Cosmos Vs Globus

Visiting Europe is more affordable than you might think. The Globus family of brands has two options to choose from. Cosmos offers a great vacation value for those on a budget, while Globus offers premium escorted travel.

In order to understand the difference more clearly, I am going to use an example I came across earlier this week where a client was planning a trip to Spain, but was undecided between the Cosmos "Grand tour of Spain," and the Globus "Spanish Fiesta. " Specifically, the client wanted to know why she should pay $ 500 more for the Globus trip, when the cosmos goes to the same places and is one day longer?

This is one of the best questions you can ask your travel agent! The tourist industry is a very competitive field and if one company is offering the same itinerary at a decidedly different price, there's got to be a reason. As we sat and discussed the two itineraries, here is what the client learned.

She would land in Madrid on either tour; both would meet and greet, (if airfare had been purchased through the tour operator), and each would have a hotel room reserved in her name. Now where the difference begin, is that the Globus tour director would host a welcome dinner that evening and she would meet the other travelers. The Cosmos tour director would only be in the hotel lobby to say hello. Dinner will be on her own, and perhaps she would meet up with other travelers and join them.

After a buffet breakfast (included each morning in either tour) the Globus group will have in depth sightseeing in Madrid, seeing all the major sights, with an entrance to the world famous Prado Museum included and paid for. The afternoon will offer free time. The Cosmos group leaves Madrid, and is driven to Valencia (via Aranjuez and Cuenca), a distance of about 222 miles, with a stop at the Royal Palace along the way. The driving time is about 4 hours, but there will be photo stops as well as a stop for lunch, although not included. The Cosmos tour would then stay in Valencia two nights, which no included sightseeing.

On day two, the Globus tour will head north to Vitoria, stopping at Segovia and Burgos … with photo, rest and lunch stops, of course. Lunch is not included with the Globus on this day either. The distance is about 175 miles, or about 3 hours.

I will not continue the day-by-day comparison, as the article would be quite lengthy, but be assured that these differences continue through. Example: Globus has in-depth sightseeing in Granada, Cosmos offers it as an optional. The Globus tour takes you to Gibraltar, with entrance fee included; Cosmos does not go to Gibraltar. Globus stops for guided, fee paid sightseeing in Toledo; Cosmos does not stop at Toledo. The Cosmos visit in Madrid is at the end of your tour, no inside visits are included.

There are also more subtle differences that a Globus tour includes over Cosmos, such as extra nights in major cities to allow for more free time, a few extra meals throughout the trip, sometimes with wine included or entertainment. With Globus you often each at local restaurants, where we Cosmos you frequent the hotel's restaurant.

To sum it all up, if your goal is to travel comfortably, with clean hotels, some meals, a tour guide as your shepherd and information source and at a price you can afford, go "budget," which is with Cosmos tours . Just remember, there will be many "optional" tours and meals, so do the math. If you want to see as much as possible, gain access to outstanding museums and sights, stay in centrally located hotels and avoid many of the optionals, so more is included in your up-front price, you will find that Globus tours is the better way to go.

Keep in mind they are both owned by the same company, who have offered escorted tours for over 80 years, so you will not be disappointed either way, as long as you are clear on what's included in the price.

PayPal IPN – Creating Listener Code to Process IPN Messages

You have finally decided IPN is the solution to your website application. You do not want to pay someone else to do it. It can not be that hard, can it? Where can you get some practical advice from people who have been there, done that. This article will answer these questions and help you decide if you are able to write that code. If you find it too complicated there are a few commercial products out there that will handle everything for you so do not lose heart if you find yourself stuck.

PayPal IPN

Instant Payment Notification is better known as PayPal IPN and is PayPal's interface for handling real time confirmation of purchases. A typical use for IPN is where you want to use the software to download.

PayPal provide 3 different types of account. Personal, Premier and Business. You will need Premier or Business to use IPN.

Listener

PayPal IPN messages are not synchronized with actions on your website. You detect IPN messages from PayPal with a piece of code known as a listener.

You specify the URL of your listener in your PayPal account's profile but you can override this for specific transactions when you setup a button or API operation. You can also temporarily turn off the sending of IPN messages, useful if your site is down for maintenance. They are still generated and stored until you switch sending back on again.

You must perform a number of checks on the IPN message received from PayPal.

