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Web Hosting - Redundancy and Failover Among the more useful innovations in computing, actually invented decades ago, are the twin ideas of redundancy and failover. These fancy words name very common sense concepts. When one computer (or part) fails, switch to another. Doing that seamlessly and quickly versus slowly with disruption defines one difference between good hosting and bad. Network redundancy is the most widely used example. The Internet is just that, an inter-connected set of networks. Between and within networks are paths that make possible page requests, file transfers and data movement from one spot (called a 'node') to the next. If you have two or more paths between a user's computer and the server, one becoming unavailable is not much of a problem. Closing one street is not so bad, if you can drive down another just as easily. Of course, there's the catch: 'just as easily'. When one path fails, the total load (the amount of data requested and by how many within what time frame) doesn't change. Now the same number of 'cars' are using fewer 'roads'. That can lead to traffic jams. A very different, but related, phenomenon occurs when there suddenly become more 'cars', as happens in a massively widespread virus attack, for example. Then, a large number of useless and destructive programs are running around flooding the network. Making the situation worse, at a certain point, parts of the networks may shut down to prevent further spread, producing more 'cars' on now-fewer 'roads'. A related form of redundancy and failover can be carried out with servers, which are in essence the 'end-nodes' of a network path. Servers can fail because of a hard drive failure, motherboard overheating, memory malfunction, operating system bug, web server software overload or any of a hundred other causes. Whatever the cause, when two or more servers are configured so that another can take up the slack from one that's failed, that is redundancy. That is more difficult to achieve than network redundancy, but it is still very common. Not as common as it should be, since many times a failed server is just re-booted or replaced or repaired with another piece of hardware. But, more sophisticated web hosting companies will have such redundancy in place. And that's one lesson for anyone considering which web hosting company may offer superior service over another (similarly priced) company. Look at which company can offer competent assistance when things fail, as they always do sooner or later. One company may have a habit of simply re-booting. Others may have redundant disk arrays. Hardware containing multiple disk drives to which the server has access allows for one or more drives to fail without bringing the system down. The failed drive is replaced and no one but the administrator is even aware there was a problem. Still other companies may have still more sophisticated systems in place. Failover servers that take up the load of a crashed computer, without the end-user seeing anything are possible. In fact, in better installations, they're the norm. When they're in place, the user has at most only to refresh his or her browser and, bingo, everything is fine. The more a web site owner knows about redundancy and failover, the better he or she can understand why things go wrong, and what options are available when they do. That knowledge can lead to better choices for a better web site experience.

Reduce Employee Turnover and Produce a Great Employee For so many businesses in the United States it is the same picture they see year in and year out. Employees come, get trained, start to be efficient at work and then they leave. The company needs to train somebody new. To reduce employee turnover and produce a great employee, many things need to be established within a company as a support structure. Many companies so often neglect to ask and wonder what their employees might like or think would be helpful to make their work environment and conditions positive ones. Whether owning a small or a large company, your immediate concerns probably lie within making profits to be able to keep the company running and to be able to pay your employees. Of course, running a company takes a lot of effort and work hours spent solely on that. But every time one of your employees leaves, you loose capital--capital you have invested in his or her training and knowledge. The knowledge capital you loose is all the information that the employee has absorbed during his or her employment at your company and all the new skills he or she might have added during the course of his employment. So how can you make your company and working for your company more attractive and also produce great employees? There are many ways that this can be accomplished, most of them are rewards to the employee, but others that are just as important include the atmosphere and conditions at the workplace. This article will discuss just a few of the many possibilities you as an employer have to keep employee turnover low. For most employees, considering that they have an expectation towards the standard of living they have, a competitive salary is an important point. If you only pay minimum wages or never give raises and rewards, it is very unlikely to hold good employees that can make a lot more money somewhere else. To make their time worthwhile after hiring, you need to know what a competitive pay is and pay them either the average pay or slightly more. As for raises, raises together with evaluations will tell the employee that his or her effort and all the hard work he or she put into your company is appreciated. It also tells the employee how good his work is and what you will expect from him in the years to come. To produce a good employee, it is important to give the employee feedback on his work. Some companies reward their employees with bonuses for accomplished tasks or finished projects. Other companies will give their employees an award at the end of the month or year and generally attach a small bonus to that. Also consider a good benefit package. Many employees look for the benefits that companies offer to them and their family to make a decision whether they should work for this company or choose a different one. Often times, vacation is very important to employees. To be a motivated and good worker, employees need to spend time with their families or the things they love, like hobbies or sports. Yes, of course you would like them to work 60 hours for the 40 you pay, but consider this: an overworked overtired employee is most likely not able to work fast and efficient. That person also tends to be more error prone and unmotivated. Time off work to relax or regenerate is very important. Companies that offer ten days are often at the top of the list for employee turnover. Some companies offer flexible work times to accommodate for many different characters and situations at home. The employee that likes to come early and leave early versus the employee that likes to sleep long and then leave somewhat later feels just as welcome in this company or setting. Besides all these added factors, the work environment also plays a great role in producing great employees and reducing turnover. A respectful and good working environment is very important to keep employees happy and motivated. You know that a happy, motivated employee works better, faster and makes fewer mistakes.

