Thursday, June 28, 2007

Understanding Fame And The Making Of A Star

I've seen all different kinds of talent since 1989 in the entertainment business. Many times I didn't even understand why such a person would want to become a celebrity. One thing though, I loved it and I became a talent agent or a manager for the last 18 years. I find there is a big difference between an agent and a manager but that will be my next article.

You need a few things before you even want to consider to become a singer or an actress:

1- You need a TALENT! Don't think because you are invited at "America's got talents" that you have one! Did you watch that show? Everybody thinks they are the greatest! If you think you can sing, then check it out first. If all you friends tell you you have a great voice, that is good but not enough! Go see an entertainment journalist at your local newspaper and ask them to listen to you and if they like it, they could write down a reference. Build up on those, that could help you down the road.

2- You need a look: Yes you do because it helps a lot! That doesn't mean you cannot make it! Talent first but the look helps a lot.

3- You need a personality: Can you speak? Are you shy? Are you scared of crowds? You need to be able to speak in public, to talk to people and journalists. You need to have a GREAT personality. Too shy won't fly!

4- A good team around you! If you have people that believe in you around you and help you build up your career, that will certainly help!

If it's your dream, please keep going and work on your dream! Don't let anybody stops you. Take risks or calculated risks if it makes you feel better but don't stop! There are a lot of different ways to get your name out there now! Study them and use them!

Happy career!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Digital Music Format Opens Doors for Indie Bands and Unsigned Artists

The digital revolution is washing away the distinction between mainstream music and indie bands. Sure, we will always have mega-artists the likes of Madonna and The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney, but now we are seeing the rising of the indie class. In part, record labels are embracing the indie class, particularly labels that are one or two degrees of separation from the major labels. But the real surge carrying the indie class towards the mainstream is the spawn of digital music.

Indie bands are gaining wide exposure to new listeners by focusing their efforts on digital music. Spreading the word is as simple as converting your music to mp3 and letting fans share and share alike. Create a MySpace page and they will come. Indie bands are profiling themselves on MySpace and YouTube, cheaply, and even mega-artists are eyeing the bandwagon and jumping on for the ride.

The internet long ago birthed a dedicated creative space for every artist, but cheap and plentiful domains now mean everyone gets their own website and a band would be crazy not to put something out there in webspace. But it was when streaming previews gave way to downloadable full-length tracks that the shift was marked. For most indie artists, the CD itself was never a significant source of income, so giving away the music for free doesn't skew the equation of financial success far from what it used to be. In fact, digital sales still do not make up 25% of the industry's revenue, so in every sense, an independent artist has little to lose by offering at least some of their music for free.

But the underclass, the unsigned artists, are benefiting from the popular appeal of digital music as well. Companies are reaching out to help them. One such company, DiscRevolt, manufactures prepaid download cards for bands to distribute or sell to their fans. The cards' artwork is customized by each band and loaded with 15 credits that can be redeemed on DiscRevolt's website. The band then posts live and studio mp3 tracks to their profile page on and fans can then "purchase" the tracks using the credits.

A band buys the cards in bulk for as little as $.25 per card, and if they choose to sell them to fans, they keep any profit. The only charge to the band is the cost of manufacturing the cards.

This system, and there are a number of companies offering some variation on it, allows bands to cheaply distribute their music and possibly profit from studio recordings without the support of a record label. The sheer prevalence of cost effective promotional opportunities for unsigned bands has elevated them to instant indie status, and the indie bands are inching their way into the mainstream as record labels embrace a new digital business model that indeed has room for indie music.

The development of the digital music industry has meant that bands are no longer stifled by lack of exposure, or limited in their options of distributing their music. Determined artists have relatively cheap outlets for self-promotion on the internet from message boards to touring blogs. More clearly now, the distinctions separating the indie class from mainstream music are fading, and the best music out there will get its chance to be heard by everyone, however we classify it.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Common Uses Of USB Pen Drive

Small enough to hook onto a keychain, USB pen drive emulates a small disk drive and allows data to be transferred easily from one device to another. The way it works is very simple. It also works very fast. Since it is a relatively newer device, manufacturers are launching it with added capabilities and higher storage power. Some of the purposes for which it can be used are discussed below.

