Blog Archive

Professional Working Methodology



I liked it very much J

 

Employee "A" in a company walked up to his manager and asked what my job is for the day?  The manager took "A" to the bank of a river and asked him to cross the river and reach the other side of the bank. "A" completed this task successfully and reported back to the manager about the completion of the task assigned. The manager smiled and said "GOOD JOB"

 

Next day Employee "B" reported to the same manager and asked him the job for the day. The manager assigned the same task as above to this person also. The Employee "B' before starting the task saw Employee "C" struggling in the river to reach the other side of the bank. He realized "C" has the same task. Now "B" not only crossed the river but also helped "C" to cross the river. "B" reported back to the manager and the manager smiled and said "VERY GOOD JOB"

 

The following day Employee "Q" reported to the same manager and asked him the job for the day. The manager assigned the same task again.  Employee "Q" before starting the work did some home work and realized "A", "B" & "C" all has done this task before. He met them and understood how they performed. He realized that there is a need for a guide and training for doing this task. He sat first and wrote down the procedure for crossing the river, he documented the common mistakes people made, and tricks to do the task efficiently and effortlessly. Using the methodology he had written down he crossed the river and reported back to the manager along with documented procedure and training material.  The manger said "Q" you have done an "EXCELLENT JOB".

 

The following day Employee "O' reported to the manager and asked him the job for the day. The manager assigned the same task again. "O" studied the procedure written down by "Q" and sat and thought about the whole task. He realized company is spending lot of money in getting this task completed. He decided not to cross the river, but sat and designed and implemented a bridge across the river and went back to his manager and said, "You no longer need to assign this task to any one". The manager smiled and said "Outstanding job 'O'. I am very proud of you."

 

What is the difference between A, B, Q & O?  Many a times in life we get tasks to be done at home, at office, at play.,

Most of us end up doing what is expected out of us. Do we feel happy? Most probably yes. We would be often disappointed when the recognition is not meeting our expectation. Let us compare ourselves with "B". Helping someone else the problem often improves our own skills. There is an old proverb (I do not know the author) "learn to teach and teach to learn". From a company point of view "B" has demonstrated much better skills than "A" since one more task for the company is completed.

 

"Q" created knowledge base for the team. More often than not, we do the task assigned to us without checking history. Learning from other's mistake is the best way to improve efficiency. This knowledge creation for the team is of immense help. Re-usability reduces cost there by increases productivity of the team. "Q" demonstrated good "team-player" skills,

 

Now to the outstanding person, "O" made the task irrelevant; he created a Permanent Asset to the team.

If you notice B, Q and O all have demonstrated "team performance" over and above individual performance; they have also demonstrated a very invaluable characteristic known as "INITIATIVE".

 

Initiative pays of everywhere whether at work or at personal life. If you have initiative you will succeed. Initiative is a continual process and it never ends. This is because this year's achievement is next year's task. You cannot use the same success story every year. The story provides an instance of performance, where as measurement needs to be spread across at least 6-12 months. Consequently performance should be consistent and evenly spread.  Out-of-Box thinkers are always premium and that is what everyone constantly looks out for. Initiative, Out-of-Box thinking and commitment are the stepping stone to success.

Initiative should be lifelong. Think of out of the box…..Happy Working.

 


Excel Tip: Merge Cells without Loosing Data


Merge cells without loosing values - ExcelMany of us face this problem. Can you tell me how to merge rows without losing the data in the format given below.
given data:
row 1: abcd
row 2: xyz

required format :
row 1: abcd xyz
It would save a great amount of my time if i could get a solution to this !
That got me thinking, there should be a way to merge cells without loosing data?!?
Of course there is. You can use simple features in Excel to do this with ease.
  1. Merge cells without loosing data - how to in Excel Select all the cells where your data is. (All the cells need to be in one area in one column).
  2. Adjust the column width so that you can fit all contents in one cell. (basically make it wide enough)
  3. Select Home Ribbon > Fill > Justify
  4. Merge cells now.
That is all. The text from selected cells will be magically re-arranged in top-most cell. If you see the text spreading 2 rows, just make the column wider and repeat the process.
See this simple animation aside to understand how it works.
But wait, this technique has some limitations,
  1. It doesnt work if the selected cells have numbers or formulas
  2. It only works for cells in a single column, if the cells are spread across several columns, justify will not work.
  3. It requires a lot of steps.
Shouldn't there be a better way to merge cells without loosing data?!?
Of course there is, You can write a simple macro to do this job for you.
For eg. here is the JoinAndMerge() macro I have written that works for pretty much all types of data.
Sub JoinAndMerge()
'joins all the content in selected cells
'and puts the resulting text in top most cell
'then merges all cells

Dim outputText As String
Const delim = " "

On Error Resume Next
For Each cell In Selection
outputText = outputText & cell.Value & delim
Next cell
With Selection
.Clear
.Cells(1).Value = outputText
.Merge
.HorizontalAlignment = xlGeneral
.VerticalAlignment = xlCenter
.WrapText = True
End With
End Sub
Just copy this code in to a new module or add it your personal macros workbook. And you can use it to quickly merge cells without loosing data. Simple.
The code is easy to figure out if you know basic VBA. So I will not go in to detail.

Info: CAT 5, CAT5e, CAT6 Ethernet cables


CAT 6 VS. CAT 5e

[Q] What is the difference between CAT 6 and CAT 5e cable?
[A] Currently there is a great deal of confusion among Ethernet cable buyers concerning whether to purchase Cat5e, or to use Cat6. Most of this confusion comes from a misunderstanding by the buyer that buying Cat6 cable will give them an "all gigabit" network. This is not the case. Unless every single component in the network is gigabit rated, then you will never have a gigabit network, because your network will always run at the speed of your slowest device. Cat5e cable of good quality can run near or at gigabit speeds, it just cannot be "certified" for this use. By comparison, Cat6 is designed especially for gigabit use, and is certified to operate at said speed. It becomes a matter of whether or not you want to pay all that extra money, for little or no noticeable improvement in the performance of you network. In most cases, it makes more sense to go with Cat5e. It is for this reason that most of your new installations in the private sector are going with Cat5e. It is more economical, performs well, and is readily available in many colors. Many IT professionals when asked about why they specified Cat6 for a specific job, often responded stated that they "wanted the best they could get." This is the line of thought behind many purchases of cable. The average consumer often times is not aware that there is no real benefit to them to use Cat6, so they let someone talk them in to buying it. CAT 5 Cable Company is committed to helping people make good decisions about cable purchases and we are always standing by to help you.

