Online Backup or Backup Disaster Recovery Solutions, What's Best for You?

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We will not state the obvious, but we all know the importance of backup. If any business is not meticulously backing up their data, they are making a tremendous mistake. Having your data compromised, lost or corrupt will create chaos in your environment and could cost your business thousand of dollars. What business owners do not realize is that having your employee seating around while your IT is recovering your data, or server, also costs money.

Think about it, if you pay your $ employee 10 an hour, and they work 8 hours a day, you have to pay them $ 80 a day correct? (Of course we are not considering, taxes, insurance, etc). If your server is down or if the data is corrupt and it takes 4 hours to recover it, your employee does not cost you $ 10 an hour. Your employee costs you $ 20 an hour because he / she only worked 4 hours out of 8. Multiply this by the number of employees you have and you'll have an idea of ​​the damage.

Corrupt data or having your server down, affects your sales, production and if the recovery takes too long, you could potentially go out of business. According to business reports, 70% of small business that have major data loss go out of business within a year. Hardware cost has dropped dramatically and today, anyone can afford a decent backup solution. We will cover two solutions in this article and we will help you see which one is best for your business. The first is simply a local to online cloud backup solution. The second is a backup disaster recovery solution with online cloud backup.

If your business has no critical applications and if your business will not be affected if your server is down, you can consider a local to online cloud backup solution. A typical business with no critical application is one that only has a file server in place. One may argue that even if a file server is down for a couple of hours, it could affect the business, we agree with you. But let's say that this is a simple file server, with no active directory, no access right, no critical applications and being down for a couple of hours is acceptable. For such a business a local to online cloud backup should suffice. Post why? A local to online cloud backup will do the following:

  1. Backup your raw data on an external hardware (local but outside of the server)
  2. Push another copy of the raw data to the online cloud backup.

So if the server crashes, the data is corrupt or lost, you can quickly recover it from your local hardware. If something were to happen to your entire office, such as fire, water damage, or any direct or indirect disaster, you can recover your data from the online cloud backup, from anywhere. And having this data accessible to you from anywhere at any time, could potentially save your business. Consider the following when researching for an online backup solution:

  • Good security that meets your company requirements and compliance, such as encryption, PCI, SAS 70, or HIPAA etc.
  • Make sure the company you select has a couple of data centers all around the country, so if one is down, you can still access your data from the others.
  • Make sure the upload speed is fast. If your data takes too long to upload, you could be waiting for weeks before the first backup is done.
  • Make sure there is no file size limitation. If one of your files is too big, it could fail to upload.

If your business today has critical applications and your servers can not be down, consider a Backup Disaster Recovery solution. One of the biggest challenges companies face is how to maximize business continuity and avoid business disruption following a server failure or data loss.

Some BDR (Backup Disaster Recovery) solutions provide fast and reliable data backup, protection, disaster recovery, and system migration to get servers online or data recovered as quickly as possible following a disaster. How does that work? A BDR solution will take an image of your entire server and store it on an external hardware. Another copy of the image will be pushed to the online cloud backup.

So what is the difference between this solution and the first one we described before?

If the server goes down due to physical or software reasons (or disaster), you can use the backup file, and mount it as a virtual machine. That means you will not have to reinstall the operating system, your applications, configure the applications and the server etc. This can potentially save your days of work, and thousands of dollars. We mean it, days of work and thousand of dollars. On top of that, if your entire site goes down, depending on the online cloud backup vendor, they can mount your server virtually on their servers in the cloud and provide you with a VPN access. So if your environment goes down, you now have your exact server, from the last backup set, running in the cloud. No need to have extra hardware, or software for this. These solutions are becoming more common. We call them hybrid BDR solutions because they do not force a client to purchase local hardware and lock them on a big initial setup fee. You only pay for the online virtual server mount if your entire site goes down. No extra hardware monthly fee or extra cost, making these solutions absolutely affordable. SMBs and MMBs can now have the same type of backup solutions enterprise businesses use.

Consider the following when researching for a BDR solution.

  • The BDR's backup file should be your entire server image.
  • The BDR solution should seamlessly takes incremental backup as often as every 15 minutes if needed.
  • The incremental backups should be fast, automatic, and continuously occurring in the background.
  • The solution should have the ability to restore the backup into a virtual environment such as Oracle Virtual box, VMware, Microsoft HyperV Or. (The entire system will be restored into a virtual machine).
  • The BDR solution should allow file and folder recovery.
  • It should allow bare metal recovery. In case you want to recover the server on a dissimilar hardware.
  • The online backup should have the ability to upload the local images files securely to the cloud.

So overall, when considering a backup solution you'll need to understand your company needs, requirements and what the company can tolerate in case of an outage. With this information, you should be able to either select a local to online cloud backup or BDR solution. Both of these solutions are very inexpensive and every business should take advantage of them. You can purchase a monthly license for the BDR solution and pay as little as 50 cents per gig for cloud space. Do not risk losing your business data for few dollars a month.

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Source by Jacob Ouaknine

How To Run 16-Bit Software On A Windows 7 64-Bit Computer

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I live in an area of ​​the country where there are many elderly people. Many of these wonderful people still have old computers that are running old software. However, little by little they are beginning to upgrade their computers and Operating Systems to the latest and greatest 64-bit Windows 7 – but they want to keep using their beloved old software. Therein lies the problem!

The other day I set up a new Windows 7 machine for a client. He was extremely happy and then he said "OK, now let's install my wife's American Greetings CreataCard Gold 5 and my Hoyle Card Games". He and his wife had used these same programs for years and they could not live without them!

Well as you can probably imagine, these two programs would not install. Both of these older programs are16-bit and will not install on the 64-bit Windows 7 OS. If my client had purchased a computer running 32-bit Windows 7, he could have run his programs in Compatibility Mode but this function will not work in 64-bit Windows 7.

So, the guy was very disappointed but I stayed as "cool as a cucumber" because I knew that there were several, great, free virtual machine programs that will allow you to run these older 16-bit programs on Windows 7 64-bit.

These are the programs that I recommend (especially # 2 & # 3):

1) DOSBox (DOSBox is a DOS emulator and only runs 16 MS bit-DOS programs and not 16 bit Windows Applications).

