Friday, July 01, 2005

The 12-minute Windows heist



Security Task Manager

Avast Anti-virus

Microsoft Antispyware BETA

Renai LeMay, ZDNet Australia
July 01, 2005

There is a 50 percent chance your unprotected Windows PC will be compromised within 12 minutes of going online, says security vendor Sophos.

Highlighting the increasing speed of online attacks in research covering the last six months of virus activity, the vendor said the news was mostly grim.

Authors of malware such as spam, viruses, phishing scams and spyware increased both the volume and sophistication of their assaults, releasing almost 8,000 new viruses in the first half of 2005 and increasingly teaming up in joint ventures to make money. The new-virus figure is up 59 percent on the same period last year.

"With financial gain rather than notoriety becoming more of a motivation, spammers and virus writers have been drawn together with more traditional criminal elements," said Sophos Australia and New Zealand senior technical consultant Sean Richmond.

While the usual virus culprits like Zafi-D, Netsky-P and Sober-N came under the spotlight, Sophos said growth in Trojan attacks -- where malicious software allows a remote attacker to gain backdoor access to a PC -- was perhaps the most significant development in the malware-creation field.

"Sophos has seen a three-fold increase in the number of key-logging Trojans so far this year," the company said. "Trojans are delivered to target organisations via e-mail attachments or links to Web sites. They are often used by remote hackers to steal priviledged information, and very often to launch further attacks."

But Sophos made it clear the news wasn't all bad.
"Businesses in Australia and New Zealand mostly have it right when it comes to protecting their desktops, servers and gateways," said Richmond. "On the other hand, we've seen significant numbers of unprotected home computers become zombies for spammers,"

Richmond praised the Australian telecomms regulator for its recent move to press charges against Perth-based alleged spammer Wayne Mansfield. Mansfield is one of Australia's most notorious Internet marketeers and stands accused of sending at least 56 million -- mostly unsolicited -- e-mails in the period after the Spam Act was enacted in April 2004.

Events further afield also caught Sophos' attention, as it highlighted several recent prosecutions of virus and privacy-related Internet crime.

One dealt with the impending trial of German teenager Sven Jaschan, who has admitted writing the Netsky and Sasser worms, while another involved the arrest of a Cypriot man who was spying on a 17-year-old girl via her own Webcam.

"Four United Kingdom phishers were also jailed this week," said the company.

Copyright © 2005 CNET Networks, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
ZDNET is a registered service mark of CNET Networks, Inc. ZDNET Logo is a service mark of CNET NETWORKS, Inc.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Guilty of being stupid?

These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts, and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.

ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.
ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?
WITNESS: July 18th.
ATTORNEY: What year?
WITNESS: Every year.
ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you?
WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which.
ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you?
WITNESS: Forty-five years.
ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, "Where am I, Cathy?"
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan.
ATTORNEY: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo?
WITNESS: We both do.
WITNESS: Yes, voodoo.
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: Uh, he's twenty-one..
ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Would you repeat the question?
ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard.
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.
ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All my autopsies are performed on dead people.
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy on him!
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: But could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Bosch Safety Recall Notice

Model CS10, CS20 and CS20-XC Circular Saws
All saws that do not have an asterisk (*) in the serial number box on the product nameplate are affected. (see diagram below) The nameplates for Model CS20-XC saws are marked "CS20."
Bosch CS10-20 Recall Diagram

Under certain circumstances, the lower blade guard may not function properly, creating a risk of injury as severe as amputation. Note: Saw cartons affixed with an orange dot near the UPC code and circular saws marked with an asterisk (*) in the serial number box have already been corrected and are suitable for use.

To receive information on saw repair, call: 1-800-856-9683 (Monday thru Friday between 7:00am and 7:00pm (CDT)

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Spring Cleaning Tips!!

Spring is here! It's time to get rid of a winter's worth of dust and grime. Unfortunately, it's also the time of year when we all want to be outside enjoying the fresh air. The last thing on our minds is cleaning. Yuck! But the good news is that with a thorough spring cleaning, all of the fragrant crispness of springtime can be felt throughout the house. And with the following gameplan to guide you, you'll be able to clean up quickly and efficiently, with plenty of time left over to stop and smell the newly budding roses.


Even before you clean, there are a few precautions you should take so that cleaning can be finished as painlessly as possible.

-- Wear comfortable, old clothes that you won't mind staining or getting dirty.
-- Take stock of your cleaning needs and supplies. Don't wait until you're about to clean the oven to find out that you don't have any oven cleaner left. Have everything on hand and ready to go for a smooth time.
-- Prepare one bucket of supplies to bring with you to every room. All you really need are a few rags, some paper towels, furniture polish, and one good all purpose glass and counter cleaner. These items will do the trick for most cleaning jobs. Also, grab two empty garbage bags: one to carry garbage you find along the way, and the other to fill with things you no longer want but are still useful. You can give these items away or sell
them at a later date.
--Turn off the TV and the phone! The quickest cleaning is accomplished without any distractions.
--Get organized. Make a list of the rooms you want to tackle, then clean each room fully before moving on to the next.
--Let the sun shine in! Open the windows and let the clean, green aroma of spring's new flower and plant life enter your home. Not only will the mustiness of winter be removed, but you'll also protect yourself from inhaling dust and dangerous fumes from cleaning products.


--Play some fun, lively music. Before you know it, your adrenaline will start pumping and you'll be dancing your way through the house.
--Toss away everything you don't use. I mean everything! Be ruthless. Less clutter not only makes future dusting easier, it also has a tendency to give us a freer, more relaxed frame of mind when we enjoy these rooms. Feng shui, the art of uncluttered living, has long been practiced by Chinese people. It is believed that if the universe's energy, or chi, can easily flow through a room, our lives will be more harmonious and joyful.
Decorators worldwide are now embracing the simple beauty of barer rooms for easier living.
--Gather the extra items in your life and give them to charity, or sell them at a spring-time yard sale. Get the whole family in the act by telling kids that they can keep the profits from selling toys they no longer use.
--Work around the room in one direction, either left or right. This way, there won't be any time wasted in criss-crossing the room, or vacuuming that same spot twice.
--Clear it off and put it away. This is really the first step to cleaning any room. In the livingroom this means putting away books and recycling old magazines. Clear away all knickknacks and family photos so that dusting and polishing can be finished in a snap. In the bedrooms, remove items stored under the bed, and file away or throw out papers. In the kitchen, remove everything from counters and take down curtains. In the bathroom, clear away potpourri holders, magazines, and waste baskets. Take down the shower curtain and liner for laundering. Just remember to tackle one room at a time. Remove these items and cleaning will be much easier.
-- Wear rubber gloves! Even though it is harder to grip things with gloves than it is with bare hands, it is worth using them to protect your skin from the harshness of hot water and drying chemicals.


When you're finished cleaning, it's time to put back those items you need and love. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
--The only necessary appliances on kitchen counters are the ones that you use daily or weekly. Stash anything else in cabinets or cupboards. Also, if you have a counter full of cook books you seldom use, you may want to put them on a shelf for more living and cooking space.
-- Try putting treasured knickknacks and photos on different tables, shelves, or even in different rooms. This will give your home a fresh new look.


Following a list makes everything in life easier and more efficient. Here are some spring cleaning tips and techniques for every room in your home.

1. Dust and vacuum corners and crevices from high points to low. Remember dust falls downward so you want to clean from the top to the bottom of any room.
2. Vacuum furniture, lampshades and pictures. Remember all those gadgets that come with your vacuum cleaner? Use them here, and experiment with different attachments for furniture and corners of rooms.
3. Vacuum or wash curtains.
4. Dust wood furniture.
5. Dust mop floors.
6. Vacuum carpet.
7. Take plants outside for a gentle washing with a fine spray from your garden hose. Plants and their pots get dusty over the winter.

1. Wash, or dry-clean curtains.
2. Take blinds outside and wash them with a mild ammonia solution Rinse with that good old stand by--the garden hose!
3. Strip bed linens and dust ruffle.
4. Vacuum your mattress and box spring. Flip and rotate the mattress before putting on new sheets. This will prevent dips from forming on the mattress, and keep it firmer longer.
5. Polish wood furniture and dust knickknacks.
6. Vacuum everything, from the floor behind and under the bed to the carpet, lampshade and pictures.
7. Clean mirrors and wipe down light fixtures and lamps.
8. Dust mop wood floors.

