How To Monetize Your Website

How To Monetize Your WebsiteYou don’t have to know about complicated techy stuff in order to monetize your website. If you cannot afford to hire a professional to help you do it, save few dollars and do it yourself. It just takes a little research, effort and a positive attitude. You like the idea of blogging but you’re put off by the fact that you’re not earning money from your blog. It’s possible to write unique content on topics you’re passionate about while earning cash in the process.

Put Relevant And High Quality Ads on Website

This strategy mainly works if your website generates high traffic daily although some low performing websites may benefit financially from having ads. Make sure that the ads featured on your website are related to the nature of your website. The ads should also be from companies that most people like and trust. One type of online advertising that helps you monetize your ad is affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing you sign up with an affiliate program and you choose which of their ads you want on your website. For each sale that comes from someone clicking on your ads, you get a share of the affiliate company’s revenue.

Offer To Write Reviews for Companies on Your Blog

Another thing you can do to monetize your blog is to offer to write reviews for companies in exchange for payment. By doing this you not only make money but you help up-and-coming companies get more online exposure for their products, especially if your website is targeted to local audiences. If you write a daily blog that helps aspiring Djs, you can write reviews of the latest models of turntables and microphones.

[Read more...]

Some Ways to Cut Your Expenses

Some Ways to Cut Your ExpensesWe’re living in tough economic times and you’ll need to live within or below your means if you want to thrive financially. One of the best ways to survive financially is to cut out unnecessary expenses since it is those expenses that cause you stress.

No More Eating Out Everyday

For the foodie who loves to eat out, this may be hard for you to do but you should cut back on the number of times you eat out each day if you want to cut expenses and save money for a better financial future. Instead of eating out, learn to prepare healthy meals at home. Buy some cookbooks and search for sales at the supermarket.

[Read more...]

How To Set Up A Lab for Electronic Experiments

How To Set Up A Lab for Electronic ExperimentsAre you a hardcore geek who wants to create electronic experiments at home? Then you can do it by setting up a lab in your home for conducting experiments. Some of the most popular gadgets we use today were first developed as electronic experiments and they turned out to be money making devices for the developers. Your experiments may not become household names but you’ll have the satisfaction of understanding how electronics work.

The Basics of Setting Up The Lab

You will need a sturdy workbench and a few cabinets as well as some huge storage bins with labels on them so you can stay organized when working on electronic experiments. Install adequate overhead and task lighting in the room so you’ll be able to see clearly and avoid hazards in your lab. The main supplies you need for an electronics lab include a multimeter for testing voltage, oscillioscope, function generator, soldering iron, magnifying glasses, safety goggles, fume exhauster, pliers, glue gun, and screwdrivers.

[Read more...]

Footwear for a Good Hike with Friends

Footwear for a Good Hike with Friends    I am a desk jockey. I am attached to the computer screen, paperwork, and my comic book superhero posters. I have been gaining a few pounds since I am living an inactive life. I haven’t played baseball or football with friends in a while, and since I finally got my car back from the shop, I have not had the need to ride a bike or walk to the store. The amount of work I have can be stressful, so best believe I lifted a few chocolate bars and bags of cheesy puffs while chugging on an energy drink. Since I knew I needed to do something, I talked to my co-worker and best friend Kyle. Kyle is into nature and doing light exercise. I briefly talked about what was going on and he said he felt the same thing about the rest of us. Then, an idea popped in our heads after Kyle told me about his nature walks. He and I decided to invite a couple of co-workers to an expedition, a hike if you will. I have always wanted to go on a hike, and it would be a good excuse to purchase some new items. What can I say? I love to shop!

I needed to make sure I got the best pair of combat boots that money could buy. I visited CombatBootsPro.com to see if they had what I needed. It showed me how to buy the right boots for myself and so, I was ready to learn as much as I was ready to spend. The weather at the time was going to be cold, so I knew that these boots would keep my feet warm and I can have a sturdy grip on the ground with the bottom of the boots. Next, I needed to check off what I was looking for in a good quality boot. I wanted to make sure the hike would be better on my feet with a new pair than some raggedy pair I wore years ago and haven’t worn since.