2) VirtualBox (a "virtual machine" That Allows an unmodified operating system with all of its installed software to RUN in a special environment, on top of your existing operating system).

3) VMware Player . (A "virtual machine" That will RUN legacy Windows applications on top of your existing operating system without interfering with the original OS).

Have fun continuing to enjoy your older programs on your brand new Operating System !!

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Source by Randy Knowles

Turn a Physical Linux or Windows Machine Into A Virtual Machine for Free

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We will be focusing on creating this masterpiece in the Windows environment, but do not worry the same principles can be used in any operating system that can run Virtual Box.

List of Software and Hardware needed:

Software:

-Virtual Box and Extension Pack

-Windows 7 or higher PC or most any Linux Distro

-Redo Backup and Recovery ISO

-YUMI Installer

Hardware:

-USB Flash drive

-USB Hard drive

The overall benefits of performing this procedure is three fold. One, cost savings on power, climate control and space required will be seen instantly. Two, manageability and scalability dramatically increases due to working with virtual disks and virtual networks that can scaled up or down with finer grained control. Three, redundancy and faster disaster recovery that is provided by cloud services. Especially when tied into your already existing network infrastructure for a seamless transition when disaster strikes.

While this process can be completed in numerous ways with different software, this is the way that I am familiar with and all the tools needed are free.

Sounds daunting? No sweat, but where do we start first?

Well, we need to get an image of the physical machine onto removable media (USB hard drive). I recommend a USB hard drive vs. just a USB flash drive due to the space the image will take up. We will also need a USB flash drive at least 2 GB in size to use as a bootable media for Redo Backup and Recovery.

Plug the USB hard drive into your USB port and open up the folder structure. Create a folder in a location that you can remember Ie D: "Your Computer's Name". This is the location where we will install the files from our initial physical image copy to. After this is complete, eject your USB hard drive by right clicking on the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon in your taskbar and click on Eject "whatever your USB hard drive is named", unplug the USB HDD.

Next, we need to create a bootable USB to load Redo Backup and Recovery on. Download a small program called "YUMI". YUMI will create a bootable USB flash drive for Redo Backup and Recovery on it. Also grab a copy of Redo Backup and Recovery, save both files to your desktop or location of choice.

Now, run YUMI and choose your USB flash drive from the list (Remember to choose your USB drive and not your USB HDD that should be unplugged anyway!). Choose "Redo Backup and Recovery" from the software list that you can create an installer for. Click the "Browse" button to look for the Redo Backup and Recovery.iso to include on the install. Finally click on "create" to start the bootable Redo Backup and Recovery bootable USB creation process. When this is done, YUMI will ask you if you want to add any more distros, just say "no". Eject your USB out of the computer using the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon in your taskbar and click on Eject "whatever your USB flash drive is named" and unplug the USB flash drive. Please keep Redo Backup and Recovery.iso we will need it later.

Make sure that the physical computer that you would like to virtualize is in a powered down state, if not please power down the computer. Insert only the USB flash drive into the computer. Power up the computer and press the correct key to access to boot menu or make sure that the USB drive is set to boot before the computers internal hard drive. Choose the USB entry to boot from, YUMI should now load. Choose the entry for "Tools" then "Redo Backup and Recovery". Press enter on the Redo menu to start the mini recovery O / S. When Redo Backup and Recovery is loaded, insert your USB HDD and give it about 20 seconds.

Open Redo Backup and Recovery Software:

1. Choose "Backup"

2. Choose your disk to backup (your physical computer's disk)

3. Choose your partitions to backup (typically it would be all partitions and MBR)

4. On the "Destination Drive" screen choose "Connected directly to my computer" and click browse.

5. Locate the file folder we made earlier Ie D: "Your Computer's Name" click OK.

6. Choose a name for the disk image. I will usually choose the date, click next. The backup process will take anywhere from 1 hr to 3 hrs depending on hard drive capacity and computer speed.

Congratulations, at this point you have made a full backup of your physical machine. Please click "Close" on the Redo and Recovery Backup program and choose the power button in the bottom right corner of your screen. Select "Shutdown" and let the computer shutdown. Remove both USB flash drive and USB HDD and boot up any computer that has Windows 7 or higher installed on it.

Now, lets turn that physical machine into a virtual machine!

Open up Virtual Box and choose "New". Give your Virtual Machine a name and choose the type of virtual machine it will be as well as the version. Choose your memory size, I usually a lot 2 GB = 2048 MB if I plan on running it on a machine that has 4 GB of ram physically installed. Create a new hard drive, choose VHD as the hard drive file type, click next. Choose "Dynamically allocated" for the storage, click next. Give your VHD hard drive a name, I will usually name it by whats running on it, hence name it what you named your computer. Make the VHD hard drive large enough to store your operating system, I will usually choose 200GB to be on the safe side. Again this depends on how big your physical machine's data was. You are now returned to the Virtual Box Manager screen with your new VM present. Make sure your Virtual Box extension has been installed. Obtain the extension for your software version and install it like so:

In Virtual Box, click File -> Preferences -> Extensions -> Add Package -> Locate extension file and select it. It will be automatically installed.

Prepare the conversion! Use only Option A or Option B:

Option A: If you can get USB support working in Virtual Box:

Make sure that you have installed the extension pack and setup USB access properly, if you are having some troubles, refer to the Virtual Box document here:

https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch03.html#idp55342960

In Virtual Box, click on your VM name and choose "Settings" at the top, choose "Storage". Click on the empty CD / DVD icon and then the CD / DVD icon on the right under "Attributes" and select your Redo Backup and Recovery ISO and click "OK". At this point you have the Redo Backup and Recovery.iso at the ready and a blank VHD to install to. All you need to do now is insert your USB hard drive and skip over Option B because you do not need to perform it.

Option B: If you can not get USB support to work in Virtual Box. No problem, its what happened to me so I found a way around it.

