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Above The Fireplace: Décor Ideas You’ll Love

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As we transition into fall, we’re getting used to the idea of spending more time indoors and enjoying the comforts of home. Weekend days and evenings spent by the fire will soon become routine, so we’re also excited to get our mantels in tip-top shape, styled to perfection. We’re taking a look at some of the most stylish fireplace vignettes for a little prefall inspiration. Read on.

panoramic printers

Get the Hang of It

If found and industrial are two words you often use to describe your style, a unique piece of architectural or industrial salvage could be a cool, captivating moment above your fireplace. We love how this antique wheel was hung by rope above a fireplace—it’s a surprising moment that adds intrigue to an otherwise blank space.

Show Off Your Trophies

A trophy head is a classic adornment for above the fireplace and a rustic alternative to art or a mirror. We love this animal-friendly trophy head carved from wood. And you don’t have to live in a cabin or a ranch to feature it—as you can see, it’s a chic addition to coastal-cool interiors too. If you like the look, be kind to Bambi and try a faux design or a vintage or antique trophy head or antlers.

Make a Statement

A mirror is a foolproof option for above a fireplace, but if you’re going to try this tried-and-true styling trick, opt for a statement mirror with major impact. We love the look of a rococo plaster or baroque gilt Italian frame for a traditional interior. For more-modern spaces, a large sunburst design could be an eye-catching choice.

Lean In

Framed art or canvases by Print Panoramics is always a fine choice for above the fireplace, but if you want a more laid-back or eclectic vibe, try leaning your artworks on your mantel instead of hanging them. The look provides a more casual aesthetic and allows you to easily change your display pieces as often as you feel inspired to. Just be sure to select frames in varying sizes and shapes to create dimension.

Take Two

Large-scale art can be costly, and hanging a small framed work above a fireplace can sometimes look amiss. However, a pair or set of small or medium works hung one on top of the other or side by side can provide scale without breaking the bank. We love the idea of displaying unrelated pieces of art in matching frames. Bonus points if you style up your mantel with oversize leaves and other lush accents!

Make It Tray Chic

For French country or shabby-chic interiors, we love a woven tray or basket hung above the fireplace. If you really want to go for a “collected” look, layer on some of your favorite accessories from around the house: Vintage books, a natural wreath, and antique pottery are all great candidates.

4 Techniques For Testing Data Migrated From Legacy Systems

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Many stake holders of the project such as business users, project managers, business analysts really care about the data conversion scripts and the quality of the conversion. Since this conversion is business entity related and matters a lot as future business/functionality depends on the data being logically equivalent to the legacy system. Using proper Data migration specialist service is important here!

Data migration specialist

1.       Start data conversion work earlier

We have found that converting data earlier in the project life cycle is very helpful even when our data model is not stable yet. This is useful in many ways

  • It helps by forcing the developers to think and account for data in the legacy database that may not be covered by specs provided by the business analysts
  • Business analysts can communicate with the business users using real data from the legacy system that the business is used to seeing and understands the data.
  • Business users when using the new system before it goes live can understand how their new system behaves with legacy data and business entities such as Customers, Products etc. Giving the business users familiarity with the system and easing their transition to the new system.
  • When its time to go-live we have converted the data so many times that its no longer a surprise, as all the bugs, data weirdness have been found and dealt with.

2.       Automated compare of data

We compare the data from the legacy database with the new application database that is being developed. This comparison can be automated using sql that creates logically equivalent objects from both databases.

  • I blogged about usingAutomated Data Compare of comparing data.
  • We could also useDiffKit which is an open source framework that lets you compare databases, excel spreadsheets, flat files or custom formats on the legacy database side with databases, excel spreadsheets, flat files or custom formats with the new databases. Or use frameworks that export the database into xml, yml etc formats such as yaml_db

3.       Dealing with duplicates

In legacy databases, as the system gets used over many years some business entities may get duplicated and during data conversion will get merged/collapsed into a single entity. So while comparing data we should remember to do UNIQUE or DISTINCT on the SQL we use to compare the data. In some cases we may end up normalizing some of the data and end up with multiple rows for something that was represented using one row in the legacy database.

