Vodafone Mobile Connect – Frequently Asked Questions

More and more people are aware of the convenience Vodafone Mobile Connect can bring to them. However, few actually understand all the details about it and just know it can make it easier for them to connect the internet wherever and whenever they are. In this article, I will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Vodafone.

1.What is the difference between Vodafone Mobile Connect and Vodafone Mobile Connect “Lite?”

Vodafone Mobile Connect, offering support for VPN, is the software used to connect to the internet using the Vodafone 3G data card. Vodafone Mobile Connect ‘Lite’, allowing connecting to the internet but offering no support for VPN, is the software automatically installed by the Vodafone Express Card. However, it is possible to use the full working version which is provided on the CD enclosed and is available to download from our website if required.

2. What should you do to start using mobile internet?

1) Connect your modem to the computer.

2) Install Vodafone Mobile Connect software which can be found in the modem.

3) Make the first connection to the internet.

3. When my data card is locked, can I get unlocked for free?

If your settings are wrong or you try to use it with another network, or your bill is unpaid, your 3G data card may be locked, but you need not to be worried about that, Vodafone will now unlock them for free.

4. Can I get Vodafone Mobile Connect settings by SMS? And how to get it?

The answer is yes. We can get settings by SMS. If you have a Nokia or Sony Ericsson phone, you can do as follows.

1) Type *#06# on your handset, and you will find out your IMEI number.

2) Edit an SMS with text as S < space >1st 15 digits of the IMEI number, then send it to 52586.

3) Then you must get the OTA settings. For this, you can send an SMS with text as “VMC” to 52586.

4) After the three steps mentioned above, you can get the information of settings, such as setting names, home page, session mode, data bearer, authentication type and so on.

5. If I want to upgrade my data card to support up to 7.2 Mbps, what should I do?

1) Download the “Superfire.zip” file, and unzip the file and you will see the executable files Superfire.exe and Setup.exe.

2) Double-click the Superfire.exe file, and you will be greeted with an Updater Utility. And click the corresponding buttons according to the hint given to you. It will take 5 to 10 minutes or more for the updating.

3) Once the update has successfully finished, safely remove the data card. Go to Windows Control Panel of your computer, double-click “Add or Remove Programs” and click the remove button and follow the instructions on screen.

4) Double-click the setup.exe file, and after you have installed it, your card is now capable of supporting download speed of up to 7.2 Mbps.

If you are confused with other things of the product, you can get references from the website.



Source by Dada Zhang

Is Love Sweeter The Second Time Around?

Do you believe that love is sweeter the second time around? Many of you will say yes and no. It depends on how you hold on to love. Love is the most powerful feelings everyone can feel. Some people think that the second time around of a relationship is much fulfilling and richer. The relationship is a love combination of two people. And in every relationship it also faces challenges and difficulties that both partners need to overcome.

There’s no impossible for any relationship. Both partners can fly high in the second time around. The first break up can be a sense of lessons for both of you. The break up that give you both the space and freedom to think each others strengths and weaknesses. The time you need to think what else can you do to make a relationship happy and healthy.

Do not consider the break up like the end of the world. But rather think about the new beginning and a new life to start the right thing. Do not close your door. A second time around of relationship is perfectly much sweeter and much healthy. But of course not all relationship can have a second time around. There could be some few relationship that deserves it.

Giving another chance to make the relationship much sweeter and happy is hard. After all what happened, you need to accept the past experiences. But if you really love your partner and willing to give another try then there is nothing to lose and give up. Just be matured enough and learn from your mistakes.



Source by Sean Matthew

The Boeing 747-400

747-400 Foundation:

Powerplants were the key to commercial aircraft capability, measured by payload, range, and performance, and all were incorporated in the 747-200B when the 63,000 thrust-pound Pratt and Whitney JT9D-7Q became available. First ordered by Northwest Orient, but quickly followed by Braniff, Japan Air Lines, Singapore Airlines, and Avianca, the version, introducing lighter nacelles, offered a two- to three-percent reduction in fuel consumption. Powered by the similarly-rated General Electric CF6-50E and Rolls Royce RB.211-524D turbofans, the aircraft was able to boast a new maximum takeoff weight of 833,000 pounds.

While an increased capacity variant had been considered during the 747 program’s earliest days, these higher-thrust engines paved the way for serious reconsideration now without the former need to sacrifice cargo loads or range for it.

Toward that end, studies completed in 1976 focused on a 23-foot fuselage stretch, attained by means of seven-frame forward and eight-frame aft insertions, along with a 27-foot upper deck increase, for a new mixed class passenger capacity of 570, as opposed to the previous 440. Yet depressed passenger demand during the late-1970s precluded the viability of this admittedly ambitious project and airline customer consensus pointed to a more modest stretch.

This took form as the 747SUD, or “stretched upper deck,” in the spring of 1980. Lengthened by some 23 feet, it incorporated 18 additional windows and two full-size, upward-opening doors with 45-foot-long evacuation slides. Although it carried an 8,000-pound, or two-percent, structural weight increase, the otherwise simplified modification increased its six-abreast accommodation from 32 to 69, reached by a new, straight, internal staircase that replaced the type’s signature spiral one.

Designated 747-300, it was offered as both a new-build version or a conversion of existing 747-200Bs, both of which factored into launch customer Swissair’s June 1980 order for four of the former and one of the latter. Powered by four 64,750 thrust-pound JT9D-7R4G2 engines, it first flew two years later, on October 5, and was type certified a year after that on March 4 at an 833,000-pound gross weight.

While the minimal change version offered a modest capacity increase, it introduced neither increased range nor any type of design enhancement.

747-400 Design and Development:

Several factors caused serious reconsideration of a more ambitious derivative of the 747 in the mid-1980s.

Sales, first and foremost, had been declining. The monthly production rate of seven airframes in 1979 had been reduced to a trickle of only one. Without revitalization, the program was likely to be terminated.

Currency and advancement, secondly, had not been maintained, a strategy that had kept the 727 and 737 programs alive with advanced versions, and the later, particularly, had spawned the Next Generation 737-300, -400, and -500 series.

Competition, thirdly, although not always on an even-keel basis, had begun to appear with step-change technology, as occurred with the DC-10-30 and -40, whose succeeding MD-11 introduced quieter, more fuel efficient engines and two-person digital cockpits. Airbus itself was about to unveil its own twin- and quad-engine A330 and A340 designs. The 747 appeared particularly outdated with its three-man, analogue cockpit, especially when measured against Boeing’s own new-technology narrow and widebody 757 and 767 offerings.

Finally, growth had shifted from the Atlantic to the Pacific, with unprecedented numbers of passengers and amounts of cargo being transported to China, Japan, and Korea.

What was needed was a modernized version of the venerable 747 with significant range to eliminate the intermediate stops in Alaska and Hawaii, yet not sacrifice payload. The remedy was initially envisioned as a version of the 747-300 with either Pratt and Whitney PW4000 or General Electric CF6-80C turbofans, an increased wingspan, and its resultantly greater wing integral fuel tank capacity.

Yet, most of the major, early 747 operators sought far more than these basic power and dimensional increases packaged in the proposed 747-300A, prompting Boeing to embark upon an extensive reassessment project so that the new version would be commensurate with late-20th century technology.

Devising, in fact, a five-point list to generate next-generation sales, it sought to incorporate state-of-the-art technology, considerably enhance the passenger cabin, increase the range by 1,000 miles, reduce fuel consumption by up to 37-percent over that of the original 747-100, and reduce operating costs by ten percent.

Designated 747-400 and announced in May of 1985, it was a significantly improved aircraft.

