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AValon RF and Blackfin Provide “Land Warriors” with Essential Survival Tools – Wearable Computers with Integrated Wireless Links

San Diego, CA (PRWEB) January 20, 2005

AValonRF presents its Wearable Computer solutions and Wearable computers with integrated digital wireless links at AFCEA WEST 2005, San Diego, California, February 1-3, 2005, San Diego, California, Booth 1451.

Leapfrog advances in communications, sensors, and materials technologies have transformed the equipment inventory carried by today’s soldier beyond the realm of the well-oiled weapon. Included are far-flung items like video cameras, microphones, and global positioning systems (GPS) - tools that let leaders and soldiers exchange video, audio and data. The Future Combat System (FCS) contents of the new-age kitbag provide soldiers with accurate target location capabilities, enabling operation in harsh weather or close to zero light conditions, and even allowing shots to be taken around corners without exposure to enemy fire. Above all else, today’s tools of the battlefield are aimed at helping soldiers survive.

In the urban combat theater, “land warriors,” like police, fire fighters, medics and security guards, can also benefit from these lightweight, wireless video/audio tools. While the uses may differ, wireless systems like these must be compact, energy efficient, easy to produce, and affordable, if they are to become successfully applied in military and commercial/industrial contexts.

AValon RF, located in El Cajon, CA, develops and manufacturers such wireless products. The company’s original products were based on true diversity wireless technology that allows fast video, audio, data, and telemetry communications over dial-up phone lines and wireless media (“in air,” or under water).

A pioneer and innovator dedicated to the delivery of state-of-the-art wireless products at affordable prices, AValon RF set out to develop its next-generation of products based on the latest space-time wireless technology. For this, AValon RF turned to Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) for its Blackfin® processor. Blackfin embodies a new breed of embedded processor that combines high performance and low power. Blackfin was designed specifically to meet the computational demands and power constraints of today's embedded audio, video, and communications applications.

A Stronger Signal

AValon RF products target high mobility applications for military, government, private industry, and consumers. The company’s products can be used for unmanned air, ground and sea vehicles, mine sweeping, long-range video links for border patrol, covert surveillance, maintenance of nuclear power plants, electronic newsgathering, wireless TV viewing, and many other applications. To accommodate these applications, AValon RF products carry one-way video, alarm, and telemetry, two-way audio and data, and cover frequencies from 56 MHz to 2.5 GHz.

Developers of high mobility products must take care to manage signal fading, which can result when multiple signals from different paths cancel each other out at the receiver antenna, or when large objects obstruct the line of sight between the antenna/transmitter. It can also happen as a result of humidity, fog, or rain, or from an overcrowded spectrum. Signal fading is often managed by capturing the strongest signal from an array of multiple antennas (a technique called antenna diversity). There are numerous types of diversity technologies and numerous types of diversity receivers.

The most commonly used method for mobile applications is space diversity, which ensures that at least one antenna at any given time will not be subject to distortion. With multiple antennas placed at a site, one can control the proximity of the transmitter antenna to one of the receiving antennas. Signal fading is further complicated in a mobile environment in that the “nulls” are not fixed in space, but vary in time; the user is moving and so is the environment. “Developing wireless products that deliver reliable audio/video is tough,” said Eli Weinstein, President of AValon RF. “The likelihood of unwanted interference is high when you’re transferring audio/video back and forth between two moving objects.”

One of the newest and best solutions to signal-fading issues in mobile environments is space-time diversity, whereby signal processing is performed on a receiver that comprises several antennas, exploiting both the spatial (space) and temporal (time) dimensions of a radio channel. AValon RF planned to update its entire product line¾transmitters, lapel cameras, diversity receivers, boom cameras, and wireless digital microphones¾to cutting-edge space-time diversity technology.

High Performance, Low Power, Low Cost

AValon RF’s space-time diversity receiver is essentially a software-defined radio (SDR), which requires a processor to handle SDR functions and space-time diversity processing for the receiver. Said Weinstein, “We needed a high-performance processor that could handle the complex mathematical algorithms this application requires. It had to be low power so that we can use smaller batteries for lighter, more comfortable products our customers can wear. And it had to be cost-effective so that we can manufacture products our customers can afford to buy in volume.”

