The Humble Computer Mouse

The choice of computer mouse is a very individual thing and depends on many factors:

  • How many hours a day you work at your computer?
  • Is your primary computer a desktop, a laptop or notebook or even a tablet; but you won’t be needing a mouse if it is a tablet, will you?
  • How big your hands are.
  • Do you want/need to use wired, wireless or bluetooth?
  • Whether you use the scroll function or not.
  • Do you suffer from wrist pain?

In some of these instances, the cheaper type mouse that comes with your computer will serve your needs adequately, but if you, like me work for about eight hours every day, the comfort and functions of your mouse are particularly important.
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On the left below is a photo of the first mouse I paid in excess of $60 for and never regretted it at all. It was comfortable in my largish hands and I didn’t ever suffer any wrist pain even though I worked at my PC sometimes up to 12 hours in a day. The day I dropped it on the tiled floor and broke it was a very sad day for me.
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Luckily I was able to buy another different model  but with the same profile within a couple of days. That one too has died lately so I’m looking for a new one, the Kensington mouse on the right below might well be the one since I have had a word in Santa’s ear!
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The logitech 2nd from left has served as my laptop mouse for a couple of years – it does look a bit battered, doesn’t it? Very similar profile and quite comfortable. The third photo shows my big hands – imagine my right hand wrapped around one of these tiny mobile models! However, I do carry a retractable one around in my laptop bag, as a backup and the occasions when an extra mouse is needed to test someone’s computer.

 History of the computer mouse

Tracking Technology

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Did you know that the name mouse is derived from “Manually Operated User Select Equipment”? This makes the argument about whether more than one computer mouse should be called computer mouses or computer mice (as we do for the rodent variety). It seems there has been no absolute ruling and generally computer companies avoid the issue by calling them mouse devices. Probably mouses is technically correct, but it sounds awkward and people tend to use mice for the plural form.
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The original design for a mouse was mechanical; the mouse had a ball in a compartment underneath and embedded around the edge were some little rollers. These would clog up from the dust and dirt from the user’s desk and needed cleaning to keep the mouse running smoothly (I did this countless times when clients or friends complained that their mouse wasn’t working properly). There were also four sliding type feet that clogged up as well, but these devices were a boon when the alternative was just keyboard shortcuts.
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Along came optical technology and made our lives so much easier. A small LED on the bottom of the mouse translates the movement of your hand into movement of the mouse pointer. Laser mouse devices work the same way, but using a laser instead af the LED. Laser mice have a higher dpi (dots per inch) which means they are more sensitive. For general users this extra sensitivity is not really needed, but graphic designers and gamers often appreciate the difference and make a laser mouse their choice.

Wired Connectors

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The early mice (see above) had a serial connector plug, see picture below. Serial ports were the original standard for interfacing any device with any other device on a computer. Later, a smaller 6 pin Mini Din was introduced by IBM on their PS/2 personal computer and this led to the connector type being called PS/2. For many years PC’s had PS/2 connectors for both keyboard and mouse.
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Some computers still come with two PS/2 ports, but more commonly they just have one, the USB (Universal Serial Bus) being the most common type of interface on all computers, whether PC or Mac. All USB ports look the same, but there is the original USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 which allows much faster (almost 40x as fast) or increased delivery capabilities. The ports are backwards compatible, so you can plug an old USB 1.1 device into a 2.2 port and it will still go.

Wireless

Originally the mouse device was connected to the computer by a cable using one of the technologies above, but nowadays you have the choice (an increasingly common one), to go with wireless. The early hassles of wireless connections seem to have been ironed out and wireless usually works very easily on any platform. Yay! So much more freedom.