To transport personal data

The commonest use of USB pen drive is to transport or store personal files such as documents, pictures and video. One can also store medical alert information for emergency use or as preparation against disaster.

Repairing computer

Successful usage of USB pen drive has been noticed in the PC repair field as a means to transfer recovery and antivirus software to infected PCs. It also allows a portion of the host machine's data to be archived in it in case of emergency.

System administrators' helper

System and network administrators find USB pen drive highly handy to load them with configuration information and software used for system maintenance, troubleshooting, and recovery. Such use of this portable device makes it popular among them.

As an application carrier

USB pen drives are used to carry applications that run on the host computer without the necessity of installation. U3, backed by pen drive vendors, offers an API to pen drive-specific functions. Portableapps, a free and open-source software, has also been developed to allow U3-like functionality on non-U3 drives. airWRX is also an application framework that runs from a pen drive and turns its PC host and other nearby PCs into a multi-screen, web-like work environment.

As audio players

A number of companies make solid state digital audio players in a small form factor, essentially producing pen drives with sound output and a simple user interface. The MP3 playback function is the most popular addition to USB pen drive. Some of them also have LCD display for track browsing and audio input jack and a rechargeable battery.

Friday, June 22, 2007

RAID Recovery Tips

In case you are wondering, RAID stands for "Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks," as it is an assembly of more than one hard drive in a single unit. The advantages of this are numerous, but the most important one is the fact that even if one of the hard drives has failed, the computer is still able to serve its purpose and perform all the tasks the user desires. The issue of data loss in this case is not so severe, as the multiple hard drives offer higher protection against accidental damaging the data.

So, why would you need RAID data recovery? Well, RAID is said to indeed protect your data when one of the hard drives fails, by increasing system uptime and network availability. Not to speak of the fact that more than one hard disk working together will significantly increase the performance of your system!

Generally speaking, RAID data recovery is most definitely the most complicated thing that a data recovery specialist or company can perform on a system. It is their mission to repair the damages that the user has done before taking the hard drives to the technician for recovery. Most of the clients of these data recovery firms attempt to recover the data or even repair the array of hard disks by using the system utilities they can get their hands on. This may be all right for the situation when the lost data is not critical to the company, but if these unprofessional methods fail, someone could loose his or her job! Therefore, in case of a RAID failure, the best thing one can do is take it to a data recovery company and let them do their jobs properly.

Even if the process of RAID data recovery can cost a lot of money, it is much better to have a specialists take it through the set procedure that the data recovery companies follow.

They start by ensuring that all the hard drives are functional, as this is a major factor in the success of the whole data recovery process. Only then they start making complete sector-by-sector clones of every drive, a process that takes place at a very low level and is not affected by the bad sectors.

Your initial hard drive is set to a write protect mode during this process, in order to make sure that your original data is not in danger of being modified in any way.

After cloning, your hard drives are no longer needed, as the recovery process is being done on these cloned copies. The clones of your hard drives are then put into a system and all the data scattered among the drives in the array will be put into an unique destination drive.

This is the point when a normal recovery process can start, as there is only one drive left!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Disadvantages of Compatible Inkjet Cartridges

Before you rush to buy, ask this important question: Does the refill have a compatible inkjet cartridge or not? These days it is more tempting that it has ever been before, to look for generic or third party suppliers for your office supply needs when it comes to injet inks, because the prices of the inks are very expensive, and the savings offered by off-brand retailers are up to 70 per cent off what the big companies want to charge for the product which is apparently the exact same thing with a different brand name. So what is the big deal with compatibility, after all, you aren't getting married you are just shopping for some ink to use in your printer.

The big deal with compatibility is that there can be issues that come up after you spend your money, and that are impossible to rectify after the fact. You may have a compatible inkjet cartridge, and everything will work out just the way you had planned and you may save yourself a bundle of money in the process.