4.       Dealing with magic values

Systems use magic values to represent data or state of certain business process, such as NULL0N/ANil and other strings. When converting we cannot convert these values as-is, we need to understand what do they mean, are these values being converted to mean something else on the application front end? are we using the same logic to convert the data?

Why You Should Use Natural Light In Photography

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17The human eye is a wonderful thing, capable of adjusting to just about any light temperature—whether it’s the warm yellow of incandescent bulbs or the dull green of fluorescent ones. A camera, however, is downright stupid compared to the human eye. Whereas the eye will take in the glow of an incandescent bulb and interpret it as white light, a camera will just see it as plain ol’ ugly. This is why, when it comes to interior photography, it is best to use only natural light. This is the golden rule when it comes to interior photography (or most other photography, for that matter). If you’re going to follow only one piece of advice from this entire write-up, make sure that it’s this one.

When photographing an interior, you want to make sure that all of your other lights are off and this then will translate perfectly to canvas with printpanoramics.co.uk. I repeat—turn ALL of your lights OFF. You might be a little bit perplexed by this rule—after all, light is a necessary part of photography. What if the light coming through your window isn’t strong enough? This is what your tripod and your camera’s shutter speed settings are for. Pop your camera onto your tripod to avoid motion blur and slowdown the shutter speed to allow for a long exposure. This will allow your camera to pick up whatever light there is in the room and you won’t have to resort to artificial light or, god forbid, your flash.

Once you begin taking interior photos exclusively with natural light, you’ll see just how much more beautiful it makes the final result. Colors will appear fresh and clean, shadows will come from more natural directions (rather than, say, above), and the chances of needing to adjust your white balance in post-production are severely diminished.

Quick note: Although natural light is by far the best light to shoot with, not all natural light is created equal. It’s best to avoid times of day when sun is shining directly into your room—this will keep certain areas from being brighter or more blown out than others. As is true with shooting outdoors, photographing on a cloudy day is actually ideal—clouds act as a natural soft box, diffusing the light and creating even, subdued shadows.

When it comes to composing interior photos, I have found that, when it doubt, it is always best to shoot straight on. Using your room’s architectural framework as a guide, point your camera so that it aligns perfectly with one of your walls. If your camera has a grid or compositional guides in the viewfinder (even the iPhone has this feature built in), this is a perfect moment to use that tool. You want to make it so that the wall’s horizontal and vertical lines (along with the horizontal and vertical elements of items along that wall) are aligned, almost as if on a grid, within your viewfinder.

Creating A Cheap But Brilliant Office Space

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Creating a great work space needn’t be expensive. Here’s how you equip your office for pennies on the dollar, without sacrificing quality or productivity. You probably won’t be able to reach the dizzying heights of the world’s coolest offices, with their ‘collaboration pods’ and firing ranges, but there are certainly a few clever ways to equip your office on the cheap. You can get great quality franking supplies from companies like http://www.nslmailing.co.uk.

Don’t be a magpie

Go with what you need, not what you want, no matter how shiny it is. Ask yourself if you really need need that cocobolo conference table or that new, top-of-the-range laptop with the latest graphics card.

The one exception is a good chair. You and every one of your employees need a comfortable, adjustable chair. Uncomfortable seating will land you with low productivity and high medical bills.

Think long term8

Buying intelligently might cost you a bit more up front – think LED lighting and an efficient heating system – but may well save you pennies down the line. You might also consider buying laptops that allow you to later replace the memory and hard drive – a much cheaper option than having to buy a new fleet of laptops every time you’re looking to upgrade.

Be software smart

As Clare has said before, small businesses and startups have small budgets but big IT needs so, rather than buying enterprise-level software, use open source software, like LibreOffice, and other cheap alternatives to more expensive products. What these may lack in cool features (do you really need all those bells and whistles?) and clean design, they more than make up for in savings.

