Tips To Buying Software Online

Software Buying software online can be tricky, especially if you are new to shopping via the internet.  Whether you are upgrading an existing software package or looking for a specific program to install, the process will be a lot less complicated if you know what to look for.

Software Buying Tip # 1
Read customer reviews.  Many popular online stores, such as Amazon, allow users to leave their comments about a particular product.  Reading other customer reviews may help to make your decision easier because it gives you an idea of others who have experienced the product firsthand.

Software Buying Tip # 2
When considering any type of software, make sure that it is compatible with your computer.  Most software requires a specific processor type, such as Pentium or Celeron, and a certain amount of free hard drive space.  The reason is because, in order for software to function properly at quickly, the computer must be able to handle the application.  By being familiar with your computer’s configuration, you will be able to select the right software.

Software Buying Tip # 3
Become familiar with the software by reading it’s description and capabilities.  Before purchasing any type of software, you should make sure that it is exactly what you want or will enjoy learning.  Often times, after software is opened, there is no refund policy for buyer’s remorse.

Software Buying Tip # 4
Purchase software from a reputable company.  This will ensure customer service, reliability, quality products and timely shipment.  By purchasing software from a reliable source, you will also ensure that the title is authentic and not an illegal copy.  The best way to check out a business’s reputation is through the Better Business Bureau.

Software Buying Tip # 5
The best part of shopping for software online is the competition.  Because there are so many retailers, prices are more competitive than if only one store had the software that you want.  Shop around and compare prices before making a final decision.

Software Buying Tip # 6
When making a purchase online, consider using a credit card.  Most credit card companies provide a dispute resolution process, which is beneficial if the product is not delivered, is not as advertised or is damaged and the company will not stand behind the transaction.

Software Buying Tip # 7
If purchasing from another individual, such as often the case with online auctions, confirm that the software has all manuals and/or product keys to ensure proper installation.

Software Buying Tip # 8
Learn about the company’s return, refund and/or exchange policy.  In many cases, especially with software, the company may refuse to accept the product back for a refund.  However, there is always the possibility that a program is damaged or doesn’t function properly, in which case the store should honor the purchase with an exchange for the same title.  When buying software online, it’s best to purchase from a store that is reasonable when it comes to exchanges if not refunds.

Software Buying Tip # 9
When purchasing software online, take a moment to look at the company’s shipping costs, methods and availability of a way to track the package following shipment.

Software Buying Tip # 10
Common payment methods include credit cards, checks and/or money orders.  If you want to purchase software online, you will need to do so from a company that accepts a convenient payment method.  If you do not have a credit card, most companies will accept a mailed payment.  Most companies, however, recommend not sending cash.

Basic Spyware Tips

Nowadays, it’s a sad but true fact that spyware and adware programs are a far greater threat to your internet security than the dreaded computer viruses. Indeed, spyware, adware and other so-called malware (such as key loggers and trojan horses) actually constitute the biggest single online threat to your privacy and the security of your data.

It’s also a major reason for system slowdowns on computers, as these types of programs generally use up precious system resources including RAM (memory) and hard drive space.
So, let’s look at some basic facts about spyware and adware, where these programs come from, what they are, and what you can do about protecting yourself.

Spyware comes in various guises and forms, but basically, it is a program or piece of information that is secretly placed on your computer, that sends data about you or your computer habits to someone else on the Internet, without your knowledge. This can be a company that is collecting data, or a thief seeking to steal access to your computer or the information held in your database (passwords, credit card details and so on).

Spyware can also be a program that places unwanted ads on your computer, often in the form of a malicious cookie. A cookie is a little piece of information placed in your web browser to track your web habits, which, in its more generally benign form, is useful as, for example, a web site can see you have visited it before and let you on without a registration process. Again, in its more benign guise, a cookie can help you by keeping track of your progress through a web store. They are also used to customize website ads to your likes and dislikes.

But, obviously, when they are used for spyware or adware purposes, a cookie is not a welcome guest on your PC!
Spyware programs can get into your computer in several different ways. Sometimes they arrive as an automatic download from a website you are surfing. Porn and online gambling sites are notorious for this, for example.

