The Importance of Upgrading Your Computer System

If you want to have a computer of your own, then you must understand one thing about them. You see, computers aren’t things you must dispose of after a number of years. It is something you can build on, improve and upgrade. A computer can last you a very long time. If there is one thing you need to know about computers it is that the only thing it needs for longevity is an upgrade. You shouldn’t be afraid to upgrade your system. Doubt is something that’s common with inexperienced computer users. But if you want to have a better system, one that lasts you a very long time, you have to open up to computer system upgrades. Here are a few upgrade suggestions depending on your needs.

If you start to notice a slowing of your systems, then you might need an internal hardware upgrade. A simpler approach would be to reformat your computer, but sometimes, that just won’t do. When it comes to computer speed, the key components are the memory and processor. Memory is very easy to upgrade. All you have to do is buys new memory chips and put them in the empty memory slots in your computer. The processor is a bit harder to change, though. First, you have to make sure the new processor you want is compatible with your current motherboard. If it isn’t then you can either look for another processor that’s compliant, or replace your motherboard with something that’s compatible with it.

Another upgrade you might want to do is shift to a dual monitor system. A dual monitor system is great for people who need to monitor many tasks at one time. This is also great for enhancing the gaming experience. If you want to shift to a dual monitor system, just invest on two LCD or LED monitors and ensure your video card can handle the dual monitor system. You can also invest on a dual monitor stand which saves you a whole lot of space even with two monitors on your desktop.

Upgrades are necessary to lengthen your computer’s life, and once you understand how you can easily upgrade your computer, you will enjoy a faster and more responsive PC without spending too much money on purchasing a new system.

Communication Style

Are you a watchmaker or a tell-timer? You know which you are when you think about your answer to the question, what is the time? A tell-timer would simply look at their watch and answer the question directly whereas a watchmaker will want to tell you how the watch works before getting round to telling you the time. Does that story strike a chord with you? If so, then you understand this particular dimension of communication style i.e. verbosity.

Some people are much more verbose than others. Such people, when you meet them in the morning and ask them how they are will give you such a lengthy story that, about fifteen minutes later, you are truly sorry you asked. Their communication style is what Linda McCallister refers to, in her book Say What You Mean, Get What You Want, as ‘Socratic’ after Socrates, of course, a lover of dialogue and, as we all know, a star of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

You will probably be able to bring to mind examples; people who you know who use this wordy communication style. The difficulty for them is that the devil is always in the detail. They want to answer your questions, but they are often tempted to provide additional detail as background and context in order that you might understand their eventual answer.

Contrast that style with those who, when you greet them in the morning, barely look up from their work, grunt and then get back to what they were doing. Such people – Linda likes to call their style ‘noble’ (after Rousseau’s Noble Savage) – have a direct and blunt communication style. In many respects their style is a direct opposite of the Socratic style; not just in terms of verbosity, but also in the overall approach to the discussion of any particular topic.

With nobles, the approach is top-down, preferring to stay at an overview level and drilling down into detail only when and where it is required. This is exactly the opposite of the Socratic style which revels in the detail and generally wants to tell, and hear, the entire story beginning at the beginning and ending at the end, no matter how long it takes.

A third extreme of communication style is known as the ‘reflective’ style. These are the people who are asking how you are in the first place. They are the people who say good morning, good evening, have a nice weekend and so on. They are social animals, unable to walk past each other on the stairs without nodding and saying ‘hi’. For reflectors, the important thing about communicating is the human aspects. They observe the rules of social interaction, they say please and thank you, they are courteous and they expect the same from others.

When dealing with reflectors, introductions are very important and so too is chit-chat. For them, getting right down to business after saying hello is simply too abrupt a transition. They prefer some social interaction in between the introduction and the information exchange which forms the body of the communication.

In her book, Linda describes three other styles, which are simply combinations of the three we have just discussed: she calls them the ‘magistrate’, the’ candidate’ and the ‘senator’. The magistrate style is a blended style, the combination of noble and Socratic. The candidate is a blend of the Reflective and Socratic styles. The Senator, however, is a dual style (rather than a blend) which switches between noble and reflective styles according to context.

Since the latter three styles are simply blends or combinations of the three pure styles, we only need to concern ourselves with understanding these first three i.e. noble, Socratic and reflective because your own style will be some combination of these three influences. It is very unlikely that you will be an extreme of one style or another.

Now it is important to note that each of these groups get along best with individuals who use their preferred styles, so a key principle in learning how to communicate effectively is understanding how to adjust our own style to cater for the preferences of the person we are addressing. In other words, if we are speaking with a noble – someone who calls a spade a spade – we need to adopt a straight-forward approach to communication. We need to answer questions directly, even if we feel the person might not understand the answer. And that’s exactly how nobles like to be dealt with; if they need anything clarifying, they will prefer to ask.

