Intimidating Road Systems - Britain's Birmingham Spaghetti Junction

Birmingham's Spaghetti Junction has been voted Britain's most intimidating road system. The second most hair-raising intersection area, according to a survey of 3,225 drivers, was the M8 and its junctions through central Glasgow while Marshable Arch in central London stood third. Almost one in 10 drivers say they would avoid "Scary" junctions altogether, and as a result drive an average of 238 miles extra per year!!!

Gravelly Hill Interchange, better known as Spaghetti Junction, is junction 6 of the M6 motorway where it meets the A38(M) Aston Expressway in Birmingham, United Kingdom. The junction covers 30 acres (12 hectares), serves 18 routes and includes 4 km (2.5 miles) of slip roads, but only 1 km (0.6 miles) of the M6 itself. Across 5 different levels, it has 559 concrete columns, reaching up to 24.4 metres (80 ft) height. The engineers had to elevate thirteen and a half miles of motorway to accommodate two railway lines, three canals, and two rivers.

Construction started in 1968 and the junction opened in November 1972 by the then environment secretary Peter Walker. In an unusal meeting of old and new transport technology, the pillars supporting the flyovers over the Grand Union Canal had to be carefully placed to enable a horse-drawn canal barge to pass under the interchange without fouling the towing rope. The junction has undergone major repair work several times since, due to the very heavy traffic through the junction, and some alleged cost-saving measures during its construction. In November 2007, a sliproad running from the Tyburn Road onto the Aston Expressway was closed to undergo urgent repair works. Upon inspection, it was found that Spaghetti Junction itself was in need of repair work due to salt and grit weakening the joints in the structure.

[Source: Wikipedia]

Using Blogger To Create a Backup of Your Blog

Have you ever thought about this – “What is the worst Nightmare for a Blogger?”. I think, the bloggers who use free blog service providers, like Blogger or Wordpress, the worst nightmare for them is the loss of the Blog. That is, one fine day you wake up and find the entire blog has gone down. The reasons can be many but the possibilities always exist.

The question is how do I prepare myself for this unwanted and unforeseen situation?

The answer is quite simple. Take a Backup of your blog on a regular basis.

How do I take this Backup?
There are different tools available for taking a copy or backup of your website and these tools often work fine with the free blog services also. But Blogger provides you a method of taking a backup of your blog and this is what makes it special (at least for me).

To take the backup of the blog at blogger, the first thing you have to do is to log-in to the control panel of the blogger. Once there, go to the settings tab and click the “Basic” Settings.

Here, search for Blog Tools (It is the first entry on the page). You wil find three links in this section –
a. Import Blog – The import Blog tool allows you to restore the blog that you had backed up earlier.
b. Export Blog – The export blog tool allows you to export the contents of the blog as an XML file that you can save onto your hard disk and use it later to re-create the blog.
c. Delete Blog – The delete blog tool allows you to delete a blog.

Now that we are going to take a Backup of the Blog, click on the Export Blog button. The next page that gets displayed is a message with another button. The message is self-explanatory – that you can export the blog as an atom format. Not getting into technicalities, this means a special format that blogger and other websites that understand XML and Atom Formats can decipher what is contained in the backup. Below this message you will find a button labeled “Download Blog”. Click this button to initiate the download process.

Once you click this button, it will prompt you to specify a location on your hard disk where you want to store the file. Note that only one XML file will get downloaded and this file will contain all that is needed. Give the appropriate paths and filenames. That’s all. You have a copy of your blog posts downloaded with you.

Backup the Template too!
The next thing that you might be interested in is taking a backup of your Theme especially if you have got the theme customized by someone or by yourself. This is essential just because it will save you the time re-creating the theme.

To take a backup of the theme, go to the layout tab in the control panel. From there, click the Edit HTML button. Here you will find the Download Template Button. Click it to initiate the download process. Specify the path where the file needs to be saved. You are done.

