Coax Your Vintage Hats Back Into Shape – Tips to Renew and Refresh Hats

Have you ever found a dusty, crumpled vintage hat that you just knew had potential? Now you can coax them into wearable shape. Here are some tips and tricks that I have used to take care of my own vintage hats. Try them out on your own vintage toppers to refresh and renew, but please use common sense and take care when working with any piece of vintage clothing.

Dusty hats often pop up as a treasured find at a flea market or sale. Clean them with a hair brush made for babies or an old shaving brush. The bristles are soft and there’s less chance of damage to the hat. Brush in a circular motion, or if the hat has a nap (a fabric with nap is one that has a pile or rough surface) brush in the direction of the nap. You can also use sticky tape or a slightly damp towel to gently lift surface dust or lint. And don’t forget, hat boxes were invented for a reason – packing your hats away in a box with tissue paper will help keep them in good shape to enjoy.

Do you know how to plump up wilted flowers or ribbons? A little steam will perk up sad fabric flowers or ribbons. Use long tongs to hold the hat in the steam from a tea kettle or a boiling pot of water on the stove. Be sure to keep your hands out of the steam as you carefully turn the hat so that the steam rises onto the flower and it will “unwilt” before your eyes. Keep the hat in the steam long enough to do the job but not so that it gets wet.

Once in awhile a vintage hat loses its shape. If it’s a fabric hat you can try steaming it briefly over a pot of boiling water to make it pliable. You can also put the hat on an ironing board and use a steam iron. Don’t iron the hat; just hold the steam iron above the hat so the steam goes on the fabric. Then stuff the hat full of white tissue paper to the shape you want and let it dry or cool down. You can also shape it over an inverted plastic container if you find one that is the right size. A large dinner plate can help to shape a felt tam or beret.

Are you feeling mysterious enough to wear a veiled hat but your veil is not cooperating? Here’s an old trick that my mother taught me that helps to shape or straighten a wrinkled veil. First take a white paper towel and put it on an ironing board. Then place a piece of wax paper over the paper towel. Next, place the veil carefully smoothed out to the desired shape. The last layer is a white cotton towel. Set your iron on a low setting and iron the layers for a few seconds. Work slowly in small sections at a time, moving the veil to a new spot as you finish each section. This helps to smooth out and stiffen the veil. You’ll have to experiment to find the best heat setting and the length of time to safely iron the layers. Err on the side of caution and use very low heat at first.

From simple berets to flowered finery, take care of your vintage hats and you’ll enjoy them for many years to come. Remember, a good hat tops a great outfit.

“If a woman rebels against high heeled shoes, she should take care to do it in a smart hat…” George Bernard Shaw

Guide to Buying Prom Dresses Online

What does prom night specifically mean? Is there a precise history of prom night?

The Meaning of Prom Nights

Teenagers see the prom nights in different perspectives. For some, the prom night is one formal dance celebrated in a hotel or in the school’s gymnasium. The usual fancy scenario is there is a hired DJ who keeps playing various genres of music apt for the occasion and there is the sumptuous banquet. Both the juniors and the seniors are clad in their most fabulous prom dresses dancing all throughout the night.

For some of the girls who are fond of fantasizing, they see the prom night as their chance of becoming Cinderella. This dream is further emphasized by the hippy hairstyles and chic formal gowns they are adorned with.

Some folks will settle with the fact though that the prom night signals the coming to age of a teenager into a young woman. They see the prom night as a transition of the childish acts exemplified during the high school life into that of early maturity that goes along with adulthood.

Whatever the connotation of the prom night brings to every different individual, the point is it is one of the rare chances to be under the limelight. Therefore, the occasion requires apt preparations. For the girls, the prom dress calls for a careful planning and conceptualization.

Purchasing Prom Dresses Online

Going online for your prom dress shopping is relatively easier than going to boutiques or department stores. It is also an avenue of getting a clear look at a widespread variety of clothes from numerous sites. Prom dresses online are also cheaper than those offered in traditional shopping malls.

