What’s in a Challenge Coin?

By Howard Oakley ~ November 6th, 2014 @ 9:57 am Comments Off

A challenge coin is same as any old coin. Only it is much larger, and its value lies in the stories behind its production.

Traditional challenge coins are round. The diameters range from 1½ to 2 inches. The thickness is at 1/10 of an inch. Over the years, some of these coins have evolved into different shapes. There have been minted coins in polygonal shapes such as pentagons, octagons, triangles, squares, and rectangles. There are also some special shapes such as stars, arrowheads, shields, and dog tags.

Challenge coinsZinc alloy is the material of choice if the coin is meant for display. This material costs much less than the die-struck bronze type. Other materials used include brass, nickel, steel, iron, copper, and pewter.

Different types of finishes are used to make the surface designs of challenge coins stand out. Finishes vary, depending on the desired effect. Enamel is the most commonly used coin finish. It can be soft or hard enamel. A hard enamel finish produces a smooth and very shiny surface. The stamped design is filled with color so that everything is even. The recessed areas and the raised parts of the surface design are at the same level. After the colors are poured, the coin is baked, then polished to achieve a highly reflective surface. Soft enamel finish has a less polished surface compared to hard enamel. The recessed areas of the surface design are retained. This means that the resulting coin has raised and recessed areas. This is a more popular enamel type finish because it produces a textured surface. This effect gives more dimension and character to the coin. The uneven surface produces more interesting details and effect when light hits its. Electroplating is also done, using metals for a shinier and longer-lasting finish. Limited edition coins, such as commemorative and anniversary coins, are often plated in gold or silver.

Designs on challenge coins range from simple to elaborate. The most common design is an imprint of the organization’s logo or insignia. Sometimes, the coin itself is made to match the insignia. For example, if the unit’s emblem is a shield, the challenge coin is also in the shape of a shield. Simple designs would include an emblem at the center of the coin. The outer diameter would have words such as names. Mottos are also a common part of the design. A few coins have numbers engraved on the rims or edges, signifying that the batch of coins is limited and is only available to a few. The numbers add an extra-special feel to those who receive the coin, knowing that there are only a few of them who possess such coins.

Multidimensional designs are increasingly becoming more popular. Advance technologies allow for 3D designs. Challenge coins are no longer limited to flat patterns. More interesting patterns are now made available.

Customized coins are also available for the public. Over the years, these coins have found uses outside of the military. They are given out by companies to their employees for exemplary service and for company loyalty. Company anniversaries would often hand these out to recognize outstanding employees, as a token of gratitude and recognition for employee contribution to company growth and achievements. These coins also help promote solidarity and unity among the employees. It is a good way to promote pride in what they do and what the company stands for.

More and more companies are also realizing that these special coins work great for advertising. Take for example car companies: During auto shows, some carmakers hand out specially minted coins with the company logo to potential clients. Truly, challenge coins have evolved throughout history.

Motivational Speakers and the Epidemic of Unhappiness

By Rosemary Tyson ~ October 30th, 2014 @ 6:32 am Comments Off

According to a study, eighty percent of people are unhappy with their jobs. This unhappiness can stem from a lot of reasons. It can come from a low salary, a toxic work environment, office bullying, or a monster boss. The world of work has changed. A company’s survival in the market depends highly on its capacity to deliver high-quality products and services. Competition is fierce as companies vie for more market share to survive. As they improve products and services, they have to motivate their employees to produce more or provide excellent service.

motivational speakersEmployees are confronted with rendering overtime or having to take work home. In order to provide for themselves and their families, they have to sacrifice time for them selves and time for the ones they love. Added to this is the consumerist society that they live in where happiness has been defined as having the means to buy more of what one can consume. One must be able to afford the most fashionable clothes, the most expensive car, and the biggest house. Not being able to afford them falls short of the “standard” that society has defined.

One other factor is that people are spending most of the time of their lives doing work that they feel is not their calling. They find that they almost have no time at all to do things that they are passionate about. Most of them feel that they lack the resources to launch their business ideas or that the talent they possess cannot be used for a living. They feel stuck in a job or career path they would love to be released from.

