based on feedback.One of the keys to successful course development is to stick to the original scope for the first version and to share this scope with the user community when you deploy the course. Don?t get distracted by comments from the Beta testing group that are outside the scope of the course. As I mentioned it is important to document the scope during the course development as Beta testing may be several months later, at which time you may be a little fuzzy on the exact scope of the initial project.2. DEFINE BUSINESS CASE / NEED FOR THE ELEARNING COURSEOnce again make sure that this is done right up front. Having a clear and defined business case / need for the project will be important during all phases of the project. Having a document that you can reference (and point naysayers to) will be invaluable to you. You can also use the ideas that you developed for the business case in your deployment letter to reinforce the value of the course to the target audience.3. IDENTIFY BUSINESS SPONSORS / CHAMPIONS FOR THE ELEARNING COURSEThis is not only an astute political move, but business sponsors will also be an excellent financial and political resource during the development, testing and deployment phases of the project. Try to get business sponsors from diverse functional areas as there will most likely be cross organizational interactions that can be smoothed out by having the right mix of business sponsors on board.4. IDENTIFY AND RECRUIT TEAM MEMBERS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE ELEARNING COURSE DEVELOPMENTBefore describing any of the details for this step I would like to make it clear that it is essential to identify and assign project leader / s for the project. Who will be the main contact between the eLearning vendor and your company? Who needs to be copied in on emails? Who is ultimately responsible for making the final decisions? I would recommend assigning one team leader. It is great to have technical people within your organization that can help your eLearning vendor with technical questions that they may have regarding your software and hardware standards. However, ultimately the team leader in consultation with the group experts needs to make the final decision. If you don?t have a central contact / team leader your eLearning vendor may become confused about who they should contact with questions that they have.Use your business case / needs document and message to promote the course and recruit team members prior to the actual selection of an eLearning development vendor. You will need a wide range of expertise in your team including content providers; content verification and translation members; IT support such as networking, Learning Management System (LMS) staff and helpdesk. In addition, you should recruit a test audience based on the target deployment locations. These members of the team will be useful throughout the development process if you are using an eLearning vendor that develops prototypes. Regardless of prototypes, the test group will be essential during the Beta testing phase. Ensure that you select members that represent all your deployment sites. Members should also represent your user demographic in terms of technology setup. So ensure for example, that if most of your intended users have access rights restrictions on their computers that your test group represents this audience.5. IDENTIFY AND SELECT YOUR ELEARNING VENDOR FOR THE ELEARNING COURSE DEVELOPMENTAlthough this document describes this as one step, it is in reality a rather involved process. Please read CMC?s white paper entitled ?Selecting an eLearning vendor: A guide to making an informed decision? for a detailed overview of the vendor selection process in the eLearning industry.6. DEVELOP THE ELEARNING COURSEThis step generally involves numerous interactions between the customer and the eLearning vendor. The process should not be dictated by the eLearning vendor, but rather you should be actively involved during the development process. The critical factor to consider during the vendor selection process is whether the vendor is flexible enough to meet your eLearning needs. Most often the development process requires regular interaction between the client and the eLearning vendor. This is an important consideration prior to beginning an eLearning course as in most cases the team leader and members will need to dedicate a significant amount of time during all phases of the course development.7. TEST THE ELEARNING COURSE ACROSS THE VARIOUS DEPLOYMENT SITESPrior to deploying the course you need to do extensive Beta testing. Depending on the media / program / platform that is used for deployment your testing needs will change. The main thing to bear in mind with Beta testing or prototype testing during the development process is that you need to replicate the final deployment conditions of your target audience as closely as possible. This relates to issues such as rights management, firewalls / security, internet access, software configuration, server bandwidths etc.8. DEPLOY THE ELEARNING COURSEPrior to deployment, you need to send out a deployment letter to your target audience describing the course and what the minimum technological requirements are, the location of help files and the main contact person / s regarding specific issues or feedback suggestions. If the deployment letter is not very specific you will get feedback from users that could easily have been avoided. For example, if people don?t realize that the disc that they received is a DVD rather than a CD they may try to play the DVD on their laptop which only has a CD drive.In addition to sending the deployment letter to all end users, it is also advisable to send any course specifications and help files to all of the local helpdesks to assist with technical issue resolution and support. You may also want to ask the eLearning vendor to put together a document that describes the main technical features and requirements to the local Help desks. This will be most valuable for course deployment on your corporate intranet or LMS.9. FOLLOW UP TO ENSURE ADEQUATE TECHNICAL SUPPORT FOR THE ELEARNING COURSEAfter deployment, follow up to ensure that users are getting the technical support that they require. If you are using an LMS for deployment you can follow up to see how many people have registered and completed the course and then compare these figures with the number of technical issues that you are facing. Generally, you will need to provide technical support to 5-15% of your end users depending on the complexity of the course and the deployment arena.10. DETERMINE WHAT ADDITIONAL CONTENT CAN BE ADDED TO NEW VERSIONS OF THE ELEARNING COURSEOnce your course has been in the field for a couple of months get some feedback from your user community to see if there is a need to add or correct any content. If your course is successful you will most likely get content suggestions very early after deployment. Although suggestions and changes are great because they will most likely strengthen the course and broaden your audience?s knowledge base, it is important to create, maintain and update a comprehensive change control system. It is important to track such data as content changes, graphic design changes, course numbers, course descriptions, scripting and functional changes.Quintus Joubert is originally from South Africa where he received his Bachelor?s and Honor?s Degrees in Economic Sociology from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Quintus also holds and Master?s degree in Economic Sociology from Rutgers University, Piscataway. After graduating, Quintus joined a Princeton-based Knowledge Management (KM) consulting practice. In his position as a senior analyst, he was responsible for developing the first comprehensive industry-wide survey of Indian software companies; researching and conducting a needs and competitive analysis for an integrated KM and collaborative suite and assisting in development of several prototypes that were integrated into the final KM suite. Client engagements were focused on integrating knowledge flow through the customer?s organization by integrating processes, technology and enabling meaningful collaboration. In December 2003, Quintus joined Cyber Media Creations (CMC) as Director of Business Development. Duties and responsibilities include sales, marketing, business development and project management.

#eLearningCourseDevelopment #Training #Multimedia #CBT #SCORM #eLearningCourseDevelopment #CMC
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***Cisco CCNP / BCMSN Exam Tutorial: Multicasting And Reserved unimarter UniMarter
***Cisco CCNP / BCMSN Exam Tutorial: Multicasting And Reserved Addresses***

Ever since you picked up your first CCNA book, you've heard about multicasting, gotten a fair idea of what it is, and you've memorized a couple of reserved multicasting addresses. Now as you prepare to pass the BCMSN exam and become a CCNP, you've got to take that knowledge to the next level and gain a true understanding of multicasting. Those of you with an eye on the CCIE will truly have to become multicasting experts!Having said that, we're going to briefly review the basics of multicasting first, and then future tutorials will look at the different ways in which multicasting can be configured on Cisco routers and switches.What Is Multicasting?A unicast is data that is sent from one host to another, while a broadcast is data sent from a host that is destined for "all" host addresses. By "all", we can mean all hosts on a subnet, or truly all hosts on a network.There's a quite a bit of a middle ground there! A multicast is that middle ground, as a multicast is data that is sent to a logical group of hosts, called a multicast group. Hosts that are not part of the multicast group will not receive the data.Some other basic multicasting facts:There's no limit on how many multicast groups a single host can belong to.The sender is usually unaware of what host devices belong to the multicast group.Multicast traffic is unidirectional. If the members of the multicast group need to respond, that reply will generally be a unicast.The range of IP addresses reserved for multicasting is the Class D range, 224.0.0.0 - 239.255.255.255.That range contains a couple of other reserved address ranges.224.0.0.0 - 224.0.0.255 is reserved for network protocols only on a local network segment. Packets in this range will not be forwarded by routers, so these packets cannot leave the segment.Just as Class A, Class B, and Class C networks have private address ranges, so does Class D. The Class D private address range is 239.0.0.0 - 239.255.255.255. Like the other private ranges, these addresses can't be routed, so they can be reused from one network to another.The remaining addresses fall between 224.0.1.0 and 238.255.255.255. That's the "normal" range of multicast addresses. These addresses can be routed, so they must be unique and should not be duplicated from one network to the next.In my next BCMSN / CCNP multicasting tutorial, we'll take a look at the different ways in which Cisco routers and switches interact to forward multicast traffic.Chris Bryant, CCIE #12933 , is the owner of The Bryant Advantage, home of free CCNP and CCNA tutorials, The Ultimate CCNA Study Package, and Ultimate CCNP Study Packages.You can also join his RSS feed and visit his blog, which is updated several times daily with new Cisco certification articles, free tutorials, and daily CCNA / CCNP exam questions! Details are on the website.For a FREE copy of his latest e-books, ?How To Pass The CCNA? and ?How To Pass The CCNP?, just visit the website! You can also get FREE CCNA and CCNP exam questions every day! Pass the CCNP exam with The Bryant Advantage!