1. Let cleansers do the scrubbing for you! Spray your oven with cleaner the night before you plan to spring clean your kitchen This will literally "marinate" the grease and grime, making it simple to sponge off.
2. Here is a great microwave cleaning tip: fill a paper cup with water and a few tablespoons of baking soda. Nuke it for about 30 seconds, or until you see the contents explode! Then just take a paper towel and wipe it all
off. The explosion spreads the cleanser over the entire area, and you can even use the moistened rag or paper towel to wipe outside the microwave and its surrounding area.
3. Vacuum stove vents, refrigerator coils, floor, and counters.
4. Defrost that freezer. A blow-drier aimed at the ice will speed up the process. Get rid of old foods, or those jars of things you thought you'd like but never ate. 5. Clean the inside of freezer and fridge with a
solution of three tablespoons of baking soda and one quart of warm water.
6. Clean outside of fridge with glass cleaner.
7. Clean counters, appliances and stove top with an all purpose glass cleaner or the baking soda solution listed above.
8. Wash out the trash can and spray it with a good disinfectant before putting in a new lining. Leave it outside the kitchen for the next step.
9. For linoleum floors, spray a foaming tile cleaner and take a five minute break, (you can change the CD, or start clearing out items in another room). When you come back, you just need to sponge mop the floor. The
foaming cleanser will have already lifted up the dirt so you don't have to.

1. Spray shower and tub with strong cleanser.
2. Pour cleaner into the toilet bowl, and spray the outside with the same cleaner. Let the chemicals do the cleaning while you do the next steps.
3. Clean mirrors, chrome, bathroom scale, and light fixtures with glass cleaner.
4. Vacuum everything! This will remove dust and hair that is so hard to get up when surfaces are wet.
5. Empty and clean the wastepaper basket.
6. Clean the sink and wipe off the cleanser you already applied to the shower and tub.
7. Working from the top of the toilet down, clean the outside, and brush and flush the inside.
8. Scrub the floor with a strong cleanser. Tough tile floors can be most easily cleaned by hand with the scrub-brush side of a bathroom-only sponge.
9. One more tip: spaghetti mops are more efficient at getting into tough corners than sponge mops. Many types can even be thrown in the washing machine between cleanings.

Adapted from the Family Digest Spring 1999 article, "Spring Cleaning Tips & Tricks" by Anne Marie Dunatov. Subscribe to Family Digest Magazine Today!


Nature is undergoing a fresh start and so are homeowners who are ready to clean up the debris that has been accumulating in basements, storage sheds, and garages over the winter.

-Household and pool chemicals, paints, and poisons should be properly marked and stored under lock and key, away from children's reach. Dispose of any that are leaking, expired, or that look bad.
-When cleaning up hazardous chemicals wear rubber gloves and follow the safety directions on the packaging. Never mix chemicals in the same container. If you don't know how to dispose of them, seek outside advice. Never put them into the trash or pour down the drain.
-Make sure gasoline and cleaning fluids are well marked and stored in a cool, dry place away from the house and out of the reach of children and pets. Use only approved containers for gasoline storage.
-Never use gasoline to clean skin, clothes, auto parts, or floors.
-Clean up work areas. Put dangerous tools, adhesives, matches, or other work items away from children's reach.
-Check your barbecue grill for leaks and cracks, and be sure to store any propane tanks away from your house and garage.
-Remove all fire hazards, including stacks of rags, newspapers, and magazines. Pay special attention to the spaces around your furnace, hot water tank, fireplace, space heaters, and dryer, as well as under the stairs.


Itching to get the yard into shape for the summer? Did you know More than 60,000 people are treated in emergency rooms each year for injuries caused by lawnmowers, trimmers, lawn-edgers, pruners and power saws? Here are ways to help ensure your spring spruce-up is disaster-free.
-Limber up. Yard chores may seem easy, but they involve muscles you probably haven't used in a while.
-Always wear protective clothing when you handle pesticides and fertilizers.
-Rake before you mow to prevent any stones and loose debris from launching into the air.
-Never operate a mower in your bare feet and avoid wearing loose clothing.
-Never start a mower indoors.
-When refuelling your mower, make sure the engine is off and cool. Don't spill gasoline on a hot engine - and don't smoke while pouring gasoline.
-Never leave your mower operational while unattended.
-Don't use electrical mowers on wet grass.
-Read the manufacturer's instructions carefully before using the tools.
-Inspect the product for damage and don't use it if there are problems.
-Use proper eye protection.
-Make sure blade guards are in place on all cutting equipment.
-Don't let tools get wet unless they are labelled "submersible".
-Unplug all tools when not in use.
-Make sure the tool is in the "off" position before you plug it in.
-Store gasoline-powered equipment away from anything that uses a pilot light.
-Make sure you use the right saw for the task, and always wait for the saw blade to stop before pulling away from a cut to avoid kickback.
-When pruning trees, be careful not to let metal ladders or trimmers contact overhead wires.
-Before you do any "hands on" weed removal, make sure you know how to identify poison ivy, sumac, oak, and similar toxic plants. Find out ahead of time how to treat the rashes they cause to reduce the irritation.


Ready for some outdoor exercise and adventure? Here are a few pointers.

-Winter's inactive muscles can take only so much strain. Don't overdo it - build up slowly so you don't have strains that can put you out of commission for some time.
-It may look appealing, but don't wander on frozen rivers and lakes in the spring. The ice is beginning to thaw, and you never know just how thin the ice really is.
-Spring's extra rain and thawing snow can cause normally safe rivers, streams, and creeks to turn treacherous. Even standing on banks can be risky as they can be undercut by rushing water and give in under your weight.
-Springtime is also severe weather time. If the skies look threatening, check to see if a storm watch or warning has been issued before you initiate outdoor activities. If you're already outside and thunderstorms threaten, go immediately into a building or enclosed vehicle. For tornadoes, go to the nearest safe structure, or the basement or interior first floor room of your home. If there's no time to follow these precautions, take cover in a ditch or depression in the ground.
-Cold Shock Kills! If you fall into cold water, you will begin gasping for air. If you are underwater, this may be your last breath! Wearing a personal flotation device increases your chances of coming back up. Always wear a Canadian approved personal flotation device and make sure it fits your body, as well as your activity. It can save your life!
-Using a small open powerboat? Small boats tend to be unstable and can be very dangerous, especially if overloaded. Check for a capacity label if your boat can be fitted with a motor. The capacity label tells you the maximum safe weight your boat can carry. If your boat does not have a label, contact the retailer or manufacturer to get one. Don't Overload! For more information on capacity labels visit
-Check your boat thoroughly each time you use it. Look for small holes caused by rust build-up or hitting debris in the water, and make sure you have all the required safety equipment (floatable rope, buoy, whistle, water proof matches etc)


Ready to do some home repairs? On average, about 145,000 people visit the emergency room each year, because of ladder mishaps. Here are a few safety steps:

-Read the manufacturer's instructions that come with your ladder. They contain guidelines for weight and height limits as well as for the proper use of their product.
-Inspect the ladder before using it to make sure there are no loose or broken rungs.
-Make sure the ladder is the right height for the job. Many accidents happen when people overextend their reach because their ladders are too short.
-Never stand on a ladder's bucket shelf.
-Make sure the ladder is completely open and that all of its feet are planted on a firm, level surface. Extension ladders should not be placed at an angle that is too extreme.
-Avoid using a metal ladder near electrical sources.
-Face the ladder when climbing down and make sure your weight is centered between the two sides.
-Whenever possible have a friend present to help hold the ladder for stability.
These are just a few of the safety precautions to consider during the spring. It's also a great time to replace your smoke detector batteries, make sure your fire extinguishers are placed in proper locations around your home, and ensure you have a working flashlight and battery-powered radio for spring storms. By taking the right precautions when warmer weather beckons, you and those around you can enjoy a safer, healthier spring.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Jessie, you know we still -

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Nicole!! Come back soon...

We all miss you here in Lombard!!

Jesse can stay .... haha just kidding!!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Your Best Berland's service experience pt. 1

Here at the Berland's House service department and in many ways the sales department as well, we depend on getting the right information in order to give you the best possible experience.

For example, many times someone will come in without a model number when looking for a part, some without even a brand name and I hear things like - "it's the normal circular saw, they are all the same aren't they?". Well no, actually if no parts were changed in tools, there would be no need for type numbers and serial number series.

