Work as a Translator

In the world of internet, Translation is a term used to mean re-writing of content in a different language.

Statistics reveal that in the present day scenario the Translation industry is a booming business and the world wide market is stated to be $15-billion.
Traditionally translation refers to the comprehension of the meaning of a text and the subsequent production of an equivalent text, likewise called a "translation," that communicates the same message in another language. The text to be translated is called the source text, and the language that it is to be translated into is called the target language; the final product is sometimes called the target text.

Seems interesting...

Technical Resources
As an absolute minimum, you need to own, or have unlimited access to, the following:

1. A computer
A desktop or a laptop anyone will do. Whether you start on a windows Platform or the Mac or even the LINUX/UNIX depends on you. But I would recommend that the Operating system you use must be able to handle the other application softwares and fonts that you would need for the translation services.

2. An Internet connection
As you start translating, you would realize that gradually the file sizes will get larger and larger. So to send those across you would definitely prefer to have a faster internet connection. You can start from an internet cafe but over the period you would realize that you need to stay online... most of the time. So plan to have an Internet connection at home (if you do not have that yet!).

3. A Word Processor
You will need at least a good word processor that supports multi-language fonts. UNICODE support would be great. Some good applications that you can use include Open Office (on all operating systems) or Microsoft Office Package(on windows). In case you are translating web pages you would also need to have a Web Page Editor - my recommendation Adobe's Dream weaver (not available on UNIX/LINUX).

Other assets that you can think to include:
1. Fax
In case your clients need you to sign documents many a times, you can go for a fax as the Postal Services can be slow and expensive. As an alternate to this, you can enquire if they accept digital versions of signatures and if they do, you can scan the signature and use ie. You will not need a fax then.

2. A mobile phone or a pager:
In case you are on the move during the business hours of your clients (this might happen if you are working for a client who is in a different part of the world), it would be a good idea to have a mobile or pager connection to stay in contact.

3. Dictionaries and reference books
You are going to need loads of these. Depending on your field of work you will need the books. You can also plan to have dictionaries to help you find words in the language that you are translating into. You will need multi-language dictionaries. You can also use the internet to find the dictionaries and the information.

4. A quiet place.
A place where you can concentrate more on the work and get less distracted.

The Soft Skills Required
Apart from the Technical requirements you also need to posses the following soft skills. These skills are essential to continue in this field. If you are looking to join an organization that does the conversion tasks, then these are the only things that you need.

1. The Languages
You need to know at least the source and the target languages if you have to make a mark in this field of conversion. An effective translation requires first class knowledge of both the languages. You should have the knowledge to write and read both the languages as well as thorough understanding of both.

2. Knowledge of the subject which is getting translated
You have to have the knowledge of the subject which you are translating. A better understanding of the subject from both sides (the source language and the target language) would help you become a better translator.

3. Familiarity with both Cultures
If you are familiar with the Cultures in terms of values, traditions, customs, laws and regulations of both the languages, it would help you understand the subject better and also the chances of leaving a mark in the translation world. Your translations would be more genuine and more acceptable by the target language.

4. Patience and Tons of Patience
If you have to be a successful translator you have to understand the first rule is that you have to have a lot of patience. Great translators are not made overnight and it takes a lot of continuous effort on the part of a translator to become great.

How do I Go about It?

1. Get Certified
The first step is to get certified. There are a lot of different places where you can get certified. I am citing two below. You have to get your certification for learning the target language as well as a certification for doing the translation. Some organizations prefer that you have both while some others just need you to have the certification that you are well versed with the languages. So you have to select which languages you want to go with and then based on the requirements you might consider getting certified as a translator.

2. Where To Find Jobs
Best place to search for the Translation jobs is the internet as there are many people who would like to use the services of a translator. I am giving below two links just to have an idea.

3. Who Will Need My Translation Services?
People or businesses that are into content will need your services as a translator. You can be required by the following groups and many more-

a. Web Content Writing
b. Publication houses
c. Writers
d. Advertising Media

Should I be an Employee or an Employer?
It depends on what your plans are. You can start off as an employee and then when you have some exposure you can jump into the business. In case you want to get into the business straight away you would need some sources from where you can get work on a regular basis. Apart from that you would also be required to hire professionals who would translate for you. The organizations listed above can help you in finding both.