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wireless.
Radio Frequency – this is the most common type of wireless interface. A generic mouse operates on th 27MHz frequency and the mouse is powered by batteries. More expensive models can come with rechargeable batteries or charging docks for the mouse. They may use higher frequencies and have a longer range.
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bluetooth.
Bluetooth was useful for lower speed devices like a mouse and was common on early laptops. They are also battery powered and use the 2.4GHz radio frequency to communicate with a receiver/charger supplied with the package or some other Bluetooth adapter...
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RFIDRFID (Rapid Frequency Identification) technology uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data to automatically identify and track tags, which for a mouse is movement. Developed by a company called A4Tech, the mouse must be used in conjunction with the included mose pad, but the advantage is that it is wireless and no batteries are needed.
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Wheels and Buttons

Nearly all mouse devices nowadays have three buttons, with the middle button also being a scroll-wheel. This scroll wheel is essential in my opinion to navigate up and down your screen and on web pages. Any other buttons, typically on the left hand side for a right handed mouse or on the RHS for a left handed mouse, can be programmed by the user to carry out different functions.

 

Buying a computer mouse

A quick search on eBay will show just what a variety of choice there for buying a new mouse – some are fun, some are fancy, some for serious gamers and some ergonomic models for users like me. So how do you choose?

Narrow down the options with these requirements:

  • Do you want wired or wireless?
  • Do you need laser or will Optical suit your needs?
  • What size – full-sized, medium or small (also called compact,  mini, mobile, laptop etc)
  • PS/2 or USB? USB is more common but if your computer does not have many USB ports, but does have PS/2 ports, using a PS/2 mouse (or keyboard) will leave an extra USB port available for other peripherals.
  • Scrolling – do you need left and right as well as up and down?
  • Buttons – does your work (or play) require advanced features?

A great place to see what is available is on eBay, even when you want to shop locally. The wide variety of mouse devices listed there will give you a good idea of all the functions and help you narrow down your choice.
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I have a mouse collection on eBay, just for the fun of it – see some of my pics

See my Collection here http://www.ebay.com/cln/plfbus/Fun-Fancy-Mouse-Collection/66866785015

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2 Simple Steps to Make Your Retirement Savings Leap

The fall in value of currencies, while costs continues to rise is causing millions of older people around the world to fear what their life will be like in their senior years. There is so much uncertainty that retirement savings carefully put aside for all those years will no longer be sufficient to provide the expected comfort in later life. Such questions as what would happen if they developed health problems, what if one partner dies and the other is left, what if they could no longer afford to live in their family home.

It is not all doom and gloom. According to USNews Money department writer, Richard Satran in an article published 5th March 2103:

Fear has motivated people to start saving more, but here are two positive ways to upgrade savings

Older couple reading a document while sitting together

Given a half-decade of economic uncertainty, fear may still be the biggest motivator for retirement saving. The financial crisis inspired people everywhere to save more and hold off on short-term spending. “It shook people out of their complacency and got them thinking, ‘I should save more,'” says Ken Hevert, Fidelity’s vice president of retirement products. “All age groups—young people, too, are showing a tendency to be more conservative.”

New surveys by two leading financial-services companies show how attitudes toward saving have evolved, and highlight a couple of easy steps that can have a big impact on savings.

 These easy steps can be summarized in the following two tips:

“Tip 1: Planning for retirement boosts savings dramatically” – the planning process gives them positive goals for retirement

“Tip 2: Putting eggs in more than one basket produces far higher returns” …. “opening more channels for collecting funds has a positive effect on the amount people save”

Does planning give people a sense of taking control of their lives which helps to overcome the fear factor?

 Click here to read the full article.

Keeping your Brain Active

Free Gift Membership to “Learning to Earn” see below.

If you’re approaching retirement age and wondering what you can do to enjoy a long and healthy life in your golden years then consider adopting the attitude of a lifelong learner. Most people think of lifelong learning as being confined to academic endeavors however the lifelong learning approach covers all areas of life including spiritual, social, academic and physical.

Lifelong learning is based on an attitude of constantly growing and evolving in various areas of your life. The old saying that whenever anything is not growing it is decaying could be just as true for us as humans. No matter what a person’s age there are great benefits to be gained by challenging yourself in the different areas of your life, physical, mental and self-deveopment.