So wide and so pervasive is this epidemic of unhappiness in societies. Even companies are now seeking ways to make their employees happy by motivating them. It is somehow a relief for most that companies are starting to realize that happy employees mean more productivity and more profit. This is the reason why companies have sought the help of motivational speakers—not just to motivate their employees to work but also to give them some semblance of hope for their future and their lives.

Motivational speakers are gifted with a pulsating positive energy that is extremely contagious. They inspire people by their words, their stories, and their persona. They tell stories of overcoming challenges: stories of hope. They tell people that the future can only get better if they will do their due diligence in the here and now. People become inspired and motivated—and thus happy—thinking that they do have something to look forward to.

When companies invite them to their company, there is often a renewed spirit in their workforce. People have smiles on their faces. When people are happy, they are motivated to work and to perform well. Hence there is an inevitable increase in productivity and quality.

Motivational speakers dispense with this cloud of unhappiness that veils the work landscape. Nothing uplifts and fills the heart of people than the belief that things can only get better. They remind them that their situation is certainly not permanent. They remind people that hard work and discipline can truly make their dreams come true. They also bring back the faith of employees in their employers.

Motivational speakers help cure this epidemic of unhappiness that is fast taking over the workplace. If not stopped, it can mean a huge drop of market share for businesses. It will mean products that are shoddily done. It will also mean poor customer service. A business that loses its market will eventually go bankrupt and close. It is indeed a great idea for companies to invest in inviting motivational speakers to their companies. They provide renewed vigor to the workplace by making employees happy.

The History of Circuit Boards

By Alfred Goodwin ~ October 17th, 2014 @ 9:59 am Comments Off

Printed circuit boards, which are also known as the printed wiring cards or printed wiring boards, physically connect two or more electronic components together. These are parts of an electronic device which create a circuit in order for the electronic device to work. Printed circuit boards are usually found in computers, like the mother board for an example. They can also be found in other electronic devices such as a mobile phone, a television, a calculator, an electronic wristwatch, a tablet or just simply any device which runs using electricity.

When Did It Start?

The printed circuit boards started as early as the year 1900s. In 1925, Charles Duncan, created an electronic pattern directly printed onto an insulated board. This was improved after the Second World War, by the year 1943, when Paul Eisler was able to build a fully functional printed circuit board.

Before printed circuit boards were developed, the point-to-point construction was used first. People used wires to connect each electronic device together. However, devices which were made to work using this method were usually big and bulky in size and users are usually experiencing device breakdown. Once the device breakdowns, repair is needed and this repair usually requires replacement of the wires or the connecting sockets of the circuit board. During these times, the wires are usually weak and upon insulating electricity, these wires wear down, which causes the device to short circuit.

Printed circuit boardsBy the year 1920s, most radios and gramophones took advantage of circuit boards. To prevent the devices from experiencing short circuit, woods were used to fit the device to rivet the circuit board.

The printed circuit boards were highly regarded and highly improved during the years 1950s to 1960s. Some patents were made in order to give enhancement in the design and efficiency of the circuit boards. At first, the circuits were printed on one side of the circuit board. Eventually, multi layered circuit boards were invented, wherein a lot of circuits can be directly printed onto one circuit board.

How Does It Work?

Most circuit boards are made of conductive material, usually copper. A thin foil of copper is etched onto the board. All lines and connections of the circuit board are designed to reach and connect with the electronic component properly to prevent any possible issues. These patterns are done on both sides of the board. However, to create cheaper ones, the pattern is printed on one side only, particularly at the bottom.

A printed circuit board have a hole where you can place any electronic component wiring by inserting it through the hole and then soldering it to keep it in place, either by hand or through the use of a soldering machine. The hole, where the electronic component is placed, has a copper ring (also known as the annular ring). For some printed circuit board, you need to connect two or more boards in order to make it work. There will also be some times when the circuit board needs to be cut in places (either by v-score or mouse bite cut, both cuts are partial cuts on the board) so they can easily fit in place.