How Legal Is Your PTC Site?

With many people around on the internet interested to make quick money, organizations that misuse this keep cropping up every now and then. They just don’t seem to know how many people suffer due to their fraudulent approach. In today's post, I will be telling you how to identify a SCAM PTC site and why the PTC sites turn into scams.

What Is PTC, after all?
But first things first! PTC is an acronym that means - Pay to Click or Paid to Click. What this means is that someone gets paid to click something on the internet. With the burst of the Dot Com bubble in the late 90s, everyone wanted to have a website. Now after all this, it was - who will visit the sites? SEO was quite unknown during those days and mostly was done on the Meta Tags. Site Visibility using search engine was quite remote as the people those days were neither that Search Engine Friendly nor were willing to go by the new names. They preferred to stick with the sites that they knew.

So the new websites that were getting created thought of something that would help them gain visibility for their sites and PTC was born. But who would click or view their sites without money getting involved? Hence money was brought into the big picture.

Today, people have also found out another way to get their site displayed to some people using click exchange programs but that is not the part of discussion here.

Who Joins the PTC?
There are thousands of people who join the PTC sites and hope to make an earning from these sites. Generally the following sets of people join the PTCs -
a. Housewives
b. Students
c. Working People
d. Retired People
e. Others

Why Join PTC?
The reasons for joining PTC vary from person to person but in most cases it is the need of that extra money that one can make easily from these sites that lures them into joining a PTC site.

Some other people also join just because their friend, who has joined a PTC, is in need of a referral.

How Do the PTCs Work?
The business of PTC is similar to the other businesses. They have income and expenses.
Earnings -
The income of the sites comes through two channels -
a. The websites that they advertise
b. The people who register with them as so called Premium members.

Expenses -
The PTC sites that are legal have the following expenses -
a. Payment to the people who view and click their displayed ads which is the bulk expense
b. Setting up the Website and investing in the initial advertisements of their sites

For Members
For the Members of the PTC site, these offer prices per click. The members are to view a set of advertisements for a pre-specified time mostly 30 seconds to 60 seconds and they are paid $0.001 to $1.00 per click. This depends on the pre-decided amount. The payments to the members are made after they reach a minimum payout limit via different modes - Online Money Transfers, Online Agencies, Cheque and various other methods.

All these vary from the Site to Site. I have tried to provide the ranges and details as I could find them. Please consult the support or your up line (if you were referred) for the correct details prevalent for your PTC.

Why Do the PTC become SPAMS
As there are good guys and the bad guys, same is the case with people who run the PTC sites. Some of them, trust me - a very few of them - are legal and have a history of paying their members. But most of them turnout to be scams. The reasons why this happens are 

i. The site was started to be a Scam
Sad, but true! There are people who are interested in making money more than building value and earning a name for themselves. So they start up with a small site, hunt for some local websites who would be interested to pay them some cash for advertising their sites. They make the money and then when the site is launched, they spend some of this money to get publicity and members. They also lure members to join by showing great benefits and false testimonials of being paid.

ii. The Site did not calculate the registrations correct
This happens with sites that have miscalculated the regular traffic that keeps coming to their website regularly. When you host a site, there are some limitations on the incoming traffic on either a per day basis or a per month basis. If you exceed this, the error - Bandwidth Exceeded - appears to the visitors and the site gets suspended till the matters are resolved.

iii. Disputes with their Paying Agency
This is another reason why the PTC programs get suspended and mostly get closed. They have some payment disputes with the online payment agencies. The payment agencies like paypal or alertpay generally charge both parties - the one who makes the payment and the one who receives the payments. Once there is a slight change in their policies, they may not be acceptable to the payee. So the payee needs to resolve the matters (which in most cases) is not through. So this leads to the PTC site closing down, and we brand it as a scam.