Sometimes, if you download a free or illegal piece of software, they are embedded in the installation process, or spyware can get on your computer via an email attachment that you shouldn’t have opened. (Tip here – if an e-mail comes from an unrecognized source with an attachment, DO NOT open it – it’s almost guaranteed to be some sort of program that you definitely don’t want!)

Spyware and adware are bad news for several reasons:
They hog precious system resources like memory and hard disk space. If you computer runs much slower than it did previously, then it probably is infected with spyware. If you have never done a spyware scan, then it’s almost guaranteed that there is spyware on your system slowing things down.

They can seriously compromise your privacy and security, providing outsiders with information about your computer habits. For example, by installing a keylogger, spyware can capture your keystrokes and send it to a third party.
This can potentially expose your user IDs and passwords to thieves.
Other program such as trojans which allows someone to log into your computer remotely and use it for their own purposes like sending spam or launching malicious attacks on other computers on the Internet, making it look like you are at fault.

So, it’s bad! Let’s look at how to get rd of it.
There are lots of both paid and free anti-spyware programs out there, and, like all things in life, some are better than others. The question often asked is, which is better, a free program or a paid one.

The simple answer is that the best approach is a combination of the two, and, unlike anti-virus programs, you can run more than one anti-spyware program on your system without any problems.

First thing to do is to install the totally free Spybot Search and Destroy program, which will eliminate 70-85 per cent of all known spyware.
The, invest a little money in a good paid program like Spyware Doctor, NoAdware or Spyware Nuker to complete the job for you. Yes, I know that it means spending some money, but if it can prevent someone stealing your credit card details, for example, then it’s a sure fire thing that its going to be money well spent.

Another advantage of the paid programs is that they generally have a more effective “pro-active” nature to them than the free programs do. In other words, they are usually far better at stopping spyware and adware actually getting into your PC in the first place, and, clearly, preventing the problem is far easier and less time consuming than having to deal with it once your PC becomes infected.

Business Software Solutions

Business software solutions come in many shapes and sizes.  Choosing the right business software solutions at the start will save you a lot of time.  Time you can spend growing and developing your business.  Here are a few tips.

Keep your business software solutions very simple. Many times we’re tempted to think that if we had a magic piece of software, the business would run itself. Not true.  Computer consulting is not going to run itself regardless of the type of business software solutions you are running.  It’s a people business that relies on relationships not software.

Recommended Business Software Solutions

Make real simple choices:
Use Microsoft Office, Outlook, Publisher, Word, and Excel.
You will use these business software solutions very heavily.

Use a time, billing, and accounting package that provides business software solutions to small business. Quickbooks is a good, simple choice.

Get a good contact management package.  Use a business software solution like ACT.

For basic research use the tools at Their knowledge base is tremendous and you’ll likely be working on Office, Windows and Microsoft SBS all day.

Don’t reinvent the wheel and try to build these solutions yourself. There are very good and inexpensive business software solutions on the market that will do 99 percent of what a custom built program will do.  Your time is much better spent doing more networking.

The Bottom Line on Business Software Solutions

The best business software solutions for a small business are the ones that come pre-packaged.  Remember, you’re not in business to develop business software solutions.  You are a consultant who only needs the basics to run your own business.  Leave the fancy business software solutions to others and be there to implement or troubleshoot them as required.

Advice on choosing software to create proffesional looking slide show

When considering the best software packages to convert your digital images into slideshow presentations it is important to choose one that will cover all your requirements whether you are a beginner or an advanced user.

As a beginner you will be looking for ease of use and the possibility to use a “wizard” – a simple menu driven option – to create impressive slideshows quickly and easily. The ability to add background music to the slideshow and even commentary recorded easily via a microphone will be essential. Once you have the basics have been mastered, the software should then to offer a range of sophisticated features and functions in order that you can get the maximum benefit from your digital images and photographs.

Images can be uploaded from digital cameras of course but it is important also to have the facility to use images that have been scanned into the PC and this feature is an absolute must when considering which package to go with. Some packages also limit the number of images that can be used in a presentation. This is not helpful when designing large presentations so ensure that you choose one that offers the option to include an unlimited number in your slideshow.

