Spilt Coffee on Your Computer Keyboard?

November 2, 2010

Typing on my computer keyboard with one hand and drinking a large coffee in the other hand. Racing to reach a 5pm deadline. I was on my way to the finish line. The light at the end of the tunnel was shinning brighter. As I was typing the last paragraph, someone shouted across the office. I jumped, along with my large cup of coffee. The cup hung in the air for a brief second and then a tsunami of coffee came falling down right on top of my computer keyboard. The liquid gushed over the sides of the keyboard, as the amount of liquid reached its capacity inside the plastic computer keyboard’s frame. My keyboard was fried like this morning’s eggs. I missed my 5pm deadline. Just borrow another computer keyboard you might ask. A room full of eager colleagues were trying to finish a 5pm deadline as well. Weeks later, I was talking with our supplier. I had mentioned the coffee incident. He had the solution. A forthright thinker had the genius idea of creating a washable computer keyboard.

Introducing the Washable Keyboard

Washable Keyboard, 104 Keys, Black

Pro Fit USB/PS2 Washable Keyboard, 104 Keys, Black


How can Visual Aids Help Improve Your Child’s Learning?

October 20, 2010

Recently, I was watching a manager explain a concept to a fellow employee. However, my fellow employee did not understand the idea he was trying to explain. Quickly, I pulled my manager aside. He scribbled some information on a dry erase board. Soon the light bulb went off. My fellow employee knew exactly what our manager was saying.

Many people are visual learners, especially children. Multiple studies have concluded that students and adults who study, according to their own personal preferences, excel higher than students and adults who do not. Visual tools, such as dry erase boards, can greatly improve one’s ability to understand and learn new information.

Are you, or your child, a visual learner? Use the below questions to find out if you are. If you answer yes to more than two of the following questions, than you are most likely a visual learner.

1. Are you good at spelling?
2. Do you like colors and fashion?
3. Do you have to think awhile after someone explains a concept to you?
4. Are you good at visualizing objects?
5. Are you an excellent organizer?
6. Do you dream in color?
7. Can you immediately notice when something is out of alignment

Visual learners, such as yourself and your child, can prosper greatly when using visual tools. Dry erase boards can greatly increase your ability to recall information and they are great to illustrate images and graphs. Assorted markers can also be used to enhance the learner’s experience, through color coding. Dry erase boards are also a great way to go green. You can easily write and erase information, so there is no need to use up valuable pieces of paper. In addition to using less paper, dry erase boards are much easier on the eyes than your traditional black chalk board. Dry erase boards can be used to train employees, teach students, and allow anyone to make a professional presentation more impactful.

Dry Erase Boards & Accessories:

Wall-Mount Dry Erase BoardsEasel Style BoardsDesktop/Portable Dry-Erase BoardsDry Erase Markers


How to Make Your Pet a Star

October 7, 2010

Enter Your Pet in our Picture Contest

Do you have a cute pet picture? If so, enter our “Supply Brothers Pet of the Week” contest. The winner will be selected by our staff on October 15th. If selected, your pet will appear on the homepage of our website for the entire week of October 18th through October 24th. Supply Brothers draws thousands of visitors per month, and your pet could be seen on our homepage!

To enter your pet, simply email us (news@supplybrothers.com) a photo of your pet before October 15th. Our staff will pick their favorite on October 15th and on October 18th, you can see your pet on our homepage Supply Brothers.

Don’t be discouraged if your pet does not appear at first, we will be choosing several winners and posting pet pictures for several weeks. All winners will be notified a day in advance.


Three Easy Purchasing Practices for any situation

July 26, 2010

Hoboken, NJ – Sept 17 2010 -The challenging economic climate has made the procurement department more important than ever. Purchasing practices have certainly changed over the years and this area is constantly evolving to become more efficient. Many studies have been published on this subject and extensive research has been done. We here at Supply Brothers decided to share these best practices with you in a manner that can be applied to your every day purchases. This article will help the average consumer and the seasoned corporate purchasing professional.

1. Develop strong negotiation skills: For some of us, negotiating can be a daunting and even intimidating task. Negotiating becomes more comfortable with practice but one key item can greatly help you. Planning is the key to a great negotiation. Research your purchase and make sure you are aware of key variables, historical prices, etc. For example, lets say you are buying a car. If you go in prepared, knowing the invoice price or the blue book value, you can stick to a number that you are willing to pay for the car, based on published values. Your negotiation becomes much easier now that you are armed with actual data to back up your offer price.