CAT 5 v. CAT 5e

[Q] What's the difference between CAT 5 cable and CAT 5e cable?
[A] CAT 5 cable and CAT 5e cable have several differences, the most important are as follows:
  • Network support - CAT 5 cable will support 10/100 Ethernet. That is, Ethernet and Fast Ethernet. CAT 5e cable will support Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, and Gigabit Ethernet. CAT 5e Cable is completely backwards compatible, and can be used in any application in which you would normally use CAT 5 cable.
  • Less cross talk - Cross talk is the electrical interference that results when one wire's signal effects another wire's signal. CAT 5e cable has been improved over CAT 5 cable in this respect, and cross talk has been greatly reduced.
  • Bandwidth - This is directly related to network support, in the sense that the bandwidth is the information-carrying capacity of a system. The greater the bandwidth, the greater the information-carrying capacity in a given period of time. CAT 5e cable is rated at 350 megahertz, and it is this increased bandwidth (compared to CAT 5 cable) that allows it to support Gigabit Ethernet.
If you are unsure whether to order CAT 5 OR CAT 5e, we recommend ordering CAT 5e. CAT 5e is completely backwards compatible and we do not charge any additional amount for it. The improvements made in CAT 5e over the original CAT 5 Cable are astonishing, so it will always be the right choice between the two.
CAT 5 Cable will still be sufficient for many applications. In fact, there are still companies operating today that have special requirements for CAT 5. These will be the exceptions of course, because almost all new installations are being done with CAT 5e. The improved signal carrying capacity of the cable is the primary reason.
CAT 5e Cable also has improved durability, due to improvements in the quality and thickness of the PVC

6 Surprisingly Dirty Places in Your Home

By Mary Anne Dunkin
WebMD Feature
If you dropped a piece of fruit in your kitchen sink while rinsing it, would you think twice about popping it in your mouth? What if you dropped it in the toilet?
Germs like cold viruses and bacteria can live in some unexpected spots. Here are six surprisingly dirty places in your home -- like your kitchen sink -- and what you can do to protect yourself.

Dirty Places: The Kitchen Sink

Although the mere thought of retrieving anything from your toilet bowl may be enough to make you sick, your toilet may be cleaner than your kitchen sink, says Eileen Abruzzo, director of infection control at Long Island College Hospital of Brooklyn, New York. Food particles from plates left to soak or rinsed from dishes on their way to the dishwasher can serve as a breeding ground for illness-causing bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella. They can get on your hands or spread to foods.
Although most people take steps to disinfect their toilet bowls, few give their kitchen sink the same consideration, Abruzzo tells WebMD. "They rinse their sinks with water and assume they are clean -- but they're not."
Quick fix to banish bacteria:
To sanitize your sink and prevent the spread of bacteria, Abruzzo recommends washing it with a solution of bleach and water once a day and then letting the solution run down the drain. Remember to remove the drain plug and clean it, too, she says. Then wash your hands.

Dirty Places: Your Toothbrush

You put it in your mouth twice a day, but do you ever think of all the germs lurking on it? "You rinse it off after using it and put it away damp," says Abruzzo. "Bacteria like the moist area and grow on it."
If the germs from your own mouth weren't enough to contaminate your toothbrush, the germs from your toilet certainly are. Research in the 1970s by Charles P. Gerba, PhD, of the University of Arizona Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, found that flushing the toilet sends a spray of bacteria- and virus-contaminated water droplets into air. These germs, he found, can float around in the bathroom for at least two hours after each flush before landing on surfaces -- including your toothbrush.
Quick fix to banish bacteria:
 Abruzzo recommends placing your toothbrush where it can air out and dry between uses -- but not too close to the toilet. Also, replace your toothbrush often, particularly after you've been sick, and close your toilet lid before flushing.

Dirty Places: Your Salt and Pepper Shaker

Could one of the dirtiest places in your home be right on the table where you eat?
Unfortunately, yes, according to a 2008 study by researchers at the University of Virginia. In the study, researchers asked 30 adults who were beginning to show signs of a cold, to name 10 places they'd touched in their homes over the previous 18 hours. The researchers then tested those areas for cold viruses. The tests found viruses on 41% of the surfaces tested, and every one of the salt and pepper shakers tested were positive for cold viruses. 
Quick fix to banish bacteria:  
When you wipe the kitchen table after eating, wipe off the salt and pepper shaker too. But your best protection against spreading or picking up germs when you reach for seasonings is to wash your hands -- before and after.

Dirty Places: Your TV Remote Control

It's dropped on the floor, stuffed between the sofa cushions, coughed on and sneezed at. Everyone in the house handles it.
"Anything people touch a lot has germs on it," Abruzzo tells WebMD. A University of Virginia study of cold viruses on household surfaces showed the remote control's surface is among the germiest. Researchers found that half of the remote controls tested were positive for cold viruses.
Quick fix to banish bacteria:
Abruzzo wipes her remote with a bleach or alcohol wipe -- "that is, if I can ever find it or get it out my husband's hands," she says. Aside from that, regular hand-washing is the best way to protect yourself against these germs.

Dirty Places: Your Computer Keyboard

If you eat at your computer, sneeze on your keyboard, or sit down to surf the Internet without first washing your hands, your computer keyboard could be a health hazard. In a recent study by a British consumer group, researchers swabbed keyboards for germs and found a host of potentially harmful bacteria, including E. coli and staph. Four of 33 sampled keyboards had enough germs to be considered health hazards. One had levels of germs five times higher than that found on a toilet seat.
Quick fix to banish bacteria:
Wash your hands before and after using your computer. If you must eat at your desk, don't drop crumbs into your keyboard. To clean your keyboard, gently shake out the crumbs or vacuum it. Abruzzo recommends wiping the keys with alcohol or bleach wipes, but "nothing too wet," she says. "And don't forget to wipe the mouse."