My finest days are filled with - "Hi, I have a (insert brand) model number (#) (insert tool), do you have brushes for that". I'm practically ecstatic when a customer calls or comes in with a part number. This makes things faster for everyone involved.

That said, I've created a tool repair contigency outline to help ease your tool repair pains -

Tool Diagrams

Here at Berland's we use tool parts diagrams to look up the part you need. Most of these diagrams can be on the internet at these links -

Adobe Reader required for most schematics, get it here.

Two ways to get to the diagrams, "Enter the Model Number below" and click go, then select "Download Parts Diagram" or you can find your tool by clicking "View all Owners Manuals / Parts Diagrams" then selecting your model. Schematics are in PDF format and require Adobe Reader.

Select your model number from the drop down list box and hit search. Schematics and Usage Manuals are in PDF format and require Adobe Reader.

Straight forward and reliable page. Put in your model (catalog) number, click go and results are displayed. You may be asked to select from close matches or from several types. Schematics are in PDF format and require Adobe Reader.

Finding schematics is not so straight forward, yet simple here nonetheless. Put the model number in the search bar. On the next page, select your product from the list. Product page will have links on the bottom for parts list and owners manual in PDF format and will require Adobe Reader.

Click "Parts for Saws" in the left menu, then click the appropriate model from the list.

One of the easiest sites that I've had the pleasure of using, either enter your model and click go or if model is unknown, narrow down the search by selecting a tool type, then select from results links for user's manuals and parts breakdown in PDF format which will require Adobe Reader.

A very thorough site containing most of Milwaukee's line including older models. Catalog (model) number and serial number are required in many cases. Parts diagrams and wiring are provided in PDF format which will require Adobe Reader.

MK Diamond
Select tool category, then select links for your model's manual and parts list or exploded view and parts list. All are in PDF format which will require Adobe Reader.

Select your model from a list of tools. Mostly new models. All are in PDF format which will require Adobe Reader.

Select Technical Service - Service Literature in the menu, select your model in the drop down menu, then click the link to technical documentation. You will be presented with a list of all technical documents for that model. Parts list will be listed as IPL. All are in PDF format which will require Adobe Reader.

Select your tool model from a list. Drawings are in PDF format, you know the drill.

Choose link to Senco Tools European, Senco Tools Global and USA, Senco Compressor USA or Accuset tools. Select your model, Drawings are in PDF format.

Small database of common Skil models. Select model and see the diagram in PDF.

If you can pick out your parts before coming in, you can save time and be sure that the right part gets ordered.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Adjusting blade on Husqvarna chain saws

Always read the manual first! Here's an excerpt for a model 51-

Mounting guide bar and chain

Always wear gloves, when working with the chain, in order to protect your hands from injury.

Check that the chain brake is in disengaged position by moving the front hand guard towards the front handle.

Take off the bar nuts and remove the clutch cover. Take off the transportation ring.

Fit the bar over the bar bolts. Place the bar in its rearmost position. Place the chain over the drive sprocket and in the groove on the bar. Begin on the top side of the bar. Make sure that the edges on the cutting links are facing forward on the top side of the bar.

Fit the clutch cover and locate the chain adjuster pin in the hole on the bar. Check that the drive links of the chain fit correctly on the drive sprocket and that the chain is in the groove on the bar. Tighten the
bar nuts finger tight.

Tension the chain by using the combination wrench. Turn the chain adjuster screw
clockwise. The chain should be tensioned until it fits snugly on the underside of the bar. Hold up the tip of the bar and tighten the chain. The chain is correctly tensioned when there is no slack on the underside of the bar, but it can still be turned easily by hand. Hold up the bar tip and tighten the bar nuts with the combination wrench.

When fitting a new chain, the chain tension has to be checked frequently until the chain is run-in. Check the chain tension regularly. A correctly tensioned chain gives good cutting performance and long lifetime.

ZOOM QUILT: Check this out - very COOL!!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

DON'T FORGET - Spring Forwad

Turn your clocks forward at midnight, tonite!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Berland's Fun Committee Meeting Minutes

Some ideas for fun at Berland's -

Food Eating Contest
Tar and Feather Tim (managers)
Dress Up Day
Customer Family Day w/ kids -
Fish Pond
DIY Seminar (build a project)
Dice Roll for Discount
Ticket Number for discount
Bowling Alley for discount
Birthday discount (same b-day as customers)
Digital Camera (pictures of customers)
Build project for donation to charity
Cookout day
Pancake Breakfast

Sale Flyer

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Berland's Muddy Boots Sale

Saturday April 2nd and Sunday April 3rd

15% Off our Entire Stock!!

Special Store Hours - 9am till 3 pm both days.

These are the lowest prices you'll see until the September Tool Blowout. Don't be a tool fool! Come in and SAVE.

Wear Sunscreen

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ['99]:

Wear sunscreen.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.
I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.
Oh, never mind.
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded.
But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.
You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don't worry about the future.
Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind side you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts.
Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don't waste your time on jealousy.
Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind.
The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive.
Forget the insults.
If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters.
Throw away your old bank statements.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives.
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.
Get plenty of calcium.
Be kind to your knees.
You'll miss them when they're gone.
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't.
Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't .
Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.
Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either.
Your choices are half chance.
So are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body.
Use it every way you can.
Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it.
It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your livingroom.
Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines.
They will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents.
You never know when they'll be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings.
They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.
Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don't expect anyone else to support you.
Maybe you have a trust fund.
Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse.
But you never know when either one might run out.
Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.
Advice is a form of nostalgia.
Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Tool Tracks

The Songs of Tool TV

from Tools of the Trade Magazine March / April 2005

Rock out with our tool-nutty friends from Berland's House of Tools and their new CD The Songs of Tool TV, greatest hits taken from 10 year's of owner Dwight Sherman's Chicago area TV show. There's something for everyone on this tool-themed CD, whether you fancy hard rock or easy listening.
Beyond the novelty of the lyrics, the music and production are really good. I've had the thing blasting in my shop for a month now and still get a kick out of it. My favorite track so far is the Tom Petty-sounding "At the Jobsite," a worker's lament if I've ever heard one. If you dig Bob Seger then you'd swear he's singing "...come on babe let's have some fun...I've got a brand new 'Cordless Autofeed Screwgun.'" Country fan? Try crooning along to "I'm Giving You a Tool for Christmas." As producer Roger Bain puts it. "I recommend that this CD be played at a loud volume, when you are in a fairly good mood."
The CD costs about $10. For more info call 847-590-8244 or visit


Cheapest Gas links

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Rise of Smart Buildings

Building-automation systems used to function in separate technology silos. Now vendors are rapidly adopting IP, Web services and other technologies that are beginning to converge with traditional IT infrastructures.

News Story by Robert L. Mitchell

MARCH 14, 2005 (COMPUTERWORLD) - At Panasonic Corporation of North America's headquarters, a project is under way to replace wall-mounted thermostats with individual, virtual thermostats controlled by PCs. Real estate management firm Kenmark Group in San Francisco created an operations center to save energy by centrally monitoring and controlling the multiple office buildings it manages. The system includes a common Web portal and uses XML and an IP backbone network to "talk" to components within individual buildings.

Toronto Pearson International Airport is tying a flight information database to heating, lighting and air conditioning systems at each gate in order to restrict energy use to those periods when gate areas are occupied.

As building automation systems (BAS) that control heat, air conditioning, lighting and other building systems get smarter, they're converging with traditional IT infrastructures. Emerging standards are enabling data sharing between building systems as well as with other business applications, improving efficiency and real-time control over building operating costs. Information security concerns, immature standards, the reluctance of vendors to give up proprietary technologies and ignorance among IT professionals of the convergence trend are all slowing the pace of this transformation, but it's gathering momentum.

Facilities managers are driving the change by demanding more-open systems. They're pushing BAS vendors to transform today's closed technologies into Web-enabled applications running over industry-standard IP networks. And the management of BAS is likely to increasingly fall to IT.

"IT folks are entering an era where virtually everything is converging in their direction, and it broadens their horizons tremendously," says Rick LeBlanc, president of HVAC products at Siemens Building Technologies in Buffalo Grove, Ill. IT won't operate BASs, but it will serve the facilities staff as a customer in much the same way it does accounting and other departments today, he says.

Many large companies already have centralized BASs that monitor and control the environment throughout large buildings and across campuses. These systems have begun to migrate to more open IT infrastructures in much the same way that telephone systems and IT networks have converged.