In Virtual Box, click on your VM name and choose "Settings" at the top, choose "Storage", choose "Add hard disk" next to Controller: Sata or Controller: IDE whatever you have. Choose "Create new disk", choose VHD and again make it 200GB Dynamically allocated and name it "Installer". Underneath "Storage Tree" click on the empty CD / DVD icon and then the CD / DVD icon on the right under "Attributes" and select your Redo Backup and Recovery ISO and click "OK". At this point you have the Redo Backup and Recovery.iso at the ready and a blank VHD which is named after your computer and another black VHD named Installer. Now close Virtual Box and right click on "Computer" and choose "Manage". Left click on "Disk Management" then right click on "Disk Management" again and choose "Attach VHD". Browse for the location of your Installer VHD that you created in Virtual Box, usually in the "My Documents" folder and click okay. Now you can copy the physical computer backup image that we took earlier from D: "Your Computer's Name" to Installer VHD. After the contents have been copied, right click on computer management again and click on "Detach VHD". Open up Virtual Box and proceed to the next step.

Lets Convert This Thing!

Once you have either USB support or the Installer VHD setup and the Redo Backup and Recovery ISO mounted. Press "Start" on your VM name in Virtual Box. You will be met the familiar Redo Backup and Recovery boot menu, press enter to proceed. Launch the Backup and Recovery program if it did not start automatically. Choose "Restore". In a nutshell, you will choose where your Image backup is "The Source Drive" (your USB HDD or Installer VHD if applicable) and where to install the image (blank VHD named after your computer). After you have chosen to install into the blank VHD, confirm the prompt to overite any data and let the recovery process begin. After this is finished, click close and shutdown Backup and Recovery as you did before. The VM should stop running. Click on "Settings" from the Virtual Box Manager and unmount the Backup and Recovery ISO and the Installer VHD if applicable. Leave your VHD with the name of your computer or whatever you named it and click on "OK" to go back to the Virtual Box Manager. Click on "Start", you should now be looking at a fully virtualized version of your physical computer!

Celebrate the many uses of this power little VHD!

You can transport this VHD and include it in any Virtual Box VM instance or even VMware if you are so inclined. You can run it on your local premises or deploy it in the cloud. A cloud instance of this VM would either require running Virtual Box on your cloud computing instance, or running it natively in your cloud computing space if the hosting provider supports it.

Common Gotchas and Troubleshooting:

Q: When trying to run my Linux based virtual machine, I get "not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block (0,0)"?

A: This is because in the backup and recovery process all the entries for hda ##, hdb ## and so forth have been converted to sda ## extc. First, copy your precious VHD so you will not lose your work if something goes wrong. Then all you will have to do is mount Backup and Recovery ISO, start your VM again and bring up a terminal session. Mount the Root partition and edit the entries in GRUB or Lilo to the proper boot device. For example: in GRUB, the entries are included in menu.Ist and fstab. In Lilo they are included in /etc/lilo.config and then / sbin / lilo -v to write the changes.

Q: When trying to run my Windows based virtual machine I get a boot error?

A: Obtain a copy or a Windows disc and mount it inside of Virtual Box making sure it is set to boot first. Choose the "Repair" option. Choose "Start Up Repair" and let it run. If this does not do the trick, go back into the "Repair" option and choose "Command Prompt". Try these commands one at a time, shutting down and unmounting the Windows disc each time to check if the problem has been corrected:

bootrec.exe / FixMbr. Then restart to see if resolved. If no result, try:

bootrec.exe / FixBoot. Then restart to see if resolved. If no result, try:

bootrec.exe / RebuildBcd. Then restart to see if resolved. If no result, try:

You may have to remove your BCD folder by running these commands one line at a time without quotes:

"Bcdedit / export C: BCD_Backup

c: <—- Only if your Windows installation is installed on C:

cd boot

attrib bcd -s -h -r

ren c: bootbcd bcd.old

bootrec / RebuildBcd "

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Source by David T Goodwin

Pogo Cheat – Top 4 Ways to Get Millions of Tokens Without Breaking a Sweat!

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Who do not know Pogo these days? With hundreds of highly popular games under its belt, Pogo has become one of the busiest gaming site on today's market. One of Pogo inventory that contributed the most to its success is the virtual currency called Token. You can do many things with Token, eg buy things for your Mini (Pogo avatar), buy lottery tickets or just stake them in the casino against other players.

As if it's real money, Token has become very addictive to some. This group of people always look for a better way to cheat the system, ie to gain the most Tokens with the least work. If you fall into this category, this is your lucky day, because I have some great Pogo cheat info for you:

1. Sign-Up Offers
Well, it's not necessarily a "Pogo cheat". If you do a search on Google with keywords like "free pogo tokens", you'll end up with tens or hundreds of such offers. Basically, you do the webmaster a favour like signing-up to some surveys or free offers with your e-mail address and zip code (sometimes more detailed personal info are required) and then he will grant you some Tokens. The range are between 500-96,000 Tokens per site / per sign-up offer. Please note that 96,000 Token offers are very rare, the most common ones are a couple thousands.

2. Buy It
If you know where to look at, you'll find a good deal offering 1,000,000 Tokens for $ 4.99 to 35,000,000 Tokens for $ 99.99. And if you search more intense, you'll find even a better deal, something like 5,000,000 Tokens for $ 5.50 to 100,000,000 Tokens for $ 100. This is very tempting, I know. The only drawback I have found so far is that this kind of offer usually require you providing your Club Pogo login info (username & password). So, if you have the budget and are OK with passing on your login info, then go for it. Caution: some of them are con artists that only after people's logins to take over their accounts.

3. Play Buddy
Some people consider it as the best option for cheating Pogo games. Play Buddy is basically a bot that plays your game automatically with high accuracy and optimized pointer. While this may sound great so far, the price tag will not make your wallet happy. The tool is game-specific and sold separately, ranging from $ 10 to $ 20 per tool. So if you have 100 favorite games to cheat, be prepared to spend $ 1,000 – $ 2,000 upfront!

4. A Better Way …
If you do not buy all the hype about all of the above, then I believe this is for you. Only a select few people know this and once they know, they keep it for themselves. It has something to do with memory programming, but hey, do not let the techie sound fools you. The skill only takes minutes to master and once you did, you'll be able to generate millions of Tokens in split second! And you do not stop there … because the universal nature of this skill will allow you to cheat nearly every single PC game in the neighborhood.

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Source by Ray Abraham

Bird Cage Liners – The Good, the Bad, And The, Just Really Bad

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This question always seems to pop up when bird enthusiasts just get started in the care and keeping of their feathered friends. What cage liner is best to use? What is the cheapest method, and which is the safest? There are so many products (some misleading) that it can certainly lead you in obscure, not to mention, potentially hazardous, directions. Let's separate the fact from the fiction.