Dirty Places: Your Bathtub

The place where you clean yourself is not so clean itself. A recent study found staphylococcus bacteria in 26% of the tubs tested. A separate study had even worse findings for whirlpool tubs. When Texas A&M University microbiologist Rita Moyes, PhD tested 43 water samples from whirlpools, she found that all 43 had mild to dangerous bacterial growth. Almost all showed bacteria from fecal matter; 81% had fungi, and 34% contained staph bacteria.
According to Moyes, the main reason whirlpool tubs are so dirty has to do with the lining of the pipes. Water tends to get trapped in the pipes, providing a breeding ground for bacteria. When you turn on the jets, the germy water spouts out into the tub where you're soaking.
Quick fix to banish bacteria:
Experts recommend cleaning and disinfecting your tub with bleach or bathroom cleaner after bathing, then dry with a clean towel. For whirlpool tubs, the best way to prevent bacteria from accumulating is to clean out the pipes.

Protecting Yourself from Germs

Lots of germs are harmless, many are even good for your health. But you can help protect yourself from those that aren't by keeping your hands clean. Your hands transfer bacteria and viruses to your eyes, nose, and mouth. They can also transfer germs to others.
The CDC recommends regular hand washing with soap and water, washing your hands for 20 seconds -- the time it takes you to sing Happy Birthday twice. "It doesn't matter how warm the water is, what's important is that you use friction," says Abruzzo.
Hand sanitizer gels can be used to kill germs, but they should not replace hand washing. Hand sanitizers can build up on the hands, so you should wash your hands the regular way after every fourth use, Abruzzo advises.

Excel Animation without Macros




Excel Animation without Macros! (chandoo.org)

Link to Chandoo.org - Learn Excel & Charting Online

Posted: 30 Nov 2010 01:03 AM PST
Today we will learn an interesting animation technique that ONLY uses, … wait for it …, Excel Formulas. That is right, we will use simple formulas to animate values in Excel.
Intrigued? Confused? Interested?

First see these Excel animation demos:

Animated icons & fill-color

Animated Icons & Cell Fill Color in Excel - Demo

Animated In-cell Charts

Animated Incell charts - Excel

Click here to download the workbook with these examples.

What is the secret sauce behind this animation?

Take 1 portion of crushed basil leaves, 2 portions of  grounded roasted coffee beans and mix them with hot water. Add enough sugar and throw it away. :P
Now, come back to your excel workbook and use circular references to generate the animation effect.

Understanding how Circular References & Iterative Calculation Mode work

In order to get this animation, you should be familiar with two excel magic spells – Circular References & Iterative Calculations. In simple terms,
Circular Reference: is when a cell refers to itself in the formula. For eg. in cell A1, if you write =A1+1, it is a circular reference. The reference can be both direct or in-direct (ie you can refer to cell B1, which refers to A1 again).
Iterative Calculation: If a cell has circular reference, excel can quickly go in to infinite loop (not the place where Apple is head-quartered). To avoid this, we use iterative calculation mode. When you enable this mode, excel solves the cell references only a certain number of times.
Here is an excellent guide on circular references.

How to enable iterative calculation mode?

Simple, go to Excel options > Formulas and then select iterative mode. Change the number of iterations to a large value (so that we can see some animation). Like this:Enable Iterative Calculation mode to get Circular References work

How to use Circular References & Iterative Mode for Animation?

It doesn't take a lot of coffee to conclude that using circular references & iterative mode of calculation, we can increment a cell value from 1 to 100 (or 4000, if you fancy).
Assuming you want to increment the value in A1 from 0 to 100, and A2 is used to control the animation (ie if you type "Yes" in a2, only then we increment the values).
In cell A1, we write =IF(A2="yes",IF(A1>=100,A1,A1+1),0)
If iterative mode is enabled, when you enter yes in cell A2, you can see the value in A1 going from 0 to 100, very fast.
Now, if you change the formula to =IF(A2="yes",IF(A1>=4000,A1,A1+1),0), you can see the cell value in A1 going up from 0 to 4,000 in a few seconds.

But, what about animation?!?

Now that we have the cell A1 changing its value when we want, we just need to link this with conditional formatting to get some magic.
For eg. you  can apply conditional formatting on A1 with the following rule to change cell color as the value increases.
Conditional Formatting Color Scale Settings for Animation
Similarly, you can use the value in A1 to draw in-cell charts that grow as the value changes in A1.
Just let your imagination run wild.

Where can you use such animation?

Animation is a powerful attention grabber. I think you can use this type of animation in dashboards to display alerts. For eg. you can highlight portions of dashboard that changed when a different product (or month) is selected.
That said, I strongly recommend against overuse of animation effects. They can quickly become annoying. Not to mention, they are cumbersome to maintain (and add little value).

What are the limitations of Circular Reference based animation?

  • You must enable iterative mode of calculation.
  • This doesn't work with charts. Excel charts do not pick up cell values unless the calculation is finished. So you cannot plug values in to charts to expect animated charts. If you are curious to build one, see Daniel's animated business charts example.
  • This can slowdown your workbook: Whenever you run the animation, excel is going to do thousands of calculations and this will slowdown your workbook.

Download Excel Animation Workbook

I have put together a simple workbook showcasing several examples of this technique. Download and play with it.
Excel 2007 link | Excel 2003 link
(Make sure you have turned on the iterative mode.)

Do you find this technique interesting?

To be frank, I find this technique more amusing than useful. But I wrote about it anyway as it shows what is possible with excel. It can be useful in situations where there is too much information and you need to call users attention to something.
What about you? Do you see any practical applications for this technique? Share your ideas and opinions thru comments.

More Excel Magic

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How to Use Your Immune System to Stay Healthy

How to Use Your Immune System to Stay Healthy
By Mary Anne Dunkin
WebMD Feature
Do you seem to catch cold after cold, while your friends sail through winter unscathed? Maybe you need to think about strengthening your immune system.
You may pay more attention to the health of your immune system during the winter, when colds and flu surround you. But the truth is, your immune system has to work hard all through the year, whether it's offering protection from a flu virus or an infection that could happen any time.