  • Check the email address to make sure it is yours
  • Check that you have not already processed the transaction identified by the transaction ID
  • Make sure that the transaction's payment status is "completed"
  • Verify that the payment amount actually matches what you intend to charge

PayPal Sandbox

When you are developing your website you really do not want to be trying to get it working by experimenting on a real money system. Any early bugs in the system could leave security holes but even if you write perfect code it is best not to do your testing using real money.

PayPal provides what they call a sandbox, almost identical to the live PayPal system. You can setup fake customers with fake money and make as many test purchases as you want. The perfect system to fully test your web application.

There is a Sandbox Forum on the developer network. It's a great place for advice.

Testing your Listener

The Sandbox has an excellent IPN Simulator (under Test Tools) which lets you choose the transaction type, fill in all the parameter values ​​and send a test IPN to a specified address.

IPN History

PayPal provides an IPN history page under the My Account tab. Click on History to see it. It includes everything you want to know about each IPN message including the following Status values.

  • Sent: indicates that PayPal sent the message to your IPN listener
  • Failed: indicates that PayPal did not receive an acknowledgment to the message
  • Queued: indicates that PayPal is ready to send the message
  • Retrying: indicates that message was resent between 1 and 15 times and PayPal continues to be resend the message
  • Disabled: indicating that the message will not be resent because the merchant's account has been disabled

Conclusion

The best place to search for information is the PayPal Integration Center which has guides, code and links for everything to do with integrating your website with PayPal.

The one place you MUST visit is the PayPal IPN Forum on the developer website. As well as a constantly changing list of discussion topics about IPN, there are some good sticky posts about troubleshooting tips, IPN variables, template code etc.

PayPal IPN is a difficult subject but the combination of an excellent testing environment in the form of the sandbox and the good quality advice provided through the forums should make it possible for you to get your website application up and running.

How To Start An Internet Marketing Business The Right Way

Running your own Internet Marketing business is really the best way to make money in the world. You get to set your own hours. You can work from almost anywhere in the world. All of your efforts go towards your business and your success, rather than a large corporation's. You write your own paycheck. And I do not know of any business in the world where the start-up costs are so low (often as low as the cost of a monthly website fee), or the knowledge barrier is so small (in other trades, it can take YEARS to learn the basics).

The "problem" (and I only say it's a problem because it seems to discourage so many people) is that you have to treat your business like a business. Anyone can make a few dollars here and there online. But to get the kind of thousands-of-dollars-a-month success that lets you quit your day job and buy a larger house, you're going to have to put in some work upfront.

To illustrate what I'm talking about, let's look at a normal job: you go to work for a specified number of hours, and get paid a certain amount for those hours. If you're salaried, you get a certain amount per month or year no matter how much you work. Hopefully, if you do a good job you get a raise. In either case, you're guaranteed to make a certain amount within a specified time-frame.

With an Internet marketing business (as with any business) you have to do some things upfront: you have to set up a website and a few other tools, you have to promote your site or service, etc. This can take a bit of time before you see profits. The reason an Internet marketing business is the way to go is because (if you're doing things correctly) when you DO see the profit, you're going to be seeing a lot more of it. And because everything is semi-automated (the order-taking, often the delivery of goods, etc.) your business requires a LOT less time later on to sustain than an hourly job.

It's a actually a bit like growing a tree. To grow a tree you have to:

– Learn how to care for the tree you want to grow.

– Spend a little cash up front for some seeds or a sapling.

– Find a good place to plant your seeds or sapling. Make sure it's fertile ground and out of the shade of larger trees.

– Care for your tree as it grows. Keep it watered and fed.

– THEN, when it's bigger, harvest the fruit.

– Do minor upkeep on tree, keep harvesting fruit, plant new trees.

It's the same process with an Internet marketing business. Your sapling / seed is your business plan. and your basic tools such as a website, a mailing list, etc. Hunting for a good spot is your market research. Fertilizer and water are your promotional methods. And just like a tree, once it's up and running it requires a lot less care.

I'm not telling you all of this to discourage you. I just want you to understand that overnight profits are rare, and you can not count on them or you'll end up frustrated. And even overnight profits require planning. But if you're willing to do some basic set-up work and have the ability to focus and take action, you'll see more money than you could dream of an hourly or salaried job. Plus, being able to sleep in when you want is nice, too.

The three magic steps to making it all happen are:

– Step One: Learn how an internet marketing business works.

– Step Two: Make a plan for your business based on solid market research.