If we are dealing with a reflective, we need to ensure that we are polite, that we introduce ourselves properly, that we show some interest in them personally and conform to the social dimensions of the interaction. Simply getting involved in a little pre-amble or social chit-chat before getting down to talking turkey is all it takes to make a significant improvement in our ability to deal with this group.

With Socratic communicators, there is always the difficulty of time, especially in the workplace where time is usually at a premium. But remember that the detail that is being offered is generally not irrelevant. Socratic communicators are usually not off-topic, like reflectors. They are providing background and context that is relevant, so we need to make a mental effort to give them our full attention.

Remember that none of these pure styles or their derivatives (magistrate, senator and candidate) are right as such, although each of them thinks their way is right. Nobles think that communication should be top-down, talking at an overview level and drilling into detail only where necessary. Socratics think that all avenues of a topic need to be fully explored before making decisions. And reflectors believe that the most important part of the interaction is the social part.

So part of the art of communicating well is learning to listen not only to what is being said, but to how it is being said. Listen for verbosity and social content; just those two things, and you will be able to figure out the other person’s bias toward one of these styles. Once you understand that, simply give them what they want.

If you can practice this simple method of adjusting your own communication style, despite your own biases and preferences, you will begin to get on with people you previously found difficult. They won’t know what you are doing. They will know you are doing something different but, generally, they will be unable to put their finger on what it is. They will just know that they are getting along with you a lot easier.

Eventually, if you continue to practice this method, you will get better at it and, eventually, you will no longer even have to think about it because the whole approach will become a natural part of you. Try it out for a month and watch the results. You can have a great deal of fun working with the idea and, in addition, you will be significantly improving your ability to communicate.

All About ASAP, FYI and FYA

ONE day, a collegeague turned to me and asked, "What's FYI?"

"For your information."

"What's FYA?"

"For your action."

"What's WRT? "

"With reference to …"

Before the conversation dragged on any further, I quickly looked up a website on acronyms used in business communications and sent it to him via e-mail.

This conversation made me realize that the full meaning of many acronyms and abbreviations may not be immediately obvious for many people – students or working adults alike.

For starters, an acronym is a word created from combining the initial letters of each word. For example, For your action.

An abbreviation is a word shortened from its original form. For example, "Attn." is an abbreviation of the word "attention" to convey the meaning "for the attention of".

In general, a full stop is used for abbreviations where the last letter of the word and the abbreviation are not the same. For example, "Co." (Company) needs a full stop but "Ltd" (Limited) does not. Acronyms do not need punctuation marks.

Below are some frequently used short forms in business communication like e-mails, faxes and letters:

aka . – also known as

On Monday morning, Kay El, aka The Boss, walked in happily and blessed her assistant, Pee Jay.

approx. – approx

Checking her e-mail, Pee Jay read, "Today is the boss's birthday. Can everyone please slip off quietly to the cafeteria in approx. 15 minutes?"

ASAP – as soon as possible

Pee Jay opened up her daily planner and scribbled ASAP next to some of the urgent items on her to-do list.

Attn . – for the attention of

Leafing through the stack of mail to be sent out, Pee Jay asked her boss, "To what should I address the cheque for the annual report?"

Her boss replied, "Just write 'Attn: Ms. Christine Jalleh." She'll know what to do with it. "

Bcc . – blind carbon copy or blind copy to. In this case, the carbon copy is sent to an e-mail recipient which e-mail address is not visible to the cc or other bcc recipients.

"By the way, I think it's better if you bcc me in your e-mail to Brown. We would not want him thinking that I'm supervising you for this project."

Cc . – carbon copy, or copy to

"But I would like to be cc-ed on the e-mail to Mr Green as I have not yet introduced the two of you to each other."

c / o – in care of, used when sending a document to A who will receive it on B's because because B is away from the office.

"Boss, I think Christine is back in China this week. Would it be all right if I sent the cheque in care of her assistant? I'll still write her name on top with c / o Ah Sis Tern below."

COD – cash on delivery, where a person makes payment for an item purchase after it has been delivered.

"I'm also sending out the cheque for the set of Business English reference books we bought COD on eBay."

eg . – exempli gratia (for example)

Pee Jay replied to the e-mail, "Hi everyone. Please remember that the boss does not like surprises, eg everyone shouting 'Surprise!' in the cafeteria. "

et al. – et alii (and others). Usually used to list co-authors after the lead author in a bibliography, this form is now commonly used to address the other people other than the recipient in e-mails.

She received a new e-mail, which read, "Dear Pee Jay et al., I was reminded that the boss does NOT like surprises …"

etc. – et cetera (and so on OR and so forth)

This means that we will not be able to collectively surprise her by springing out of the cafeteria doors as we had planned, etc.

exc. – except

"Can everyone, exc. Pee Jay, be at the cafeteria in 5 minutes? We need to figure out a surprise without the surprise element.