You should also make use of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications – Turbine, Basecamp, Dropbox, etc. Old fashioned software licences left you with the headache of hefty up-front costs and routine maintenance for software you had to install and host on your own servers. SaaS apps, on the other hand, are hosted by the SaaS provider and allow you to simply pay for what you use in monthly or annual instalments.

You don’t have to worry about maintaining your own servers or paying for the space to house them; there’s no need to upgrade or reinstall your software every year; regular updates are pushed to all users through the cloud so you’re always using the best version of the software; and the cost is spread over time, meaning software becomes less of a gamble – there’s more room to experiment and find what works for you and your team.

Negotiate

Try to squeeze the most out of suppliers without burning your bridges. Exercising your negotiation skills not only helps you get short-term deals but also helps you to build mutually beneficial long-term relationships with your preferred suppliers.

If they know you’re a valuable, repeat customer, you’re more likely to be offered discounts, free trials of new products and priority software upgrades.

Get thrifty

Look to see if any local businesses are downsizing or going under and if any office supply and IT stores are shifting old stock or having a sale – they’re all excellent sources to equip your office on the cheap.

What Kind Of Office Printer Should You Go For?

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Most of us use wireless printers from blackbox-solutions.co.uk at home. Why worry about connecting your computer when you can print from anywhere? However, wired connections are typically faster, more reliable and far more secure, all of which are important in business environments, where printers are used more often and by more people at once. Wireless setups, on the other hand, are more flexible, along with being less expensive to deploy.4521041844_9351b5ef60_o

They are also compatible with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. In our increasingly mobile world, many businesses —particularly large enterprises —are choosing to install applications that allow mobile printing either by connecting the device to the printer or using a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection. This is often referred to as cloud printing or mobile printing. Not all printers are compatible with this emerging technology, but it’s something to consider if you have a highly mobile-reliant workforce. Some office printers are also compatible with mobile-printing technologies such as Apple AirPrint, HP ePrint and Google Cloud Print, but that’s something you’ll need to verify.

If you’re solely printing simple business documents in plain text —spreadsheets, memos and letters —monochrome is probably fine. If you need to print graphics, custom logos or documents with charts and other visuals, you’ll want to go with a colour printer. Monochrome printers still sell surprisingly well because they cut ongoing costs, but keep in mind that you’re likely stuck with the printer you choose for many years. If you need the ability to print colour in the future, you’ll have to find another source.

One of the first things to consider when it comes to features is whether you need a single-function or multi-function printer (MFP). Just as it sounds, single-function printers do one thing: print documents. MFPs are capable of many other tasks, including scanning, copying, emailing and converting documents. Different models combine different features. MFPs are cost-effective because you avoid having to purchase multiple machines, and they take up less space. They help streamline document management and business workflow because you can fax, scan and email documents all from the same machine. However, they’re more expensive. And if one person is using the machine to print, for example, another employee will have to wait to send a fax, make a copy, etc.

Next, consider printing speed and volume, which have a significant impact on price. Generally, print speeds of less than 20 pages per minute (ppm) are too slow for office environments; speeds of 20 ppm to 40 ppm will suffice for most offices; and speeds above 40 ppm are ideal for high-volume use. Some of the most sophisticated machines reach 100 ppm, although this is far more than most small businesses need. Print volume can range from basic models that hold just 100 sheets in the tray and 250 in the cassette to MFPs that hold 500 sheets in the tray and 2,000 or more in two or more cassettes.

What You Need To Know Before Buying A Copier

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Although ubiquitous in companies around the world, photocopiers are not one and the same. They may fulfill more or less the same task, yet it is important to assess your needs and get proper information to find a model which will match your expectations and at the same time be simple enough to operate. Besides, when you intend to buy a photocopier from blackbox-solutions.co.uk, it’s also crucial to consider other options such as renting or leasing, to make sure you get the best service at the right price. Most modern photocopiers are nowadays preferably referred to as multi-function printers (MFPs), as they’re able to carry out a wide range of tasks. There are so many different levels of sophistication that taking certain key notions into account is vital to improve your business efficiency when you buy a photocopier.

