The First Five Programs You Should Download On A New Computer

If you’ve recently bought a new computer, one of the first things you do after plugging it in is start downloading software. But which software should you download? If you are new to the computer, you might not know where to start. Even if you’ve had a computer before, you still might not know which programs to install first. Well, I wrote this article to explain which five programs I feel should be the first programs you should download. Let’s take a look at the list. These are in no particular order.

1. Trillian

Do you like to use AIM? MSN? Yahoo? IRC? Do you use a combination of them? Why use a bunch of separate messengers when you can use Trillian?

Trillian connects to multiple messengers so that you can chat with friends from Yahoo, MSN, AOL, ICQ, and IRC, all on the same messenger. Now you don’t have to worry about downloading multiple messengers. And the best part is that Trillian takes less RAM then a single regular messenger you would otherwise use. Saving that RAM for other running programs. :)

2. Mozilla FireFox

If you’ve never used FireFox and have stuck to Internet Explorer, give FireFox a try. Firefox is a lot better then Internet Explorer, and has hundreds of extensions to download. Want to know if you have mail without opening your e-mail account? There’s an extension for that. Want to know the weather without going to a website? There’s an extension for that. Want to know an alexa rank of a website? There’s an extension for that. Seriously. Just go download FireFox. After that, spend however long you want customizing it to your liking. Try doing that with Internet Explorer. :)

3. Update Windows

Ok, this isn’t really software you are downloading. But if you bought a Windows computer, one of the first things you should do is update Windows. I can almost guarantee you that there are critical security updates waiting to be installed. So go to WindowsUpdate.com and get your computer updated.

4. Ad-Aware

Spyware is all over the internet these days. Spyware can come with software you download, websites you visit, etc. Spyware is one of the biggest annoyances on the internet that you will encounter. Instead of waiting for a problem to come up, why not download Ad-Aware and start protecting your computer from day 1. Ad-Aware has been around for many years and is in my opinion the best Anti-Spyware remover available. Best of all, there is a free version. So go download Ad-Aware and make sure to update it frequently.

5. Google Earth

Some may argue with Google Earth being on this list, but in my opinion, Google Earth is one of the coolest programs you can download. Google Earth has everything. You can view satellite maps all over the world, 360 degree photos, YouTube videos, Wikipedia links, historical maps, etc. Seriously, Google Earth has it all. If you have never used Google Earth, download it right away. You will be amazed just how far technology as you learn and look at information from all over the world.

In just these five programs, you can learn about the world, protect your computer, connect to multiple messengers, and surf the web. Of course, there are many other programs you can later download, but these are by far some of the best and are definite must-have’s for your new computer.

Have fun with your new computer!

Warehouse Management Systems

There are many technologies that are often used to shore up inaccuracies in inventory, such as warehouse management software with barcoding systems, RFID and pick-to-light. These technologies can help reduce errors, if implemented correctly. However, none of them can eliminate errors completely and a poorly implemented system can actually make things worse. All groundwork should be completed before implementing additional systems.

The steps we’ll cover in this article won’t need you to reinvent your whole business; they just offer a simple method to improve the accuracy of your inventory data. How you follow and use these steps will determine if you will succeed or fail.

The following are the basic steps we referred to previously. The organization’s attitude must include a fundamental commitment to maintaining accurate inventories. It is important for all employees to feel they are responsible for quality, customer service, plant safety and accuracy throughout the organization.

Clearly understanding the organization’s procedures will prevent any negative affects on inventory. When you are defining the processes, you must be alert to situations where errors could occur and include changes that would effectively eliminate or at least minimize them.

At this point, you implement the process just defined to document the steps the workers will take to maintain an accurate count of the inventory. The procedures documented here should not be limited to inventory issues; they should be the complete procedure, including quality, physical aspects and safety.

It does not count when one just hands a written procedure for this type of training. Any expectations for procedures must be reviewed and explained to assure employee understanding. Take as long as you want to ascertain they are fully conversant with the methods.

I am a huge supporter when it comes to formally testing all employees on current procedures. This is the only way to find out if they, first of all, read them and if they actually understood what they have read.