"Right now, there is a clamor to integrate control systems into IT networks," says Tom Hartman, principal at The Hartman Co., a consultancy in Georgetown, Texas. But the trend is likely to go well beyond that. Today's BASs typically include a network of sensors and other devices connected to controllers on each floor, a master controller for a building or campus, a Web server front end for monitoring building systems, and a back-end database for storing historical data (see diagram, page 28). But as intelligence continues to move into actuators, chillers, security cameras, sensors and other elements of building systems, these devices will increasingly communicate as peers via Web services, allowing BASs to be more flexible and integrate better with other systems.

"Next-generation buildings will be much more [integrated] than simply having the building automation system use the IT network," says LeBlanc.

"The long-term vision is that you'll be able to physically control everything based on preferences, criteria and business rules," says Joshua Aaron, president of Business Technology Partners Inc., a New York-based consultancy that helps companies physically move their IT infrastructures and data centers. But, he adds, "I don't see a lot of companies springing for it yet."

Open standards are just beginning to evolve and will likely break down the silos between building systems ranging from physical security to elevator controls. And the data from those systems is likely to be shared with other business applications such as the accounting system. This will allow for more-efficient buildings as applications are developed that can capitalize on newly converged data streams and real-time access to data.

"Standards will allow data to be shared between the two systems, and business decisions can be made [based] on that merged data," says Ron Zimmer, president of the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) in Ottawa. But this nascent trend has largely gone unnoticed by IT organizations, Zimmer says. "It's being driven by the building side."

In the past, controlling the heat involved a call to the facilities person in the basement, who would turn valves to adjust the temperature. Current automated systems use sensors to detect comfort level and actuators to control the valves, but little else has changed.

"The first step with systems when they get computerized is you pave the cow path," says Toby Considine, chairman of the OASIS Open Building Information Exchange (OBIX) committee, which was formed in April 2003 to develop a standard, Web-based set of building-control system interfaces.

Converged Nets

Standardization has started from the bottom up. Proprietary cabling systems in networks that link sensors and other devices to controllers on individual floors have given way in recent years to two competing, open protocols, BACnet and LonTalk, while floor controllers are migrating onto IP backbones.

Barry Haaser, executive director of LonMark International, says LonTalk and BACnet will prevail at the device level for technical and cost reasons. Others aren't so sure. "Instead of two guys running the IT and controls networks, why not one guy? I see IP going down to the individual device," says Anno Scholten, chief technology officer at BAS vendor Plexus Technology Ltd. in Irving, Texas.

But sharing the IP backbone raises security concerns among network administrators. Yale University is starting a project to consolidate its BAS onto an IP network that will link 210 campus buildings, and it plans to tie the BAS into a room-scheduling system that will automatically control energy usage based on room occupancy. For security reasons, Bill Daniels, manager of systems and technologies for the university's facilities group, has created an isolated, parallel network that's protected by firewalls and uses nonroutable IP addresses to keep data off the Internet.

Jerry Hill, director of systems engineering at Yale, says security is paramount. "We don't want a student to hack into our building management systems just because they can," he says.

The problem is that Daniels wants to integrate the BAS with the university's accounting system for billing and chargeback, but facilities staffers who log in remotely typically can't get a static IP address from their Internet service providers.

Security is a problem at multiple levels, says Considine. Control system manufacturers have rudimentary password security mechanisms, but most have "no concept of directory-enabled security," he says. This worries Mark Kendall, CEO of Kenmark Group. "In some of our buildings, you can access the front door locks. Security is a very serious matter," he says.

Web Enablement

The pieces for successful IT/BAS integration aren't all in place yet. "Various XML groups are developing schemas to interface the building systems to the business systems," says Kirk McElwain, technical director at CABA. But right now, the lack of an industrywide language to program controls is an impediment, says Considine. He expects XML-based schemas to evolve but says basic interfaces must come first. What's needed is an abstraction layer so that programmers or other users don't have to understand control systems, he says.

For example, Johnson Controls Inc. developed a system for Toronto Pearson International Airport that's designed to allow its Airport Traffic Information Management System (ATIMS) to control lighting and heating at gates as air traffic controllers update flight information. The ATIMS database can pass an encrypted XML message via SOAP to a control system that brings up heat and lights at a gate.

Michael Riseborough, the airport's general manager of building and facilities, says that's just one part of an ongoing integration process.

The OBIX initiative includes a draft discovery service to allow sensors and other devices to plug and play. OASIS is also working on an alarm service that will offer a common interface for alerts and a service for recording historical data such as room temperatures. Industry-specific services are also under discussion, Considine says. "If OBIX works, we may have more Web services that are OBIX-related than all other Web services combined," he says.

Users are already experimenting with Web-based interfaces and XML. Kenmark Group can query sensors and other devices on its LonTalk network by way of a gateway. Updates go to a central database in its operations center. But integration isn't always easy.

Estructures Inc. offers a hosted BAS service that uses SOAP and XML to interface with customers' building-control systems through a LonTalk gateway device. But the interface only goes so deep. "It's only a veneer. Oddly enough, [customers] seem to be comfortable with that," says Scholten, former vice president at the Austin-based company. But behind the scenes, integrating with customers' building-control systems isn't as easy as it should be. "Because there are no standards, we're doing a lot of self-invention," he says.

BAS vendors continue to move cautiously and cling to proprietary interfaces, but Hartman says the industry will move on with or without them. "I don't think it's going to be the control companies that are going to lead the way on this. It's going to be the IT manufacturers," he says.

Companies that outsource IT to companies such as IBM often ask if the vendor can manage the BAS also, says Robert Frazier, an executive consultant at IBM. Today's systems are just too proprietary to gain the economies of scale necessary to do that profitably, he says. But emerging standards will make it possible to manage these systems within IT management frameworks.

"This is really emerging," says Mark Cherry, marketing manager at Honeywell International Inc. in Morristown, N.J. "Because IT's infrastructure is leveraged to knit this together, IT is becoming the glue."

Building System/IT Convergence

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Using a Power Drill

Baby with power drillGirl holding power drill with both hands

Dentist using large power drillDentist using right angle power drill

Drill toasting marshmallow

Drill bit against woodPower drill cartoon

Thursday, March 17, 2005

CPSC, DEWALT® Industrial Tool Co. Announce Recall of Battery Chargers

Dewalt Website

DEWALT Recall Hotline: (866) 543-3401
CPSC Contact: Ken Giles, (301) 504-0580 Ext. 1184

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), DEWALT Industrial Tool Co., of Baltimore, Md., is voluntarily recalling about 1.7 million battery chargers used with cordless power tools. The battery chargers include two models of DEWALT (DW9107, DW9108) and two models of Black & Decker Industry & Construction™ (97015, 97016) brands. The battery charger can fail to automatically shut off after the battery is fully charged, which can cause the battery to burst, and poses fire, burn and electrical shock hazards to consumers.

DEWALT has received two reports of batteries bursting and consumers suffering injuries, including minor lacerations and a minor burn.

The DEWALT battery chargers have model numbers DW9107 and DW9108, which is written on the front of the charger. The recalled DEWALT chargers have date codes from 9616 through 9752 located on the bottom of the charger. The DEWALT chargers are black with yellow lettering. "DEWALT" is written on the front of the chargers.

The Black & Decker Industry & Construction battery chargers have model numbers 97015 and 97016. The model number is written on the front of the chargers. They have date codes from 9616 through 9752, which is located on the bottom of the chargers. The Black & Decker Industry & Construction chargers are black. "Black & Decker Industry and Construction" is written on the front of these chargers.

Home center and hardware stores sold these battery chargers nationwide from May 1996 through August 2000 for between $50 and $ 60. During the same time, these chargers also were sold with some DEWALT® and Black & Decker Industry & Construction cordless tools.

Consumers should stop using these battery chargers immediately, and take them to a DEWALT or Black & Decker service center for a free replacement. To locate the nearest service center, or for more information, call DEWALT toll-free at (866) 543-3401 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or go to service center locator at DEWALT's web site.

Based in Baltimore, MD, DEWALT manufactures and markets high performance industrial power tools and accessories for residential and industrial construction, professional remodeling and woodworking applications. For more information on the full line of DEWALT high performance tools and accessories, contact DEWALT Industrial Tool Co. at 701 E. Joppa Road, TW425, Baltimore, MD 21286; phone toll-free at 1-800-4-DEWALT (1-800-433-9258) or visit us at

For additional news and editorial inquiries contact Warschawski Public Relations , 410-367-2700

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Need a Building? Just Add Water

By Rowan Hooper

02:00 AM Mar. 15, 2005 PT

In a world with millions of refugees, numerous war zones and huge areas devastated by natural disaster, aid agencies and militaries have long needed a way to quickly erect shelters on demand.