Hope you find the post interesting. Please feel free to comment or contact me.


Earn by becoming a Web Hosting Reseller

Recently, I was searching for some methods of earning without much of Investment. As my readers might be aware, I have been in the house for quite about 2 years, jobless as they say (as I am not working at any office). My income source is low too and as such I cannot make initial investments to get into a full fledged home business.

One day, I came across a better idea. If I cannot work at an office outside the home, can’t I bring it into my house? How about starting an office straight from home? Well well, setting up an office might sound too much of an investment! Let me put it this way - "how about starting with what you have as an investment and a little amount of extra money?" And you can make some better amounts depending on the place where you stay or your contacts?

I was actually surfing for a Web Hosting Service Provider, as the contract with my earlier vendor (for my website Krishna Software Solutions) is nearing its end and I am not very happy with the services they are providing me to renew the contract. So I was in search of service providers who can provide me with some space at affordable costs. Whilst surfing, I came across a large number of websites. I found that most of them have Special Packages called - "Reseller Plans".

So What is a Reseller Plan?
Reseller is someone who buys something in bulk and then divides it and re-sells the bulk in chunks to various other people.
In this case, you purchase a bulk amount of web space on the server of your web space provider and then start re-selling parts of it to different clients.

How do I make Money here?
In most of the cases, if you plan to become a reseller, you have to purchase a package from the web hosting service provider. The rates may be a bit higher than they would have been in case you were purchasing the same amount of space just for yourself, but this is manageable.

Once you get the space from them, you start selling parts of this space as independent web packages. The parent organization gets business from this and pays you commissions. This is one side of the income. If you are honest and do not want to make more profits, you just start selling the space as per the rates prescribed by the parent organization. If you want to make more money, increase the amount for hosting packages offered by you. However, there are other add-ons that you can do to increase your income and not get into such a pitfall. Read on.

How much do I need to Invest?

Depending on the space and plans of hosting that you purchase, the monetary investment will vary. Apart from this initial and most essential investment, you will have to arrange for the following -
a. A furnished room where your clients can come and visit you,
b. A telephone that you can be contacted on by your clients,
c. A Letter Head, Visiting/Business Cards
d. Contacts of people who will be interested to have their websites hosted with you.

If you are like me (who is restricted in movements and has to stay in the house), you can also think of hiring a a sales agent who can help you in getting business. The salary can be negotiated on a per client basis or even as a percentage of total sales made. This depends on the arrangement between you and your employee.

How much can I Earn?
If you do only this part, that is, sell space, you will not make much profit, but yes, you will come out of the stigma that you are staying all the time at home and not working.
In case you are aware of web programming, or have a friend circle who is technically sound and aware of web programming, then you can increase your chances of making more money. This is the add-on in this plan of income.

Once you get the customers who will be interested in your web hosting service, you can ask them if they would like their website to be developed and maintained by your organization. In case they agree, you can quote higher prices (which will include costs of developing, managing, optimizing and also hosting) and provide them the services. The fact that the clients will get all the solutions at one place will keep them happy. You will be happy as you would be involved more in the work and this will increase your income.

Who are my Clients?
1. A word of caution here - DO NOT target the big shots as they would already be having a website of their own. You can start with providing services to those who are local to you and who can be approached easily.
2. In case you are planning to provide the website development facility too, start with simple websites that you can develop. Remember that you have to make your market and Brand Name first.
3. Lastly, avoid registering for Reseller Plans with not-so-known brands. This is because the not-so-known brands cannot be trusted in terms of providing efficient customer support to their clients. As you will be the middle-man, your clients will give you sleepless nights if their problems are not resolved soon. And if the problems are not resolved soon, this will spread a bad word of mouth for your business. So even if you have to invest a little more, go with the bigger names.

Oh yes, in case you plan to start with the simple Web Hosting Service and are not sure of finding suitable candidates for creating the web pages, please feel free to contact me. I would be more than happy in setting up a couple of websites for you.

