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Characterization of Boron Nitride Thin Films on Silicon (100) Wafer.

Description: Cubic boron nitride (cBN) thin films offer attractive mechanical and electrical properties. The synthesis of cBN films have been deposited using both physical and chemical vapor deposition methods, which generate internal residual, stresses that result in delamination of the film from substrates. Boron nitride films were deposited using electron beam evaporation without bias voltage and nitrogen bombardment (to reduce stresses) were characterize using FTIR, XRD, SEM, EDS, TEM, and AFM techniques. In addition, a pin-on-disk tribological test was used to measure coefficient of friction. Results indicated that samples deposited at 400°C contained higher cubic phase of BN compared to those films deposited at room temperature. A BN film containing cubic phase deposited at 400°C for 2 hours showed 0.1 friction coefficient.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Maranon, Walter

Characterization of Iron Oxide Deposits Formed at Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station

Description: The presence of deposits leading to corrosion of the steam generator (SG) systems is a major contributor to operation and maintenance cost of pressurized water reactor (PWR) plants. Formation and transport of corrosion products formed due to the presence of impurities, metallic oxides and cations in the secondary side of the SG units result in formation of deposits. This research deals with the characterization of deposit samples collected from the two SG units (unit 1 and unit 2) at Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station (CPSES). X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometry (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) techniques have been used for studying the compositional and structural properties of iron oxides formed in the secondary side of unit 1 and unit 2. Magnetite (Fe3O4) was found to be predominant in samples from unit 1 and maghemite (g-Fe2O3) was found to be the dominant phase in case of unit 2. An attempt has been made to customize FTIR technique for analyzing different iron oxide phases present in the deposits of PWR-SG systems.
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Date: May 2003
Creator: Namduri, Haritha

Cold-Formed Steel Bolted Connections without Washers on Oversized and Slotted Holes

Description: The use of the cold-formed steel sheet bolted connections without washers is so significant; however, the North American Specifications for the Design of Cold Formed Steel Structural Members, NASPEC, doesn't provide provisions for such connections. The bearing failure of sheet and the shear failure of sheet were considered in this study. For the sheet shear strength, it was found that the NASPEC (2007) design provisions can be used for oversized holes in both single and double shear configurations and for the double shear connections on short slotted holes. For the sheet bearing strength, a new design method was proposed to be used for low and high ductile steel sheets. The method was compared with the NASPEC and the University of Waterloo approach. Washers were still required for single shear connections on short slotted holes. Besides, connections using ASTM A325 bolts yielded higher bearing strength than connections using ASTM A307 bolts.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Sheerah, Ibraheem

Computer Virus Spread Containment Using Feedback Control.

Description: In this research, a security architecture based on the feedback control theory has been proposed. The first loop has been designed, developed and tested. The architecture proposes a feedback model with many controllers located at different stages of network. The controller at each stage gives feedback to the one at higher level and a decision about network security is taken. The first loop implemented in this thesis detects one important anomaly of virus attack, rate of outgoing connection. Though there are other anomalies of a virus attack, rate of outgoing connection is an important one to contain the spread. Based on the feedback model, this symptom is fed back and a state model using queuing theory is developed to delay the connections and slow down the rate of outgoing connections. Upon implementation of this model, whenever an infected machine tries to make connections at a speed not considered safe, the controller kicks in and sends those connections to a delay queue. Because of delaying connections, rate of outgoing connections decrease. Also because of delaying, many connections timeout and get dropped, reducing the spread. PID controller is implemented to decide the number of connections going to safe or suspected queue. Multiple controllers can be implemented to control the parameters like delay and timeout. Control theory analysis is performed on the system to test for stability, controllability, observability. Sensitivity analysis is done to find out the sensitivity of the controller to the delay parameter. The first loop implemented gives feedback to the architecture proposed about symptoms of an attack at the node level. A controller needs to be developed to receive information from different controllers and decision about quarantining needs to be made. This research gives the basic information needed for the controller about what is going on at individual nodes of ...
Date: December 2004
Creator: Yelimeli Guruprasad, Arun

Cost Savings Realized Through Proper Sizing of an Excessive Instrument Air System.