When first deciding what sort of liner to use, consider your cage. Is the tray an odd shape? Does your cage have a grate to prevent your bird from tracking around the bottom? Can the bird reach the bottom, even with the grate? The answers to these questions will help determine which sort of liner is best suited for your situation. You want to pick a liner that can be easily examined, as a change in your birds droppings can be an indicator of illness. You want to choose a product that will make it easy to see the consistence, color, shape, and number of droppings. You also want a liner that will be easy to maintain, and will not allow droppings, water, or other messy substances to permeate and cause potential mold issues.

Common beddings on the market nowadays include:

Corn Cob Bedding while often marketed for pets and birds in particular, it can cause more hazard then harm. Because it is so absorbent, it can easily mold. The dust that comes along with the corn cob also has the potential to create respiratory issues in sensitive birds. If you bird has any access to his cage bottom at all, corn cob can pose a hazard if your bird accidentally ingests any of it.

Walnut Shells are another bedding type that is easy to come by, and at one time or another has been recommended as OK for birds. Walnut shells when eaten can irritate and inflame organs, causing discomfort, or even internal damage. Walnut shells are not recommended for avians.

Cedar Shavings can contain ingredients and natural oils that are toxic to birds. Their thick aroma can cause respiratory discomfort, causing allergic symptoms and irritation of the digestive track. Any sort of shaving is also not ideal for 'broody' or 'nesty' female birds.

Pine Shavings unlike cedar are not toxic and quite often used as nesting material for birds. We suggest using pine shavings for nesting material, but not a cage birds normal liner for the cage. Shavings can increase hormonal before for female parrots especially if they can have access to the shavings. If eaten, crop impaction is another concern. If your bird is a bather, shavings are not recommended as they can easily harvest mold.

Kitty Litter I've heard of few owners using kitty litter in the bottom of the birds cage. The dust factor that is associated with litter alone makes using kitty litter a huge issue. Clumping litter contains ingredients to make the litter swell, sometimes to ten times its normal size, so if ingested it poses a huge health hazard to your bird.

Paper Products is the seemingly all around winner when it comes to cage liners. Easy to come by (I've heard owners getting their paper from neighbors, buying end rolls from their local newspaper, and everything in between!) Newspaper is probably the most commonly used liners. In the US, all newspapers use a soy based ink, so its safe for your bird in case it has access to the bottom of his cage. Actually, soy based ink is said to have antibacterial properties, so it's a healthy way to line your cage and ward off unwanted bacteria. It also has a slim risk for molding, and is easy to clean.

Cage Catchers another bird safe alternative on the market that have recently been getting a lot of praise. They are lightly waxed, custom sized pieces of paper sold in sheets the size of your choice. A wallet friendly alternative to paper, they make cleaning your cage easy and pain free. Cage Catchers, like paper, harbor little possibility for mold and give little opportunity for unwanted bacteria to fester.

Whatever you decide to use, please just make sure what you use is safe for your bird. We've heard owners using just about everything in their cages- from paper towels, to aluminum foil (a big no!), To fleece that is swapped out and washed daily. Whatever fits your cage, your budget, and your bird is what will be best for you! We recommend going to cage-catchers.com to check out their product line, or contacting your local newspaper to see if you can strike a bargain for their recyclables, or even the end rolls.

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Source by Kelli L

Acer Aspire 5542g Review

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The Acer 5542G is the company's replacement model for it's very popular 5536 / 5536G series. The new model comes with an improved processor and a whole new Tigris platform. It was after more than a week's wait and phone calls that I got hold of one Acer Aspire 5542G. From the moment I read the specification sheet, I have been very thrilled to get the machine in my hands. The specs boasts about a AMD Turion II 2.2 Ghz, 3GB DDR2 Memory, ATI 4570 Dedicated graphics card with a 512MB DDR3 memory and a quite generous 320GB Hard disk drive for a price tag of less than RS 34000, which is quite a tempting deal.

In this detailed review we will see how these specs meet the real performance needs.

Key features:

In this section, we will look in detail at the key components that makes up this laptop. I will also try to include as much specifications and details as available from the manufacturer's source.

Processor:

Acer Aspire 5542G comes with the second generation AMD Turion Processor (AMD Turion II M500) clocked at 2.2Ghz which houses a 1MB L2 Cache. The Turion II M500 is fabricated using the 45nm technology. It belongs to the Caspian generation of processors and supports HyperTransport 3.0 and hardware virtualization.

The Turion is AMDs answer to mobile processors, which provides excellent performance while keeping the power consumption at the minimum. The Turion processors generates less heat compared to AMD's desktop work horses that have a bad reputation in heat emission department. The Turion II being the next version of the decent performer Turion, it sets high expectations in terms of competing with the Core 2 Duos in the market. We will see how it scores in real performance when we benchmark it down the road.

Graphics Card: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 512MB DDR3

One of the main attractions of this laptop is the graphics engine that lies beneath the hood. The Acer 5542G comes with a dedicated ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 with 512 MB of DDR3 memory.

For those of you who are not clear about the difference between an integrated and a dedicated graphics solution, I'm adding a few words. An Integrated graphics solution (eg: the Intel's X4500) does not come with dedicated video memory; it eats up your system memory for graphics processing and thus the slower path between the system memory and the graphics engine causes the biggest bottle-neck when it comes to performance. Also the integrated graphics processor would be less powerful than a mainstream dedicated one in raw processing power. On the other hand, a dedicated graphics card will usually have a high speed dedicated video memory (eg: DDR3) which is coupled to the graphics processor. This removes the bottle neck and gives the card superior performance. The graphics processor on a dedicated card would usually support high-end effects provided by the latest DirectX and OpenGL APIs which gives the realism and visual-candy in the latest games.

The HD 4570 is a faster clocked version of the Mobility Radeon 4530/4330. It has a 64 Bit memory bus and comes with a 512MB DDR3 VRAM. The 512MB should be adequate for most gaming and graphics needs, unless you play in the craziest resolutions. (As rendering resolution increases, the more memory it needs). The DDR3 memory will meet the needs for the fastest and huge volume texture processing that modern games demand. However the 64 bit bus stands inferior to the 128 bit bus that most mainstream cards offer.