Ink-jet or laser?3219062043_986fe1c007_b

Choosing laser or ink-jet technology depends on your volume requirements. When the price per page is an important consideration, laser machines are at the high end of the price range but are still the optimal option as they are well-adapted to large volumes of copies. When low volume colour documents are required, ink-jet MFPs are the best choice, even if the ink they use is more expensive than toner for laser printers.

Print quality and speed

Speed is generally the most important feature for many businesses. Typically, mid-range machines will provide speeds of between 25 and 50 pages per minute for A4 paper. For companies which need mostly black and white copies, some models are faster in that mode than in colour. Print quality, or resolution, is also an important issue. Most machines offer resolution in the 600-1200 dpi range, which is perfect for internal use or simple flyers and user manuals. For high quality brochures and marketing material, you may need to buy a photocopier able to reach 2400 dpi.

Ergonomics

Manufacturers have taken steps to make their products as user-friendly as possible, and even offer on-site training sessions and hotlines. Network capabilities are essential in most modern offices, to integrate your MFP in the company’s infrastructure. Paper capacity must be carefully considered when you buy a photocopier. Needing to refill the paper tray too often may have an adverse effect on your workflow. High-capacity or multiple paper trays for different paper weights or types will ensure your printer is always ready. Likewise, a variety of finishing tools such as staplers or document folders.

Price

Assessing your needs to pinpoint your budget is of paramount importance, as prices range from £100 to more than £17,000. However, there’s more than just the capital cost to consider, as on the long run the price per page, depending on your printing volume, will represent most of your expenses.

According to your needs and the volume of documents you need to process, permanent purchase may not be the best option. Second hand machines or buying online may also be interesting ways to save money.

Buying a photocopier online

When you want to buy a photocopier, going online is always a good idea, to compare prices, understand the various models’ specificities and benefit from cheaper prices thanks to cheaper overheads. You’ll easily find retailers specializing in monochrome, multifunction or colour photocopiers for instance. You will also be able to negotiate good service rates.

Renting and leasing

Lease purchase or rental will allow you to spread the cost of your photocopier from blackbox-solutions.co.uk over several monthly fees, while guaranteeing your peace of mind as servicing and maintenance are often included in rental or lease contracts. That way, you’ll pay the best price for all your copying needs.

What You Need To Know Before Buying A Copier

Posted by on 3:47 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What You Need To Know Before Buying A Copier

Although ubiquitous in companies around the world, photocopiers are not one and the same. They may fulfill more or less the same task, yet it is important to assess your needs and get proper information to find a model which will match your expectations and at the same time be simple enough to operate. Besides, when you intend to buy a photocopier from blackbox-solutions.co.uk, it’s also crucial to consider other options such as renting or leasing, to make sure you get the best service at the right price. Most modern photocopiers are nowadays preferably referred to as multi-function printers (MFPs), as they’re able to carry out a wide range of tasks. There are so many different levels of sophistication that taking certain key notions into account is vital to improve your business efficiency when you buy a photocopier.

Ink-jet or laser?

Choosing laser or ink-jet technology depends on your volume requirements. When the price per page is an important consideration, laser machines are at the high end of the price range but are still the optimal option as they are well-adapted to large volumes of copies. When low volume colour documents are required, ink-jet MFPs are the best choice, even if the ink they use is more expensive than toner for laser printers.

Print quality and speed3219062043_986fe1c007_b

Speed is generally the most important feature for many businesses. Typically, mid-range machines will provide speeds of between 25 and 50 pages per minute for A4 paper. For companies which need mostly black and white copies, some models are faster in that mode than in colour. Print quality, or resolution, is also an important issue. Most machines offer resolution in the 600-1200 dpi range, which is perfect for internal use or simple flyers and user manuals. For high quality brochures and marketing material, you may need to buy a photocopier able to reach 2400 dpi.