“Blackfin was the best choice for us. It is the smallest chip on the market. It doesn’t waste battery power,” he continued. “It’s very powerful. And it’s affordable.”

Blackfin processors combine a 32-bit RISC-like instruction set and dual 16-bit multiply-accumulate signal-processing functionality with the ease-of-use attributes found in general-purpose microcontrollers. For power savings, Blackfin processors are based on a gated clock core design that selectively powers down functional units on an instruction-by-instruction basis. Blackfin supports multiple power-down modes for periods where little or no CPU activity is required. Blackfin also features a dynamic power-management scheme whereby the operating frequency and voltage can be tailored to meet the performance requirements of the algorithm currently being executed. As such, Blackfin processors are particularly well suited for portable applications requiring extended battery life.

Weinstein says another benefit of working with ADI is that he was able to purchase a whole suite of products from the company in addition to the Blackfin processors. “ADI is one of the very few companies where you can get everything you need to build a radio under one roof.”

Thanks to Blackfin, AValon RF’s space-time diversity receivers offer the best possible signal-to-noise ratio, using signals from all antennas to create an output. That translates to a 6dB gain in a four-antenna system. The receivers clean up most, if not all, multi-path distortion and compensate for receiver/transmitter motion by measuring the Doppler shift and spread, and by shifting the spectrum. AValon RF’s space-time receivers convert line-of-sight systems into non-line-of-sight systems by tuning in to the multi-path signals in the absence of a direct signal. And they eliminate jamming signals from unwanted directions. This adds up to high-mobility solutions that deliver audio/video data without fail, which, on the battlefield, can mean the difference between life and death.

Software-Defined Radio

A conventional digital radio system comprises three main sections: a radio frequency (RF) front-end section, an intermediate frequency (IF) section, and a baseband section. The RF section, also called the RF front-end, comprises analog hardware modules, while the IF and baseband blocks comprise digital hardware modules.

The RF front-end transmits/receives the RF signal from an antenna, converts the signal to an IF signal, and performs RF amplification as well as analog down and analog up conversions. The IF block comprises A-D and D-A conversion blocks for analog-to-digital conversions and vice versa, and digital-down conversion (DDC) and digital-up conversion (DUC) blocks to perform signal modulation (signal generation) on the transmit path and demodulation (also called digital tuning) on the receive path. The baseband section performs numerous operations such as connection setup, equalization, hopping, and timing, and implements the link layer protocol.

Software-defined radio (SDR) technology comprises software modules that implement IF and baseband radio functions and various waveform requirements over a broad frequency range. Used for military, commercial, and civilian radio applications, SDR technology enables a system to implement differing link-layer protocols and modulation / demodulation techniques.

This kind of flexibility helps manufacturers deal with multiple standards as well as issues surrounding the deployment of new services and features. SDR dramatically reduces the hardware costs that would otherwise be necessary to accommodate multiple standards and upgrades.

AValon RF digital module lineup includes:

·RF UHF Encrypted Transceivers

TR430-3G - 1.53Mbaud/1W UHF transceiver with GPS

TR423-1 - 76Kbaud/0.25W UHF transceiver

TR430-2G - 200Kbaud/1W UHF transceiver with GPS

TR430-2+G - 325Kbaud/1W UHF transceiver with GPS

TR430-3+G - 3.06Mbaud/1W UHF transceiver with GPS


Module F - CPU, running Windows XP at 1.5GHz, 512MB DRAM, AGP - display controller with resolution of 800x600 to 1280x1024, 4GB HDD, 802.11g, 802.15 and GSM/GPRS for Wearable Computers

Module A - NTSC/PAL to MJPEG/MPEG1/MPEG2/MPEG4 Encoder based on the WISchip GO7007SB Encoder and Includes a smart video pre-processor DSP, RTC and VITC

Module B - Same as Module A with camera on board

Module C - Power PC with TCP/IP + USB 2.0 + IDE/ATA interface

Module D - MPEG4 to NTSC/PAL decoder (software dependent)

MPEG4 low latency CODEC or MPEG4 video conferencing controller.