#cisco #ccnp #certification #bcmsn #multicasting #reserved #addresses #router #switch #igmp #pim #rp
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***Cisco CCNP / BCMSN Exam Tutorial: Multicasting And The RPF C unimarter UniMarter
***Cisco CCNP / BCMSN Exam Tutorial: Multicasting And The RPF Check***

Multicasting is a vital topic on your BCMSN, CCNP, and CCIE exams, and it can also be very confusing when you first start studying it. Multicasting uses concepts that are unlike anything you've run into in your routing protocol studies, and that can throw you at first. I speak from experience that multicasting is like any other Cisco technology - learn the basics, master the fundamentals, and then build your skills on that foundation.One such fundamental is the RPF Check, or Reverse Path Forwarding Check.A fundamental difference between unicasting and multicasting is that a unicast is routed by sending it toward the destination, while a multicast is routed by sending it away from its source."toward the destination" and "away from its source" sound like the same thing, but they're not. A unicast is going to follow a single path from source to destination. The only factor the routers care about is the destination IP address - the source IP address isn't a factor.With multicast routing, the destination is a multicast IP group address. It's the multicast router's job to decide which paths will lead back to the source (upstream) and which paths are downstream from the source. Reverse Path Forwarding refers to the router's behavior of sending multicast packets away from the source rather than toward a specific destination.The RPF Check is run against any incoming multicast packet. The multicast router examines the interface that the packet arrived on. If the packet comes in on an upstream interface - that is, an interface found on the reverse path that leads back to the source - the packet passes the check and will be forwarded. If the packet comes in on any other interface, the packet is dropped.The RPF Check serves to verify the integrity of your multicasting network, and also serves as a reminder that the basic operation of multicasting is a lot different than unicasting!Chris Bryant, CCIE #12933 , is the owner of The Bryant Advantage, home of free CCNP and CCNA tutorials, The Ultimate CCNA Study Package, and Ultimate CCNP Study Packages.You can also join his RSS feed and visit his blog, which is updated several times daily with new Cisco certification articles, free tutorials, and daily CCNA / CCNP exam questions! Details are on the website.For a FREE copy of his latest e-books, ?How To Pass The CCNA? and ?How To Pass The CCNP?, just visit the website! You can also get FREE CCNA and CCNP exam questions every day! Pass the CCNP exam with The Bryant Advantage!

#cisco #ccnp #bcmsn #multicasting #rpf #check #reverse #path #forwarding #pass #exam #free #tutorial
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***Cisco CCNP Certification / BCMSN Exam Tutorial: The HSRP MAC unimarter UniMarter
***Cisco CCNP Certification / BCMSN Exam Tutorial: The HSRP MAC Address***

To pass the BCMSN exam and earn your CCNP, you've got to know HSRP inside and out! Part of that is knowing how the MAC address of the virtual router is derived, and another part is knowing how to change this address. We'll look at both features in this tutorial.We've got two routers on a segment running HSRP, so first we need to find out what the MAC address of the HSRP virtual router is. The show command for HSRP is show standby, and it's the first command you should run while configuring and troubleshooting HSRP. Let's run it on both routers and compare results.R2#show standbyEthernet0 - Group 5Local state is Standby, priority 100Hellotime 3 sec, holdtime 10 secNext hello sent in 0.776Virtual IP address is 172.12.23.10 configuredActive router is 172.12.23.3, priority 100 expires in 9.568Standby router is local1 state changes, last state change 00:00:22R3#show standbyEthernet0 - Group 5Local state is Active, priority 100Hellotime 3 sec, holdtime 10 secNext hello sent in 2.592Virtual IP address is 172.12.23.10 configuredActive router is localStandby router is 172.12.23.2 expires in 8.020Virtual mac address is 0000.0c07.ac052 state changes, last state change 00:02:08R3 is in Active state, while R2 is in Standby. The hosts are using the 172.12.123.10 address as their gateway, but R3 is actually handling the workload. R2 will take over if R3 becomes unavailable.An IP address was statically assigned to the virtual router, but not a MAC address. However, there is a MAC address under the show standby output on R3, the active router. How did the HSRP process arrive at a MAC of 00-00-0c-07-ac-05?Well, most of the work is already done before the configuration is even begun. The MAC address 00-00-0c-07-ac-xx is reserved for HSRP, and xx is the group number in hexadecimal. That's a good skill to have for the exam, so make sure you're comfortable with hex conversions. The group number is 5, which is expressed as 05 with a two-bit hex character. If the group number had been 17, we'd see 11 at the end of the MAC address - one unit of 16, one unit of 1.On rare occasions, you may have to change the MAC address assigned to the virtual router. This is done with the standby mac-address command. Just make sure you're not duplicating a MAC address that's already on your network!R2(config-if)#standby 5 mac-address 0000.1111.22221d12h: %STANDBY-6-STATECHANGE: Ethernet0 Group 5 state Active -> LearnR2#show standbyEthernet0 - Group 5Local state is Active, priority 150, may preemptHellotime 4 sec, holdtime 12 secNext hello sent in 3.476Virtual IP address is 172.12.23.10 configuredActive router is localStandby router is 172.12.23.3 expires in 10.204Virtual mac address is 0000.1111.2222 configured4 state changes, last state change 00:00:001d12h: %STANDBY-6-STATECHANGE: Ethernet0 Group 5 state Listen -> ActiveThe MAC address will take a few seconds to change, and the HSRP routers will go into Learn state for that time period.A real-world HSRP troubleshooting note: If you see constant state changes with your HSRP configuration, do what you should always do when troubleshooting - check the physical layer first. Best of luck on your BCMSN exam!Chris Bryant, CCIE #12933 , is the owner of The Bryant Advantage, home of free CCNP and CCNA tutorials, The Ultimate CCNA Study Package, and Ultimate CCNP Study Packages.You can also join his RSS feed and visit his blog, which is updated several times daily with new Cisco certification articles, free tutorials, and daily CCNA / CCNP exam questions! Details are on the website.For a FREE copy of his latest e-books, "How To Pass The CCNA" and "How To Pass The CCNP", just visit the website! You can also get FREE CCNA and CCNP exam questions every day! Get your CCNP study guide with The Bryant Advantage!

#cisco #certification #ccnp #bcmsn #exam #pass #hsrp #router #multilayer #switch #mac #address #12933
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***Cisco CCNP / BSCI Exam Tutorial: A Guide To Ipv6 Addressing unimarter UniMarter
***Cisco CCNP / BSCI Exam Tutorial: A Guide To Ipv6 Addressing***

Learning IPv6 is paramount in your efforts to pass the BSCI exam and go on to earn your CCNP, and it's going to help in your real-world networking career as well. IPv6 can be confusing at first, but it's like anything else in Cisco or networking as a whole - learn one part at a time, master the fundamentals, and you're on your way to success. In today's article we're going to take a look at IPv6 address types.In IPv4, a unicast address is simply an address used to represent a single host, where multicast addresses represent a group of hosts and broadcasts represent all hosts.In IPv6, it's not quite that simple. There are actually different types of unicast addresses, each with its own separate function. This allows IPv6 to get data where it's supposed to go quicker than IPv4 while conserving router resources.IPv6 offers two kinds of local addresses, link-local and site-local. Site-local addresses allow devices in the same organization, or site, to exchange data. Site-local addresses are IPv6's equivalent to IPv4's private address classes, since hosts using them are able to communicate with each other throughout the organization, but these addresses cannot be used to reach Internet hosts.Site-local and link-local addresses are actually derived from a host's MAC address. Therefore, if HostA has HostB's IPv6 address, HostA can determine HostB's MAC address from that, making ARP unnecessary.Link-local addresses have a smaller scope than site-local. Link-local addresses are just that, local to a physical link. These particular addresses are not used at all in forwarding data. One use for these addresses is Neighbor Discovery, which is IPv6's answer to ARP.You can identify these and other IPv6 addresses by their initial bits:001 - Global address(first 96 bits set to zero) - IPv4-compatible address1111 1111 ? Multicast1111 1110 11 - Site local1111 1110 10 - Link LocalAs a future CCNP, you're more than familiar with the reserved IPv4 address classes. You also know that they're not exactly contiguous. The developers of IPv6 took a structured approach to IPv6 reserved addresses - any address that begins with "0000 0000" is an IPv6 reserved address. One of these is the IPv6 loopback address, and this will give you some practice with your zero compression!IP v6 Loopback: 0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0001Using Leading Zero Compression Only: 0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1Combining Leading Zero and Zero Compression: ::1Zero compression looks pretty good now, doesn't it? You just have to get used to it and keep the rules in mind. You can use all the leading zero compression you want, but zero compression ("double-colon") can only be used once in a single address.IPv6 is here to stay, not only on your BSCI and CCNP exams, but in the real world as well. Learning it now will not only aid you in passing your Cisco exams, but in supporting IPv6 in the future.Chris Bryant, CCIE #12933 , is the owner of The Bryant Advantage, home of free CCNP and CCNA tutorials, The Ultimate CCNA Study Package, and Ultimate CCNP Study Packages.For a FREE copy of his latest e-books, ?How To Pass The CCNA? and ?How To Pass The CCNP?, just visit the website! You can also get FREE CCNA and CCNP exam questions every day! Pass the CCNP exam with The Bryant Advantage!