Recommended Related to Sex & Relationships

By Darby SaxbeMost couples focus on avoiding conflict. But happy couples know how to maximize the positive—teasing each other, providing support in secret, and, when called for, taking the focus off their partner. If you've ever gotten relationship advice, you've probably heard plenty of don'ts. Don't nag. Don't stonewall. Don't blame. Don't leave the toilet seat up, don't squeeze the toothpaste tube from the middle, and definitely don't assume he's that into you when he's just not. Well, don't...
"We are endowed with a great immune system that has been designed evolutionarily to keep us healthy," says Bruce Polsky, MD, interim chairman department of medicine and chief division of infectious disease at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City.  

How the Immune System Works

The immune system is your body's natural defense system. It's an intricate network of cells, tissues, and organs that band together to defend your body against invaders. Those invaders can include bacteria, viruses, parasites, even a fungus, all with the potential to make us sick. They are everywhere – in our homes, offices, and backyards. A healthy immune system protects us by first creating a barrier that stops those invaders, or antigens, from entering the body. And if one slips by the barrier, the immune system produces white blood cells, and other chemicals and proteins that attack and destroy these foreign substances. They try to find the antigen and get rid of it before it can reproduce. Failing that, the immune system revs up even more to destroy the invaders as they multiply.
The immune system can recognize millions of different antigens. And it can produce what it needs to eradicate nearly all of them. When it's working properly, this elaborate defense system can keep health problems ranging from cancer to the common cold at bay.

When the Immune System Breaks Down

Sometimes the immune system makes a mistake and identifies a substance as being harmful when it's not – think pollen or pet dander. When the immune system revs up to fight these "invaders," you have an allergic reaction.
Nor can your body fight off every invader. Despite its marvels, the immune system does break down from time to time, says Polsky. "There are diseases that we have no control over, but lifestyle aspects are very, very important," he tells WebMD.
Not eating healthily, being sedentary, not getting enough sleep, and being under chronic stress can all contribute to a weak immune system. When your immune system is depleted, bacteria, viruses, or toxins can overwhelm the body. The result? You get sick.

Building Healthy Immunity

There's no single pill or supplement you can take to boost your immune system. Instead, adopting these healthy living habits can help improve your immunity for a lifetime. 
Go for a walk: Sitting around not only can leave you feeling sluggish, it also can make your immune system sluggish. Exercise, on the other hand, helps boost immunity.
"We know exercise is good for immune function," says Polsky. The good news, he says, is that you don't need elaborate exercise programs and personal trainers. "Even fast walking – getting your heart rate up for 20 minutes three times a week -- is associated with increased immune function," Polsky tells WebMD.
Researchers aren't sure exactly how exercise helps strengthen the immune system. Studies show that people who exercise have better-functioning white blood cells (the ones that help fight off infection) than people who don't exercise.
Also, exercise is associated with the release of endorphins. "These are natural hormones that affect the brain in positive ways," Polsky says. They ease pain and promote a sense of relaxation and well-being – all of which can help you de-stress and sleep better, which in turn improve immunity.
Eat a healthy diet: Proper nutrition is essential for your immune system to work well. A diet high in empty calories not only leads to weight gain, but it can leave you more prone to infections. Plus, being overweight is associated with a number of health problems that can also drag your immune system down.
"When the immune system is down, you want to avoid things like alcohol and sugar, especially because microbes love sugar," says Stephen Sinatra, MD, a certified nutrition specialist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.
A diet rich in antioxidant vitamins, on the other hand, can boost resistance to infection. Think about eating in color: dark green, red, yellow, and orange fruits and veggies are packed with antioxidants. Try berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, apples, red grapes, kale, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes, and carrots.
Other immune-boosting foods include fresh garlic, which may have antiviral and antibiotic properties, and old-fashioned chicken soup. Studies show that, if you do come down with a cold or the flu, a bowl of steaming chicken soup can ease inflammation and help you get well faster.
And mushrooms such as reichi, maitake, and shiitake may have a strong influence on immune function as well as enhance the production of chemicals that help your body respond to infection.
Get enough sleep: Regular bouts with insomnia may not only leave you feeling fatigued during the day, but also leave you vulnerable to illnesses, including colds, flu, and other infections. Long term, poor sleep also has been shown to increase the risk of other health problems, including obesity and diabetes.
The body uses sleep as a means of healing itself, says Scott Berliner, president and supervising pharmacist at Life Science Pharmacy in New York. When we don't get enough sleep – or reach the deeper stages of sleep – healing is impaired.
It's hard to measure exactly sleep's protective effect on the immune system, and researchers don't know precisely how sleep improves immunity. Like antioxidants, sleep may help reduce oxidative stress, which then stops cells from being weakened and harmed. But "clearly, sleep – at least seven hours a night – is associated with increased resistance to infectious diseases," says Polsky.
Practice stress management: When your body is under constant stress, you're more vulnerable to everything from the common cold to major diseases.
"Stress from time to time is not necessarily a bad thing. But to not have relief from the stress -- to be under constant stress -- is deleterious to health," says Polsky. That's because a steady cascade of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, weaken the immune system.
Chronic stress is linked to heart disease and hypertension, and it can also have an effect on white blood cell function, Polsky says.
"When I speak to people about lifestyle changes, I look at what they can do to manage their stress, whether it be meditating – maybe exercise is their form of meditation – whether it be spirituality of a religious nature. It really doesn't matter," says Berliner.
Strengthen relationships: Research shows that people with close friendships and strong support systems tend to be healthier than those who lack such supports.
A good sexual relationship may provide even more immune system benefits. A study of college students found those who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of an immune system protein called immunoglobulin A (IgA) than those who had less sex Sex may also help immunity by reducing stress and improving sleep. 
"I tell people to get good love in their lives -- good support, good friendships, however they need to get that love," says Berliner.  Good relationships, along with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep, are part of a holistic approach to boosting the immune system and protecting yourself from disease. "And to treat any problem holistically, there is no one-pill approach," Berliner says.