Ergonomics

Manufacturers have taken steps to make their products as user-friendly as possible, and even offer on-site training sessions and hotlines. Network capabilities are essential in most modern offices, to integrate your MFP in the company’s infrastructure. Paper capacity must be carefully considered when you buy a photocopier. Needing to refill the paper tray too often may have an adverse effect on your workflow. High-capacity or multiple paper trays for different paper weights or types will ensure your printer is always ready. Likewise, a variety of finishing tools such as staplers or document folders.

Price

Assessing your needs to pinpoint your budget is of paramount importance, as prices range from £100 to more than £17,000. However, there’s more than just the capital cost to consider, as on the long run the price per page, depending on your printing volume, will represent most of your expenses.

According to your needs and the volume of documents you need to process, permanent purchase may not be the best option. Second hand machines or buying online may also be interesting ways to save money.

Buying a photocopier online

When you want to buy a photocopier, going online is always a good idea, to compare prices, understand the various models’ specificities and benefit from cheaper prices thanks to cheaper overheads. You’ll easily find retailers specializing in monochrome, multifunction or colour photocopiers for instance. You will also be able to negotiate good service rates.

Renting and leasing

Lease purchase or rental will allow you to spread the cost of your photocopier from blackbox-solutions.co.uk over several monthly fees, while guaranteeing your peace of mind as servicing and maintenance are often included in rental or lease contracts. That way, you’ll pay the best price for all your copying needs.

The Advantages & Disadvantages of Leasing A Commercial Printer

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Purchasing or leasing an office printer has it pros and cons. In today’s commercial printing market, most machines also include commercial copiers with blackbox-solutions.co.uk and scanning features. In order to know which direction is appropriate, looking at the variables of each will help you decide which option is best for your business. After you choose the appropriate course of action, it is recommended the contract includes maintenance and toner services.

Leasing a commercial printer with blackbox-solutions.co.uk can be done at a low monthly cost. Also, there is the option to replace the printer with new equipment after a certain amount of time.3219062043_986fe1c007_b In addition to having no ownership, other cons are an extended lease period and limited customization options. Owners of commercial printers get to have instant ownership and are not locked in for an extended period of time. Some undesirable drawbacks to owning a commercial printer include the high cost of investment and rapid pace at which the equipment becomes outdated. Next, ask yourself the following questions about whether purchasing or leasing is best. Has your company been in business for a long time? New businesses are often subject to a strict credit approval process. Any business that has been established for less than three years, will most likely need to provide a personal guarantee to be approved for a lease. If the above information is applicable, consider purchasing a refurbished printer at an affordable cost. Once your business is more established, you can always upgrade your equipment and lease a top-of-the-line printer.

What are your printing requirements? If printing at a high volume isn’t necessary, then you may benefit from purchasing a low-cost basic office printer. Commercial printers are built to last a long time. Considering commercial printer lease terms are three to four years, businesses with low-volume printing needs often purchase a printer that will last a good six or seven years. On the contrary, businesses that rely on regular printing should lease a machine and upgrade at the end of the lease. An office that relies on high-volume printing to stay in business, should lease a commercial office printer.

Do you know how much you want to invest in a printer? Large commercial printers are often very expensive. An office with a limited budget will want to lease a printer or copier service. Most businesses don’t need to spend more than a few hundred dollars a month, to lease a printer that gets the job done. Think about it this way:

Leasing a commercial printer will only cost you a few hundred dollars, and will be a much better quality printer than one which will cost thousands of dollars.

Advantages of Multifunctional Printers

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Most printer manufacturers offer multifunctional models from blackbox-solutions.co.uk that provide the capabilities of multiple machines in a single unit. These devices often include print, scan, copy and fax capabilities in the form of one all-inclusive machine. Originally marketed for home and small business users, many manufacturers now offer larger and more robust models for medium to large business use. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of a multifunction printer helps you make an informed decision when purchasing new equipment.