#Ccnp #bsci #ip #version #6 #ipv6 #address #unicast #multicast #anycast #broadcast #site #link #local
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***5 Upsides To Gaming ? There Is More To Gaming Than Horrors*** unimarter UniMarter
***5 Upsides To Gaming ? There Is More To Gaming Than Horrors***

Gaming, video and computer, has caught the imagination of the world and is extremely popular. However like anything else there are benefits as well as horrors. The horrors of gaming are widely publicized and well known.Did you know that gaming can contribute towards improving your skills and mind? Research shows that gaming can also help patients with mental ailments like Alzheimer?s. Children who play games monitored by concerned parents are known to perform much better in school and excel in mathematics as well as creative subjects.1. Gaming is known to improve visual skills. Avid gamers develop the ability to process what they see rapidly and take quick-fire decisions. The gap between anything happening and the reply is spilt second.2. Kids who enjoy games develop quickly the ability to think on their feet. They are able to ?problem solve? efficiently without a pause.3. Gamers learn to innovate. If they find one path a dead end they quickly think of ways to circumvent the block or dead end. The ability to rationalize and think in a holistic manner is sharpened.4. Gaming improves co-ordination. The hand eye co-ordination is greatly enhanced by frequent gaming.5. Games capture the attention of kids who then read extensively with the aim of mastering the game. Kids who are reluctant readers otherwise begin reading and in a roundabout way enhance vocabulary as well as writing skills.Be well informed and know about initiatives like ?the games for health project? by the Serious Games Initiative at http: / / www.gamesforhealth.org / index2.html and others like Nintendo which have designed a brain training series see: http: / / gonintendo.com / ?p=672, almost five million copies were sold in 2005 when the games were released in Japan.Using popular fictional characters like the Nintendo Donkey Kong or Mario the games lead the player through math problems, mental exercises, drawing figures on a touch screen, and reading classic literature. The performance of players is presented in terms of brain age and the higher your scores the younger your brain.Not to be left behind Upstart Games the mobile phone developer is promoting IQ Academy. Here the level of gamers? recognition skills, logical prediction, and spatial resolution are evaluated. After rating the player?s abilities the games are reworked to ensure improvement of performance. The puzzles sharpen faculties. See: http: / / www.upstartgames.com / .That gaming has an upside is now confirmed and if handled right it will benefit both you and your child. Many industry leaders are working with scientists to develop products that will benefit gamers in many ways.Brain training as its known promises to unclog the minds of gamers and set the wheels turning in the right direction, it enhances brain function and even helps heal. Gaming prepares the next generation for the unending demands and pressure placed by a fast moving world.Exercise your mind while enjoying yourself.Andrew Bermam is a freelance writer for http: / / www.1888FreeOnlineGames.com, the premier website to play thousands of free online games including arcade games, action games, card games, flash games, strategy games, puzzle games and many more. He also freelances for Free Software Downloads Site http: / / www.1888SoftwareDownloads.com

#gaming #onlinegaming #freeonlinegaming #gamingcomputer #multiplayergaming #internetgaming
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***The World Within Or Online Multiplayer Games In Depth*** unimarter UniMarter
***The World Within Or Online Multiplayer Games In Depth***

For most of the 20th century, life used to be rather simple for most people. There was school, college, work, retirement. Along with that you had hobbies like cars, bowling, or gardening. The former was more or a less of a chore, the latter the fun stuff you did in your free time, usually together with local friends from the same neighborhood. This was basically the same as a thousand years ago. For a few lucky people the two areas overlapped and they could do the stuff that they liked as their main job.Now, in the last 10 years of the 20th century, as well as in the first few years of the 21st, this has been changing rather dramatically. The reason is the rapid technical progress, both in the wide area network and computing power areas. Contemporary hardware can animate very detailed and realistic graphics fluently, and transfer data on the movements and actions of hundreds of objects and characters around the world in milliseconds (although, unfortunately, the speed of light still remains a limiting factor). This has led to an explosion in the availability and quality of online games, with the newest generation like Counter-Strike and World of Warcraft becoming a phenomenon no longer limited to any particular social class, but rather an all-encompassing cultural element in the industrial countries.Increasingly, parents find that their children spend a lot of time playing some of those games, and more and more people come in contact with them. This leads to people wanting objective information, which is in practice not easy to obtain. Most articles about these games are either written by rather clueless journalists who have never or hardly played the games in question and therefore mainly focus on scandalous negative side effects, or by enthusiastic fans who dive deep into the technicalities and don't mention the real world consequences much. This article tries to bridge the gap - it describes the currently most important types of online games and looks in detail at the social relationships behind them. The authors have been longterm players for years and therefore hope that they can address the issue in considerably greater depth and detail than most journalists (however, you won't find detailed technical facts here since it is not in scope of this article).There are basically three main types of multiplayer online games:First-person shooters (FPS) where the player sees everything through a (usually temporary, just for the online session or less) character's eyes and his gun's barrel. This category still remains predominant in total worldwide player numbers (according to Valve, Counterstrike is currently still the most popular online multiplayer game). Some of the other examples include Quake, Unreal Tournament, and Doom3.Strategy games are the the second main category. Usually similar to FPS games in the round / session-based style of play, in these games the player usually does not have any single entity, but rather commands a number of troops of some kind against other human opponents. There are also various options where one can both play with other humans against the computer etc. Games of this kind include Starcraft, Warcraft III, Age of Empires and many others.The last group, the MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games), is the area which popularity has really exploded in the last few years. Here, the player obtains a permanent character (or entity) or several which can evolve and be equipped with various gear, and undertakes adventures in a large world full with other players. This is probably the most promising group since it resembles the real world most, and it has also been the fastest developing recently. The currently most prominent games in this category are World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XI, Guild Wars, Everquest II and Lineage II.FPSIn first-person shooter games, the basic principle is simple. Shoot or be shot, kill or be killed. Starting with the original Castle of Wolfenstein and Doom, these games have developed to a level of frightening realism mainly for men living out their ancient predatory and fighting instincts (according to some surveys, there are about 10 times as many male as female players in average FPS games). One of the recent milestones in this category, Doom 3 is a game which is psychologically scary even to adult men with the highly detailed and realistic monsters suddenly attacking from dark corners. However, once these games take to the online multiplayer stage, their focus shifts a little. The goal is no longer to scare the pants off the lone player in his dark room, but rather to provide a fun platform for competition between many players of different skill. The most popular online game in this category is still without doubt Counter-Strike - a game which has received much negative fame because of various school shootings done by Counter-Strike players, yet still remains a highly captivating pastime for millions worldwide. It is a fan modification of Half-Life, a Valve game, and a team game in its core: one team is the "terrorists", the other the "counter-terrorists", and the play is round-based: at the start of a round, each team member receives an identical (except for clothing) avatar, picks some weapons, and the the two teams clash in combat until either a bomb is placed or everyone of one team is dead (there are also variations like "capture the flag" etc).There are numerous reasons for the massive popularity of Counter-Strike. The game rounds are short-term in nature and don't require much time. It is comparatively realistic - weapons existing in reality like the M-16 or AK-47 are used in the game, and even one shot may be enough to kill. Also, it is easily accessible - almost everyone can install and run a Counter-Strike server, and there are many thousands of them in the world online at any given time. Although the basic game does not lead to social interaction deeper than a quick chat, the grouping of people around some specific favorite servers and the wish to play better, which inevitably requires solid teamplay, has led to the phenomenon of so-called "clans", or dedicated player groups, which usually have their own server where they train. A competitive clan will usually have requirements for people wanting to join - a certain skill level, or some minimum playtime - and most serious clan players play at least several hours a day. Dedicated clans will also sometimes meet in real life to discuss strategies and generally have fun, which is not much different from most other groups of people with similar hobbies, like e.g. stamp collectors or RC model builders. Since many servers are regional, mostly there are same-country and often even same-neighborhood people on the same server, which of course makes meeting in real life easier as well.The picture is roughly comparable in the other FPS multiplayer games like Quake 4 and Unreal Tournament, with the main difference between that the latter are less realistic and include sci-fi weapons like laser guns and such. They are also typically much faster, with frantic movement (means, being hard to target) being highly important to survival, which is a concept rather different to Counter-Strike where sometimes the top scorers just sit in one place with a sniper rifle. However, a thing common to all FPS, mouse control is highly essential. Skilled FPS players develop extremely good mouse control (conventional mice no longer being good enough for them led to the development of a whole new segment of gaming mice) and have reaction times below 0.1 seconds. The numerous stress peaks and drops, lack of time between rounds, and the frantic gameplay often leads to additional addictions, though - many of the hardcore FPS players are chain smokers, fast-food eaters, coffee addicts, or all of it combined. There are worldwide tournaments held for most of the established FPS, and the current champions are mostly from Europe or the US.Strategy gamesThe picture is a bit different with strategy games. Usually they are less frantic and leave much more room for logical thinking (of course, the classic board games like chess or Go also have major online playing facilities nowadays, but they cannot really be called multiplayer games since there is little to none team aspect, it's just one-on-one most of the time). A typical example is Warcraft III, which is the most recent in the Warcraft realtime strategy game series by Blizzard. It is played on the so-called Battlenet, a major online gaming hub by Blizzard, which also serves other strategy games like StarCraft. In Warcraft III it is possible to play both random opponents matched to you approximately by skill, either one on one or in teams of up to 4 on 4, or play others in pre-arranged teams. As in FPS games, there are also clans in Warcraft, which in this case are even explicitly supported by Battlenet. This and the very immediate visibility of someone's skill level (basically, his win / loss ratio) gives rise to much competition between dedicated players for the top ladder (ranking) spots. Unlike geographically uniform games like Counter-Strike with tens of thousands of servers, Warcraft has just a handful of large servers, each for a certain area of the world (e.g. Americas, Europe, Asia). Interestingly enough, most strategy games are dominated by Asian, especially South Korean, players, where online multiplayer games have been a very major part of the culture for years already. The professional South Korean Starcraft and Warcraft tournaments are major events with hundreds of thousands of live spectators, played on an extremely competitive level, and broadcasted on TV, and the top players have practically celebrity status and incomes in the six-figure range and higher.Since the popular strategy games are usually also just round-based, there is not very much room for social interaction apart from an occasional chat. Strategy players are probably a bit older than FPS players on average, mostly between 16 and 35 in the Western societies.Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games MMORPGs are the final and by far the most complex group in our classification. They are something like little worlds within themselves, often resembling scaled-down copies of the real world, yet different as well. The two leading MMORPGs as of the time of writing are probably World of Warcraft (WoW) and Final Fantasy XI (FFXI) , each with millions of active players worldwide. The distinctive difference between MMORPGs and the other kinds of online multiplayer games is that RPGs are not round-based, and do not have a time limit or any specific goal to achieve. They are just there to be explored along (or sometimes against) other players. The key concept is that each player chooses a single virtual avatar which is at first rather weak (low-level) and starts in some safe basic area of his choice. The current MMORPGs all offer a rich palette of races and locations to start with. Usually, to be able to explore the world, the character must be made stronger, which is typically achieved by killing some kind of virtual monsters repeatedly, at low levels usually alone, later in a group. You can also do "quests" - tasks given to you by an in-game character - for various rewards and with various degrees of difficulty.Current MMORPGs are very large and highly complex. Even fully exploring their worlds can take years, and trying out all the playstyles and options is almost impossible. There are lots of different strategies for doing quests and winning difficult battles, and organizational and managemental skills become essential in major conflicts where sometimes hundreds of people are involved at once. Those large-scale groups already resemble something like real-world armies, with a defined command structure and squads with some special tasks each. This is something entirely new - nothing of comparable scale and complexity has been there until just several years ago - and the scale is likely to become ever greater.An impressive fact is the extreme internationality of MMORPGs. A little less obvious with WoW, since it is also Battlenet-based and uses the regional server concept, it is highly apparent with Final Fantasy XI, which does not distinguish any regions - each of its servers has people from the entire Earth. Most players come from Japan (where the game originates from), many from the US and Europe, but it is possible to meet people from too many countries to list here, almost every corner of the world being represented. An interesting side effect is that one comes in contact with numerous cultures and customs and many different languages. Some anecdotal stories from the authors' own experience include a maid coming in to clean an Egyptian player's room at the wrong time, relaxed Moroccan players sipping on a water pipe in an Internet cafe while playing, and a Canadian PhD student surveying the attitudes of gamers for her thesis work.Another positive thing about MMORPGs is that they encourage making friends and teamplay very much. It may be possible to do a lot alone (although not in all RPGs), but a well-matched group can do much more. Therefore, social skills like making contacts and keeping them are substantial in MMORPGs. Since the player is hidden behind his avatar, the threshold to approach someone you don't know is a lot lower than in real life, which makes them a good playground for shy people. The authors know of several real-life relationships that initially started with the players liking each other in the game and then finding out they liked each other in real life as well. Of course, the chance for a mess-up is much higher here as well - after all in real life it's unlikely you date someone who looks cute for a while, only to find out he's a chain smoking guy in his 30s. However, still, interestingly enough, MMORPGs are relatively much more popular with women when compared to FPS or strategy games. That is probably because there's a lot of social interaction within them - you make friends who you see and adventure together a lot, and there's a lot of talking and personal information being exchanged - something almost entirely missing from most other multiplayer games.The clan idea from FPS and strategy games is even much more emphasized in MMORPGs. Guilds in WoW and linkshells in FFXI are major social entities, with their members meeting each other daily for years. The real-life meetings of large guilds or linkshells are worldwide events, with people coming together from many different places. Linkshell friendships sometimes last for years. On the downside, this means that one can get hurt as well in the game - a fact that many people unfamiliar with the whole phenomenon often fail to understand. "It's just a game", they say. On the one hand, they're right. Yet on the other hand, if it is possible to make new friends through these games, who become real-life friends as well, one should realize that it is quite possible to get friendships broken by them as well, for instance when being disappointed by people one had trusted. This is also something almost unique to MMORPGs - there has never been so much reality in a virtual world before. Talking of that, one should mention another peculiar aspect of those games - the equipment hunting. As the avatars are the same (or similar) for everyone, the gear or equipment that a player has basically measures his social status, much like a car or money in real life. Players with very rare, "godly" gear, are admired and envied by many people with regular equipment. Since that is something most people like, and, as mentioned, the thresholds for doing things are so much lower than in real life, many nasty things have been done in order to obtain gear. Again, here the RPGs are almost like a mirror of real life, condensing down the more hidden similar issues there to a more compact and visible form. In a way, it is a pretty interesting experience and can teach one a lot about people. It just becomes clear much faster who is worth what. A related trait of these games is the emerging RMT (Real Money Trade) industry, which basically thrives on selling virtual game money and items for real money, and for some games has reached revenues comparable to the per capita gross national products of European countries. Here one can see the blurring of the distinction between work and playing - many people don't play for fun anymore. They earn money by "camping" (sitting at the same spot all day) special monsters and selling the dropped items. It turns out it is possible to earn sizable amounts with that - more than a regular hard job in some countries would pay.To summarize, online multiplayer games are a very large and ever increasing phenomenon. Very addictive, and easily able to occupy a player for years, they are perhaps becoming the major modern escape-from-reality tool of the next generation. Certainly, they have their drawbacks, and not too few. However, if seen as an alternative to TV, MMORPGs are definitely more worthwhile, in the authors' humble opinion.The authors are experienced gamers and alongside with their work as co-founders of a web design and development company (http: / / www.s-kaze.com) still enjoy an occasional round of play.