Ok, so how do I decide that a Site Is a Scam?
That is the big question. You have to be sure that the PTC site that you are joining, will it really pay you or you will end up just wasting your precious time. Following are some of the things that you should note before joining any PTC site -

i. The Minimum Payout
This is the first thing that you should check. The higher the minimum payout limit, the higher the chances that the PTC site is a scam. Generally the Legal PTCs have a minimum payout starting with $1.00. So if your PTC says that it has a minimum payout starting at $100.00, beware there is something more behind the scenes.

ii. Read and Re-Read the Terms and Conditions of the PTC
If it doesn’t have any... then it is a scam. Think this - why wont they publish the TOC if they are legal? There are some sites where they do not make payments but allow you to exchange or advertise your website in lieu of the payments. Most of the sites have a wonderfully written Terms and Conditions and it would appear that they have consulted an advisor who has drafted them. You have to re-read till you understand all of it - yes, all of it not most of it.

iii. Use WhoIs
WhoIs is a free tool that maintains the details of every site there is on the internet. Anyone can use its service to know the details of any website on the internet. Use this tool to find out the name, e-mail and other information about the administrator of the PTC. If anything is missing or mentions Privacy Protect then the site is not trust worthy.

iv. Contact Number or Forum
Search for the Helpline Numbers or enquire about the same in the forums. If they have it, check if the numbers are free and if they are then the chances of the PTC being legal are high. Call them up and verify whether they really exist or not.

v. Contact Address
If they have a contact postal address, try contacting them - maybe through a friend or otherwise. But ensure yourself that they really exist.

vi. Payment Duration
It is essential to know that when will you be paid. The lesser the time it takes to get your first payment, the better the site is. Also worth mentioning is the fact that you need to know how quick the payments are. Most legal PTC sites pay immediately on request. Those who say need time to process... think twice. It is the age of computers and everything is to be done via computers. So what for do they need the time for processing?

vii. Check the Rates for Advertisements
This is also an essential factor in determining whether the PTC site is legal or a scam. What if you find that they charge $100.00 for advertising and pay just a meager $0.00001 per click? Can’t you smell something wrong here?

Checks that you can do After You Join
Many of us might have already joined a couple of PTC sites before reading this article. So here are a couple of things that you can use to find out the Legality of the PTC -

i. The PTCs Ads Mostly
If you find that the PTC is providing you mostly with its own packages (pages from its own site), then you are in a scam site. Consider this - How long will a site pay you for viewing its own pages? There is no income that will be generated in doing this.

ii. The PTC Site is down for this reason or that quite frequently
This is again an indication that the site is a scam otherwise why is the site going down frequently? One fine day it will be down and never re-appear.

iii. It’s been quite long but I have not been paid
If it is more than 30 days that you have requested your payment but have not received it, the site is a scam. Otherwise why is it holding out your money?

Lastly, here are a few sites that can help you in finding out whether your PTC site is a scam or not

Remember it’s your precious time and you are in control of wasting it or utilizing it.
Good Luck.

Understanding Blogger Themes - Part IV

For all those who have been following up with my posts on modifying the Blogspot Template, today I will be telling you add some icons (pictures) to make your blog better in terms of professional looks. For this you will need a few icons. You can search for your own preferred set of icons but for those who do not want to waste time and get started right away, they can make use of the following icons.

List of Icons that I have used
Post Image

Sidebar Icon

Date Icon

A point that I would like to mention before you start out searching for the icons, please note that the space on blogs is very less and you would love to save it for other purposes. So please search and download icons which are small in size. Generally, Icons with 16X16 pixels should be preferred but in case they are too small, go for 32X32 pixel icons.

For getting the things right you will need to have a space with Google Sites. For those who do not know what is this can read my earlier post Use Google Sites to Upload and Place Links. You can use any web space but it is my recommendation to use Google sites, just because it is with Google. You already have a set of utilities that Google provides for free. So why not use it!

In this tutorial we will be adding icons to our post headings, date stamps,..... For how your blog will look like after this exercise, you can have a look here.

