Thursday, February 7, 2008

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Five Common Tax Filing Mistakes

Mistake #1: Failing to Claim Above-the-Line Deductions & Credits

Sometimes taxpayers don’t realize that they qualify for tax credits and deductions that can help lower taxable income. As a result, they can miss out on potentially significant savings. The Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Care Tax Credit, various education tax deductions and IRA-contribution deductions are all available even if the taxpayer doesn’t itemize. Once the allowable items have been identified, it’s important to calculate and enter the credit and deduction amounts correctly on the return. Your life will be much simple if you have turbo tax promo codes.

Mistake #2: Not Itemizing Deductions

Some people automatically take the standard deduction instead of looking closely to see if it’s more advantageous to itemize. According to the General Accounting Office (GAO), more than two million taxpayers use the standard deduction even though they could save more in taxes by itemizing and using turbo tax promotion codes. For example, nearly one million people fail to itemize mortgage interest. This results in an overpayment of more than $470 million in taxes, according to a 2002 GAO report.

Mistake #3: Missing Out on Last-Minute Tax Breaks

Taxpayers have until April 15th of the following year to make a tax deductible contribution to a traditional IRA. For tax year 2005, the maximum IRA contribution that can be deducted is $4,000 ($4,500 if you’re at least 50 years old). Not only do contributions help taxpayers save on taxes today, but they also move them closer to a comfortable retirement. So if you’re looking for a last-minute tax tip, opening a traditional IRA is an attractive move between year-end and April 15th. (Note: The maximum contribution amount for 2006 and 2007 is also $4,000; in 2008, the maximum will increase to $5,000 and will be adjusted for inflation thereafter.)

Mistake #4: Omitting Key Documents

Taxpayers must remember to attach to their returns copies of supporting documents, such as W-2s, 1099s, various schedules and forms and any other relevant information to validate reported income. Otherwise, there may be a delay in processing their return if the IRS requests clarification.

In addition, the IRS may modify a refund if they can’t verify the amount of taxes paid through withholding. For example, if a W-2 is not attached and the return indicates there is a refund, the IRS can simply reduce the refund by the amount of withholding not verified. So take an extra minute to be sure all supporting paperwork is attached to the return.

Mistake #5: Making Simple Errors

According to the Internal Revenue Service, numerical errors (such as miscalculations or typographical errors) and incorrect Social Security numbers are the two most common mistakes on tax returns. These simple errors often lead to delays, notices from the IRS and other problems that can be avoided by taking a few minutes to double-check all the numbers and use good software like turbotax.

ETL Informatica and ETL Teamworker have in common

Sometimes it's not easy to persuade recruiter you are the best candidate and possess all the main skills required by customer. Especially when he doesn't know too much about your field. So your guess is right. The answer to the title question is simple. They have recruiters in common!

The call I had recently confirmed once again that some agents have no idea about the skills they are selling to their clients. Now I understand why we sometimes got people with very different skill set than we demanded.

But back to the interview. The agent was polite and talkative (no surprise) and we spent quite a while talking about the potential project. One of the nice-haves was ETL Informatica. I tried to explain her several times that although I don't have any real hands-on experience with Informatica, I passed several trainings on it and had some time to play with it. Moreover, I have experience with other ETL tools. But she somehow didn't get it. First I thought it was because of my English. As I'm not a native speaker I sometimes have very creative wording. But then she asked me the question that explained everything: "So you have never done ETL Informatica?" The lady didn't differentiated between ETL and Informatica! She thought ETL Informatica is some kind of process or methodology that is to be used at her client.

I explained her that ETL stands for Extract, Transform and Load and Informatica is vendor who sells software for ETL. I compared it to car manufactures. You have Ford and Mercedes. Both make cars. In general, the cars are same. If you can drive the car, you can drive Ford and Mercedes. (I apologise for simplification. I know there is a difference between Ford and Mercedes.) Similar situation is in ETL software market. Informatica is one ETL software vendor. Then there is IBM with DataStage, Oracle with Warehouse Builder and Data Integrator (this probably slightly confused her) and several others. If I have experience with three or more ETL tools the chance I would understand other ETL tool is very high. The lady seemed satisfied so hopefully she got the main difference between ETL and Informatica.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Informatica 7.1:Points to ponder with code pages

The problem:

The source data is 88591 we use ETL informatica it is having 11 charcter set of data since 88591 is 1 byte of data it gives samecode for different charcterset for example it is having x(code)=man(japan),women(korean) it raises ambiguity in database for japan and korean language , and now at present target is also 88591 the same "x" is sent to target but here there own languge is set in their system , if koren guy sees it he will undersatnd it is women and if japan guy sees he will understand as man but now we are going to make target database into utf-8 and informatica run in unicode mode here the source system is in 88591 as i have told u earlier it may generate same code for some charcterset now when we load it into target which is utf-8 here it generates unique code for different charcterset but we need to identify the end user reqirement and give him yhe exact data.