The ATI Mobility Radeon 4570 is based on the RV710 chip and it provides 80 stream processors. The Mobility Radeon also provides the video technology called Avivo HD that provides an on board 7.1 sound chip. The graphics solution also features a 2nd generation Unified Video Decoder that supports full bitstream decoding of H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC and VC-1 streams. The 4570 graphics unit is capable of handling all video tasks including HD video decoding.

Display:

The Acer 5542G comes with a 15.6 "High Definition LED backlit TFT LCD display that provides 220-nit high brightness and Acer's Cinecrystal display technology. The pure widescreen (16: 9) display supports a maximum resolution of 1366X768 and provides a 60% color gamut . It has a high-def response time of 8ms.

Memory: There is nothing much to boast about a 3GB DDR2 800Mhz memory that comes with the Acer Aspire 5542G when compared to the current line of laptops many of which sports a 4GB under the hood. The 3GB is sufficient for most of the computing needs which can later be upgraded to 4GB. However the 3GB deal would appear reasonable when we keep the price tag of the Acer 5542G in mind.

Hard Disk Drive: Again there's nothing jaw dropping in this department. But I would say that the 320GB that comes with the Acer 5542G is generous for most of your storage needs.

Processor performance and benchmark:

I was initially reluctant to switch from the Intel's proven workhorse Core 2 Duo to the AMD's Turion family of processors. It is a widely accepted fact that the Intel's processor outperforms the AMD counter part, provided that both runs on the same clock speed; the main culprit being the lower L2 cache in AMDs. But my reluctance to move on to the AMD Turion II was swept away by the performance benchmarks. The AMD Turion II M500 2.2 Ghz outperforms the Intel Core 2 Duo 6670 2.2 Ghz. When AMD Turion II M500 scores a decent score of 1426, the Intel Core2 Duo 6670 managed to get only 1379, though the margin is not huge.

The Turion II M500 also scored higher in the Windows 7 performance rating with a score of 5.7 against the score of 5.5 of the Intel's Core 2 Duo 6600.

The Turion II without doubt has improved it's architecture dramatically compared to the previous generation Turion, which helps it to achieve a higher performance benchmark, while competing head-on with the Intel's counterpart, even though AMD Turion II M500 houses only 1MB L2 cache compared to the 2MB offered by the Intel's variants.

The AMD Turion II M500 is doubtlessly an excellent performer and is commendable for being the first AMD processor model overtaking the Intel Core 2 Duo along the performance lines, both of which are clocked at the same speed. Though the Turion II has only 1MB L2 Cache it brings excellent performance and computing power on a budget. The Turion II M500 processor gives the Acer 5542G with great number crunching efficiency, that was much noticeable when we ran tests involving compressing / extracting, Gaming and Video rendering using 3D graphics tools. The Acer 5542G showed brisk performance during daily computing, and the Windows responsiveness and multi-tasking were significantly quick.

Graphics card performance:

The Acer 5542G with the ATI Mobility Radeon 4570 with 512MB Dedicated DDR3 VRAM is not an exceptional performer in terms of the latest gaming standards. But very few laptops comes with a high end graphics card that meets the high-end gamer's needs and those machines will burn a hole in your wallet for sure. The HD 4570 in the Acer 5542G is a decent graphics card to play a little older game titles in full detail whereas when it comes to the most recent games, you might have to tweak the detail level to a medium to get reasonable frame rates.

The Acer 5542G is an excellent choice for gamer's on a budget as well as 3D Graphics designers and Animators.

I found the Acer 5542G delivering very smooth frame rates on Test Drive Unlimited even at the highest settings, though a video review of the Dell Studio 15 housing the same graphics card showed significantly lower frame rates in YouTube. May be the performance boost is due to the DDR3 Video Memory as well as the better number-crunching done by the AMD Turion II M500. The card fared really well in older titles like Need For Speed ​​Most Wanted, Need For Speed ​​UnderCover, Unreal Tournament 2003, and Crysis Warhead even at the highest detail settings with 1024X768 resolution and FSAA turned on. The Acer 5542G also delivered consistently playable frame rates in Microsoft Flight Simulator which is a quite resource hungry game, due to the presence of huge textures and extensive terrain.

Display performance:

The 220-nit high brightness display of the Acer 5542G, gives excellent display quality with good sharpness and contrast. It also delivers very good and accurate color reproduction (60% gamut). The viewability from sides is not exceptional, but is adequate. The only major disadvantage of the display is that it's high glossy finish attracts glare. Hence it is not suitable while viewing against any direct light source.

Audio Performance:

The Acer 5542G sports a Dolby certified audio system. The Realtek chip provides 32bit audio decoding and provides SP-DIF and Dolby Digital output. It also supports Dolby Headphone and Dolby Virtual Surround modes. It means you will be in audio bliss, if you connect the Acer 5542G to a nice home theatre or high-end headphones.

The built-in speakers of the Acer 5542G clearly lacks the bass and was a disappointment during our tests. The sound clearly lacks the thump element in it. It does not mean that the speakers are worthless. The speakers give you very nice high and medium range frequencies quite well. The audio volume levels were loud enough and will be adequate if you are not in the middle of a very noisy environment.

Battery:

The Acer 5542G comes with a 6-cell battery pack. It would probably disappoint you, if you are looking for a laptop with 3+ hours battery backup. The lower battery backup can be attributed to the modestly big 15.6 "display paired with the dedicated graphics card that can drain out quite a lot of battery power. With the screen brightness at low, I was able to obtain a 2 hours 50 minutes backup with no audio, video or games turned on. At highest performance setting, you can expect roughly two hours of battery backup.

Heating:

Being an AMD based laptop most of us who have used an AMD based system would have concerns about over-heating. Stay cool. The Acer 5542G handles heat well. When you use it for extended hours for your daily computing needs, it does not generate any significant heat. I found the heat near the palm rest regions less compared to some other Intel based competing laptop models. The Acer 5542G has adequate ventilation at the bottom and has a vent at the back, that blows the hot air out. The fan steps into high speed the instant things start getting hot.

It does not mean that the Acer 5542G will not generate heat at all. The moment you start playing games, the rosy picture changes. Though the Acer 5542G's body remained just warm, the vent at the rear end was blowing out really hot air, which obviously means heavy heat generation, though it gets displaced well. Though the Acer 5542G gets away with the heat quite well, it would be a good choice to get an efficient laptop cooling pad if you are into serious gaming.

