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Have you ever looked at online computer ads, or the shelf at the local Big-Box Retailer, and said "They Don't have exactly what I want/need!" - If this is the case, a Custom Built Computer may be the right solution to the problem.   The 1st step in a Custom Build is determining the exact client's needs. In my "Daily Driver", I knew I needed 4 Monitors in a 2x2 Configuration. This particular graphics setup is a fairly limiting criteria when it comes to buying a graphics card.    Instead, the less expensive option is the use 2x Graphics cards, with 2 outputs each. The prerequisite for this setup is a Motherboard with 2x PCI-E Slots.    This is just one example of why every custom build Must have an experienced advisor.    If you want the pride of building your own Computer, you can hire me for product selection on the front-end, usually about 1 hour with a shared or Wish List,... read more

A recent article has been circulating, courtesy : ;   Adblock-Plus is a paid program that claims to remove all online ads from your computer browsing experience.   Now, they are shifting to selling ads through their program to Advertisers.   If this seems backwards, it is!    The marketplace is full of these software programs - some we come across regularly: System Mechanic, DriverUpdates, etc.   Don't install any programs that you don't absolutely need to get your work done - And even for THOSE programs, be sure to buy and download from reputable sources   -Ryan P.  5-Star Rated Tutor in the San Fernando Valley 

Proof of the Assertion that Any Three Non-Collinear Points Determine Exactly One Circle This is an interesting problem in geometry, for a couple of reasons. First, you can apply some earlier, basic geometry principles; and secondly, you can choose two different strategies for solving the problem. The basic geometry underlying: any three non-collinear points determine a plane, somewhere in 3D space. Once that has been done, imagine that the plane has been rotated into the x-y plane, which will make the problem much easier to solve! The two strategies for solution are: (Proof A) actually solve to find the circle. This is equivalent to finding the center of the circle (finding the equation of the circle is simple from there). But, you actually have to do some math to get this! If, while doing this, there is no possibility to obtain other values for the coordinates of the center of the circle, you have proved the assertion as well as obtained a method (and perhaps... read more

Cancellations: 1) If the student/guardian gives more than 6 hours notice of cancellation before the start of the lesson, I will not charge you for the lesson. 2) If the student/guardian gives between 1-6 hours notice of cancellation before the lesson, I reserve the right to charge 50% my rate for the lesson length. 3) If the student gives less than 15 minutes-1 hour notice of cancellation, I reserve the right to charge for the entire lesson at the full rate. 4) If the student gives less than 15 minutes notice of cancellation, does not show up at all, or does not show up by 20 minutes after the start of the lesson time, I reserve the right to charge double the full rate for the lesson. 5) If I, the tutor, miss a lesson without more than 1 hours notice of cancellation, the student reserves the right to request the next lesson of equivalent length for no fee.   Tardies: 1) If a student is 15 or more minutes late, I will charge for the entire length... read more

  For those of you who may have purchased Apple's spiffy $79 external CD/DVD burner (or Superdrive as they call it), it may not have worked when you plugged it into your older Mac. A lot of times a person's built-in optical drive fails, and they see the new external at the Apple Store. They naturally grab one assuming it'll work because they'll be using it with a Mac. Hopefully there's a "Genius" selling it to them who's going to ask which Mac they plan on using it with. I'd think probably not. It turns out it's only the fairly newer Macs that support it. When you plug it in, your older Mac might very well inform you that "This Apple External CD/DVD drive is not compatible with this Mac. Please go to Apple Support to read more." What they show you is a compatibility matrix that seems to makes no sense. I haven't compared every spec of every Mac they list, but 2009 seems to be the general cutoff.   Perhaps Apple requires USB 3, and... read more

  Critical reading can feel like a pretty nebulous topic, but there are specific skills that can be practiced to improve your understanding. One of the most basic skills is simply paraphrasing as you read through a passage. I did say "simply", but I realize that this does not always feel so simple. Still, with practice, paraphrasing can (and should) become second nature.   As you read through a passage, practice frequently rephrasing what you have read. Paraphrase every few sentences or even more often if the passage is particularly difficult. While you might imagine that this process will slow you down, in practice it can save you time. It is certainly faster than reaching the question section and realizing that you don't understand what you just read. Rereading the entire passage can make it difficult to finish the section in the given time.    Paraphrasing is not summarizing; paraphrasing is instead a way of clarifying what you just read... read more

