Archive | 0Cool Links RSS feed for this section

CeBIT Tech Fair Presents Gadgets Both Hot And Weird

11 Oct

HANOVER, Germany: If swimming goggles with an in-built underwater camera, a bamboo laptop or a pink crocodile PC case is your thing then Germany’s CeBIT IT fair is for you.

The technology fair, with 5,500 exhibitors the world’s biggest, opened its doors to the public in Hanover on Tuesday and runs to March 9, allowing thousands of visitors to check out the hottest and also the weirdest gadgets.

A chilly wind was blowing across the vast exhibition centre, but when summer comes Liquid Image thinks its yellow goggles with an in-built digital camera are just the accessory.

On the top of the range model, which sells for 129 euros, the 5.0 megapixel camera and 16 megabite memory allows you to take up to 29 photos or 53 seconds of video up to a depth of 30 metres (100 feet), the firm says.

Also on show for eyeware was a pair of sunglasses from Chinese firm Xonix not only with an in-built camera but also with an MP3 player, while another from Taiwan’s Inter Brands includes music and bluetooth so you can use it as a phone.

But forget the glasses – in the 21st century you can’t be seen toting your laptop around in anything other than a pink, fake crocodile skin case, or so French firm Sweetcover would have you believe.

Their cases, which also come in other more traditional colours and materials including real leather, retail for around 70 euros (105 dollars) in Paris boutiques and soon elsewhere, the firm’s founder and president Raphael Taieb told AFP.

Not only will you avoid getting hot knees, he says, but the cover’s high-tech design, which incorporates 70 different fabrics, ensures the computer will not overheat – something which other luxury goods makers have failed to achieve with their prototypes, Taieb claims.

The cases will protect your laptop and turn it into a “subtle and seductive” piece of hardware, the company says. It has straps to keep the computer in place, is open at the sides and has holes in the back for cables.

Other bling-bling novelties included a Giorgio Armani mobile phone from Samsung and a Lamborghini laptop complete with the Italian sportscar maker’s badge and partly made of leather – yours to take home for 2,999 euros (4,561 dollars) with an aerodynamic mouse with yellow go-faster stripes.

Its maker Asus was also showing off computers made partly out of bamboo – to give it an eco-friendly style, a salesman at the Taiwanese firm’s stand said. It has not yet decided whether to launch them on the market, however.

On the sillier side, Californian firm Ugobe presented a small, robotic dinosaur dubbed Pleo similar to Sony’s AIBO robotic dog that has to be looked after and nurtured like a Tamagotchi.

Pleo can be programmed via a USB cable connected to your computer or with a memory card slotted into its underbelly so it can learn new tricks like barking at intruders or performing a leaf tug-of-war with another Pleo or its owner.

The green and brown pet, which retails for around 300 euros in Europe, is babylike when young and coos and purrs with pleasure when tickled under the chin. But it also gets hungry and can have mood swings, just like humans.

It is based on the Camarasaurus, a late-Jurassic North American herbivore, 20 metres (66 feet) long in adulthood. Members of the online Pleo community can even create their own tricks to upload.

And if you want to keep an eye on your sleeping baby – or to make sure Pleo isn’t bothering the cat downstairs – China’s RDI was presenting a teddy bear with a hidden camera in its left eye.

– AFP/so

Powered by Channel News Asia

Classic Joke 2

11 Oct

Why do men chase women they have no intention of marrying?
For the same reason dogs chase cars they have no intention of driving.

Japanese Tourist (07-28-00)

A Japanese tourist hail a taxi at Orchard Road and asked the taxi-driver to send him to Changi Airport. On the way, a car zoomed by, the Japanese tourist responded,”Ohhhhhhh !!!! TOYOTA !!!! Made in Japan !!!! Very fast !!!!!”.

Then another car zipped by, he said,”Ohhhhhhh !!!! NISSAN !!!!! Made in Japan !!! Very fast !!!!!”

And another speed by, he said,”Ohhhhhhhh !!!! Mitsubishi !!!! Made in Japan!!!! Very fast!!!!!”

At the meantime, the taxi-driver is getting very frustrated and sick of the Japanese tourist.

Upon reaching Changi Airport, he said ” please!” The Japanese tourist was shocked and argued,”Why so expensive? it’s only a short distance” in which the Taxi-driver replied,”Ohhhhhhhh !!!!! Taxi-meter !!!!! Made in Japan !!!!! Very fast!!!

What is a Cat (07-08-00)

1) Cats do what they want.

2) They rarely listen to you.

3) They’re totally unpredictable.

4) They whine when they are not happy.

5) When you want to play, they want to be alone.

6) When you want to be alone, they want to play.

7) They expect you to cater for their every whim.

They’re moody.

9) They leave hair everywhere.

10) They drive you nuts and cost an arm and a leg.

Conclusion: Cats are tiny little women in cheap fur coats.

Top 10 reasons why TV is better than WWW (07-06-00)

10. It doesn’t take minutes to build the picture when you change TV channels.

9. When was the last time you tuned in to “Melrose Place” and got a “Not Found 404” message?

8. There are fewer grating color schemes on TV — even on MTV.

7. The family never argues over which Web site to visit this evening.

6. A remote control has fewer buttons than a keyboard.

5. Even the worst TV shows never excuse themselves with an “Under Construction” sign.

4. Seinfeld never slows down when a lot of people tune in.

3. You just can’t find those cool Health Rider infomercials on the Web.

2. Set-top boxes don’t beep and whine when you hook up to HBO.

….and the number 1 reason TV is better than the Web:

You can’t surf the Web from a couch with a beer in one hand and Doritos in the other.