Although it retained the 231.10-foot overall length of all the previous standard versions and featured the stretched upper deck of the -300, it introduced a considerably modified wing. Built up of the 2000 copper and 7000 zinc series of aluminum alloys developed for the 757 and 767, which formed the torsion box’s upper and lower skins, and incorporating graphite composites, it featured both a six-foot span increase and six-foot winglets that were outwardly canted by 29 degrees and had a 60-degree sweepback. Eliminating the need for a greater span increase, these area-rule designed devices harnessed the vortex created by the upper and lower pressure differential remix at the tip, increasing area and lift, reducing drag, and retaining gate compatibility dimensions a greater stretch would not have achieved.

“Winglets,” according to Boeing, “are a new stabilization feature to compensate for wing and body structural changes.” They facilitated the transport of 40 more passengers 2,500 miles further.

While the ailerons, spoilers, and dual-section, triple slotted trailing edge flaps remained the same as those incorporated on previous 747 versions, an additional variable camber leading edge flap was installed, resulting in three inboard Krueger devices from the root to the inboard engines, five mid-wing ones between the powerplants, and the new total of six between the outboard one and the tip.

The construction materials increased the wing’s strength by between five and 13 percent, yet reduced aircraft weight by up to 5,500 pounds. Compared to the 195.8-foot span of the previous versions, the 747-400 had a 211.5 unfueled one or 213.0 one with full tanks, which caused a downward bend of the airfoil. Aspect ratio was 7.7 and area was 5,825 square feet.

Another 747-400 improvement was its powerplant. Because engine manufacturers had made significant progress in the design and development of advanced turbofans, particularly for long-range, widebody twins which were predicated upon increased reliability and thrust and decreased fuel consumption and noise, the latest 747 version was 40-percent quieter than its -300 series predecessor. As had occurred with the 747-200B, it was offered with poweprlants made by all three engine manufacturers.

The 56,750 thrust-pound Pratt and Whitney PW4056, for example, specified by launch customer Northwest Orient, featured single crystal turbine blades, full authority digital engine control (FADEC), a ten-percent high pressure compressor ratio increase, and a 27-percent greater high pressure rotor speed. It consumed seven percent less fuel than the earlier JT9D upon which it was based.

The 58,000 thrust-pound General Electric CF6-80C2B1F, first specified by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, offered a four-stage low pressure compressor matched to the fan, a core airflow that increased from 276 to 340 pounds per second, and an overall pressure ratio of 30.4 to 1 produced by the 14-stage high pressure compressor. Like the PW4056, it was FADEC-equipped.

The Rolls Royce RB.211-524, featuring three-shaft, wide-chord blades, was offered in two versions: the 58,000 thrust-pound -524G and the 60,000 thrust-pound 524H. It was first ordered by Cathay Pacific.

All engines, regardless of type, were attached to redesigned, streamlined pylons.

The Pratt and Whitney Canada PW901A auxiliary power unit (APU), replacing the long-standard Allied Signal one for the first time, consumed 40 percent less fuel. It could maintain a 75-degree Fahrenheit cabin temperature while the aircraft was on the ground with a 100-degree external one.

Fuel, whose capacity varied between 53,985 and 57,285 US gallons for Pratt and Whitney and Rolls Royce engine-powered aircraft, and between 53,711 and 57,011 US gallons for General Electric powered ones, was stored in the fuselage center section and two main tanks per wing, along with reserve and vent surge tanks. Although minor modifications had been made to their plumbing and sensors, the 747-400’s major design feature was a 3,300-US gallon auxiliary tank in the 72-foot, 2.5-inch spanned horizontal tailplane, providing a 350 nautical mile increase. It was not, however, used for in-flight center-of-gravity variation.

Increased rudder authority, amending maximum deflection from a former 25- to a present 30-degrees, facilitated a ten-knot ground speed reduction in which it could maintain the effectiveness.

While the 747-400 retained the same five-truck, 18-wheel configuration of the earlier versions, it replaced the former steel brakes with carbon ones, which offered a 1,800-pound weight reduction, were rated for twice the number of landings, and cooled faster, increasing aircraft turn-around times. Larger tires necessitated a wheel diameter increase from 20 to 22 inches. Ai digital antiskid system was introduced.

Ice and rain protection encompassed total air temperature probes; window wipers, washers, and rain repellent; window heat; pitot-static probes on both sides; angle-of-attack sensors, again on both sides; wing anti-ice; and engine inlet cowl anti-ice.

Aircraft servicing points were many. Those on the fuselage included vacuum cleaning, oxygen, electrical, potable water, hydraulic, oil, air start, and air conditioning. Those on the wing encompassed the fuel vent, the gravity fuel port, the fuel itself, and the fuel control panel on the left wing underside.

Significant enhancements were made to the interior.

The cockpit, first and foremost, was transformed from a three- to a two-person one, with the fight engineer’s functions having been incorporated in an overhead panel and these were now automatically monitored.

Employing digital systems designed for the 757 and 767, it featured six eight-by-eight inch cathode ray tube (CRT) displays, consisting of the primary fight display (PFD) and the navigation display (ND) placed side-by-side in front of the captain and duplicated for the first officer, and two center engine indication and crew alerting system (EICAS) screens.

The pedestal between the two pilots contained the control display units (CDU’s), the fuel control switches, the parking brake lever, the radio communication panels, the audio control panels, the aileron and rudder control panel, the stabilizer trim indicator, the weather radar control panel, the transponder control panel, the autobrake selector panel, and the public address-interphone handset.

An extensive data base, subdivided into performance and navigation categories, replaced the performance manuals and navigation charts, and facilitated the rapid, extremely accurate calculations of any desired parameter in conjunction with the flight management computer (FMC).

Information was both enterable and retrievable by means of the control display unit keypads.

During cockpit setup, the lower of the two engine indicator and crew alerting system screens displayed the secondary engine data-that is, the N2 and N3 shaft speeds, vibration, fuel flow, and oil temperature, pressure, and quantity-while the upper continuously displayed the primary engine data, such as engine pressure ratio, the N1 fan speed, and the exhaust gas temperature (EGT). Yet enough screen space remained for additional aircraft status indications, including flap and undercarriage positions.

Compared to the 971 lights, gauges, and switches of the first generation 747’s analog cockpit, the current -400’s digital one featured only a third, or 365. The aircraft was certified for Category IIIB landings.

Boeing listed its fight deck avionics baseline capabilities as follows.

“8 x 8 integrated displays: air data, primary flight and navigation instruments; engine, subsystems, caution and warning alerts; systems status and synoptic (heads-down monitoring).

“Multipurpose control display unit (MCDU): primary interfaces – FMCS, standby nav (IRS), standby nav radio tuning; secondary interface – accesses CMCS, ACARS, AIDS, weight and balance.

“Advanced FMC software package: thrust management – autothrottle/thrust limit; altitude/speed flight profile intervention via AFDS MCP; Nav radio tuning – automatic and remote; worldwide nav data base capability; software improvements.

“Central maintenance computer system (CMCS): standardized subsystem bite with English language readout; interactive control of system LRU bite via MCDU; interfaces flight deck//avionic and associated airplane systems.

“Improved dispatch reliability: redundant control of mode functions for EFIS/EICAS/AFDS MCP; display function switching and triple EIFS/EICAS interface units.

“Digital audio control and radio communication systems.”

Aside from two observer seats, a windowless crew rest compartment, featuring one or two full-length bunks, reading lights, and fresh air vents, enabled extra pilots to attain legal rest periods on fights that could span up to 18 hours. A comparable, although much larger, cabin crew rest area, installed in the formerly unutilized rear roof from the last row of passenger seats to the rear pressure bulkhead and replacing the 747-300’s “Portakabin” one that had taken the place of up to 20 revenue-generating passenger ones, was accessible by a locked door, three-step, and vertical ladder entryway. Incorporating additional insulation and ceiling lighting to simulate day and night cycles, it was configured with varying numbers of bunks and sleeper seats.