The cost of a private tutor is perhaps the most prohibitive factor in the decision about hiring a tutor. As a tutor, I want to be able to help students who need my help. But I also like doing things like buying groceries and paying rent, so it is essential that I receive compensation for my time. As a PhD and lifelong student, I like to think that I offer my students a lot of value for their money, but I do realize that $40/hour (my current rate) is expensive. (From what I’ve seen, my rate is pretty average for tutors on WyzAnt, which is to say we’re ALL expensive!) Here are a few tips for how to get the most bang for your tutoring buck. * WyzAnt offers discounts if you buy several lessons at one time. For example, you can pay $190 for $200 worth of lessons—a 5% discount. Spend $360 and you can get a 10% discount. If you anticipate needing a tutor for a semester’s worth of lessons, buying lesson time in bulk is the way to go. * Contact your prospective tutor... read more

Today's post is just a quick good luck wish to all who are taking the ACTs tomorrow morning!  Don't forget, you can always take them more than once, so if you're  not happy with your scores, feel free to contact me for some tutoring so you can improve for the next one!

Michelle (not her real name, of course) is a bright, energetic 5th-grader. She is super-smart (and wants to be an astronaut when she grows up), but unfortunately she has a perception disorder that makes her jumble up letters and words when she reads or writes. (Special glasses help). She was doing very badly in math (especially word problems, as you can imagine), and her parents were in despair. It took several sessions and a lot of discussion with her mom to understand where she was having trouble and come up with ways to help her work-around those challenges. One thing I discovered right away was that she did not know her multiplication tables! (I can’t tell you the number of students I have taught, even in high school, who do not have a good handle on their multiplication tables...) Here she was facing division problems, fractions, and factoring, and she did not have the basic tools needed to handle those. So the first thing we did was made her some multiplication... read more

I mentioned this problem from one of my earliest blog posts with one of my students last week, so I thought I'd bring it back as this week's Math Journey.  Enjoy!   ~   The SAT messes with your head. Don't feel embarrassed, it messes with everyone's head. It's designed to. The SAT is a test of your critical reasoning skills, meaning it's actually far more about logic and figuring out the correct course of action than it is about actually knowing the material. This is nowhere more evident than on the Math section. The SAT Math trips up so many students because they expect it to behave like a math test. The truth is, the SAT Math is about figuring out how to answer each problem using as little actual math as possible. It's all about working quickly, and the questions are structured such that they conceal the quick logic and context-based route behind the facade of a more complicated math question. They're trying to psych you out; to make you... read more

-Tutoring Rates- My base rate may be increased at any time. Students who have tutored with me within the last 2 months will continue to keep their original rates. Those who contact me again after 2 months will have their rates increased to the current rate.   Billing begins at the scheduled session start time (or earlier if the session starts early). Time spent waiting on the student to arrive is billed as part of the session. Travel fees may be assessed for students seeking my services outside the specified radius of my location.    It is the student and/or parent's responsibility to notify me at the start of each session of how much time they wish to be tutored. In the event that a specific time frame is not specified, I will continue working with the student and bill each lesson based on the final duration.   Based on factors such as subject, class structure, online vs in-person, group rates, etc, I may elect to offer different... read more

The answer section is a great way to get that quick help on a single question.  However, when students and parents post questions that seem incomplete, it makes it difficult for us tutors to provide help.  Students and parents who post their questions on the section should read what they write, and check for any information they have left out before submitting the question.  This includes formulas and equations that are missing variables, operators, and appropriate parentheses (I've seen this happen a lot).  Posting incomplete questions prevents you from receiving the answers you need.   Please note:  The title of the question is not meant to carry too many words in "title" field.  Leave any detailed descriptions of the question in the "detail" field when posting. 