Men are like (07-14-00)

Men are like…..Coffee. The best ones are rich, warm, full-bodied, and can keep you up all night long.
Men are like…..Chocolate Bars. Sweet, smooth, and they usually head right for your hips.
Men are like…..Blenders. You need one, but you’re not quite sure why.
Men are like…..Coolers. Load them with beer and you can take them anywhere.
Men are like…..Copiers. You need them for reproduction, but that’s about it.
Men are like…..Curling irons. They’re always hot, and they’re always in your hair.
Men are like…..Government bonds. They take so long to mature.
Men are like…..High heels. They’re easy to walk on once you get the hang of it.
Men are like…..Horoscopes. They always tell you what to do and are usually wrong.
Men are like…..Lava lamps. Fun to look at, but not all that bright.
Men are like…..Laxatives. They irritate the poop out of you.
Men are like…..Mascara. They usually run at the first sign of emotion.
Men are like…..Mini skirts. If you’re not careful, they’ll creep up your legs.
Men are like…..Noodles. They’re always in hot water, they lack taste, and they need dough.
Men are like…..Plungers. They spend most of their lives in a hardware store or the bathroom.
Men are like…..Popcorn. They satisfy you, but only for a little while.
Men are like…..Place mats. They only show up when there’s food on the table.
Men are like…..Used Cars. Both are easy-to-get, cheap, and unreliable.
Men are like…..Weather. Nothing can be done to change either one of them.

Singapore’s A380 ‘Has No First Class’

11 Oct

TOULOUSE, France : “There is no first class on this plane, sir. This is Suite Class,” repeats the Singapore Airlines stewardess as she shows off the front of the plane to curious onlookers.

All of the guides repeated the same line on Monday as the carrier unveiled what it called a “new standard for luxury and comfort” in the Airbus A380, the world’s biggest passenger jet.

First class has been rejected by the Asian carrier as a label for the 12 seats on the plane that feature 58-centimetre (23-inch) flat-screen televisions, sheets by French designer Givenchy and a full-length bed with separate mattress.

For couples with the money, there is an option to join two suites together to make a double bed, forming a self-contained bubble for two with closed sides and complete privacy.

“The piece de resistance will be our new premier cabin which will introduce a travel experience beyond first class,” said Chew Choon Seng, chief executive of Singapore Airlines.

The business class area will have the biggest business seat of any airline, measuring 87 centimetres across, while economy passengers will benefit from extra legroom and a more spacious cabin area.

Singapore Airlines has fitted just 471 seats in the 600 square metres of floor space available in the double-decker plane, which can take a maximum of 853 passengers in an all-economy configuration.

A staircase at each end links the two levels and the business and first class areas have a self-service bar with food and drinks.

There are none of the more fanciful ideas discussed when development of the plane was launched in 2000, such as restaurants, gyms, showers, beauty salons or casinos.

Nevertheless, Singapore is banking on some travellers being prepared to pay more for space and comfort and has mounted artwork and designed space for flowers to brighten the interior of the aircraft.

The “suite class” seats on the Singapore-Sydney route, on which A380 flights will begin regularly from October 28, are to be 40-80 percent more expensive than first class on a Boeing 747, a spokesman told AFP.

The price of a suite is to be about 8,000 euros (US$11,400), roughly 1,000 euros per hour of flying according to an AFP calculation.

Other early buyers of the A380 such as Qantas of Australia or Dubai-based Emirates are also expected to limit seat numbers to about 500, but analysts believe in the future other carriers might use the plane’s capacity to the full.

Fitted out in mostly beige, brown and white, both levels in the plane feel spacious because of the almost vertical sides of the fuselage, which is far bigger than its nearest rival for size, the Boeing 747.

Singapore Airlines also claims passengers will notice the significantly reduced noise pollution, mainly because of the new technology used in the four Rolls-Royce engines that will power its planes.

The in-flight entertainment system, developed by Japanese electronics group Panasonic, includes more than 100 films, 180 television programmes and numerous computer games, available in all three classes.

In economy class, which has two aisles with either 10 or nine seats across depending on the floor, passengers will have a 27-centimetre television screen, a power point and computer functionality.

The inflight entertainment system includes word-processing and spreadsheet software and the handset has a keyboard. Documents can be downloaded on to a USB key.

Thomas Enders, the chief executive of Airbus, predicted that other airlines would look at what Singapore had done and would attempt to follow suit.

“The impact of Singapore Airlines’ cabin innovations will ripple out across the industry,” he forecast. – AFP/de

Powered by Channel News Asia

Can’t repair? Don’t despair

11 Oct

Your PC has broken down and you are not about to buy a new one. Summon the technical wizards.
Steven Ng , Computer Times
11 Sept 2002

It does not matter whether you are a computer connoisseur or PC philistine. Sooner or later, your system is bound to experience problems that you cannot quite comprehend, let alone solve.

Don’t fret. Some shops at both Funan The IT Mall and Sim Lim Square are able to troubleshoot your machine and fix some problems. For a fee, of course. TKD Technology, for example, is one such shop located at Funan The IT Mall. Mr Tommy Koh, 42, a partner at TKD, said he typically gets about three requests for repairs a day.

The bulk of his customers are regulars. Most of them have problems with their computers’ motherboards or hard disks — the two components that break down most frequently, according to him.

Mr Koh, who has been in the business since 1978, adds that wear and tear (which happens over time) is the most common reason for computer glitches, although there are other possible reasons such as a short circuit or a wrong connection.