If what you are after for are prom dresses in discounted rates, prom dresses online come in a wide array of choices. If you prefer buying designer prom dresses, then you can always take your pick. Simply browse through a lot of websites and get the chance to buy conveniently with just a click of a button.

The Prom Dress Online Pointers

In what design and style do you want your prom dress to be? What fabric will be used? What color will the cloth be? Which shoes and bag can match it? What accessories will you make use of? These are the basic considerations which need to be taken seriously.

First of all, take into consideration your body type. Is your body figure curvy? Is it straight? Are you plump? The prom dress you must use should complement the figure you possess instead of making it appear worse. You must pay attention to the proper prom dress that will flatter your body figure.

The color of your prom dress also needs special attention. You should get a prom dress with a fabric that goes in harmony with your complexion and hair color. Of course, the accessories which you must use should be appropriate to the style of your prom dress. Having no accessories on the prom dress may look like a very dull-looking Christmas tree but being over decorated is also not good to look at.

Purchasing prom dresses online is a lot of fun. Wherever you are, you can access the websites that sell prom dresses. You are also relieved of the painstaking burden of going from one boutique to another. Believe it, the perfect gown for you is just in the midst of online shopping!

Starting an Online Paintball Store – Business Basics

The sport of paintball started in the late 70’s and continues to grow in popularity despite a sluggish economy. There are many paintball products available and shopping online is one of the main ways people get them. There is more to starting an online store however than just building a website; there are numerous steps that must be followed to set up your store correctly.

In the United States, there are currently no regulations or licenses required to sell paintball guns or equipment, however some countries require you to be a licensed gun dealer. Paintball is not legal in every country, nor is importing supplies (particularly guns). When starting an online paintball store, it’s wise to begin selling only to U.S. customers, then expand to international markets as you learn which countries are paintball friendly.

There are numerous paintball equipment manufacturers and wholesale distributors, making it easy to stock your store with the latest supplies once you become a dealer.

Some companies may require you to ‘buy in’ with an initial purchase and/or a minimum purchase amount per month. Most companies don’t, however it’s best to start your company with as minimal costs as possible.

For the most cost effective way of operating an online store, consider drop shipping as a business model as opposed to stocking products and shipping from your location. A drop shipping business is a very efficient, easy to run venture with little liability and practically no start up costs. With the manufacturers shipping orders directly to the customer, thousands of dollars are saved without the risk of unsold products sitting on shelves.

Drop shipping makes it possible to run an online paintball store from your home, saving yet even more money on leasing office and/or storage space. Fortunately, many paintball equipment manufacturers and wholesale distributors offer drop shipping, while some require you to stock their products. To save money, choose to work with distributors who not only offer the best mark-ups on their products but will also ship them directly to your customers. Also be aware that some drop ship distributors charge extra fees for this service and consider this in your decision to work with them.

The first step in starting your online paintball business is setting up its entity/corporate structure. Decide whether you want your company to a sole proprietorship, LLC (Limited Liability Company), corporation or other. It’s highly recommended to research and study the pros and cons of these different organizations, however for small companies, home based businesses and especially online stores, the LLC seems to be best. Once decided, a meeting with a business lawyer (or the right accountant) is next in order. These professionals register your company’s name with the government and get you assigned a tax ID number.

Once you have a tax ID number you will have to contact the IRS to apply for a tax resale license number. These numbers will be asked for on wholesale applications you will fill out when becoming a dealer with product manufacturers and distributors. Next, register your new business with your particular state government in case they require sales tax on items sold in that state.

Finally, register your new business with your particular city/town hall by purchasing a business license. As a store operating solely online, you will not occupy a space in the town for foot traffic, however you may still be required to pay a tax for operating there. This type of business is often handled in your city/town hall or business office.