The redesigned interior, which introduced an advanced widebody look, featured recontoured ceilings and sidewalls; concealed lighting; self-supporting ceiling panels; larger overhead side and center storage compartments; outboard, seat track lockable modular galleys; modular, vacuum flushable toilets, whose waste was stored in four rear tanks; and a digital in-flight entertainment system with seat-back monitors; and five main deck air conditioning zones with higher ventilation.

Inter-deck access, as had been provided on the 747-300, was via a straight stairway.

Class division, density, capacity, color, fabric, and decoration varied according to customer specification. A 416 tri-class configuration, for instance, entailed 23 first class seats at a 61-inch pitch, 80 business class ones at a 39-inch pitch, and 313 coach class ones at a 32-inch pitch. A dual-class cabin accommodating 497 entailed 42 first class and 455 coach seats. Five hundred twenty-four could be subdivided into 42 business class seats at a 42-inch pitch and 406 coach ones at a 32-inch pitch, with another 76 on the stretched upper deck, provisioned with its own galleys and lavatories.

Maximum main deck abreast seating in the four cabins behind the nose was ten, with two aisles, and six on the upper deck with a single aisle. Maximum, exit-limited passenger capacity was 624.

The 747-400’s lower deck hold volume of 6,035 cubic feet was subdivided into 5,190 cubic feet of unit loading device (ULD) space and 845 of bulk or loose-load space, facilitating the loading of 16 forward and 14 aft LD-3 containers or five forward and four aft 96-by-125-inch pallets.

As powered by the CF6-80C2 engine, it had a 390,700-pound operating weight, 144,300-pound payload capability, 535,000-pound zero-fuel weight, 384,824-pound fuel weight, a maximum takeoff weight that varied from 800,000 to 870,000 pounds, and a maximum landing weight that varied from 574,000 to 630,000 pounds. Range, at a long-range cruise speed with 412 passengers and reserves, was 7,300 nautical miles.

Construction of the first 747-400, registered N401PW, began in mid-1986 in Everett, by which time 49 aircraft had been ordered by Singapore, KLM, Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific, and British Airways. Northwest’s launch order, for ten, called for aircraft configured for 420 passengers. Major assembly occurred a little over a year later, in September, and the first roll-out, on January 26, 1988, entailed a dual-ceremony, dual-location event, since it marked the occasion of the first 737-400 rollout in Renton. Another 58 aircraft, by United and Air France, had been intermittently ordered.

The expected system glitches, along with the unexpected part and powerplant delivery delays, postponed the first flight of the PW4056-powered aircraft from March to April 29, 1988, followed by first General Electric and Rolls Royce examples in, respectively, June and August. The GE airframe set a new world gross weight record, leaving the runway at 892,450 pounds.

Certification, following a four-aircraft flight test program, was achieved on January 9, 1989. Delivered to Northwest 17 days later and entering domestic service between Phoenix and Minneapolis on February 9 for crew familiarization purposes, the first 747-400, powered by PW4056 turbofans, was placed in the Pacific-spanning skies it was intended for, from New York to Tokyo, on June 1.

Other first deliveries included those to KLM and Lufthansa, on, respectively, May 18 and May 23 with General Electric engines, and to Cathay Pacific on June 8 with Rolls Royce powerplants. On the August 17 delivery flight to Qantas, the type set a world distance record from London to Sydney, covering the 9,688 miles in 20 hours, eight minutes.

By May 25, 1990, the 747-400 had attracted 279 firm orders.

747-400 Versions:

As had occurred with the basic 747, and particularly with its -200B series, Boeing offered several variants of the 747-400.

The first of these was the 747-400 Combi Featuring mixtures of main deck passenger and cargo loads, the latter in two aft zones, it incorporated a 120- by 130-inch aft, port, upward-opening door, strengthened floor, and freight loading system, facilitating several load combinations, including 268 passengers and seven pallets, 290 passengers and dix pallets, or up to 13 pallets. The type was first delivered to KLM on September 1, 1989.

Another variant was the 747-400D for “domestic.” Considered an advanced counterpart to the earlier 747SR for short, high-density Japanese sectors, it omitted the six-foot wing extensions and winglets, was powered by lower thrust engines, and offered a 600,000-pound maximum takeoff weight, although it was certifiable up to 870,000 pounds.

The first 747-400D, which was the 844th 747 airframe of all versions, first flew in March of 1991 and was delivered to Japan Air Lines in October. All-Nippon Airlines, another operator, configured the aircraft for 27 business and 542 economy class passengers.

The 747-400F, yet another version, replaced the 747-200F, whose production was discontinued after Air France placed a launch order for five on September 13, 1989. Devoid of passenger windows and facilities, and employing the standard-length upper deck of the 747-100, -200, and -SP, it featured both upward-opening nose and side cargo doors, a flight deck-reaching foldable ladder, and a two-person crew rest area. It could carry 26 more tons of cargo 1,200 miles further than its earlier -200F counterpart.

Volume totaled 27,467 cubic feet, including 21,347 on the main deck, 5,600 in the lower deck holds, and 520 in the bulk. Two ten-foot high pallets could also be accommodated on the upper deck.

The first 747-400F, the 968th 747 built, was first rolled out on February 25, 1993, and first took to the skies three months later, on May 4. The type’s maximum gross weight was 875,000 pounds. Because Air France had since canceled its order, Cargolux inaugurated the type into service instead.

The last version was the 747-400ER, intended, as its designation indicates, for “extended range” operations. Initially offered to Qantas as the 747-400IGW “increased gross weight,” it featured one or two 3,064-US gallon auxiliary tanks installed in the hold, increasing fuel capacity to 63,403 gallons and range to 7,500 nautical miles with one tank and 7,700 miles with two.

Powered by 63,300 thrust-pound PW4062 engines, the -400ER had a 535,000-pound zero-fuel weight, a 910,000-pound maximum takeoff weight, and a 652,000-pound landing weight. Design range with 416 passengers was 7,585 miles.

On September 10, 1993, the 1,000th 747, a -400 series for Singapore Airlines, was rolled out, making it the fifth Boeing type to achieve this production milestone after the 707, 727, 737, and (originally McDonnell-Douglas) MD-80. By January 1, 2002, 41 operators had ordered 630 747-400s of all versions. Production ultimately totaled 694.



Source by Robert Waldvogel

The Courage, Inspiration and Truth of Love

Love is set apart from all other things in life. It’s what sorts out spiritual truth from untruth. If it were a tank, love would hold water. Thought of in this way, love is impervious to ‘leaks’ in the form of fear. It simply is perfect.

Fear is love’s natural opposite. When we have a situation occur in our lives, a situation that requires an emotional response, we vacillate between the two extremes of love and fear, picking either somewhere in the middle or somewhere either end of that great mental, emotional and spiritual continuum. If we select the middle-ground and we reach an area we could call ‘indifference.’ Pick either side of the continuum, and there is a stark world of difference in our response.

If we respond to the situation in fear, we experience what we so often see in the world. Fear, by nature, is gripping and paralysing. It causes us to fight and we don’t understand why. Or we might run very quickly the other way. We’re just scared. Fear is unfortunately the default mindset of humanity. It’s the scourge of our insufficient natures. We want to either fight or run; another set of extremes. Fear’s affects are dramatic too. If “love is not perfected in me, I will have a constant sense of condemnation and… fearfulness. I will spend the whole of my life in this world in condemnation.[1] This is guilt, and a hell of a life, with no joy, peace or love or happiness. Why are we so naturally driven to fear? Perhaps it’s because we see it and experience it more often than we do real love. Perhaps we are naturally geared towards it?

To make things better and simpler there is only one thing, or better put, only one being we should fear, and that is God. If that were the case, and we were to only fear God, love would be much easier. Love would then become our default response when we’re placed in emotional turmoil. Love is freeing.

Love is counter-cultural to human beings. We’ve got no idea how to love and give to others in a sustainable way. It comes from God, and from his spirit within us. It is his power to inspire, and his power to grow a good thing, a good deed, a good character.