Wear and tear is the most common reason for computer breakdowns, says Mr Koh, a partner at TKD Technology.

His troubleshooting routine depends on the type of problems the user encounters.

If, for example, a computer shows no display after boot-up, he first checks the power supply.

Next will be the peripheral component interconnect (PCI) cards, followed by the accelerated graphics port (AGP) card, if the computer has one. The last items he checks are the motherboard and the random access memory (RAM) modules.

But why doesn’t he zero in on the motherboard right from the start, as according to him, many problems occur with the motherboard?

“I am a technician. I go through a step-by-step process, and don’t jump to conclusions by saying that the motherboard is faulty,” he said.

At TKD, the cost of fixing a motherboard could range between $145 and $220.

To repair a hard disk, you have to pay $50 for formatting it and re-installing the operating system.

To replace the hard disk, you will also need to fork out the market price for a new drive, which Mr Koh said is about $125 for a 40 GB capacity device with a three-year warranty.

He also said that it usually takes four or five hours to repair a motherboard and about 90 minutes to fix a hard disk.

If you would rather visit Sim Lim Square, one shop worth trying is Cybermind Computer House.

Mr Danie Ng, a Cybermind sales executive, said that on a weekend, the shop may have up to 30 customers with PC repair problems. The corresponding number on a weekday could be about 15.

He said that the problems faced by many people are not caused by faulty components. Rather, they arise because of minor headaches such as incompatible hardware, obsolete drivers or wrong connections, which can be easily addressed.

An in-house troubleshooting and problem-solving session, lasting between 10 and 30 minutes, will normally suffice.

However, if repairs are necessary, Mr Ng suggested that users check on the potential repair cost beforehand.

According to him, you can usually get a cost estimate after Cybermind examines your computer (and before components are sent for servicing).

However, do bear in mind that you will have to pay a fee — about $50 — for them to take a look at your system first.

Besides TKD and Cybermind, some other shops at Funan The IT Mall and Sim Lim Square also offer repair services.

These outlets are usually located at the upper floors of their respective complexes — check them out when your machine goes on the blink.


What is worth, or not worth, repairing? Several factors come into the picture.

If a faulty component can be replaced cheaply, then forget about repairing it — just buy a new unit. Some types of hardware, such as CD burners and floppy drives, fall into this category. For example, an internal CD-rewritable (CD-RW) drive rated at 40x/12x/40x costs less than $150.

Also, if the warranty for the component has expired, there is no point sending it to the manufacturer for servicing.

After all, you have to pay repair costs (since it is no longer under warranty) on top of transport charges, and it takes anywhere from two weeks to a few months before you get the item back. Buying a replacement unit makes more sense.

However, if the component is relatively expensive, then repairing it could be the better option. Such items include certain brands of motherboards, graphics cards and PCI cards.

Free MP3s

11 Oct

Some of the best “free” english mp3 websites:

The “free” malay mp3 websites:

The real free mp3 websites:

Free malay music video website:

Give Your Website A Chance

11 Oct

I often wonder how serious people are when it comes to their websites. I thought that most everyone knew that the phrase “Build it and they will come” no longer applies on the internet but I’m not sure how many people really believe it.

I look at sites everyday as part of my sales strategy and I can’t tell you how many of them violate the obvious elements of good website design and submission.

What even amazes me more is that they can’t figure out why they don’t get sales or visitors. Do yourself a favor and attempt to apply the following tactics to your site. They won’t cost you a thing except a little time and effort to apply them.

About Page

Always include an about page on your site.
Don’t be afraid to tell your story and let people know who you are and how you arrived where you are.

Opening yourself up and letting people know who you are adds an element of trust. It exposes your personality, capabilities and knowledge. All factors that let your readers know you are genuine.

Include all your contact information

Let your visitors know that you are available.
Encourage questions, email and phone calls. Include your name, address and phone number.
If you can, it’s also helpful to place a photo on your site. Familiarity is key and it can add one more link in the ladder of trust.


Create compelling headlines. Peak the interest of your readers. This is your chance to grab their attention and incite them to read on.

Don’t be flashy or obnoxious. Simply tell it like it is. Capture their attention with descriptive, informative words. Get your readers involved in your information. Ask questions. Make them think.

You might be surprised to learn that just one compelling headline can bring instant sales almost overnight.

Create your meta tags

This is the first place I look when people tell me they aren’t getting visitors. I often see sites that have no title or description tag or the tags don’t follow the suggested guidelines for proper setup.

Here’s an example of how the tags might look for a site that sells hummingbird feeders:

You will need to do this for each page of your site. Each page needs to have it’s own set of tags. I also recommend focusing on one keyword per page, two at the very most. Too many keywords can confuse what your page is about.

Always make sure that your keywords are scattered throughout your text as well, however don’t sacrifice
good content for nonsense. Your text should be easy to read and should not sound redundant. Make your pages at least 250 words.


Solicit feedback from buyers you’ve had. Ask them to write a small testimonial that you can place on your site. This goes a long way to help convince your visitor that your products and services are sound.


Reciprocal linking is a common and effective tactic for obtaining search engine status and page rank but it’s also the most time consuming. It requires making contacts, following up with contacts and updating your website.

While reciprocal linking is an excellent way of establishing page rank it’s not the only way. Page rank can also be established by submitting your site to directories, writing articles and setting up blogs.

Don’t underestimate the power of website links. Take the extra few hours a day and get your site noticed.