Other components:

The Acer 5542G comes with a good DVD Writer, Bluetooth, Wireless LAN etc. These devices performs quite well and does not seem to have any specific points worth mentioning.

Accessories:

The laptop comes with a nice backpack from Targus with Acer logo on it. The backpack has adequate space to carry some extra stuff in it while you are on the move. It's build quality is good and provides adequate cushioning for the laptop compartment.

Conclusion:

Acer 5542G is a laptop that brings great value to those on a budget, who need excellent processing and graphics performance. I highly recommend it for all gaming enthusiasts and graphics designers, owing to the excellent performance of the processor and the graphics solution built-in. It's powerful processor can meet most of the extreme computing needs unless your needs target the ultra-high-end like an i7. The Acer 5542G equipped with it's Turion II processor competes really well with the Core2 Duos out there; no need for the 'Will AMD perform equally well?' question anymore. It delivers brutal processing power.

If you are an audiophile who would play music through the laptop's built-in speakers round the clock, Acer 5542G may not be the best suit for you. If that is not a top-priority for you or if you have a nice home theatre / headphone, then the Acer 5542G gives you great joy in the audio department too, through it's Dolby processing and digital outputs. It all depends on your needs.

The battery suits the home computing / gaming / designing needs. It's 2+ hours backup can handle your presentation, on-the-go needs too, though a 3+ hours backup would have been more recommendable.

The laptop model I purchased comes loaded with Linpus linux operating system (command prompt only) and eliminates the Windows dependency, which helps the Acer 5542G keep its price down. You might also get a version with Windows pre-loaded but for a higher price tag.

Pros:

Excellent processor

Excellent graphics for designers and budget gamers

Good Looks

Quite sturdy design

Good Audio processing and digital out

HDMI

Cons:

Built-in speakers do not match the good audio processing and lacks bass completely

Glossy screen difficult to work with in direct light

Volume control keys could have been softer to touch

Arrow keys needs refinement

Pricing and final words:

This laptop is available in India in many online shopping websites at a sub RS 35k price tag. I got hold of one for RS 33700 / – (approximately 717 USD) through a local dealer. With such reasonable price tag and compelling set of features, I strongly recommend the Acer 5542G.

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Source by Saju Asokan

Education Divides Rather Than Unites Society

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The quality of education being delivered varies across private and public schools. Private schools being more costly can only be afforded by the relatively affluent class, whereas, public schools are not a burden on the wallet and therefore preferred by the common man. Although some public schools do manage to impart education of a high standard, most pale in comparison to private schools. With more funds to invest in the education of its pupils, private schools enjoy a better reputation than public schools. The reputation of the school matters a lot when it comes to college admissions where once again public school students are at a disadvantage.

In some developing countries, such as Pakistan and India, women in general and the rural woman in particular, are discouraged from attaining education. Male children are given preference when it comes to sending children to school, particularly if the household has a limited budget. Even educated individuals make such absurd choices and such practices have secluded women not only from schools but also from the workplace.

The living conditions of an individual dictate whether he / she would be able to complete his / her education or not. Therefore, for a person, who can not even fulfill his basic necessities attaining education is a much more difficult objective than it is for a person living a relatively luxurious life. Children belonging to such impoverished families find it increasingly difficult to pursue education while trying to earn bread and butter for their families. Most of them are unable to complete their primary education, not because they chose to do so but because circumstances dictated so. In such circumstances education is not assisting such individuals from breaking through the poverty cycle and thus leading to a wider gap between the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated.

Education standards also differ across geographical boundaries, across continents and across poles. The West is generally envied by the East for its quality of education, the reason why a number of students from the East choose colleges in the West (only the rich are able to do so). Similarly those living in rural areas do not have access to the same quality of education as those who reside in urban areas. Improvements in technology have to a very limited extent countered this issue. However, the pace at which technology is improving is remarkable and soon enough location would not be an issue.

Attaining an education might be a difficult journey for some and indeed for others an impossible one, but education does play a pivotal role in guaranteeing higher chances of employment and better paying jobs. If education is made more accessible and the quality that is imparted more uniform such that the rich are not advantaged and the poor not disadvantaged and that gender does not determine one's chances of becoming educated and that an individual's location does not dictate the quality of education he / she is to receive, then only can education unite society.

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Source by Ammad Ali

Google – The Best Social Environment For Equal Opportunity

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The Internet is under attack by the Obama Administration through executive powers. This does not bode well for the Internet entrepreneurs or for political speech. The following is an analysis of how the Internet and specifically Google has created a free world-wide social environment. The governments of the world should study the Internet Society. They might learn something.

Google is known as a search engine for relevant information in the Internet. There are other search engines or browsers such as Yahoo, Explorer, MSN Bing, etc. However, Google is more than that just a browser.

Google has managed to create the foundation of a solid natural and free social environment, a virtual society with no geographical or language barriers.

In the name of fairness, I am strongly biased towards individual freedom. I grew up under communism but more importantly, I witnessed the transition from a free society to communism and the disappearance of freedom. The communist movement expected that all international masses will assume power and become a great world communist system. Had Google and the Internet been around in those days, communism would have embraced it and maybe would have learned something useful: Freedom of the masses can be very constructive. I wish the present politicians would take a look and learn something from the environment Google has created and it is still nurturing.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin started Google in January 1996 as a research project when they were both PhD students at Stanford University in California. Originally, Google ran under the Stanford University website, with the domain google.stanford.edu.

The domain google.com was registered on September 15, 1997. The company was incorporated on September 4, 1998, at a friend's garage in Menlo Park, California.

The Google name comes from "Googol". Googol refers to the number 1 followed by 100 zeros. This is such a large number that can not be achieved if you count all the sand particles on the whole universe. It was supposed to mean an infinity number of people and their interactions with no end in sight. Google runs over one million servers in data centers around the world, and processes over one billion search requests and twenty petabytes (1000 trillion) of user-generated data every day, which is an incredible achievement. Google got started with just $ 100,000 from a private investor.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin had a vision and a dream with a purpose: Match other peoples' dreams and desires with each other, so all can benefit. If a vendor had a good product or service, Google made it easy for the seeking party to find it. A book author could publish and sell a book without going through a publisher. Google made it easier to promote the book. Talented individuals on a shoe string could start a home business over night. There are billions of sites on the Internet with all kinds of information or products for sale. All of that information has been posted by individuals or companies in the expectation to be found and / or shared by interested parties or prospects. Google did not create the information; private parties and institutions did.