Think about how easy it will be to organise your all your images, sounds and music  into the final presentation. There are packages on the market that can split presentations into smaller files or “chapters” which allows you to stay organised at all times. These chapters fit into a “timeline” which is an excellent way to lay out your presentation in much the same way as movie director will have scenes in a film script. The timeline allows the use to align all the object such as images and music against a point in time and synchronise flow of sounds and images.

Music and sounds that can be faded in and out by defining the volume with the slideshow also add a professional touch to the finished article.

One of the most important factors in creating exciting and impressive slideshows is the number of different ways in which individual “static” images can be moved around the screen to create the impression of animation on the screen. Not only a single image at time but even collages of several images!  It is almost as if the photos are living! Make sure that you select a software package that enables you to take an image (or even just part of that image) and make it move through complex movement paths including rotation, zooms and camera pans.  Fine tuning of these functions will produce an extremely professional-looking presentation.

A good slideshow is not just about the images but also the text to accompany the pictures. The very best slideshow  packages will allow you to use a huge variety of effects on your text to make it fade in and out, fly across the screen around or even through your images, transitioning between the effects and adding many text features such as 3D. All the time you need to be able to control the timing of these effects for the most professional finish.

Once your slideshow is completed it is absolutely vital that it can be easily burned onto VCD or SVCD for playing on a PC or better still onto DVD so it can be watched on a television.  If you can find a single package that does all of these things and is simple to learn and use through a series of tutorials then you will creating fantastic slideshow presentations in no time!

Software Developer or Solution Provider

Companies or startups looking to outsource their Website Development requirements tend to look for companies that have worked extensively on a platform that relates to their own requirement. However the competition around sometimes makes it difficult to choose the right provider, especially in the SME segment.

Customers often burn their pockets failing to choose the right software development company. Many companies simply look at low cost advantage which may is not the best approach. It is an understandable argument that cost should not be the only, but one of the most important aspects in decision making by a customer looking to outsource any software development work. Cost is directly proportional to quality. But even if the customer is willing to pay a premium, it is not just the IT experience skill set within the offshore software company that needs to be looked at.

There are two types of software companies:
1. That speaks technology
2. That speaks business.

A company that speaks technology may not get you anywhere; they can be labeled as software developers. However, a software company that speaks business is fair to be called a solution provider.

When we talk of software outsourcing, an important reason apart from cost is the “Value Add” that can come with it. A solution provider enacts the role of a consultant and a software or web developer i.e. someone who understands the business objectives of a requirement and appreciates the need of the solution a customer desires, thereby providing his own ideas and inputs to make the requirement a success. Sometimes customers do not know what they want although they may have an idea to speak of.

A software solution providers role increases to larger proportions by involving the sometimes technically ill customer in discussions of importance like choosing the right servers and languages for important reasons and why certain methodologies were chosen. A successful offshore outsourcing company will seek long term relations and transparency in business always leads to success in the long run. Intelgain Technologies, a premier offshore development company works on long term partnerships with customers for outsourced website development work and follows a CMM level process methodology to ensure timely delivery of software applications.

A review has shown that customers are also very focused on post development support. Usually, implementation tends to drag a little and thats where focus is sometimes lost. It is a make or break situation and its important that commitment to implementation should be adhered to. Success is for everyone to share if the venture is a success. The solution provider will receive only raves and this leads to good business prospects and leads through references.
Therefore when choosing an offshore company it is very important to look into the customer references of top managers and of course past projects. An interesting way of deciding on an offshore company is to invite concept notes based on the requirement with their interpretation of the requirement and the proposed method of implementation.

Assuming the customer has a decent budget and is looking to outsource on a larger scale, prototype development is a good way of judging the capabilities. A successful outsourcing relationship is always complementary and never one sided.

So next time when outsourcing, choose a solution provider and see how it adds value to your business Intelgain Technologies adds tremendous value to its customers businesses through its process driven implementation methodology using tools like ASP.NET, PHP, MYSQL, Ajax, Joomla, Word Press to implement various client requirements.

Basic Computer Security Tips

Everyone talks about computer security i.e being secure online but how many of us actually practice the effective security tips? Then when hackers or viruses attack, we look around to attach blame. Well, prevention is better than cure, so it pays in the long run to secure your system in advance.

