The Daily Herald from Arlington Heights, Illinois on March 9, 2008 · Page 136
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The Daily Herald from Arlington Heights, Illinois · Page 136

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Arlington Heights, Illinois
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Sunday, March 9, 2008
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Page 136
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MM 2 SKC:riON3 DAII.YIIKRAI.I) SUNDAY, MARCH 9, 2008 Business Tech Marketing executive starts online Home School Inc. Web-based Home School Inc. in Des Plaines is gearing up for expansion. The company's Web site, www.home- school-inc.corn, has garnered 20,000 registered users and about 40,000 daily visitors interested in home schooling. By the end of this ===== year, about 100,000 daily visitors and around $4 million in revenues are expected, said Chief Executive Officer and founder Thomas Morrow of Arlington Heights. "Home schooling has been a growing trend and we see our business growing by 7 percent to 12 percent," said Morrow. Morrow, a former Motorola Inc. marketing and operations executive, had started his own IT consulting firm. But friends suggested he launch the Web- based home education site because not much was offered online to meet their needs. And now that Morrow plans to home school his two children, the Web site took on new meaning. He got some seed money from friends, family and educators and started the business in 2005. Its Web site went live in January 2007. He's now talking with venture capi- Anna Marie Kukec f-lnuz school tal firms to help boost the Internet business even further, aiming to expand his staff from 11 to 40 employees later this year. The site now offers reference materials, a bookstore and a community of other like-minded educators. It also provides a planner that allows parents to set up their plan curriculum, create assignments, chart progress and keep records for each child safe and secure. Next, Morrow aims to add new tools, including a business-to-business area and more services for educators. New features, such as a virtual field trip to museums and other places, will offer an inside look without the expense associated with such trips. While there may be CD- ROMs in the marketplace that handle some of the planning, the site offers Web-based convenience and interaction. Registered users hail from all 50 states, every province in Canada, as well as.Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, China, Singapore and Australia. "People who visit our site learned about us from some trade shows and word of mouth," Morrow said. \\'eb-Httseff hool P/tnn RICK WKST/rwcsKffidiiilyhcrald.cotn Former Motorola executive Thomas Morrow, now chief executive officer of Des Plaines-based Home School Inc., promotes his Web-based business at a trade show in St. Charles Friday. Surfing: During all Chicago Rush Arena Football League games this season, the Allstate Arena's jumbotron will double as the world's largest video game monitor. That's because Arlington Heights-based Golden Tee Golf (www.gold entee.com) partnered with TopGolf of Wood Dale (www.topgolf.com) to conduct the Hole-in-One Challenge. Three fans will be chosen at random to compete. If no one gets an ace, the fan closest to the pin will win prizes. • The American Electronics Association (www.aeanet.org) named Ed Longanecker, executive director of AeA's Oakbrook Terrace office, as one of six new directors who will focus on public policy issues in the Midwest. He joined AeA in 2000, and relocated to Illinois to open AeA's Midwest office in 2004, after having spent five years as the managing director of AeA's Texas Council. Longanecker also serves on Mayor Richard M. Daley's Council of Technology Advisors. • Harper College received approval for a new associate's degree in nanoscience technology. It starts this fall. Harper is the first community college in the state to offer the degree. For details, contact Sally Griffith, (847) 925-6793 or sgriffit@harpercollege.edu. akukec@dailyherald.com USB turntable gives new life to old vinyl LPs BY RON HARRIS Associritcil Pnsx SAN FRANCISCO — Most people gave up on their vinyl music collection two decades ago, when compact discs all but nudged LPs off store shelves for good. If you held onto any _^^^^_ favorites, D.J. equipment maker Numark Inc. is looking to breathe new ^^^^^^ life into them ^™~™"~~" with a USB- equipped turntable. It can pipe the tunes of yesteryear into your computer, where you can store them in digital form — or load them onto a media player and take them on the road. The Numark TTX USB ($399) is