The Digestive System and Gas


What Causes Gas?
We produce gas in two ways: when we swallow air, and when the bacteria in the large intestine go to work helping to digest the food we eat.
Carbohydrates are especially troublesome. Humans cannot digest certain carbohydrates in the small intestine because we may not have (or not have enough of) the enzymes that can aid in their digestion. This food moves in the undigested state from the small intestine to the large intestine; it is here that the bacteria go to work, producing the gases hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane which are then expelled from the body.
Not everybody will suffer from gas from eating the same foods.

Improve Brain Efficiency



1. Get eight hours of sleep. During the longest stages of sleep, your brain turns recent memories into long-term memories by building the branches of brain cells. "The sleeping brain actually secretes molecules to form these new connections, which significantly enhance learning and performance." You can increase your alertness by 25% if you sleep from 8-9 hours. (James B. Maas, Ph.D and Sleep Expert, "Boost Your Brain Power," LHJ, November 2002)

2. Exercise helps the brain "grow" new brain cells, so get moving!! It helps by increasing the blood flow to the brain, which carries oxygen and other necessary nutrients.
3. Learn something new every day. When you do, you flood your brain with blood and chemicals that brain cells use to communicate. New brain cells must get these nutrients to survive.
4. Use both sides of the brain, whenever it is practical. For example, if you're right-handed, write with your left hand.

 
5. Find a way to reduce the stress in your life. When you are stressed, the body produces cortisol, which slows the production of new brain cells.
6. Eat foods with Omega-3 fats and the antioxidant vitamin E. Brain cells depend on these fats when sending signals back and forth. Some of these brain foods are: salmon, mackerel, flax seed, olive oils, avocados, nuts, seeds, whole grains and leafy greens. (A recent study revealed that people who consumed the highest amounts of vitamin E had a 70 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer's. Chicago Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center Study, 2002)

Tips to Improve Self Confidence


Here are some quick tips to improve your Self Confidence. If we are committed to have a healthy self confidence there are many things you can do every day to boost your self confidence, each small steps that will help you to reach your goal. The good news is that self-esteem is not fixed and can be improved, try some of the steps below to boost your confidence and self-esteem.

1) Identify your successes. Everyone is good at something, so discover the things at which you excel, then focus on your talents. Give yourself permission to take pride in them. Give yourself credit for your successes. Inferiority is a state of mind in which you've declared yourself a victim. Do not allow yourself to be victimized.

2) Look in the mirror and smile. Studies surrounding what's called the "facial feedback theory" suggest that the expressions on your face can actually encourage your brain to register certain emotions. So by looking in the mirror and smiling every day, you might feel happier with yourself and more confident in the long run.

3) Exercise and eat healthy. Exercise raises adrenaline and makes one feel happier and healthier. It is certainly an easy and effective way to boost your self-confidence.

4) Turn feelings of envy or jealousy into a desire to achieve. Stop wanting what others have just because they have it; seek things simply because you want them, whether anybody else has them or not.

5) When you're feeling superbly insecure, write down a list of things that are good about you. Then read the list back. You'd be surprised at what you can come up with.

6) Don't be afraid to push yourself a bit - a little bit of pressure can actually show just how good you are!

7) You can try taking a martial arts or fitness class/course (or both). This will help build confidence and strength. Invest in some new clothing and donate some of your old clothing to send a message to yourself that you both look sharp and feel sharp.

9) Try to make yourself talk positively at all times. When you hear yourself saying you can't do something, stop and say you can. Unless you try, you will never know whether you are able to or not.

10) Don't get wrapped up in your mistakes and dwell on bad points; they can contrast your good points or even give you something to improve. There's no feeling like being good at something you were really bad at.

11) Don't confuse what you have with who you are. People degrade their self worth when comparing possessions.

12) Surround yourself with nurturing friends, not overly critical individuals who make you feel inadequate or insecure. This could do great harm and damage to your self confidence.

Always remember "There is hair line crack between success and failure" Be sure to push yourself a bit, who knows that bit may lead you to success

Meanings of Failure


Failure doesn't mean - "You accomplished nothing,"
It means - You have learned something.
Failure doesn't mean - "You have been a fool,"
It means - You had a lot of faith.
Failure doesn't mean - "You don't have it,"
It means - You were willing to try.
Failure doesn't mean - "You are inferior,"
It means - You are not perfect.
Failure doesn't mean - "You've wasted your life,"
It means - You have a reason to start afresh.
Failure doesn't mean - "You should give up,"
It means - "You must try harder.
Failure doesn't mean - "You'll never make it,"
It means - It will take a little longer.
Failure doesn't mean - "God has abandoned you,"
It means - God has a better way for you

Internet Pornography – What Parents, Regulator and ISPs Should do?

Internet Pornography – What Parents, Regulator and ISPs Should do?
By Aamir Attaa · 

Internet equipped computers are now widely used in schools, and 100′s of millions of children and teenagers around the world use computers for educational and leisure purposes. Unfortunately there are many aspects of the use of home computers and their associated use can be of concern to parents.
As our families become increasingly intertwined with it, the more active role we must take to protect our loved ones is from "Internet pornography". Well-informed parents can, and they must play an active role in their children's online activities.


There are some ways to protect our children and families. It is important for people to be educated on Internet safety issues and ways to deal with. Education and parental involvement is vital, but the use of porn blocker technology to monitor, block or filter content is extremely helpful.
Nowadays such Internet filtering and monitoring programs are a vital part of any home computer's software.
Information on pornography is available to any child who is connected to the web, and it is highly unsuitable for children of any age. While web surfing the sites are easily accessible through search engines, simply by typing any word related to the topic.
Such sites can expose a child to photos, videos and stories of a highly indecent and often shocking nature, once found. The child is then able to freely download as many files as he/she likes and save on disk.
Considering a bid to prevent children, in a recent past Sri Lanka's president has ordered an immediate ban on pornographic websites. Similarly, India has called Internet pornography a serious crime. Any person browsing or downloading pornographic pictures or films will be punished for five years with a fine of upto Rs 1 million reported in a newspaper.
Service providers have been asked to filter websites showing obscene, pornographic and other sexually explicit material. The telecommunication regulator directed that, if an adult wants to have unrestricted access to the Internet, they have to pay and get a password from the service provider.
Similarly in Pakistan, PTA can regulate the internet practices while directives for ISPs can save our youth from internet porn.
Internet filter software adds a strong, additional layer of defense, giving parents an added measure of control and further peace of mind. Internet filter software gives parent's the ability to control content displayed, block websites and set up passwords.
Powerful services like email filtering, popup blocking and chat room monitoring are just some of the tools available with today's Internet filter software, each designed to protect against and counteract the tactics of aggressive online porn companies. There are so many Internet filter software choices available in the market.
Internet Explorer offers security and privacy. You can block a site by following the directions below:
1. Load Internet explorer
2. Click Tools
3. Click Internet Options
4. Click the privacy tab
5. Under the Privacy window, click sites
6. Enter website address you want to block in the site address and click Ok.