Tip #1: Set up user accounts
One computer, many users, is a security disaster waiting to happen. Your files and data are your personal, private content and should be protected accordingly. To prevent other users from seeing or accessing your data, set up user accounts on your PC. A user account shows an individual’s specific data and not what is present on the entire system. It also specifies privileges on shared data, such as deleting/editing operations and what software can be installed on the machine.

This feature is especially useful when kids and adults use the same machine. What if your child accesses your important work files and deletes them by mistake? With a separate user account, he/she can only view certain files and cannot modify or delete them. Even if you are the sole user of the PC, set up a guest account, in case someone else needs to use the computer.

Tip #2: Secure your wireless network
With wired Internet access, there’s little risk of someone encroaching on your network. But wireless networks do have holes in their security, so as the owner of the network, you need to be vigilant. Setting up password-protected network access is the first step. You need to assign a network name and password to your Wi-Fi network. Use the latest wireless encryption methods like WPA or WPA2. Do not reveal your network password to others.

Tip #3: Arm your computer with an anti-virus program
The best defense is a good offense. One of the most basic computer security guidelines is installing an anti-virus software. Installing security programs like an anti-virus, keeps your computer round-the-clock safe against viruses, malware, Trojan worms etc. and other malicious programs. For better protection, try to install complete security suites, that provide Internet security and firewalls along with anti-virus software.

Tip #4: Be regular in updates and virus scans
Just installing an anti-virus program will not protect your PC. You need to keep it up-to-date with regular virus signature and threat updates. New viruses and malware programs emerge online each day. Another bad trait of viruses is that they keep trying to find new ways to enter an unsuspecting computer. The only way to counter such attacks is to update your security programs on a regular basis. You should also scan your computer regularly for dangerous programs. Schedule periodic scans, once-a-month scans, scanning new added devices and automatic full system scans, to ensure your PC is threat-free.

Tip #5: Install parental control software for kid-friendly computer usage
Keeping your computer secure definitely involves keeping your kids safe from cyber enemies. Aside from explicit and adult content, you need to filter and monitor what your kid is up to online. Social networking sites in particular, are fun online places to socialize but they are also preying grounds for the depraved. Parental control software allows you to set filters and block sites as well as receive warnings when suspicious activity is taking place online.

Tip #6: Block unwanted search results
You can even change your web browser’s security settings to block certain sites and filter out objectionable content. Such settings are not as powerful as parental control software but it helps to be extra secure. You can find this feature in the Tools option of most browsers. With search engines like Google, you can fiddle with search preferences settings.

Tip #7: Download wisely
Whether it is a picture, an MP3 or a game, downloaded files are an excellent way for malicious software to enter your computer. Once you download and install or use a file, there’s no telling what it will do to your machine. So be extra careful when it comes to downloading. Download files from trusted and preferably certified sites. Sites offering free, cracked versions of software programs are especially dangerous, as some cracks can contain malware.

When a download begins, you are asked to save the file before the downloading actually starts. Read the file name and its extension carefully, to ensure what you want is being downloaded. While installing a program, read the license agreement and make sure, only the program you want is being installed. Sometimes spyware and hidden programs are bundled into the installer program, and are installed secretly along with your software. Scan your PC for threats after downloading files from the Internet.

Tip #8: Be careful with emails
Getting and sending emails is easy, going through your inbox for mail, that is actually relevant, is not. Email inboxes are storehouses of junk mail, spam, advertisements, forwards, mail and many times, a hidden threat. You can keep your inbox sorted and clutter-free by using spam blockers and filters. Threat-wise, try to avoid opening emails from senders or addresses you don’t know.

A key sign of a malicious email is poor language. Weird, nonsensical text or poor grammar or even bogus-seeming email addresses are some signs of a harmful email. Be especially wary of email attachments. Check the file extension. Files with .exe, .pif, .com,.bin or .bat extensions, can be malicious. If you do not know the sender of the email, do not open or download such files, just delete the mail. Instead of opening the attachment from the mail itself, save the file, let it download and scan it, before opening it.

Tip #9: Secure your data with backups
Sometimes no matter what steps you take, you lose data. Part of being secure is having a fail-safe or backup to fall back on, in case something bad happens. So in case a virus has attacked your files or data is accidentally deleted, your data is never really lost, if you have a backup of it. Backup your data regularly, either by storing it on physical devices like CDs or by backing it up on a network. Set a system restore point for your PC, so in the event of a system crash, you can restore your PC to a particular working state with your data intact.