Once you have got the icons ready and uploaded on your space provider, log in to the blogspot account and goto the Edit HTML page for your blog.

Placing The Icon for Date
Search in the CSS code for a section named This is the block of CSS responsible for the display of the date stamp on the blog. You will have to put the following CSS in the existing block of CSS -

padding-left: 18px;
padding-top: 0pt;
background-color: transparent;
background-image: url(the url of the Image / Icon as per your settings);
background-repeat: no-repeat;
background-attachment: scroll;
background-position: left center;

Placing the Icon for Posts
Search in the css code for the section named post h3. This is the block of CSS responsible for the display of the Header or Title of your Posts. You will have to put the following CSS in the existing block of CSS -

background-image: url(Place the Location of the Icon for Post Heading here);
background-repeat: no-repeat;
background-attachment: scroll;
background-position: 10px 0.5em;

If your post heading already has an Icon and you want to change it to something else, it is easy. Simply replace the existing icon in the url property.

Placing the Icon for Comments
Locate the comment-link(s) section in the css code of your blog. This is the block of CSS that controls the look and feel of the Comments link on the blog. You will have to put the following CSS in the existing block of CSS

background-image: url(place the Location of the Icon for Comments here);
background-repeat: no-repeat;
background-attachment: scroll;
padding-left: 14px;

There might exist multiple instances of comment-links in your template. You would have to change the css for all of these. This will display the same icon for comment-links at all places. In case you forget to do so, you may get different icons for comment links at different places.

Placing Icons for Sidebar Headings
The sidebar headings are marked with the h2 HTML tag. So you will have to locate the CSS code that says .sidebar h2. Place the following code in the section

background:url(place the Location of the Icon for Sidebar Headings here);

A Brief Explanation
What is being done is that some spaces are added on the left of the date stamp. After this, the background image is set and lastly the repetition of this image is stopped.

Understanding Blogger Templates (or Themes) - Part III

After reading through the earlier posts on the Templates (Post I and Post II) you might be thinking to make some modifications to your existing template. Well after this post you can change the Header of your blog and also get rid of that NavBar that Google provides at the top.

But before that, we need to move into understanding CSS. CSS is an acronym for Cascading Style Sheets and, as the name indicates, is responsible for styling out the sheet or the HTML for the page that you see in the browser. This was introduced to make keep HTML simple and make the formatting aspects of websites easier.

I will be modifying a blog - "HTML, CSS and SEO Explained" during the course of this tutorial. You would find that this blog still has the Rounders template and by the end of this tutorial the theme would be modified to make it look a different theme altogether.

Now, after you have some basic understanding of the terms used in CSS, what is required now is to have some idea of what we are going to do. As I mentioned in the last post and even at the start of this one, the first thing that we would do is to get rid of the Traditional Header Background that the template provides me.

Changing the Header Image
Well, Blogspot provides quite a simple method to do this -
1. Log in to the backend of your blog
2. Go to the Layout and select the Page Elements tab
3. Click on the Section that displays the heading text for your blog. This will display the Configure Header Window where you can easily specify the image that you need.
4. You can also select whether current text on the Header of your blog will be displayed or not when this image is shown.
5. Once you have made your selections click Save button and voila the heading is changed.

The NavBar
Now that you have changed the header you would like to get rid of that NavBar that blogspot displays at the top of the blog page. But before you turn it off there are a few things that you must make a note of. The NavBar contains some essential tools and functionalities -

1. The Search Box - This provides the capability to search in your blog and is a really worthy function. If we remove this link, we would have to allow the visitors some place to do with their search. Blogspot has a gadget that will allow the visitor, or anyone, perform a search. So we can get rid of this functionality here.

2. The Sign-in Link - This allows you to log into Google services and also the blog (if you are the owner of the blog). If we remove this link, we can still logon to blogspot from their URL Alternatively, we can place a Login link in one of the gadgets that we can add. So removing this feature will not affect the visitors.

3. The Customize Link - This link is to take us to the backend of the blog directly to the Layout section. If we remove this option, we can still get to the back-end after we log in to the blogspot. So removing this feature will not affect the visitors.