#online #multiplayer #games #warcraft #finalfantasy #worldofwarcraft #addiction
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***Finding Your Identity in Online Games*** As of today, the unimarter UniMarter
***Finding Your Identity in Online Games***

As of today, there are dozens of Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMOPRG?s) slated for release or in beta. It is hard to decide on which online game to play. And most of us don?t have the time or money to play more then one game at a time. With all the competition, software companies need to come up with more creative ways of distinguishing themselves from each other and retaining their player base.After all the hype from the initial release of a game subsides, what keeps players engaged in the virtual world? For one thing, the game has to be fun and must continue to be fun. Beyond that, the players need to have a sense of ownership ? they need to have a tangible connection and personal investment in their online world.Online games are an extension of our real life. What keeps us happy in the real world will often translate to what keeps us happy in the virtual world of a game. We like to feel special and have the ability to express ourselves in our own unique way. We also enjoy the freedom to choose of what we do with our possessions and time.Customizable CharactersOne of the most important aspects of a game is being able to customize the in-game character. Having a unique avatar or graphical representation helps players stand out. It is a key element that defines the identity of a player.The latest online role-playing games let you tweak a multitude of physical including hair color and style, facial characteristics, height, weight, age, and gender. This lets players create a unique, one-of-a-kind avatar that defines them in the virtual world.As voice chat is becoming more common in online games, players are feeling a need to customize the sound of their voice. These gamers may have spent a long time customizing the look of their avatars, why not have voices to match? Voice-changing products like MorphVOX from Screaming Bee allow these players to have a unique voice that matches their in-game character, whether they choose to be a mighty giant or space adventurer.Opportunities to improve a character?s abilities or skills are an important feature of an online game. Just as in real world, people like to have the option of changing their lot in life through self-improvement. Between gaining skills and ?leveling-up?, their online character continues to grow and improve.PossessionsAnother way to customize character in game is providing a variety of clothing and possessions. Just as someone can look and dress a certain way in real life, their character in game should have the option to wear variety of clothes. Unique clothing combinations provide a form of self-expression, define your character?s style and allow people to find you in a crowded tavern or spaceport. And depending one?s mood, it is nice to have a variety of outfits to wear for in game hunts or special events.A game with variety of loot and goodies is a big draw for gamers. Much of the excitement and interest in online games stems from the opportunity to discover new and cool treasure. People will literally spend hours and days of their real life ?camping? spots on the virtual world of a game to find the latest and greatest loot or treasure.Having a place to call home is no different in an online world. Players appreciate games that offer player housing. Customizable player housing can be so important that the people will continue to pay monthly fees for a game that they?ve stopped playing in order to keep a house that they worked so hard to acquire. They may often trade property to other players for exorbitant virtual or real dollars.Different Roles for Different FolksJust as in real life, gamers need a purpose. After some time, all the leveling-up and acquiring new possessions can lose its luster. Online games offer professions, player driven economy, and guilds to provide players with roles and, moreover, a way of creating a virtual society.Interdependence on other players keeps people engaged in games because they have a tangible purpose or role in the virtual world. Some choose to be merchants who sell various goods, such as food, clothing, and weapons to other players. In return they barter for money or goods. Others can choose to be part of a guild, working for a common purpose or hunting together in larger groups.Online gamers will often form long-lasting friendships as a result of their time in these vibrant virtual societies. You may see the same players move from virtual world to virtual world as the latest online game is released. And in the real world, these same people will choose to spend time together and support each other in both good and bad times.Going Beyond the Virtual WorldThe success of an online game in developing ownership can be measured by its ability to go beyond the confines of the virtual world into the personal life of a gamer. Online games haven?t isolated people as some people may argue. They instead have enriched the lives of the many players who have invested time and energy into these rich worlds.Mark Ramirez is CEO and co-founder of Screaming Bee LLC, a leading provider of voice software and solutions for online games and messenger applications. For more information visit: http: / / www.screamingbee.com

#online #games #multiplayer #ownership #role -play #virtual #world #voice #chat #morphvox
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***Starwars Galaxies - PC Review 2006*** Starwars Galaxies ( unimarter UniMarter
***Starwars Galaxies - PC Review 2006***

