Sunday 5 May 2013

COBOL, FORTRAN & BASIC: THE BEGINNING



VB.NET FROM MICROSOFT: ANOTHER FIRST
In the mid 1950s and early 1960s, the three major programming languages for computers were COBOL, Fortran and Basic. Of these three, Basic, a group of general-purpose, high-level programming languages and an acronym from Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, was developed in 1964 in the USA. Visual Basic (VB) 1.0 was introduced as a misnomer more than two decades ago, in early 1991, as a drag and drop design for creating a user interface (UI) by one Alan Cooper. Interestingly, VB did not include a programming language. Microsoft, the budding IT colossus of that era, immediately noted its potential when used with its then operative Windows 3.0, and hooked up with Cooper to create a programming language using the extant Basic language so that VB could be brought back into the mainstream and released as such in May 1991.
Facing teething troubles, Visual Basic 1.0 was released as a "Disk Operating System” (DOS) in September 1992 as VB 2.0, a user-friendly programming development with a notable increase in speed. Each passing year saw an upgrade, with VB 6.0 released in 1998 exclusively for 32-bit versions of Windows, with the ability to create web-based applications. VB 6.0 was dropped by Microsoft in 2008 as a prelude to Microsoft’s new application, VB.NET.
According to Microsoft, its .NET Framework was designed to run primarily on Microsoft Windows. Using VB, it consists of two parts, a class library and the Common Language Runtime (CLR) application. Amongst its many properties, this framework provides ‘language interoperability,’ technical jargon that means that each language can use code written in other languages across several programming languages. What is unique to CLR is that its programs can be run in a software environment, as against a hardware environment, an application that facilitates provision of services such as security and memory management.
Integral to Microsoft's .NET platform, VB.Net compiles and runs using the .NET Framework. Microsoft reveals that its new features include inheritance, method overloading, structured exception handling, and more. These capabilities make it easier than ever to create .NET applications, including Windows applications, web services, and web applications. VB.NET is an object-oriented computer programming language, evolving from the classic VB implemented on the .NET Framework. Microsoft provides two main editions of Integrated Development Environments (IDEs- yet another advanced software application) for developing in its commercial software Visual Basic: Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 and freeware Visual Basic Express Edition 2012. VB.NET features characteristics like scrolling, forms inheritance, inheritance-based polymorphism, the set up to build secure assemblies, and a host of other cyber applications.

Saturday 4 May 2013

IT Managed Services

HOW NOT TO WRITE A PRESS RELEASE: SOUND VICARIOUS ADVICE

Press releases present facts, meant for journalists to publish them . Brands, businesses and other organisations get an opportunity to reach their targeted audience through media. They tell the world about your event, anything from an arts product launch to a new appointment or award.

The press release is losing importance with the new social media and the digital revolution transforming media as last known, yet they can be very effective at securing positive media coverage and are a great way to boost your profile and attract new customers or audience members.
Press releases can be written by yourself, someone within your company or an external supplier such as a PR agency or freelancer, and there are many common mistakes people make when drafting one. Here are some and how you can stop making them.

The title isn't good enough

The title of your press release is the first thing a journalist will see, so make sure it's concise, enticing and gives a good overview of your story. Make your title something that will encourage the journalist to keep reading. Avoid lengthy, detailed titles that go on and on and on... Keep it punchy. If you must use puns, make sure they are witty and avoid using clich├ęs at all times.

It's in first person

If you read any news story online or in your local newspaper, you'll notice everything is written in the third person – unless we're talking about quotes from actual people, of course. There should never be any "We did this" or "I think that" written in the body of a good press release – you have to imagine that someone else is telling your story at all times. A good tip is to pick up any newspaper and see how stories are written; you'll notice everything that third person voice , as though the journalist is telling the reader about someone or something else.

There isn't enough info

Don't make the assumption that a journalist will know everything about you, so make sure you include all the facts. Try to add a summary in your first paragraph, including where your arts organisation is based, the company name and the angle of the story. You wouldn't believe the amount of times I've had to look up where a company is based on Google, just so I can add it to their story on Creative Boom. Some journalists won't be as patient, so make sure you add all the information.

Punctuation is poor

If you're going to write a press release it's essential you use proper punctuation throughout. Journalists are time and resource poor these days, so make their job as easy and as hassle-free as possible by providing 'ready to publish' copy. That way they don't have to waste too much time double checking everything you've written. Supply first-class copy; it will also gain you a solid reputation as someone who is reliable and provides quality press releases at all times – someone they'll want to publish stories for again in the future.

Its plagiarised

Copy written specifically for your own arts website or company newsletter will not work for a press release – it's likely to be written in the first person, be too self-promotional and won't have a journalist in mind. Don't be lazy by providing something that you've already used internally. Start from scratch and write your news story specifically for the newspaper, e-zine or magazine you'll be targeting. Aim to mimic their own style of writing.

It's insipid and dispassionate

Once you've established an angle for your story, you should always provide one or two quotes from yourself or a spokesperson involved in the performance, project or event. But whatever you do, don't let these quotes go to waste. They are the only thing journalists can't change, so make the most of them by throwing in some strong key messages. Sure, the journalist might not use them, but don't repeat what has already been said elsewhere in the press release – use quotes as an opportunity to really sell yourself and your company. Keep them positive, upbeat and to the point.

There are too many CAPS

Something that really bugs journalists is the use of CAPS to emphasise certain names or words throughout a press release. For example, "CREATIVE BOOM is an online magazine for the creative industries" – it looks odd, a little sneaky and means the journalist has to go back through the entire release and change everything to lowercase. Avoid CAPS because you don't need to highlight your company's name; it will be obvious.

It's too short

Short isn't always sweet. Although you never want to waffle when drafting a press release, don't make the mistake of not providing enough content. More than anything, a journalist will want to get all the facts so make sure you include as much information as possible. You can still be concise and stay on track but don't forget to include every little detail. If in doubt, consider the golden rule of Who, What, Where, When Why and How – ask yourself if you've answered all these questions before sending the release.

It's too long


<![endif]-->“Quidquid praecipies, esto brevis."  
The reader is interested in facts relevant to him or his business and not about your grandmother's bedtime stories. Stick to the point and add only tidbits that would interest the reader in general-like "share value  rose 3.5 percent after the release..."


It's too promotional

When you've completed your press release, sit back and read it through. Does it scream "Please buy tickets to our show!?" or have you given a nice rounded overview of what the production or performance is? Though press releases are promotional, they are not advertisements – they are a presentation of facts, so keep it factual and be objective.

There's too much hype

Copy that is littered with exclamation marks and wild claims about your exhibition, event or service screams spam and will only end up in a journalists spam folder. Avoid verbiage because it will only read like an advertisement and that's something you'll want to avoid.

SUMMARY

Those are just a few of the common mistakes people make when writing a press release. If you've got any of your own top tips, stories or ideas then please share them by commenting below. Positive inputs can help many other professionals to improve.

CREDIT:
This article was first printed by guardian.co.uk on February 16, 2012.