·Modules: General & Mechanical

Power - 5V-10V unregulated

Size - 60mm x 33mm x 9mm

Weight - approximately 14 grams

For more information about AValon RF products, visit

For more information about Analog Devices Blackfin processors, visit    

AValonRF Contact:

Tommy Orpaz

Vice President, Business Development

AValonRF, Inc

San Diego, CA

(619) 401-1969

# # #


Global Data Quality Tools Market is Expected to Reach a CAGR of 16.78% in 2016:

Albany, NY (PRWEB) November 20, 2013

Global Data Quality Tools market to grow at a CAGR of 16.78 percent over the period 2012-2016. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the need to enhance productivity. The Global Data Quality Tools market has also been witnessing the emerging SaaS-based data quality tools. However, the high implementation and product cost could pose a challenge to the growth of this market.

Click Here For Download Detailed Report With TOC@

Global Data Quality Tools Market 2012-2016 has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report covers the Americas, and the EMEA and APAC regions; it also covers the Global Data Quality Tools market landscape and its growth prospects in the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market.

The key vendors dominating this market space are Experian QAS Inc., Informatica Corp., Pitney Bowes Inc., and SAP AG.

Other vendors mentioned in the report are ActivePrime Inc., Ataccama Corp., Business Data Quality Ltd., Capscan Ltd., DataQualityFirst Inc., Datiris LLC, DataMentors Inc., DQ Global Ltd., Harte-Hanks Trillium Software Ltd., HelpIT Systems Ltd., Human Inference Enterprise B.V., Infogix Inc., Inquera Ltd., Innovative Systems Inc., Intelligent Search Technology Inc., IBM Corp., Melissa Data Inc., Oracle Corp., Postcode Anywhere Ltd., SAS Institute Inc., Satori Software Inc., Talend Inc., Uniserv GmbH, and X88 Software Ltd.

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Key questions answered in this report:

What will the market size be in 2016 and what will the growth rate be?

What are the key market trends?

What is driving this market?

What are the challenges to market growth?

Who are the key vendors in this market space?

What are the market opportunities and threats faced by the key vendors?

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the key vendors?

Table Of Contents -

6. Market Landscape

6.1 Market Overview

6.2 Data Integration Process

6.3 Market Size and Forecast

6.4 Five Forces Analysis

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7. Geographical Segmentation

7.1 Global XYZ Market by Geographical Segmentation 2012-2016

7.2 Data Quality Tools Market in the Americas

7.2.1 Market Size and Forecast

7.3 Data Quality Tools Market in the EMEA Region

7.3.1 Market Size and Forecast

7.4 Data Quality Tools Market in the APAC Region

7.4.1 Market Size and Forecast

8. Key Leading Countries

8.1 USA

8.2 UK

8.3 Japan

9. Buying Criteria

10. Market Growth Drivers

11. Drivers and their Impact

12. Market Challenges

13. Impact of Drivers and Challenges

14. Market Trends

15. Trends and their Impact

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Infinite Skills “SolidWorks – Mold Tools Tutorial” Offers Advanced Study in Specialized Area of Mechanical Modeling

(PRWEB) November 14, 2013

Software training firm Infinite Skills Inc. last week introduced its "SolidWorks - Mold Tools Tutorial," an advanced course providing specialized training in the mold tools palette of the popular 3D modeling software for mechanical engineers.

Solidworks is a computer aided design program that uses a parametric, feature-based assembly system for building mechanical models. By learning the mold tools palette, users can master SolidWorks’ tools for designing molded parts, including importing, analyzing, and surfacing molded parts.

Infinite Skills’ "SolidWorks - Mold Tools Tutorial" offers a comprehensive guide to the mold-design process and prepares students for SolidWorks certification in the mold tool palette.

SolidWorks - Mold Tools Tutorial - Streaming

Course author Matt Perez is a certified expert in SolidWorks who has worked in training and private training consulting, helping companies develop training strategies and improve efficiency in the program since 2011. He was recently recognized by SolidWorks for a tutorial on SolidWorks that focused on designing a Chevrolet Camero. He has been using SolidWorks since 2009.

Perez begins with an introduction to the commands and toolbars used in creating molds, including an overview of the entire process of designing a molded part, from analysis through design and final editing.