Description: The purpose of this research was to determine if installing a smaller air compressor could reduce the electrical usage of a large semiconductor manufacturing plant. A 200 horsepower Atlas Copco compressor was installed with the existing 500 horsepower Ingersoll-Rand compressors. Testing was conducted during the regular manufacturing process at MEMC Southwest in Sherman, Texas. Analysis of the data found that installing the new compressor could reduce electrical consumption. The study also found there are specific operational setpoints that allow the compressor to operate more efficiently.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Condron, Ewell D.

Design and Validation of an Automated Multiunit Composting System.

Description: This thesis covers the design of an automated multiunit composting system (AMUCS) that was constructed to meet the experimental apparatus requirements of the ASTM D5338 standard. The design of the AMUCS is discussed in full detail and validated with two experiments. The first experiment was used to validate the operation of the AMUCS with a 15 day experiment. During this experiment visual observations were made to visually observe degradation. Thermal properties and stability tests were performed to quantify the effects of degradation on the polymer samples, and the carbon metabolized from the degradation of samples was measured. The second experiment used the AMUCS to determine the effect of synthetic clay nanofiller on the aerobic biodegradability behavior of poly (3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate).
Date: December 2009
Creator: Pickens, Mark Everett

Design of Power Amplifier Test Signals with a User-Defined Multisine

Description: Cellular radio communication involves wireless transmission and reception of signals at radio frequencies (RF). Base stations house equipment critical to the transmission and reception of signals. Power amplifier (PA) is a crucial element in base station assembly. PAs are expensive, take up space and dissipate heat. Of all the elements in the base station, it is difficult to design and operate a power amplifier. New designs of power amplifiers are constantly tested. One of the most important components required to perform this test successfully is a circuit simulator model of an entire communication system that generates a standard test signal. Standard test signals 524,288 data points in length require 1080 hours to complete one test of a PA model. In order to reduce the time taken to complete one test, a 'simulated test signal,' was generated. The objective of this study is to develop an algorithm to generate this 'simulated' test signal such that its characteristics match that of the 'standard' test signal.
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Date: May 2004
Creator: Nagarajan, Preeti

Determination of the Shelf Life of Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors.

Description: The aluminum electrolytic capacitor is used extensively in the electric utility industry. A factor limiting the storage of spare capacitors is the integrity of the aluminum oxide dielectric, which over time breaks down contributing to a shelf life currently estimated at one nuclear power electric generating station to be approximately five years. This project examined the electrical characteristics of naturally aged capacitors of several different styles to determine if design parameters were still within limits. Additionally, the effectiveness of a technique known as “Reforming” was examined to determine its impact on those characteristics.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Wynne, Edward McFaddin

Development of a Hybrid Molecular Ultraviolet Photodetector based on Guanosine Derivatives

Description: Modern studies on charge transfer reaction and conductivity measurements of DNA have shown that the electrical behavior of DNA ranges from that of an insulator to that of a wide bandgap semiconductor. Based on this property of DNA, a metal-semiconductor-metal photodetector is fabricated using a self-assembled layer of deoxyguanosine derivative (DNA base) deposited between gold electrodes. The electrodes are lithographically designed on a GaN substrate separated by a distance L (50nm < L < 100nm). This work examines the electrical and optical properties of such wide-bandgap semiconductor based biomaterial systems for their potential application as photodetectors in the UV region wherein most of the biological agents emit. The objective of this study was to develop a biomolecular electronic device and design an experimental setup for electrical and optical characterization of a novel hybrid molecular optoelectronic material system. AFM results proved the usage of Ga-Polar substrate in conjugation with DG molecules to be used as a potential electronic based sensor. A two-terminal nanoscale biomolectronic diode has been fabricated showing efficient rectification ratio. A nanoscale integrated ultraviolet photodetector (of dimensions less than 100 nm) has been fabricated with a cut-off wavelength at ~ 320 nm.
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Date: December 2005
Creator: Liddar, Harsheetal