So, what is love in the context with which I speak? Selwyn Hughes illustrates the epitome of love in this statement:

“When you gaze upon the face of someone you have hurt and you see hurt but no rejection in that look you have just had a glimpse of the face of Jesus Christ!”[2]

And he was; utterly rejected by the world, his own followers, and even God the father himself temporarily. With every reason to turn his back in fear and judgment, he faced the rejection with an open heart and returned the hate and fear he experienced, with love. He was hurt and could have rejected the people who hurt him; he chose to love instead. We’re capable of this response too. Very much so.

For us you must realise, there is power in love. When we’re rejected and hurt, the last thing we might think of doing is to courageously love back. An important fact is it is not only possible, but it is power. This is power beyond our own making. It could only be God’s because it is miraculous. That’s what makes it so wonderful. We should fear no one but God. If we fear other things we lose this miraculous supernatural, divine, heavenly power.

If you want to taste true life and true freedom of spirit, try loving back when you don’t have to; when it’s your choice. You may just see a strange response in the person you’re relating with. A response that says, ‘I have just felt the power of God!’

© Steve J. Wickham, 2008. All rights reserved Worldwide.

[1] Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Life in Christ, Studies in 1 John, five volumes in one (Crossway Books, Illinois, 2002), p. 547.

[2] Selwyn Hughes, Spoken from the Heart: Powerful talks and addresses that have blessed and inspired audiences around the world, (CWR, Waverley Abbey House, Surrey, England, 2005), p. 114.



Source by Steve Wickham

What Are The Best Laptops For Designers?

What are the best laptops for graphic designers? No such thing as a laptop that’s best for any particular task. Some laptops excel at a variety of related demanding tasks.

When you’re thinking about design, you’re thinking about Photoshop, Illustrator or CAD software. The Adobe Suite is perhaps the most popular. It’s a powerful design suite. Other design suites are just as powerful. Powerful software demands fast hardware.

First of all, a designer’s laptop should be well-built. You cannot hope to get a budget laptop and run design software well on it. Software like design software requires power

Design software requires powerful hardware. That doesn’t mean the exterior shouldn’t look nice as well. It should be a reliable laptop. Most people would tell you that Apple Macbooks are best suited for designers. But then comes a question of taste.

Mac OS provides a fluid computing experience, while Windows is user-friendly but also error-prone. During its development, the Mac OS went through several optimizations that make it fast. And, it’s also efficient on hardware use.

That’s why most Apple laptops tend to get away with carrying just the right amount of equipment. The software written for them is too well optimized, and it runs well on what the system has to offer.

If you like Windows better than Mac OS, all is not lost. There are some new laptop models out on the market you have to consider. These notebooks pack powerful hardware. They can carry fast Core i7 processors, 8-16GB of RAM, an SSD, and a dedicated GPU. Don’t let this fool you; manufacturers designed these laptops for gaming.

Some of these machines come with IPS panels. The IPS panel offers a high color accuracy, increased viewing angles and excellent brightness.

These screens are better suited for designers than anyone else. IPS is not so okay for gamers since their response times can be a bit higher than gaming ready panels.

Panel type is important, but the screen size is another thing to keep in mind. You wouldn’t want to run design software on small screens. The artist’s canvas has to be large enough that they can get a clear picture of everything that’s going. But also allow them to zoom it at the pixel level and make minute corrections.

So what should a laptop for a graphic designer incorporate?

Well, it should pack only recent hardware to enjoy increased speeds and power efficiency. This means they will either carry an Intel Core i5 processor, or the even better Core i7 CPU from Intel.

RAM will sit in the 8-16GB range since this will allow you to run several software programs in parallel.

The more RAM you have, the better you’ll be multitasking. A high amount of RAM means you can run many programs at the same time.

Photoshop and Illustrator, along with a web browser with various tabs open for inspiration. Various programs and opened browser tabs are a typical setup in the designer’s workflow. This is just the way an artist works. They need a lot of processing power, along with lots of memory. The software they run requires heavy amounts of processing.

The storage used needs to be an SSD. These drives are much faster than regular hard drives. HDDs, which you can find in conventional laptops, are obsolete in today’s workflow. They cannot keep up with the requirements of a web designer. Also, SSDs are faster by up to 10 times than regular hard drives.



Source by Emanuel Bucsa

Debunking the Myth of Casual Sex and "Self-Love"

Many of us often hear cliché’ phrases such as, “Love yourself”, or “Live your best life”, but what if these quotes were encouraging our narcissism instead of helping us truly deal with our traumas? To answer this, we must ask ourselves, “What is the difference between “love” and “respect”. Is it self-love to be selfish or to engage in pleasurable behavior, or is self-love actually about setting boundaries and respecting your own sanity? In today’s dating culture, we often find ourselvse bewildered and confused in what appears to be a cycle of…

“Talk. Spend time together. Develop attachment. Engage in physical actions (kissing, hugging, sex, etc..), spending more time together. Distance. Coldness. Break up.”

Why is this pattern so common in today’s world? Is it because we have seemingly limitless dating options via the internet and we have “fear of missing out syndrome”? Is it because divorce is now so common, we no longer trust love? Does it stem from childhood memories of parents fighting? Is it due to the rising trend of atheism and seeing ourselves as “all-knowing” and the ultimate arbiters of moralty? Is the narccisism that is promoted today whereas everyone is obsessed with how many likes, follows, and attention they get on their totum-pole of self-worship? Are people more worried about their “social-credit” and hyper-competitivness with showing off their career awards while seeing family obligations and relationships as burdens? Is the legal system when has incentivized single parent behavior through welfare, alimony, and expensive lawyers?

The answer is all of the above! There is an all out war and attack on the virtues of marriage, family, and the character trait of “modesty”. Modesty rules over our society just a generation or two ago. Elaborate outfits, cursing in public, showing off tattoos, professional boxers “selling” a fight by getting into arguments,… these things were unacceptable prior to the 1960s. This is the decade known as the “free-love”, “hippie” era, whereas society sought to cast off the chains of conservatism. Divorce was destigamtized. Interacial relations. Casual drug use. and so on.

Some good did come out of the liberalization of the United States after the 1960s. Women had the ability to earn their own incomes and be financially independent. People with addictions and other social embarassments were now being treated with more dignity and less stigma. Racism was combated and acceptance of lesser known religions became more acceptable. Casual sex was retitled as “free-love.” Recreational drug use became popular and greatly encouraged. However, were there any negative drawbacks? What if the pendulum swung too far in one direction? Is conservatism a way to control people or does it offer some protections?

Fast forward to the year 2021. Tolerating drug use, divorce, women making fun of stay at home moms, dating apps designed for casual sex, record numbers of xanax presciptions and casual drug use… these are now our “norms.” A woman who chooses to stay at home as a homemaker is now considered something to made fun of by the career woman. The atheist calls the believer “stupid” or “unscientific”. Having no tattoos makes you “boring”. If you have only had one sexual partner your entire life, people now say — “You need to live life and see what is out there!”

But what if there are advantages towards children having a stay at home parent? What if the Bible is correct when it warns of sex outside of marriage? What are the downsides to casual sex? Is it really “loving yourself” to flaunt yourself all over social media and is there anything casual about rubbing your sex organs onto another person’s reproductive organs? When a person has sex, Dopamine (pleasure hormone) and Oxytocin (The bonding hormone) skyrocket in our brains. Our bodies and souls prepare for a union. After such an act is performed, if one party suddenly disappears or walks away, the soul and mind is left in a state of shock and confusion. If this happens too many times, the person can be left unable to trust these emotions and lose the ability to “pair-bond” with a mate.

Let us compare it to a thirsty man in the desert.——–

He is dying of thirst, and suddenly, he sees a lake full of fresh water. He runs to it with much joy and excitment in his heart, only to find it was a mirage! His heart is crushed and his will to live fades. Anytime he sees water in the future, he second guesses whether it is real or not.