Safely usage of internet

Parent should think of the Internet as a big lake. There are shallow spots and deep spots. You would never throw your child into the lake without supervision, without learning to swim or without learning of the dangerous areas. You would never let your children swim in the dark.

Strategies may protect child from harm on the Internet:

Install "blocking software" with the help of local computer store. Such software prevents targeted web sites from appearing on computer.

Keep computer in a public area in house such as the kitchen, family room or hallway. Children will be embarrassed if sexual content appears and will not want to be caught in open territory with it on the screen. Porn needs secrecy to survive. No secrecy, no porn.
If the computer is to remain in your child's room, the door must be open when the Internet is in use.
Check the Temporary Internet Files and History Folder on the computer. The rule is, no deleting these files. Parents are advised to view these files periodically. These files will show you exactly what has been viewed and which web sites were accessed. They even will show date and time. No files, no computer.
Remember, safety on the Internet is not a matter of trusting child. It is a matter of understanding childhood curiosity and the trouble that can cause. It is always up to the parents to protect children from harm and learn the strategies to do so.
It is a major concern of many social scientists that pornographic photos and videos do not convey realistic human feelings. The focus is on the mechanics, and the personal and even spiritual dimension of sex is missing.
CyberSieve 2.6.2
An Internet filtering and parental control software program, it gives the ability to control and monitor child's use of the Internet, irrespective of where you are: in the neighboring room, at work, or even on vacation, thus enabling you to protect your child from the dangers of the Internet.
In addition, this program enables businesses to limit and control their employees' access to the Internet and computer as a whole.
  • Integration with popular search engines.
  • Block images section in popular search engines.
  • Special Web Sites and Special Programs Lists with own Timetables and Time Limits.
CyberSieve 2.6.2 software program is downloadable on 14 Day Trial basis and you can buy it by paying just $34.95. This simple software program blocks all type of porn sites, chat rooms such as Yahoo and MSN Messenger.
Writer is working with Xenith Public Relations as Account Manager in North region.

Excel Feature: Picture Links (or Camera Snapshots)






Learn an Excel Feature: Picture Links (or Camera Snapshots) (chandoo.org)

Link to Chandoo.org - Learn Excel & Charting Online

Posted: 19 Oct 2010 01:39 AM PDT
Learn about Picture Link feature in ExcelToday I want to introduce a new excel feature to you, called as Picture link.
Well, picture links are not really new, they are called as camera snapshots in earlier versions. They provide a live snapshot of a range of cells to you in an image. So that you can move the image, resize it, position it wherever you want and when the source cells change, the picture gets updated, immediately.

What is the use of Picture Links or Camera Snapshots?

At the outset picture links may seem like a useless feature. But they are pretty powerful. Here are few sample uses for picture links:
  • In dashboards & reports: Usually in dashboards, we need to combine charts, tables of data, conditional formatting etc., all in one sheet. When the size of these are not uniform, aligning them on output sheet could be a huge pain. This is when you can use picture links. First create the individual portions of dashboard in separate worksheets. Then, embed picture links to these portions in final dashboard. Re-size them and align as you see fit. See this in action: Project management dashboard in excel.
  • In micro-charts & sparklines: While Excel 2010 has native support for sparklines and other micro-charts, if you want to create a micro-chart in earlier versions of excel you have to use trickery. This is where picture links can help. You can make a regular chart and take a picture link of that. Then resize the picture so that it fits in to a small area. See this in action: Micro-charts using camera tool.
  • In Dynamic Charts: Since picture links are nothing but images with a formula assigned to them, you can easily construct dynamic charts & dynamic dashboards using these. See this in action: Dynamic chart using camera tool, Dynamic dashboard using camera tool
  • In shared workbooks: When you share a workbook with a colleague or boss, a common worry is what if they change formulas or edit something. This is where picture links can be of great use. You can embed a picture link of actual data so that no one can edit it.

How to insert a picture link in Excel – 3 step tutorial:

To insert a picture link to your data, just follow these 3 steps:
  1. Select the cells. Press CTRL+C
  2. Go to a target cell. From home ribbon select Paste > As picture > Picture link option (see image below)
  3. That is all. Your picture link is live. Move it or play with it by changing source cells.
How to paste a picture link in Excel - tutorial

Do you use Picture Link / Camera Snapshot ?

I have been a fan of picture links / camera snapshots ever since I learned about them. I have used them in various dashboards, reports, workbooks to wow my clients, bosses and colleagues. However, one problem with picture links / camera snapshots is that, they do not print well. So I avoid using them for workbooks that get printed alot.
What about you? Do you use picture links often? Share your experience, tips and ideas using comments.
Read more quick tips to become awesome in excel, in less than a minute.
PS: Donut to Hui for telling me about Picture links feature.
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Perfect Understanding



If a boy wants to know who his father is, the simple process is to ask his mother. 
The mother will then say, "He is your father."
This is the way of perfect knowledge.

Of course, one may speculate about one's father, wondering if this is the man or if that is the man, and one may wander over the whole city, asking, "Are you my father? Are you my father?" The knowledge derived from such a process, however, will always remain imperfect. One will never find his father in this way.

The simple process is to take the knowledge from an authority—in this case, the mother. She simply says, "My dear boy, here is your father." In this way our knowledge is perfect. Transcendental knowledge is similar. Spiritual world is not subject to our speculation.