Effect of Amines as Corrosion Inhibitors for a Low Carbon Steel in Power Industry

Description: Commonly used amines in power industry, including morpholine, DBU (1,8-diazabicyclo[5.4.0]undec-7-ene), and DMA (dimethylallylamine) were evaluated for their effect on AISI 1018 steel at 250oF. Samples were exposed to an autoclave containing amine added aqueous solution at pH of 9.5 for 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12 hours. Morphology studies were carried using scanning electron microscope (SEM), phase analysis was done utilizing Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and weight loss was performed to assess kinetics of oxidation. Control samples showed the highest metal dissolution rate. DBU showed the best performance in metal protection and SEM indicated the presence of a free-crack layer formed by fine particles in that set. FTIR showed that DBU apparently favored the formation of magnetite. It is believed that fine particles impede intrusion of aggressive ions into the metal surface by forming a barrier layer. FTIR demonstrated that DMA formed more oxyhydroxides, whereas morpholine presented magnetite to hematite transformation as early as 2 hours. SEM revealed that control and DMA produced acicular particles characteristic of oxyhydroxides while morpholine and DBU presented more equiaxed particles.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Díaz, Jorge G.

Effect of Engineered Surfaces on Valve Performance

Description: Performance of air operated valves is a major maintenance concern in process industries. Anecdotal information indicates that reliability of some high maintenance valves has been improved by using an ion deposition process to achieve engineered surfaces on selected components. This project compared friction for various surface treatments of selected valve components. Results indicate valve performance may be slightly more consistent when an engineered surface is applied in the valve packing area; however surface treatment in this area does not appear to have a dominant affect on reducing valve friction. Results indicate a linear relation between stem friction and torque applied to packing flange nuts, and even after a valve is in service, controlled packing adjustments can be made without significantly changing valve stroke time.
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Date: December 2000
Creator: Pope, Larry G.

Effects of a Surface Engineered Metallic Coating on Elastomeric Valve Stem Seal Leakage

Description: Valve stem seal leakage is a major source of fugitive emissions, and controlling these emissions can result in added expense in leak detection and repair programs. Elastomeric O-rings can be used as valve stem seals, and O-ring manufacturers recommend lubrication of elastomeric seals to prevent damage and to assure proper sealing. In this research, a metallic coating was applied as a lubricant using a vacuum vapor deposition process to the surface of elastomeric valve stem seals. Valve stem leak measurements were taken to determine if the coated O-rings, alone or with the recommended lubrication, reduced valve stem seal leakage. This research determined that the metallic coating did not reduce valve stem leakage.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Taylor, John Abner

Effects of Minimum Quantity Lubrication in Drilling 1018 Steel.

Description: A common goal for industrial manufacturers is to create a safer working environment and reduce production costs. One common method to achieve this goal is to drastically reduce cutting fluid use in machining. Recent advances in machining technologies have made it possible to perform machining with minimum-quantity lubrication (MQL). Drilling takes a key position in the realization of MQL machining. In this study the effects of using MQL in drilling AISI 1018 steel with HSS tools using a vegetable based lubricant were investigated. A full factorial experiment was conducted and regression models were generated for both surface finish and hole size. Lower surface roughness and higher tool life were observed in the lowest speed and feed rate combination.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Shaikh, Vasim

Effects of Thickness and Indenter Tip Geometry in Nanoindentation of Nickel Films