But here is one scenario regarding compatible inkjet cartridge shopping that is worth considering, before you rush out to buy the cheapest thing on the market. Some companies that make inkjet cartridges have started putting little secret computer chips in them, that you probably do not know about unless you are a savvy tech oriented person or you read lots of nerdy high tech magazines that explain this kind of obscure stuff. The chips sometimes regulate the way the ink moves from the cartridge, or they may help the computer to line up with the ink container, or in some way or another, they are communicating with your printer electronically. If they don't communicate, or they speak a different language, your printer won't recognize the cartridge and will not work at all. Other companies aren't as drastic about doing things like making chips in their products that will disable your printer, but they may put in chips that will keep you from enjoying certain features of the cartridge – like for example the feature that tells you when it is about to run out may be disabled if you use an off brand of ink.

So before you leap, look. Find out if the product you are buying is going to be a compatible inkjet cartridge, and then enjoy the relationship without any nasty little surprises after the money changes hands.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Try It On Paper

Creating programs and websites, software, and even hardware, entails careful consideration in terms of its user interface. Sometimes, in the planning stages of these programs, we get caught up in the big picture and are unable to foresee certain details that affect how our programs will pan out in a step by step manner.

The traditional way to develop programs is to build a prototype and test it. It would be fortunate if after testing, you will only have to do some minor revisions, if at all. The problem arises when you find out that your program has a user problem, which will entail for you to trash most of your hard work to solve the obstacle.

To help programmers and users, a user testing method called paper prototyping has been popularized by many top technology brands that boast of programs and hardware that are very user friendly.

The main difference of paper prototyping and regular prototypes is that paper prototyping utilizes paper as the medium to plot out programs. The method of prototyping is usually best conducted like a focused group discussion where paper prototypes are employed to simulate the program to be developed.

With paper prototyping, you can either utilize printouts of your wire frames or hand sketch your designs. You can even use a combination of both. Prototyping experts say that paper, scissors, glue and sticky paper are a must during the paper prototyping process.

These materials are made to simulate your programs so that through the interactive process of going through the paper prototype, you can find out if your product ranks high on usability. This paper prototyping process also saves you time and effort because it allows you outsider insight on your product, way before you even begin to actually build it. With this method of testing for usability, you will never have to "go back to the drawing boards" because you won't leave the drawing phase until all kinks are ironed out.

This method of testing is particularly useful for the production of websites, programs, and software for use in a personal computer or a mobile phone interface. You can learn a lot of valuable lessons from paper prototyping. For instance, if in your paper prototype, you find that the users testing the mock up tends to click a particular feature which was not designed to be a link, then you know that it should actually be one.

Paper prototyping can save you a lot of time, effort and cost at the planning stage, even before you begin to write codes or start building.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Review of The Eyes of God by Scott Kalechstein & Friends

The Eyes of God

It's been awhile since I've had the pleasure of being introduced to a new collection of devotional music. Scott Kalechstein has a number of albums out in several genres. He has a scintillating sense of humor, which he uses to great effect in concerts and other venues. His CD, Levitational Pull, is filled with hilarious gems such as "Waking Up is Hard to Do" and "Just a Co-Dependent Love Song." Levitational Pull is perfect for those times when we find ourselves becoming way too serious, and I recommend it highly.

In this review, however, I want to focus on Scott's beautiful, heartfelt The Eyes of God, a devotional masterpiece of reverential singing from a spiritual perspective. Uplifting, positive melodies inspire us to the highest of our potential, creating luminous opportunities to become fully present in the precious now moment. These are songs you will want to take into your heart and make a part of your devotional practice. In addition to Scott's warm voice, a choir of angels backs him up. I have listened to The Eyes of God numerous times, and Scott's wonderful music never fails to bring tears of gratitude and joy.

