Saturday, April 19, 2008

Essential Hardware for Wireless Networking - A Short Guide

How do you set up a wireless network at home? What hardware for wireless networking do you need?

This article will briefly point out to you the hardware need for wireless network at home. Lets first discuss about Cards and Slots that you need to set up a home network.

There are all sorts of different hardware devices you can buy that will give your computer wireless networking capabilities. The main difference between wireless devices is in how they will connect to your computer.

There are 3 main methods of connection - PCI, PCMCIA & USB.

Desktop Computers - PCI Card:
This is one of the hardware for wireless networking. PCI stands for "Peripheral Component Interconnect." It is an old away of installing new equipment on your desktop computers.

A PCI card looks like a green rectangle with something sticking out of it at the end. To install a PCI card, you will need to unscrew your computer and plug the card inside the PCI slot on the motherboard. Even though it might sound difficult, but it is actually pretty easy once you get a hang of it.

Once you install a wireless networking PCI card, your computer will then have internal wireless networking capabilities for the rest of its life. You can go for this option if you have a desktop computer. You would also need to install on your computer the software drivers for that PCI card. The drivers should come along with the PCI card.

Even if you are unwilling to do it yourself, you can pay someone to do it for you. It should not cost you much and should not take much time either.

Laptops - PCMCIA Cards:

This is another hardware for wireless networking. PCMCIA stands for "Personal Computer Memory Card International Association". A PCMCIA slot is a small slot in your laptop that allows you to insert these cards thereby adding functions to your laptop fast and easy.

Almost all the laptops have PCMCIA slots. Just look around for a slot at the side of your laptop, probably near the CD drive. When you find it, make sure its free to use by pressing the button to eject anything that might be in there. If there's nothing in the slot already, then it means that the slot can be used for inserting PCMCIA wireless network card.

The Third Option is to use -- USB Card:
USB cards can be used by both desktop and laptop users. USB stands for Universal Serial Bus, and the USB ports look like very small slots, and they could be present almost anywhere on your computer. The USB slots are usually present in groups of two or more and rarely in less than a group of 2.

Even if all USB slots on your machine are used up, you can use a splitter (USB hub) to connect more USB hardware devices to your computer.

However there is a small problem with using USB. Your network will not be completely wireless as there will still be a small wire between the computer and USB device. It is not much of a problem with desktop as a small wire connection should not cause much inconvenience but it might not look so nice with a laptop. So for laptops the best option for wireless networking hardware would be to opt for the PCMCIA card.

Another problem with using USB is that they are easy to break then their other counterparts. If you are a desktop user and do not want to manually install the PCI card or a laptop user doesn't have a free PCMCIA slot then you should consider going in for USB option.

The above are the essential hardware for installing wireless networking capabilities at home or office.

22 Ways to Get Traffic Without Search Engines

Increased search engine traffic for our websites can be a real boon and blessing. But there is a slight problem.

With search engine competition becoming really really fierce, and it is getting difficult day by day to gain top search rankings and maintain those rankings once you have achieved them, I was forced to think of alternative ways to remain in internet marketing and get targeted website traffic without heavy reliance on search engines.

The Google Algorithm keeps changing every few days. I do not want to lose my sleep and rely on things I do not completely control. So I was forced to seek ways I can get traffic to my website without Google or any other major search engines.

To my surprise and delight, I found a lot of people seeking and discussing alternatives to search engine traffic. And some of them had good suggestions. So I have compiled a small list of articles or suggestions I came across which I found worthy of mentioning here(I might keep updating this small list as I find more such useful articles).

First review this list of websites providing useful information for getting traffic without search engines, then I will give you my own list of suggestions for increased traffic without the SE's.

1. Moving Away From Search Engine Traffic and Towards Independence:

This is a good post on how we can move away from over dependence on search engines for our website traffic and do things that we would be forced to do if the search engines do not exist.

Imagine for a moment that there is no Google or Yahoo to drive traffic to your website. How then would you get attention for your website? What things would you do? This post offers some suggestions.

2. Build Websites Like Search Engine Traffic Didn't Exist

This is a really good post on why we need to forget the google robot and focus on the reader first to build traffic. The author of this blog offers his blog traffic stats and mentions that a relatively smaller percentage of traffic to his blog comes from search engines while the rest comes through other sources.

When you build websites without thinking of SE's you will be forced to contribute articles which are worthy of being read, referred and linked to. This can be an excellent strategy in the long term instead of relying solely on increased search engine traffic.

3. Is Article Marketing Dead?

In this post, the author covers a few topics like is wordpress good for SEO, is article marketing dead and so on. Makes for a good read.

4. 38 Niche Social Media Sites That Can Send You Targeted Traffic:

If you want traffic from social media sites and are fed up with big sites like digg or reddit, then you can try the smaller but more focused to a particular niche sites mentioned in this post.

5. Do Long Sales Pages Work?

When you get traffic, you should also convert it well, otherwise it might go waste. Check out this article which should make you think again if you believe that long sales pages convert better.