God says, "There is a spiritual world, and that is My headquarters" In this way we receive knowledge from GOD, the best authority. We may not be perfect, but our knowledge is perfect because it is received from the perfect source.
Although understanding God is very difficult, it is not difficult when God Himself gives us His own knowledge. Actually that is the only process by which we can understand God.

To understand God by our own speculation is not possible, for God is unlimited and we are limited. Our knowledge and perception are both very limited, so how can we understand the unlimited? If we simply accept the version of the unlimited, we can come to understand Him. That understanding is our perfection.
K.N.RAJAN


The 10 Biggest Mistakes People Make Managing Organisational Performance



 

Mistake #1: rely just on financial statements

Profit and loss, revenue and expenses these are measures of important things to a business. But they are information that is too little and too late. Too little in the sense that other results matter too, such as customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, customer advocacy. Too late in the sense that by the time you see bad results, the damage is already done. Wouldn't it be better to know that profit was likely to fall before it actually did fall, and in time to prevent it from falling?

 

Mistake #2: look only at this month, last month, year to date

Most financial performance reports summarise your financial results in four values: 1) actual this month; 2) actual last month; 3) % variance between them; and 4) year to date. Even if you are measuring and monitoring non-financial results, you may still be using this format. It encourages you to react to % variances (differences between this month and last month) which suggest performance has declined such as any % variation greater than 5 or 10 percent (usually arbitrarily set). Do you honestly expect the % variance to always show improvement? And if it doesn't, does that really mean things have gotten bad and you have to fix them? What about the natural and unavoidable variation that affects everything, the fact that no two things are ever exactly alike? Relying on % variations runs a great risk that you are reacting to problems that aren't really there, or not reacting to problems which are really there that you didn't see. Wouldn't you rather have your reports reliably tell you when there really was a problem that needed your attention, instead of wasting your time and effort chasing every single variation?

 

Mistake #3: set goals without ways to measure and monitor them

Business planning is a process that is well established in most organisations, which means they generally have a set of goals or objectives (sometimes cascaded down through the different management levels of the organisation) . What is interesting though, is that the majority of these goals or objectives are not measured well. Where measures have been nominated for them, they are usually something like this: Implement a customer relationship management system into the organisation by June 2006 (for a goal of improving customer loyalty) This is not a measure at all it is an activity. Measures are ongoing feedback of the degree to which something is happening. If this goal were measured well, the measure would be evidence of how much customer loyalty the organisation had, such as tracking repeat business from customers. How will you know if your goals, the changes you want to make in your organisation, are really happening, and that you are not wasting your valuable effort and money, without real feedback?

 

Mistake #4: use brainstorming (or other poor methods) to select measures

Brainstorming, looking at available data, or adopting other organisations' measures are many of the reasons why we end up with measures that aren't useful and usable. Brainstorming produces too much information and therefore too many measures, it rarely encourages a strong enough focus on the specific goal to be measured, everyone's understanding of the goal is not sufficiently tested, and the bigger picture is not taken into account (such as unintended consequences, relationships to other objectives/goals) . Looking at available data means that important and valuable new data will never be identified and collected, and organisational improvement is constrained by the knowledge you already have. Adopting other organisations' measures, or industry accepted measures, is like adopting their goals, and ignoring the unique strategic direction that sets your organisation apart from the pack. Wouldn't you rather know that the measures you select are the most useful and feasible evidence of your organisation's goals?

mistake

 

 Mistake #5: rely on scorecard technology as the performance measure fix

You can (and maybe you did) spend millions of dollars on technology to solve your performance measurement problems. The business intelligence, data mining and 'scorecarding' software available today promises many things like comprehensive business intelligence reporting, award-winning data visualization, and balanced scorecard and scorecarding and an information flow that transcends organizational silos, diverse computing platforms and niche tools .. and delivers access to the insights that drive shareholder value. Wow! But there's a problem lurking in the shadows of these promises. You still need to be able to clearly articulate what you want to know, what you want to measure and what kinds of signals you need those measures to flag for you. The software is amazing at automating the reporting of the measures to you, but it just won't do the thinking about what it should report to you.

 

Mistake  #6: use tables, instead of graphs, to report performance

Tables are a very common way to present performance measures, no doubt in part a legacy from the original financial reports that management accountants provided (and still provide today) to decision makers. They are familiar, but they are ineffective. Tables encourage you to focus on the points of data, which is the same as not seeing the forest for the trees. As a manager, you aren't just managing performance today or this month. You are managing performance over the medium to long term. And the power to do that well comes from focusing on the patterns in your data, not the points of data themselves. Patterns like gradual changes over time, sudden shifts or abrupt changes through time, events that stand apart from the normal pattern of variation in performance. And graphs are the best way to display patterns.

 

 

Mistake #7: fail to identify how performance measures relate to one other

A group of decision makers sit around the meeting room table and one by one they go over the performance measure results. They look at the result, decide if it is good or bad, agree on an action to take, then move on to the next measure. They might as well be having a series of independent discussions, one for each measure. Performance measures might track different parts of the organisation, but because organisations are systems made up of lots of different but very inter-related parts, the measures must be inter-related too. One measure cannot be improved without affecting or changing another area of the organisation. Without knowing how measures relate to one another and using this knowledge to interpret measure results, decision makers will fail to find the real, fundamental causes of performance results.

 

 

Mistake #8: exclude staff from performance analysis and improvement

One of the main reasons that staff get cynical about collecting performance data is that they never see any value come from that data. Managers more often than not will sit in their meeting rooms and come up with measures they want and then delegate the job of bringing those measures to life to staff. Staff who weren't involved in the discussion to design those measures, weren't able to get a deeper understanding of why those measures matter, what they really mean, how they will be used, weren't able to contribute their knowledge about the best types of data to use or the availability and integrity of the data required. And usually the same staff producing the measures don't ever get to see how the managers use those measures and what decisions come from them. When people aren't part of the design process of measures, they find it near impossible to feel a sense of ownership of the process to bring those measures to life. When people don't get feedback about how the measures are used, they can do little more than believe they wasted their time and energy.