Soon, there will be such a method. A pair of engineers in London have come up with a "building in a bag" -- a sack of cement-impregnated fabric. To erect the structure, all you have to do is add water to the bag and inflate it with air. Twelve hours later the Nissen-shaped shelter is dried out and ready for use.

The structure is intended to improve upon two current methods of providing emergency shelter: tents, which provide only poor protection, or prefabricated, portable buildings that are expensive and difficult to transport. Dubbed the Concrete Canvas, the shelter incorporates the best aspects of both forms. It is almost as easy to transport as a tent, but is as durable and secure as a portable building.

The inventors are engineers pursuing a master's degree in industrial design engineering at the Royal College of Art in London. William Crawford and Peter Brewin came up with the idea when they were thinking of an entry for the annual British Cement Association competition for new and innovative uses of concrete.

They thought of an inflatable concrete tent after hearing about inflatable structures that are built around broken gas pipes to carry out repairs.

"This gave us the idea of making a giant concrete eggshell for a shelter, using inflation to optimize the structure for a compressive load," said Brewin. "Eggs are entirely compressive structures with enormous strength for a very thin wall."

The idea won second prize in the cement association competition in 2004. Crawford and Brewin, who are both engineers and have worked, respectively, for the Ministry of Defense and as an officer in the British Army, were also inspired by the plaster-of paris-impregnated bandages used to set broken bones.

Crawford said he and Brewin have been developing the concept for 16 months and made eight full prototypes at one-eighth scale.

The inventors filed a patent, which covers the concept of creating structures using a cement-impregnated cloth bonded to an inflatable inner surface. Full-scale production is planned and could take off soon, as Concrete Canvas is short-listed for the New Business Challenge run by Imperial College London and the Tanaka Business School. The winner of the £25,000 ($48,000) prize will be announced next week.

The idea has already garnered several other awards, including the British Standards Institute Sustainable Design Award. This funded a trip to Uganda last year.

The pair spent a month meeting U.N. agencies and nongovernmental organizations, visiting refugee camps and demonstrating the prototype shelter. The response has been positive.

"If this was available now, we would buy 10 today," said Monica Castellarnau, program head for Medicins Sans Frontieres in Uganda.

Aid agency chiefs have been impressed by the simplicity and economy of the idea. A bag weighing 230 kilograms (approximately 500 pounds) inflates into a shelter with 16 square meters (172 square feet) of floor space. Cost is estimated at £1,100 ($2,100), while an equivalent-size Portakabin (a type of portable building widely used in the United Kingdom) costs about £4,000 ($7,700). The same-size tent costs about £600 ($1,150).

Concrete Canvas comes folded in a sealed plastic sack. The volume of the sack controls the water-to-cement ratio, eliminating the need for water measurement. You literally just add water.

"The shelter can also be delivered sterile," said Crawford. "This allows previously impossible surgical procedures to be performed in situ from day one of a crisis."

Markus Hohl, a lecturer on the Industrial Design Engineering course, praised the successful teamwork of Crawford and Brewin. "They've come up with a design that integrates plastic to inflate the structure and doubles as the inner skin; a wicking fabric that draws the water in and an external resin of concrete which holds the thing together: Concrete Canvas is triple clever."

Gareth Jones, former product development director of the award-winning vacuum-cleaner maker Dyson, admires the design simplicity and functionality of Concrete Canvas.

"The Concrete Canvas product tackles the key issues of portability, ease of assembly, durability and cost," he said. "The applications in the humanitarian field are immediate and obvious, but there are many other fields where this technology could successfully be deployed."

TTI buys Milwaukee and AEGtools business

Hong Kong-based Techtronic In-dustries Co. Ltd. (TTI) has entered into a stock purchase agreement to acquire Atlas Copco AB’s electric power tool and accessories business.
That business is currently conducted through Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp.and Atlas Copco Electric Tools GmbH and certain other entities under the brand names “Milwaukee®” and “AEG®.”
The net purchase price was set at $626.6 million on a debt-free basis.
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory clearances and customary closing conditions, is expected to close prior to the end of 2004.
“With their 80-year histories, Milwaukee is one of the most widely respected brands in the professional contractor market segment and in Europe, AEG brings an additional highly respected brand to our portfolio,” said Horst J. Pudwill, chairman and CEO of TTI.
“This acquisition takes advantage of our marketing and distribution networks and enhances our reach into the industrial/construction channel and power tool accessory market.
”Under the acquisiton, Milwaukee, AEG, Drebo® and their employees would join TTI’s employee base and product line consisting of Ryobi power tools and outdoor products, Homelite consumer products and the Dirt Devil® line of cleaning equipment.
“The TTI Group is particularly excited about the superb engineering and man-ufacturing expertise represented at Milwaukee and AEG,” Pudwill said. “This acquired expertise will further enhance our global ability to expand our entire prod-uct portfolio and enables us to work with Milwaukee’s strong dealer base in the United States, an important distribution channel for the professional contractor. Additionally, Milwaukee, AEG and Drebo complement our Ryobi® brand of consumer power tools and accessories.
”Founded in 1985, TTI is a leading manufacturer and supplier of home im-provement and floor care products, employing more than 16,000 people world-wide. TTI’s global brand portfolio in-cludes Ryobi power tools, Homelite® and Ryobi outdoor power equipment, Royal, Dirt Devil, Regina® and VAX® floor care appliances.
Milwaukee is a leading producer and seller of heavy-duty portable electric tools and accessories. It designs and sells a substantial range of professional drills, Sawzalls®, circular saws, grinders and hammers as well as accessories designed for specific applications such as diamond drill rigs and Steel Hawg cutting systems.
Atlas Copco Electric Tools GmbH is located in Winnenden near Stuttgart/Germany and is responsible for developing, manufacturing and distribution of high-quality portable power tools under the AEG and Milwaukee brands and accessories. The products are marketed through a number of sales companies worldwide, with a main business focus on Europe, Asia, Australia, and South Africa and target mainly the professional market such as the construction industry and high-end user.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

CPSC, Robert Bosch Tool Corp. Announce Recall of Skil® Table Saws

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the manufacturers named below, today announced voluntary recalls of the following consumer products. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of product: Skil® Table Saw Model 3400

Units: 120,000

Manufacturer: Robert Bosch Tool Corporation, of Mount Prospect, Ill.

Hazard: The blade drive mechanism may loosen or the motor can separate from the tool. Loosening of the blade drive mechanism can result in kickback of the item being sawed, resulting in possible laceration. Motor unit separation can cause the coasting saw blade to damage the saw wiring resulting in possible electric shock, or the separated motor could strike the user and cause injury.

Incidents/Injuries: Robert Bosch Tool Corporation has received eleven reports of loose or broken motors. No injury or property damage has been reported.

Description: Only Skil® table saws with model number 3400 printed on the front side of the table base with the date codes listed below are included in the recall. Date codes are printed on the upper right corner of the table base and include 2002 date codes 28501-28831, 2003 codes 38101-39231 and 2004 codes 48101-48811. The table saw holds a 10-inch blade and is made of metal tabletop with a red plastic base.

Sold at: Home Depot, Lowe’s and Menards as well as independent hardware retailers nationwide from July 2002 through October 2004 for between $149 and $199.

Manufactured in: Taiwan

Remedy: Contact Robert Bosch Tool Corporation to receive a repair kit. The kit includes hardware and instructions for installation.

Consumer Contact: Robert Bosch Tool Corporation at (800) 351-5788 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or visit the Skil Web site at


Send the link for this page to a friend! The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $700 billion annually. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed significantly to the 30 percent decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or visit CPSC's web site at To join a CPSC email subscription list, please go to Consumers can obtain this release and recall information at CPSC's Web site at

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Blogging Raver

Berland's Blog 1.0
Just wanted to say, "Job well done" to the famous blogging raver. Keep up the good internet work!!!

PANASONIC - Important Battery Pack Recall Notice

Recall Notice

The continued safe operation of your Panasonic Cordless Power Tool(s) is of paramount importance to all of us here at Panasonic. That's why we're working closely with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to recall six (6) models of Panasonic Power Tool Battery Packs. Not all Panasonic Battery Packs are affected by this recall, but some packs could detach from the power tool unexpectedly and injure a consumer, or bystander, if struck by the battery pack. To date, no injuries have been reported - and we want to keep it that way! So...