Starwars Galaxies (SWG) is an ambitious Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG) from Sony Entertainment. It is a game surrounded by history and controversial views. The actual product itself has been around now for a number of years but has been significantly re-invented by Sony twice since going live.These large changes that Sony made have often been open to fiery debate by both old and new players. For the purpose of this review I will treat the game as new and try only to refer to the game in it's current form.The Starwars Galaxies starter kit has everything a new player needs to get up and running. You start by choosing from a set of races and then pick one of the available iconic careers. They are iconic because each career is based on a starwars character. A career may have you searching the galaxy as a bounty hunter or if you prefer learning the path of a Jedi. You can even customize the look of your character and give them a name.Once your finished with the character generation you can launch into a specially designed training level that helps teach you the basics of your chosen class. During this level you will run into the likes of Han Solo and even Boba Fett.Your character develops by gaining experience levels. With each level new skills and rewards become available. The maximum level is 90 but even with a regular player it will take many hours of gameplay to reach this.The galaxy itself consists of planets from the star wars films and books. A recent addition was the volcanic planet Mustafaar which was seen in the final Star Wars film. To play on this planet you will need to purchase the online expansion.Each planet has it's own eco system and day / night cycle. As you grow within the game you will eventually be able to purchase your own home and vehicles. As well as the land based game you also get to fly around in space. The vehicle you fly in will depend on both your alignment (Rebel / Imperial / Neutral) and your piloting skill level. You can upgrade various components on your starship such as it's engines, shields and weapons.Both the land and space areas contain a wide range of missions. Some are short while others are lengthy but all will give some kind of reward for completing them. One way of completing difficult missions is to create a group with other players.Starwars galaxies is set at a time somewhere between the first (A new hope) and the second (the empire strikes back) films. Throughout the game you will come across reminders of the clone wars. In one mission it is even possible to obtain some old clone armour. There are rumours of the time frame moving on for the game but so far nothing offical has appeared.Combat takes place in real time whether it is ranged, melee or force powers. The combat system shows by a simple colour icon as to whether or not you are likely to win a fight.For myself the verdict is not out yet on this game. I know that Sony are planning on making many improvements and additions in the near future. Star Wars fans will be at home in the SWG universe. All the favourite places are there like the Mos Eisley Cantina and the waterfalls at Naboo. The social aspect of this game creates the potential for all kinds of adventures. Although it's good to make alliances in SWG it also works just as well if you prefer to take the single player approach.I would like to give this game a higher score but as I feel it is still yet to be improved I shall lower it.MMORPG fans may find this a disappointment where as hardcore Star Wars fans are more likely to stick with it.Misty Pathster's Score - 7 / 10Gamers DiaryMy current in-game experiences.

#starwars #starwarsgalaxies #sonyonlineentertainment #mmorpg #multiplayergames #onlinegames
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***Dual Boot Windows 9x with NT or Linux*** Installing windo unimarter UniMarter
***Dual Boot Windows 9x with NT or Linux***

Installing windows is pretty easy if you know what you are doing, but it can be a complete mess if you are still learning. Dual booting can have advantages if you have a game that support one platform or you want to learn to use a different operating system.You can install windows NT(Windows 2000 and Windows XP) as part of a dual boat or multi-boot combination, with windows 9x. It is also possible to run any Microsoft Operating system with Linux.The Requirements for setting up dual-boot system are relatively minimal compared to a single boat. The biggest disadvantage of dual boot is Disk space, and depending on whether you will be dual booting windows 9x with windows NT or Microsoft operating system with Linux, you my have to install a second hard drive or partition the one you are currently using. There are software?s available that you can use if you want to partition your hard drive. The good one is partition magic; it allows you to create a second partition without losing your data. It is possible to install windows 9x and Windows NT on one partition but in different folders, I wouldn?t recommend it to anyone who is still learning dual booting.Choosing the right file system for your Windows NT can be advantages to users of windows 9x as this will allow them access to windows NT partition. Windows NT support both Fat32 and NTFS while windows 9x only support Fat32. Which means 9x can?t read NTFS partitions, so it is recommended to choose the correct file system carefully, and put under consideration the file system you want to use.When you are ready to install your operating system, it is very important to start with windows 9x then Windows NT. Your primary partition must be formatted with Fat32. If you?re dual boot is a combination of Microsoft OS and Linux, then I will recommend you start with Microsoft OS, but make sure you have a second partition as Linux is going to create its own file systems and partitions.Prior to your installation make sure you do backup of your Data for incase something goes wrong. Start windows 98 installation from windows boot CD then follow the instruction on the screen, once installation is complete, insert windows NT or Linux CD and follow instruction on the screen, don?t forget to select a different partition, this partition will be D: or F: depending on how many drives you have.You will have to install your software applications on both sides. It is pretty easy to dual boot your operating systems, although I personally don?t recommend it, as now days we have virtual pc?s that can be used, and you don?t have to reboot your pc in order to access the other operating system. The good virtual machine is Microsoft Virtual PC.Alfred Moloto is a computer consultant and owner of http: / / www.compuplanet.co.za He can be reached at moloto@compuplanet.co.za

#dualbooting #linuxboot #windowsdualboot #multi -boot #windows #NTFS #FAT32
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***Affordable Multi-Monitor Solutions*** Benefits of Multipl unimarter UniMarter
***Affordable Multi-Monitor Solutions***

Benefits of Multiple Monitors
There has been much ado as of late about the benefits of increased desktop space. Multiple studies have shown that more computer desktop space equals faster work, greater productivity, and increased employee satisfaction. Most computer users would agree that there?s a certain amount of frustration connected with constant window switching and a miniscule desktop.Technology for the Everyman
With plummeting monitor and multi-port video card prices, the possibility of having multiple monitors for your computer is no longer a rich man?s fantasy. There are any number of affordable solutions and possibilities for those looking to reap the benefits afforded by increased desktop space.Two Ports are Better Than One
Your first option is to purchase a multi-port video card that supports multiple monitors. Most new mid-to high end cards will have at least two out ports and will support two or three monitors, while some specialty cards will support up to four. Video cards come in a couple of flavors (DVI and VGA), so you can either scratch the high-def itch or use your old VGA monitor. Some may even have both types on the same card.Two Cards, Better Than One?
Another possibility is to run two separate video cards off of your motherboard. There are some limitations to this option. First, both cards must have chips from the same manufacturer. That means that you can only pair up two ATi or two NVidia cards. Also, the two cards have to use a different type of slot (AGP and PCI, for example). The only exceptions to this are cards that feature special technology allowing dual video cards to be paired up, like NVidia?s SLI technology, for example.Add an Extra Port to Your Laptop
Laptop users have a different set of solutions. Most newer laptops come with some sort of video out option, so you can pair up your laptop screen with an external monitor to get an instant dual-monitor setup. If you?re looking for more, however, the VTBook DVI PCMCIA card is a great option. This expensive, yet impressive solution creates an additional DVI-D port using your laptop?s PCMCIA cardslot. This port can be split using special dual head cables, allowing you to gain up to 3 additional monitor outputs.Split the Signal with the Matrox DualHead2Go
For those looking to go with something a little bit more economical, there?s the Matrox DualHead2Go, a unique product that splits your signal externally, enabling multiple monitors with a completely external, hardware-based approach. This solution has been geared heavily towards business travelers who are looking for a way to experience the benefits of a multi-monitor desktop while on the road. One of the best features about this Matrox adapter is that it requires no hardware installation on the laptop itself, and the split video signal experiences absolutely no degradation or signal loss. Matrox has also included an online compatibility guide, so you can make sure it?ll work with your setup before you buy.Nathan Kartchner works in Product Development for Sewell Direct, an online retailer specializing in connectivity and audio / visual solutions, such as the Matrox DualHead2Go and the Splitronic Broadband Aggregator.

#MatroxDualHead2Go #multi -monitordesktop #expanddesktop #broadbandaggregator #extramonitor
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***Taming the dsPIC30F4011 Monster*** Warning! This article unimarter UniMarter
***Taming the dsPIC30F4011 Monster***