I knew I needed some fit and durable combat boots. Durability is important to have because the boots can last longer, plus, I liked idea of having more costly boots and not the cheap ones I used to wear. High quality materials such as Gore Tex is something to consider. Also, it is important to wear boots that are very comfortable. Why wear a pair of boots that will just make your entire foot or toes feel suffocated? Why have boots that are too tight? You want breathing room while meeting my needs as I trek in the environment. I found an 10-inch boot that are similar to the ones worn by law enforcement and military.

I spent a reasonable amount on them. They were comfy and had odor control; the rugged leather was exactly what I needed. I wanted to be able to handle dry and moist areas on the trails we were going. Other co-workers, Kyle, and I all head out two weeks after the original planning. After the hike, I must say, I felt rejuvenated. Everyone else felt exhausted, but I just wanted to keep on walking. Thankfully the footwear I bought was perfect for a good hike with friends.

My Co-Worker and I Going On a Motorcycle Ride

My Co-Worker and I Going On a Motorcycle Ride     Ever watch movies, where the bad boy would ride his motorcycle? He would know how to control his hog and would sometimes have a girl sitting behind him, with his arms around his waist and hair flowing in the breeze. Yeah, I may not be a hot chick, but I would say I handled myself well, while my friend Brendan drove from the city to the suburbs to visit his sister and her new boyfriend.

They didn’t live far, so I was happy to know I wouldn’t have to ride with him for too long. My car is in the shop and Brendan rides his bike to work. Lucky for me despite fact that he is a 6’1”, 260 pound fella, my 5’9”, 140 pound self could handle sitting behind him. I noticed before we rode off that he wore these nice black motorcycle boots. I thought to myself that I should look into buying a pair of my own once I get my license to ride. It would be totally sweet.

Anyway, we took off on the open road. The sun was shining bright against the tall, green trees and birds and other beautiful creatures were enjoying the early morning climate. When I asked Brendan where he purchased his boots, he told me how difficult it was to determine which ones he wanted and needed. He read some reviews on http://motorcyclebootshero.com/harley-davidson-mens-brake-buckle-boot-review. Brendan talked about the great comfort level he was feeling while wearing the pair of buckle boots and a great deal he was able to get them. I can’t tell you how jealous I felt when I first found out he has a license to ride a motorcycle, a beautifully custom-made bike, and some sweet motorcycle gear. I knew I just had to do something to get what I felt was rightfully mine!

After coming back from his sister’s house, Brendan and I went on the website he was talking about and it was amazing! Now, the boots I wanted (yes, I still wanted them) was a pair of buckled boots. There are pros and cons when buying this type of boots, but I wasn’t going to let it make me feel hesitant. First of all, they are long lasting. Who wants to keep buying pair after pair of pricey boots? Also, they have a strong structure in how they were made. While feeling protected, I must say, they are comfortable. Once I read “cushioned insole,” I knew I had to jump on.

It can be difficult these days to look for the comfy boots you have been dying to wear.  These boots are expensive! Almost $150 for a pair because of the quality and amount of material used to make them. I could not think of another disadvantage, but I do know that when I finally ordered them, they would make me grin from ear-to-ear.

When I finally received the pair of boots by delivery, I was speechless – I was ecstatic! They fit like a glove and they smelled so good. I love the smell of clean leather boots in the morning. I’ve been using them for riding practice these past couple of weeks. Brendan and his sister’s boyfriend Frank have been patient with me. I guess you could say I was born to be wild!

How Us Techies Enjoyed The Above Ground Pool

How Us Techies Enjoyed The Above Ground Pool     While the weather is still warm, I would love to go for a swim. Not only is it a great way to cool down, but I am able to get some form of exercise while having fun with friends. The guys at Madison Web Works and I wanted to look into something along the lines of an above ground pool. We make decent money, and one of the co-workers was already planning to purchase what he needed for one. All of us wanted to help out, so, we all chipped in for a sweet pool from a certified ground pool dealer. We didn’t have experience in purchasing an above ground pool, so we checked out a website for safety and cost advantages.

One of the co-workers and I visited a helpful buyer’s guide at PartyPoolGuru.com. First, we had to make sure we knew the type of ground pool we wanted to “pool” our money into (pun intended). An above ground pool is a perfect option based on our wants and needs, budget, size, and location to install the pool. Usually, homeowners get the in-ground pools, but above ground pools are becoming more popular over time, especially with families. Above ground pools cost way less than in-ground pools to install. Maintaining an above ground pool can be expensive as well as pay yearly taxes whereas an above ground pool does not require such; these types are tax-free.