If you own a Battery Pack model EY9230, EY9136, EY9231, EY9200, EY9106 or EY9201 manufactured between May 1, 2001 and November 20, 2002, stop using the battery and contact Panasonic at 800-833-9626 between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday (The model number and date code are stamped on the top of the battery pack). Our customer service representatives will assist you in determining whether your Battery Pack(s) are subject to the recall and, if so, will arrange free replacement(s).

Again, your safety is our foremost concern and we appreciate your cooperation in this recall.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

It's NOT about E-Commerce (The Electronics); It's about R-Commerce (The Relationships)

Terry Brock

by Terry L. Brock, MBA, CSP
We live in an E-crazed world. Everywhere you turn you hear about E-Commerce, E-this and E-that. Seems that some are thinking you only have to put an E in front of a word and you are in the digital age. How ridiculous!

No matter how sophisticated our technology gets, we still are working with human beings. This is something the wise and successful businessperson knows. The technology of 100 years ago was amazing at its time but it still required the human connection. 100 years from today we’ll use technology that will make our latest MP3 files and miniature chips in cellular phones look like 12th century crossbows.

Yet, in spite of all the E-Commerce real success comes from R-Commerce, Relationship Commerce It is the relationship that you have with the customer that matters most. Yes, this is more important than the price. Price can bring in a transaction. It can work for a short time but it is the long-term relationships that you establish that will keep customers coming back again and again. If you base your business on price alone, you’ll be blown out of the water when the next new business comes along that can undercut you (and they will eventually).

Case in point: is viewed as the poster child of E-Commerce. Jeff Bezos was Time Magazine’s Man of the Year because of the changes that he brought to our way of life. The company has focused on helping customers to feel comfortable to purchase not only books, but CDs, videos, GIFts and many other items of importance to their customers.

Is’s success due to the fact that they have the lowest prices? Anyone who can click to one of’s competitors knows that you can often buy the same product cheaper elsewhere. In the age of clicking to competitors, why doesn’t everyone just leave in a mouse click and go to the competition? In the age of sophisticated price shopping robots (like and how can stay in business if they don’t have the cheapest prices? And yes, profit is in the picture for but they are building infrastructure and top-of-mind presence now. The profits are in the picture and will come in the future.

How can Dell Computer stay in business if they’ve built their business around the web? In the spirit of full disclosure, Dell Computer is a client of mine and I’m seeing up close what they do right to get and retain customers. Dell computers are not always the cheapest computers. You can even get some reliable computers from their competition at good prices. How is it that they keep their customers in light of lower-priced competitors?

Well, the answer is that price alone will not do it. and Dell Computer both provide several things that are critical for success in R-Commerce.

Reliability. Make sure your customers can rely on you. This means having technology that works and the good ole’ fashioned customer service that works. Dell computers are good and consistently hold up well in reviews and real world experience.

Passion. A passion to satisfy customers can build loyalty. My friend Jeffrey Gitomer says that customer satisfaction is worthless but customer loyalty is priceless. When you talk with the people at or Dell Computer you hear it in their voices and see it in their eyes. They love their customers and want to do what they can to make customers want to come back again and again. They focus on the fourth or fifth sale, not just the first.

Consistency. Both and Dell computer make it a point to be consistent in their approach to technology and customers. Note their websites and how simple they are, yet rich in content. Notice they provide this familiarity over and over.

Adaptability. started with books and expanded to other areas that customers like. Are they in the book business? No way. They are in the “making customers giddy with glee” business. What kind of business are you in? If you answer that with a given product or service, reframe your perspective. Think of areas where your customers need help and aren’t getting what they want now. Adapt to the new opportunities that await you.

“Sam Drucker” Approach. I grew up watching programs like “Petticoat Junction” and “Green Acres” on television. Both of these shows featured a character named Sam Drucker who was the General Store manager. He was kind, fun, funny and a bit goofy at times. However, he knew his customers and their needs by name. He was part of the family. Your customers want someone who can help them in their specific requests and make technology personable. Use data mining, CRM (customer relationship management) software and data collection technology to get to know your customer. Then use that information for their good. Think like Sam Drucker.

E-Commerce is the buzz word today. Yes, having the right technology is not only a good idea but imperative for success in today’s business world. But don’t loose sight of the fact that it is always about R-Commerce, Relationship Commerce. Building and enhancing relationships through technology, personal contact and meeting customers’ needs is what it is all about. It was before, it is now and it will be that way for the next 100 years.

Enjoy your visit to my Website!


Find out how using R-Commerce can change your business and increase your sales and revenue. Terry regularly speaks to groups in the US and around the world giving them real-world, practical ideas on how to develop and nurture relationship. He is a marketing coach who helps business owners market more effectively leveraging technology. Terry can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at or through his website at

Copyright © 2004, Terry Brock, All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used in any way without prior written permission. Permission granted to Biz Journals to use in regular publications.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Thanks Dwight!

Read this and make a copy for your files in case you need to refer to
it someday. Maybe we should all take some of his advice!

A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his

1. The next time you order checks have only your initials (instead of
first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes your checkbook,
they will not know if you sign your checks with just your initials or
your first name, but your bank will know how you sign your checks.

2. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO
NOT put the complete account number on the "For" line. Instead, just
put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of
the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes
through all the check processing channels won't have access to it.

3. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If
you have a PO Box use that instead of your home address. If you do not
have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on
your checks. (DUH!) You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have it
printed, anyone can get it.

4. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both
sides of each license, credit card, etc You will know what you had in
your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and
cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. I also carry a photocopy of
my passport when I travel either here or abroad. We've all heard horror
stories about fraud that's committed on us in stealing a name, address,
Social Security number, credit cards. Unfortunately, I, an attorney,
have firsthand knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month. Within
a week, the thieve(s) ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package,
applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a
Gateway computer, received a PIN number from DMV to change my driving
record information online, and more. But here's some critical information
to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:

1. We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. But
the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so
you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.

2. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your
credit cards, etc. were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were
diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever
is one).

But here's what is perhaps most important of all : (I never even
thought to do this.)

3. Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to
place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. I had never
heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an
application for credit was made over the Internet in my name. The alert
means any company that checks your credit knows your information was
stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit By
the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft,
all the damage had been done. There are records of all the credit checks
initiated by the thieves' purchases, none of which I knew about before
placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and
the thieves threw my wallet away. This weekend (someone turned it in).
It seems to have stopped them dead in their tracks.

Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about your
wallet, etc has been stolen:

1.) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285

2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742

3.) Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289

4.) Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271

We pass along jokes on the Internet; we pass along just about

But if you are willing to pass this information along, it could really
help someone that you care about.

Congratulations : Nicole Montmarquette

You are Today's

CPSC, DEWALT Industrial Tool Co. Announce Recall to Repair 12-inch Miter Saws

Press Release

DEWALT Recall Hotline: (888) 771-4540
CPSC Contact: Ken Giles, (301) 504-0580 Ext. 1184

CPSC, DEWALT® Industrial Tool Co. Announce Recall to Repair 12-inch Miter Saws

WASHINGTON, D.C.– In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), DEWALT® Industrial Tool Co., of Baltimore, Md., is voluntarily recalling about 112,000 12-inch miter saws (Models DW704 TY1, DW705 TY1), which make angled cuts. Bolts on the saws can loosen and the blade could detach, posing a risk of lacerations to consumers.

DEWALT has received seven reports of consumers with lacerations when the blades on these saws detached.

The recall involves only 12-inch DEWALT miter saws with model numbers DW704 TY1 and DW705 TY1. The model numbers are located on the nameplate on the top of the saw’s housing. The saws are yellow with black accents. The recalled miter saws have date codes from 9201 through 9340. The date code is stamped into the end cap or back of the saws.

Home centers and hardware stores sold these miter saws nationwide from January 1992 through December 1993 for between $330 and $410.

Consumers should stop using these saws immediately, and call DEWALT to receive a free replacement bolt to repair the saw. For more information or to order the repair kit, call DEWALT toll-free at (888) 771-4540 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or go to their support web site at

No other DEWALT miter saws are involved in this recall.