Description: Nanoindentation has become a widely used technique to measure the mechanical properties of materials. Due to its capability to deform materials in micro- and nano-scale, nanoindentation has found more applications in characterizing the deformation behavior and determining the mechanical properties of thin films and coatings. This research deals with the characterization of samples received from Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices (CAMD) and Integran Technologies Inc., Toronto, Canada and the objective of this investigation was to utilize the experimental data obtained from nanoindentation to determine the deformation behavior, mechanical properties of thin films on substrates and bulk materials, and the effect of geometrically different indenters (Berkovich, cubecorner, and conical). X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscope (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM) analysis were performed on these materials to determine the crystal orientation, grain size of the material, and also to measure any substrate effects like pile-up or sin-in respectively. The results indicate that indentation size effect (ISE) strongly depends on shape of the indenter and less sensitive to penetration depth where as the hardness measurements depends on shape of indenter and depth of penetration. There is a negligible strain rate dependency of hardness at deeper depths and a significant increase in the hardness due to the decrease in grain size and results also indicate that there is no significant substrate effect on thin films for 10% and 20% of film thicknesses. Nanocrystalline material could not validate a dislocation based mechanisms deformation for indentation made by cubecorner and conical indenters in depths less than 1mm.
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Date: May 2004
Creator: Parakala, Padma

Electrical resistivity as a measure of change of state in substrates: Design, development and validation of a microprocessor-based system.

Description: Smart structures are relevant and significant because of their relevance to phenomena such as hazard mitigation, structural health monitoring and energy saving. Electrical resistance could potentially serve as an indicator of structural well-being or damage in the structure. To this end, the development of a microprocessor-based automated resistance measurement system with customized GUI is desired. In this research, a nodal electrical resistance acquisition circuit (NERAC) system was designed. The system hardware interfaces to a laptop, which houses a customized GUI developed using DAQFactory software. Resistance/impedance was measured using DC/AC methods with four-point probes technique, on three substrates. Baseline reading before damage was noted and compared with the resistance measured after damage. The device was calibrated and validated on three different substrates. Resistance measurements were taken from PVDF samples, composite panels and smart concrete. Results conformed to previous work done on these substrates, validating the effective working of the NERAC device.
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Date: December 2009
Creator: Le, Dong D.

Evaluation of dynamic and static electrical characteristics for the DY8 and YI8 process gallium diodes in comparison to the DI8 process boron diodes.

Description: A rectifier is an electrical device, comprising one or more semiconductor devices arranged for converting alternating current to direct current by blocking the negative or positive portion of the waveform. The purpose of this study would be to evaluate dynamic and static electrical characteristics of rectifier chips fabricated with (a) DY8 process and (b) YI8 process and compare them with the existing DI8 process rectifiers. These new rectifiers were tested to compare their performance to meet or exceed requirements of lower forward voltages, leakage currents, reverse recovery time, and greater sustainability at higher temperatures compared to diodes manufactured using boron as base (DI8 process diodes) for similar input variables.
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Date: December 2006
Creator: Dhoopati, Swathi

Factors influencing horizontal cracking in continuously reinforced concrete pavements (CRCP).

Description: This research presents the results on an experimental investigation to identify the significant factors influencing horizontal cracking in continuously reinforced concrete pavements (CRCP). An in-depth analysis of the microstructure, morphological characteristics of the interfacial transition zone (ITZ) and the observation of cracking using the environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) was done. Characterization of oxides using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and electron dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) was also performed. Water to cement ratio (w/c) and rebar temperature had a significant influence on the rebar-concrete bond strength. The 28-day shear strength measurements showed an increase in rebar-concrete bond strength as the water to cement ratio (w/c) was reduced from 0.50 to 0.40. There was a reduction in the peak pullout load as the temperature increased from 14oF to 252oF for the corroded and non-corroded rebar experiments. The corroded rebar pullout test results showed a 20-50 % reduction in bond strength compared to the non-corroded rebars. FTIR measurements indicated a presence of lepidocrocrite (γ -FeOOH) and maghemite (γ -Fe2O3) on the ITZ. ESEM images showed the existence of microcracks as early as three days after casting with the bridging of these cracks between coarse aggregate locations in the interfacial zone propagating through the mortar.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Sudoi, Elias K.

FEM of nanoindentation on micro- and nanocrystalline Ni: Analysis of factors affecting hardness and modulus values.