4. The Follow Link - This link allows someone to follow our blog. Alternatively we can setup the Follow Gadget. So removing this link also doesn't affect visitors much.

5. The Share Link - This link allows sharing of the blog into twitter, facebook and Google Reader. If we remove this link, we can add up the share gadget and the functionality remains the same.

6. The Report Abuse Link - I would never want anyone visiting my blog to use this option. So I do not need it. What about you? I think you would want to get rid of that too!

7. The Next Blog Link - This is a link that will take the visitor to a randomly selected blog away from my blog. So I don’t want to use it. I think you too would agree.

8. The Sign-out Link - Clicking this link logs me out of the Google Services. If you are mostly working on public computers you would not like to get rid of this option. So the alternate is to place this link in one of the gadgets. Remember we can use the same gadget for Login and Logout links.

Requirements if NavBar Is Removed
Now that we have understood the functionality of the NavBar, we have the following needs that we plan to have on the blog -
a. Login / Sign-in Link
b. Logout/ Sign-out Link
c. Follow Gadget - if not already on the blog
d. Search Gadget

Adding the Gadgets

and Sign-out Links
Move the mouse pointer over to the Sign-Out link on the NavBar. Right Click and select Copy (IE) or Copy Link Location (Mozilla, Firefox)

1. Move to the Page Elements section in the Layout of the backend of your blog.
2. Click Add Gadget in any area where you want the links to be.
3. Add the HTML/JavaScript Gadget.
4. The Code Editor opens
To add the Sign-In link
5. Type the following code
<a href="">Sign-in</a>
6. To add the Sign-Out link
<a href="PasteTheCopiedCode">Sign-out</a>
Replace the PasteTheCopiedCode with the content that got copied earlier

Once done, you can add the Gadgets for Follow and Search.

With all this information, we can now remove the NavBar. So get to the HTML Editor in the backend of your blog and move to the line just before.

/* Variable definitions */

Place the following code above that line
#navbar, #navbar-iframe {
height: 0px;
visibility: hidden;
display: none;

Click Preview button below the editor and confirm that the NavBar is removed. Now you can save the template.

In case you have missed out find my eariler posts here - Part I, Part II.

In the post on Monday I would be telling you how to add images before the Post Title, Date of Posts and Other things to add glamour to your blog. Till then happy experimenting and learning.

Understanding Blogger Templates (or Themes) - Part II

Hope that you have understood the basics and have taken the backup of your template. Now we are ready to go.

1. The Code in the Editor can be categorized into three distinct segments -
a. Declarations section
The declarations section is the place where the blogger templates (or Themes) declares the variables that it allows you to customize at a later stage.
b. CSS Section
The CSS section contains the code that is related to the appearance of your blog in terms of colors, fonts, font sizes, the images that make up the blog look good. It does not, however, decide what images you put on your posts.
c. HTML Section
The HTML Section contains code that assembles and puts up everything that you see on the page. It does the integration part.

Note: As of now, CSS and HTML do not work with variables. So what Blogspot does is that it uses some server side programming that translates these codes into something relevant and something that your browser can understand. I am not going into details of how and what this is all about but, I would like you to make a note of this that CSS and HTML (as of now) DO NOT support the use of variables. I mention this just because you would be searching for HTML or CSS content on some other places for reference and you would find the same.

Lets start understanding from the start -
The few lines at the top are used to provide information aboutthe version of XML and XHTML or HTML that are being used in the HTML code of the page that is being created.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>

This is the declaration that tells the Blogspot interpreter about the version of XML that is being used in the template or theme.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"

This is the document definition and this tells about the Document Type Definition. It also specifies that the Strict XHTML Version 1.0 is in use. This definition, in short, tells and determines the rules that are to be followed during implementation of the HTML Tags.

<head expr:dir='data:blog.languageDirection' xmlns='' xmlns:b='' xmlns:data='' xmlns:expr=''>

This opens the <html> tag within which all the code for the template and generated html page must reside. It also contains some variables that are used by the blogspot backend during generating the content on your blog. This is closed at the end of the template using the code </html>.