Above ground pools are safer because the in-ground pools can make it easier for pets and children to fall in and drown. Above ground pools come with safety features to lessen those chances such as child-proof stairs and a raised pool profile. Either pool can keep you cool in the warm weather. My fellow co-workers (and techies) and I agreed how much better above ground pools would be for us.

If you want awesome customization to your pool, it is easier to do so with an above ground pool. Once finished, in-ground pools are just that after construction. With an above ground pool, you can add accessories and other customized parts. Also, maintaining this type of pool is a dream. They are easy to clean and do not take as long to make sure it is in the right shape versus a in-ground pool. As I said before, we are trying to save money, so by saving money from maintenance is a good feeling!

I had to keep in mind of the disadvantages of having an above ground pool compared to the in-ground pools. First of all, it won’t blend in as well in our co-worker’s backyard. Some people do not like the look of an above ground pool since it does stand out. We don’t care really, we just want a place of our own to swim and party in! Which brings to the second disadvantage. Above ground pools are usually smaller than in-ground pools. So, I have to measure the circumference, depth, etc and talk about the specifications of the pool. We all decided on the type we wanted and decided to throw a little “bash” for employees and our friends and girlfriends.

I took my girlfriend to the party and we all enjoyed ourselves. The cool water that hits the skin once you come in contact. A barbecue of yummy steak, hot dogs, and burgers were cooking, and of course, ice cold beer was served. What can I say–us techies know how to have fun!

Choosing the Right Smoker for Barbecue Party Guide

Choosing the Right Smoker for Barbecue Party GuideGetting into the party mood is easy, if you know the tools. You put on the grill, add some drinks and great music – you’re all set for the party. I enjoy the backyard parties that I get invited to and also host in my yard. The party is simple to set up and the food is hearty and filling, and the overall mood is in an upbeat, making you feel relaxed and happy. When I have time around, I make it a habit to get down my grill and give it a look over, oil it and do whatever is needed to make it in top working condition.

This year I’d the shock of my life when I found that the grill was damaged beyond repair. I’d been having it for such a long time that I felt very sad losing it. I was mentioning about it to my friend who instantly suggested using the new range of smokers available in the market. I got interested in them naturally and wanted to know all about them. If you’re a novice user then be sure to check out reviews and guides of electric smokers.

Here are some of the things I found out about the smoker.

  • Smokers are available in different sizes and shapes and also price ranges;
  • The price and the fuel type are main deciding factors in buying a smoker;
  • There are a few main types, namely wood, charcoal, gas and electric smokers;
  • In the most basic form like the wood or charcoal smokers, you need to be quite attentive checking on the fire and looking out for the temperature constantly;
  • The gas or electric types need not have to be given that much attention;
  • The smokers below $400 are best, if you’re new to using barbecue. If you don’t like tending the fire, an electric or gas smoker is best. Once you are used to it and get the hang of it, a bigger and expensive one can be bought;
  • If you don’t mind the expense, looking at the smokers over $400 will give you a wider choice range. Mind you, the prices may well go over $1000, but with the higher price you also get to smoke plenty of food at the same time. Both hardwood and electric types are available and mostly used for competitions.

Smokers offer you a diverse range of choices as you get different types based on just the fuel you use and there the types that vary according to the temperature you use. You can smoke food to as high as 225 degrees Fahrenheit to as low as 60 degree Fahrenheit for cold smoking foods like jerky, cheese or fish.

You can find these features in most of the electric smokers available. Smoke Hollow electric smoker is a good choice in this aspect. The automation is by far the best feature I like in the smokers. You can select the temperature, set the time, and just load on the meat and turn on the smoker. It’s just like you use a microwave. But make sure you check on the pros and cons of all products before you commit on one.

Workout for Geeks, or How to Gain Muscle Tone

Workout for Geeks, or How to Gain Muscle ToneI spend a lot of time working with computers. If you wanted someone to design a website for you, or give you the latest information about Apple, Macintosh, the Internet and other technological stuff, then I’d definitely be your guy. All that time spent sitting in front of a monitor really isn’t good for a person though. Back when that James Gandalfini guy from The Sopranos died, I started taking notice of things like blood clots in people who sit for too long. It’s an epidemic, a true silent killer that just kind of sneaks up on a person, and something that got me pretty worried.