Convenience4521041844_9351b5ef60_o

A multifunction printer like the ones from blackbox-solutions.co.uk offers the convenience of additional features you may not have purchased otherwise. For example, if you normally do not send or receive many fax messages, you may not have invested in a separate fax machine. However, a multifunctional printer that includes fax capabilities allows you to send or receive the occasional fax without an added expense. In addition, the ability to scan an image and then print that image using the same machine offers another level of convenience by saving you the time of walking to two separate devices.

Space Savings

Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of a multifunctional printer includes the space savings offered by the device. Rather than having to find space for a printer, a copier, a fax machine and a scanner, you can have the same functionality in a single machine. This space savings may benefit those trying to make the most of their home office space or those working with significant space constraints.

Cost Savings

Another advantage of a multifunctional printer includes the cost savings of purchasing one device that performs multiple functions. Although the purchase price for an all-in-one printer may exceed that of a traditional printer, the overall cost typically remains less than purchasing multiple machines. Therefore, you can benefit from increased functionality without paying for each feature. In addition to the savings associated with the original purchase price, maintaining one device costs less than maintaining multiple devices.

Power Savings

Multifunction printers typically require one cord to power the entire device. Not only does this reduce cable congestion, it lowers the electricity required to run the device. This power savings also leads to increased cost savings.

Disadvantages

The biggest disadvantage of a multifunctional device becomes apparent when a problem occurs. Due to the multifunctional nature of the device, a problem with the printer may cause all features to fail. For example, a problem with an ink or toner cartridge may prevent you from printing, copying and receiving faxes. Another disadvantage of a multifunctional printer includes the potential lack of quality or performance when compared to single function devices. For example, the fax machine on a multifunctional device may not offer the same features as those offered by a standalone fax machine.

Benefits Of Stand-Alone Printers

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Even if you have only carried out a small amount of research, you will have discovered that the office printer market is full to bursting with different varieties and features. Knowing what to choose will require a good evaluation of your business printing needs, both now and projected for the future. Essentially you have stand-alone or multifunction printers, with inkjet or laser jet varieties with companies like blackbox-solutions.co.uk.

Stand-alone office printer choices4521041844_9351b5ef60_o

Here we are going to focus on the stand-alone printer, a stalwart of the print industry, but which may have been overlooked in recent years with the drive towards multifunction capability. Many businesses would greatly benefit from buying or leasing a stand-alone machine, and with all of the UKs leading manufacturers, such as HP, Kyocera and Canon, producing high quality and affordable office printers, now is the time to reevaluate and look at the benefits with blackbox-solutions.co.uk. The most important choice you have is between stand-alone or multifunction business printers. Once you have decided on this you can look further into inkjet verses laser printing, whether you would prefer a wireless printer and what features are essential, such as duplex printing or paper size compatibility.

Advantages of these printers for office use

This type of business printer should be the central powerhouse for all your office printing needs:

  • Costs work out far less per sheet, both for mono and colour printing.
  • Unrivalled black and white print speeds.
  • These office printers really excel in producing high resolution printing at optimum speeds. Many machines will have the option of printing at different resolutions, so simple black and white documents can be printed at the very fastest ppm. Want high resolution full colour printing? You can have that as well, with only a small drop in ppm.
  • Robust and durable. If you buy a stand-alone device you can rest assured that it will stand up to even the toughest office environment.
  • Printer can be used just for its purpose, printing. This means that employees won’t hold up important print jobs with scanning, fax etc.
  • Print in different sizes, alignments and paper thicknesses.
  • Set your office printer to complete binding and sorting tasks.
  • Large paper capacity (with multiple trays) saves on constant refilling and the hassle of paused print jobs.

So for the best quality printing and the speediest turnaround times, consider these printing devices to revolutionise your printing operations with blackbox-solutions.co.uk.

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