The <head> element of the HTML code follows next. This element contains the variable declarations and the CSS code that together are used by the HTML code in the succeeding <body> tag.

<b:include data="blog" name="all-head-content">

This code is used by blogspot to include all the meta-tags and other links that are essential for the web page to be generated.

In the <head> section of your code, you'll need to have a pair of <b:skin> </b:skin> tags. The CSS style declarations will go in between those tags, along with the variable names that make your design work with the Fonts and Colors page.

Source: Google

Note: The skin is a blogspot word and requirement. It is not an X/HTML or CSS specification. So it must exist in the template and we are to place our declarations of variables and CSS inside this element.

The term CDATA, meaning character data, is used for distinct, but related purposes in the markup languages SGML and XML. The term indicates that a certain portion of the document is general character data, rather than non-character data or character data with a more specific, limited structure. In an XML document or external parsed entity, a CDATA section is a section of element content that is marked for the parser to interpret as only character data, not markup. A CDATA section is merely an alternative syntax for expressing character data; there is no semantic difference between character data that manifests as a CDATA section and character data that manifests as in the usual syntax in which "<" and "&" would be represented by "<" and "&", respectively.


The Variables Section:
This section defines several varables. Some the values in these variables can be set using the Fonts and Colors page in the Layouts of the Blogspot Control Panel. Following is an explanation of the statement to declare varaiables

<variable name="mainBgColor" description="Main Background Color" type="color" default="#fff" value="#ffffff">

In the above code:
Variable states that a variable is being declared.
name states the name of the variable that is being created.
description specifies the detailed description for the Variable. This descirption is displayed in the Fonts And Colors Page for this variable.
type indicates the type of value this variable can hold. It can be - color, font, automatic.
specifies the default value that this variable should contain.
value specifies the currently set value.

Based on the above example of code and the information that is provided, we can expect that the Main Background Color is stored in a variable named mainBgColor. This variable can contain values that will correspond to some color. The default value for this value as set in the template is White (fff is the hexadecimal code for White) and the current value too is set to White.

Hey, this post is getting too Technical! Let me give you a break and during this time find out some information that would help you to understand the CSS section that I will be discussing tomorrow.

The next post will dicuss the CSS and then I will give you some tips on adding your own Header Image and Removing the Navbar.

Happy Learning.

Those who missed out the first part of the series can find it here

Understanding Blogger Templates (or Themes) - Part I

As a blogger, I am more interested in putting my content on the blog rather than playing around and many a times messing up with the code of the template that I am using. But I am not happy with the Template. How would it have been if I could just change the Image on the header or add another sidebar? Sounds familiar?

Many of us, bloggers, are not having much technical knowledge and so have to do with the templates provided free for use with Blogspot even though they do not like the template. Those who are a bit technical, do a Google search and find people or places where they can get the custom templates for use. Even if you get a template for use, you are unsure of how to use it for the best results.

So I thought to dissect the basic structure of the blogspot's templates and give you some tips and leads that you can use to learn and experiment on your own.

Pre Requisites -

Before we start I would recommend you to 

I. Take a Backup of Your Current Template
To start with, take a back up of your current template before starting to work on the HTML section. This is essential just in case you mess up the template that you are currently using. It will save time, in case anything goes wrong.

II. Have Some Knowledge of HTML and CSS
Yes, you will need to have some knowledge of CSS and HTML before you delve into modifying the code. Trust me - HTML and CSS are easy to learn and remember you need not know all of those to work with templates. I will point out the ones and also try explaining a few as we go along.

How do I take a backup of my template?

Taking a backup of your working template is essential. This needs to be done just in case you end up messing up the template (to be honest, I did  mess up many a times, at the start) that you have been using with all the gadgets and other things. You would never like your visitors to get shocked.