Based in Baltimore, MD, DEWALT manufactures and markets high performance industrial power tools and accessories for residential and industrial construction, professional remodeling and woodworking applications. For more information on the full line of DEWALT high performance tools and accessories, contact DEWALT Industrial Tool Co. at 701 E. Joppa Road, TW425, Baltimore, MD 21286; phone toll-free at 1-800-4-DEWALT (1-800-433-9258) or visit us at

For additional news and editorial inquiries contact Warschawski Public Relations , 410-367-2700

Monday, March 07, 2005

Common Tool Schematic links

Adobe Reader required for most schematics, get it here.

As of 3/7/05, the "Enter the Model Number below" feature isn't working, you can still find your tool by clicking "View all Owners Manuals / Parts Diagrams" then selecting your model. Schematics are in PDF format and require Adobe Reader.

Select your model number from the drop down list box and hit search. Schematics and Usage Manuals are in PDF format and require Adobe Reader.

Straight forward and reliable page. Put in your model (catalog) number, click go and results are displayed. You may be asked to select from close matches or from several types. Schematics are in PDF format and require Adobe Reader.

Finding schematics is not so straight forward, yet simple here nonetheless. Put the model number in the search bar. On the next page, select your product from the list. Product page will have links on the bottom for parts list and owners manual in PDF format and will require Adobe Reader.

Still a work in progress. Check back frequently.

One of the easiest sites that I've had the pleasure of using, either enter your model and click go or if model is unknown, narrow down the search by selecting a tool type, then select from results links for user's manuals and parts breakdown in PDF format which will require Adobe Reader.

A very thorough site containing most of Milwaukee's line including older models. Catalog (model) number and serial number are required in many cases. Parts diagrams and wiring are provided in PDF format which will require Adobe Reader.

MK Diamond
Select tool category, then select links for your model's manual and parts list or exploded view and parts list. All are in PDF format which will require Adobe Reader.

Select your model from a list of tools. Mostly new models. All are in PDF format which will require Adobe Reader.

Menu doesn't seem to be working, Check back frequently.

Select your tool model from a list. Drawings are in PDF format, you know the drill.

Choose link to Senco Tools European, Senco Tools Global and USA, Senco Compressor USA or Accuset tools. Select your model, Drawings are in PDF format.

Small database of common Skil models. Select model and see the diagram in PDF.

Have a blog, lose your job?

Workers with Web logs are everywhere, and they're starting to make corporate America very nervous.

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Mark Jen landed a dream job with Google Inc. in January. He was fired less than a month later.

His infraction? He ran a Web log, where he freely gabbed about his impressions of life at the Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet search giant.

Web logs, or blogs, the online personal diaries where big names and no names expound on everything from pets to presidents, are going mainstream. While still a relatively small piece of total online activity, blogging has caught on with affluent young adults. As Forrester Research analysts recently noted, blogging will become increasingly common as these consumers age.

For companies, the growing popularity of blogs is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, corporate managers recognize the power of word-of-mouth as a sales tool. On the other hand, they're acutely aware of the dangers inherent in the rapid and widespread dissemination of company information.

"Blogs are enabling people to have a conversation with a much wider audience," said Kurt Opsahl, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a group that monitors Internet use and privacy rights. "They're saying the same things that people would routinely say around the water cooler, only now they're saying them in a forum that can be read by millions of people."

Even though employee blogging ranks behind personal Internet and e-mail use at work, Google and other companies are starting to crack down.

A former Delta Air Lines flight attendant claims she was fired in November over pictures she posted on her personal blog that she says the airline deemed "inappropriate." Friendster, an online social networking site, canned an employee last summer for her online musings about the company. And a Microsoft contractor lost his gig after posting on the Web photos of Apple computers arriving at the software giant's Redmond, Wash., headquarters.

Bloggers besieged
Employee bloggers aren't the only ones feeling the heat. In recent months Apple Computer has launched legal attacks against operators of at least three Internet sites -- not run by Apple employees -- that allegedly posted or linked to information that the Cupertino, Calif., maker of the iPod portable music player claims is proprietary.

A few of these targets are fighting back.

Ellen Simonetti, the former Delta stewardess whose "Queen of the Sky" online persona got her fired, has filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. The operators of sites targeted by Apple claim their postings, like those of a newspaper article, are protected under the First Amendment.

But employee and non-employee bloggers don't have the same legal protections.

Workers who rant or rave about bosses online -- whether it's done on the company clock or at home -- generally don't have a strong defense.

In most states, employees who don't have a contract are considered "at-will," which means they can quit at any time and for any reason. Conversely, employers have the right to fire them at any time and for any reason, except for well-known exceptions like race, age or gender.

So whether a supervisor discovers an underling ridiculing his thinning hair at the company elevator bank, at a local bar after work, or on the worker's personal blog doesn't matter. In either instance, the boss can turn around and say, " 'We don't need you. Why don't you go work for someone else?' " said Margaret Edwards, a partner with Littler Mendelson, a national law firm that represents employers.

Cliff Palefsky, a San Francisco employment lawyer, says there's a false sense that employers can't punish their workers for voicing personal opinions -- on their blogs or anywhere else. "People mistakenly believe that the First Amendment protects them in the workplace, which is generally not the case," he said.

There are a handful of exceptions. Several states, including California, specifically protect workers from retaliation for their political views. Other states have broader protections covering "off-the-job" activities, said Palefsky.

Even those safety nets have limits when it comes to bad-mouthing the boss. "If you're going to be talking about your employer, it's hard to call that 'off-the-job' conduct," said Palefsky.

Scare tactics?
The odds are much greater that the non-employee Web sites recently targeted by Apple can fend off the computer company's attack, legal experts said. and, two of the Web sites involved in the Apple case, posted or linked to information about a future software interface dubbed "Asteroid," according to Opsahl, the Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyer who is defending the sites.

Apple, in a lawsuit filed in California state court in December, claims the product leaks violated its trade secrets and wants the site operators to disclose the source's identity. But Opsahl counters that the site operators, like news reporters, are protected under the First Amendment as well as California state law.

Eugene Volokh, a UCLA law professor and expert on free speech and the Internet, said that the journalist defense is potent. "There's just no way that Apple can win," he said.

Even if Apple and other companies triumph in their campaigns against bloggers, their ability to control online diarists is inherently limited, said Doug Isenberg, an Atlanta lawyer and operator of, a technology-law site (See correction).

"The problem with a lot of these issues is, once the cat is out of the bag and the information has been disclosed, it can't be undisclosed," said Isenberg. "A lot of what these companies are trying to do is to deter other people from doing the same kind of things."

Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified Isenberg's first name as Neil. (Go to the corrected paragraph.)

Fortunately, I got permission from the Dwight to put up this blog.


Sunday, March 06, 2005

Are you a contractor? Check out this national rating site for customers and builders!

Sour Patch

I heard about this on the radio. It's a rating site for contractors to leave information on bogus or excellent customers and builders.

From the website -

"Why choose Sour Patch List? We offer over 30 different contracting trades from Electricians to Painters and much,much more. Save time and money! Know your customer before you even go to your first estimate. Servicing all 50 States! Sour Patch List is only for the contractor. Customers can not pay to be on this list nor can they view any of the ratings. Sour Patch List is a rating service that is membership based. Contractors can leave or view ratings on customers in 4 catagories. - Payment History; Working Conditions; Customer Difficulty; and Over-All Rating. "

Sour Patch List collects contractors’ information on local builders and customers in all 50 states.

We gather information from thousands of hard working professional contractors and service techs regarding how positive or negative their overall experience was with a builder or customer.

This service will help you save time, money, and aggravation. Sour Patch List will give you a preview of your up coming builder or client projects.

You will also be informed if your new found client pays promptly or has a safe working environment for you to work in. Take the guess work out of your construction projects. Sour Patch List will help you decide if this is truly a job you want, or should avoid.

Together we can make a stand and voice our opinions for a change! The Sour Patch List was created for all the hard working contractors to unite and voice our views.

Sounds like a great idea!!


Saturday, March 05, 2005

Tuckpointing Tool Basics

Cutting with the diamond blade requires special attention to maintain a consistent cut in the joint line.
Newer tools of the trade make tuckpointing easier and a lot less dusty. Workers and OSHA both appreciate the difference.

By Bill Glynn Jr.
Sawtec, Inc.
Fresno, Texas

Factories and other buildings made of masonry and brick are marvels, especially the older structures in industrial cities like New York and Chicago. Consider the material and labor involved with construction of these facilities, where every brick or block was placed by hand and every joint worked with a trowel — it is astounding. This is especially true when compared with today's more efficient building methods.