It seems to me that even most adults have an issue with grammar. I fairly often see the same mistakes repeated in essays and normal everyday chat. This isn't just an issue associated with younger children with little or no grasp on grammar, it's a common issue that I see even with graduate students. I. First, is the "Their, They're, There" mistake. Their implies ownership. They left with their jackets on. They're implies an action. Today, they're going to the mall. There implies a place. Please place that book over there. II. Second is the "You're and Your" mistake. You're implies that you are going to do something. Today you're going to take the dog for a walk after school. Your implies ownership You left your pencils on the floor. III. Third is the "It's and Its" mistake It's means it is or it has. It's going to be hot outside today! Its shows possession. The cat needs... read more

Have you ever received a graded essay handed back with the phrase, "Needs more structure," or "structure needs work?"   Creating a structure for any written word, whether it is poem, essay, news brief, or novel, is an integral part of the message you intend to convey. Using long, convoluted sentences as means to convince the reader that your argument is very simple will usually only give the opposite impression; simple arguments are best conveyed with short, simple sentences. (For example, the opposite is true in Jonathan Swift's essay, "A Modest Proposal," in which he uses didactic and complex language in an effort to "convince" the people of England that the solution to their hunger and poverty problem is to eat their starving infant children; his complex sentences reflect the sarcastic and satiric nature of his essay, reflecting that he does not see cannibalism as a real solution.)   Structure also helps you keep... read more

I'm seeing more and more requests for assistance with writing. In my tutoring experience, students often need help developing key messages. What would you like a reader to know, learn, or remember? What are the main points to support your point of view, whether the message is informational or persuasive?   Another consideration for effective communication should always be the audience. What does the audience (or teacher) expect to gain from reading your paper, for instance?   Before you start writing, I recommend that you step back and look at the writing assignment (and requirements) carefully before proceeding. This will save you time and enhance your chances of providing a deliverable that is spot-on!    

This example illustrates how to use WSS to determine an appropriate number, k, of clusters, the following example uses R to perform a k-means analysis. The task is to group 620 high school seniors based on their grades in three subject areas: English, mathematics, and science. The grades are averaged over their high school career and assume values from 0 to 100.   # The following R code establishes the necessary R libraries > library(plyr) > library(ggplot2) > library(cluster) > library(lattice) > library(graphics) > library(grid) > library(gridExtra) > library(cowplot)   # Import the CSV file containing the grades > grades<-read.csv("grades.csv", header=TRUE, sep=",") > grades<   # Let's take a look at the structure of the dataset > str(grades)   R output: 'data.frame': 620 obs. of 4 variables: $... read more

I have often been frustrated to have limited viewing space when using Microsoft Word or Excel.   The Options of using the Zoom menu is okay, but the ribbon takes up too much space. The Solution . . .   Alt + V - hold down keys, and (double tap) U   This solution is not found in most books and tutorials . . I found it a few years on an obscure website overseas . . .   It works, I helped a job agency staff member two weeks ago and she was thrilled.      

Michael spent the following amounts of time building a bookcase: drawing up the plans: 2 hours cutting wood: 1 ½ hours assembling the bookcase: 2 hours Sanding and sealing: 3 ½ hours   What is the ratio of time spent cutting the wood to total time spent on the project? 1:9 1:6 1:5 3:7   Solution: We need to find two pieces of information in order to solve this problem: Time spent cutting the wood Total time spent on the project We find that it took 1 ½ hours to cut the wood from looking above at the information provided in the question. Next, find the time the entire project took by adding up all the times. We get 9 hours to complete the whole project. Now we solve our problem by doing the following steps: Our ratio is: time spent cutting wood : total time spent of the project We plug in the numbers to get: 1 ½:9 We multiply each term of the ratio by... read more

Prompt: Explain the popularity of Science Fiction. Use at least one work from this genre to explain its appeal. Science fiction is one of my favorite genres. I love it (and I suspect many of its readers love it) because despite its trappings of the future, good science fiction is very much a reflection of the time period in which it is written. One of Sci-Fi's major draws for me is that it can highlight and discuss social issues that might be touchy to talk about in the present day. Through the skillful use of spaceships, aliens, utopian planet colonies, and other 'flight-of-fancy' scenarios, a science fiction author can hold a mirror up to the way our current society deals with an issue by showing how their fictional society does. By reading sci-fi from previous eras, then, we can catch a glimpse of what people of that era were thinking about – and what was considered an acceptable 'flight of fancy.' The Skylark of Space, written by E. E. 'Doc' Smith in the... read more

For those of you who are Spanish tutors, there is an app called Spanish Dict, short for Spanish Dictionary. It is a free, great app for your Smartphones for yourself as well as for your students whom you tutor.

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