Happy Earning.

Hope you will find this post of use to earn and start a business of your own. Please feel free to contact me or post your comments.


Beware Of Frauds on the Internet! The Case of 1Centemails

After months of trying out clicking for the various ads that they sent me, I have out another website that is a scam and hoax. The simple thing that I found out of late is that the Payout Button doesn’t get Active.

I had joined the 1centemails after I had started recovering from my illness. I had seen it getting advertised with other website – – where I was already a member. This was the first time that I was starting up with the Pay to Read marketing and had no idea that things can end up this way. My up-line here (on 1centemails) had mentioned proof of getting paid and had also flashed the pictures related to payment. This made me believe that this site could give me money as well. As I was in need of money, more at that time, I joined this website and soon the emails started pouring in.

If you care to read about the introduction or the message that has the potential to lure you into becoming a member, you would find that there is a mention of the following –

Low Minimum Payout – only 10USD
Lots of contests and Promotions
New: Instant Payout System

There is no mention when and how the payment will be done.

So I got started with the hopes that the USD 10 is an amount that can be reached given the fact that the number of emails sent by them was in the range of 10-15 per day. Even today, I have not closed my account and I still receive around 10 emails per day each of 1 cents.

I was happy when I reached the amount of USD 10 within a short span of time after joining with them and started dreaming of how to get that money and spend it. But this happiness was short lived as soon I realized that there is something very fishy. I noticed that the Request Payout Button did not get enabled on the webpage when I had earned USD10 in my account. I then waited for some more days for that to happen but when nothing happened, I decided to email and contact the support team.

It was a long wait and after that the only message that I received was that I would have to wait. The mail mentioned that I needed to wait for at least 30 working days after having the balance of USD10 in my account to get the Request Payout Button enabled or I could upgrade my account and become a Premium Member by paying them an amount of 69USD minimum . I was not counting the number of days till then but after reading this mail, I decided to keep track of the details.

Over the period I have sent them several emails and barring a few occasions they have never replied to me. I believe that the emails that they have sent are general emails sent to people to keep their hopes of getting paid alive.

Now I have stopped looking onto the account with themon a regular basis. I ocassionaly click an ad or so just to keep that account live so that some day I might get the payment.

Hope you benefit by this bad experience of mine and stay away from this website.

Website Building : Part I

These days, having a website has become more of a necessity than a luxury. But if I look back, about 10-15 years ago, it was considered to be a luxury. Well, things change and with that several luxuries convert to necessities.

Why do I need a website?
Well, the answer to this question varies from person to person. If you have a business you use your web site to showcase the products and services that you have on your business. Similarly if you are a professional you can use the site to showcase your talents. Writers can use website for writing out their text and showcasing them to the world. And if you are a student you can use your web site for learning purposes. So we can have a website to display and showcase our talents, products and services.

Where do I start from?
The first thing you have to do is identify the need of or purpose of having your web site. This is an essential to start with. This will determine a lot of things that will actually go into the design of your website.

The websites generally fall under the following broad categories –

  1. Business Websites – These are available for showcasing the products and services that the business or organization delivers. These are designed with special attention to highlighting the products and serviced being offered by the organization.
  2. Talent Showcases – These websites are also known as Portfolio Websites and they are mostly created by individuals, free lancers, and any one who wants to showcase his her talents to the visitors or use it to get some work. These are  web sites that focus more on the projects, assignments and other talents that the owner wishes to showcase.
  3. Tutorials – These websites offer online learning courses and can be designed based on the requirements of the course and also the budget of the person or organization who wants to provide these courses.
  4. E-Commerce Websites – These are the websites that allow you to buy or sell your products using the accepted methods of payment by the host. I have placed this as a separate category just because there are several business sites that do not by or sell directly. And similarly there are sites that do the buying and selling.
  5. Social Media - These are the websites that allow you to create societies on the Internet. Some examples are 
I have decided the Category! What Next?
Now, based on the category that you have selected, you have to write the content of the website, its pages and also collect the pictures that you would need to make the website attractive.