The course then covers essential functionality, looking at how to perform critical analysis of your part with draft, undercut, and parting line analysis.

From there, the course covers the elements of mold design, explaining how to create a parting line, surfacing functions, and creating the main core and cavity of the molding.

The course then closes with a lesson on working with imported surfaces and performing manual edits, before closing with a guide to the mold tools certification exam.

"This course is designed to allow users to successfully navigate the mold tools environment," Perez says. "We’ll talk about creating a mold, and we’ll look at each command and work through examples."

Free demo videos and a full list of course contents can be found on the SolidWorks - Mold Tools training page of the Infinite Skills website:

Infinite Skills offers its SolidWorks - Mold Tools Training Video as direct download from the company website at a retail price of $ 24.95. Though the compatibility of programs varies, all Infinite Skills titles and formats are compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems. Additionally, Infinite Skills tutorials are supported by project files which correspond to examples in the videos.

About Infinite Skills Inc.

A leader in the field of software training, Infinite Skills designs its courses on a task-oriented model, teaching complex skills by providing hands-on examples and guiding users as they carry out essential functions. Infinite Skills offers a wide range of software titles available as DVDs, digital downloads, and in iPad editions. Infinite Skills now offers a subscription service, providing access to all its training content for a monthly fee, keeping with company's aim of delivering professional training to customers anywhere they want to learn.

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Trillion Mortgage Brokers of Utah Offer New Tips and Tools on Their Website to Help Prospective Buyers Qualify

Salt Lake City, Utah (PRWEB) August 12, 2013

The home lenders of Salt Lake Citys Trillion Mortgage are always looking for new and informative techniques to help their clientele better understand the process that goes into FHA and VA loans in Utah. Its Trillions mission to ensure that each client is fully educated on all of the payment options available before selecting the finance preference that best suits their lifestyle. For over a decade, Trillion has been one of the leading mortgage brokers of Utah. This is due, in no small part, to their dedication Trillion employees have to equipping clients with the tools and knowledge necessary to make an informed financing decisions.

Because the primary home lenders of Salt Lake City know how crucial selecting the right mortgage option is for a buyer, they have supplemented a large number of facts and apps to their website that will aid users in estimating payment options from their computer. Trillion offer FHA and VA loans in Utah to fit the lifestyles of families of any financial standing, and with their multitude of calculator apps, determining the loan option to suit specific needs is fast, easy, and comprehensible. On their website, the mortgage brokers of Utah feature tools for determining Debt to Income Ratio, Real Estate ROI, Amortization, and Home Equity, to name a few. Also available online: Up-to-date interest rates that are optimized daily, so buyers are always aware of the state of the market.

When working with the home lenders of Salt Lake City, clients will experience a relaxed, informative environment with no pressure to select an option before they feel comfortable. Trillion have been in business long enough to know that the right financing option benefits both parties equally. Along with the online apps they offer, Trillion associates boast years of experience and knowledge of the industry to impart upon buyers. Any questions concerning FHA and VA loans in Utah that cannot be answered on the website will eagerly be answered by consultation; Buyers can find information to set up a meetingand can even fill out an loan applicationon the Trillion website.

When selecting the right financing option, there is no room for errorand certainly no room for doubt. The helpful lenders at Trillion will ease all uncertainties, and make any buyer feel assured in their financial decisions. With the tools available on the Trillion website, those looking to know more about the lending process, and to estimate what rates they qualify for, need look no further than

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Miami VA and GetWellNetwork Partner to Bring Interactive Tools to Veterans Bedsides

Miami, FL (PRWEB) June 27, 2013

The Miami VA Healthcare System is proud to partner with GetWellNetwork to be the first VA medical center in Florida to bring education, patient monitoring and entertainment tools to the bedside of Veterans receiving inpatient care in South Florida.

Beginning June 25, inpatients at the Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center in Miami have touchscreen access to television, movies, patient education and the Internet at more than 230 monitors installed in all inpatient rooms. The network at the Miami VA also includes adaptive equipment allowing paralyzed patients interact with the system.

We are proud to be the first VA in Florida to be using this system, said Paul Russo, director of the Miami VA Healthcare System. VA has always been very forward thinking in using technology to better serve our Veterans, but this system brings everything all into one place in a very easy to use way.