Once you have a registered business name, set up a corporate checking account at your local bank. Now you are ready to start contacting paintball gear distributors and manufacturing companies to fill out dealer applications. Before signing any final agreements, it’s always smart to do some research on the companies you will be doing business with. Try to find out how reliable their products are and how they’re perceived by the public. It’s also smart to research what your distributor’s policies are regarding returns, drop shipping and requirements to become a dealer.

Besides initial marketing and website set-up, these are the initial steps to set up an online paintball store. While it’s fairly easy to start, realize selling paintball equipment on the internet requires constant, on-going attention and lengthy patience for your store to mature. Depending on how much marketing you do, it can also take a considerable amount of on-going money to keep it going and growing. To ensure success of your online store, seek as much wise counsel as possible for all aspects of your venture before committing significant amounts of resources.

Women’s Safety Glasses – From Bland To Bling Pow

Women’s safety glasses are no longer the boring tasteless blocks of transparent plastic that they once were. Now women everywhere can enjoy colorful, wonderfully designed safety eye-wear; made of durable lightweight material.

For many years, women in the workplace had to sacrifice style and flavor for safety. The eye protection of the past was designed for one thing and one thing only-to protect the wearer’s eyes from flying debris and other hazards. There was little or no concern for style and very little for regard for comfort.

It wasn’t until fairly recently that manufacturers of women’s safety glasses began to acknowledge the fact that women wanted to escape from the bland one size, one style fits all approach to safety eye-wear.

Recently, companies that make protective eyewear have began catering to the special needs of female workers. They now take into account the fact that women want to look good, regardless of where they are or what they’re doing. Just because they may need to protect themselves while working, they can still express their sense of style and taste without sacrificing safety.

Women’s safety glasses are now laden with rhinestones, awesome colors and fashion forward styling. Finally they can have their cake and eat it too as far as protective eyewear is concerned. There are so many different colors and styles available that women can now find just the right pair to match her work uniform or range outfit.

Most safety glasses are made of some type of shatter proof material which is designed to be lightweight making it easy to look good and be comfortable as well as safe.

Water Damage Restoration – WRT Exam

The Water Damage Restoration Technician test by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification). Water Damage Restoration Technician is a designation that a professional restorer needs to prove that he or she is compiling with the most prevalent standards in the restoration industry. It has become increasingly important for a professional who is performing water damage restoration services to have “WRT” designation. Most companies that hire you require it and insurance companies that hire the companies that provide the service require that their technicians be certified.

Since I first took my class ninteen years ago, the material and the test have evolved greatly. There is a lot more information. The class used to be a two day class, but now it is a three day class. There are also five day classes offered that let you take the WRT/ASD (Applied Structural Drying) together. The newest WRT update was published in April of 2006. It is approved by ANSI (Approved National American Standards).

Important items you should know about the test:

Get the book from your teacher prior to attending the class (if possible). Read a few pages everyday. Usually the highlighted parts in the manual are extremely important to know and will defnitely be seen on your test.

Make sure you understand psychrometry completely.

Test has a total of one hundred and sixty multiple choice questions.

The correct answer is not always the only right answer, but rather the best answer.

Currently the answers need to be filled in on a Scantron sheet with a # 2 pencil.

There is no time limit for you to complete the test.

You need to get 75 percent to pass.

It may take up to six weeks to get your results and they are mailed directly to you.

It is also available in Spanish if you request to take it Spanish when registering.

The certification you get is a personal certification and stays with you regardless of who you work for.

Currently the test costs $50.

Cash, personal check, business check and credit cards are accepted. Checks need to be made to the IICRC.

Although I can’t tell you the questions on the test, I can give you a good example of what you will see on the test. Answering the questions below will also help you in figuring out how well you’ll perform on the test.