If you want to do everything on your website on your own, you need to learn some HTML, CSS to start with. Just in case you are not into all this, do not worry. Just prepare the content, collect the images and the page layouts (just mere sketches on paper will do).

Where to get the images and other stuff?
DO NOT copy images or contents from the websites of others. Instead, buy them or use them from different websites that allow you to. Some of the great sites for stock photos are –

Once done, you will need to find a place where you can host your website. I will be discussing this in the next post.

Note: If you are interested to have a website of your own build by professionals, you can email me or visit krishna software solutions.

Securing Your Computer – Internal Security: Part II

In the last post, I had discussed how you can create users on your Windows XP Operating System. In this post I will be telling you how to protect your files, folders and even disk drives from being accessed by the other users of your computer.

As of now, you must have realized that merely creating different categories of users on the system does not implement much of the security. Its only that some tasks like formatting etc. are restricted.

STEP I: Getting The Security Tab
To implement the complete security features, you will need to make the Security Tab available in the properties of your drives, folders and files.

Under normal situations, Windows XP does not display the security tab when you right click and select properties for any Disk Drive or Folder or File on your Computer. To get this tab appear on the dialog box this is what you need to do

To enable and disply the Security Tab
  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Appearance and Themes, and then click Folder Options.
  3. On the View tab, under Advanced settings, clear Use simple file sharing [Recommended].

Once you are done with this you will get to see the Security Tab in the Properties dialog box for every Disk Drive, Folder and File.
STEP II: Setting up the access permissions
Access control is the process of authorizing or restricting users, groups, and even computers (on a network) to access objects like Disk Drives, Folders, Files and other resources on the computer (or network).

Right click on the object for which you want to set the permissions. (I have used the D: partition of my Disk for this example). From the menu that pops up, click on the Properties option to display the Properties Dialog box for the object. Here, select the Security Tab.

On the security tab, you would find the list of users and groups who have been assigned or restricted on the selected object. 

"The Everyone Group":When you are changing the security for any folder or file for the first time, you will find a Group by the name “Everyone” in the list. If you select it you will find all the permissions that are assigned to this group for this object. The Everyone Group refers to all the users of the computer, as the name indicates. So, you can start by removing the Group from the list. To do so, select the Group and click on Remove. Once this is removed, the next task is to add up the users who will be granted the Access or Denied the Access. 

To Add a user in the list, Click on the Add Button. This will display the Add User or Group Dialog Box. 

Click on the Advanced Button to display another dialog box where you can find a list of all available users and groups on the system.

On this Dialog box, click on the Find Now Button to display the list of Users and Groups. Select the user or group to whom the permissions are to be given or denied. Click on OK to return to the above dialog which should display the name of the selected user or group. On this dialog, click OK to add the user or group in the Security Dialog.

Once back on the Security Tab
  • Select the User you have just added.
  • Use the Checkboxes under the Assign Column to Assign the permissions or under the Deny Column to Deny the Permissions.
Once done with the permissions, click OK.
Your Permissions for the file or folder are set and the user will or will not be able to access the contents depending upon the permissions you have just set.

Hope that you find this post useful. Looking forward to your comments and feedback.


Securing Your Computer – Internal Security : Part I

Do you have a PC or Laptop at home which is accessed by others? Well, I have a Computer at home which is used by many including me, my wife and even my students who come to me for getting trained in various computer subjects.

Do you have files on your computer that you do not want others using your computer to access?

Well, well. Microsoft’s Windows XP comes with tools that allow you to implement user level security and the best part is that you do not have to be a geek to get those features implemented.

This is a two step process and here is the first step (the second step will be available in the next post) –

STEP I: Create different Users on the Operating System.