So, I decided to finally get more active. Not that I didn’t already go for walks, or sometimes ride a bike, or things like that. But there’s a big difference between just moving around and putting your body through an amount of activity which will be enough to make a difference in your health. While searching for a way to get my whole body active, I happened to find an article about Crossfit training. What I read sounded like exactly the type of workout I was looking for – no weights but lots of activity while trying to get as many different muscle groups in the body as possible involved in every workout.

I was so impressed with what I saw that I decided to try out Crossfit. I’ve been happy with the results so far, but it is one of the most intense kinds of exercise I’ve ever done, and the workouts almost always leave me sweaty and in need of a change of clothes, even if they are relatively short in length. Because there are no weights involved, Crossfit really isn’t about building mass. I suppose I could add them if I wanted to, but I’m really looking to get lean and build muscle tone, not increase my mass exponentially. That’s an easy thing to do with Crossfit, because so much of the body is working in a session.

I can feel it every time I work out too; the way my blood flow increases, the way it just feels good to do, even if it does make me smell bad. One thing nobody told me about, though, was that lactic acid tends to build up in muscles when you put them through heavy exertion like that. Neither the article I read nor the people did I talk to about Crossfit told me that particular detail and it was a painful lesson to learn. If you decide to take up Crossfit, then you should know that a cool-down period after your workout is essential to getting that acid out of your muscles, and stopping you from feeling sore for days.

Also, and this should be a no-brainer, you absolutely must stretch thoroughly before pulling off a Crossfit workout. Because so much of the body is involved, there are lots of little ligaments, tendons and muscles that can get pulled out of alignment or even permanently injured by exercising without stretching.

Create a Grappling Dummy You Can Train With

Create a Grappling Dummy You Can Train With      It is just another stressful day here at Madison Web Works. Everyone here has been rushing trying to get their project completed and testing out new pieces of technology for our boss and other clients. One of our guys was surfing online as always, being bored and feeling tired from working on some paperwork. The guy, Mike, came across something that helped us deal with our stress at the workplace.

Mike thought it was a good idea to create a genuine grappling dummy. It would help us release some tension through cathartic means without actually fighting someone. He told us about this grappling dummy and decided to give it a try. Problem is, we didn’t know how to make one and we barely had experience using martial arts or even wrestling! The power of the internet, however, changed that and since we are creative, tech-savvy inventors, we knew that we can take whatever we already had and turned it into something awesome.

A couple of us looked at the website and read through each step as to what was necessary in order to build a real dummy. I was ready to release some stress and felt impatient. Mike assured me and the rest of the crew to relax, not worry, and get ready to construct something that will blow our minds!

We already had a lot of the supplies to start building. I already had some duct tape, a couple of foam pillows I bring to work for my naps, and I found a mop in a janitor’s closet. Roger, another one of the coworkers, already had a hacksaw from his toolbox as well as a drill. Eventually we were able to gather up a long PVC pipe, foam, rope, and a 20 feet long electrical cable. We were ready to begin.

I had the cable laid out to make the midsection, arms, and legs. The legs were 7 feet, the midsection 3 feet, and the arms 6 feet. Mike double checked to make sure it was the length we are wanted. We made sure the measuring tape was used to its full advantage as we were constructing away.

We knew we needed a skeleton, a bone structure to put everything together properly. I suggested that Tony would cut the PVC pipe since it was his and he has the dexterity to make perfect cuts with the hacksaw. The spine was 24 inches, the neck was about 7 inches, and the shoulders and hips were 6 inches. I brought out my duct take and made sure the hips and shoulders were secure enough to the spine section on top and below.

Mike drilled holes in the neck and spike areas for the electrical cable. We put the cable through each piece, and finally used the rope to secure the neck and spine. I taped the cable to the spine to make sure everything was together.

Tony made a dummy head with the mop’s top. We left about a half-foot of the handle still attached, but then stuck it together with everything. All of us taped the pillows and foam onto the body and dressed it up a bit. It really looked like someone we could take in a legit fight! We got ready to put on our professional kimonos and started training.