Google's mission was to come up with the best possible presentation to any inquiry. This is not a trivial task, certainly not on the Internet. Complex algorithms as well as site ratings are being used to connect requests with delivery sites. Before Google came into existence, the early browsers such as Netscape, MS Explorer, Yahoo and dozens more used straight forward techniques of cataloging words or phrases and associating them with relevant sites. However, when you deal with billions of sites and entries every day, it is very difficult to determine which site provides the best and most relevant information requested through a query. Using Google's browser, the satisfactory result usually comes up on top of the first page out of millions of postings containing similar information. People would very seldom look beyond the first three pages.

Larry Page had an idea: To evaluate pages in the order of importance and relevance, they would count the number of back links to that particular site. The total amount of links and where they were coming from was also important.

For instance, if I were a small contractor designing home theaters and had no money for advertising my business, I would design a website with all sorts of instructions and drawings as a portfolio to help my prospects understand how I would deploy a project. The site will look like a tutorial. The next step would be to contact some major distributors of home theater furniture, electronics, cables, etc. and ask them to link my educational site to theirs and offer it to their customers as an educational tool for a do-it-yourself project. All parties benefit. The same concept works when someone with expertise in a particular field publishes useful information through a variety of electronic publications. The author's link will point to his site and Google will index it and qualify it.

Google calls this new technology PageRank where a website's relevance was determined by the number of pages and the importance of those pages is linked back to the original site.

Google was granted a patent describing their PageRank mechanism. The patent was officially assigned to Stanford University and lists Lawrence Page as the inventor. By 2006 the name "Google" had found its way into everyday language, causing the verb "Google" to be added to the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary, denoted as "to use the Google search engine to obtain information on the Internet. "

This feature was very important in the context of equal social opportunity because it enabled creativity to be distributed throughout the Internet at almost no cost to the creator. Before this technology was deployed, an Internet contender had to spend a lot of advertising dollars to promote his site. Otherwise no one could find it. The search engines did not even index it.

Since 2006, Google has added a wide range of support services and capabilities either through acquisitions or internal development. It is not my intent to do a thorough analysis of all its capabilities. I am going to outline the most important functions and the free tools provided by Google to its subscribers.

Google and its function

Google has been criticized often as being too big and too dominant in the Internet field. The critics usually fail to mention the valuable services Google provides to big and small businesses alike as well as to the individual entrepreneur. Most importantly, it provides real value to the end user, the potential consumer products and services advertised or promoted through the Internet.

Google makes money by providing a sound platform for the advertisers and a wide range of helpful free advertising tools. Google does not advertise. The advertisers do. This is a mutually beneficial relationship.

Google advertising tools

Google Analytics enables website owners to track where and how people use their website with in-depth research into getting users to go where you want them to go. It is a very powerful tool that helps the web designers correct and optimize how the information is organized and presented to prospects by monitoring their behavior while visiting the site.

Google AdSense allows website owners to display these advertisements on their website, and earn money every time ads are clicked. Google automatically places only the ads that are relevant to the content on that page. If a visitor finds any of these ads interesting, they will click and the website owner will collect a small fee. I would like the mention that these ads are offered to advertisers for pennies.

Google AdWords helps advertisers display their advertisements in the Google content network, through either a cost-per-click or cost-per-view scheme. This is a true advertising service with daily monitoring and budget control facilities. An advertiser can set up a series of ads associated with certain keywords and test its performance daily. It is interesting that Google uses a price bidding system. If you bid for a high ranking position on the top page and if your ad attracts more visitors than your competition next to you, Google will gradually decrease your ad cost. It is possible to have a very top position on the page and pay less per click than the rest below you. This encourages creativity and unique content which in turn will make your campaign more successful.

Keywords Services, all the above services would not be very useful unless you have some means of selecting the right keyword and phrases that match what your potential prospectors are looking for. Remember, you respond to written requests. Google has an extensive support service that helps in the selection of the right key words as well as monitoring the number of links associated with your competition. These powerful tools enable you to determine both the demand and the competition based on keywords alone.

There have been other services such as Gmail, Google News, Orkut and more being added as time goes by. There are no limits on creativity in a free social environment such as the one created by Google.

I am not trying to minimize the contributions of other browsers such as Yahoo and Explorer. This article is not really about Google as a browser. It is about the free international society Google has helped create through access to knowledge and economic development.

Economic impact

The cost of running a website could be as low as $ 5.00 per month. Blogs are free and can be used instead. The cost of entering an international business is very low. There are thousands of individuals who make a living by selling books that are often not even their own. Rock bands can record and publish their music for free. I can go on and on. All of it has been made possible, to a certain extent, by Google through its affordable promotional capabilities.

Most importantly, Google has managed to create this social environment because there was no government oversight or regulation. The only self policing policy deals with abuse of services such as spamming. When the Chinese government tried to interfere with its operations, Google decided to get out of China.

Conclusion

Imagine a World Governance where all freedoms are assured: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Association, Freedom of Commerce and Freedom of Exchange of Ideas and Opinions, (including political). Internet is just that, and Google is the facilitator and the Governance.

Do not allow the government to take this away through some form of regulation in the name of "public good".

Tr Cojoc

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Source by Traian Cojocneanu

Dealing With deceitful colleagues in your organization

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Your boss has a certain amount of power over you as you do over your subordinates, but it is supposed to be different with your peers. You have to be at the same level. You have to pull together as a team and help each other. In the real world, some colleagues just pretend to do this.

These colleagues are so concerned with getting ahead and looking good, they will not admit that some of their actions can make you look bad. Sometimes they misinterpret actions, believing that you are looking down at them, and move to get back at you. Others, knowingly and unknowingly, use ingenuity to create copycat proposals.