a sturdy, disc jockey- quality turntable with well-fashioned components and nice styling. Nothing ASSOCIATKD PRESS The Numark TTX USB Turntable attaches directly to a desktop or laptop computer through its USB connection. The music can easily be saved as a digital file for your portable media player. about this unit threatens to date it visually, and that's important if you're considering showcasing a turntable alongside some other home theater devices. It's long been possible to skip such devices altogether and pipe the sound from your old, non-USB turntable into a computer. You can feed the audio signal into a USB- equipped mixer or use an add-on like Creative Technol- ogy Ltd.'s Sound Blaster PC cards with traditional left and right phono inputs. The on-board USB connection just made the process easier for me. Numark is selling ease-of-use and top notch physical components with the TTX USB unit. The Numark includes the software needed to import music from 33s and 45s to a computer hard drive. Once you plug the USB cable from the turntable into the computer and launch the application, it's as simple as pressing record and lowering the needle down onto the album surface. Of course this is a real-time affair: There are no shortcuts to ripping vinyl to a digital file. If you want to convert 50 minutes of album music into MP3 format, it takes 50 minutes of recording plus a few minutes for the conversion and encoding, in contrast to the few minutes it takes to burn a CD with files already in digital form. I invited a friend and her albums over for a Sunday afternoon of vinyl ripping. She brought a mish mash of good 1980s music, bad 1980s music and a few nicely remastered jazz albums to keep things respectable. Like me, she had kept her LPs, waiting for an opportunity like this. The Numark unit faithfully replicated the music, along with the occasional crackle and hiss of a weathered album. The files were encoded as MP3s at 160 kilobits per second. There is software to remove or at least soften the cracks and hisses that can be heard on aging vinyl albums. Audacity can do a decent job and the software is free to download. Audio Cleaning Lab from Magix ($39.99) also has many tools for sprucing up sounds transferred from vinyl. EVE Online players vote NEW YORK — Players of the game EVE Online will soon be able to vote for an unusual community council that will present their concerns to the publisher, the company announced last week. The players, who number more than 220,000 and are spread around the world, will be able to vote in May for a nine-member council of representatives, Iceland-based publisher CCPhf said. Elements of democracy are not unheard of in online games. A Tale in the Desert lets the players write laws and vote on having them applied in the game. But EVE Online — which depicts a cutthroat universe of space traders, miners and pirates — may be the first to feature a form of representative government. In keeping with the game's setting, CCP is not banning vote-buying, voter coercion or other practices that real-world democracies frown on. Mossberg: Time Machine best for Mac laptop Continual from Ihge 1 Time Capsule doesn't allow users to simultaneously stream music or videos to multiple PCs, to easily access its contents via the Web or to stream videos to TV sets. The $299 Time Capsule model comes with a 500 gigabyte hard disk inside, and there's also a $499 model with hard disk that can hold one terabyte of data, or roughly 1,000 gigabytes. Both models use the same "n" class of Wi- Fi, the fastest version with the longest range. Both also work with computers equipped with the older "g" and "b" versions of Wi-Fi. You can buy networked hard disks in these sizes for less money and simply use them with your existing Wi-Fi router. However, Time Machine won't work with them, according to Apple. The company says the only standalone networked hard disk Time Machine can use is Time Capsule. In my tests, Time Capsule performed perfectly with Time Machine. It also was easily recognized by several of my Windows machines running Vista and Windows XP. On all of these machines, I was able to speedily access the Internet via Time Capsule. Time Capsule can be set up to either replace or supplement your existing Wi-Fi router. All the machines, even the Windows ones, also could recognize the Time Capsule as a remote hard disk, and save files to it and retrieve files from it. For instance, I manually copied a song, a photo and a Word document from a Mac laptop running Leopard onto the Time Capsule. On a Dell running Vista, I then opened the Time Capsule and launched that same Word document in the Windows