Windows XP supports three different kinds of users on a system –
  • The Administrators – They are the users who have full control on the computer and can access any file or device on the Computer.
  • The Restricted User – These are the users who can create files, use applications installed but cannot install new software or format drives. As the name suggests, they have a restricted access to the resources on the computer.
  • Guests – These are the occasional users who are allowed to create files but these files do not get permanently stored on the computer.
To create a new user follow these steps

  1. Open the control panel. The control panel can be opened using the start menu on Windows XP.
  2. Once inside the Control Panel, open the User Accounts Applet. The user Accounts Applet will allow you to create or modify user accounts.
  3. If you want to create a new User then select the Create A New Account button on the Applet.
  4. In the dialog box that follows, type in the name of the new user. Ensure that this name is unique as this will be used to access the Windows User Account.
  5. Then click on the Next button. In the screen that follows, specify what type of account this new account will be – An administrative account or a limited / restricted account. I would suggest that you create all other accounts except yours as Limited Accounts as this will ensure safety of all your files and data.
  6. Once done, click the create account. This will get the account created. 
The purpose of this process was to create the new user accounts. So far, so good.

What is required next is the 2nd level of security to be implemented. If you do not follow the steps described below, anyone can click your username when XP starts and get access to the files and data that you did not want to share. So here is the 2nd level of steps –
Once the New Account is created, it will be displayed on the User accounts Applet.

Select the newly created account to go the page which will allow you to manage the account.

Use the options in the dialog box as described –
  •     Change the Name: This option will change the name of the user account. It asks you to enter a new name for this User Account
  •     Create a Password: This is the most essential step. You must provide passwords for all the accounts you create. This will prevent unauthorized persons from accessing your computer.
  •     Change the Picture: This option will change the Picture or Image or Avataar for the Account. The Avataar is normally displayed at the Login page of Windows XP.
  •     Delete the Account - This will delete or remove the user account.
Once done with the above steps, restart your computer to find the changes.

The major change that you should have found is that now windows displays a lot of icons on the login page where each of the Icon is followed by the User Account Name that you create.

In the next post, I will mention about the next part – How to secure your files from the multiple users that you have created in this session.
As ususal, I welcome any suggestions or queries. Please feel free to provide your feedback!!!


I Got Traffic to my Website / Blog... What Next? Part 2

In my earlier posts I had mentioned a method of getting traffic to your website (Get Visitors to Your Blog or Website for Free) and also what to do next (I got traffic to my website... what next?). In this post I will be telling you about another method to keep that traffic on your website.

Before that there are a few things that you have to keep in mind-
1. The visitor who is surfing on the traffic-webiste will be more interested in getting more credits like you so that he can promote his website.
2. The promoting website will display your page for a very small time averaging about 30 seconds. This means that you have approximately 10 seconds in which you have to have your page loaded. I say 10 seconds because the remaining time has to be given to the user to scan through the page.
3. Within the next 10-20 seconds that you have, you have to communicate to the user about your product and draw him into the page.

: Use the graphic images to emphasise the Product and Theme of the page. What I mean is that you should have images of the product that your page promotes and to which the traffic is being directed to. A word of caution here - When working with graphic images DO NOT over do them. Keep the number of images to the barest minimum level so that the pages load fast and quick.

Colors: Use a rofessional color combination for the background and foreground. Keep the colors to the lighter side so that the users do not get upset by seeing bright colors. Use eye-soothing but attractive colors.

Fonts: Use fonts effectively and use the Heading tags of HTML to classify the different sections of the webpage. This will be effective in highlighting the attributes or feaures of the product.

Testimonials: Most of the web users feel satisfied if there are some testimonials available on the page. Technically speaking, I would not support having many testimonials on the page because many of the users who are surfing via the sites are professionals and would hardly have time to read them. But having a couple of testimonials is essential as later when you are emailing the pages as solo ads, these will go to the clients who can be interested. Again having a set of testimonials on youe actual page willnot harm you.