For the time being, you are stuck with daily headaches to deal with deceitful colleagues. concern is to keep underhanded behavior interfere with your career.

milkers
milkers choose ideas from the brain, steal credit for and profiting from them.

milkers are phony office friends who pretend to think of you, but just think of the information they can extract from you. Instead of suggesting that you team up and brainstorm an idea or activity that you both contribute and claim credit, they probe the mind of delicately worded questions. Then they brainchild and accept it or adapt it as their own.

You thought once you left the road and into the office you were safe from thieves? Just as Pickpockets steal your wallet, milkers steal your ideas. Because these con artists do not use guns, you did not even know you were being robbed.

I think that this is not just my imagination. Chris pumped me for information about the best way to organize the program so that we would cooperate with all agencies under one roof. Now I find my ideas in this memo from my boss, lauding Chris for coming up with a plan that can help the department achieve better coordination. I can not decide whether to quietly knock out lights Chris manner or expose him for the thief that he is. How can I prove that the ideas were really mine and not Chris is?

Meanwhile, Chris is thinking of the great communication that his boss sent out praise for coordinating his ideas. He will add this to his list when it’s time to hit the boss for a raise.

I will not get anything from confrontation. The milker has already convinced himself that the ideas came to him as divine inspiration. I will learn from my mistakes. My goal is now to understand the ideas in them that I want to present to my own proposals and those who need the collective wisdom of a group to be properly developed. Then direct the flow of ideas.

oPlug leak. When you’ve fingered people who want to empty your mind, be polite but tight-lipped. Just stop giving information.

oWelcome debate the concepts effect on other units. You do not want to work in a vacuum, not when you need your cooperation coworkers. Do not limit yourself to one brainpicker audience. Expand group. Call through other colleagues or bring up these issues at lunch or at staff meetings.

Okay, so milker duped you. Be glad this happened to you now. You will be wiser in the future when you come up with a very brilliant gem. Then you will know how to nourish, protect and present the award-winning idea.

Back-Stabbers
Back-Stabbers is nice to your face, but very critical of you behind your back.

These colleagues stab you in absentia. They are bad-mouthers, lying or being critical of you when you are not there. When you are with them, they act like they are your friends. But out of sight, but phonies betray your trust, show some publication you trust about your personal life or opposing action you have taken.

They keep trying to outwit you or get some measure of control over you. Maybe they misinterpreted the operation. Maybe you did something that angered them, but you can not imagine what it was. You’re scratching your head while you are pulling the blade from the back.

You’re thinking that you will find it difficult to accept that Susan would say anything bad about you behind your back. But the three men heard the same thing, so it must have actually happened. You guessed office you can not have any really close friends because the competition is too intense. From now on you will keep information on the private life to himself. But how do you stop Susan from bad-op you back? What made her do it in the first place?

Meanwhile, Susan is thinking of Christ have been bragging so much about the progress of her staff had made. She is making the rest of us look like a bunch of loafers. I’m really sick and tired of all think she is perfect and use their work to a standard that we should all follow.

goal is to stop back-stabbing. If the criticism made of the work is legitimate, that has to be aired and resolved.

oConfront Back-Stabbers. Simply report what you heard. Do not start swinging. Ask them to specifically spell out what the accusations they made a verb. Speak up firmly, without showing any anger or voicing any reason.

OIF mistake was yours, apologize immediately . Sometimes you become a victim of Back-Stabbers if they perceive that you were insensitive to their feelings. If, for example, they believe that you have to put them down with elevation yourself, you make them feel insecure and want to strike back at you.

oProvide graceful way out. If Back -Stabbers accuse you unjustly and then deny having made the reported statements, leave them in peace. When they know that you know they have invaded your reputation and you will not sit still for such immature behavior, Back-Stabbers will back off. But if you create emotional scene, the tip-off that they got a rise out of you, they can keep it up.

If you allow back-stabbing to disappear, it can eventually damage your reputation. Such actions are childish and it takes a quiet, no-nonsense demeanor to make the culprit behave like adults.

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Source by Michael McCann

Cheap nike running

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How can you get cheap Nike Running Shoes

Everyone loves a bargain. In these difficult financial environment we are currently experiencing, everyone is looking for ways to make our money go a little bit further. Of course, we can cut back on luxuries, but important component of a healthy lifestyle is regular exercise and the most essential piece of equipment to accomplish this is a pair of good and affordable footwear, such as a pair of cheap Nike running shoes.

You can buy cheap and low-quality pair of shoes from a local store, but one has to be very careful also with cheap and unknown brands feeling like there is every chance that they will be uncomfortable or they will give your feet ulcers and blisters, reducing performance and eventually fall apart after only a few kilometers on the road. That is why many people would prefer class brand couple, but they often believe they can not afford them. But what if we told you that you could get cheap Nike running shoes?

Nike – The world’s largest Sportswear manufacturer

Unless you’ve been living in a cave the last 40 years you will have heard of Nike. They were formed in 1972, and have evolved into the largest global sportswear manufacturer. They have achieved this by producing and selling quality products, with the high percentage of its profits to improve their technology and develop even better products.

Of course (as with most things in life) quality comes at a price, and a pair of Nike shoes will typically set you back more money than low-quality pair – but by following a few simple tips you can have the best of both worlds, and you get a great pair of cheap Nike shoes.

Tips on Getting Cheap Nike Running Shoes

* Consider your needs: The first thing you should do is to consider the requirements for a good comfortable pair and then look at you really want to get for your money. A top-end pair of Nike shoes will be very lightweight and are ideal for experienced competitors looking to gain that extra edge in performance. But if you are new to exercise and are just going to start doing some light work on the treadmill – will those extra few grams in weight shoe from a pair of cheap Nike shoes really make a difference to you? Not really.

* buy design last season: Most sportswear companies update their lines every year or two. Sometimes there are changes in the materials and techniques used in running shoes, but Nike sometimes just changing the external appearance of the shoe. So, if you are not bothered about wearing the very latest design, then consider buying a pair that has been reduced not because of its quality, but because it can be color or design period last year.

* buy less popular colors: Nike (along with many other sports shoe manufacturers) often out every model of the shoe in two or three different colors. Sometimes one color will outsell other, so that the excess inventory of less popular color. Buy this less popular color and you could get yourself cheap Nike running shoes. You might even love the color!

By following the above instructions, as well as keeping an eye out for sales and promotions that you should be able to find cheap Nike shoes, which means a top-quality pair of bargain-basement price.

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Source by Theresa Muzinda