This is what casual sex does to us. It treats a holy union as if its eating a hamburger, going to the bathroom to relief one’s self, or even worse, a great societal lie which destroys our faith in one another. There is NOTHING casual about sex. Going for a walk is casual. Having a conversation about the weather is casual. But sex is most assuredly NOT.

We have been tricked to believe that careers, social media followers, and going on exotic travel trips will cure our minds of dissatification or the existential crisis of our inevitiable death. But I say to you friends, It will not. As King Solomon, a man who was the wealthiest in his kingdom who had over 700 wives, wrote in his famous deathbed confessional speech in the Book of Ecclesiastes, found in the Holy Bible, to paraphrase his words…

“Vanity, vanity, all is vanity! Like a chasing of the wind. “

True joy comes from commitment towards things which bear fruit, or bring long lasting change, most importantly, a commitment towards God or your chosen higher power. Family is a close second. Careers can come and go. Beauty fades. Muscles degenerate as we age. But our faith in God and our commitments to our friends and family can see us through the darkest of times. This microwave society of instant gratification and grandious beliefs that our own understanding is superior to God’s, leaves us broken, empty, alone, and unable to bring ourselves to a state of being humble and ready to receive wisdom.

“A wise man thinks himself to be a fool. A fool thinks himself to be wise.” – William Shakespear

So what are the signs of a person who has brainwashed by the worldly desires and culture of hedonism? How do you deal with a date who suddenly stops answering your text messages and has perhaps made you into a second choice? How do we know when the love is real or your object of desire sees you as a toy of entertainment? To quote myself in a previous writing—-

“Love is like a relay race. Everyone is chasing someone. But in order to win the race, the thing you are chasing must turn around and acknowledge you. Love what loves you back! Constantly cancelling dates, leaving your messages on read, not acknowledging your relationship publicly… these are signs that you are chasing someone who doesn’t want to be caught! The race of love is won when nobody is running but instead joining together. When the love is real, you will not have to reach for it, but like a net, it will be there to catch you when you fall. Like a ray of sunshine on a cold day, it will appear to warm you. If you are tired of running, perhaps its time to stand STILL. For if the thing you desire truly loves you, it too will stop running and walk back towards you! Most people run away from good girls/guys and go for the so called “bad-boy/girl”, because they unconsciously fear the true love and commitment offered by the better man/girl. The bad boy/girl will never work out long-term and thus your fear of commitment is never addressed and you remain in your detached comfort-zone! If marriage isn’t the end goal, then you’re not “dating”, you’re just engaging in whoredom. “Dating” is the process of selection/courting not “random sex”. Time is very limited in this human life. Do not waste a second on a relationship that shall never bear fruit!!! Think 10 years from now, not 10 minutes from now. If you’ve been dating someone for a year, and the topic of marriage never comes up even once, then move on! You are just their toy. ” –

When seeking a potential spouse, consider their physical attractiveness, but do not make it your primary or sole criteria. If you truly desire a long standing life partner, ask questions about “values” such a religious, political, and philosophical values. Watch how they communicate to their parents. Watch how they treat the waiter, the bus driver, or those around them in public spaces. Ask them about their hobbies and life goals. Do they consider themselves more or others? Are their goals noble or selfish?

While it is impossible to find someone exactly like ourselves, which would actually be quite boring and disadventagous as it is sometimes good to learn from those who think differently than us, having more in common and having a greater number of shared values increases the chance of your relationship being successful.

We are basing too many relationships on fun, sex, and temporary pleasures instead of shared values. Unfortunately, many children are being unfairly produced from these fruitless relationships, thus resulting in an entire generation being born of parents without empathy or lasting spiritual ties. What chance do they have with such an example? Stable marriages on the foundation of society. Without a strong father and a nurturing wife, a child cannot learn of the Yin and Yangs of his/her heart properly.

The hedonistic ways of the Roman empire, “The Western Culture” has promoted hedonism since the days of Christ, and is now in full effect thanks to social media marketing its lifestyle. But, I say unto you, REJECT ROME and embrace the ways of the great spiritual leaders who created a moral scaffolding for our society.

Yeshua (Jesus Christ), The Buddha, Confucius… these leader used the law of conscious morality written on our hearts from God almight and turned them into codified systems of law. We have broken the law (commandments) and we are living in a society that is a result of that. The fruits born from hedonism is the society we see today. Record breaking divorce, incarcerations, addiction, gender dysphoria, increased suicide, hopelessness, fatherless homes, and a sense of nihilism or meaningless of life.

Come back to your creator and his natural remedy of family first, and a commitment to “service before self.” I will share a few Bible verses and quotes from spiritual leaders for you to mediate upon. Even if you are not a believer, these verses are reflective of a time when “commitment” truly meant something in the culture of the people of those days. Whether you choose to engage in or refrain from sexual relationships that don’t involve commitment, be warned that everything has a “pro” and a “con”. While it can be burdensome and archaic to wait for a seemingly “dogmatic” or “meaningless” ceremony to engage in sex, perhaps it can help us achieve its primary desire of protecting children and holding up accountable to our promises. Whether you engage in casual sex or not, the number one thing to take away is “transparency”. If both parties have a known agreement up front, it can mitigate damage, but you’re fighting an uphill battle. Humans are designed to fall in love and attach. To have sex without attachment is like waving a match over a gasoline, exciting as it may be, consequences can occur.

Meditate upon these words:

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 says “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.

King Solomon said it best: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23). (Casual sex opens up your heart for injury)

“The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8

“He who wishes to secure others first, has already secured himself.” Confucius

“I have a fear that the modern girl loves to be Juliet to have a dozen Romeos. She loves adventure… The modern girl dresses not to protect herself from wind, rain and sun, but to attract attention. She improves upon nature by painting herself and looking extraordinary. – Gandhi

” A wife of Noble Character. Who can find? She is worth more than rubies.” Proberbs 31

and most importantly…

Genesis 2:24: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.



Source by Randell Stroud

Media Server – 5 Simple Steps to Convert Your Old PC Into a Media Streamer

Yesterday while hanging out in my attic among all the old stuff I come across my old PC. This computer has been laying there for the last for at least a couple years. Thinking of discarding it properly I started searching for articles on disposal on the internet. While searching for couple of minutes I found a site suggesting the idea of converting an old PC into a media server. Having some bucks to spare and some free time on my hands I decided to go for it.

Just What is a Media Server?

First thing first I am sure some of you are wondering like I initially was, just what is a Media Server. A Media Server is a PC system designed to receive and record TV programs, play back video and handle the digital music and photo libraries available in its storage through a Television unit connected to it. The main components are a robust storage system with ample hard drive space and processing power and Random Access Memory sufficient enough to deliver seamless playback of HD content.

1. Check the performance of your old pc:

Analyzing the old PC, I figured out that it has a 2.4 GHz Pentium IV processor with 256 MB of RAM. While checking the minimum specifications I found that it may struggle when trying to play the HD 1080 videos so I decided to go for a RAM upgrade to 1 GB and stick to the same processor in order to save some bucks in case I also needed to upgrade the hard drive.

2. Check storage; examine hard drive capacity and speed:

The storage capacity of the old PC is about 40 GB IDE drive; which is much less as compared to the latest media servers. Generally for a media server you should have a capacity of 500gb to have enough space to hold the equivalent of 100s of DVDs. Speed of the hard drives is also a consideration. Luckily both of these problems can be corrected with a raid hard drive array.

RAID vs Single Hard drive:

The RAID array consists of more than one hard drives embedded as a single unit for high capacity and speed than the single hard drive with an external backup. Depending on how the RAID array is configured you can also configure the array for back up security. This is an added benefit as no data would be lost in the event of a hard drive crash.

3. Think about purchasing a Digital TV tuner Card:

A digital TV tuner card is a basic component of media server used to receive and record video content from the local cable or satellite system to the local hard drive. This card is very useful as it will allow to input TV into your PC and record your favorite shows. With several companies charging fees as high $6 per DVR box per month, the one time cost of a TV tuner card could save you quite a bit of money in the long run.