Physical challenges must be appropriate for your level of fitness, but regular exercise of some kind will leep your body healthier and your brain healthier too. Mental challenges do not have to be academic study, they can be a new hobby or interest, a new caring or chrity venture, more involvement with family. The most growth in personal development will come when you take on something that is currently outside your comfort zone (nasty words those, aren’t they? How we love to stay in our comfort zone, even when it isn’t all that comfortable really).

Lifelong learners live by the motto “you’re never too old to learn” and this attitude is a big part of the reason that people who approach life with this mindset are seen to perhaps live longer but definitely enjoy a better quality of life – is the so-called law of nature known as the “use it or lose it” true?

It does seem to be the case that those who are considerably inactive develop mobility problems as they age, whereas those who are quite active do not develop these mobility problems. A similar effect takes place with anyone who takes no part in any mentally challenging activity or pursuit. After years of mental inactivity

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Brain Training Can Improve Your Memory

banner_brainAll of us, in a certain point of our lives, experienced memory loss. It could be forgetting where we put the keys, if we have locked the door, etc. As we grow older, it is natural for some of our brain cells to age and die which would cause some problems with memory. Over the years, research on brain training showed that it could help in decreasing memory loss.

Dementia is one of the biggest health issues that the older generation is facing. Currently, about 24 million people are suffering from dementia. By 2040, the number could reach about 84 million of sufferers, making us one of the possible patients of dementia.

The same goes for Alzheimer’s disease which is affecting about five million Americans. Health experts project that Alzheimer patients could reach about 16 million by 2050. That is until the current generation would do something to avoid such problems with memory loss.

How does brain training help us in enhancing our memory?

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What Are the “Must” Questions to Ask Before Joining a Business?

Work from home based business opportunities are being researched by many people due to the nature of the economy. Many would be entrepreneurs are looking to find the right business on the internet as there are literally hundreds to choose from.

However, to avoid failure, especially if an opportunity seeker is looking to make money from a network marketing opportunity, it is important to ask what kind of training/system is in place so reps can become successful sooner rather than later. If distributors are not able to earn money within a couple of months from the income opportunity, they will become frustrated and quit.

Therefore, before one signs up on a company’s agreement dotted line, here are some crucial questions to ask:

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Filezilla (ftp) listing problem

Recently I began to  get the error message “Failed to retrieve directory listing” at the point where I tried to list the files in the directory on some of my hosting accounts:

Command: MLSD
Error: Connection timed out
Error: Failed to retrieve directory listing

Filezilla was working fine until I updated to version 3.2.4.1 so this was very frustrating. After contacting the support desk of my hosting account, we worked out that this was either a Mozilla configuration error or my firewall was blocking ftp access.

I had Zone Alarm Security Suite running on my XP partition & initially turning this off allowed me to list. However, after a couple of days, the problem cropped up again. Note that I had the same problem using Windows7, even after allowing Filezilla to communicate through the Windows Firewall.

To cut a long story short, after a lot of trying different settings, we found a fix that worked for my situation so I’m passing it on in case it may help others, too.

This is for Filezilla:

Go to Edit, then Settings

1.Click on Connection – FTP &  Choose Active
2.Click on Connection – FTP – Active Mode & select “Ask your operating system for the external IP address”
3.Click on Connection – FTP – Passive Mode & Choose “Fall Back to Active Mode”
4.Click OK.

Now connect to your FTP site once again. This worked for me, as I got the result below:

Command: MLSD
Response: 150 Connecting to port 55410
Response:226-ASCII
Response:226-Options: -a -l
Response: 226 20 matches total
Status:Directory listing successful

Good luck!

Regards
Trish


How to Make A Great Flyer

Flyers are a great way to advertise something for yourself, for an organisation you belong to or for marketing both online and off. There’s no need to be a genius to create a great one, either; if you have some basic tools and follow these guidelines, you’ll be able to design your own flyers in no time.

1. MICROSOFT WORD – Begin with a basic software program like Microsoft Word or Publisher. Open up the program, then look under “File” then “New” to see if there are already existing flyer wizards for documents or templates. If so, start there and adjust one to suit your needs.