Tip #10: Be smart with your passwords
Passwords are supposed to keep your individual settings and data safe, so you need to keep their true value or the actual password safe. This means, do not write down all your passwords on a piece of paper and keep it lying around. With numerous passwords, it’s understandable that remembering them all is difficult. So you can write them down but the place where you store this info, should be secure. And once in a while, please change your passwords. If in case, they are revealed, updating the passwords can render all hacking attempts as naught. Another safety precaution is the “remember me” option in most secure sites. If multiple users access the same PC, do not select this option.

The above computer security tips are just the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to securing your PC. For every good advancement in technology, cyber evil seems to get even more evil, so it pays to be vigilant in today’s cyberspace.

Best Computers for Kids

Buying the best computers for kids depends on many factors. This article will guide you in buying child-friendly computers for younger kids, including budget laptops for older children.
When it comes to selecting computers for kids, there are many choices. The main deciding factor is the age of the child. There are certain toy laptops suitable for kids of 1-3 years, while some suitable for 5-7 age range. Above this age you can consider a cheap laptop which has decent features, so you don’t have to be worried if accidentally any damage happens to the computer. Here are choices of various computers for kids.

Best Laptop Computers for Younger Kids (Age 1-7 Years)

For children who are in this age range, the best computers are toy laptops. It is good to introduce younger children to laptops, as it will help them to play many interactive games, puzzles, stories, etc. Also, they can enjoy playing different types of kid-friendly computer games. Many models of toy laptops for kids come in attractive colors. By keeping children in mind, these laptops are designed using tougher materials.

Disney Netpal is a good choice, but it comes at a high price. Other choices include Vtech V Smile, Vtech Nitro notebook, Oregon Scientific Batman PowerWing Laptop, etc. Make sure you look at the list of features the toy laptops offer, and see if the laptop you are buying is suitable for the child’s age.

Best Computer for Older Children (Age 8 +)

When it comes to selecting a computer for older children, the first question that arises is, whether to go for a laptop or a desktop computer? The biggest advantage of desktop computer over a laptop computer, is the price. As desktop computer in comparison to a laptop of same configurations is relatively cheaper. And, the biggest advantage of a laptop computer over a desktop computer is portability. But, it is recommended that you consider a laptop computer as there are many cheap laptops available today. You can either buy these, or buy a second-hand laptop which will be even more affordable.

So, when shopping a laptop computer for children, keep in mind these features – 1 GB RAM, TFT monitor of 10 or 13 inch, graphics card, good quality speakers system, and around 80 GB hard drive. 1 GB RAM will provide good computer speed and performance, while a TFT screen is better for the eyes, a graphics card is a good idea, as the child will be playing games on the computer and will need a graphics card to support it. Also, 80 GB hard drive is good enough to store music, movies, games, e-books, assignments, etc.

There are many options of cheap laptop computers for children. You can buy a very good second-hand laptop which has advanced features in it for a price near 300 to 500 dollars. If you wish to buy a new laptop for children, then the best computer for kids include Asus Eee PC, Intel Classmate PC, OLPC XO-1, Toshiba Satellite L635 Kids PC, etc. These laptops start from 100 dollars and range till 500 or more. Some of these laptops are specially designed, keeping the children in mind, like Intel Classmate series and Toshiba Satellite L635 Kids PC. So, look up for the features you need in the computer, and buy accordingly.

Now, there are many models of all-in-one PCs available. They come at competitive prices and are a good choice of computer for children who are 8 years or older. Wonder Family PC is a good choice of all-in-one computer. It is also ideal for parents who want to their office work. This computer comes with Windows 7 and is equipped with many educational games and applications for children. Apart from this computer, you can find many all-in-one PC by different brands like Sony, Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, etc. However, if you are buying a PC only keeping the child in mind and for some basic computer use for the rest of the family then go with Lenovo. Lenovo has affordable and durable all-in-one PCs from which you can choose.

So, decide what features you want in the laptop, and pick the best child-friendly computers for younger kids, or best, affordable laptop for older children. For older children laptops, you might also need to install some safety software.

Prevent Phishing Attacks

Remember when your parents would warn you about talking to strangers, telling them where you live and taking things from them? Well, the Internet is another “stranger” filled place, with hidden threats lurking around each site’s corner. Along with the obvious bad guys like viruses and malware, a sneakier threat is phishing attacks, which are likely to rob you blind and take your identity too.

What is phishing exactly? Without all the technical lingo, a nefarious site or person (“phisher”) pretends to be a legitimate site to steal your personal information or financial records. So you think you are logging into your online bank account but you are actually logging into a very craftily disguised site, that stores your login info to access your account. The term “phishing” is a word play on “fishing”, where a fisherman baits his hook, fools the fish into thinking it is food and reels it in. Such tactics are a serious threat to online safety and individual users security. Below are some tips to prevent phishing from stealing your information.

Top 10 Tips to Prevent Phishing Attacks

Read emails and messages carefully. Instinctively one’s first tendency is to “click, open, delete”, don’t follow such instincts. Go through the email completely. Look for some tell-tale phishing signs such as:

Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in the email’s text
Your name isn’t present anywhere but instead a general name is given. (“Dear satellite subscriber”, instead of your full name heading the email)
Subtle threats to follow the email’s instructions (“your account will be terminated if you fail to follow the procedure”)
Unknown senders or companies you have never heard of
Impossibly unrealistic deals (“a wealthy millionaire died and decided to leave you, Mr. Abc, all his money”)

Verify the authenticity of the email sender. If an organization like a bank or company is trying to contact you, whether known or unknown, you should contact that organization personally and verify that they have sent you the mail. Phishing sites are like chameleons, they do their best to simulate or imitate legitimate sites, to look authentic. Do not use any phone numbers provided in the email. Remember that most legitimate sites and financial services will never deal with sensitive issues in emails.

Do not click on links in your email at first. Hover the mouse icon over the link and see what address appears in your browser screen. The text of the link can say one thing but the actual address could be someone’s private computer or fake website. For e.g.: the link could be: but on hovering, the text might read: or Do not copy the URL or link and paste it in your browser’s address bar. To truly test its authenticity, open a new window and type in the official site address of the organization or company. Phishing sites will use legitimate looking links to fool you into clicking and then take you somewhere else entirely. Do not click on links in pop-up windows at all.

Avoid sending private information like your name, account details, passwords – any sensitive information that is unique to your online identity, through emails. Your email account or the recipient’s account could get hacked and your information exposed.

Do not enter any information in pop-up windows. With downloads and attachments, be vigilant. Only open or download email attachments from known senders but make sure you scan the attachment prior to download, using your anti-virus software.

Check any of your online or financial accounts and transaction statements for any suspicious activity or operations. For example, if there has been a deduction from your bank account which you have no knowledge of or a “password successfully changed” alert appears on your phone, contact the respective department of the company involved and assert that you have not performed said changes. Such checking of accounts should be done at least once a month.

Your computer is your castle, so line its defenses with spam filters, anti-spyware programs and a decent firewall. Look for anti-virus programs, with phishing filtering. Download the latest security updates and keep your computer up-to-date, so that it can handle the latest threats as they come.

If you are carrying out sensitive data transactions like online shopping or money transfers, make sure you are using a secure connection to a secure site. So look for “https://” in your address bar, before the site’s address. Another sign is in the bottom right-hand side of the web browser. A small chain or yellow lock icon indicates a secure connection. Sometimes such icons can be “faked”, so check the URL of the site as well. Clicking on the lock icon should display the site’s security certificate. If the site name and the name of the site on the certificate do not match, leave the site immediately.

With phishing being such a silent yet deadly web menace, web browsers are also stepping up their security mechanisms. So install a tool-bar or phishing filter utility on your browser to warn you from navigating to phishing sites. Turn on your browser’s security mechanisms and alert messages. Updating your browser will also keep such security features informed of the latest threats.

If you suspect a site of being “phishy” or you have been phished”, then your silence will just allow the guilty party to scam someone else. Some web browsers allow you to report suspected sites or mark them as unsafe. You can even inform the legitimate site being impersonated of the phishing site. The Federal Trade Commission deals with phishing scams and sites dealing with such attacks, visit their site to complain of such sites and if you are a victim, then informing the FTC can help prevent the possible theft of your identity.

Don’t fall for the “hook”, be the smart fish that got away by following the right anti-phishing tips. It is web hooligans like phishers and hackers, that give the Internet a bad name, so surf smart and access secure information smartly.

Productive Things You Can do on the Internet

Owing to Internet technology, people from different parts of the world can connect with one another, know what’s happening on the other side of the globe, within seconds, and gain access to information about any and everything in the world. Most of us equate spending time online with playing games, chatting with friends, sharing pictures on social networking websites and downloading songs, games, movies, and what not!

A very few of us make real good use of the Internet. It is a huge information base, with so many good sites hosting informative and educational content. There are so many avenues online that can help us earn money and there are so many websites where we can learn something new. Let’s use the Internet to our advantage, lets use it to discover ideas, gain knowledge, and enrich our lives, by doing something productive online.

Productive Ways To Spend Time On the Internet

✦ Take academic courses and enhance your skill set. These online courses are convenient as they don’t require you to go out to attend classes. They can be done from the comfort of your home. So choose courses that interest you and upgrade your skills and knowledge. Online certifications also add to your resume.

✦ Download ebooks or audio books from the Internet or read them online. Reading is one of the most productive ways to spend time on the Internet.

✦ And not just read; use the Internet to find good books too. Know what’s best for your age and interests and know about the books that have newly entered the market. Know about the most popular as well as budding authors, stay updated about the upcoming publications, and know which books to buy and which not to.

✦ Use the Internet to find answers for questions related to daily living. From home decor and repair to fashion and relationships, there are numerous sources that give you good advice.

✦ The Internet is a good source to find how the world works. Right from how the government works and how economies rise and fall, to how the universe was created and how man plans to explore space, there are many websites that tell you how the world works.

✦ If you are a DIY person, you should check for online resources that help you with this stuff. For questions like how to get rid of stains from clothes or how to paint a room, to questions like how to fix a problem with your computer or how to repair a broken car engine, all the answers are available online.

✦ The Internet gives you a good platform to learn a new language. Starting from the basics, you can go to advanced levels by taking online language courses and tutorials.

✦ Take online quizzes that test your general knowledge. There are many IQ tests available online. Plus, there are tests to check your typing speed, language skills, general awareness, and even your aptitude and personality type. Take these tests and quizzes; they are a productive way to spend time on the web.

✦ Use social networking to not just share images and post status messages on what’s going on in your life. Use these websites to connect with like-minded people. Join groups, communities, or forums on subjects of your interest, share your knowledge and ideas on these platforms and know what experts have to say.

✦ Follow blogs or twitter pages of people who inspire you. Follow influential figures on their social pages and know their views on the current political and social issues. Use online sources to become more aware of the world around.

✦ Refer to online dictionaries or websites like Vocabulary and learn a few new words everyday.

✦ There are websites which allow users to exercise their cognitive abilities. Use these sources and exercise your brain.

✦ Seek investment advice from finance experts and know about the best ways to invest money and manage your finances from authentic websites dedicated to finance and investment advice.

✦ Watch cooking videos on websites like YouTube to learn new recipes.

✦ Follow websites on self-help and those which host inspirational content. Read through them to motivate yourself after a bad day at work, during a rough phase in life, or to help you approach life more positively. Acts of courage or kindness of common people, and inspirational stories of famous people in various fields, can give you new hope.

✦ Write a blog and express yourself. Write on what you know and what interests you. Contribute to the knowledge on the web by posting informative content. Or use your blog to entertain readers with fun stuff or anything creative.

✦ Shop smart by looking for some good deals and discounts online. Internet shopping saves you the effort of visiting malls or stores and all the shopping can be done sitting at home. Plus, there are many lucrative offers that help you save money.

✦ Take a virtual tour to any part of the world by using sources like Google Maps and Google Street View. These sources can help you plan an actual tour too.

✦ Indulge in your hobby online. Find information on what you like to do, find the latest information on things of your interest and engage in fun activities that interest you. The web hosts many good sources that allow you to engage in your hobbies, and even earn out of them.

✦ Make a Skype call to a friend you have not spoken to, since a long time. Or use email to write to your dear ones.

✦ Connecting with new people can help you with your career. Make connections with people whose profiles interest you and who can introduce you to others in the field. Sites like LinkedIn are good to build an online repute by sharing things related to your profession.

✦ Websites related to physical exercises can help you stay fit. They give you easy exercises, fitness tips, and nutritional advice.

✦ Play educational games or those that help you in some way (simulation games for example). Choose games like Sudoku, solve crosswords, play Math games or solve puzzles online.

✦ There are many non-profit organizations that have their presence online. Browse through these, know about their programs and take part in the ones you can. Contribute to a social cause in your own small way by participating in their campaigns.

✦ Spend time with your kids having them learn to draw online, or play an online game together. Take an online course with your partner. Or help your grandparents access websites that might interest them. This way, you will be spending time with your near ones, while online.

✦ Use cloud services or your mail account to back up important data if you need to. The Internet can be used to save space on your hard drive and have your data stored online.

✦ You can sell off old stuff using websites like eBay and others. Look for people who might be interested in buying those things, compare prices, and make a profitable sale.

✦ Carry out bank transactions online. Though not a productive activity in itself, it is time-effective and thus leaves you with more time for fruitful things.

✦ Listen to your favorite songs, watch your favorite movies, or listen to speeches by motivational speakers. Songs can help you feel relaxed, movies can give you that much-needed break, and listening to motivational speeches can make you feel good about yourself and optimistic about life.

✦ With the help of websites like BBC News and Reuters, get to know about the latest happenings across the globe. Know what’s in the news and stay updated about the recent developments in every field.

So, what type of productive thing would you like to do online?

Vend POS Software – Everything You Need to Know

Consumers today have no dearth of options when it comes to shopping, whether it is through traditional channels or online. People are increasingly expecting more in terms of value, choice and service. This new generation of consumer shopping behavior can be tapped by smart business owners by providing them the best pricing, great service, and a seamless shopping experience.

It has become essential for business owners to not only deliver a unified service across the retail stores, but also a great brand experience. Business owners today cannot afford to be disconnected from technology. Otherwise, they suffer the disadvantages of an outdated point of sale system. With Vend software, business owners can upgrade to the latest technology without even having to overhaul the entire POS systems.

Robust and Feature-rich POS technology
Vend is the retail POS software that allows business owners to create a robust system to help them organize their sales using a PC, Mac or even an iPad running the Vend app. Vend is compatible with a majority of the existing POS hardware used by the retailers. This means that they can simply update their systems to this latest technology, without spending on expensive brand new hardware. The point of sale software stores all the inventory information, and makes it easy for users to schedule reordering of inventories. It is also extremely useful to get a macroscopic view of the purchases the customers make, and improve sales.

Exceptional User Experience
Having good POS software like Vend not only helps businesses streamline their processes, but also adds to the overall consumer experience. Vend allows shoppers to buy their fill as they want. They can make payments by debit and credit cards, split payments, gift cards and get easy refunds or returns, and what not. This has been made possible by Vends association with multiple payment gateways across the globe. Businesses should understand that small things like these add up to create a lasting image of the retailer in the eyes of the customers. It is a no brainier that the consumers will continue to visit those outlets, where it is the most convenient for them to shop.

Superior Control Over Your Retail Business
The Vend POS software has been designed to deliver maximum utility to its users. The system even works when the Internet is down. Once the system is back online it will seamlessly sync all the new data generated while offline.

The Vend point of sale software rates high when it comes to being user friendly. Business owners can easily add or delete products from the list. Whats more, they can even add composite products to the list to fit the needs of the business. The same goes for inventory management. There are provisions for automatic reordering, setting restocking levels, transferring inventories across stores, and so on. Users can centrally manage customers by studying customer behaviors and offering good deals on the product bundles, creating loyalty programs, and so on. This is going to increase the number of repeat customers, which is the main objective for any business.

This POS retail software even provides for staff accounts, which can have different permissions depends on the kind of access the business owners want to give them. This, in turn, also becomes a tool to track the performance of the staff at each store.

The information on the Vend POS software would be available to the users anywhere on the cloud in a completely secure environment. This software also enables business owners to easily switch between different payment plans, add new stores, enjoy more features with add-ons, and much more.