6. How long does it take to make okay money from internet marketing?

This question can be important for newbie internet marketers who have been lied to and given over-hyped claims. It is important to be realistic and patient and work hard at it initially. If you try to take shortcuts then you might try and game Google or try other such techniques which might work for a short while then backfire.

It is important to work on great content and building good site. Then you will not even have to depend on search engines for traffic and you certainly not have to try and games or black hat techniques. But it can take time and effort. So be prepared for it.

Some of my tips to get traffic to your blog or website without search engines - Search Engines No More:

1. Submit to as many web directories as you can
2. Submit RSS feed to as many RSS directories as you can
3. Make useful podcasts relevant to your niche and submit to as many podcast directories as you can
4. Make useful videos and submit to as many video sites as you can
5. Make some useful e-course and submit to as many e-course and ezine directories as you can find
6. Create as many short useful free reports and submit to as many ebook directories as you can
7. If you have a script or free software related in some way to your niche, then submit it to as many software sites as you can
8. Participate in forums
9. Make useful comments on other blogs
10. Use Social Bookmarking and other web 2.0 sites
11. Write and submit articles to as many article directories as you can without worrying of duplicate content penalty (remember you are pretending that search engines do not exist)
12. Join yahoo and google user groups related to your niche as well as user groups on sites such as myspace, gather, orkut and lots of others and post useful relevant content with links back to your site
13. Use linkbaiting articles to get others to link to you
14. Participate in link exchange networks and reciprocal linking
15. Try some paid linking programs with high traffic websites and related to your own site (remember we are not worried about any search engine penalties)
16. Find and try out some free and cheap advertising methods like ppc ads or ads on high traffic websites related to your niche or theme
17. Make landing pages where you are offering some free stuff and get traffic to it through traffic exchanges - to see how you can do this with good results, check out this report: Easy Traffic and Money System
18. Make use of popular classified and auction sites like craiglist, gumtree etc. to get cost-effective advertising for your site
19. Write guest articles on other blogs or sites
20. Make powerpoint presentations relevant to your niche or product and submit to slideshare site
21. If you have your own product to sell, join many affiliate networks like clickbank, shareasale, maxbounty etc and let the affiliates promote your products for commission
22. Do some offline advertising in newspapers, magazines, brochures and pamphlets etc. with your website address on it
23. Put your digital products for sale on sites such as lulu, payloadz, spotbit and others. These sites have a lot of existing traffic so that you can get free exposure to an extent without advertising

All the above might take time and patience on your part. But slowly and steadily you might start to see a lot of increased traffic building up to your website without the help of search engines and chances are that this traffic is not likely to vanish all of a sudden.

Hopefully the results you achieve doing the above things might not be as volatile and unpredictable as search engine rankings.

This does not mean that you give up search engine optimization and marketing completely, but you should try to find other means of regular targeted traffic and referrals to your website or blog. The amazing effect of this might also be increased search engine traffic as well even though you were not concentrating on that at all.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Stress Management Tips and Identifying Its Symptoms

What is Stress? Definition of stress
Stress is a common problem that affects almost all of us to some degree or the other. It is our body's way of responding to demands placed on it. Further down in this article you can read about various causes of stress and symptoms of stress.

In most stressful situations, our body usually prepares for either "fight or flight" response. The body pumps out stress hormones and the following things can happen:

Short-Term Symptoms of Stress

1. Increase in heartbeat
2. Muscle tension increases
3. Breathing becomes rapid
4. Your digestion might stop for a short period of time
5. Dryness of mouth
6. Anxiety and fear
7. Sweating increases and in some people palms of the hand too sweat
8. Fatigue and shortness of breath
9. Hands and body becoming cold
10. Churning stomach
11. Anxiety

In some situations, this flight or fight response might be essential as it can provide us with extra strength and become highly alert with strong reflexes. But in most day-to-day scenarios, such kind of response is not needed and infact it can be harmful for our health if we keep on experiencing such stress symptoms.

Infact, if you do not handle stress properly in your life, you might start finding other problems developing, the most notable being depression. Depression can affect people of any age, sex or race. The signs of depression include:

  • Low self esteem
  • Feelings of sadness
  • Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
  • Becoming hostile or angry easily
  • Poor concentration
  • Low energy
  • Feeling of boredness

Stress can cause serious physical and emotional disturbances in your body. Other symptoms of stress include:

1. Insomnia

2. Headaches

3. Backaches

4. Constant worrying

5. Racing thoughs and anxiety

6. Chest pain

7. Loss of sex drive

8. Moodiness

9. Restlessness

10.Being unable to relax

11.Feelings of isolation and loneliness


13.Neglecting responsibilities and duties

14.Sleeping too much or not enough

15.Eating disorders - eating more or eating less

16.High blood pressure

17.Skin problems

18.Heart problems

19.You will feel constantly tired and may even indulge in nervous habits like nail biting, fiddling, etc.

Other long term effects of stress on our body might be ulcers, obesity, sleep problems, heart problems, depression, diabetes and host of other problems. If stress is so dangerous, you might like to know what exactly causes stress.