2. Focus on total cost: Everything has a cost. The time spent researching a product, the manner in which you procure a product, and many other variable factor into your total price paid. If you find an item you want but then drive hours to several different sellers to find the best price, you are essentially raising your total cost. Time spent, Gas, transportation costs, etc now become part of the equation. Be aware of these variables and control them. This brings us to the most important point, use technology to your advantage.

3. Using Technology: If you have frequent purchasing habits, or needs, try to automate with technology. Allow technology to streamline your research and help you make decisions. In addition, using the internet to make your purchases allows you to research deals and special offers in moments. Some sites online still offer free shipping. Before making your purchase, always factor in the shipping and handling costs. Be wary of merchants offering low prices but then making it back on high shipping costs. Compare Now and Start Shopping!

Sincerely,

Supply Brothers


Alternatives to Petroleum Based Products

June 28, 2010
Hoboken, NJ – June 28 2010 – This will be a 3 part series in reducing our use of Petroleum based products. Reasons to reduce our use of Petroleum are extensive. There are health, environmental, and political reasons. The spill in the Gulf has many people reexamining our dependency on oil.  Now there are certainly ways we can reduce our use of fuel, heating oil, gasoline, etc. This article will focus on additional ways we can reduce our use of Petroleum. We can reduce our use of Petroleum by first understanding common items that are made by Petroleum.
 
  • Plastics & Synthetic Rubber
  • Paint, paint thinners, lacquers, solvents, floor cleaners,
  • Petroleum (or paraffin) wax used in candy making, packaging, candles, crayons, matches, and polishes
  • Petroleum jelly – used in medical products and toiletries (lip gloss)
  • Polyester and other synthetic fibers.
  • Fertilizers, pesticides
  • Many more miscellaneous items such as hair spray, printing inks, asphalt

 1. Plastics and Synthetic Rubber: Today, there are many alternatives to utilizing these items.  Take plastic bags for example.  Many grocery and even clothing stores now sell reusable bags made from Corn or Hemp. Some local grocers also give discounts to people who bring their own bags.   

   

Even garbage bags have an eco friendly option. There are entire lines of disposable garbage bags that biodegrade. “EcoDegradable” bags now come in all sizes and strengths. (See here STOG2430W70)

 

Cutting down your use of plastic is even easier. Many manufacturers are using alternatives such as corn and vegetable plants in place of plastic! Take a look at these disposable knives, forks, and spoons, (ECOEPS001, ECOEPS002, ECOEPS003) all made from plant starch.    We also found disposable plates made from sugarcane (ECOEPP016, ECOEPP013, ECOEPP005, ECOEPBL12).   

 

PVC is one of the most widely used and potentially toxic forms of plastic.  Many manufacturers now make PVC free products. For example, both Avery and Wilson Jones make an entire line of PVC free binders and office products (AVE79699). 

 

2. Paint:  According to the EPA, indoor air is 3 times more polluted than the air outdoors. Much of this comes from the materials we use to build our homes and the paints and finishes we put on the walls. Paints and finishes release low level toxic emissions into the air for years after application. Luckily for us, most manufacturers now make paints based from Natural products with less toxicity and even petroleum free alternatives.

    

Casein, a protein found in milk products is a fast-drying egg-based paint that has been in use for hundreds of years. Today, it is purchased in a dry and powdered form. The powder must be mixed with water and then used immediately (usually within hours to days) to prevent the paint from clumping. Milk, like clay, is intended as an interior paint and only comes in a matte finish.  

    

Another Alternative is Lime Wash. Limestone, a calcium-based mineral, is combined with water to form a natural paint. It can be used indoors or outdoors and forms a unique, glowing finish that comes in a variety of colors. Although 100% natural, limestone is corrosive to both eyes and skin, so wear gloves and goggles during application.  Ask your hardware store personnel for green friendly and petroleum free products the next time you shop for them.  

    

This concludes Part 1 of this article.  Join us for Part 2 (coming soon) of this article as we continue to explore ways to reduce our use of petroleum.


Save Energy, Save Money

June 21, 2010

Simple and Easy Ways to Conserve energy in the home or office

Hoboken, NJ – June 21 2010 – Sometimes being green friendly and wanting to save energy (and money) requires a major change.  Fortunately, for you reading this, we are exploring the simpler options.  Hey, it is the little things, right?