The $ 2.4 million project will also connect to the patient monitoring system allowing for pain management, ordering meals, communication with medical staff and medical education sessions based upon each individual patients need.

"As part of the VAs commitment to patient and family-centered care, Miami VA Healthcare System is transforming the way health care is delivered for Veterans in South Florida," said Michael O'Neil, founder and CEO of GetWellNetwork. "We are both excited and humbled to partner with the Miami VA Healthcare System in their efforts to advance patient-centered care for our Veterans and their families. Our work together will help Veterans engage actively in their health journey, along with their families and the staff who serve them."

About the Miami VA Healthcare System

The Miami VA Healthcare System serves nearly 60,000 Veterans in South Florida, including more than 6,000 inpatients in fiscal year 2012. As part of the largest healthcare system in the United States, the Miami VA Healthcare System is a comprehensive healthcare provider that includes primary care, surgical care, and an entire suite of specialty services and mental health care for Veterans of all eras.

For more information about enrolling for VA Healthcare, visit

About GetWellNetwork

GetWellNetwork, Inc.


AMES Taping Tools Appoints Fred Daniels as Chief Executive Officer

Stone Mountain, GA (PRWEB) October 29, 2012

AMES Taping Tools, the leading provider of automatic taping and finishing (ATF) tools, supplies and training to the professional drywall finishing industry, is pleased to announce that Fred J. Daniels III has been appointed as its new Chief Executive Officer effective October 24, 2012.

Mr. Daniels brings to AMES his 22 years of management experience at Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation (HERC). During this time, he held positions of increasing responsibility in HERCs tool rental business, with deep experience in operations, branch management, outside sales, logistics and information systems. Most recently, Mr. Daniels ran HERCs largest region with 85 locations and over 1,000 employees as the Eastern Region Division Vice President. During the past two years at the helm, Mr. Daniels has driven double digit revenue growth in his region annually.

The AMES Board of Directors and former CEO, Andrew Reed, have announced a mutual separation following the consolidation of AMES operations into the company's expanded Atlanta headquarters, servicing center and assembly facility. Mr. Reed has helped to facilitate this transition. Mr. Reed joined the company during one of the steepest declines in history for construction activity, the primary market served by AMES. The restructured company is now well positioned as the industry begins to show signs of recovery. The board wishes to thank Mr. Reed for his service to the company. He will remain in the Chicago area and pursue other endeavors with construction and building products businesses.

About AMES Taping Tools

Headquartered in Stone Mountain, Georgia, AMES Taping Tools is the industrys leading provider of drywall finishing tools, supplies and training. AMES pioneered the development of automatic taping and finishing tool technology in the 1930s, dramatically improving the speed, quality and efficiency of the professional finisher. AMES supplies, supports and services residential and commercial interior finishing applications through a network of company-owned and franchise operations in over 180 locations across the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit AMES at or call 800-408-2801; or explore TapeTech at or call 800-426-6256.

Product demonstrations and informational videos are available online at


.NET Developers can now Test-Drive foxtrot_xray Development Tools

(PRWEB) September 12, 2006

Following the release of the Segment v1.0 component, foxtrot_xray:software has released free fully-functional trial versions of their .NET components, allowing developers a glimpse at how much more they can accomplish with less code.

The trial version of the WebRobot v1.1 component allows you to interact with web sites and applications, directly from your .NET code. Static pages or interactive AJAX sites, the WebRobot will allow you to interact with any and all sites. The free trial version of the WebRobot is available at:

The trial version of the Announcer v1.0 component is a self-contained, lightweight message-passing component, to enable your .NET projects to communicate on a local area network. Extremely low CPU utilization, small memory footprint, and automatic detection and connection-handling functionality enable the developer to focus on the software, not on debugging messy networking code. The free trial version of the Announcer component is available at:

The Segment v1.0 component is a color-based automatic edge detection and image segmentation component that allows you to find regions in your images, and manipulate them at will. Cut, highlight, track, or extract regions from your images with a few lines of code. The trial version of the Segment component is availabe at:

The fully-functional trial versions of the foxtrot_xray components for .NET allow developers to see how much more they can accomplish with less code. From smart applications that interact with the web, to dynamic network-aware applications, to complex image recognition, developers can do it all in just a few simple lines of code.