The experience was a blast–we all took turns with the dummy. If I were you, I’d start with a genuine grappling dummy for safety reasons. Mike, Tony, and I were able to de-stress and enjoy ourselves at the same time.

How to Grow Indoor Plants Using Led Lights

How to Grow Indoor Plants Using Led Lights     We like to try out new products and give our honest reviews and opinions about them. Testing out new technologies is what we like to do at Madison Web Works. Helping people figure out if those technologies will work for them is the second thing we like to do here. Us “geeks” decided to try something new, which is using LED lights to grow our indoor plants. All of us have one or more plants such as flowers and fruit. It became unanimous that all of us should purchase and test our these lights to see how effective they are for indoor planting usage. A friend of ours suggested that we should experiment with this and gave us this helpful resource to choose the best grow lights.

You will need many supplies in order to start growing your plants indoors. It is different from growing your flowers outside in the yard, but for the most part, it is a task that can be easily accomplished. An indoor gardener needs LED lights, electrical sockets, an electrical outlet with a timer included, and of course, your beautiful plants!

An advantage of using LED lights is that they use less energy for a stronger, long-lasting brightness. In addition to its lasting capabilities, you can purchase these grow lights in any color, even colors that will mimic natural sunlight! LED technology is changing all the time, so much that we were able to energize our indoor plants with a bunch of next generation grow lights.  I cannot tell you how excite we were to use them on our green babies!

First, we had to figure out how much light we needed for our plants.  We were able to decide the amount of light we wanted, and finally chose the wattage of the bulbs. I decided to purchase an electrical outlet timer. I have learned that the majority of plants, they also respond to certain colors of lights. Red and blue hues of LED glow lights are the best to choose from. Additionally, you need the best ratio of these types of lights. As for blue and red lights, I like to use an 80 to 20 ratio. With some lights, you can switch different colors without being a detriment to your plants.

Next, we had to figure out where to put the lights. Figure out how big your plants are or will be, and measure the distance between your plants and LED lights. The light should blanket the plants without going overboard to places where light isn’t needed. I set my lights to be about 8 inches away. 5 to 10 inches are the best distances to go.

I bet you are wondering why we need a timer. The timer is needed for plants who do not need constant light. Too much light can be harmful to some plants just like too little light. Set up a schedule and research your plant’s light exposure needs.

Lastly, never stare into the light bulbs. Staring into the light can cause damage to your eyes! Be sure to be aware of this precaution and have fun while doing it! I was able to grow beautiful magnolias for home, the workplace, and for my mom‘s den. Happy planting!

How to Create a Data Center at Home

How to Create a Data Center at HomeLately, I have been working been working abroad as an Uptime Institute engineer and have been performing various tests for data centers. It has been really rewarding work. I have even had the chance to play a major role on a project with Citrus Solutions. When working with Citrus, I ran across their website, http://www.citrus.lv, and got the idea to design and create an at-home data center using the wealth of information that they provide. Some of the most important things I have learned through my experiment in creating homemade data solutions have been in handling heat and weight and choosing server consoles, platforms and networking and storage options. Finally, I’ll run through how to deal with what happens when all that equipment that just got set up starts to fail.

Heat

Everyone knows that heat is the number one enemy of computers. Even just a couple of computers put together can generate a huge amount of heat. Fans seem like a solution. But, when building a data center, they are simply not enough. All fans do is blow around hot air. They don’t really cool anything at all, and this means that heat can build up quickly.What needs to happen is that air needs to circulate effectively and be replaced with fresh, cold air. After the fan, many people think an AC unit is the answer.

In at-home data centers, some baker’s racks and with a portable AC unit placed beside the equipment is also not enough. There needs to be a way to vent the heat outside and a system so to accurately maintain air temperature. But, the problem with an AC unit is thatit will use a huge amount of extra energy because it basically needs to run all day every day. And, baker’s racks won’t cut it either. The computer components will be too heavy and the heat buildup, from poor air circulation, can cause low-end motherboards to pop capacitors.

It’s really important to work safe. For one thing, overloading circuits can lead to nasty electrical fires. For only a couple PCs a small UPS will work, but power strips are not safe. Expanding past a couple of computers may mean getting some server-grade UPSes, as they are safer and can stay up during a power outage.  Hiring a certified electrician and getting an inspection is key if new circuits are a part of the plan.