A host of musicians accompanies Scott and the choir on the eight songs that comprise the wondrous The Eyes of God. Scott plays nylon and steel string acoustic guitars, while others contribute additional guitar, flute, saxophone, bass, cello, drums, tablas and percussion for a full, rich sound. Several tracks, including Michael Stillwater's divine "You Guide Me" and the anonymous "I Am with You Now," may be familiar. Scott wrote the others, which include the intoxicating "Closer and Closer" and the celebratory "An Open Heart." Soothing and uplifting at the same time, The Eyes of God is a passionate paean to the One Heart that beats us all.

Friday, June 8, 2007

HP Ink Cartridges - Quality Assured At A Cheap Price

HP ink cartridges are a brand in themselves, coming after all, from such a renowned company like HP (Hewlett Packard). This company is not new to the concept of excellence wherein it matters. These cartridges, introduced around two decades ago, have since that time, been able to win over millions of customers worldwide.

An ink cartridge is a replaceable component in your printer that supplies ink to it. This ink, after passing through advanced technological procedures, evaporates and spreads out on the paper during printing. In some cases, your ink cartridge may also contain the print-head. The quality of ink cartridges can thus make a vital difference to the performance of your printer.

This is where HP ink cartridges register their mark. High in quality and reliability, these cartridges give you your money's worth. With a hassle-free printing performance, they are every customer's delight.

Many people may find the cost of ink cartridges from this company HP as on the higher side, when compared to the refilled cartridges. However, when the running costs are calculated in the longer run, it is seen that the original cartridges from HP are much more economical. This is so because of the costs you save which otherwise could be incurred with unoriginal ink cartridges. Some of the potentially unnecessary expenditure is what is involved in reprinting documents due to printer malfunctions and then in printer repairs.

The reliability of HP ink cartridges comes from the company's commitment and investment in extensive Research & Development programs to deliver durable and reasonably-priced ink cartridges to its customers. HP's new line of products, the multiple ink cartridges and Specialty cartridges are already a hit with the global customers because of their even more enhanced performance.

If you're looking for quality, saving hassles with a foresight of stable and lower cost-per page printing costs, HP ink cartridges never fail to deliver.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Fast Gun of Prototyping

Simply put, a rapid prototyping process is a procedure or method wherein a design is tested during the early parts of its development.

This type has been proven to be more useful in projects that involve large-scale designs. From the name, rapid prototyping involves quickly constructing a scale down model of large objects through the aid of computerized three dimensional images.

These virtual designs are broken into parts or cross sections which identically represents the actual object. When building the prototype, a machine will read the information from the computer and would construct the images segment by segment until the whole prototype has been created.

Depending on the type of the machines and the models size, constructing a prototype using the rapid prototyping process may take from 3 to more than 70 hours. Others even take months to complete.

Usually CAD is used to construct the virtual model which later on is converted to the STL file format. A rapid prototype machine then processes the .STL file and creates layers of the model.

Layer upon layer, the segments are piled on top of each other until the model is created. These layers are glued together by using lasers. These layers are made of either liquid or powdered materials.

Afterwards, when all the layers have been laid down, the superstructure of the model is removed revealing the unpolished surfaces of the prototype. The prototype model is then cleaned.

A lot of companies prefer using rapid prototyping because it offers the best benefits to them. Using rapid prototyping processes increase effective communication, decrease development time, reduce the prevalence of costly mistakes, lessen any sustaining engineering changes, and help extends product life through the addition of essential features and remove unneeded features during the early developments of the design.

By allowing engineers, manufacturers and even the marketing and purchasing people take a look at the product during the onset of its development they can identify and correct mistakes while it is still cheaper to do so.

Among the types of rapid prototyping processes include stereolithography, selective laser sinthering, laminated object manufacturing, solid ground curing and rapid tooling. The standard interface between CAD software and rapid prototyping machines is the STL file format.

MacroMind Director (MMD) is another type of prototyping tool which combines a text, graphics, animation as well as music and other sound, and video. This type of tool has been used more commonly in film, engineering, education and business industries. Most of the output is simulations, visualizations and presentations.