IICRC WDR Test Examples:

(1) The study of the relationship between air volume and the amount of moisture it holds at a specific temperature expressed as a percentage of that air’s total moisture holding capacity is called:

A) Drying

B) Humidity

C) Psychrometry

D) Ambiance

(2) Harmful microorganisms present in blood or other potentially infectious materials, that could cause disease or death in humans are know as:

A) Bacteria

B) Bloodborne pathogen

(C) Malaise

D) Humectant

(3) Any material that absorbs and retains moisture retains moisture or water vapor from air is know to be:

A) Hepatotoxin

B) Mesophilic

C) Mycotoxin

D) Hygroscopic

(4) Delamination means:

A) Seperation of primary and secondary damage

B) Seperation of primary and secondary backing

C) None of the above

D) A and B both

(5) The person at an insurance company that interprets a policy and works with contractors involved in restoration is known as?

A) Inspector

B) Agent

C) Adjuster

D) Risk manager

(6) The following are potential routes of exposure for workers?

A) Inhalation, contact with mucous membranes, ingestion and dermal

B) Physical, mental, combined and thermal

C) All of the above

D) None of the above

(7) What does H.A.T.T an acronym for?

A) Hot, Alveolar, Temperature, Test

B) Hydrostatic, Absorption, Toxicity, Threshold Limit Value

C) Haitian Cotton, Absorption, Textile, Temperature

D) Humidity, Airflow, Temperature, Time

It isn’t as easy as you think. If you have taken the carpet cleaning technician test before or the upholstery cleaning technician test before, you should know that unless you have a background in Biology, you will have to study hard to pass this one.

Since I received a deluge of requests from people wanting to know the answers to test for CCT. I thought I would just add a link on the my website with the answers. Visit the Magic Wand Company website below and select the Article tab then WRT Test Answers.

The purpose of the test is to make sure that a technician learns as much as possible to do his/her job well. I would be happy to help you in your endeavor to learn. Whether you need carpet cleaning supplies or restoration supplies or not, you are welcome to contact me.

Tips For Buying Used Furniture on Craigslist

Are you a new homeowner who wants to outfit your home with affordable furniture? If so, you should visit Craigslist is a popular online classified website where items are bought, sold, and traded. There are many items listed for sale, including affordably priced furniture.

If you want to use the popular classified website to find and buy used furniture, perform a search. Once on the main page, select your state and the nearest city. To perform a search, look for the search box on the left hand side of the page. You can search for a particular piece of furniture, like a couch. To search other local areas too, download a free Craigslist search tool, to search multiple cities at once.

You now know how to find and buy used furniture on the Craigslist website, but how can you ensure you get a good deal? By asking important questions. What should you inquire about?

Ask to see pictures. Many sellers on post pictures of the products they sell, but not all do. If a picture isn’t posted, ask to see one. In fact, you can ask to see multiple pictures from different angels. The buyer can email these pictures to you. Emailing pictures saves you both time and gas money. You don’t waste a trip to view an old and dirty couch.

Ask about storage. Furniture owners sell their old furniture. It likely hasn’t been used in months or even years. Before buying a couch or recliner, ask where it was stored. Was it stored inside or outside? You don’t want furniture that has been outside and exposed to the elements, at least not without a large discount.

Ask about payment. Most furniture listings on Craigslist just say how much they want for the item. They rarely give you more information, but you need it. Does the seller want cash or a check? Will there be an immediate exchange? If paying by check, does the seller want to wait until the check clears before delivering your purchase? These are all questions you should have answers to before agreeing to buy furniture through the classified website.

A Manly Barbarian Costume – Learn How to Make Your Own Now

Dressing up for Halloween like a Barbarian Warrior may seem complex or over your head, but trust me following these few simple steps and tips it will be easy and you will have one of the best Halloween costumes of any other Barbarians, Vikings or Ancient Warriors anywhere you go.

Starting from the bottom of the costume up, simply start by getting some animal print faux fur from a local store. What you need to do with this fake fur is wrap it around your legs from about from your ankle up to your knee on each leg. Hold this in place and have someone help you to tie this onto your legs using leather trim, or a leather belt, any leather looking type string will do.

