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I just got started working on the first server that I have built all by myself, and of course the idea is to save money over the long haul. The big thing with a server is that you have to be able to manage your power usage and also keep it cooled efficiently. So one of the first things I need to do is figure out what the best option is for procuring a custom PDU (Power Distribution Unit) that will mount in the rack with the other components. The idea is to have plenty of room for upgrades in the future and the capacity to manage a much larger system when we eventually need to do that. Obviously you want to start out with as low an initial investment as is possible, but at the same time you will have to build in that system the ability to upgrade the capabilities as your needs increase. Read the rest of this entry »

I have started to think about how practical this idea is that a friend of mine came up with. Just outside of town there is a mountain which used to house a huge stone quarry. Most of those are open pit quarries, but this one was tunneled in the side of a mountain. Of course the structural analysis is important for this idea. He is talking about using the place for a huge storage facility and it is not a very far fetched idea in reality. The truth is that the place is probably going to stand up to anything short of a direct hit by a nuclear bomb and it is a huge space. In fact it is probably big enough for dozens of warehouses to be put within it. Read the rest of this entry »

I told my husband eight years ago when we first added an addition on to our home, that I was going to want to raise it up a level instead of adding space on the same floor. He did not want to take my advice, and now we are adding yet another addition, and he was shocked when he heard the cost but knew that he was going to have to do it. We had an asbestos testing company over to our home to check the material found in the attic, because we did not want to take out the ceiling of the home and have the particles flying around, where one of our animals or daughter could inhale the substance.

It was great to have a professional come look at our home, test the substance, and tell us right away that we could open up the ceiling without having to worry about any type of particles falling that could be harmful to our health. Once we got the clearance from the asbestos testing company and the permit from our town, we started right away on the demo and the construction with our designer and I was excited to see the changes.

It only took six weeks for our home to completely get the addition up, and we had to go furniture shopping to furnish all of the new space that we had in our new second floor bedrooms and sitting area. I was really shocked and happy to see how much our home went up in value after we went and had someone come over to assess our property so we could get it in writing should we decide to take out an equity loan or wanted to refinance our home, I doubt we will be moving anytime in the near future.

Production line equipment sure makes things go faster. One of the arguments I heard was that it takes away jobs. I think for our company it lets us put the people into other positions where they can grow. We did not fire anyone or lay them off when we got our machines to handle some of the packing chores. All we did was increase our ability to produce more product. That actually allowed us to hire more people. Our robotic case packers can do the work of several people around the clock. The people that used to do the job are now working in other departments. Some at higher pay!

Our plan from the beginning was to be careful about staffing. We did not want to grow and then end up having to lay people off. We have been controlling our growth smartly. Our production line is becoming more and more automated. That means we are producing more and more product. That increases our profits allowing us to grow the number of employees we have rather than using automation to get rid of people. We retrain workers from production line jobs to work in other departments. Read the rest of this entry »

I only have one part time employee. It is easy to manually do his paycheck. I do not need any fancy accounting and payroll software. My little business is a side job for my wife and I along with our helper. My wife and I both work day jobs, and we do this business on Saturdays and some evenings. I found a website that lets me create check stubs online that our employee can use to verify his employment with us. He needed to prove income sources for a car loan. They did not want a letter from us, they wanted to see his pay stubs. I was able to make him ones dating back three months. Read the rest of this entry »