Review the page you are exchanging links with. Be sure it is a site that you find easy to navigate and informative. I also recommend that the site’s index page have a Google PR rating of at least one. This ensures that the site is not being penalized by Google. If it is a penalized site then you could be penalized as well for linking to it.
Include a ‘tell a friend’ and ‘bookmark’ script on your site. This gives viewers an easy way to bookmark you and most of all return to your site.

Include a Site Map

Site Maps let visitors know what information you have, how it’s organized, where it is located with respect to other information, and how to get to that information with the least amount of clicks possible.

Site maps also provide spider food for search engine robots. This can increase your chances of becoming indexed because a site map allows the search engines to easily visit every page of your site.

A site map works best if you include a link to your site map in the navigation of every page on your site.

Finally, don’t let your site become stale. I have found that my search engine rankings improve when I periodically add new pages to my site and keep the content new and fresh. Follow these tips and 2005 may be your year for traffic.


About the Author:
Elizabeth McGee has spent 20 years in the service and support industry.
She has moved her expertise to the world wide web helping businesses
find trusted tools, enhance customer service, build confidence and
increase sales. You can contact Elizabeth at: or visit her website at:

Article from

Get a MAC-over

11 Oct

No, it’s not the Apple Mac OS X. It’s the Windows interface that’s gone through a cosmetic overhaul.

Tired of the boring Windows interface on your PC? Make it snazzy like those on the Macintosh without spending a bomb, writes AARON TAN

Let’s face it, Windows does not sport the sleekest interface. Not convinced? Just take a hard look at your Windows desktop and compare it to a Mac OSX one. Be honest, now!

If you are one of those Windows users who swoons over the pretty designer icons, buttons and trans-parent panels of the Apple Mac OS X, good news! You can do something about it without having to buy a Macintosh.

That’s because you can bring the Mac OS X look to your Windows box through third-party software programs for the OS X Dock, Apple program icons, transparent windows and others.

But be warned that performance could take dip as you load these programs that work in the background to give your PC a cosmetic overhaul. So make sure you have as much memory – one gigabyte if possible – as your money can buy if you do not want your programs to run at snail’s pace.

Dress it like a Mac

First, download a visual style customisation program called WindowsBlinds ( products/windowblinds). An alternative is StyleXP ( prod_sxp.php) but it only supports Windows XP, so users of earlier versions of Windows will be left out.

On a Windows 2000 system, I installed WindowsBlinds and downloaded a skin called Mac OS X Brushed ( Other skins are available from a variety of websites like www. and http://www.devian

Usually, skins come in a zip file that the visual style program has to extract before you can select the theme. What gets transformed by the visual style skins will be Window buttons, textures and icons.

The Apple bar

To replicate the bar at the top of the Mac OS X desktop, you can download an object bar program from Use it to create custom Start bars, finders, pop-up menus and program launchers. Like visual styles you also need a Mac OS X skin for the object bar to achieve a uniform look. Look for it at, and www.

Dock it

The Mac OS X Dock is perhaps the most eye-catching element of an Apple computer, especially its magnification feature. ObjectDock ( can do the same thing on a PC. Once it’s installed, just drag any program shortcut to the dock. You can also change the look of the icons by downloading icon sets, and extracting them into the ObjectDock program folder.

Mac-like applications

Having a Mac look-alike dock and a Mac OS X interface already throws the Windows look out of the window. So why not do a complete overhaul with these Mac-like applications.

Trillian, the Windows iChat: Get this instant messaging (IM) all-in-one program that supports multiple IM networks such as ICQ and MSN, even if you weren’t intending to perform cosmetic surgery on your PC. While you can make do with the free version, the Professional version costs US$25 (S$41), and has the OS X Aqua skin. Visit http://www.trillian. com for more information.

Konfabulator: If you like widgets, or little programs, that do things like getting the latest quotes from the stock exchange, or running photo slideshows from your image collection, there’s a Windows version of the Konfabulator ( Previously, only the Mac version was available, and PC desktop modders had to turn to another program called Samurize. You can also download other widgets such as system utilities, news feeds and games. The Konfabulator is distributed as shareware, or US$24.95 will buy you a registered version.

iTunes: The Mac OS will never be complete without iTunes (, the Apple music player and management software. Previously, the brushed metallic texture of the PC version of iTunes seemed out of place with the rest of the Windows interface. But now, it should look blend beautifully after the makeover.

Safari for the PC: Yes, there is an Internet browser that looks exactly like the Safari browser for the Mac ( for the PC. However, the PC version is built on Microsoft Internet Explorer’s browser engine, rather than Apple’s Safari browser. Although it is still unpolished, like the lack of tabbed browsing and a couple of bugs, it’s a good way to fool your friends into believing that you have OS X installed in your PC.

Sample Resumes

11 Oct

Sample Resume, Theron M. Weisz

B.S. Electrical Engineering with Computer Emphasis, North Dakota State University (ABET accredited)
Graduated in Dec. 1995.
Math/Pre-Engineering, Jamestown College, Jamestown, ND.
Jan. 1990 – May 1992.


Computer Languages: C/VC++ using MFC and Borland libraries, Assembly Language for the Motorola 68000 and 6811 series, Pascal, BASIC/VBASIC.

Computer Software: Borland Builder, MS Visual Studio 6.0, Continuus, Source Safe, CVS, LabWindows/CVI, Microsoft Office 2000.

Operating Systems: Linux (RedHat 6.0), Windows NT 4.0/2000, IBM PC (MS-DOS/Windows).


