How to Buy a Minidisc Player

1.Review the available features to decide which you value. Features worth comparing for portable units include battery life, ease of use and size. For decks, compare remote controls and look for a unit with a headphone jack that has a volume control.
2.Narrow your choices to units with the programming and display features that offer the level of convenience you want.
3.Price the models with those features.
4.If you want to listen before you buy, visit your favorite consumer electronics store.
5.Listen to models you selected through your online research.
6.If you are buying a recorder, ask to hear a comparison of a CD and the minidisc copy.
7.Make your buying decision based on sound quality, price, features and the service provided by your salesperson. 
Tips: Most major Japanese manufacturers make minidisc products. Sony, the inventor, and Sharp have the most models available.   

How to Eat in Venice on the Cheap

1.Eat at wine bars, or "baccari." These bars often offer a selection of simple, tasty foods, usually served in small portions much like Spanish tapas. Pair your food with a glass of Prosecco or another wine from the Veneto region.
2.Fill up on "tramezzini," which are sandwiches available all over Venice. They make a great lunch – just remember to eat standing up at the bar or you may find extra charges on your bill!
3.Look for establishments that post a tourist menu outside. You will often get a fixed price three- or four-course meal for much less than if you ordered from the à la carte menu. Choices are limited, but the savings are worthwhile.
4.Learn the difference between a pizzeria, a trattoria and a ristorante. A pizzeria will be your most inexpensive choice, while a ristorante will be the most expensive; a trattoria falls somewhere in between.
5.Remember to put your map away sometimes and just wander until you find a place that seems to be busy serving the locals. You'll make some of your best discoveries in Venice when you are completely lost. 
Get a good budget guidebook with extensive listings of affordable restaurants and cafés. Peruse different guidebooks at your local library, make photocopies of the pages you really need, then leave the heavy books at home.
Make sure your guide or phrase book contains information about specifically Venetian foods, since there are some dishes (such as pasta with “seppie,” or squid-ink) that you may find only in Venice. 
Avoid “tourist trap” areas if you're trying to eat on the cheap. Restaurants and cafés a block or so away from the heart of the action may be a lot cheaper. A coffee at Piazza San Marco's Florian’s may be worth the high price, though, since it gives you a front row seat in one of the world’s most famous locations.
At some cafes or restaurants in Italy, you will find three levels of charges: one price for standing at the bar, another price for sitting inside and yet another for sitting at a patio table.
Remember that a service charge and a cover charge (“pane e coperto) are almost always automatically added to your bill in Italian restaurants; tipping over and above the included service charge is optional, though it is customary to leave some small change on the table. 

How to Make a Compost Bin From a Garbage Can

1.Punch holes in a garbage can. The microbes that actually do the composting need oxygen to do their work.
2.Chop plant debris into small pieces and place them inside the garbage can. Ideally, you should use 50 percent green material and 50 percent dry, but you can use shredded newspaper for the dry material if necessary. You don't need to fill the can all at one time - just put in the plant material you have on hand.
3.Spray water over the chopped plant material inside the can, until the material is damp but not soggy.
4.Put the lid on the can.
5.Place the filled garbage can on bricks or several 2-by-4-inch pieces of lumber to keep the can off the ground and prevent it from rusting.
6.Turn the can as often as daily, or at least once a week. Lay the can on its side and roll it around to mix the plant material inside.
7.Add more plant material at any time.
8.Keep the compost about as moist as a wrung-out sponge by spraying it with water when the plant material begins to feel dry.
9.Harvest your compost after one month. Use a wire screen or piece of chicken wire to strain out the unfinished compost. 
Compost can be used to top-dress garden beds or as potting soil for indoor plants.
Once the plant material inside the can is no longer warm to the touch, the composting process is finished. 