Nearpod Launches Next Generation of All-in-One Solution to Turn iPads Into Teaching Tools, Celebrates Explosion in Popularity With Teachers and Students

Miami, Fla. (PRWEB) October 10, 2012

Praised by educators around the world as the next big thing in ed-tech, Nearpod today unveiled the next generation of its all-in-one solution for the synchronized use of iPads to support teaching and learning. Launched less than six months ago, Nearpod rapidly emerged as the preferred platform for the growing ranks of K-12 schools adopting iPads. The app has been downloaded more than 150,000 times, and nearly 250,000 students have logged into Nearpod classes. In addition to downloads from every state in the United States, Nearpod has seen an explosion in popularity globally, with users representing 99 countries and every continent in the world.

Now available on the App Store, the new version of Nearpod is fully compatible with iOS 6 and unifies the teacher and student app into one, simplifying the user experience. Teachers can use Nearpods new Web Share feature to add web pages to presentations, allowing student to navigate them in a safe browser environment, guided by their teacher. With the tools new SlideShow feature, teachers can add slide shows to their presentations and allow student to navigate through them at their own pace, personalizing the learning experience. In addition, the new Nearpod saves teacher time by allowing them to use PIN (share a presentation in advance) to send a presentation to students with just the tap of a finger. Students receive the PIN by email and can have it downloaded and ready to launch when class begins.

The new Nearpod is already receiving high praise on the App Store. As one teacher said, This is a must-have app for any teacher using iPads in the classroom! The ability to create your custom presentation, engage your students with it and assess them in real time is like no other platform out there. Thank you for this power tool, and keep up the good work.

Nearpod allows teachers to easily create and share interactive lessons, receive feedback on student device use, assess learning in real time and personalize instruction for students. Teachers use Nearpod to create their own lessons or choose from its growing collection of complete multimedia presentations based on content from recognized sources, such as Khan Academy and TED Education. All Nearpod presentations include short lesson plans and can be aligned to the Common Core State Standards, featuring multimedia content and activities appropriate for any grade level. After class, the Nearpod Reporting Tool provides teachers with powerful analysis of individual and group achievement.

Schools are deploying iPads at a phenomenal pace. At the time same time, educators are looking for ways to ensure that the device fulfills their promise as a powerful tool to support student engagement and achievement, said Felipe Sommer, co-CEO, Nearpod. Nearpod is the bridge that transforms iPad into a learning tool for creating and sharing content, assessing performance and, ultimately, personalizing and improving the educational experience for students.

Teachers can download or update Nearpod by visiting the App Store at To learn more about Nearpod, visit

About Nearpod

Nearpod was developed by a team of experienced entrepreneurs passionate about mobile technology and its implications across education. The companys exclusive focus is to develop software and interactive content for mobile devices, in ways that improve teaching for students of all ages. Nearpod has raised an undisclosed amount of money from a select group of angel investors, including Clarence So, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at


Free Book Promo on SEO Tools for Small Business Ends Soon, Announces JM Internet

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) October 09, 2012

The JM Internet Group, (web: a leader in SEO tips and training for small business, has announced that the promo for the latest version of the SEO Toolbook ends November 1st, 2012. Currently the SEO toolbook retails for $ 25 but can obtained for free by using free coupon code (cctb-ce0a2107b). The marketing book is designed for small businesses with the desire to dominate Google searches by using secrets, tips and tools for search engine optimization. A great thing about the coupon code for this free SEO toolbook is that users can share or "regift" the free SEO / Google coupon cope to someone else who may also want a free copy - making the book one of the first viral SEO books of its kind.

"Nothing is better than free," commented Jason McDonald, Director of the JM Internet Group. "Thousands of small business owners and marketers have benefited from our SEO Toolbook and the free SEO / Google tools it identifies. So in today's tough economy, we thought of an innovative way to seed the market with SEO knowledge: giving away free copies of this amazing Google marketing book, and even allowing people to 'regift' it by spreading the free downloads."