Log in to the backend of the blogspot and go to Layout and Click on Edit HTML. This will display the place where you edit your template. This page has the following different sections -

i. Back up / Restore
This section is to be used for downloading the current template as it appears in the edit template section. You will find a link with a caption - Download Full Template. Clicking on this link will display your operating systems Save As Dialog box and you can specify the location where you want to save your template file.

Below this are the Browse and Upload buttons. These can be used to upload the saved template from your hard disk to blogspot. You can use this in case you have done a download of the template or have a new template as an XML file. Click on the Browse Button. This will display your Operating Systems Open Dialog Box and you will select the Template file that you want to upload. Once done, click on the Upload Button to get the template on your blog.

ii. Edit Template
This is the section where we would be doing the editing of the template. Below the edit box are three buttons

Clear Edits - Click this button in case you do not want to save the changes that you have made into the template and want to revert back to the last saved stage.

Preview - Click this button to have a preview of how the template looks like after the changes are made. Note that the changes will not be saved and applied on your blog till you click on Save Template button. So Preview is just a method to look into the things before committing the changes. Clicking Preview will open a new window or tab and display you the page as it would look like if the changes are saved.

Save Template - Click this button to finally apply the changes to the template. Note that clicking this button has immediate effect and it is visible on your blog. So be sure before saving the template.

On Errors that I commit during the changes

In case you commit any error during writing the code, Blogspot will simply display the error message which can be seen at the top. The description of the error is just an indication of what has goes wrong. It will not display you the location where you have committed the error. You will have to search for the location yourself and correct it on your own.

Doing it the Right Way

After you have taken the backup of the template, the steps / procedure we will be using is -
1. Make the modifications in the Editor
2. Click on Preview - if you have errors, this will not be generated and you would be displayed the error messages. If your changes are acceptable, the preview will be generated in a new window or tab, depending on the browser you are using
3. If the changes are okay with you, click on save - This will make the changes permanent and visible on your blog from now on.
4. Continue with editing if needed
Here is how a normal, unmodified blog at blogspot looks like (I have used the Rounded Corners Theme. You will have a different look just in case you have a different theme)-

Watch out for the next post on modifying the templates and themes.

Good Luck.

Start a Food Business

Life in bigger cities is fast and busy. No one has time. Everyone is busy to reach to the office early simply because as the day progresses there will be traffic jams and other hassles that will delay them reach office. Those who have a family have the privilege of having some breakfast prepared or lunch prepared for them by the time they are ready to leave for office. But in modern times this is getting faded out - thanks to the nuclear family concept.

If you have been associated with such a busy lifestyle, you would know that there is nothing much better than home cooked food during lunch time!

Start With -
To jump into this business you should have at least the following two
1. A taste for food.
2. Passion to cook.

Start Business -
Once you have established your business and have a regular client base, then you can take a plunge into the bigger arena and for this you should have the following 

1. You should have the knowledge and be able to cook at least 7 different recipes
2. Hire Delivery Staff
3. Hire Assistants

Lastly -
1. Hire Cooks

The Business Plan
1. To start with, prepare a list of items or dishes that you can cook easily. Classify them into Breakfast Dishes and Lunch Dishes. This is just to get your menu prepared. Take a feedback from people. The feedback is not to be taken from your immediate family as they will in most cases appreciate whatever you cook. Take the feedback on your cooking from friends, neighbors. This will give you an idea of the response that you can get from your customers at the start. Once you have established your business, then this is not a major factor though.

2. Once you are through the first stage with plenty of positive feedbacks, and have made the necessary changes, if needed, in your dishes, start off with providing breakfast at the morning hours right in your house or nearby, if you can get a place. Get the feedback and prepare a list of your regular visitors.

3. After a couple of months of successful business, ask them if they would like to have their lunch supplied at office. Trust me, if your food is good, many will agree and not mind shelling out an extra (but affordable) price for having the good food. If you have a few customers, you can start off with delivering them the food right at their office.

4. Gradually, the number of clients will increase. Remember that good tasty food is the need of everyone. Once your food enters an office, the co-workers of your clients may also get interested. So this business will grow.