Description: Nanoindentation is a widely used technique to measure the mechanical properties of films with thickness ranging from nanometers to micrometers. A much better understanding of the contact mechanics is obtained mostly through finite element modeling. The experiments were modeled using the software package Nano SP1 that is based on COSMOSM™ (Structural Research & Analysis Corp, www.cosmosm.com), a finite element code. The fundamental material properties affecting pile-up are the ratio of the effective modulus to yield stress Eeff/σ and the work hardening behavior. Two separate cases of work hardening rates were considered; one with no work hardening rate and other with a linear work hardening rate. Specifically, it is observed that pile up is large only when hf/hmax is close to one and degree of work hardening rate is small. It should also be noted that when hf/hmax < 0.7 very little pile-up is observed no matter what the work-hardening behavior of the material. When pile-up occurs the contact area is greater than that predicted by the experimental methods and both the hardness and modulus are overestimated. In this report the amount by which these properties are overestimated are studied and got to be around 22% approx. Bluntness of the tip often leads to the misinterpretation of the load-displacement data. Further analysis was done in order to find out the amount of deviation from the ideal tip due to tip bluntness. Radius of the tips were also calculated for cubecorner (41.35 nm) and conical indenter (986.05 nm).
Date: August 2005
Creator: Pothapragada, Raja Mahesh

Flow Accelerated Corrosion Experience at Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station

Description: Flow accelerated corrosion (FAC) is a major concern in the power industry as it causes thinning of the pipes by the dissolution of the passive oxide layer formed on the pipe surface. Present research deals with comparing the protection offered by the magnetite (Fe3O4) versus maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) phases thickness loss measurements. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is used in distinguishing these two elusive phases of iron oxides. Representative pipes are collected from high pressure steam extraction line of the secondary cycle of unit 2 of Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station (CPSES). Environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) is used for morphological analysis. FTIR and X-ray diffraction (XRD) are used for phase analysis. Morphological analysis showed the presence of porous oxide surfaces with octahedral crystals, scallops and "chimney" like vents. FTIR revealed the predominance of maghemite at the most of the pipe sections. Results of thickness measurements indicate severe thickness loss at the bend areas (extrados) of the pipes.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Nakka, Ravi Kumar

FPGA Prototyping of a Watermarking Algorithm for MPEG-4

Description: In the immediate future, multimedia product distribution through the Internet will become main stream. However, it can also have the side effect of unauthorized duplication and distribution of multimedia products. That effect could be a critical challenge to the legal ownership of copyright and intellectual property. Many schemes have been proposed to address these issues; one is digital watermarking which is appropriate for image and video copyright protection. Videos distributed via the Internet must be processed by compression for low bit rate, due to bandwidth limitations. The most widely adapted video compression standard is MPEG-4. Discrete cosine transform (DCT) domain watermarking is a secure algorithm which could survive video compression procedures and, most importantly, attacks attempting to remove the watermark, with a visibly degraded video quality result after the watermark attacks. For a commercial broadcasting video system, real-time response is always required. For this reason, an FPGA hardware implementation is studied in this work. This thesis deals with video compression, watermarking algorithms and their hardware implementation with FPGAs. A prototyping VLSI architecture will implement video compression and watermarking algorithms with the FPGA. The prototype is evaluated with video and watermarking quality metrics. Finally, it is seen that the video qualities of the watermarking at the uncompressed vs. the compressed domain are only 1dB of PSNR lower. However, the cost of compressed domain watermarking is the complexity of drift compensation for canceling the drifting effect.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Cai, Wei