Warning! This article contains graphic descriptions. The readers may experience anxiety, confusion, or a burning desire to ?start working immediately?. Professional guidance it is strongly advised!Unfortunately, it is sufficient to see the name of the beast, dsPIC30F4011, and many readers are going to shy away, or even burst into tears. No, dear friends, there is nothing to fear, and I intend to present how you could easily tame this terrifying dsPIC30F40111 monster and put it to work for you, into many beneficial applications.Now, the first thing you need to do is to capture the beast. For this, you have to take the jungle path--also known as the ?Internet?. Walk up to the monsters? lair, Microchip?, and there you could capture, or purchase one dsPIC30F4011 animal for about 12 pieces of silver.Once you bring your wild creature home, analyze its shape and, mostly, its behavior. You will see the beast looks like any ordinary monster IC of the DIP40 type, and this is good news, because it is best to use through-hole IC type of beasts, during hardware / firmware development work--some of them could pass away while experimenting, so... You think, probably, the 40 legs the monster has are not sufficient for your particular tasks. Do not worry about this, because you are going to discover means to multiply monster?s legs to hundreds of them, just like the truly ferocious monsters! Well, this is all about the shape of the beast, and you can see there is nothing impressive about it. However, you also need to study monster?s behavior; this time a bit more careful.Please be aware there are thorough treaties--also known as ?Data Sheets?--where the dsPIC30F4011 behavior it is described in details, and I will only point out few of the most terrifying features. First, our monster has Flash memory, about 48 Kbytes, and this is very good, because we can erase sucker?s memory whenever it goes nuts, or when we want to teach it new tricks. Next, our monster has 1 Kbytes permanent memory of type EEPROM, and this allows us to store there various configuration data, or to work with adaptive-learning firmware routines. The presence of this EEPROM memory tells us, in fact, our monster is of good quality!Now, the most terrifying aspect is, our monster belongs to the 16 bits family, but my advice is to ignore this. Handling 8, 16, or 32 bits monsters it is all the same; the only significant difference is in the tools we use to tame the beast. Another shocking feature you are going to discover sooner or later is, our monster belongs to the ferocious dsPIC? family, hence it is capable of DSP (Digital Signal Processing--please read my articles about this) and of very fast mathematical calculations. This is, again, very good news, because we need both fast and very intelligent microcontroller-creatures. Regarding its reflexes, our monster works at either 20 or 30 MIPS (Mega Instructions per Second), which should be fair enough for most demanding applications. In order to feed it properly, you should know this animal likes only regulated DC voltage of 2.5 V up to 5 V.Our 40-legs creature is capable of UART, SPI, CAN, and I2C communications. In addition, it has 6 PWM channels, because it appears it has been specifically bred for motor control applications--ugh, scary! The beauty is, it also has ICSP (In Circuit Serial Programming), and this allows us to do many annoying and nasty things to it. Ha, ha!What else... Ah! Nine of those ugly crooked legs are capable of 10 bits Analog-to-Digital conversion at maximum 0.5 Msps (Mega samples per second); then, about 30 legs are capable of general I / O, and 3 of them are also external interrupts. Wow, the Interrupts! Here is where the power of the monster actually lies! The dsPIC30F4011 beast has no more and no less than 30 interrupt sources, with 8 selectable priority levels.Fact is, we could go on and on, but it is better to keep it short; besides, I would like you to discover few interesting things for yourself. Now, it seems our monster promises a lot, but the problem is: ?How do we tame it?? Unfortunately, we cannot use the good, long-time tested methods of fire, hunger, and chains. What we need are MPLAB? ICD2 Debugger / Programmer and C30? ANSI C compiler. I know, they are both new tools, but they will do the job--trust me with this one. Please be aware you can download for free C30 compiler, fully functional for 60 days, from Microchip.Now we have everything we need to start the infernal process of taming the beast, and I am certain you think this is a long and very difficult burden. Well, it is not. What you need is a good incantation, like the multitasking one described in... No, I will not make it that easy, but I will give you a hint: you will discover the book with the ritual I am talking about at Corollary Theorems--my home site. You will also discover a good cage there to contain the monster, securely: its name is HCK (Hardware Companion Kit) V2.2.This is all! It should take you a couple of months to break the dsPIC20F4011 monster down. Then, you will have a yoke-beast ready to perform everything you need: all your tasks and all applications! I am certain your little monster is going to repay you back nicely, for all your efforts. In time, you two are going to become good friends, and you will come to love and respect your little dsPIC30F4011.O G POPA is Professional Engineer in BC, Canada. His home site is Corollary Theorems at http: / / www.corollarytheorems.com

#dsPIC #dsPIC30F4011 #controller #microcontroller #hardware #applications #multitasking
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***Multi-Monitor Madness*** In today?s multitasking computin unimarter UniMarter
***Multi-Monitor Madness***

In today?s multitasking computing world, it?s not unusual to see people constantly switching from window to window trying to transfer data form one program to the other. I myself have gotten fairly adept at the Alt-Tab window-switching hotkey sequence. It is as a result of this that the popularity of multi-monitor computer setups has increased dramatically. Studies have shown a significant increase in employee productivity when a multiple monitor setup is used. There is less mental stress, less time spent on switching programs, and less eye strain. So how can you get multiple monitors? You have several different options.Your first and probably most common option for a desktop system is to buy a multi-port video card. These cards generally have a DVI and a VGA port, both of which can be hooked to any monitor with the use of adapters. These cards can either be PCI, PCI-Express, or AGP-compatible. Generally speaking, the drivers for multi-monitor support come with the card.Another desktop option is to buy multiple video cards and put them in your system. As far as we can tell, this only works so long as the chipsets are the same and each card uses a different type of slot (i.e., an ATi PCI card and an ATi AGP card.) Conceivably you could use two two-port cards, giving you a total of four monitors. This is a good way to go if you want to go to the trouble of matching everything up.These solutions are all well and good for the desktop user, you say, but what about my laptop? Well, don?t worry, there are options for notebooks as well. Probably your best option is to spring for the VTBook DVI / VGA Dual Display Video PCMCIA Card. It?s a bit pricey, but it?s the only card like it on the market. The VTBook gives you an additional DVI-out port on your computer, which can be plugged into a high-def display. If you crave even more monitor madness, you can buy a VTBook Dualhead Cable, which splits the out port, giving you yet another monitor. With this setup, you could have up to four monitors (your laptop screen, the laptop out port, and the two VTBook ports).The last, and probably most expensive method to add multiple monitors to your laptop is to buy a PCMCIA to PCI card. Realistically, this $1000-plus item is for more specialty PCI cards that aren?t available in PCMCIA version, but if you have an amazing and absolutely necessary PCI or PCI Express video card that you want to use with your laptop, this is the solution for you. As far as I can tell, I have only found one such adapter, made by Magma.I?m sure that somewhere there is some engineer dreaming up other ways to add multiple monitors to computers, but for now, these are the most common and most feasible options I know of. Now go to, and enjoy the greater productivity of multiple monitors.Nathan Kartchner works in Product Development for Sewell Direct, an online retailer of hard-to-find computer connectivity products like the VTBook DVI / VGA Dual Display Video PCMCIA Card, the Magma PCMCIA to PCI cardbus, and the USB to Serial Adapter.

#monitors #multiplemonitors #VTBook #Magma #DVI #Highdefinition #videocards #PCI #PCMCIA
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***Setting Up Your PC for Dual-monitors: It's Easier Than You Thi unimarter UniMarter
***Setting Up Your PC for Dual-monitors: It's Easier Than You Think***

The traditional view of a "PC"
If you ask just about anybody what their idea of a "PC system" is they will probably list a tower, a keyboard, a mouse and a monitor. While it is true that these are the essential elements of using a personal computer, it is becoming more and more popular to use an alternative setup.Sometimes two is better than one
It is becoming increasingly more common to see people using two towers with one keyboard, video and monitor. This is accomplished through the use of a KVM switch - as you probably already guessed, KVM standard for keyboard-video-mouse. This is great for people who need more computing power than they can get with one machine. A good example of this would be in a graphic design environment where you are consuming a high percentage of your available RAM and CPU power to run heavy editing applications.Sometimes you need more room to be productive
For some people computing power is not a huge issue, but they could use more desktop space: enter the dual-screen setup. This allows you to have two monitors that essentially share your desktop. You can drag items from one monitor to another and if you have a long window you want to view, you can sprawl it out across both monitors. This is great when you need to use another screen as a reference or you want a static window that you can always check (with stock symbols, sales figures, etc.).It's not that hard to do
A lot of people see dual-screen setups and they think that it's hard to do - it's really not. First of all you need a dual-monitor video card. Do not try to use two single-port video cards - you will probably have IRQ conflicts that will keep you from using both at the same time - special software is bundled with all dual-port video cards that allows both ports to peacefully co-exist.DVI vs. VGA
For some reason most dual-port video cards have one VGA port and one DVI port. I am not saying that dual-port VGA or dual-port DVI cards don't exist, but I have never seen one. This can be kind of a pain because you might have two VGA monitors or two DVI monitors. Don't worry - there is a solution. You can easily find a DVI-to-VGA adapter or a VGA-to-DVI adapter from just about anyone who sells you a video card. Be aware that if you have two DVI monitors that your DVI signal will be downgraded to analog, but the quality loss is almost unnoticable unless you have a huge monitor. Also, using a VGA-to-DVI adapter will not upscale your signal to a digital signal - it will pass an analog signal through the DVI port.You will need to install included software
Regardless of where you buy the card from there will be some software that you will have to install to get your new setup to work. As I mentioned earlier, this will resolve any IRQ conflicts that would otherwise arise and give you some cool options for your desktop such as specifying which monitor should be the right-side of the desktop and which should be the left.Be sure to uninstall your old card first
Whether you choose to use an AGP video card or PCI, you should definitely remove your existing video card first (and disable any software related to the old monitor). This will remove the possibility of a driver conflict and make you and the computer much happier in the long-run.Preston Wily is the Director of Marketing for an online retailer of computer hardware and accessories. He also operates his own internet marketing blog and does marketing consulting for small-to-medium business owners.

#dvi #vga #dual -monitor #addvideocard #two -monitor #monitors #AGP #multiplemonitor #biggerscreen
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***Scan / Print / Copy Machines: Do They Live Up to the Hype?*** unimarter UniMarter
***Scan / Print / Copy Machines: Do They Live Up to the Hype?***

Think Small. Think Cheaper. That's the way the industry seems to be heading these days. Laptops are outselling desktops in some places. Those who can afford them are buying Palm Pilots. Zip drives are nearly all but forgotten. CDs and CD writers are now as common as floppies were in a previous computing life. Now USB drives are hitting the market and showing no sign of going away. You can store so much in them now and they are getting so cheap. Nearly $100 per gigabyte of space. Wow.But what does all this have to do with the Multi-Function Centre? Well, that should be enough. People have less room to put their toys, let alone their computers (or are they one and the same?). People are purchasing slim line computers and LCD flat screen monitors now, along with cosy desks for the space conscious, as they take up less room. Once upon a time, you had to have a desk with plenty of space. What with your big 17" CRT monitor, your massive computer tower, keyboard, mouse, speakers, and if you went on, you would have a printer, a scanner, a draw to store your paper and a pile of floppies in the corner. Well, all but one has disappeared or shrunk. Until now.Multi-Function Centres (aka Multi-Function Devices aka All-in-One Centres) are the grand summary of desk space saving. In these gadgets you have your scanner, you have your printer, you have a rudimentary "photo copier", some even have built-in fax machines! They are good. They really are. For many reasons: less cables getting tangled, less power cables required (less power plugs about the place), less electricity being used (we hope!) and some are quite compact. You can now fit everything into a small 2-foot wide desk. Are they convenient? I think they are. Instead of stretching out to go from your scanner to printer, or vice versa, then over to your fax machine, you do it all in one go, which saves a lot of time.For small business, they are a must. I highly recommend the ones that come with 4 separate ink cartridges (if bubble jet), as they are cheaper to run than the standard 2 ink cartridges (if you only have 2 ink tanks, if you run out of blue, but use no red or yellow, you still have to buy a new whole cartridge. If you have 4 ink tanks, if any of them run out, you just go and buy a cheap replacement cartridge and be on your way).It's really not worth it, economically, to get them separate any more. You get a printer for about AU$70, a scanner for $90-$120, or get a cheap MFC for $90-$140 in which you get the scanner, you get the printer, you get a copier and in some cases a fax machine and / or a media card reader (for reading the memory cards used in many digital cameras), plus being able to print directly from the media card itself without even needing a computer! You'll soon have an answering machine and an LCD screen by which to control the whole thing. Oh wait, they already have those now.I would say they are definitely living up to the hype. Plus they can only get better.Martin Coleman is a freelance writer, computer programmer and computer geek. He runs http: / / www.computerhelppanel.com, your first and only stop to getting expert advice and answers to your computing questions. He can also be reached at http: / / www.martincoleman.com