To download the free SEO Toolbook, copy the coupon code cctb-ce0a2107b and go to


A Web Developers Virtual Toolbox – Tools and Tips of the Trade

Ireland (PRWEB UK) 6 July 2012

PixelApes ( are based in Ireland and offer various services including print design, web design & development, and web hosting. Throughout the seven years we have been in business we have come across some great productivity tools that enables us and our clients to communicate efficiently and work productively .

Prior to 2010 our core team of two worked from a single office space, and up to that time our virtual toolbox had been relatively simple. This changed when our web developer, Alex Leonard, relocated to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Initially it was to be a working holiday but he liked it out there so much that he stayed for two years.

Since then weve had multiple relocation's, working between Cambodia and Ireland; Cambodia and South Africa; and, Northern Ireland and South Africa. Our current situation sees us split between Dublin, Ireland and Ballycastle, Northern Ireland.

As a result of these relocation's and the new experience of distance-working, our virtual toolbox has had to adapt.

Our projects vary hugely; print design, web project consultation, simple brochure websites, bespoke web development, search engine optimisation, and more. Our clients are based all around the world too: Ireland, United Kingdom, Norway, Canada, United States, Cambodia, New Zealand; and include NGOs, artists, small to medium enterprise, charities, e-commerce websites, and more.

Design and Development:

Certain applications are a given when working on web and print. The Adobe CS suite is one of those. Illustrator is our primary tool, with InDesign being used for brochure print work, and occasional usage of Photoshop although we prefer using vectors where possible on our design work.

Graphics tablets have also become a necessity, with the Wacom Intuos range being the preferred option.

From a web development point of view, were currently rocking Aptana as our IDE, although still do miss StyleMaster for fine-grained CSS control which hasnt been actively developed in a long time. SQLYog and MySQL Workbench co-exist as useful tools for database planning and management as they both have their strengths and weaknesses.

Weve also been finding useful for quick and easy sitemapping and increasingly indispensible is Balsamiq ( Mockups for wireframing.

Life in the cloud:

With regard to distance-working, weve become much more dependent on cloud computing than before. SpiderOak has been mission-critical for us, ensuring complete file-synchronicity between multiple machines in multiple locations. Their service is well-priced and includes versioning and encryption. We really would struggle to stay on top of local file management without it. Even with SpiderOak, we still find quite a lot of use for as a lot of clients already use it.

For invoicing, whilst we used to use the solid open-source BambooInvoice for several years, it ceased development and we migrated to which offers an extensive feature set and makes it easy for us to issue invoices & receipts and get a quick overview of what payments are outstanding.

For project management we use Our clients are always impressed by the functionality on offer and weve been absolutely delighted with the level of service offered by The TeamworkPM developers are insanely quick to respond to any support queries or feature requests. We can manage multiple projects in one location and easily stay on top of what tasks are assigned, who theyre assigned to and when theyre due for completion. Its also much easier to track communication within TeamWork than it is via email and for people not using Dropbox they can easily upload larger files without having to send them via email.

Weve also been relying on Google Docs more and more, just for the simple collaborative power of it. Whilst it falls short on more complicated word document layouts, its invaluable in numerous cases, and also helps us keep track of our accounts.

Interestingly, a new development that looks like it may provide some benefits is Google Plus - namely the Hangouts feature. Were currently working on a project where its very useful for us to have a Hangout with our client , as the three-member client team tend to be in different locations all the time. I think it could become a very useful tool for us.

Another aspect of our business is providing managed-hosting. We maintain a dedicated server which is well specified and resides in co-location space in Park West, however with our frequent re-locations and our server administrator being based in Cambodia, weve stopped maintaining a back-up server locally. This has moved to the cloud and were happily utilising Amazon Web Services for this. It gives us great flexibility and ensures low costs for our redundancy commitments.

Round Up:

The last few years have been fascinating, and its been amazing to see how the digital office and workspace has enabled much greater flexibility in our working methods and given us the freedom to work in far flung locations across the world.

If youve ever thought that distance working and a digital office is not possible, wed like to point out a small company whose software powers 15% of the top million websites in the world and has a workforce spread across over twenty countries. Who? Automattic, the company behind WordPress.

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