How to Make Pompom Christmas Ornaments

1.Select yarn that appeals to you. Wool, acrylic or silk all make lovely pompoms.
2.Cut a piece of stiff cardboard into a 5-inch by 3-inch rectangle. Make a slit in one of the 3-inch ends to hold the yarn.
3.Slide the end piece of the yarn into the slit.
4.Begin wrapping the yarn around the cardboard. (You should be wrapping around the length of the cardboard, not the width.)
5.Make 25 or 30 wraps. If the yarn you are using is thick, this may be enough. If you are using thinner yarn, keep wrapping until the bundle of yarn on the cardboard looks thick and full.
6.Sever the strand of yarn from the ball once the wrapping is complete.
7.Cut two 6-inch pieces of yarn from the ball and one 12-inch piece.
8.Slip one of the 6-inch pieces of yarn between one side of the card and the yarn bundle on that side, about halfway down the length of the card, and tie the yarn bundle. Repeat on the other side of the cardboard. Now you have the yarn bundle tied in the front and the back, but still wound around the cardboard. (The reason you tie it on both sides is so it won't unravel when you slide it off the cardboard frame.)
9.Slip the bundle of yarn off the cardboard.
1..Tie the 12-inch piece of yarn tightly around the whole bundle (covering the two smaller ties), gathering all of the yarn at a midpoint. You now have a bundle that is tied at the center.
1..Tie the ends of the 12-inch piece of yarn to make a loop so you can hang your finished pompom.
1..Cut through the loops at the end of the bundle with sharp scissors.
1..Shake the pompom to fluff it into shape and hang it on the tree! 
You can make larger pompoms by cutting a bigger cardboard frame and using fatter yarn.
Hang the pompoms with metallic garland instead of yarn for some added sparkle.    

How to Choose a Magazine Subscription as a Gift for a Teen

1.Look for age and gender-appropriate publications such as "Teen" or "Seventeen."
2.Get your sophisticated teen a subscription to "Edge" or "Real."
3.Try "React," a weekly for news and entertainment directed specifically at teenagers.
4.Order "Jump," "Twist," "YM" or "Teen" for girls age 13 and older and "Tiger Beat" for preteens.
5.Bet that boys will enjoy "Mad," "Boys Life," "Sports Illustrated," "ESPN - The Magazine" or "Road & Track."
6.Consider their interests: Music lovers might enjoy "Rolling Stone," "Guitar" or "Musician"; animal lovers would probably appreciate "Dog Fancy" or "Cat Fancy" or perhaps "Horse Illustrated"; auto enthusiasts should try "Car and Driver," "Corvette Fever," "Road & Track" or "Four Wheeler."
7.Give your computer buff "Computer Gaming World," "PC Computing," "PC Gamer" or "PC Week." "PlayStation" and others like it will appeal to those who spend hours playing console games.
8.Try "Backpacker," "Basketball News," "Pro Football Weekly," "Bicycling," "Sporting News" and "Climbing" for sports fiends.
9.Science-minded teens may find "Astronomy," "Discover" or "Popular Science" fascinating.
1..Check out, too, "Entertainment Weekly," "Field & Stream," "National Geographic," "Games" and "People."   

How to Comfort a Friend After a Breakup

1.Spend time with your friend, ideally in person.
2.Let your friend talk. If he or she is not talking, encourage it. Keep lots of tissues handy.
3.Try distractions. Movies, sightseeing, outdoor activities and games are good possibilities.
4.Indulge your friend with chocolates, massages, facials, shopping sprees - whatever lets him or her concentrate on pleasure instead of pain.
5.Send a card to lift your friend's spirits if you can't be there in person.
6.Be patient. Some things take a long time to get over. 
Even if you think the breakup was your friend's fault, now is not the time to say so.
Avoid such phrases as, "There are other fish in the sea." These comments won't be helpful.
Be careful not to bash the ex too much. That kind of talk may make your friend distrust his or her own judgment, or distrust yours.   

How to Edit the Notes Master in a PowerPoint Presentation

1.Go to the View menu and select Master.
2.Select Notes Master.
3.Go to the View menu and select Zoom to zoom in, if you need to.
4.Select the percentage you want to zoom in, then click OK.
5.Resize slides or text placeholders by first selecting them, then dragging one of the handles (hollow boxes) to the size you want.
6.Reformat text by first selecting the text, then going to the Format menu and using the Format commands to change font, font size, and font color, as well as indents.
7.Add headers and footers by going to the View menu and selecting Header and Footer.
8.Enter the header and footer text in the appropriate text box.
9.Return to Slide or Normal view (via the View menu) when you're finished entering your notes. 
Tips: Headers and footers are not visible on the Notes Master, but you can see them in Notes Page view.   

How to Write Your First Letter to a Pen Pal

1.Be friendly and polite.
2.Keep your tone upbeat.
3.Share information about yourself that you think others will find interesting.
4.Tell the person who you are and what you are about.
5.Include information about your age, education and career.
6.Mention your favorite hobbies, pets, children or anything else that might unearth a shared interest with in your new friend.
7.Avoid talking about controversial topics.
8.Take care not to overwhelm the reader with too much information. Revealing a little bit at a time will pique the reader’s interest.
9.Ask questions of the other person so he or she can respond.
1..Let your personality show by your choice of words and the descriptions you use. 
Tips: Remember not to share too much too soon. Wait until someone knows you before you air your family problems and secrets. 
Warnings: Use careful judgment when deciding how much information to share with a stranger. Always be cautious when it comes to revealing personal information.   