This can be life-saving and is well worth the cost. Also, the rules of circuitry always apply: Never load any circuit beyond 50%, and try tokeep it well below the 50% mark. A 50% load on a circuit means pulling at least 900Ws, which also means finding a better way to go about it. The maximum safe power density at home will likely to top out at about 1600W, which is roughly 3x110v 15A circuits.

Weight

Another consideration is weight. The floors of a house can hold a lot of weight, but they are usually not built to withstand holding a rack of computers. For anything beyond a very simple setup, a wood floor and the top levels of a multistory house are not ideal. If you are going to start a home data center, it’s best to have your equipment on a concrete-slab foundation or in a basement.

Regardless, always make sure your floors are rated for at least 2000 pounds. And, remember those baker’s racks? Don’t use them, and don’t use premade shelving either. They are just not stable enough. Go with real server racks to manage the weight and heat and to make for easy mounting (especially with HP or Dell “enterprise” servers). A 42U rack will require about 25 square feet of space. This brings us to the last point. Planning the set up well before starting tomove in arack and loading everything onto it is important. Moving a bunch of heavy equipment around is no fun, so don’t do it twice if it can be done once.

Consoles

A KVM is recommended as they let a few PCs share one monitor, keyboard and mouse.  A $20 KVM will work with 1 to 4 PCs. This is just fine for many people. It’s nice to rack up a PC monitor too, if there’s room. Rackmount monitors and keyboards are easily available and start at $100 and go way higher. The thing to remember is that not all KVMs are created equal. A KVM for PS/2 mice and keyboards probably won’t work with a USB to PS/2 adapter for a mouse or a keyboard. This may require buying a different KVM or converter cables.

Many times, the new non-PS/2 equipment will have a glitch with PS/2 only KVMs where older equipment works fine.I went with IPMI on my servers.With my setup, I can manage the power and the console from my PC. If older equipment or a tight budget prevent using IPMI, it’s not a killer. It just means a lot more trips to the basement or the back room.

Platforms

Most people will want to mix it up and run Linux, Windows, FreeBSD and Solaris at home. One way to do this is to use PCs that are actually dedicated to running each system. For example, setting up a couple of computers to run Linux is really easy to do. This is more than fine for a simple setup. However, this means that adding anything to the data center will mean using more hardware and power.

The other option is virtualization. There are many freely available Hypervisor options here depending on what’s needed. Some good options are VirtualBox, VMware ESXi and/or Microsoft Hyper-V 2012R2. The best thing to do is to use a PC with a quality SATA hard drive and at least 8GB of RAM. 16GB can host about 8 VMs. It’s true that the more memory and hard drives, the better, but disk performance will not be fast on any PC using a single hard drive.

Networking and Storage

A switch is not just a switch! I didn’t spend a huge amount of money on this, but good networking is important. A cheap router is not going to be fast, may act up and definitely won’t be rated to work in the heat of a data center. Be willing to spend just a little bit more, and really read the specs. That switch may look like a deal, but if there are more ports than capacity, it won’t run fast.

Storage works the same way. I try to buy the best storage that I can for my budget and my specific needs. 4 disk NAS units are okay for a few VMs. Western Digital, Drobo, Seagate and Thecus are good bets. But, it’s best to use a unit that creates iSCSI disks, especially since VMware ESXi does not support anything with SMB or CIFS access. The best most inexpensive units can provide is 1Gpbs connections. This likely won’t be the actual performance, especially if a lot of RAID options are on.

RAID

So, about RAID. It does not mean there’s no need for backups. All it means is that if a drive does die in a NAS, that it will be able to keep running and not lose any data for the time being. Equipment will fail. Don’t make the mistake of losing important data. Keep multiple copies in several locations even with a data cap on ISPs. It’s also good to use Cloud to back up a NAS too. The thing is to have all data saved across 2 or 3 locations using something like Windows Server 2012R2 Essentials. Then, test the backup regularly.

I hope this helps people interested in setting up their own home-based data center. Using this site and other internet resources, like the link I provided above, means that this can be a safe, fun and useful project for anyone serious about computing.