Sync your Technology with Free Organizers Found on the Net Are you looking to simplify your online presence? Do you want an easy way to keep social and business contacts organized accordingly? Do you wish you had an easy way to keep track of your different online passwords, your favorite websites and manage your life away for the computer? There are now many options for those seeking to sync their technology with their Internet life. Here are some fast and easy resources that allow you to sync your technology with your online presence. Many of these organizers make it possible for you to keep track of your web activity with your life away from the computer. Here is a quick run-down of just some of the free organizers and resources that are available on the net that can help make your life easier. Using Planner.Excite.com to Organize Your Technology There are so many organization tools these days—personal digital assistants, outlook email, smart phones, mp3 players and several others coming out every season. Many of us use several different disparate electronic planners to organize work, school, business and home. Work email, calendars and planners often overlap with personal business, school and home calendars. Wouldn't it be nice to have all of your meetings, dates, appointments and contact numbers organized in a single area? This is where Planner.Excite.com comes in. This service allows you to sync all the information on your palm pilot, pda, outlook and smart phone so that you don't have to enter the same information more than once. Moreover, it allows you to sync different schedules—work, home, business, family and school—into one master schedule that is easy to follow. Other organizational tools include email and pager reminders so that you never miss another event, date or appointment again. Organize Your Online Discussions with Delphi Do you like to hold web-based discussions or send messages for business or social purposes? If so, delphi.com is an advanced web-based messaging service that allows you easy access to threaded discussions. You can choose to keep your threaded discussions public, or protect them with a password. It's up to you. This is a great and secure way to organize your online conversations and discussions. For Easy Event Planning, Choose Evite.com Are you looking for an easy way to use the World Wide Web to organize your events? If so, turn to Evite.com, the place for electronic events and event planning. Evite.com is an easy and free service that allows you to organize all kinds of events, from baby and wedding showers to surprise birthday parties. This is an easy way to keep in touch with all your online friends and family. It is simple to use—simply create your own attractive electronic invitation and email it to everyone on your invite list. The site allows you to create and personalize your own electronic invitations using their templates. Palm.net Allows You to Sync Your Whole Life Ever wish your personal digital assistant allowed you to sync up your whole life? Palm.net allows you to do just this. This online organizer works with your handheld organizer in order to help you organize and schedule your whole life, including what's playing on television, your local movie theater, local sporting events and other activities. Organize Your Files with Visto.com What is Visto.com? This website is a calendar and task manager that allows you to organize all of your disparate files. This is a great way to organize files, especially if you work from different computers or simply need a new and easy way to store files. Choose from online file storage and organize and sync your work and home Visto files.

Grocery Check – Visit your Neighborhood Grocery Website for a Free Deal Page Are you looking for the best in grocery freebies? If so, get ready to reap the rewards of becoming a dedicated freebies hunter. It is said that there is no such thing as a free lunch, but if you are an avid freebie hunter, you will find that there is such a thing. Getting free groceries is one of the sweetest plumbs. Here are some hints and tips on how to get free groceries. Wouldn't it Be Great to Get Free Groceries? Yes! Of course, wouldn't we all want to get free groceries? Believe it or not, it is totally possible with a bit of creativity, ingenuity and planning. First, you must learn the art of creative couponing. What is creative couponing? It is exactly what it sounds like—you can use coupons to get some sweet grocery freebies. All you have to learn is how and where to use your grocery coupons. Here are some tips on using coupons to get free groceries. Watch Out for New Product Coupons New products are often heavily marketed with free or deeply discounted offers. Sign up for your grocery store's promotional newsletter or discount card program. This way, you will automatically receive discount coupons and freebie offers through the mail. Watch out for new products—these often come paired with new product coupons. You can often use new product coupons in order to match the sale price and get the time for free. You can use new product coupons to purchase food items, but they are often available for hygiene and beauty care products. Toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo and deodorant—all of these types of personal care products are constantly being revamped and marketed. Check the Clearance Aisle or Table at Your Local Grocery Store If you are an avid coupon clipper, there is a good chance that you already have a coupon stowed away for an item on the clearance aisle. Believe it or not, deeply discounted or marked down items are still eligible for coupons. Check out the clearance aisle in order to match your coupons with discounted items. There is a chance that you can get an item at a deeply discounted price, or yes, even for free. Seek Out Loss Leaders at Your Local Grocery Store What are loss leaders, and why can they be such good deals? Loss leaders are those items at your local grocery store that are currently selling at a loss. Loss leaders may vary from store to store, even when you are shopping at a chain store. Stores are often ready and willing to get rid of loss leaders. These items are often sold at a deeply discounted price. Be prepared to match these loss leaders with coupons in order to turn these products from cheap loss leaders to freebies. Don't Forget the Double Coupons Double coupons are the bread and butter of any motivated freebie hunter. Most grocery stores still honor double coupons, and some grocery stores even have promotional double coupons days. Search your store's ad circular and items for items that you can possible get for free by using double coupons. You will be amazed at how many grocery items you can get for free, or near-free, simply by taking advantage of double coupons. Don't Forget the Rebate! Rebate offers are another bread and butter strategy that you should employ if you are serious about finding free grocery items. Although you may not get an item for free right away, be patient and follow all the instructions offered by the manufacturer. After a few weeks, you should receive your rebate check in the mail. This is an easy way to make sure that you can get free grocery items.