Monitor Process for Compliance. Now that you’ve set rules, make sure that they are followed – beginning straight away. Whenever an employee’s actions deviate from the written procedures, they must be addressed with the relevant employee immediately.

In addition, I promote setting minimum accuracy and production standards whenever possible. It’s needed that you do your research to ensure that standards are set high but are also achievable.

Whether you have set standards or not, I still suggest you track accuracy organizationally and individually. When you measure accuracy tracking, you should always consider it as a percentage of your total transactions.

Employees will be held accountable for all following documented procedures. Procedures have been implemented and individuals have been trained, which uses time and money resources. Occasionally, disciplinary action must be taken to correct an individual who refuses to follow the expected procedures.

We would like to believe that since we have taken the above steps, we can now assume our inventory is accurate. You will have to count it to determine the accuracy, as well as determining areas needing additional evaluation.

It is important to always evaluate and re-evaluate all of your processes and procedures. Cycle count results will inform you of the required system improvements. Business conditions often change and new processes are added, which will require evaluation.

This is a step by step process; every step builds upon the previous step. Even though the process for improving inventory accuracy is fairly simple, it can prove to be very demanding.

SEO For Travel-Based Websites

It is almost officially summertime and it feels like it in Austin. The travel bug has already been biting for weeks now in Volacci’s home base, and I know I can’t help but check out a few travel-based websites to dream of a getaway. Unfortunately, it isn’t a good year to set any tourism records abroad, stay-cations are on the rise in popularity and are giving travel agents the shivers just to think about. That is why having the right foundation for SEO on your Web site is even more important than ever before.

Various financial experts agree that a recession is an opportune time to implement new and forward-thinking initiatives within a business to tighten up and re-calibrate their overall marketing model. If search engine optimization isn’t involved yet, then you may not see too much business even after this recession dwindles into the past tense. It is time to step up, and make sure that your SEO efforts are ready for take-off.

Creative Keywords

This is the tail that wags the dog of your SEO campaign. You need the right chemistry of keywords to be successful. This means getting creative with a mix of brow sweat and elbow grease. Use Google’s Keyword Tool and focus on competitive keywords within the travel industry. If they have a high search volume, chances are the pool is crowded. Everyone is fighting to optimize these terms. It’s easier to find your kid in a swimming pool with fewer screaming kids. Look for the keywords that have a decent volume, more than 500 per month and where the Google Adwords competition bar isn’t completely full, but is green. Find keywords around phrases such as “best time to visit X”, “things to do in X”, where “X” is a city or country.

Use Keywords in Content

So you have just finished a thorough, research initiative for keywords, and you are satisfied in the investment. Now, you need to use those keywords in all the written content you create for the site. Every web page on your Web site should be rich with keywords, but don’t keyword “stuff” the content. Be very careful to retain the integrity of your copy so that it sounds natural. You are still talking to humans, after all. You should also inject them into the external articles you have written during your link building campaign (which I address later). These articles will be informative resources for people interested in your specialty. The articles will lead them right to your site.

SEO-Friendly Website

Now that you have your keywords picked out, and have used them throughout your site, make sure your site is SEO-friendly. If you are still using frames, javascript/AJAX, or flash without any HTML version added, then your website is considered an ancient wonder of the internet. A SEO-friendly website consists of clean HTML. Build your website in a content management system, such as Drupal, which is very user-friendly and allows you to customize your site like you have never be able to before. The more professional it looks, the more people will book.

Link Building

You now have quality content, both on- and off-page, and your site is SEO-friendly. You can promote your business and blog through social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, forums, and commenting on other people in your professional community. This should jump-start a link building campaign that will help your online presence gain relevancy with people and search engines, boosting your site’s rankings and online traffic.

Travel websites are highly competitive in these frugal times. Making sure your website is found and closes the deal with consumers is more important than ever before. If you ensure that your website is SEO-friendly and is implementing a quality SEO campaign, then you will ensure your business will make it through the global popularity boom of stay-cations.

Volacci is the leading Drupal SEO company and very passionate about your online success. By the end of your contract you will have at least as much additional business from your web site as you spend on our services… or we’ll work for free until you do.

Volacci.® Your Profit. Our Passion.