Wrap up each leg with the faux fur so that it shows off a nice pattern. Tie this off at the top, and there you have the simple Barbarian Warrior leg wear. Top that off with classic brown sandals that match the brown in the leather straps and the bottom of your barbarian costume is already done. Simple as that!

Moving up the costume, now you need to find a simple and inexpensive faux fur tunic. You can typically find these almost anywhere during the Autumn and Halloween season. But if you cant find one, you can always make one by using any piece of brown faux fur and draping it across your chest and over one shoulder. Look extra barbaric by tying leather strings around it as you did on your legs and by leaving faux fur loose around the bottom and neck.

Tying leather strings around your neck will add a classic Barbarian touch and make it look as if you didn’t throw this warrior costume together, last minute. Once you get the tunic in place you are almost all ready! The next thing you need is a wide brown belt, the bigger in width, the better. Place this right across the center of the tunic, or coat whichever you are wearing. You can also add some vinyl strings to this for detail, or just a simple belt works as well.

Once the belt is in place you can move on to the arm cuffs which you basically make the same way that we did the leggings. You use brown faux fur again, and you cut strips of it and place them on your arms from your elbows all the way up to your shoulders. Next, tie these in place with help from someone else the same way that we tied them onto your legs leaving the leather strings hanging to help with your Barbaric inspired look.

Now we move on to what we call the accessories for this manly barbarian costume. You will need to buy a big plastic sword or knife that you can once again find anywhere during this time of year with Halloween just around the corner. I would try to find a darker colored one that looks old and used like they would have had back in the times of barbarians, so no silver or shiny things.

You also may want to wear a headband or headdress of some sort. The best way to do this is to once again use faux fur and the leather banding and just do what feels right to you. Tie it around your head and hair, either wide or narrow, depending on the look you are going for. And don’t forget that wild mane of hair that barbarians are known for either. If your hair isn’t already long and crazy, just get a wig and mess it up a bit. Voila – barbarian hair!

Remember to have fun with this barbarian costume and ad lib as much as you want because imagination is the key to this! Barbarian costumes allow the wild, uncivilized, animalistic part of you to shine – so dress up in your best animal pelts, grab your sword and go smite a few enemy tribes! And don’t forget the candy while you’re there either!

Fundamentals of Enterprise Resource Planning ERP

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) plays a critical role in business, requiring people to have a general understanding of the key components of ERP to function well in any organization. Businesses have been transitioning to computer technology at an increasing rate since the advent of the desktop computer in the early 80’s. The focus of computer technology in business has always been to increase productivity through information management. Since the introduction of the Internet and advances in networking technologies and software, businesses must implement some form of computer technology to automate common tasks like word processing, accounting, and Internet access by employees, to more advanced software applications covering all or most of an organization’s business processes. These advanced software applications, generally known as ERP, capitalize on computer technology and enable businesses to have detailed perspectives into a wide range of business operations, allowing them to share information quickly between organizations, departments and personnel for better management.

ERP is a loosely used term primarily describing software but encompasses hardware and software systems used by an enterprise to gather, store, retrieve, and use information flows through an enterprise. The term ERP, therefore, can apply to a single microcomputer using an accounting package (Quick Books for example) to track sales, inventory, billing and accounting, to more complex ERP systems that automate business processes across the supply chain from manufacturing, distribution, retail, service and, ultimately, the customer, who may be either downstream or upstream in the supply chain. These functional abilities of ERP are generally grouped into software categories known as Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and can be implemented in small, medium, or large businesses using various hardware and software configurations. Complex ERP systems can be designed (hardware and software architecture) to service large multi-national corporations using the Internet, Intranets, and Extranets in their business operations. An Intranet functions like the Internet; however, it is limited to the organization and its users and denies access to the public. An Extranet, on the other hand, is a mechanism that allows authorized persons to access portions of an enterprise’s Intranet (over the Internet) with a username and password. For example, a manufacturer may allow dealers to access their Extranet to view product and pricing data, proprietary information limited to authorized dealers only.