4. Choosing software for you media server:

Windows XP Media Center Edition is a great choice of software for a media server; having a beautiful graphic interface and easy configuration, it is however a bit expensive. If you are strapped for cash Linux based operating systems might be a good choice as they are totally free and have Myth TV software for media server purpose; but they can be hard to configure.

5. Connecting Server to the TV:

The last step involved in this project is establishing a connection between the PC and the TV. You now have to make the decision on whether to connect the media server through a wired or wireless connection. Wireless systems can be more convenient and will allow you to access your media server from throughout your house. Furthermore in terms of the placement of the wireless systems the server can be hidden out of view. The drawback to wireless systems is that they can be expensive. If only a single TV unit is present then simply running a wire from the server to the TV may be better both in terms of cost and speed of setup.



Source by Tyler P Wells

What Is Cloud Computing? – 12 Facts Every Small to Medium Sized Business Owner Should Know

Background

In the last 3 years dramatic changes have been taking place in how business computing happens, especially in larger companies. Traditionally companies build their own IT infrastructure, buy expensive equipment and servers and install everything locally. They need to keep hardware running, software compliant while making sure that the information input and output actually meets company needs.

Things have changed. With the advent of Cloud Computing a company can have reliable and safe business computing delivered like a utility service. Today we no longer dig wells for water, or run our own generator for electricity. These services are available as a utility service. So too with IT, you can “buy” IT infrastructure as a service, pay for what you need, and focus on the business not the technology.

1.What is Cloud Computing?

Computing delivered over the internet like a utility service that can be accessed by any device that has internet connection. Computing horsepower is located and happens outside the company on external servers, so no computing hardware needs to be owned and operated by the company. In fact, a well-known market research company, Gartner, has estimated that by the end of 2012, 20% of all companies will own no IT assets! The move to the cloud is underway.

2.What would full Cloud Computing look like in my office?

Imagine your server room or server area gone, no more major capital expenditures on equipment and facilities. Imagine desktops that don’t crash and hard drives that don’t fail, but with the same user experience. Imagine a secure safe environment for your systems and data taken care of by experts not on your direct payroll for a flat monthly fee that covers everything at a lower cost than you currently pay. This is what Cloud Computing can look like NOW.

3.Why isn’t everybody doing it?

Big companies have commonly been using Cloud Computing technology for a while now. Now smaller companies are increasingly changing to this way of running IT. Specialized managed IT companies are helping these smaller companies move their IT to the cloud and then run their IT efficiently – and this is accelerating the trend.

4.With Cloud Computing do you have to buy servers?

No. There is no cost burden of server ownership and therefore no expensive capital expenditure. You buy “server use” from a virtual server created for you in an external data center and pay for it by means of a simple monthly fee.

5.Company specific software

In a Cloud Computing setup, a company’s current servers, with their existing enterprise software, is transitioned over to newly created virtual servers which are theirs only. The company accesses everything as before as normal, with the exception that it is now communicated over the internet not the company’s local area network.

6.How Cloud Computing can get rid of PCs

With a full Cloud Computing implementation there are no servers or PCs at the business locations. Data is securely protected and continuously monitored on servers in a safe local physical environment and backed up behind a firewall. All PCs are changed to “Virtualized Desktops”. Employees will have a Thin Client, mouse, keyboard and screen but nothing will change in their computing experience. They will be looking at their screens with all their familiar programs such as Office, Outlook, etc.. They will be able to save to “My Docs” and other drives as normal.

The cloud management company will take care of equipment, Microsoft software licensing, antivirus, Spam Filtering, Security, secure backup, server and virtual desktop monitoring, and all the other IT headaches that you would rather not worry about. It’s easy to add desktops as you grow, or take them away just as easily if you need to downsize, paying for what you need.

7.Cloud Computing and the IT person /department

The typical IT person working in or for a company is spending up to 80% of their time keeping stuff up-and-running – PCs, hard drives, updates to office software, virus spam protection issues. It’s “busy work” which does nothing to improve the company’s performance. With a Cloud Computing solution a company does not have to spend time on these activities. More time can be spent on activities that support the business; or, if appropriate, staff can be cut or redeployed.

8.Can Cloud Computing save money?

It is easy to forget how much Information Technology is costing. As well as the “Hard Costs” like cost of hardware, infrastructure, software licenses, there are the more intangible “Soft Costs” such as IT staffing, troubleshooting, energy costs to run the servers and desktops and cool the server room and building. Typically you should be looking for fully costed savings in the area of 30-50% a year. With these levels of savings a business owner should, at the very least, be looking at Cloud Computing in their organization.

9.IT people often say Cloud Computing is less secure than in-house infrastructure. Is this true?

Typically because of the physical security and data security used, cloud security protection is almost always much better than most local company networks. Security over the internet is extremely high with firewalls that form barriers and which are monitored continually. Advanced backup and data recovery mean even a catastrophe can be quickly recovered from. And because all the company data is held on the company’s remote servers and is not being held all over the place (such as on local hard drives, thumb drives etc.) the likelihood of software and data contamination and theft is reduced.

10. What happens if a cloud server goes down or there is a catastrophic loss of data?

This is a very important topic. Companies frequently think that their own server rooms are somehow immune from catastrophe and they are also very often woefully under-prepared for a disaster. Simply doing tape backups, putting tapes in fireproof boxes and other methods can give a false sense of security. The reality is if disaster strikes, you need the very latest backup data recovery technology so that you can be up and running in minutes or hours not days or weeks or never! Cloud computing solutions typically take incremental snapshots backed up to multiple locations physically elsewhere to ensure you will be up and running again very quickly.

11.Moving Offices if you are using Cloud Computing

Moving offices or facilities is trivial when a company has a Cloud Computing setup. Because the infrastructure is in place (separate from the old and new company facilities) data can be accessed from anywhere. In theory once the internet connection to the new location is up and running the whole company can be up and running and back to normal as fast as thin clients can be hooked up to the internet!

12.Mobile Computing

With Cloud Computing, your Virtual Desktop can be accessed anywhere and anytime. Other solutions require your office PC to be turned on, and your office Internet connection to be live. Most Internet connected devices, such as laptops, tablets, smart-phones, can be used to connect to your desktop. Imagine being able to run Excel, PowerPoint or any of your business specific software from an iPad or a smart-phone! And security remains at a high level for remote access since only keystroke and screen refresh is sent between the data center and your smart device, but no actual data.

In summary, the benefits of moving to the cloud are great. Cloud computing already is increasingly the way IT is being handled, and owners would therefore be wise to take a look at and embrace the technology now.



Source by Nick Graham

Laptops or PCs – Which Are Best?

I have the luxury of having both a desktop and a laptop, and I would like to share with you the advantages of each. Choosing the right machine for you will depend on what you want the computer for, how many and what kind of applications you will run, and how much you have to spend.

Processing Power

CPUs generate need plenty of power and so can really eat up batteries. For this reason the laptop normal favours less powerful process that extend battery life. Having said that, you probably wouldn’t notice the difference if all you use is Word, Internet Explorer, and Outlook. These don’t make that much demand of the processor and a laptop would be more than happy running all three at once. On the other hand, encoding a DVD or tweaking a 10 megapixel photograph requires some processing power. The amount of speed you require will very much depend on your patience and how much time you have. If you are in no hurry, a laptop can cope with these tasks but may take 2 or 3 times longer compared to a desktop of the same price.

Clear the Decks

If you don’t want to devote an entire table to your computer then a laptop can be convenient. Check your emails on the kitchen table, and then at lunch time, fold it away in a few seconds and store it on the shelf. Desktop computers can also have fold away keyboards that slide underneath the desk on a tray but you still need to have the monitor on the table.