If end user is korean in earlier case it is x but now utf-8 generates unique code so we need to tell to informatca before loading in to target there it supports all charcaterset and give unique code for each charcter set.

My intention:-
We will be deciding at the time of running sessions or one time conversion yo flat file to utf-8 and then to target.

Although I know problem may seem hazy.Lets make it a lil bit clear before putting the solution.

A database named ABCD is defined to only support one character set(ISO-8859-1), data is getting populated here with data from multiple character sets like sjis,big5, GB2312 etc. We accept that the ordering of the data is according to ISO-8859/1

Slowly as time passes by ABCD will have text data in multiple different languages in multiple different character sets and later it becomes tough for identifying which language and character set the text belongs to. The UTF8 encoding of UNICODE, which keeps any current text in USASCII unchanged (the vast majority of our text data), but stores data from other character sets in 2, 3, or 4 byte units.

Now there is a requiremwnt to transfer data from ABCD toanother database named EFGH which is in UNICODE.So we need to be able to identify the character set of every text string.Lets assume we have identified that also.

Question is that how to perform that data transfer through INFA7.1

Thats can be done by INFA.Just keep following things in mind.

Check what is the type of your source database character set ( select * from nls_database_parameters ) 2/ Check what is the type of your target database character set( select * from nls_database_parameters ) 3/ Check what data movement has been set for Informatica Server which you are to assign in your workflow.
( Go to the config file you use to pass while starting informatica server in UNIX )

# Determine one of the two server data movement modes: UNICODE or ASCII.
# If not specified, ASCII data movement mode is assumed.
# ASCII:-PowerServer processes single byte character and does not perform codepage #conversion
#UNICODE:-Processes 2 bytes for a character.Enforce codepage validation

Set it Unicode,only then the end users will have full data else while there will be corrupt data.
If you are resetting,after resetting restart the Informatica Server service.
If you have set all those things right,then there is nothing to worry.Users should must see Data as per their locale.
You may face some LM_ error while loading data through INFA.In that case revert me back with error log portion like
MAPPING> CMN_1569 Server Mode: [UNICODE] CMN_1570 Server Codepage: [ISO
MAPPING> 8859-1 Western European]
If needed then disable codepage validation.

Save money by filing your tax return

Let's face it, we all hate to pay taxes. Filing our tax returns is often painful and time-consuming, not to mention expensive if you dont use turbo tax. Unfortunately, many people encounter some type of tax problem during their lifetime. Whether it is failing to file their taxes on time, not having the money to pay taxes that are owed, or failing to file a tax return for years at a time. Tax problems are common.
The best way to avoid tax problems is, obviously, to file and pay your taxes on time. The next best way to avoid problems is to file your tax return or extension on time using the turbotax promotion code, even if you do not yet have the money to pay outstanding taxes. The filing of the tax return by searching for turbotax promo code will stop hefty penalties from being assessed against you.

The penalty for failure to file your return on time is 5% of the amount owed for each month the return is late to a maximum of 25%! For example: If the amount of tax owed is $10,000 and you file your return six months late, you will be liable for the $10,000 tax plus $2,500 in failure to file penalties plus interest. This is a rate that would make most loan sharks foam at the mouth. Thus, even if you cannot afford to pay your tax, you can save yourself a significant amount of money by simply filing your return on time.

From ETL to Ultrasound

I am in the ETL Datawarehousing field for the last 10 years and one of the great fields that I have just wished to have a second job is the medical field.

My research in the medical field tells that one of the great fields to work is not that of traditional doctor or nurse but that of being an ultrasound tech. These are also called Sonographer, Ultrasonographer, Ultrasound Technologist, or Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. All of these are referring to ultimately the same job. The field seems to be wide open and professionals in this area are in demand.

But how does one join this new field in medical industry ? has an ultrasound tech school for those who are interested in this career. Their ultrasound technician school is a much sought after school these days among the medical careers. The decision to go into this field is one that should not be made based on the easy ability to find a job or a high salary, however. It is extremely hard work, with irregular and long hours, and you are constantly in a position to fulfill the demands of clients and patients.

Take a look at the site and see if you can make an alternative career in this industry. They also have some home based part time jobs.