ERP is an extremely complex subject best understood by looking at the major components of an ERP system including hardware, software, and primary areas of concern for business owners and managers. By looking at these major components from a conceptual viewpoint, we can side step technical jargon allowing for a greater understanding of the purpose of ERP and its importance in business and the workplace.


The size of an organization dictates the type of hardware used in an ERP system. For small businesses, the hardware component of an ERP system could be a single microcomputer or a few microcomputers connected together over a local area network (LAN). In the case of a small LAN, one of the microcomputers would act as a server, which is simply a dedicated computer with the primary task of acting as a centralized data warehouse where data is stored. The server accepts data inputs, processes those inputs and “serves up data” to other software applications, or, provides output in various forms including screen information, print output or other types of digital output.

Typically, in larger ERP environments, an enterprise will use a dedicated server, which, in most cases, is a mini-computer. Mini-computers have greater operating and storage capacity than desktop computers and can service many users at one time. Users access the server via either dumb terminals (a monitor and keyboard) or a smart terminal (a fully functional desktop microcomputer) networked to the server via a Local Area Network (LAN). How the server and the new (or existing microcomputers, known as legacy systems) are connected lays the foundation for the hardware component of the system architecture. How these systems are connected to the server and, to each other, form the topology (or layout) of the system throughout an organization.

One of the primary concerns facing many businesses; new computer hardware acquisitions, has a twofold dimension; on one hand, it is critical to acquire state of the art computer equipment that will not become antiquated quickly by changes in technology while, on the other hand, attempting to interface older, existing systems into the ERP system. This is especially important if the existing legacy systems perform many business processes, making the transition to ERP, and systems integration, more complicated.

There are many technical issues involved with hardware configurations, requiring the expertise of Information Technology (IT) Specialists. User-operators of an ERP system rarely deal with these technical issues, have little or no input regarding system configurations and rely on technical support personnel to handle technical issues, training, and support.

In summary, the hardware component of an ERP system is comparable to the skeletal system of the human body; it is the framework, or platform, which the software “rides “on and provides the interface for users interaction.


ERP software encompasses most business processes and, according to the Department Of Defense, U.S. Enterprise Solutions Competency Center:

The activities supported by ERP systems include all core functions of an enterprise, including financial management, human resources management, and operations. Increasingly, ERP vendors are offering “bolt-on” products that provide specialized functionality to augment the core, such as Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS), and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) (2007).

ERP software design uses a “best business practices” approach that helps ensure data accuracy and integrity. For example, all accounting software design forces users to enter financial data according to the rules of generally acceptable accounting practices (GAAP) standards. This GAAP standard helps ensure that financial statements and reports reflect the true financial condition of an enterprise. Accounting software achieves this conformity by controlling the entry of financial information into the software program. Similar types of strict-standards used in ERP software conform to industry standard business practices throughout the ERP software, including bolt on products. According to author Jim Welch:

Companies can learn from lessons of past implementations. Many programs were overly focused on IT functionality at the expense of business process development. As a result, their expected benefits were compromised or delayed. Conversely, the best performers ensured that process management, governance, and other nontechnical issues were addressed properly (2007).

One of the primary considerations of ERP software is whether a business’s processes and practices will conform to ERP software (best business practices) standards without radical modification of the software. This can, and often does, mean that a business will have to change its business processes to conform to the software, rather than the reverse. This is practical for a number of reasons; first, software modifications can be cost prohibitive to smaller companies and secondly, software modifications can put data integrity at risk, jeopardizing the very purpose of ERP. Additionally, software modifications can make software upgrading, even with the same vendors and software application (ERP2.0 to ERP 2.1, for example), extremely complex and costly.

One of the key considerations in selecting an ERP software system is how well the business processes will fit into the best business practice standards of an ERP program and potential integration with present and future bolt-on programs. This is a complex issue well outside the scope of this document and requires a thorough analysis of the individual software packages on the market in conjunction with senior management working with IT consultants who represent the ERP software vendors.