#computer #print #scan #copy #fax #mfd #mfc #multi #function #device #center #centre
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***RAM - What is It & Why You Need Plenty*** This is the unimarter UniMarter
***RAM - What is It & Why You Need Plenty***

This is the first article in the Understanding Your Computer series from aworldofhelp.com. Our goal is to help people understand how their computer works, not simply tell them what they need to buy or use. When you know how your computer works, buying the right system or upgrade is easy. The series is designed to provide valuable information to users of all knowledge levels, so if part of it seems too complicated or too simple for you, I hope you read on and get all you can out of the articles. If you have questions or comments about this or any article, please ask in the forums!RAM - What is it & why you need plentyMany people picture a computer as consisting in part of aProcessor - CPUMemory - RAMHard DriveThe way these three components interact is important to understanding how a computer works, and ultimately to understanding why you need enough RAM for your programs. Around the Internet and in Magazines you can find recommended RAM amounts for typical users. You also will find many places proclaiming RAM as the best performance for your dollar upgrade. I don't disagree at all, but I want you to understand what RAM actually does, and why it can be such a valuable upgrade.I covered this subject briefly in the aworldofhelp Notebook Buyer's Guide on page 4. The information in that article is accurate, but I want to try to make things a little clearer here.The article is divided into four sections, covering:1. The functions of the three components we are discussing and their relative speeds2. Why you need RAM and what takes up RAM3. Multitasking and how RAM improves performance4. How much RAM you needCPU stands for Central Processing Unit. It is the brain of your computer. When you open a program, like Microsoft Word for example, the CPU reads through lines of computer code and follows the instructions so you can use your program. When you play an audio file like an MP3, the CPU has to do work to decompress it while it plays. When you edit a picture the CPU has to perform many calculations to make even the smallest changes.One thing to note is that the CPU actually does have a very small amount of memory in it. This is the fastest memory in a computer system, but it is so small it doesn't really affect this article. Generally speaking, the CPU doesn't store the information that makes up the program, MP3, or picture, it only processes it. The data has to be located somewhere in your computer, and the CPU has to find it and then retrieve it.That action, the problem of locating the data and how it affects your overall system performance is what this article is about.RAMRAM stands for Random Access Memory. This memory is very fast, and you will see it in sizes like 256 MB, 512 MB, or 1024 MB. When you turn off your computer, the contents are erased, so it is only temporary memory. This is where the CPU looks first to get data to process. So if you are editing a picture, and its data is in this RAM, because RAM is fast memory, editing the picture will happen relatively quickly.Hard DriveYour Hard Drive is where you store all of your programs, music, video, and everything you keep on your computer. This is the memory where you store your files that remain even after you turn your system off. You will see them in all sizes, now typically ranging from 30 GB, to hundreds of GB. Hard drives are very slow compared to your CPU and RAM because they are mechanical. Inside the disk there are actually small readers that physically move around to locate and read data.If you are editing a picture, the CPU will first look in RAM memory to see if it is there, because RAM is fast. If it isn't, the CPU will go to the hard drive and edit the picture there. Because your hard drive is so slow, this takes a much longer time than if the picture had been in RAM.Again, the CPU only stores a tiny bit of data, so it has to get it from somewhere to operate on. If the CPU has data to process, it will do so as fast as it can, but if it doesn't, the brain of your computer simply sits and waits doing nothing. Only after it finds and retrieves the data it needs can it process it.So ideally, you want your CPU to find data in the fastest place possible. As you can see, if the data is in RAM you are far better off than if it is in your hard disk because RAM is so much faster. Just take a look at the graph below. It shows the time it takes to access each memory type in nanoseconds.Clearly, your hard drive is slow, but when you look at the above graph, and you see the numbers it is based on below, you realize just how slow it is. Each is an approximate access time in nanoseconds:CPU 1 ns
RAM 60 ns
Hard Drive 10,000,000 nsIt should be clear why the bars for your CPU and RAM do not even show up on this graph, your hard drive is simply extremely slow.So why bother with a hard disk?Seeing that, you might think that it would be great if you could just use huge amounts of RAM instead of a hard disk. You are right, this would be a great situation, but as you might imagine, the faster the memory in your computer, the more expensive it is. RAM prices have come down significantly in recent years, but it will still cost you much more compared to Hard Drive space.Computers work within this constraint - that faster memory is more expensive - by looking in the fastest place for information first, then moving to slower locations only when they need to. So if you hear your hard drive making noise or you see a light telling you it is being accessed, you know the data could not be found in RAM.Now you know that the hard drive access that's going on is very slow, and that is the reason your CPU, and in turn you, have to wait.So now you know that you want lots of RAM, at least enough for all your programs, so you don't have to access your slow hard drive too often. But what actually uses your RAM, and how can you see whether your system has enough?Windows itself takes up a lot of RAM. Microsoft says Windows XP will run on a machine with 64 MB of RAM, though they recommend 128 MB or 256 MB. If you have even more RAM than that, and I recommend you do, Windows will use some of it as well.Everything that loads when you boot up your computer also uses RAM. What these programs are actually doing is putting themselves in to RAM, if enough is available, so that they can be used very quickly. The problem is when there isn't enough memory for all these programs, and your computer runs very slowly.On my machine these programs load when I turn on my computer:
AVG Antivirus
Scanner Software
Digital Camera Software
Gmail Notifier
AOL Instant Messenger
And some server software for testingThen, everything I run after the boot up uses more RAM. Whatever Internet Browser I use, for example, takes up RAM. Microsoft Word does too, as well as all my programs. To see how much RAM you have and how much free RAM you have, you can open up Task Manager by right clicking on the start menu and selecting it, it looks like this.On the right, in the Physical Memory section my RAM is listed. My total and available memory is listed, and as you can see, just booting my computer into Windows XP and loading all the things I do, I have less than half of my RAM available for other programs.Your system will probably have less total RAM, but you'll be able to see how much and how much you have free. You can easily find out how much ram you have by right clicking on "My Computer" and going to properties, but it's useful to see it here so you understand what the Task Manager is showing. You can use this tool to convert the number shown in "K" to a number that you may be more comfortable with, in "MB".K MBOn my computer, 1048040 K converts to 1023.4 MB, which is 1024 MB.Your own system may give you a number a few megabytes lower than the actual. For example, 252 instead of 256. That is normal, and is a result of something else, like a video chip, using a portion of the RAM. The actual RAM your programs has to work with is the number listed in the Task Manager.In my example, I have a hundreds of Megabytes of free RAM. I sometimes fill the RAM if I am video editing or photo editing, but beyond that, it is rare. This is a good thing though, remember the chart. If your RAM is full, your Hard Drive will be used more, and since it is so slow, your system will grind to near a halt.By looking at the Task Manager, you can get a good idea of how your system is running. If you have lots of available RAM, you are in good shape. But many systems I see actually have almost no free RAM, and this is what causes the system to use the hard disk instead and run slower. Note that the available RAM will generally never hit zero, but will fluctuate around very low numbers if your system is out of memory.Our example so far has been simplified to show how doing one thing on your computer needs memory. But a real benefit of having adequate memory is multitasking. Basically, if you are doing more than one thing at a time, you are multitasking. If you are reading this article and editing a picture at the same time, you are multitasking.Generally, if you can switch between two open programs on your machine very quickly, they both are loaded into RAM. In this case, you can likely see plenty of available memory in Task Manager. On my machine, since I have plenty of RAM, I switch between two or three Internet browsers, Excel, PowerPoint, Instant Messenger, my audio player, and more very quickly.On the other hand if you don't have enough RAM, even with just two programs open, when you switch between them your computer may slow down considerably. The program you are switching to is not in RAM, and the CPU is forced to get information from the hard disk. As you open more programs, the situation only gets worse. A check on task manager in this case will likely show very little free RAM, too little in fact to fit all your programs.How Much RAM do you need?The best answer is that you need enough RAM to run all your programs and multitask between them quickly. If your system is running well and you check Task Manager and have lots of available RAM, you are probably in good shape. If your system is slow switching between more than one program, look at the task manager and see if your available RAM is low. If it is, adding more will likely make your entire system run faster, just by fitting more programs into RAM.You'll be amazed how fixing this problem will improve you computing experience overall. That is the reason so many people talk about RAM as being the best upgrade for older systems.If you are buying a new computer 512 MB is a good amount of RAM for most users. If you edit a lot of pictures or video, or if you can just afford the upgrade, moving up to 1024 MB (1 GB) is not a bad idea. Memory prices are much lower than they used to be, and you'll have extra memory for more programs now. For most users, the biggest advantage to getting more RAM is that if you keep your computer for a long time, the extra RAM could save you an upgrade down the road.But how much RAM is too much? Well you won't really slow down your system by adding RAM. Typical systems currently can accommodate up to anywhere from 512 MB - 2 GB of RAM. The problem is, after you have enough RAM, adding more really doesn't get you much, if any performance gain.With that in mind, check back soon for an article comparing performance of common applications, including multitasking, with different amounts of RAM. We'll test from 256 MB to 1024MB, and you'll be able to see how all we've covered here has a real affect on the speed of your computer.Steve Perlow is the founder of aworldofhelp.com, where you can find the aworldofhelp Top Picks in desktop and notebook systems.Visit aworldofhelp.com to get answers from real people to your questions about technology, travel and more.