What is also astounding is the realization that during the expected life span of these buildings, every one of those same mortar joints will need to be cut, cleaned and refilled with fresh mortar, often several times. This restoration process, known as tuckpointing, is part of the standard maintenance package for brick and block buildings. A large specialized industry has evolved out of the need for this kind of maintenance, with contractors dedicated to the repair of masonry and brick structures.

Why Tuckpointing?
Why perform tuckpointing? The most common (and obvious) reason is to remove weather- and age-deteriorated mortar from the bed and head joints on buildings, monuments, chimneys and other brick or block structures. Aging and damaged mortar joints become a waterproofing problem, and eventually a structural issue, if not repaired. This means that, as a rule of thumb, tuckpointing is performed roughly every 20 years to make sure mortar deterioration does not undermine the structure. However, tuckpointing is not always limited to older structures. It can also be used for newer jobs where mortar may have been damaged or needs to be replaced because of problems with finish or color. With the trend today toward colored mortar mixes, this is even more relevant.

Tools of the Trade
It's been said that technology has a funny way of solving a big problem by leaving you with a bunch of smaller ones. Tuckpointing is no exception. Historically, tuckpointing was performed with manual tools: chisels, wire brushes and pointing trowels. Then contractors used pneumatic saws or electric, right-angle grinders and abrasive disks to grind out worn and damaged mortar. The biggest problem with these methods was the limitation of masonry blade technology. It was not uncommon for grinding disks to wear out very quickly (sometimes in minutes) or even fail while in use. This caused huge amounts of down-time, as well as worker safety concerns.

The development of tools that used a wet cutting diamond blade brought temporary relief. These tools, largely due to the use of diamond blades instead of abrasive disks, allowed for higher productivity and a more efficient means of cutting mortar. The problem with early diamond tools is that they required water as a coolant during use. This created a new set of difficulties: getting water to the site and all along the building, dealing with the wet slurry during and after the cutting process, and additional safety concerns associated with water and electricity on the same job site.

Luckily, diamond blade technology continued to evolve and new cutting devices were developed. Laser welding and better methods for manufacturing man-made diamonds produced a long-life diamond blade that could be run without a coolant: the dry diamond blade. This blade type has evolved to become the primary cutting tool for masonry and concrete cutting and is used in most tuckpointing applications today. This development allowed contractors to return to a dry cutting method using electric tools, the preferred solution for tuckpointing. However, as with other developments, this one also created its own set of problems.

The process of cutting out mortar can be very dusty and messy. Thousands of pounds of material, ranging from fine dust and sand to chips and chunks of mortar or block can be removed from a large project. At one time, the contractor was only responsible for the material that fell to the ground. The light debris and dust?...Well, that was someone else's problem. It was not uncommon for large projects to have clouds of light dust billowing from the external walls. Winds carried the dust for blocks, coating cars, pedestrians, plants and everything else in its path.

It didn't take long for this dust to be considered a nuisance, and soon jobs were shut down because of complaints and contamination. With this change, the contractor was now responsible for getting all of the dust cleaned up, a nearly impossible task. Many contractors went back to wet cutting, as the headaches from this type of clean up were far easier than the dry dust issues. Some contractors looked toward different types of secondary containment and dust collection devices similar to those that have been used in the abrasive blast industry for many years.

Most recently, regulatory groups have refined the rules of dust collection because of health and exposure issues. One of the latest recommendations is a point-of-process recovery of debris ‹ basically the use of special shrouding and dust collection systems to protect the operator as well as prevent environmental exposure of the fines produced during the cutting process.

New saws available on the market from several manufacturers address this issue. They use grinder motors to propel a dry cutting diamond blade. They have an enclosed shroud to control dust during the cutting process, which is then connected to a dust collection system via a flexible hose. During operation, dust and small particles are captured by the shroud and routed through the vacuum hose and into a dust collection system. These dust-controlling tools provide greater visibility when cutting. There are no dust clouds, and because these systems are designed to cut dry, there's no slurry produced that can block visibility. They also help remove small debris particles that can cause a blade to skip, interfering with the operator's ability to make uniform cuts. Additionally, clean-up time is dramatically reduced.

Tuckpointing Basics
Now that we know what tools are used in the tuckpointing process, let's discuss tuckpointing basics. The first step is to cut out the mortar joint, horizontally and vertically. Select a blade width that is slightly thinner (1/8-inch) than the joint to be cut. Tuckpointing blades are typically available in widths from 1/8- to 1/2-inch. Position the saw over the mortar joint and gently ease the blade into the joint. Cutting with a diamond blade requires special attention to maintain a consistent cut in the joint line. These types of cutting tools are capable of cutting brick or block as easily as they remove mortar, so a steady hand is a must. Many contractors find it works best to position the saw at a level somewhere between waist and chest height. This provides maximum visibility, good bracing stability and reduced worker fatigue.

Usually, material is removed to a depth of between 1/2 and 3/4 of an inch. In some extreme cases, greater depths need to be reached to find sound material. Also, where brick damage or settling has severely damaged the joint, full removal and brick replacement may be necessary.

Use of a special shrouding and dust collection systems protect the operator as well as prevent environmental exposure of the fines produced during the cutting process.

During the tuckpointing process, monitor the condition of the dust collection system and empty the dust bag when it reaches half full. A dust bag that is too full reduces or even stops the ability of the vacuum to work properly. A dust cloud is an indication that the bag is overloaded. To help avoid dust contamination when emptying the bag, wear gloves and an OSHA-approved lung protection device.

Once the bulk of the material has been removed, clean up and prepare the joints for new material. This entails chipping away any mortar remaining after cutting, brushing or rinsing out loose debris — the use of pressurized air to clean out debris is no longer recommended because of dust — and then performing any other special requirements a job may have.

Next, reapply material to the prepared joints. This process can be performed several ways, and much of this is based on the repair material chosen for the project. Matching the color of existing material is also important for a consistent finish.

In many cases, manufacturers recommended that the contractor first dampen the area where material is to be applied, then follow with several thin layers of mortar. Some repair materials can be applied at full depth. These materials can be applied manually or you can use "caulk guns" or other mechanical devices to inject the material into the joint. Whichever method is used, the mortar must be packed tightly into the joints. Any air gaps within the joint can trap water and cause failures under the stress of freeze-thaw cycles. Before the mortar fully sets, a final tooling will be performed to create a smooth, concave look. With a final cleaning after the mortar has cured, the job is complete.

Tuckpointing is a critical component of maintenance and repair for masonry and brick structures. Throughout the history of this industry, improvements in technology have allowed for better equipment and methods. Today's contractors have specialized tools such as dry cutting, shrouded saws that can provide improved environmental and worker protection, as well as higher productivity and efficiency.

Whirling Wheels

A tuckpointing grinder uses a wheel to remove material from the mortar joint. According to Ed Pchola, product manager for grinders at Robert Bosch Tool Corp., Chicago, Ill., their tuckpointing grinders, including the newly released 1775E model, use a diamond wheel. The wheel is 1/4-inch thick, more than the usual five-inch diamond saw blade, and coated with abrasive diamonds on the segments. The wheel can be adjusted for depths from 1/2- to 3/4-inch — which are common tuckpointing depths — up to 1 1/4-inches for serious cleaning.

The operator is protected by a two-sided guard or shield, an important consideration as, according to Pchola, tuckpointers tend to use the grinder inverted, which would cause the normally uncovered wheel to throw debris. The shield has an acrylic "view window" that allows the operator to see the joint as he or she works the job.

Bosch has made grinders for years, of course, but the new line is specifically designed for tuckpointing, incorporating the aforementioned features with easy wheel access for exchanging elements, a multi-position head for ease of use, and protected motor windings and switches to prolong tool life. It also has a vacuum attachment that, according to Pchola, provides dust removal at a rate of 95 percent or more. That means the tool meets Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) and OSHA's requirements for a clean, safe work area.

Weighing a little over five and a half pounds with an 11,000 RPM motor, the 1775E tuckpointing grinder should make completing tuckpointing less stressful and more worker-friendly, whether the job site is near the top of a high-rise or the bottom of a residential chimney.

Bill Glynn is National Product Manager for Sawtec, based in Houston, Texas. He has been involved with development and testing of dust reduction tools for many facets of concrete and masonry restoration.