In summary, the software component of an ERP system is the heart of business information and is comparable to the arterial system of the human body, data flows through it, the lifeblood of the organization.

Software Vendors

The major players in ERP software are Oracle/PeopleSoft and SAP and both companies are highly respected in the ERP industry. While there are competitors, these two companies dominate the market with nearly 20 billion in combined annual revenue, with Oracle at $10 billion and SAP at $9.7 billion. This does not mean these two software companies represent the best ERP solution for every business. Indeed, one of the most important elements of acquiring an ERP system is due diligence to find the right application software for the business, or, according to Dustin Alexander of Global Shop Solutions; “you can’t invest too much time in the evaluation process” (2007).

The selection of the software component(s) of an ERP system is one of the single most important issues facing a business considering an ERP implementation. Most businesses do not have the IT staff to oversee and manage the entire acquisition process, which requires careful management scrutiny from many different angles to safeguard the IT investment. Depending on the size and scope of the ERP acquisition, a business can expect to draw upon outside professionals to conduct a variety of analyses including feasibility, business process, and vendor/software performance. Implementing an ERP solution in an organization is a deep science requiring the best of business and IT minds, working together to help ensure the success of the project across a wide spectrum of issues. Among these issues are functionality, effectiveness, usefulness and user friendliness with an eye on acquisition costs, phased implementation, training, process transition, and ongoing development that achieves the goals and objectives of the organization.

Top Business Issues

There are many important issues facing a business considering implementing ERP and management must perform due diligence throughout the process to safeguard against system failure. Successful projects begin with a well-written plan detailing each step of the acquisition process in a way people can understand so that management can take ownership of the project and employees will use the system. Among these issues are contract negotiations covering hardware and software, software-licensing agreements, modifications, upgrades, technical support, service, training and assistance transitioning people and processes. Further, the business must establish a governance model to control all aspects of an ERP systems implementation with emphasis on business process transition that address the organizational needs and keep the business mission at the forefront.


Small, medium, and large businesses use computer technology to manage their businesses operations and streamline data flows for better business management. Business applications can be as simple as using Quick Books to manage inventory, billing and other financial processes, or very complex systems known as Enterprise Solutions. ERP systems can encompass departments or organizations and use a variety of hardware and software configurations to support and automate business operations. Among the more complex systems, the use of microcomputers, servers, operating systems, and application software support the Internet, Intranets, Extranets, local area networks (LANS) and wide area networks (WANS) to communicate and share data between departments and organizations.

ERP is a complex but understandable topic that plays a huge and growing role in business and government, requiring people to have a greater perspective into this technology and application in the workplace. The three major components of an ERP system are hardware, software and the people who operate it. The important thing to remember is that ERP is highly technical, and no single person has all the answers when it comes to implementing ERP systems. In order to ensure the success of ERP implementation in enterprise, many qualified business, and IT professionals must work together across a variety of disciplines to maximize the potential for a seamless transition to a digital enterprise.


Alexander, D. (2007, September 26). “What is ERP-Get ERP Right The First Time.” Retrieved September 26, 2007, from Global Shop Solutions:

Welch, J. Dmitry, Kordysh. (2007). “Seven Keys to ERP Success.” Strategic Finance, 89(3), 40-47,61. Retrieved September 26, 2007, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 1339921401).

Unkown. (2007, June 12). ERP Overview. Retrieved September 15, 2007, from Enterprise Solutions Competency Center:

Copyright (c) 2007 Jim Hart, All Rights Reserved

Do You Know the Five Basic Principles to Prevent Identity Theft?

Everyday, thousands of people experience identity theft which leads to vast amounts of resources and money being stolen. In order to prevent identity theft, various guidelines should be followed by users to prevent this disruptive cyberspace crime from occurring. Security and protection against online hackers could be attained by simply availing the latest security software.

Online users should be constantly aware and vigilant in their use of different programs, websites and services on line. We have to consider that despite the ease and practicality presented by on line processing, they are susceptible to hacking by technically proficient and knowledgeable hackers.