Jun 2000 – Oct 2001 Sr. Software Engineer
TestQuest, Inc., Eden Prairie/Chanhassen, MN

Use C++ in the Borland Builder IDE developing code to recognize anti-aliased font characters within bitmaps captured on graphical based test equipment.

Use C to develop firmware for test modules communicating serially to PC test equipment.

Use COM with C++ to develop code to “plug in�? module to main test suite.

Use C++ to develop DLL’s to be used within our contracting department.

Nov 1999 – Jun 2000 Software Engineer
Digi International, Minnetonka, MN

Use C and C++ to develop embedded code for firmware used on a high density modem card. This card has up to 48 modems running simultaneously and is used as a Remote Access Server.

Work with technical support and systems assurance to resolve problem issues.

June 1998 – Sept 1999 Software Engineer
Management Graphics, Inc., Bloomington, MN.

Use C++ to create new project implementing a Varware solution to print to HP ink jet printers.

Use C++ to maintain code manipulating digital image files for output to imaging devices.

Develop embedded software for the Motorola 68320 microprocessor for use in a high-resolution film recorder.

Jan. 1996 – May 1998 Design Engineer
Rosemount, Inc., Eden Prairie, MN.

Design and build hardware and complete software of functional test station for new product PCBs.

Reduce cost and simplify electronics using surface mount technology.

Maintain the functionality of test stations including software and hardware.

Engineering contact between Rosemount and Asian manufacturer.

Provided work direction for electrical technician

Support manufacturing at Rosemount plant.

Joe Bauer Resume

Joe Bauer

Led marketing creative for a Nasdaq 100 company during 400% revenue growth.

Wrote telecom marketing material in 30 million phone books.

Produced ads, collateral and user manuals for print, web, radio, direct mail and TV.

Originated internal newspaper now serving 9,000 employees.

Designed and coded the first online editions of newspaper.

Led editing of hypertext and hardcopy manuals for IBM AIX V4.0 operating system.

Wrote, edited and redesigned computer trade journals.

Wrote proprietary style manuals.


Freelance writer and producer

McLeodUSA, telecommunications company, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Creative services manager
Communications editor

The Gazette daily newspaper, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Online editor
Copy editor

Century Design, contract writing firm, Austin, Texas
Lead editor
Technical writer

Publications and Communications Inc., magazine publisher, Austin, Texas
Computer trade journal editor

The Monitor daily newspaper, McAllen, TX
Assistant managing editor

Education and Training

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design, The University of Iowa

Brand Asset Management seminar, American Management Association

“Seven Habits??? seminar, Covey Leadership Center

Management Training, McLeodUSA

Things TO DO During Interview

11 Oct

Carriage is important
– When you entered into the interview room, it is customary for you to greet your interviewer first.
– If possible, ask permission to be seated or usually the interviewer will invite you to take a seat.
– If you are seated and the interviewer walks in, you should get up and when the interviewer sits, then you can only seat.
– If you have came late for the interview, apologize to the interviewer for being late.

The questions
– During the course of the interview, listen carefully and ask if you need further clarification.
– The interviewee should answer the question to the best he or she could.
– The interviewee should also ask any inquiries he or she wants to know about the job as well as the company.

Introduce yourself in a courteous manner with a firm handshake.

Listen to what is being said, make notes and ask questions later.

Use body language to show interest – sit up and make frequent eye contact.

Smile, nod, give non-verbal feedback to the interviewer to show you’re keen.

Show an interest in and ask questions about ongoing projects the successful candidate will be handling.

Ask only the relevant questions. Your pre-interview research would have answered the rest. Use your interviewer’s time wisely and to your advantage.

Ask about the next step in the process.

Ask the interviewer what qualities he sees in you as being value-add factors to the hire. And what you could have done better (if you’re not getting the job, you may as well know why).

· 3, Treat everyone you come in contact with at the company as if they have authority to hire you (in fact, they might have, you never know.) It isn’t rare for the hiring authority to ask the receptionist/secretary after the interview has been concluded how friendly the potential employee was while waiting for the interview.

· 4, Make and maintain good eye contact.

· 5, If you are nervous, feel free to say so. Say something like: “I find myself very nervous because I’m very interested in your organization.??? Acknowledging your nervousness and anxiety often reduces it and interviewers are usually very understanding. (Remember, it has been known that people hire people who they feel comfortable with. So, make yourself as comfortable as possible!)

· 6, Ask questions, don’t just sit there waiting to be interrogated. You have just as much right to find out everything about the company as they have finding out about you. Sample questions: “In your opinion, what are the most relevant abilities for this job???? “Would you describe the long-term goals of the company???? “Is there anything from my previous experiences that you would like me to elaborate on????

· 7, Make sure you indicate that you want the job! One of the top 10 reasons why a person doesn’t get hired is the lack of enthusiasm and interest in both the company and the particular position.