 

1. Vampire electronics:  Most of our electronic devices continue to utilize energy even when they are turned off!  This “standby energy” is constantly being drained as long as the device is plugged in.  Your entertainment system when it’s not in use is costing you an estimated $76 a year, ouch.  Several manufacturers are working on energy saving surge protectors.  The Belkin (BLKBG10800004)  surge protector comes with 2 “always ON’ outlets for items like Routers and DVR’s but has six outlets that can be turned off when not in use.  These “Eco outlets” stop energy from flowing to the plugged in device which will prevent the energy drain on appliances not in use.   As an added bonus, it comes with a remote for easy operation.  This summer, a number of similar products are expected to hit the market. 

 

2. Computer or Home Office: How about tackling 2 items with one solution?  The Tripp Lite ECO series UPS system provides “Eco” surge outlets, Phone/DSL surge protection, and is a UPS backup system that protects your computer from data loss in the case of a power outage. We found several versions with the entry level around $50.  The entry level TRPECO350UPS gives you 6 outlets (2 Eco friendly and 3 with UPS backup).   Protect your computer from data loss and save energy?  Not a bad deal considering that your computer easily uses $50 a year in ‘standby’ energy.

 

3. Give the home or office Fridge a break:  Refrigerators account for about 20% of Household electricity use.  Use the thermometer in your refrigerator to set your fridge to 37F degrees and your freezer to about 3F degrees. Good rule of thumb, make small changes with your freezer to ensure that you don’t set it too hot or too cold.

 

4. Use the sun to your advantage: On hot days, while you are at work, leave the blinds drawn or closed to keep out the sunlight and reduce the heat in your house.  Come home to a much cooler house!  On cold winter days, allow plenty of sunlight to flood your rooms. 

 

5. Turn down your water heater thermostat:This is a simple process and there are many guides to help you do this.I would caution, as with any electric device, if you are unsure of what to do, seek professional help.  However, most people could probably do this on their own.  Thermostats are often set to 140 degrees F when 120 or even 110 are usually fine. Each 10 degree reduction saves 600 pounds of CO2 per year for an electric water heater.

 

“All Your Office Needs!” 
 
Sincerely,
 
# # #

 


Top 10 Office Pranks for Your Coworkers

June 13, 2010

June 14 2010 – Supply Brothers’ ‘Office Talk’

1. The Mouse Trick

Utilize the USB port to attach a second mouse to a neighboring coworker’s computer. This works especially well if you are sitting across from him or her. Plug in, wiggle away, and watch them squirm. Added points if you have a wireless mouse.

2. Mouse Trick Number Two

The laser mouse may have ended the era of mouse-ball stealing, but it opened up another option. Stick a few layered pieces of transparent tape on the bottom side of your friend’s mouse to really mess with its functionability. Or, tape a small Post-It note that says “Why won’t my mouse work?” over the laser.

3. Ketchup with Your Phone?

Yes, you read correctly. This is a classic trick to play on your coworker. I have actually had it done to myself, and it was quite a laugh for the whole office. Next time you go to lunch take a few extra ketchup packets. Next wait till your coworker steps away from his or her desk. Quickly place ketchup all over the ear piece of the phone. Gather your surrounding coworkers and let only them in on the prank. When your coworker returns to his or her desk, give them a ring and laugh obnoxiously.

4. Busy Computer

This is anther classic mouse trick. Under the ‘mouse settings’ go to the ‘pointer tab’ and click on the hour glass. This will switch their pointer to a busy hour glass. Suddenly your coworker’s computer is always busy!

5. Wrap it Up

Wrap your entire coworker’s desk with aluminum foil. This includes their computer, pens, pencils, folders, etc. Don’t leave anything out. The more, the funnier it will become.

6. Can You be Mine?

Sent a fake love note to a coworker from another coworker.

7. The Paper Clip

Make some copies of a paper clip. Then, put this same paper into the paper tray of your copying machine. People will go bananas trying to figure out why all their copies have a paperclip on it!

8. No Toilet Paper

Place a sign on the restroom door that reads, “The Company ran out of toilet tissue; please use your own resources.”

9. Congratulations on Your Baby

Get all the women in the office to individually speak with the President, confiding that you are pregnant. By noon, he will think that all of his female coworkers are pregnant and he will not be able to tell anyone because each asked for confidentiality.

10. Booo!

Halloween never gets old. So why not scare the living daylights out of your friend at work. All you need is an old mailing box that is big enough for you to fit in. Next, put the box in a strategic location for scaring your victim. Some keys spots are near the elevator, break room, or near his or her cubicle. Get in the box and wait for your victim to come strolling by. Jump out and scare your victim using whatever means necessary; screaming, yelling, arm movements, etc.

Disclaimer: Supply Brothers is not responsible for any of the consequences as a result of these acts. However, if you do, be sure to have fun and be safe.