Customers and clients should only avail services from online service providers with a secure and developed system of cyberspace business transaction. It is a joint responsibility of the users and service provides to be careful in order to prevent identity theft.

The basic principle used to prevent identity theft is preparedness and attentiveness. Majority of people being victimized of identity theft are unaware of the rampant activities of hackers to install hidden programs such as worms and viruses.

Hacker employs these malicious programs by attaching them to different websites and disguising them as credible tools. Online users are tricked into downloading them. These programs actually steal information and use them against the users. In the United States alone, thousands of cases regarding password theft which lead to stolen online bank funds are reported at a regular rate. When people discover of the theft against them, most of the damages are already done.

The second principle to prevent identity theft is prudence. Before committing sensitive transactions in a web site, it is the responsibility of the user to know how effective is the security measure set in place to protect his passwords, resources and investments. Reliable websites usually offer firewall installations during online payment and wire transfer.

The third principle to prevent identity theft is to be updated regularly. This could be easily done by downloading and installing all the latest security programs such as internet security software, registry cleaners and virus scanners. It is easy to find these utilities since thousands of websites are set in place to provide free and trial downloads.

The fourth principle is to be always careful and watchful. An online user should always be wary of where he inputs his important passwords and data such as public computers and random person’s laptop. Computers which are accessed by the general population could be infected with illegal software that steal and save data to be used for degrading and damaging purposes.

The fifth principle to prevent identity theft is consistency. People tend to forget to scan foreign drives and devices that are integrated to their system. This could lead to installation of hidden programs such as viruses which are common hacking tools for identity theft.

By following these five basic principles, an online user could easily prevent identity theft and its damaging effects. As computer users, it is the responsibility of the owner to be careful in utilizing it in different purposes especially online payment. Hackers only victimize those who are unaware and ignorant.

What Are Lava Rock Beads? How They Are Formed and How to Make Lava Bead Jewelry

What are lava beads

They are a new type of jewelry-making gemstone that is becoming increasingly popular. Everyone who makes and sells home-crafted jewelry should try some. The inexpensive stone is surprisingly light, making the present fashion for large chunky jewelry, comfortable to wear. The chic usually-black beads are also available in many different shapes and sizes allowing creative designs. Some are even dyed brown, and others brighter colors.

How they are born

Lava beads started life as molten rock over 1,000 degrees Celsius. It takes this high temperature and huge pressure to make rock melt beneath an active volcano. Most rock deep inside the Earth’s interior is not molten. This molten rock is spewed out of the erupting volcano and flows in streams until cooler air freezes it solid. Sometimes the flow can travel as fast as 30 km/hour on steep slopes and reach tens of kilometers, destroying everything in its path. However, usually it moves less than 1 km/hour, giving people time to move out of the way.


Lava beads promote strength and fertility. Bringing stability in changing times, driving away anger – and helping one to understand a problem in order to spring back to a stronger position. A very grounding stone that strengthens our connection to Mother Earth.

Lava bead jewelry

Beads from these rocks make very unusual jewelry. Used as pendants or parts of a necklace, these unusual black beads ooze style and mystique, drawing attention whenever worn. When admiring lava bead jewelry, people will ask, “whatever is it made out of?” This ensures all the mystique and power of a volcano are in your design!

Designing lava bead jewelry

Take advantage of how light these beads weigh, and try making long earrings to match large lava bead pendants for necklaces and bracelets. Mix different sizes and shapes to make the design interesting. Because most are jet-black, they go well with any color or style of clothes, making them more appealing, and so easier to sell. By their nature, these beads create an earthy rustic style – ideal for “wild” outdoor jewellery, especially for late-in-the year or Halloween. And as most are large and powerful in a design, you need fewer beads to make your piece, saving you money.

Lava bead finish

Although looking coarse with tiny holes and cracks, most of these beads are polished to feel smooth, making your jewelry comfortable to wear.