Upgrading

As your computer ages the demands that you will want to make of it will probably increase. Recent innovations of HD DVDs drives, solid state hard disk drives, and faster CPUs can make your old system seem redundant. Generally speaking, desktop PCs are easier to upgrade components than laptops. With a laptop, you can up the RAM, or replace the Hard Drive, but that’s about it. With a desktop you have really got a sort of mechano kit – you can upgrade the graphics card, add firewire ports, and add additional hard disk drives and optical drives. Replacing an optical drive in a laptop is possible, but is many times more expensive and needs specialist knowledge.



Carbon Footprint

Laptops use less electricity – the one I am using to type this article is using 20-30W. In contrast a computer may typically use 100-150W. For this reason I would say that laptops are the more eco-friendly option. Because of the laptop’s all-in-one design, if a component gets damaged, it often is more cost effective to buy a new one than repair it. This negates the low-power advantages somewhat – but my gut feeling is that laptops are still greener. They might get written off if you’re unlucky, but the saved electricity is a 100% certainty.

Good Ergonomics

Experts say that setting up your computer is the key to avoiding RSI (repetitive strain injury) or a bad back. With a laptop, the screen is a little too low when sitting on a typical table, ideally the top of the screen should be at eye level. A friend of mine uses a stand to raises his MacBook Pro to the correct height, with a USB keyboard positioned on the desk. This is an ideal setup, but probably cost him around £70.

Comparing Costs

The cheapest desktop PCs are around £300 where as laptops start at around £400. This doesn’t sound too bad, but you also have to factor in the difference in performance. Some laptops are just as powerful as tower PCs and so they are known as desktop-replacements. These typically weigh a massive 4kg and they are a bit more expensive.



Source by Zach Hope

Ford Motor Company – Case Study

Background (General Facts)

Ford Motors is one of three leading automotive manufacturing companies in the United States. Based in Michigan in 1903 by Henry ford and grew to reach revenue of $150 billion and more than 370,000 employees by 1996 [1]. In the 1970’s, the automobile market for the major auto makers – General Motors (GM), Ford, and Chrysler- was crunched by competition from foreign manufactures such as Toyota and Honda. In 1999, Ford acquired the Swedish Volvo model in an attempt to compete in the foreign market and expand to other regions. Furthermore, Ford launched a full organization re-engineering business process plan called “Ford 2000” aiming at reestablishing the company’s infrastructure. The process meant reduction in their Vehicle Centers (VCs) to only five covering the operations that spanned 200 countries. It also meant cutting redundancies and requiring Information Technology (IT) to be the driving force and the link between Ford centers worldwide.

In building Ford’s IT infrastructure, the company focused on implementing a setup that supported the TCP/IP communication protocol based on the U.S. department of Defense requirements. At those days, Ford internal network was meant to serve files transfer unlike most companies that used the network mainly for email communications. Throughout the 1990’s, Ford developed a cost effective Global Enterprise Network Integration (GENI) process to link all its locations compromising on the type of the connection and the cabling in favor of full coverage. During the same time, Ford started building its Web Farm, which was basically a set of hardware and software managed by a team for building Ford’s public website. The work started by publishing documents for technical references and moved to more advanced images from a live auto show. As a result, the website received 1 million visits a day in less than 2 years after its official launch. Throughout the end of the 90’s, Ford established its web services by increasing the amount of information published, building more intelligent and standard web application in 12 weeks period, purchasing more Netscape browsers for setup on its users’ machines, and creating a B2B server to allow the suppliers secured access to Ford’s Intranet.

In the path towards service cost reduction and bringing more business through the web, Ford worked closely with its competitors in the U.S. market GM and Chrysler to establish what came to be known as “Automotive Network Exchange” (ANX) certificate. The protocols aimed at providing a unified communications standard through the Internet to enable suppliers to provide common technology for all manufacturers. Moreover, Ford focused on making information on its web site more accessible and useful by deploying a team to manage the process of adding and updating information based on an analysis of how humans deal with information. One final aspect of Fords endeavor was to try to build a model through its infrastructure that benefited from the model implemented by Dell computers to improve their supply chain and delivery process. The direct model would not work well for automotives as it would with computers, as a result Ford worked on its retailing network remodeling and identifying what would eventually give it the extra edge in delivery time.

Enterprise Architecture Issues

  • Ford’s regional expansion to address the competition for market shares demanded cost management for the infrastructure upgrades
  • IT infrastructure places limitations on the type of application development based on the platforms
  • Easy access to information and prompt delivery of vital data to key individuals requires proper knowledge managementOrganizations reengineering and process remodeling is necessary when adapting new technologies to maintain the cost and increase efficiency
  • Supply chain errors and delays can severely affect the progress of the business and the market value of the corporation

Analysis

Infrastructure Upgrade

Since the inception of the Internet in the 1960’s, much effort has been made in standardizing how computers connect to it. In 1982, the International Organization for Standards (ISO) realized that during that period many ad hoc networking systems were already using the TCP/IP protocol for communications and thus adapted it as a standard in its model for the Internet network [2]. The main driver for IP convergence, at that period, was the growth in data traffic through wide area networks (WANs) established by local companies. Furthermore, in 1991, the Internet was open for commercial use, and that demanded a reduction in the total cost of operating the network to cope with 1 million Internet hosts that materialized in only 1-year time. Telecommunications companies like AT&T understood the potential and worked on standardizing the network offering voice services over IP networks that managed the separation between voice and data transmission [3].

At the same time, Ford had launched its plan to update its infrastructure, and seized the opportunity brought by the global movement of integrating the voice, fax transmission network with data transmission and expanded its WAN to include its offices in Europe and elsewhere. The financial benefits also came from the fact that Ford adapted the TCP/IP protocol from the beginning and made sure that all its technical infrastructure upgrades adhere to the standards. This made the transition of its system to the Internet as cost effective as it could be.

Web Technologies

Intranets employ the hypertext and multimedia technology used on the Internet. Prior to 1989, when Tim burners-Lee invented the Web [4], most applications used standard development languages such as C and C++ to create desktop applications that were proprietary and dependent on the platform. For example, applications running on a command-based operating system such as UNIX would not run under Windows, and those working for PCs might not work on Apple computers and vice versa [5]. The invention of HTML (Hyper-Text Markup Language) introduced a new model for applications that conform to the standards provided by a single program, the “Web Browser”. Unlike standard applications, the browser brought a unified interface that had a very fast learning curve. Users seem to require no additional training to work with web browsers. Furthermore, system administrators did not have to spend time installing upgrades on users’ machines, since the Intranet client/server architecture facilitated all the updates through the connection with the web server [6].

Since Ford established its Intranet, it was aiming at building web applications through the initial analysis of “Mosaic”, the early form of web browsers. The technical department at Ford used web languages to create the first web site in 1995. In 1996, the team started building applications making use of the unified “Netscape” browser that was deployed on all machines at the company, and working on a standard template to cut on the development life cycle. There was a substantial cut in training cost due to the user-friendly interface of web applications. Furthermore, the speed of development made vital applications available to different individuals across the company. For example, the B2B site allowed suppliers remote and secured access to various sections of Ford’s Intranet. In addition, the development team created an application as a virtual teardown on Ford’s website where Ford’s engineers could examine parts of competitors’ cars and evaluate any new technologies. The alternative would have been an actual trip to a physical location where Ford tears down cars to examine the parts.

Knowledge Management

While there are many definitions for knowledge, each company might adapt its own based on how it analysis data and information to acquire knowledge. The University of Kentucky, for example, defines knowledge as “a vital organization resource. It is the raw material, work-in process, and finished good of decision-making. Distinct types of knowledge used by decision makers include information, procedures, and heuristics, among others… ” [7].

Organizations go through different activities to manage the amount of information they collect to form the knowledge base of the company. Activities include creating databases of best practices and market intelligence analysis, gathering filtering and classifying data, incorporating knowledge into business applications used by employees, and developing focal points for facilitating knowledge flow and building skills [8].