– Step Three: Follow through with the plan, one step at a time.

Just remember: shift your mental focus from "money right now" to "longterm, increasingly-large profits." You must treat your Internet marketing business like a business to be successful. And remember, take things one step at a time.

Treadmill Deck Info: Treadmill Decks Materials and Warranty

Treadmill deck is the material that forms the hard surface on which you run. In other words it's the supportive surface. This article identifies the decking from the tread belt which is the belt that moves across the decking.

Important

Treadmill manufacturers do not provide a great deal of information about the actual construction materials of their decks. These days most treadmills, especially if priced above $ 1,000 are constructed with decently strong tread decks (usually medium density fibreboard with a duo phenolic coating – all discussed in detail below).

However, strength is not the be all and end all. If strength were most important, more treadmill manufacturers would use metal. Metal is used, but not extensively.

What are decking construction objectives?

Like I said above, if strength was the only objective, metal or steel decks would rule the day. But strength is not the only objective. Quality decking should:

  • Be strong
  • Be durable
  • Have some elasticity (ie slightly flexible, but not bouncy)
  • Minimize noise (ie muffle noise if possible)
  • Have a smooth surface to minimizeize tread belt friction

What materials are used?

Often you'll see reference to solid wood, medium density fibreboard (MDF), and metal as materials used for treadmill decks. For coating you'll usually read about phenolic coating. The article explains these different materials.

Materials

1. Medium density fibreboard (MDF)

MDF is created by breaking down wood into fibers (sawdust) and then forming the fibers into a solid treadmill deck with wax and resin. The usual thickness is 3/4 "to 1". You can read more about MDF here.

MDF is the predominant material used for treadmill decks.

2. Solid wood

The deck is made out of 3/4 "to 1" solid wood. The trouble with solid wood is it's hard to find a piece of wood that is perfect. MDF, although not perfect either, ensures a consistency that's hard to find with solid wood.

Particle board: Particle board is no the same as MDF. Particle board is not fiber-based. It's a solid wood composite product. The result is that particle board is much weaker than MDF. MDF is denser and stronger.

Avoid treadmills with decks using particle board. You'll be lucky to get a year out of it.

3. Metal

Metal decks are not nearly as durable as solid wood or MDF decks. It's heavier and does not create as "soft" of a surface as wood or MDF. Running on metal or steel simply is not as enjoyable as on solid wood or MDF.

What material do I recommend?

MDF deck that is duo or triple coated with phenolic resin coating.

The coating

Some treadmills are covered on both sides (duo-coating, sometimes also referred to as triple-coating), while lower-quality treadmills coat only 1 side of a treadmill deck. The better deck is coated on both sides which helps reduce warping. It's also better for reducing friction with the tread deck along the entire surface area on which the tread belt moves.

Best material used for coating:

Phenolic: This is the best coating material. You'll pay more for phenolic coating, but it's worth it.

What is phenolic resin coating?

Phenolic resin coating is a plastic resin. When a treadmill deck is covered with phenolic resin, wax the wood deck is unnecessary.

Can you build your own if your original deck breaks?

Yes, but it's not advisable unless you really know what you're doing. Simply slamming in a sheet of plywood or MDF is not going to do it. There's properly coating the deck and ensuring it securely attaches to the treadmill.

The last thing you want is your deck to break apart when running or walking.

This is why having a lifetime warranty on your treadmill deck is important. Decks often break or crack (especially with lower-priced treadmills).

Decking Considerations

Replacement frequency

The range in the number of hours of use treadmill decks are good for is astounding. Some lower-end treadmill decks are designed for 500 hours, while other warranty their decks for life. Naturally the intensity of use and weight of users will impact the duration of a treadmill deck.

Is it reversible?

Some treadmill manufacturers make reversible tread decks so that you can get more mileage out of them.

Is reversible good?

It depends. Some manufacturers make treadmill decks that are warrantied for a lifetime without having to reverse them. Others do not come with a lifetime warranty and can not be reversed. These may have the shortest lifespan. Then there are treadmills with reversible decks which in theory doubles the lifespan of the treadmill deck.

The warranty

Ideally, the treadmill you buy will have a lifetime warranty on the deck. This is indicative the manufacturer stands behind the deck and in the event the deck fails, you get a replacement.

Cushioning technology

Cushioning technology is pretty cool these days. Treadmill cushioning technology includes the amount of, type of, and quality of the treadmill cushioning.