Be sure to look the interviewer in the eye when greeting him/her. Shake hands in a firm but not overbearing manner.
Unless the interviewer immediately takes the lead, you may want to say something to establish rapport and break the ice. Comments on a picture or a piece of office furniture, the weather, a current well-known community or sports event can all be appropriate. You can also mention a mutual friend or acquaintance.
When answering a question, be sure to maintain eye contact with the person to whom you are speaking. This is important, as it is indicative of both sincerity and commitment on your part. If you’re being interviewed by more than one person, concentrate primarily on the one who asked you the question, but also look at all of the others, each for a few seconds.
Keep in mind that every interview is a sales situation with you as the seller and the employer as the prospect. You think you fit this position? Fine, but so does every other applicant. You are not selling yourself so much as your ability to do a good job based on a combination of your specific skills, talent, aptitudes, experience, intelligence, character, work ethic, reputation, personality, academic achievements and possibly other factors as well. It is important not to come across as anxious or desperate. Realize you have significant skills and other specific attributes that are of value, whether to the company with which you are now interviewing or another company.
As those who have had sales training know, the seller should assume the sale. When you are discussing what you would do in the job, speak as if you know you are the one who is going to get the position.
Nearly every hiring situation has to do with the employer’s need to solve a problem. Find out why the position is vacant and what are the main problems that the employer needs you to solve. You may ask how and why the position became open. Explain how you will solve the problems and how and why you will do a better job than the former occupant of the position.
You will be asked a number of questions. You may be asked to describe your weaknesses as well as your strengths. We all have weaknesses. However, your weaknesses ought not to reflect on your ability to do an effective job. For example, a terrific sales professional may be weak at handling paperwork. A gifted artist may be a poor public speaker. A capable writer may be poor with numbers, but a bank employee should not be. You may be ask why you left previous positions and what former employers liked and disliked about you. Again, whatever they disliked should be irrelevant to your ability to do a good job for the company.
Not every employer is a great interviewer. Do not depend on the interviewer to bring up all the issues that are significant to you and your ability to demonstrate what you have to offer. Here are some questions you may need to ask:
What are the main responsibilities for the person in this position?
What are the key attributes you are looking for?
What are the primary results you want me to produce?
What do you consider ideal experience?
What else can I tell you to help you evaluate my background?

In other words, you have to know what the employer’s needs are before you are able to demonstrate that you can fully meet and hopefully even exceed those needs.

What are the questions to ask?

Only ask the questions if they will turn the conversation in the direction you want . Suppose you have a major strength you believe might be relevant to the job but you have not discussed it. An elementary school teacher could ask, for example, if he or she would have the opportunity to utilize his or her musical ability they happen to have. A young attorney could point to his strong computer skills, etc. It is important to bring up anything that might give you an edgeand would make the employers that think they would be getting more for their money if they hired you.
Be sure to show the interviewer tangible proof of your ability.
Besides questions intended to enable you to emphasize your strengths and what you have to offer, there are questions you can ask that serve to show both knowledge of the position and an interest in it. Here are some examples:
Questions about the specific nature of the business. For example, if it’s a law firm: What type or types of law do you specialize in?
To whom will I report to?
Why did this position become vacant?
Are there any specific problems you would need me to solve? (Then explain how you can solve them.)
What changes do you foresee for this company (or department) in the near future?
Can you share some insight regarding the company’s long-range plans and goals?
Would you be willing to try me out on a freelance basis? (Ask this only if you don’t think they’re going to offer you a regular position.)
When would it be ideal for me to start?
Have your list of references at hand in case you are asked for them but donot be the one to bring up the subject. Many companies do not check references until they have made someone a job offer.
Be confident. Present yourself as competent, capable and very professional, but at the same time, NON-THREATENING. Often people are concerned about hiring the wrong person for many reasons. One of the reason is that they perceive someone to be a potential threat to them in their present position. The last thing that most employersseek is a person who will “rock the boat.??? Too often job applicants feel they need to come across as eager, ambitious “hot shots???. It is fine if you are applying for a job in sales and all that drive and zeal are going to be directed at customers and potential customers .To give the impression that you are out to “take over??? when you are being hired for a supportive position is usually a big turn-off. If you are being considered for a managerial or executive position, it is another matter. Even then, some caution is advised as it is important to fit into the existing corporate culture. A quiet, self-controlled inner confidence is indicative of a consummate professional. Keep in mind that people who appear non-threatening but are effective, capable professionals tend to be the ones who are frequently promoted within an organization.

The close of the interview

Effective salespeople try to close every deal as quickly as possible. They frequently employ “trial closes??? to see if it is time to clinch the deal. Job interviews are usually more complex in this regard. The employer may have set up a two-stage or three-stage interview process involving multiple candidates, which would preclude a final close on the first interview. However, if the interview is a result of an unsolicited “cold??? proposal letter you sent to a company, you may be the only one being interviewed and an attempt to close would be in order. Here is a trial close that would be effective in various circumstances:

“I’m very much interested in the position, Ms. Jones, as it is precisely what I would like to do career-wise. I just need to ask you, based on where we currently stand, is there anything in my resumé or anything we have talked about today that might indicate to you that I would not be ideal for this position????

If she says there is, then you have just gotten an important opportunity to clear up a misunderstanding that could cost you the position. If she says there is not, it indicates you are either the frontrunner or at least a serious contender for the job. You can then ask, “Where do we go from here????
At the end of the interview thank the interviewers for their time and indicate that you look forward to being in touch.

Sources : Anna Murphy,,

PC Problem Solving

30 Sep

By Computeractive staff [17-03-2003]

The most annoying thing about a PC going wrong is trying to identify exactly what the problem is. Telephone help lines can only get you so far and take up precious time, not to mention money.
Most PC problems, however, are easy enough to pinpoint, providing you know what to look for.

That’s where our PC problem-solving guides come in. Each one addresses a specific symptom and, by working through the step-by-step instructions, you should be able to find where the fault lies.

Where possible, we’ve also provided solutions to glitches, but some rather more serious problems can only be fixed by the manufacturer or a specialist repair service.