What Causes Stress?
Many things can cause stress and this varies greatly from person to person. Fear of something, worrying etc. can result in stress.

The things and pressures that can cause stress are called stressors. Any event that forces us to make changes that strain our coping skills can cause us stress, whether the event is positive or negative. And what causes stress to one person might not cause any stress to another.

Some common stressors can be:
1. Environmental Stressors - like being unsafe, noise or pollution etc. can also be a cause of stress.

2. Work Related Stressors - like too much work, over-demanding boss, bad colleagues, politics at workplace, insufficient salary etc. Work related problems are a common cause of stress for most people.

3. Family related Stressors - like family conflicts, problems with relatives or friends, disobedient children, serious illness of somebody etc.

4. Social Stressors - like harassment, unemployment, financial problems, debts etc.

Sometimes, the cause of stress is not external but our own internal attitudes, beliefs or habits might become the cause of stress. Some examples might be - excessive self-criticism, pessimistic attitude, perfectionism, unrealistically high expectations, lack of self esteem, unresolved emotional issues etc.

If something makes you angry frequently, then that can also be a stressor in your life. The adrenaline increases in our body when we are angry. High levels of adrenaline and other such similar stress hormones can raise our blood pressure as well as cholesterol. This can increase the chances of heart diseases in us. You need to learn how to control your anger too if you want less stress in your life.

Some quick on-the-spot stress reduction techniques you can try out are:

1. Relaxed Deep Breathing: Deep breaths can slow down your heart rate and enable you to think more clearly. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position and place one hand over your belly button. Take a deep breath through the nose. Hold it for a few seconds and then exhale through the mouth. Feel with your hands the abdomen going up and down as you take deep breaths.

2. Relaxing your muscles: Stretch your neck and do some other mild stretching to relax your body and get the tension out of it. Also do some mental relaxation exercises to relax the whole body. Other forms of relaxation exercises are mentioned in this page - and this page -

3. Do something you enjoy and find pleasurable like indulging in your favorite hobby or going out and spending some time in the nature watching plants and trees, observing birds, or sitting by the seashore watching the waves. Spending time in nature can be a really excellent stress reduction technique.

Reading, relaxing bath etc. can also be good for stress management as they can take your mind off for some time from immediately feeling the effects of stress and can make you cool off so that the thinking becomes clearer. If you have difficulty controlling worry, then this can be an excellent resource to help you conquer your fear habits - Conquering Fears, Phobias, Anxiety and Panic Attacks

4. Sleep can be an excellent stress management technique at times. A good night's sleep can be such an excellent stress reliever. Even short naps during day can be good for stress management. You can feel refreshed and your energy renewed to combat the effects of stress.

More tips to relieve stress are:

  • Eating a balanced and healthy diet
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Get sufficient sleep
  • Learn mental and physical relaxation techniques like guided imagery, muscle relaxation etc.
  • Try to do things that involve using your hands like knitting, gardening etc.
  • Spend some time in nature
  • Take breaks from work.

These are some general stress management tips to help you manage and relieve stress. However if you suffer from excessive anxiety or worry about something, phobias, get panic attacks, or suffer from OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), then you its good to get professional help.

What is the difference between stress an anxiety?

Any situation, thought etc. that makes you feel angry, frustrated or anxious can be called as stress. So stress is a broader term which can include situations or thoughts can make you anxious.

While anxiety refers to feelings of fear or worry about something. Sometimes you may not know the cause of this uneasiness.

Anxiety generally results from excessive worrying. Another difference can be that anxiety is usually short term while stress can last from weeks to sometimes upto years.

Anxiety disorders refer to problems where patients suffer from excessive anxiety. It can be generalized anxiety or specific anxieties or phobias like social phobia etc.

Usually the symptoms for anxiety and stress are same like - sweaty palms, churning stomach, increased heart rate and similar such symptoms.

Anxiety and Stress can be caused even by imagined scenarios too:

Do you know that the human body responds in similar fashion to imagined or real dangers. So if you keep worrying or thinking about some perceived problem, you will experience upto some degree the same symptoms of anxiety and stress as if you are actually really facing that threat now.

So overcome the worrying habit if you want to get over stress. Worrying will make your brain to focus on the problems or dangers as you perceive them and what is worst is that our active imagination can really make a monster of a small problem and cause us undue stress over trivial things too.

Have you noticed how worrying can cause uncomfortable feelings and physical symptoms to develop in you even though you might at that moment not be facing any real danger, just thinking about it in your mind. See the help at hand section below.

Help At Hand:

If you suffer from depression, mood swings then here is a software that can help you with overcoming this problem and regain better mental health. This software is called as 'Finding Optimism' Software.

How can this software help you?
The program is basically an advanced health and mood diary. It helps you discover your depression triggers, the symptoms that they produce, and based on this knowledge, effective strategies for staying mentally well. Its great strengths are its charts and report, which together
give you a visual "birds-eye view" for identifying the important cause and effect relationships. Here is the link for the software - Overcome Depression Software

Other useful resources on the internet related to stress management tips and techniques are: