Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Frugal Ways to Save at Least $100 a Month

Imagine spending just $20 a year -- or less -- for yearly telephone service. Or, perhaps you'd be interested in shaving 15 percent off your monthly utility bills. Two frugal experts say you can do it.

Everyone looks for simple ways to save, especially in today's tumultuous economy. Bankrate asked two frugal bloggers to share their thoughts on some nearly effortless ways to hang on to your hard-earned green.

If you take their advice to heart, you'll likely save at least $100 a month around the house.

Rethink Your Phone Service

Fed up with expensive telephone bills? Jonni McCoy, author of the Miserly Moms website, recommends switching to an alternative phone service like magicJack or Skype.

Such services allow you to make local and long-distance calls for a fraction of the price of traditional phone service. For instance, magicJack customers can get phone service for as little as $19.95 a year, while Skype calls are free to other Skype users.

"These are good alternatives to (traditional) phone service, and they include long distance, so no extra card is needed," McCoy says.

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Customers nervous about dropping their traditional phone carrier have other options for saving money.

For example, consider canceling long-distance service from your phone carrier and using calling cards instead, says Susan Palmquist, creator of money blog The Budget Smart Girl's Guide to the Universe.

Need a second phone line? In this case, a service like magicJack works well, because it's "much cheaper than adding a second line to your existing phone account," Palmquist says.

When it comes to your monthly cell phone bill, save money by cutting down on your minutes and switching to a more basic plan. Palmquist recommends switching to a pay-as-you-go cell phone.

Cut Down on Electricity

Each month, utility bills silently drain a little more cash from your wallet, preventing you from building a sizable emergency fund or retirement nest egg.

There are several ways to trim these bills. Three quick and painless ways to save include: switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs (which are more energy-efficient than standard light bulbs) lowering the temperature on your hot water heater (130 degrees Fahrenheit is enough to kill germs) and drying your clothing on a clothesline or rack whenever possible.

McCoy and Palmquist also recommend signing up for any incentive or rebate programs offered by the local utility company.

With these programs, you typically agree to allow the power company to briefly shut off certain appliances when energy demand is particularly high. In return, you get a credit on your monthly bill.

For example, customers who participate in Florida Power & Light's On Call Savings Program allow FPL to install a small device on their water heater and air conditioner compressor. This allows the utility company to periodically borrow electricity for 15 minutes or so.

Palmquist -- who lives in Minneapolis and gets her power from Xcel Energy -- does this and gets a 15 percent discount on her bills.

Conserve Water

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Are you drowning in monthly water bills? Palmquist and McCoy recommend money-saving options such as washing all clothing in cold water.

"I use cold water to wash clothes, and recently read that using the delicate cycle also saves water, too," Palmquist says.

In some cases, saving cash actually goes hand in hand with superior performance, Palmquist says.

"We installed a low-flow shower head in the main bathroom and find it not only saves water, but the flow is better than the old one," she says.

Of course, another "no-brainer" way to save is simply to use appliances less frequently. Wait until you have a full load before running the washing machine, dryer or dishwasher.

Don't overlook water-saving tips for outside the home. Palmquist plans to invest in a rain barrel for outside watering next year. Meanwhile, McCoy recommends making changes to landscaping "so there is less lawn to water."

Bundle or Drop Cable and Internet

McCoy suggests saving money by bundling cable and Internet services. Palmquist agrees, and recently switched to an "economy package" for her TV service.

However, Palmquist says it's important to look before you leap into bundling.

"Sometimes it's more expensive and they can lock you into a two-year contract, so check out everything first," she says.

If you're really gung-ho about saving, simply drop cable altogether. Perhaps you can watch your favorite TV shows for free on an Internet site such as Hulu.com.

Or, maybe it's time to simply give up those expensive TV habits and think about the priorities that really matter to you.

"My main advice is to think about wants and needs," Palmquist says. "Many of us think something's a necessity when really it's just a want."

Yahoo! Finance

Monday, November 22, 2010

Step by Step guide installing Ubuntu 10.10 on a Windows 7 System (Dual booting)

First I completely formatted the hard disk
Second I made three partitions in hard disk (C, D & E)
In partition C, I installed windows 7 (First windows should be installed in newly formatted hard disk)
And in partition E, I installed Ubuntu 10.10

For Installation Windows 7 here the step by step method

Setting up your computer and BIOS (Changes if Required)

When you start your computer put your Windows 7 DVD in DVD drive. And Restart

In most cases it will automatically boot in to the Windows 7 installation.

But in some cases Boot device order has to change.

BIOS it may boot you’re running operating system. In that case you will need to change the BIOS. You change the BIOS setting to boot from CD/DVD instead boot from hard drive.

Booting UP and First Installation steps

Installation of Windows 7 almost like Vista Installation type. But you have to care full read the descriptions in each time before clicking the NEXT button to avoid and disasters. There are options to choose in these steps you may find them with each images.

a) You choose your Language options by ‘Language to install’, ‘Time and Currency format’ and ‘Keyboard or input method’ here.

b) This screen is where the installation wizard begins. The install now options will leads to the

Advanced install options. For repairing a corrupt installation the ‘Repair your computer’ button

Located at the bottom-left can be used. For fresh installs just click the Install now button.

c)     Tick the ‘I accept the license terms’ checkbox and click ‘Next’ to proceed.

d) You will see a new box next in the you have two options 1. Upgrade and custom (advanced). 2. The custom install you have to go for second option that is “CUSTOM INSTALL”

e) Clicking on the ‘Custom’ button brings the install location selection screen.

Choose C partition to install windows 7 and click Format. Then click ‘Next’ to proceed.

Windows might create additional partitions for system files. This is a new feature in Windows 7 to have a small boot partition for system files.

f) Click Ok to continue.

g) Select the partition you just created and click next to continue.

The Windows 7 installation begins. Wait for 15 - 30 minutes for the all new OS! at installation time it will ask to give password, time setting etc.. Like in vista you have to give it.

How to install Ubuntu 10.10

After Windows 7 installation is over now you have to put your Ubuntu 10.10 CD in drive and restart your system.

It will open with welcome box. In that you have to press Install Ubuntu button

You will see a new box call preparing to install Ubuntu box. Just press Forward button.

Now you will see a new box in that you have to select “Install along side other operating system

Press Forward button.

You will see a new box of “Allocate drive space”: in that you will see a RED COLLUR “advanced partitioning tool” just press it.

Now you will see Allocate drive space.

Now you can see

Device                  Type                          Size                        Used

/dev/sda

/dev/sda1                ntfs                       104MB                    35MB

dev/sda 2                ntfs                  209609MB             18054 MB

dev/sda 3                ntfs                 157286 MB                3221MB

dev/sda 4                ntfs                  133106MB

(Note: - this information is my system hard drive information so in you system your hard drive information you will see)

So I selected /dev/sda 4 for Ubuntu 10.10.

If you just press on /dev/sda4 you will see three button enabled 1. Change 2.Delete 3. Revert

Just to to second button that is deleting after Delete you will see free space

Now just click on free space you will see one box Add

Press add button now it will open a box called Create Partition

Now you have to go Mount point box you will see

/, /boot, /home, /tmp, /usr, /var, /srv, /opt, /usr/local.

First you will go to /boot. Now you have to go “new Partition size in megabytes(1000000bytes);” and now give 4000 ( I have lot of space in my hard disk that way I given 4000 so you have to give as per Ubuntu manual instructions)   and press ok button

Now again you go to free space and press /home give 4000 and press OK like that you have to give all partitions. After all partitions allocated is over now you have to give /swap partition.

The size of /swap partitions is 2 times of your Ram (Exp:- RAM is 1 GB you have to give 2GB (2000) as /swap partitions

And finally / (ROOT) reaming available free space you have to give for / (ROOT) partition.

And press “Install Now” button

You will see a box “do you want to return to this partitions menu

Just press “Continue button”

After that you have to

Set Time and press forward button

Key board lay out “USA” press Forward button

Type you name   --> fill all filled and press Forward button

After installation is over restart the system

After Installation you will see a box in booting time in that you have to choose which operating system you have to run.
Booting box looks like this
GNU GRUB VERSION 1.98+20100804-5 Ubuntu3
Ubuntu,with Linux 2.6.35-22-generic
Ubuntu,with Linux 2.6.35-22-generic (Recovery mode)
Memory test (Memtest 86+)
Memory test (Memtest 86+ serial console 115200)
Windows 7 (loader) (on /dev/sda1)

In this way I have successfully installed windows7 and Ubuntu 10.10 on HP system in my office. Do the same thing and enjoy.

All the best

Allu John Sudhakar
System/Network Administrator
UCE, OU Osmania University

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hot Careers Through 2018 and Beyond

Find out which careers are expected to experience fast growth and offer plenty of opportunities.

By Yahoo! Education Staff

What are your top priorities for a new career?

-Good pay?
-Stability?
-Job security for the foreseeable future?

If a combination of all three is what you're looking for, you're in luck. Even in a tough job market, there are plenty of industries and jobs experiencing fast growth through 2018 - and beyond.

You can qualify for many of these jobs quickly with a degree or certificate program. Even better, you may not even have to leave your current job to do it, since many training programs are available online or on a part-time basis.

Are you ready to learn about some of the hottest careers? Check out these hot job opportunities through 2018 and beyond... then see how you can get started.

Hot Career #1: Accountant/Auditor

Accountants keep finances in order by taking care of things like overseeing cash flow and filing tax paperwork. Auditors analyze finances to ensure everything is being done according to the law.

Hot factors:

  • There were 1.3 million accountant and auditor jobs in 2008...
  • And the Department of Labor projects about 279,400 new positions to be added through 2018.
  • Changing financial laws, evolving regulations, and more detailed scrutiny of company finances mean fast job growth for accountants.

Training options:
Bachelor's degree in accounting
Bachelor's degree in finance

Median salary: $59,430

Hot Career #2: Medical Assistant

As a medical assistant in the growing health care field, you'll work to keep a hospital, clinic, or doctor's office running smoothly by keeping records and/or taking patients' vital signs.

Hot factors:

  • Medical assistants held a whopping 483,600 jobs in 2008, and that number is projected to grow...
  • In fact, medical assisting is one of the fastest growing jobs out there. The Department of Labor projects a 34 percent growth rate from 2008-2018.
  • More health care facilities are employing people who can do administrative as well as clinical work, which means more opportunities for medical assistants with the right training.

Training options:
Associate's degree in medical assisting
Medical assistant certificate program

Median salary: $28,300

Hot Career #3: Financial Examiner

As a financial examiner, you'll make sure that businesses follow financial laws and regulations. After recent financial scandals, there's lots of demand for workers who can help keep organizations finances in order and follow current regulations.

Why it's hot:

  • This job should grow much faster than average (41 percent more job openings) over the next few years.
  • Businesses are increasingly aware of the need to follow financial regulations.
  • More government oversight of the financial sector means more jobs.

Training options:
Bachelor's degree in accounting

Median salary: $70,930

Hot Career #4: Dental Assistant

Dental assistants should find lots of opportunities in this growing field to help patients care for their teeth and help the dentist with paperwork and equipment.

Why it's hot:

  • This in an in-demand job with 36 percent more openings predicted.
  • Population growth and increasing dental health for older people will drive the need for dental workers.
  • Dental patients are demanding flexible hours, so evening and weekend appointments mean more assistants will be needed.

Training options:
Associate's degree in dental assisting
Dental assistant certificate

Median salary: $32,380

 

Hot Career #5: Physical Therapist Assistant

If you want a stable career with rewarding work, this may be just the right fit for you. Assistants help patients recover after an injury or illness. They work directly with patients and perform support tasks like record-keeping.

Why it's hot:

  • As the baby boomers age, there will be more demand for physical therapy to recover from illness and injury.
  • Insurance companies are starting to cover more procedures, so more workers will be needed.
  • In fact, the Department of Labor expects to see fast growth in job openings for this position.

Training options:
Associate's degree in physical therapy
Physical therapy certificate

Salary: $46,140

Hot Career #6: Registered Nurse

Working in hospitals, clinics, and doctor's offices to keep patients healthy and treat illnesses and injuries is a job that's lucrative and fulfilling.

Why it's hot:

  • More emphasis on preventive care and aging baby boomers will drive demand.
  • Health care reform means more people will be insured, so more nurses will be needed.
  • Half a million new nurses will be needed by 2018.

Training options:
Associate's degree in nursing
Bachelor's degree in nursing
Nursing diploma

Median salary: $62,450

 

Hot Career #7: Computer Software Engineer, Applications

Designing and creating programs to run on digital devices - from laptops to cell phones - is a booming business. This field is expecting even further growth, especially in the mobile arena.

Hot factors:

  • It's one of the fastest growing careers... and with technology continually evolving, that's no surprise.
  • The Department of Labor predicts a 34 percent increase in jobs between 2008 and 2018.
  • They number of new jobs to be created: 175,100.

Training options:
Bachelor's degree in computer programming
Bachelor's degree in computer engineering

Median salary: $85,430

All salary data is from the U.S. Department of Labor, May 2008.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

10 Shocking Secrets of the First Year of Marriage (How Marriage Changes Things)

--By Marina Khidekel, BRIDES magazine
Think that your first year as newlyweds will be total bliss? Of course it will—but even paradise comes with surprises. Here's what to expect.
1. THE SHOCK: You'll gain a little love weight.
You've been dieting since the moment he put the ring on your finger. But chances are that celery-and-Fresca regimen will end as soon as the honeymoon begins. (Christening every Thursday "Pasta Madness"? Go for it!) "I starved myself for months to get in shape for the wedding—I even ordered my ring a size smaller to force myself to keep dieting," admits Melina M., 29, of Cambridge, Massachusetts. "Of course I've gained it all back—and a few extra pounds."
WHAT'S A COUPLE TO DO?
Putting on a bit of weight is normal for a newlywed. "Give yourself permission to enjoy your new life and the food that comes with it," says psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D., author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness. But don't make chili-cheese dogs an everyday thing, or the pounds will keep piling on. Spanx has its limits.
2. THE SHOCK: Your B-list buds will go MIA.
You're a single girl with a tribe of friends. Once you're hitched, though, some may mysteriously vanish from the scene—unless you bribe them with Friday-night drinks.
WHAT'S A COUPLE TO DO?
If a friend is keen on getting married, jealousy may play a part, or she may be having a hard time dealing with a former free-agent pal's wanting to check in with her hubby before making plans. But don't worry—your closest girlfriends won't leave your side, especially if you make a conscious effort to keep them there.
3. THE SHOCK: Your sex life will be off the charts—sometimes.
After the honeymoon and a happy homecoming, life can turn, well...a bit PG. One night, you may just want to do the laundry. Or there will be a Project Runway marathon that you really, really want to watch. Before you know it, a week will have gone by since you and your spouse got romantic.
WHAT'S A COUPLE TO DO?
Nothing. Studies show that, over time, married people have more—and better—sex than singles do, says Scott Haltzman, author of The Secrets of Happily Married Women: "The sense of commitment helps loosen a couple's inhibitions and strengthens their sexual bond."
Related: 7 Financial Tips for Newlyweds from BRIDES Magazine's Editor-in-Chief
4. THE SHOCK: You won't unpack your china for six months.
Engaged girl's fantasy: kitchen shelves full of gleaming new china and stemware organized by color, pattern, and size. Married woman's reality: stacks of unpacked boxes in every corner.
WHAT'S A COUPLE TO DO?
Everyday things—working late, paying bills, taking the dog to the vet—will get in the way of setting up that idyllic space. Try this as a compromise: Open one box each week until you've achieved that sublime kitchen display. And then use the stuff!
5. THE SHOCK: You'll do the dishes; your husband will fix stuff.
It'll be like living in a Mad Men episode as you fall into clich├ęd roles—you're in charge of laundry; he hammers things. "One day, when our dryer's bell went off to signal that the clothes were done, my husband jumped a foot off the couch and shrieked, 'What was that noise?' That was when I realized he hadn't washed a sock since we'd been married," says Anna W., 28, of Austin, Texas.
WHAT'S A COUPLE TO DO?
Devise a plan, if you'd prefer to split chores 50–50. "Consider which chores each of you doesn't mind doing, and agree to divvy up the responsibilities in a way you both think is fair," says Lombardo. Studies show that when roles are clearly defined and equitable, everyone's happier.
6. THE SHOCK: Even though you'll have two paychecks, you'll still feel broke.
That "we'll have twice as much money" theory? Just an illusion. While you'll save on housing if you weren't living together before (and don't move someplace swankier), you'll also be spending more. For example, that hand-me-down couch was fine for a single gal, but now you'll want a nice sofa in a lovely home that looks as if grown-ups live there.
WHAT'S A COUPLE TO DO?
Don't fret too much, says Haltzman. The investments you're making now will pay off for decades to come, whether they're in furnishings, friendships (throwing dinner parties), or the future (loading up your retirement accounts).
7. THE SHOCK: You won't want to spend every moment with your new husband.
Your spouse may be your best friend, but he won't suddenly become your only friend.
WHAT'S A COUPLE TO DO?
"My husband and I have no problems maintaining individual friendships," says Meghan E., 29, of Richmond, Virginia. "The poor guy shouldn't have to be dragged to every new chick flick simply because he's married to me." She's right. Go out with the girls, and give him nights with his guys. You'll come home and swap stories—and your marriage will be the better for it.
See Also: 16 Surefire Ways to De-Stress
8. THE SHOCK: You'll go to bed mad, even though you vowed not to—ever.
Count on falling asleep fuming at least once that first year.
WHAT'S A COUPLE TO DO?
"It's okay if you're getting nowhere with a compromise," says Lombardo. "Forcing things will just make them worse." So don't be scared of getting some shut-eye. Most likely, you'll both wake up refreshed and ready to make up. Studies show the best predictor of a marriage's success is the couple's ability to repair the relationship after a fight, so as long as you resolve your conflict quickly, you can rest easy.
9. THE SHOCK: Being a wife won't mean you'll instantly have skills worthy of an Iron Chef.
"When I was single, I rarely turned on the stove in my studio apartment. Then I got a husband, new kitchen gear (all those shower gifts!), and my grandmother's take- care-of-your-man attitude," says Molly S., 32, of Baltimore.
WHAT'S A COUPLE TO DO?
Marriage vows are powerful, but they don't include instructions on how to make meatloaf. "I'd rush home from work and try to cook a spread worthy of a magazine photo shoot, but I couldn't take the pressure," says Molly. "Now making dinner might mean opening a bag of salad or a take-out menu," she says. "And we're both okay with that." Or you may find your husband grabbing the apron—now there's a win-win!
10. THE SHOCK: The world will feel like a better place.
Marriage is more than changing your last name and getting a joint checking account.
WHAT'S A COUPLE TO DO?
"Getting married is a declaration to the world that you want to be with each other forever, and a huge sense of security, devotion, peace, and love comes with that," says Lombardo. That intensity will not only deepen your bond but also give you quite a buzz. Says Krista N., 31, of New York City, "We were really supportive of each other before, but now that we're married, it feels like we're tackling life together, and that's a pretty great feeling."

Illustration by Kirsten Ulve