Hope this post has some value to you.
Your comments on this post are welcome as always.


Work and Earn From Home - Part I

When I started recovering from the severe attack of Arthritis that had made me bed-ridden for more than six months, I had only one thought on my mind - "What to do to earn". I do not belong to an affluent family and am on my own. My wife works as a Computer Trainer and her income was the only source of funds coming in to the home. I could realise that she was under a lot of pressure as her income was barely enough to meet all the new recurring expenses that were forced upon us due to my illness. My savings were also getting spent on the various tests and medicined required. I was desperate and feeling helpless on my incapabilities to participate in the expenses.

One fine day I realised that I had been into computing for quite a long time and had varied exposure to diferent programming languages. Several students in my locality are doing their Bachelors and / or Masters in computer Science. I felt that I can help them in doing their practicals and also share my experiences as a Software Team Lead that I had gained over the past years in my career.

Luckily one day one of the students of my wife came to visit us. I asked him that if he was interested, I could help him in his studies. He readily accepted the offer and in return I asked him to spread a word in the locatlity that I am giving out tutions on a couple of subjects like C, C++ and Web Programming. Those interested could contact me.

As luck would have it, I had about 10 students in the next 15 days. I was happy that I could start earning again and contribute my share in the family. As on today, I have 15 students on a regular basis and some others keep coming in for shorter courses. And I am able to earn some 4,000 to 5,000 INR just from training the students at home.

I feel that all of us have a talent or attribute that makes us special and stand out of the rest. The only thing essential is to identify that hidden talent. Then we have to identify the people who can benefit with this knowledge of ours and once we identify a few such persons, we can start off with imparting training to them. In most of such training sessions, the trainer doesnt need to venture out.

So identify your hidden talent or skill. Then find the candidates who can be interested in making use of that talent or skill. Then contact them and God Willing you will have a source of income from home with minimum of investments.

Good Luck!!!

Hope you found this post of interest and use. I always welcome your suggestions and comments.

When Should I Ask for Payout from my PTC Site?

Hi all, I was suffering from fever and that is the reason that I could not post anything on the blog. A lot of things have changed within the last couple of days. Some of the sites have been suspended and I do not know why.

I had joined this PTC website last month and was hopeful that I would recieve the payment soon. The reason was quite simple. They had a very low payout and I had thought that I could reach the amount within a few weeks. And yes, I did that. I managed to get to the minimum amount on 31st October. But the amount was too less and I thought that as this site  is considered to be a legit site, I can wait for some more time to have a worthy amount.

Now, as I had reached the Payout Limit within a short span of time, I also recommeded this site to a couple of my friends and they joined without any questions. But...

The whole story changed on 3rd November. When I tried to log in for my daily clicks on the site, I was shocked to see that the site was suspended. What was more painful was the fact that I had an amount with them and I could have withdrawn the same if I wanted but...  Not only this, I had just recommended my friends who joined here without questions because I had shown them that I had reached the "Pay Me Now" stage and the link was active.... But, now everything was gone.

I learnt a lesson the hard way and this is a thing that all of us who are into making money on the internet should take care of - "Make Hay When The Sun Shines". I know that all of you are aware of the old adage but it is time to implement the same. Encash whatever you have whenever you can. You cannot depend on these sites to keep money with them.

I understand that what you would be thinking right now - "In this case, the overheads will be too high and I will be left with lesser income". Yes, this is a sad clause attached to it, but the fact is that you will have something at least. If you calculate, you would be surprised that you will just be paying a 0.01% extra to the middle-men (organizations like Paypal or Alertpay) who manage your earnings from the Internet. But at end you will have something which is quite better than losing everything and that includes - time, money, patience and maybe friends.

Hope this post will be of help. I would welcome your suggestions and feedback on the same.

Note: I have not mentioned the name of the site as I have not found the website  listed  as a scam. It might have been suspended due to whatever reasons, but I could not find its existence as a Scam or Fraud.

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