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Web Hosting - Redundancy and Failover Among the more useful innovations in computing, actually invented decades ago, are the twin ideas of redundancy and failover. These fancy words name very common sense concepts. When one computer (or part) fails, switch to another. Doing that seamlessly and quickly versus slowly with disruption defines one difference between good hosting and bad. Network redundancy is the most widely used example. The Internet is just that, an inter-connected set of networks. Between and within networks are paths that make possible page requests, file transfers and data movement from one spot (called a 'node') to the next. If you have two or more paths between a user's computer and the server, one becoming unavailable is not much of a problem. Closing one street is not so bad, if you can drive down another just as easily. Of course, there's the catch: 'just as easily'. When one path fails, the total load (the amount of data requested and by how many within what time frame) doesn't change. Now the same number of 'cars' are using fewer 'roads'. That can lead to traffic jams. A very different, but related, phenomenon occurs when there suddenly become more 'cars', as happens in a massively widespread virus attack, for example. Then, a large number of useless and destructive programs are running around flooding the network. Making the situation worse, at a certain point, parts of the networks may shut down to prevent further spread, producing more 'cars' on now-fewer 'roads'. A related form of redundancy and failover can be carried out with servers, which are in essence the 'end-nodes' of a network path. Servers can fail because of a hard drive failure, motherboard overheating, memory malfunction, operating system bug, web server software overload or any of a hundred other causes. Whatever the cause, when two or more servers are configured so that another can take up the slack from one that's failed, that is redundancy. That is more difficult to achieve than network redundancy, but it is still very common. Not as common as it should be, since many times a failed server is just re-booted or replaced or repaired with another piece of hardware. But, more sophisticated web hosting companies will have such redundancy in place. And that's one lesson for anyone considering which web hosting company may offer superior service over another (similarly priced) company. Look at which company can offer competent assistance when things fail, as they always do sooner or later. One company may have a habit of simply re-booting. Others may have redundant disk arrays. Hardware containing multiple disk drives to which the server has access allows for one or more drives to fail without bringing the system down. The failed drive is replaced and no one but the administrator is even aware there was a problem. Still other companies may have still more sophisticated systems in place. Failover servers that take up the load of a crashed computer, without the end-user seeing anything are possible. In fact, in better installations, they're the norm. When they're in place, the user has at most only to refresh his or her browser and, bingo, everything is fine. The more a web site owner knows about redundancy and failover, the better he or she can understand why things go wrong, and what options are available when they do. That knowledge can lead to better choices for a better web site experience.

Check Out Powerhouse Wal-Mart's Free Offer Page Are you a Wal-Mart fan looking for the best in freebies and special offers? If so, you are in luck. Although Wal-Mart is not typically considered one of the best sources for freebies or coupon shopping, this giant corporation has recently stepped up its promotions, making many dedicated freebie hunters very happy. Here are some tips on getting the best shot at the best Wal-Mart freebies and promotions. Bookmark the Wal-Mart Promotions Page for Easy Access to Freebies and Deals Wal-Mart, like many other companies, has begun to dedicate a special section of their webpage specifically to free offers, along with other deals and promotions. This page is definitely worth checking out on a regular basis. Bookmark this website if you are serious about getting the latest and greatest Wal-Mart deals and promotions. Some of the offers on the page will be around for a months, while others may disappear in a matter of days. Part of the thrill of being a freebie hunter is being vigilant and not letting the best deals slip away from you. You might even consider setting up your very own freebie calendar to make sure that not one good deal slips by you. Tips and Hints for Getting the Best Free Offers from Wal-Mart If you are new to the world of freebie offers, or you have never visited the Wal-Mart site before, here are some tips for getting the best out of Wal-Mart freebie offers. The Wal-Mart free offers webpage is a great resource if you are really interested in Wal-Mart promotions and freebies. Begin by selecting the offers that interest you more. Once you click on a specific offer, you will have to wait for the page to load that provides you with all the details of the offer. Somewhere on the details page?sometimes you have to hunt around for it?you will find a link for the free sample. Once you click on this free sample link, you will get a pop-up window that provides you with the free offer request form. Make sure that you have enabled pop-up windows so that you do not miss out on any special offers or deals. Figuring Out the Tricks of the Wal-Mart Free Offers Page Some freebie hunters have expressed confusion with the Wal-Mart free offer page. That is, some consumers have complained that the page is often difficult to get to, or that it will not load property. To make sure that you don't have trouble with this important resource, you will want to make certain that you are accessing the page with an updated browser over a secure high speed Internet connection. Although you will probably be able to access the free offers webpage with an older web browser over a slower Internet connection, you will probably be more likely to run into snags. The easiest way to get to the page is to bookmark it directly. Otherwise, you will probably have to take several moments to search for it if you only return to the website periodically. The Wal-Mart front page is crowded with text, images and promotions, which can make it difficult to get to the free offers page. Remember to refresh the bookmarked free offer page every time that you return to it, just to make sure that you are looking at the freshest offers. Are There Any Risks Associated with Getting Freebies from Wal-Mart? If you are concerned about your privacy, you may wonder whether there are any known risks associated with requesting information directly from the Wal-Mart free offers page. Read the company's privacy policy carefully if this is a major concern. The company states that they will not share or sell your personal information. However, be aware that the company may send you their own marketing and promotional materials. You may also receive email mailings.