Is the PC or monitor plugged in and the power switched on?
Obvious, yes, but you’d be surprised how many people this catches out. Check that the PC or monitor power lead is firmly inserted into the socket at the back of the case and that the mains plug at the other end of the lead is firmly plugged into the mains socket.

Some PC power supplies also have an on/off switch, so check that this and the mains plug socket are switched to ‘on’.

Has the fuse in the plug blown?
Just like any other electrical device, the fuse in the mains plug on a PC or monitor’s power lead can blow. Your power lead will almost certainly have a moulded plug with a small hole for the fuse. You’ll need a small, flat screwdriver to lever off the fuse cap and prise out the fuse.

There’s no way to tell if a fuse has blown just by looking at it, so simply replace it with a three-amp fuse. Replace the fuse cap and reconnect the cable to the mains socket.

If you’re using a gang plug adapter, check the fuse in its plug too. These usually use a 13-amp fuse, so be sure to replace it with one of the same type.

Is the plug socket working?
It’s possible that the mains socket on the wall isn’t working. Try another electrical device in the socket, such as a lamp, to see if it is carrying a mains supply. Alternatively, try the PC power lead in another socket, if possible.

If none of your mains sockets are working, the chances are that the mains circuit breaker has been tripped. You’ll need to look at the main fuse box in your house and check to see if one of the switches has been tripped.

If it has, move the switch back to the ‘on’ position and try your PC again. If your fuse box uses fuses with fuse wire, turn off the fuse box and remove fuses until you find a blown one.

You will have to replace the fuse wire with new wire rated at the same amperage. If a fuse hasn’t blown, you will need to call an electrician out to take a look at the wall socket.

Monitor or graphics card problem
If you’re still not getting a picture, you may have a problem with the monitor or graphics card. If your monitor doesn’t have a captive monitor cable, you can try replacing this. Otherwise, you need to take your PC for repair.

Did the PC make any beeps?
If a PC fails the self-test that’s performed automatically when it’s switched on, it will emit a series of beeps that give some clue as to what is wrong.

Problems that typically produce ‘beep codes’ relate to the processor, memory and graphics card but they don’t have to be serious; a memory module that isn’t fitted properly can cause them, as can an improperly fitted processor.

Beep codes vary, depending on the BIOS the PC uses. Your motherboard manual should tell you the make of your PC’s BIOS and possibly even what the beep codes mean. Alternatively, look at the sites below for more help.

Is the monitor power light on?
The power light on a monitor has two states: green and steady when the monitor is powered and receiving a signal from the PC; and either amber or flashing green when it’s powered but has no signal. If there’s no light, the monitor isn’t getting any power.

Is the monitor cable connected?
Make sure that the monitor cable is still connected to the VGA or DVI socket on your graphics card at the back of the PC. Also check the end that connects to the monitor.

Potentially serious problem
Following the steps will have told you if the problem lies with your monitor or your PC. If it’s your PC, the likely causes are a damaged power supply, motherboard or processor. Armed with this information, you should take your PC for repair.


Does it successfully complete the memory and hard disk test?
The first thing you’ll see on your monitor when you switch on your PC are the results of its automatic self-test.

The memory will be checked (usually as a count up from 0Mb), as will the presence of the hard disk and other drives. Some PCs will hide this information behind a manufacturer logo but, in either case, if your PC seems to get no further, there’s a problem.

Potentially severe problem
You have a problem with your hardware. As the screen comes on, the likely culprit is an expansion card (but not the graphics card), memory or hard disk.

If you know how, you can check inside the PC to see that everything is connected properly or look in the BIOS screens to ensure that a setting hasn’t been inadvertently changed. Otherwise, contact your PC’s manufacturer for assistance.

Have you installed any new hardware recently?
New hardware can play havoc with a previously working PC. If you’ve installed any hardware, including a new mouse or keyboard, remove it and, if appropriate, replace the original hardware and see if your PC works.

Is the keyboard connected?
A PC usually checks for a connected keyboard as part of its initial self-test and, if one isn’t found, it can prevent it from booting. Check that the keyboard hasn’t become disconnected from the PC.

There are two types of keyboard connector: USB and PS/2. USB keyboards should be plugged into any USB port; PS/2 keyboards should be connected to the keyboard PS/2 port, not the mouse PS/2 port. Some keyboard PS/2 ports are purple (mouse ones are often green).

Is there anything resting on the keyboard?
An object resting on the keyboard and holding a key down can cause an error when the PC is turned on. Make sure that there’s nothing on the keyboard or that no keys are stuck in the down position.

Memory problem
If your PC reports a memory problem, this means that one or more of the memory modules on the motherboard has a fault. This could be as simple as a module not being fitted in its slot properly or that the module has failed completely.

Floppy disk problem
Floppy disk drive errors can be caused by anything from a loose connection to a broken drive but this is seldom a serious problem.

The problem can usually be bypassed by pressing the F1 key at the ‘Press F1 to continue’ message on-screen.

You can check inside your PC to see that the floppy disk drive is properly connected to the motherboard by its IDE cable (a flat, grey cable with black rectangular plugs at each end) and that it is also connected to the PC’s power supply.

Otherwise, you can simply disable the drive in the BIOS so that the PC doesn’t check for it. Look in your motherboard manual.

Is there disk in a drive?
Your PC’s BIOS may be set to check to see if it can boot from the floppy and/or CD-Rom drives before the hard disk.

If there’s a disk in either of these drives, this can prevent the PC from booting. Remove all CDs and floppy disks and restart the PC.