How to Evaluate Your Hamstring and Lower Back Flexibility

1.Do some warm-up activities (walking, marching in place or riding a stationary bicycle) before performing this test. When warm, remove your shoes.
2.Grab a yardstick and some masking tape.
3.Align the yardstick on the ground with the zero mark closest to you.
4.Use masking tape to tape the yardstick to the ground at the 15-inch mark, which is where the starting point will be.
5.Sit on the floor with the yardstick between your legs, your feet shoulder-width apart (about 10 to 12 inches) and your heels on the 15-inch mark (where the masking tape is).
6.Place one hand on top of the other, with your arms straightened out in front of you.
7.Keeping your legs straight, gently reach forward, sliding your fingertips along the yardstick. Do not bounce or jerk.
8.Avoid bending your knees as you stretch. Ask a friend or family member to watch you to make sure you keep your legs straight.
9.Note the distance in inches that your fingers reach; perform the test three more times and record your best score.
1..Compare your results with the scoring guidelines below. 
Superior performance for men is 20.5 to 23 inches; for women, 23 to 24.5 inches.
Excellent flexibility for men is 17.5 to 20 inches; for women, 20 to 22.5 inches.
For men, a good score is 15.5 to 17 inches; good for women is 18.5 to 19.5 inches.
Fair for men is 13.5 to 15 inches, and for women, it's 16.5 to 18 inches.
Poor flexibility for men is 10.5 to 13.0 inches; for women, 14.5 to 16 inches is poor.
Very poor flexibility is 7 to 10 inches for men, or 12.5 to 14 inches for women. 
Warnings: Do not perform the test if you have a history of back pain.  
Overall Warnings: If you have any condition that would impair or limit your ability to engage in physical activity, please consult a physician before attempting this activity. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. 

How to Use Windows Files and Disks on a Mac

Opening Files by Double-Clicking
1.Make sure Automatic Document Translation is turned on in the Macintosh Easy Open or File Exchange control panel.
2.Put the PC disk in the Macintosh disk drive.
3.Double-click the PC disk icon.
4.Double-click the icon of the document you wish to open.
5.If the document doesn’t open immediately, the Mac’s Easy Open or File Exchange control panel may give you a list of applications to try. Choose the same type of application (graphics, word processing, spreadsheet) as the document.
6.If this method doesn’t work, open the Mac version of the PC application that created the document. (For example, if it is a Microsoft Word for Windows file, open Word on the Macintosh.) If you lack that application, try a similar one (for example, the word processor in AppleWorks). Open the File menu and choose Open, then browse your disks for the PC file. If the file you’re looking for doesn’t appear in the Open box, make sure that All Files is selected, if possible, in the File Type menu. If that doesn’t work, try another program. 
If your system software includes the PC Exchange control panel, make sure it is turned on.
If you can’t open the file, or if its formatting is messed up, ask the person who gave you the document to resave it in a widely translatable format, such as RTF (Rich Text Format) for word processing documents. Many programs can also save files in the formats of earlier versions. 
Warnings: You can’t run or install Windows application programs on a Mac; you can only open documents. 
Opening Files With the Open Command

7.This method can sometimes work when double-clicking fails. Open the same application if you have it. (For example, if it is a Word for Windows file, open Microsoft Word on the Macintosh).
8.Otherwise, open the same type of application - for example, if the file is a Word for Windows file, open the Claris Works word processor.
9.Choose Open from the File menu.
1..In the Open box, navigate to the file you're trying to open and double-click it.  
Tips: If the file you're looking for doesn't appear in the Open box, make sure that All Files is selected, if possible, in the File Type menu. If that doesn't work, try another program.  
Overall Tips:
If your version of system software includes the PC Exchange control panel, make sure it is turned on.
Make sure Automatic Document Translation is turned on in the Macintosh Easy Open control panel.
Translating with the newest software on your Mac results in the highest level of translation success.
If you can't open the file, or if its formatting is messed up, ask the person who gave you the document to resave it in a widely translatable format, such as RTF (Rich Text Format) for word-processing documents. Many programs can also save files in the formats of earlier versions (for example, a Word 98 user could save a file in Word 5.1 for Macintosh format).
You can't run or install Windows application programs on a Mac; you can only open documents.    
Overall Warnings: If you don't have the Macintosh version of the application that created the file, you might lose formatting created in the original document. Try opening the file in different applications to see which one works best. You'll run into the most trouble if the file was created in a later version of an application than what you have - for example, if you have Word 5.1, but the document was created in Word 98.