Working on Your Own Time: It?s What Freelancing is About (freelance jobs) Do you have a busy life? Do you wish that you could schedule your work around the rest of your priorities? You work to make money so that you can live. You have no choice but to pay for housing and food and other life necessities. Because you need the money, work tends to creep up to the top of the priority list. Other things are more important though. Freelance jobs allow you to put work where it belongs on the list of priorities. You can play with your kids when they?re home, enjoy doing the things you enjoy outdoors while it?s daytime and spend your Sunday mornings at church instead of behind a counter. The work still needs to get done, but you can do it when you have time instead of from nine to five, Monday through Friday or worse, whenever you?re put on the schedule. Kinds of Freelance Jobs Do you have the appropriate skills and abilities to work at freelance jobs? There are many, many different kinds available. Those with professional degrees can consult. While the jobs that result from extensive education generally lead to many hours working for a good salary, your education can lead you in another direction. If you can manage to find the clients, you can work by appointment only, guiding those who do not have the experience or education that you have. If you are not a professional, you may still have the appropriate talents that will get you into freelance jobs. Writing is a very popular freelance opportunity. You live in a world that relies on the written word. You do not go through a single day without reading a considerable amount of text. Someone needs to do all of that writing, and much of it is hired out to freelancers. Actually, any skill that you possess may be suited to freelance work. Check out a few job boards and find out who?s hiring. Tips of the Trade Freelance jobs are out there, but so is the competition. To get yourself to the top of the hiring list, there are a few things you can do. First, use any experience you have to your advantage. Even if a previous job was short term or didn?t seem significant to you, you gained experience there. Let the employers know about everything you can do. Another thing you must do as a freelancer is to be very consistent and organized. An employer will be much more likely to rehire you if you turn out a good product. Everything you turn in should be clear and professional. Always meet deadlines. While most of the freelance jobs are extremely flexible, allowing you to work at your convenience, there are still deadlines. The work needs to be finished when the employer asks for it. Most of the qualities that will get you more freelance jobs only require common sense and a good work ethic. Living on Sparse Paychecks One downside of freelance jobs is that they are not necessarily consistent. Especially if you jump from one job to another, working for different companies, you will not have any guarantee about how much you will get paid each month. The flexibility may or may not be worth the uncertainty of freelancing to you. If you can manage to save effectively, the distance between paychecks won?t matter. If you do get frustrated about always wondering where the next paycheck is coming from, just remind yourself that the trade off is getting to enjoy more precious time not tied to a desk. There are definitely pros and cons when it comes to freelancing. You just need to decide how important it is to you to prioritize your life around what really matters to you.

How to Be a Better Employee when You Work for Yourself Whether you are just starting or you have had your own business for many years, there are many reasons why you would be a better employee when you work for yourself. The biggest reason of all is probably that you work to make your own living. You do not just get a salary. If you as the boss and owner of the business do not produce the work and effort needed, you most likely will not make any money. If your business is not only providing for you, but also for you family, it is even more important that you make profit of your company. No profit and income from your joint venture means no food on your family?s table and that is a serious problem. For this monetary reason, many self-employed workers work harder, longer and put more effort in than other employees. Another reason lies within proving that your business can be successful. You want to be top-notch in what you are doing. Whether it is manufacturing products or offering services, if it is your own business, you are taking pride in what you do and you want to prove to customers and others that you are their first choice. Then you need to deliver quality. Often times as an owner of a business, you make sure that everything is one hundred percent and that is more than you would most likely give for somebody else?s business. If you work for a company as one of their employees, you might wonder why you should work long hours each and everyday, without the benefits. However, when it is your own business, money flows right into your pockets and every profit you gain from working harder can be yours immediately. Also, if you belong to the group of people that like to decide when they start work, when they finish and what they do, then being your own boss is probably one of the best choices for you. It is easier to work better and give more energy in what you do when you can decide what exactly you want to work on. Of course, some things always have to be done, but you can more or less decide whether you want to do it now or at ten o?clock at night. Did you also know that most of people would work better when they are having people that are under them? You are trying to set an example in work ethics, hours worked and projects completed and therefore, you will put extra effort in what you do when you are working for yourself. Your employees take you as an example for how they should do their work and if you just hang around and do nothing, why would your employees be motivated to do something? But if they get feedback and motivation from you and can see that you put just as much effort or even more into the company, they are more likely willing to follow in the footprints that you have left for them. Keep in mind, that when working for yourself, you are your own resource and motivator. Therefore it is important that you keep better work ethics than when you work for somebody else to not risk what you started. A hard working company owner most often gets rewarded with a growing business and happy customers that will come back year after year. Customers do like to be appreciated and a hard working business owner that will get on their case immediately is one way of appreciation to them.