2. COLOR – First take a look at your project budget. Is there room for full-color printing of hard copies to distribute? If not, don’t worry. Regular black ink on colored paper produces nice looking, professional flyers. Coordinate the paper color with a theme for the month, like green paper for St. Patrick’s Day or red or blue for the 4th of July.

3. TEXT / FONT – Don’t have too many different fonts, text sizes and styles in one document. Just choose a couple of complimentary fonts and sizes. For ideas on which to use, start a collection of flyers that are stuck on your door, around your mailbox and placed on your car’s windshield. Search your favorite industry web sites for ideas, too, by looking at their online documents for downloading. Print them out and check to see what you link and don’t like about them.

4. PULL TABS – Add pull tabs to the bottom, so that if the flyer is placed on a bulletin board, passersby can pull off a tab and take the info home with them. Check the Help menu for directions. Basically you add a wide text box along the bottom portion of the flyer. Then you insert one row of columns. Click on the first column and write what you want to say – not much fits here so take care! Maybe use your URL or website address and phone number. The text will run horizontally like normal, reading from left to right. So what you do is highlight it and click on “Format” from the top menu, then “Text Direction” do make it run vertical and fit in your tabs. Do the same for each tab.

When you’re finished, print flyers for local distribution or email to others to print as needed.

For business building, you can also turn the document into an Adobe .pdf file to distribute online. Upload it and include links to it in your emails and forum posts. Attach the pdf to emails when you know recipients accept attachments and can take a look, too. Reach out online and off with great looking flyers and grow your business one step further!

Review of ˜Planetsms Digital Monthly Mentorship”

Review of ˜Planetsms Digital Monthly Mentorship”
A low cost mentoring program with tremendous value.

Many new online marketers are joining programs and sites that claim to mentor people to success, so is ˜Planetsms Digital Monthly Mentorship” any different from so many that don’t provide value, or is is one of the few that do?

I may be slightly biased in favour of this program – because I have been a member of John’s mentoring program since it began and have also bought products from him in the past. I’ve found that he always over delivers and offers great support; you might want to check out a couple of his other products here to get an idea of their quality before commiting to a monthly fee…

Resale Rights Blueprint

Your Own eBook Business

John’s mentoring program is still going strong after many months in operation, so although a great many of his other followers obviously find it to be good value too, I will endeavour to be objective in discussing this mentoring program so you can decide for yourself.

Planetsms Digital Mentorship Monthly

John Thornhill, known on ebay as planetsms, isn’t just promoting it as another make money from ebay™ type of product. He uses his ebay id as part of his credentials as a person qualified to teach others, as well as the fact that he has authored some best selling ebooks, and is an ebay powerseller.

What he says about the secret to success is to follow someone who is successful at internet marketing can’t be argued with, (provided they are teaching what they know and do to make money on the internet)

His monthly membership goes a lot further than just selling on ebay though. John teaches exactly what he does himself to generate multiple streams of income from the internet marketing arena in general.

Each month you get an email announcing that the new Digital Newsletter has been posted on the members’ site. Each newsletter reveals methods John actually uses to make money, and many of them are not just from ebay. The Monthly Audio/Video Training walks you through what he does and the strategies he himself employs. He gives details of exactly how to set up for maximum profit, with a step by step follow along video that any new marketer could easily follow. Clear and simple and with a full explanation of where he did what he did, how to do the same etc.

As well as the monthly digital newsletter, you get bonus material, all the support you need, special offers and the opportunity to ‘Ask a Question’. All questions are answered and the most popular are included in subsequent newsletters.

Included in the package are the tools required to help you succeed, e.g. private label/ brandable material to help you start your own online income.

You can also earn a generous 50% commission by promoting the package to new members.

Finally his price for membership is set at $10 per month (there are also other longer period payment options). In this John’s program differs from many other mentoring programs – most cost much more than this – so all in all, I believe that Planetsms Digital Mentorship Monthly is great value for money.

My recommendation would be to join and try it out, with the 56 day money back guarantee the small $10 risk is removed.

See the sales page here Planetsms Digital Mentorship Monthly

Best wishes

Trish