 

 

Mistake #9: collect too much useless data, and not enough relevant data

Data collection is certainly a cost. If it isn't consuming the time of people employed to get the work done, then it is some kind of technological system consuming money. And data is also an asset, part of the structural foundation of organisational knowledge. But too many organisations haven't made the link between the knowledge they need to have and the data they actually collect. They collect data because it has always been collected, or because other organisations collect the same data, or because it is easy to collect, of because someone once needed it for a one-off analysis and so they might as well keep collecting it in case it is needed again. They are overloaded with data, they don't have the data they really need and they are exhausted and cannot cope with the idea of collecting any more data. Performance measures that are well designed are an essential part of streamlining the scope of data collected by your organisation, by linking the knowledge your organisation needs with the data it ought to be collecting.

mistake

 

 Mistake #10: use performance measures to reward and punish people

One practice that a lot of organisations are still doing is using performance measures as the basis for rewarding and punishing people. They are failing to support culture of learning by not tolerating mistakes and focusing on failure. It is very rare that a single person can have complete control over any single area of performance. In organisations of more than 5 or 6 people, the results are undeniably a team's product, not an individual's product. When people are judged by performance measures, they will do what they can to reduce the risk to them of embarrassment, missing a promotion, being disciplined or even given the sack. They will modify or distort the data, they will report the measures in a way that shows a more favourable result (yes - you can lie with statistics), they will not learn about what really drives organisational performance and they will not know how to best invest the organisation's resources to get the best improvements in performance.

 

 

Dear Bad Manager

Just for fun J

 

1.  Never give me work in the morning.  Always wait until 4:00pm and then bring it to me. J
2.  If it's really a "rush job", run in and interrupt me every 10 minutes to inquire how it's going.
J
3.  Always leave without telling anyone where you're going.
J
4.  Wait until my yearly review and THEN tell me what my goals SHOULD have been.
J
5.  If you give me more than one job to do, don't tell me which is the priority. 
J
6.  Do your best to keep me late.  I adore this office and really have nowhere to go or anything to do. I have no life beyond work.
J
7.  If a job I do pleases you, keep it a secret. If that gets out, it could mean a promotion.
J
8.  If you don't like my work, tell everyone.
J 
9.  If you have special instructions for a job, don't write them down. In fact, save them until the job is almost done.
J 

10. Never introduce me to the people you're with.  I have no right to know anything. J 

11. Tell me all your little problems.  No one else has any and it's nice to know someone is less fortunate J  

 

How To Add Live Web Pages in PowerPoint

Have you ever wanted to demonstrate a live website during a PowerPoint presentation?  Here's how you can insert a live webpage into a PowerPoint presentation so you can show the exact content you're talking about.'

No matter what you're giving a presentation about, sometimes it can be useful to show your audience information from the internet.  You could always create a screenshot of the webpage you're demonstrating, but chances are the screenshot may be out of date by the time you give your presentation.
image
A better solution is to use live information from the web in your presentation.  By default, PowerPoint doesn't support inserting a live web page, but you can easily do this with the LiveWeb add-in.
Head to the LiveWeb website (link below), and download the correct version for your version of PowerPoint.  We selected the 2007/2010 version in this test.
image
Once it's downloaded, extract the files as normal.
image
Now, in PowerPoint, open the Options window.  In PowerPoint 2010, you can do this by clicking the File button and selecting Options; in PowerPoint 2007, click the Office orb and select Options.
image
Select Add-Ins on the left side, then select PowerPoint Add-ins from the Manage menu, and click Go.

image
This will open the PowerPoint Add-ins window.  Click Add New to add the LiveWeb addin we downloaded previously.
image
Browse to the folder where you extracted the LiveWeb addin, and select it.
image
PowerPoint may warn you that the addon contains a macro.  Click Enable Macros to continue.

image
Now you should see LiveWeb listed in the Add-Ins window, and you're ready to add a live webpage to your PowerPoint presentation.
image

Using LiveWeb in PowerPoint

Now that LiveWeb is installed, you're ready to insert live internet data in your presentations.  From the Insert tab, select Web Page from the LiveWeb section.
image
This will open a quick Wizard interface that will help you insert a webpage into your presentation.
image
Enter the website you'd like to visit in the first line, then click the Add button.  Make sure to include http:// in front of the website address.  Once you've added the website you wish to visit, click Next.
image
LiveWeb will automatically refresh the web page, but if you want you can uncheck the box.  Click Next to continue.
image
Now choose how much of the slide you want the webpage to cover, and select where you want to position the page.  You can always change this later if you like.
image
Once it's finished, click Finish to return back to PowerPoint.
image
LiveWeb will let you know it successfully added the web page to your slide.
image
You'll now see a Windows 98-style logo in your slide, showing where your live webpage will be located.
image
Feel free to resize or move the webpage section in your slide however you want.
image
To view the actual web content, you'll need to start a slideshow.  Click the slideshow button at the bottom of the window to switch quickly.
image

Now you'll see a live webpage loaded right inside your PowerPoint presentation.  You can markup the slide as you would any other with PowerPoint tools, or you can interact with the website just as you would in a browser.
image
If you need to change your webpage, click the Edit Page Property button on the Insert tab.
image
Enter the new website address you want, and finish as before.

image
You can also add multiple web pages to a presentation if you'd like.  You could even make a webpage comparison like we did with screenshots in our first slide.  Only difference here is, the web pages are both live, and you could demonstrate how to use them to your audience.
image
When you save your presentation, you'll need to save it as a Macro-enabled presentation in .pptm format to preserve the web data.  Note that you'll be able to view the presentation on another computer only if it has the LiveWeb addon installed.  Since it's a free addon, you could keep a copy of it on your flash drive so you could easily install it if you need to show your presentation on another computer.
image
Whether you're trying to teach a class about computer usage or demonstrate your new website for your company's board members, the LiveWeb addin makes it easy to incorporate live web pages in your presentations.  There are many ways you could use this, so let us know how you use live web pages in your presentations to make information come alive!
If you'd like to use live web data in other Office applications, here's how you can Use Online Data in Excel 2010 Spreadsheets.
Download the LiveWeb Add-in for PowerPoint