Was your hard disk detected?
A PC will check for the presence of a hard disk during its self-test and will display its findings on-screen. If no hard disk is found, this will only cause an error when it comes to booting.

If no hard disk is detected, it may be down to a loose connection. Check the hard disk connections inside the PC.

If the connections appear to be correct, the hard disk itself may be faulty and you should contact the PC’s manufacturer.

Hard disk problem
If your hard disk is detected but Windows refuses to load, there are three possibilities. First, the BIOS could be set to boot from a disk other than the hard disk. Second, the hard disk itself may be faulty.

Most likely is that your Windows installation may have become corrupt and this is one for your PC’s manufacturer to sort out.


Setting up
If your PC is new, it may not be set up to access the internet. The simplest way to do this is to use a CD-Rom from an internet service provider (ISP) and go through its set-up procedure.

Alternatively, if you have both your ISP’s and your account details, you can set up a connection manually. Go to Start, Settings, Control Panel and double-click on the Network Connections icon.

Then, either click on the ‘Create a new connection’ in the Task Pane or double-click on the New Connection Wizard icon.

Click on Next twice and on the next page select the option ‘Set up my connection manually’ and click on Next. If you are using a dial-up modem, leave the next page as it is and click on Next.

Make sure that there is a tick by your modem in this window, click on Next again and then give your new connection a name.

The next page prompts you for the telephone number that the modem must dial. In the next window you must decide whether to restrict the connection to your use only or for everyone who uses the computer.

The next step is to enter your ISP account details. Click on Finish and your new connection is now ready to use.

If your ISP connection has been set up but Windows isn’t using it, go to Control Panel and double-click on Internet Properties.

There are several tabs along the top of the dialogue box that appears. Click on one labelled Connections. There are three options about halfway down. Select the one for ‘Always dial my default connection’ and then click on OK.

Connection failures
If your PC tries to make an internet connection but fails, the telephone line may be at fault. Check that your modem cable is properly connected to both the modem socket and the telephone socket.

It’s also worth checking that the socket itself is working by plugging in a telephone. You can try connecting the modem to a different telephone socket.

Some telephone voicemail services change the dial tone when there are new messages waiting and this can confuse some modems.

The simplest solution is to delete any waiting messages to restore the dial tone but you can tell the modem not to check for a dial tone before dialling.

Go to Device Manager and right-click on the modem entry. In the dialogue box that appears, look for a ‘Wait for dial tone before dialling’ option and deselect it.

Driver problems
A problem with the modem driver is indicated by a yellow exclamation mark next to its entry in the Device Manager. Reinstalling the driver may fix this but you should uninstall the modem driver first by right-clicking on its Device Manager entry and choosing Uninstall.

To do this right-click on My Computer on the Desktop and choose Properties. On the dialogue box that appears, click the Hardware tab and then the Device Manager button.

To reinstall the driver, you’ll need the original modem driver CD-Rom. Restart your PC and, when Windows starts, it will display a message to say that it has found new hardware. Put the CD-Rom into the drive and work through the steps to install the driver.

Connection confusion
Sometimes Internet Explorer can become about whether or not you are connected to the internet. This is because Windows handles the connection to the internet separately to Internet Explorer.

The definitive way of checking that you are connected to the internet is to look for a small picture of two computers in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.

If it is there your PC is connected to the internet. If it isn’t, open the File menu and click on the option to Work Offline if it has a tick by it. Explorer will now accept that it is connected.


Check the cables
Before you make any changes to the printer software, make sure that the power and printer cables are properly connected and that your printer has power.

If you’re using a parallel printer, make sure that it is directly connected to the PC and not through any other device, such as a scanner or Zip drive.

If a USB printer is connected to a hub, make sure that it is connected to the PC and powered.

Flashing lights
If your printer is displaying a flashing light, it’s likely that is has a problem. First make sure that there aren’t any foreign objects inside the printer case (ballpoint pens are a favourite).

If your printer has a paper jam, follow the manual’s instructions on how to remove it.

Many printers won’t work if there is an error light displayed and other printers won’t work if they run out of ink. Check the manual to see if the error lights mean there is a problem with the ink cartridges. You will probably have to replace the cartridge before your printer will work again.

Is your printer set as default?
Click on the Windows Start menu and go to Settings, Printers. When the Printers window appears, make sure there is a black circle with a white tick displayed on-top of your printer icon (or the icon for the printer you are trying to use). If there’s no tick, right-click on the icon and select ‘Set as Default’.

Printer not installed
If your printer is not displayed in this window, you need to install the drivers and software supplied with the printer. If you no longer have the software, you should be able to download it from the manufacturer’s website.

Print quality
Click on the Windows Start menu and go to Settings, Printers. Right-click on the icon for your printer and choose Properties.

If the print quality is not as you expected, you should check the paper you are printing on and the print quality and paper settings within this dialogue box.

Error messages
If your PC displays an error message when trying to print, it might be sending the information meant for your printer to the wrong place.

Open your printer settings and click on the tabs to locate a menu that is usually labelled ‘Print to the following Port’.

If your Printer is connected to the printer port you should select ‘LPT1′ in the driver. If your printer is attached to your PC using a USB cable, select one of the USB options and try printing again.

Clean the nozzles
If your prints are not up to the quality you expect, the print cartridge nozzles may need cleaning or aligning, or the cartridges may be running out of ink.

Typical symptoms of these problems are white streaks across the page or missing colours. Refer to your printer’s manual for advice on cleaning or aligning the print heads, or replacing the cartridges.

Related articles
Setting up your new PC [28-10-2003]