FYI – for your information

Her boss's voice bought the young assistant back to the present, "Pee Jay, I'm forwarding you all these e-mails FYI, okay?"

FYA – for your action

"Note that some of these e-mails are FYA …"

ie . – id est (that is)

After acknowledging her supervisor, Pee Jay decided to help her collections out and typed, "She's in a good mood today, ie we will be a new account and completed a major project."

K – thousand, eg 450K = 450,000

"Just to give you an idea of ​​her mood, it's a 450K retainer for the first quarter …"

PA – personal assistant

The immediate reply to Pee Jay's e-mail read, "Thanks for the info, Pee Jay – you're the best PA!"

pa – per annual (per year)

Pee Jay smiled and responded, "Haha, there is a reason why I'm paid RM65K pa"

pp – per pro (used when signing a document on someone's behalf)

Looking back at her paperwork, Pee Jay signed some invoices on her boss's behalf, inserting pp just before her signature.

Pto. – please turn over, used at the end of a page to indicate that there is a continuity to the text.

"By the way, please remember to type Pto. On the first page of the proposal you're sending.

viz . – videlicet, namely

She got up and left a note on Pee Jay's work station before leaving. Scribbled on it was, "Can I pass you my slice of birthday cake after I cut it? I really do not need a lot of carbo, viz. Refined flour, at my age." The note ended with a wink.

Readers can go to http://www.acronymfinder.com/ to search for the meanings of over 4 million acronyms and abbreviations. This online dictionary also allows users to filter their search according to categories like information technology (IT), military and government, business and finance, science and medicine, organizations and schools, and slang and pop culture.

Citibank’s Transformation of Traditional Money Management Into E-Business

Citibank’s strategic intent is to convert its traditional money management business into an e-business framework. How does Citibank transform its traditional assets into digital assets? What issues, if any, do you envision that Citibank must overcome in order for the implementation to be successful?

According to Porter two main ways for a company to compete are on cost advantage or on differentiation. Citibank chose not to compete on price, but instead chose to compete on differentiation.

Since many other companies have similar products and services, Citibank bases its differentiation on customer service. Traditionally, this involved “offering telephone hotlines, relationship managers who understood clients’ needs, product consultants who provided service expertise and most important, continuous investment in technology to support both the front-end and the back-end electronic banking systems”. In order for “successful” transformation of traditional assets into digital assets the company must maintain or enhance its differentiation. Since the company’s differentiation is based on customer service, that means that in the transformation from traditional to digital assets the company must continue to be highly responsive to the customers’ current and future needs, and must do so to a higher level than the competition.

One main way that Citibank achieved transition from traditional to digital was via alliances with such technological companies as Oracle, Commerce One Inc, SAP AG, Wisdom Technologies and Bolero.net. Earlier the company invested millions of dollars on its own in multiple areas of e-business, and failed. Technology is not Citibank’s area of expertise, and it found dealing with constantly changing technology to be an expensive struggle, which it ultimately lost. However, by 2000 Citibank had changed its strategy to one of garnering alliances and using its partners’ strengths to create the technological infrastructure that the company needed to access markets and meet its customers changing demands. Working through alliances reduced Citibank’s risks and costs, increased its effectiveness, and allowed it to remain flexible in meeting changing technological and customer demands.

Customer demands varies, both in the short term and long term. According to McCauley and Kahn, one of the most important obstacles for Citibank to overcome in migrating customers from traditional to digital service was meeting their deep seated concerns about security. While to some degree this hindered Citibank’s efforts in rolling out Web-based applications, Citi did actively implement “multi-layered security architecture… public and private access keys, single-use passwords and multiple authorization controls” in order to meet customer needs (2002, p. 9). In addition, with digital processing it looked to transform repeatable processes that could be “commoditized” into an efficient digital factory. Commoditizing repeatable processes improves efficiency, but also allows resources for additional regional focus — localization. So too, Citibank’s strong brand name is a resource that translates into increased trust as a “trusted provider” when competing with Deutche Bank and other competitors. In fact, most Fortune 500 companies assign value to Citibank’s specific offerings, and prefer it to other international payment providers. Citibank, then, offers multiple areas of value to customers.

The key question, however, is whether this value translates into a competitive advantage which translates into additional profits. Though Citibank met their customers’ needs in the area of information technology, how unique is what it offered? Cutting edge technological capabilities can soon become “hygiene factors”, which are considered to be required, rather than a competitive advantage. These then, do not qualify for differentiation or competitive advantage. While at one point Citibank may have offered cutting edge technological capabilities, the competitive advantages these afford can quickly be eroded. Customer service and transactional efficiency are important. However we need to ask what other areas of business require attention in order for Citibank’s ultimate success. If these are not met, the corporation will not meet its growth goals.