#ram #memory #drive #performance #speed #dimm #computer #system #multitasking
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***Testing Diode -The Accurate Way on How to Test Semiconductor D unimarter UniMarter
***Testing Diode -The Accurate Way on How to Test Semiconductor Diode Using Multimeter***

Testing diodes is different from testing a resistor because you need a skill to do it. If you do not know or wrongly test a diode you will be unable to repair the equipment. A bad diode you think it is good. This will definitely waste your precious time.A rectifier diode can fail in one of the four ways. It can become:-Open
-Shorted
-Leaky
-Breakdown when in full operating voltageAn analog multimeter or digital multimeter can be used to check
for all the first three conditions except the last one where the
diode breakdown in full operating voltage. From my of experienced
in the electronic repairing line, i found that checking diode using analog
multimeter is more accurate than using a digital multimeter. I could explain
to you why i preferred analog meter. I do not know about you because i really
came across quite a number of diodes where it checked ok using digital multimeter
but failed when test with analog meter.The first step on how to test a diode is to remove one of the diode lead. You can't
always be certain if a diode is good or bad if you perform in-circuit test, because
of back circuits through other components. To be absolutely sure, you will need to
lift, or disconnect, one diode lead from the circuit to avoid back circuits.
Unless you are very sure about the board you are checking. Sometimes i do found bad
diodes when checking it on board. Your experienced will tell you when to check a diode
on-board or off-board. If you are new to electronic repair, i highly recommend that
you check a diode with a lead removed from the board.I will set my analog meter to x1 ohms to check for current diode leakage reverse and
forward testing. Connecting the black probe of your meter to the cathode and red probe
to the anode, the diode is reverse biased and should look like an open reading. Connecting
the red probe of your meter to the cathode and black probe to the anode, the diode is forward biased and the meter should read some value of resistance. If you have two readings then most probably the diode is shorted or leaky and you should replace it. If you don't get any reading either forward or reverse bias, the diode is considered open.The real problem when checking a diode using the diode test function of a digital meter is that an open or leaky diode, the meter sometimes reads ok(0.6). This is due to digital meter diode test output voltage (which you can measure the output test probe using another meter) is around 500mv to 2v. An analog meter set to x1 ohms have output about 3V(remember the two 1.5V battery you installed in the meter!). The 3V voltage is enough to show you the accurate reading of a diode when under test.Even if you have a good reading at x1 ohms doesn't mean that the diode is good . You
now have to set your meter to x10K to test the diode again. The output voltage of
x10k ohms is about 12V(remember the 9v battery in your meter-1.5v+1.5v+9v=12v). Again
the diode under test should show only one reading. This is exception to Schottky diode
where it have two readings but not shorted reading. If the meter showed one reading then
the diode under test is good. If it has two readings then most probably the diode is either
shorted or leaky. The digital meter can't test it because the output from the meter is only
500mv to 2V.If a diode breakdown when under full operating voltage, there is no way to testing diode (unless you have a very expensive diode checker which specially designed to locate this type of problem).Substituting with a known good diode is often the only way to prove that an intermittent diode is causing a particular problem. Sometimes an intermittent diode could be locate using a coolant spray.Caution: Be certain that power is removed from any circuit before performing any of the following diode checks, otherwise meter or circuit damage could result.Conclusion-In order to correctly test diode function you need to set the analog meter
to x1 ohms and x10K ohms range.Jestine Yong is a electronic repairer and a writer. For more electronic repair information please visit his website at
http: / / www.noahtec.com / electronic-repair-articles.htm

#testingdiode #diode #testdiodes #semiconductor #rectifier #multimeter #testingdiodes
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***Top Three Factors to Consider While Choosing a Data Center for unimarter UniMarter
***Top Three Factors to Consider While Choosing a Data Center for Your Business***

Data Centers are the core of the Internet. The computer servers that power the Interne,t call Data Centers their home. If you think of how many billions of online transactions that happen every day you will be amazed to know that the final resting place of all these stored transactions is the Data centers. This Amazement quickly turns into Panic when you think about how much private data and vital data is stored there. Over years the Data Center technologies have evolved a lot into much advanced techniques like server virtualization and high speed power houses. There are more than 100 factors one should evaluate a data center against before choosing one to home their servers. In this article we will see the three main that in turn dictate the rest of the factors.1. Security: We just now saw how much data is stored, processed and served by the data centers. All these are vital data that makes or breaks a global economy. Security includes the data encryption capability of the servers, the security of the uplinks or the backbone networks that are employed. It includes security mechanisms like the Public key dongles and the capability to store the data securely and safely. The less talked aspect is the physical security of the box and the whole data center itself. We are talking about limiting snooping and sniffing the packets, but what happens if one person just walks in carries off a server. How much credit card data, transaction details, bank details and the SSN?s get compromised! You can have a slow box but an insecure one creates a ton of problems in the form of countless lawsuits. Choose the data center that excels in all aspects of security. Ask pointed questions, expect the right answers.2. Reliability: The next important aspect is the reliability of the systems and the data center infrastructure itself. We are just not talking about backup machines or RAID 5 HDD. We are talking of highly available power systems with sufficient backup time and in house generators for emergencies. The additional aspect to consider is reliability of the company that offers the data center and the persons working for the company. You many want to talk a little bit about their hiring and daily authentication and authorization process if you are even a mid-sized company. Disaster recovery systems are critical for the five 9?s in reliability don?t be stalled because a California power-company had a complete emergency shutdown due to an earthquake or a hurricane in Florida. You should be able to gracefully failover to alternate sites.3. High Speed: The third aspect is the much needed speed. This is more complex than you think. Adding a word saying that we have the high end servers making a data center a high speed infrastructure is minimum requirement. The network uplinks and the Internet backbone the center are connected to are also very important. You have to ask for custom solutions like caching technologies, load balancing blueprints and high end routers, switches and backplanes.This article just touches on these major concepts and you have to do sufficient research on the keywords employed in this article. As I said there are 100 factors to consider before choosing the right datacenter. Any good company owning a data center would openly help you evaluate their infrastructure against these factors.You can find a good Data Center with many of the good capabilities discussed in this article in fastpcnet.net. Ask them about their custom solution and how they measure against the deciding factors and you will be happy at the answers.Author Holds a Masters in Distributed computing and does freelancing for many great Internet companies through the no fee free freelance website freelancefree.com.

#redundantnetwork #datacenter #multipledatacenters #FASTPCNET #freelancefree
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***High Speed Internet Providers FAQ*** Q: What is the fee f unimarter UniMarter
***High Speed Internet Providers FAQ***

Q: What is the fee for high speed internet service and how does it differ among internet providers?A: The fee for internet access will vary from one internet provider to another. Typically, there are two types of access, which includes dialup and broadband. Depending on your needs, there are various benefits to both dialup and broadband high speed internet access.Q: What is the difference between dialup and broadband high speed internet access?A: Dialup access is referred to as an internet connection that uses a regular phone line. Typically, the connection speeds will be 56k or less. Broadband high speed internet, on the other hand, uses a variety of connections to produce a faster and more reliable connection. As such, this service is often more expensive than the regular dialup.Q: How can I find out about high speed internet service or which internet providers are available in my area?A: The first place to start your search is in the telephone book?s yellow pages. Here, you will find a listing for every internet provider in your area, along with some block ads that even advertise their monthly rates for subscribers. One of the largest internet providers is America Online, which offers a selection of local access numbers. Another terrific way of learning which internet providers are available in your area is to browse through the local newspaper and pay close attention to the advertisements, which often feature ads from internet providers who offer special rates to new customers.Q: What if I want to subscribe to AOL, but cannot find a local connection number for my area?A: With America Online being a leader in internet providers, there are a large number of connection numbers available. However, in some smaller areas, there may not be a local access number. If that?s the case, you can gain access through a paid membership with one of your local internet providers and connect to AOL, via a TCP / IP connection, for $9.95 per month. This is called a ?bring your own service? plan and is a terrific way to enjoy the convenience of AOL even if you do not have a local access number.Q: How do I know which internet providers are best or which ones will be most accommodating to my needs?A: The answer largely depends on how much time you plan to use the internet. If you work at home or are online frequently throughout the day, you will most likely need an unlimited plan. This type of service, which is available through most internet providers, will allow you an unlimited number of hours online in exchange for a fixed monthly subscription cost.Q: Is high speed internet access available in all areas?A: The answer to this question is best addressed by one of your local internet providers. High speed internet access is available in most areas, but some rural locations may not offer wireless broadband connections or other technology needed to enjoy the full benefits of high speed internet access. This does not mean that the internet cannot be enjoyed, but rather that it will be enjoyed at a slightly slower rate than those who have high speed internet access.Find more about computer desktops and multimedia software or read the latest Internet security advices at http: / / www.internettspeed.com

#Internet #speed #cable #provider #AOL #DSL #TCP #IP #computer #software #multimedia
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