version of Word, opened the photo in Vista's Photo Gallery program, and played the song in Windows Media Player. This same process worked in reverse. Apple doesn't guarantee that Time Capsule will work with all backup programs. But it says it will work with the backup software built into Tiger and will likely work with some other backup software. In my tests, the built-in backup program in Windows XP Pro worked fine with Time Capsule. But the built-in backup program in Vista failed. Microsoft said the problem I encountered was due to a new Vista security feature for backups that foils some remote hard disks, not just Apple's. Setting up Time Capsule was easy, using a step-by-step utility program that Apple supplies in both Mac and Windows versions. The device has a USB port that can be used to add either an additional hard disk or a networked printer. And it can be connected to a network via a wired connection if you don't want to use its wireless functionality. If you use Time Machine on a Mac laptop, then Time Capsule's $299 price is money well spent. If you don't, there are cheaper or more versatile solutions to the backup problem. » ContactWall Street Journal writer Walter S. Mossberg at mossberg@wsj.com. & 2008, Dow Jones & Co. Inc. Agility Networks, LLC Movers and Shakers BY NORRINK TWOHEY The Chamberlain Group Inc., Elmhurst, announced Scott Mordell, executive vice president, will oversee operations at sister company HeathCo. Scott Mordell Rolling Meadows-based Northrop Grumman Corp. appointed Carl R. Smith vice president of infrared countermeasures for the company's defensive systems division. Smith joined die company in 1984 and previously sewed as vice president of engineering and manufacturing. Wauconda-based Fidelitone Logistics appointed Michael Schoenfeld executive vice president, business development. Schoenfeld previously served with Excel, a leader in contract logistics. Elkay Manufacturing Co.'s plumbing products division, Oak Brook, promoted Mark Whittington of Geneva to senior vice president of sales; Ted Hamilton of Wheaton to director, trade sales and market development-west; and Mike Purcell to director, trade sales and market development-east. Russell L. Holbrook of Geneva, vice president of shared services for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Arlington Heights, earned the certified association executive credential from the American Society of Association Executives, the highest profession credential in the association industry. Bob and Lisa Wisdom of RE/MAX Professionals West, Elgin, were named within the Top 100 teams for all of RE/MAX Northern Illinois as well as Top Lister for their performance in November for the Elgin office. Melissa Ciske of Mount Prospect was promoted from and independent consultant with Tastefully Simple Inc., to a senior team manager. AAR Corp., Wood Dale, named Donald J. Wetekam group vice president of the maintenance, repair and overhaul segment. Wetekam previously served as president and general manager of AAR's aircraft maintenance facility in Oklahoma City. With more than 10 years of audit, enterprise risk management and Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance experience, Dorri McWhorter joined Crowe Group LLP, the parent company of the public and consulting firm Crowe Chizek and Co., Oak Brook. Antioch resident David Grindley was promoted to project manager at Boiler Construction Co., Waukegan, to coordinate building projects, bidding and supervision. Mikus: Fresh Air campaign begins with Daffodil Continued from Riga I all doors and windows. "We abide by the state law and local ordinances," said Konda Dees, marketing director at Deer Park Town Center, saidj the mall has not dis- cussed plans to change its smoking policy. She added that there's so many doors at the lifestyle center that there aren't many places to smoke anyway. Westfield Old Orchard is learning with the American Cancer Society to mark the launch of the new policy Saturday. Daffodil Days, a Celebration of Hope, will run from noon to 4 p.m. Fresh daffodils, the first flower of spring and a symbol of hope to those affected bytcancer, will be available for purchase in the food court. « Kim Mikus covers retail for the Daily Herald. She welcomes comments at (847) 427-4567 or at kiiiikus@dailyltsrald.com. Computer Network Services Providing on-site computer network services for businesses and organizations for over 13 years. Quit reacting to a chaotic technology environment, allow us to stabilize and manage your IT. investment. www.agilitynetworks.com Learn More! Call: 877 AGILITY Ads by Googl|

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