Ford was excited about the traffic it was receiving on the Web site and everyone was publishing all the material they have on desk on the Intranet. Nevertheless, there was a growing concern about the usability and usefulness of the material people were adding. As a result, Ford created a “Knowledge Domain Team” to build complete information in nine areas that were identified as vital to the business. The process Ford took was based on surveys and specialists input in how people perceive information, and what is considered vital and what is distracting in the structure of Ford’s website. The aim behind the initiative was to reduce the time individuals spent in searching for information through proper indexing of the website content, and making sure that what was important could be accessed in due time, and what is trivial did not overwhelm the researcher with thousands of results.

Business Re-engineering

In the area of organization’s re-engineering process innovation is the set of activities that achieve substantial business improvements. Companies seeking to benefit from process innovation go through the regime of identifying the processes, the factors for change, developing the vision, understanding the current process, and building a prototype for the new organization. History shows that organizations who define their processes properly will not have problems managing the issues and developing the change factors [9]. When introducing technology, business redesign is necessary. The industrial fields have been using Information Technology to remodel processes, control production, and manage material for generations. However, it is only recently that companies recognized that the fusion of IT and business would go beyond automation to fundamentally reshaping how business processes are undertaken [10].

When foreign companies were allowed to compete in the U.S. market, Ford understood that to succeed in business in a competitive arena it needed to implement strategies that competitors find difficult to imitate [11]. As a result, Ford bought Sweden Volvo to enter the European market, and partially owned Mazda to have a competitive edge with Japanese cars1 [12]. To achieve that it re-engineered its production development activities and global corporate organization and processes for dramatic cost reduction. Furthermore, it understood that expansion requires collaboration and alignment, and thus planned to establish the IT infrastructure through a WAN that connected all the offices. In the process of innovation and re-engineering, Ford has set policies to manage the cost of establishing the network, built models for continuous implementation, and organized global meetings to align all parties with the process. Adding to that, when it came to managing the website, Ford facilitated an awareness campaign for all the branches to understand that Ford is using the web to collaborate and research and adapting information technology as a way to maximize its business value. The goal for Ford was to maintain its leadership in the market and to do that in the most efficient and cost effective method that is there.

Supply chain management

Supply chain management (SCM) is about coordinating between suppliers, manufactures, distributors, retailers, and customers [13]. The basic idea that SCM applications revolve around is providing information to all those who are involved in making decisions about the product or goods to manage delivery from the supplier to the consumer [14]. Studies show that reducing errors in supply chain distribution, increases revenue, enhances productivity, and reduces the order-to-fulfillment period [15].

Ford often compared its supply chain process to that of Dell’s, in an attempt to close the gaps in its own process and reach the level of success Dell has reached. The difference in the distribution model between Dell and Ford lies in the middle link of using retail shops. Since Ford cannot skip retail as a focal distribution point, it worked on establishing a network of retail shops that it owned. Ford made sure shops are not affecting each other in terms of sales, and gave them all a standard look and feel to establish itself in the consumer’s market as a prestigious cars sales retail company. Furthermore, extensive re-engineering initiatives were undertaken to enhance Ford external network by eliminating the correlation with smaller suppliers. In that way, Ford made sure that key suppliers have access to forecasting data from customers’ purchasing trends and production information to enable a faster order-to-delivery cycle. Ford vision was to create a model that allowed flexibility, predicable processes and delivered the product at the right time to the right consumer.

Conclusions

Ford is an example of how traditional organizations can mature to adapt what is current and maximizes the business value. The process that Ford went through necessitated the continuous support from management. In addition, it depended on alignment between those involved as a key for success. The correlation was not restricted to internal staff; it extended to cover competitors to reach mutual benefits, to work with suppliers to maintain similar grounds and adequate infrastructure, and to create training programs to educate all on the vision and organization’s objectives.

Ford technical progress came at a time where the Internet was yet to reach its full potential. The introduction of Fiber-optic cables in the late 90’s and the substantial increase in bandwidth would have helped Ford and cut on the cost in endured connecting its own offices. Furthermore, the ISP services that provided hosting servers were limited to only few players, which explained why Ford preferred to manage its own web server and maintain the overhead of the 24 hours uptime and backup.

From this case study, I understood the level of commitment large firms have to maintaining their position in the market. These companies know the revolving nature of business in the sense of how easy it is to fall back if they did not keep up with the change. The Ford process also shows the need for quick and resourceful thinking when faced with situations that might seem to be unfavorable. The way Ford ventured into the foreign market by acquiring local manufacturers was a strategic decision that did not only enabled Ford to merge with different technologies, but it also saved it the additional cost of establishing production centers in Japan and Europe.

Recommendations

  • Maintaining leadership in the market requires innovative organizations willing to reengineer to succeed.
  • IT fusion with the business means restructuring and remodeling to understand the role IT would play to meet the business objectives
  • Planning and modeling is vital when coordinating work with large teams.
  • Constructing websites is not about content; it is about understanding what adds value and how humans interact with information.
  • Knowledge management is a plan that companies need to develop as part of their initial business process modeling
  • It is not wrong for large firms to try to adapt to successful processes implemented by other firms.

References

  1. Robert D. Austin and Mark Cotteleer,”Ford Motor Co.: Maximizing the Business Value of Web Technologies.” Harvard Business Publishing. July 10, 1997. harvardbusinessonline.hbsp.harvard.edu/b02/en/common/item_detail.jhtml;jsessionid=WDARNHINBSYKSAKRGWCB5VQBKE0YOISW?id=198006 (accessed July 30, 2008).
  2. Computer History Museum, Internet History 80’s. 2006. computerhistory.org/internet_history/internet_history_80s.shtml (accessed July 30, 2008).
  3. Darren Wilksch and Peter Shoubridge, “IP Convergence in Global Telecommunications.” Defense Science & Technology Organization. March 2001. http://www.dsto.defence.gov.au/publications/2400/DSTO-TR-1046.pdf (accessed July 30, 2008).
  4. Computer History Museum, Internet History 80’s.
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  6. R. Boutaba, K. El Guemioui, and P. Dini, “An outlook on intranet management.” Communications Magazine (IEEE), October 1997: 92-99.
  7. Joseph M. Firestone, Enterprise Information Portals and Knowledge Management (OXFORD: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2002), 169.
  8. David J. Skyrme, “Knowledge management solutions – the IT contribution.” ACM SIGGROUP Bulletin (ACM) 19, no. 1 (April 1998): 34 – 39, 34.
  9. Thomas H. Davenport, Process Innovation: Reengineering Work Through Information Technology (Watertown,MA: Harvard Business Press, 1993), 28.
  10. Thomas H. Davenport “The New Industrial Engineering: Information Technology and Business Process Redesign.” Sloan Management Review 31, no. 4 (Summer 1990): 11-28, 12
  11. Gary M. Erickson, Robert Jacobson, and Johny K. Johansson, “Competition for market share in the presence of strategic invisible assets: The US automobile market, 1971-1981.” International Journal of Research in Marketing (Elsevier Science) 9, no. 1 (March 1992): 23-37, 23.
  12. Austin and Cotteleer, “Ford Motor ” , 2.
  13. Henk A. Akkermans, et al. “The impact of ERP on supply chain management: Exploratory findings from a European Delphi study.” European Journal of Operational Research 146 (2003): 284-301, 286
  14. Thomas H. Davenport and Jeffrey D. Brooks, “Enterprise systems and the supply chain.” Journal of Enterprise Information Management 17, no. 1 (2004): 8-19, 9.
  15. Kevin B. Hendricks, Vinod R. Singhal, and Jeff K. Stratman. “The impact of enterprise systems on corporate performance:A study of ERP, SCM, and CRM system implementations.” Journal of Operations Management 25, no. 1 (January 2007): 65-82.



Source by Sally Ahmed