Hardware and Software Codesign of a JPEG2000 Watermarking Encoder

Description: Analog technology has been around for a long time. The use of analog technology is necessary since we live in an analog world. However, the transmission and storage of analog technology is more complicated and in many cases less efficient than digital technology. Digital technology, on the other hand, provides fast means to be transmitted and stored. Digital technology continues to grow and it is more widely used than ever before. However, with the advent of new technology that can reproduce digital documents or images with unprecedented accuracy, it poses a risk to the intellectual rights of many artists and also on personal security. One way to protect intellectual rights of digital works is by embedding watermarks in them. The watermarks can be visible or invisible depending on the application and the final objective of the intellectual work. This thesis deals with watermarking images in the discrete wavelet transform domain. The watermarking process was done using the JPEG2000 compression standard as a platform. The hardware implementation was achieved using the ALTERA DSP Builder and SIMULINK software to program the DE2 ALTERA FPGA board. The JPEG2000 color transform and the wavelet transformation blocks were implemented using the hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) configuration.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Mendoza, Jose Antonio

Increasing the Dynamic Range of Audio THD Measurements Using a Novel Noise and Distortion Canceling Methodology

Description: The objective of this study was to determine how a new experimental methodology for measuring Total-Harmonic-Distortion (THD) of operational amplifiers functioned when compared with two standard methodologies, and whether the new methodology offers any improvement in noise floor and dynamic range along with distortion canceling of the sine-wave source used in the testing. The new methodology (THD) is being tested against two standard methodologies: Spectral Analysis using a tuned receiver type Spectrum Analyzer with Notch Filter pre-processing, and a digitized Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) using Notch Filter pre-processing. The THD results appear to agree across all methodologies, and across all items of the sample within all methodologies, to within a percent or less. The distortion and noise canceling feature of the new methodology appeared to function as expected and in accordance with theory. The sample tested in the study consisted of thirty-five NE5534 operational amplifiers produced by Texas Instruments, Inc. and purchased from a local store. The NE5534 is a low-noise, low-distortion, operational amplifier that is widely used in industry and is representative of today's best audio amplifiers.
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Date: May 2003
Creator: Dunipace, Richard Alan

Indoor Propagation Modeling at 2.4 GHz for IEEE 802.11 Networks

Description: Indoor use of wireless systems poses one of the biggest design challenges. It is difficult to predict the propagation of a radio frequency wave in an indoor environment. To assist in deploying the above systems, characterization of the indoor radio propagation channel is essential. The contributions of this work are two-folds. First, in order to build a model, extensive field strength measurements are carried out inside two different buildings. Then, path loss exponents from log-distance path loss model and standard deviations from log-normal shadowing, which statistically describe the path loss models for a different transmitter receiver separations and scenarios, are determined. The purpose of this study is to characterize the indoor channel for 802.11 wireless local area networks at 2.4 GHz frequency. This thesis presents a channel model based on measurements conducted in commonly found scenarios in buildings. These scenarios include closed corridor, open corridor, classroom, and computer lab. Path loss equations are determined using log-distance path loss model and log-normal shadowing. The chi-square test statistic values for each access point are calculated to prove that the observed fading is a normal distribution at 5% significance level. Finally, the propagation models from the two buildings are compared to validate the generated equations.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Tummala, Dinesh

Investigation of the feasibility of non-invasive carbon dioxide detection using spectroscopy in the visible spectrum.

Description: Pulse oximeters are used in operating rooms and recovery rooms as a monitoring device for oxygen in the respiratory system of the patient. The advantage of pulse oximeters over other methods of oxygen monitoring is that they are easy to use and they are non-invasive, which means it is not necessary break the skin to extract blood for information to be obtained. The standard for the measurement of partial pressure of CO2 and O2 is an arterial blood gas analysis (ABG). However routine monitoring using this method on a continuous basis is impractical since it is slow, painful and invasive. Measuring carbon dioxide is critical to preventing ailments such as carbon dioxide poisoning or hypoxia. The problem is, currently there is no known effective non-invasive method for accurately measuring carbon dioxide in the body to properly assess the adequacy of ventilation. The objective of this study was to experimentally use spectroscopy in the visible spectrum and the principles of operation of a pulse oximeter to incorporate a method of non-invasive real-time carbon dioxide monitoring that is as quick and easy to use.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Marks, Damian