5. Once the number of clients increases, you can hire people who can deliver the lunch packs to various offices. You can go for hiring Students or other people in your locality who are in search of jobs and have not found a job yet.

6. Lastly, as the business grows and you want to take a break from doing it all by yourself, you can hire a chef or cook for the purpose of cooking.

Earnings, Investment
To start with the investment will be for about a week or two. This is to find out your clients and make a mark. This is the most important phase of your business. If you survive this, then you can think of getting into this profession.
Keep the prices to the minimum at the start. You can charge higher when your clients are set and you realize that your prices are much below the competitive prices. But do not hike the prices too much. Remember that you will earn more by having a larger client base instead of charging higher. These clients will stay with you for many months to come.

Legal Requirements
1. You might have to take permissions from the Authorities to start off with a Food Business.
2. You may also be required to get a clearance from the Food Authorities who will need to make an inspection about the food / dishes that you make in terms of Hygiene and others.
3. You might also be required to maintain documents for Taxation.
Consult your legal advisor about the rules prevalent in your locality with regards to the above and how to go about it.

My Recommendations
1. Keep yourself open for suggestions on making the dishes tastier.
2. Interact with your customers on a regular basis and ask them what special they would like to have during Holidays
3. You can also start the lunch on holidays before you ask clients for office delivery. This will give you an idea of how good your food is and how many customers will be interested.

Happy Cooking

Self Extracting Zips

Hi all. Let me start by wishing you a very happy and prosperous 2010. In today's post I will be telling you about some trick that you can use to make your rar files more useful.

Have you ever sent a rar file via email? In case you have done so, are you aware that WinRar needs the software to get the contents unzipped? Well I met with such a situation. Here is what happened -

A few days back, I had given a rar file to one of my students. It contained a set of questions and its solutions including some 35 images. The student took the file home for studying. But unfortunately he did not have WinRar on his PC. He called me up and told me the issue. I told him to download a copy of WinRar from the Internet but unfortunately he does not have an Internet connection. So I asked him to visit me the next day and get the file as an EXE (Executable) that won't require WinRar to unzip.

Many of us might have faced such a situation - where the rar or the compressed file will not open. I know that some of you will be more technical and would have found the way out. But many of us are just unaware. So for the sake of those special people who are unaware or are restricted to using allowed softwares only (many have restrictions that they cannot install softwares of their choice at office), I have found a way of creating executables for the compressed files.

Here is the process

1. Open Win Rar
2. Select the file(s) that need to be compressed into the executable.
3. Right Click and select Add Files to Archive or you can also click on the Add Button at the top. This will display the Archive Name and Parameters dialog box. In this Dialog, select the Create SFX archive checkbox.

Note: The name will change from Rar or Zip to EXE and this means that the compressed files will be placed in a Self Extracting file.

Some Other Tips

Archive Method
a. Rar
b. ZIP

Which one should I select?

The main advantage of ZIP format is its popularity. For example, most archives in the Internet are ZIP archives. So if you are going to send an archive to somebody, but you are not sure that your addressee has WinRar to extract the contents of the archive, it might be a good idea to use the ZIP format. On the other hand you may send a self-extracting archive. Such archives are slightly larger, but can be extracted without external programs.
Another ZIP advantage is speed. ZIP archives are usually created faster than RAR.

Note: If ZIP format selected, some advanced options, not supported by this archive format, will be disabled.

RAR format in most cases provides significantly better compression than ZIP. Another important feature of RAR is support of multi-volume archives. If you need to create a multi-volume set, use RAR volumes instead.
RAR format also has a few important features absent in ZIP such as recovery record, which allows the restoration of physically damaged data, and locking of important archives to prevent their accidental modification.

RAR format is able to handle files of practically unlimited size (up to 8,589,934,591 GB), when the maximum size of a single file in a ZIP archive is 2 GB. Note that older file systems do not support files larger than 4 GB and you will need to use NTFS to work with such files.

Compression Method
This specifies which compression mode has to be used and this in turn affects the size of the compressed file created. This depends on the selection of a Zip or Rar specified earlier.

Hope you find the post useful.

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