In order to protect the copper paths which makes the circuit, the circuit board will be placed with a solder mask. The solder mask gives the circuit board the common green color. It protects the circuit and prevents any solder jumper to break apart the circuit. Some components in the circuit board are not put in by holes. Some components have slots for parts which are not round in shape.

Lastly, a silk screen is used to provide a label for each electronic component. This is to ensure that anyone who will be looking at the circuit board will be able to recognize the parts easily.

Key Features to Look for in a Reliable Dedicated servers Company

By Patrick Song ~ October 10th, 2014 @ 4:55 am Comments Off

Website owners aiming for business expansion and stability find their perfect match with dedicated servers. This server runs in a virtual environment, which offers a secure storage site for website files and stable performance. However, not all virtual private servers are created equal. Here are the features that describe a reliable server.

Wide Array of Scalable Packages

Any experienced website owner would advise beginning site owners to look for a server that grows with their businesses or requirements. A reliable server provider should offer a wide array of packages that suit every client’s needs in promoting their businesses. Basic features must include good storage capacity, generous bandwidth limit, total root access, and many more. Additionally, the server provider should have available upgrade packages or add-ons, so clients can upgrade immediately. This gives website owners an edge because their server requirements will make them more competitive in their respective niches.

Control Panel Availability

dedicated serversThe control panel serves as the access point for every server program and folder. Invest in a server provider that offers control panel with its dedicated servers package. This keeps clients from installing the control panel on their own. Having a pre-installed control panel means the server is ready to use for building websites or creating SharePoint sites needed for distributing documents.

Apart from control panel, the hosting company should also offer different control panel types to meet users’ preferences.

Free Domain Name

Offering free domain with the package means savings in obtaining server packages. It also saves clients from looking for another company where they can purchase domains. Availability of free domain means users can have their domains on the spot and avoid competing with others who are after the same domain name.

Reliable Uptime

A reliable uptime percentage is around 99 percent throughout the whole year. Don’t settle for a dedicated servers offering lower uptime because there’s a high chance of frequent server inaccessibility. This implies high probability of missed business transactions online.

Unlimited Bandwidth

Unlimited bandwidth means continuous data transfer from the server to the visitors’ web browser. Some companies extend limited bandwidth, which causes website inaccessibility. Adding to the disadvantage is the probability of incurring overage bandwidth charges that add to monthly server expenses. In most cases, overage charges are more expensive than the actual plan, which is a pain for every host client.

Transparent Pricing

A trustworthy dedicated servers company lays out all the information when it comes to pricing. Plan rates, bandwidth overage fees, upgrade fees, and others must be stated clearly on its website to assure clients that they are not paying for any hidden fees.

Enhanced Security Features

A VPS is more secured than shared servers. However, it must have additional security features to guarantee files saved are safe from potential hackers. VPS providers often have security tools available for clients, but they can also recommend additional software or plugins that protect servers from malicious activities and threats. Since the company only recommends security add-ons, it will emphasize those technical inquiries for the programs must be directed to the program developer or vendor.

Free All-Day Technical and Customer Support

Server problems may occur anytime. A good VPS company should have round-the-clock support for its clients experiencing these issues. Apart from technical support availability, the company must also have various means of supporting customers. These include support through phone, email, chat, helpdesk, and trouble ticket. Online knowledgebase can also be helpful for advanced server users who want to solve server issues on their own.

Look for these characteristics and you’ll be directed to a reliable dedicated servers provider. Compare plan packages as well to ensure savings. Also, verify every information read online before settling for a package to prevent headaches brought by mediocre VPS companies.

Further Reading

What’s in a Challenge Coin?

Motivational Speakers and the Epidemic of Unhappiness

The History of Circuit Boards

Key Features to Look for in a Reliable Dedicated servers Company

Buyer’s Guide for Getting Custom Trading Pins

Why Choose Movable Cubicles when Moving?

Lanyard Accessories

Is GW1516 The Solution To The Cyclists Problems?

The Popularity of Slap Custom Rubber Wristbands

Benefits of Using Award Pins

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