Author Archives: Glesper

MS Had A “Bob”?

bobhWell, Bob’s on the loose, following its introduction at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month. Should that matter for business users of PCs? Should you care about Bob? Maybe even put Bob on a test machine, to see what the shouting’s all about?

No, yes, and absolutely.

You can’t actually buy Bob yet, of course. Microsoft’s new “social interface” GUI for Windows PCs won’t be released until the end of March. But there are a lot of beta copies floating around, and given the growing importance of Microsoft’s Consumer Division, Bob’s home, you can bet that this is going to be one of the most widely publicized products of the year.

So whether you have a copy yet or not, you’ll be answering questions about Bob every day. Which makes this an issue worth discussing

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Forget Paying for Expensive Data Recovery Ever Again

By reading this page it’s probably safe to assume you’re in a bit of a pickle. When someone finds the need to look for data recovery services, it usually means something unfortunate has happened to their data.

Be smart when choosing a data recovery provider.

Be smart when choosing a data recovery provider.

If you’ve been looking around for a while now, you’ll have noticed that there’s a wide range of possibilities for data recovery. Most of them are expensive, some are affordable, and others are almost unbelievably cheap.

But be warned, venturing into the world of data recovery unprepared is asking for trouble. Do your research and try to find out why each company is charging what it does. If you put in the time now, you may be able to find a deal that’s actually what it claims to be: cheap data recovery.

Unfortunately, failing …

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ATM Networks Were Killer Apps For Their Time

atmnwAfter about three years of being sold on the idea of ATM networking, we’re still waiting for it to arrive in earnest. The myth of what ATM will do eclipses the reality of what ATM is currently capable of doing.

Asynchronous transfer mode hardware still doesn’t support voice traffic, so the goal of data/voice network integration remains in the distance. And though MPEG has been emerging as a standard video- transmission format, the H.320 and JPEG video standards are still unsupported.

Scalability in network size is also not really available, outside of a choice between 155M-byte OC-3 and 100M-byte TAXI (Transparent Asynchronous Transceiver Interface). Investing in large-scale ATM switches is not practical until all of the ATM standards have stabilized.

There have been quite a few announcements of WAN-capable ATM switches, but vendors are waiting for ATM to become more …

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Early Quality Control Problems Were Major Issues For PC And Auto Manufacturers

ibmscCompaq finds its stocks contaminated with faulty power supplies. Disney gets eaten alive by crashing “Lion King” CD ROMs. Intel makes Pentiums that can’t handle division. IBM short circuits with defective ThinkPad power adapters. H&R Block and Intuit stir a taxpayers’ revolt. It almost sounds like deja vu–to the days when poor quality sent U.S. automakers skidding out of control. The PC industry continues to cruise, but the recent spate of product flaws raises a crucial issue: Is the pressure to pump ou t more, faster, cheaper forcing vendors to fall beneath their own wheels by breaking the speed limits on quality?

No one is saying poor quality is about to besmirch the PC industry to the extent that it tainted Detroit. “Most of these companies are more focused on quality than in the past,” says Roy Bauer, …

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Reasons to Hire a Professional to Fix A Broken Hard Drive

Happy technician working on tablet pc beside servers in data centerIt is definitely bad news if your hard drive broke because you were investigating why the disk was failing in the first place. This is why instead of attempting to fix a broken hard drive, it is much better to hire a professional to look into it. Although fixing your hard drive can be really costly, you will at least be able to ensure that the problem is provided with a sure-fire solution. You will not also end up buying a new drive, especially if you find out that it was just a simple problem made worse by attempting to resolve the issue without consulting an expert. If you are going to hire a professional for the job, you can be sure that you will spend less time trying to figure out where the problem lies. Experts already know how …

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Samsung Did Well To Diversify Early

smsdWith memory chips accounting for more than 50 percent of Samsung Electronics’ profits last year, its masters in Seoul, South Korea, have decided it’s too dependent upon the highly cyclical DRAM business. So McDonald’s one-trick pony is racing into new lines of business and new technologies that will have a major impact on the U.S. market. By this summer, Samsung’s trickle of flat-panel displays will become a flood. Flash memory products will appear–in volume–later this year. The company expects to se ll nearly $1 billion worth of specialty memory chips, including SRAMs and EDO RAMs, in 1995. And last month’s agreement to make a $377 million investment in AST will change the PC market in the United States and Asia (see Close Up, right).

It’s not just Samsung Electronics that’s going through a transformation. The company’s parent, the $54 billion …

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Transaction Processing Creates Real Benefits

tpcOld guard, new beat: TP monitors avert gridlock by policing client/server traffic

It’s an IT manager’s biggest nightmare. On a dark and stormy night, a WAN link suddenly crashed, taking down the national client/server reservation system for a company that wishes to remain anonymous. Harried travel agents kept pounding transactions into the system, expecting it to come up. When it did, the system was immediately slammed by a barrage of pent-up traffic. Designed to handle hundreds of transactions per second, the system choked on thousands and it crashed once again.

This company’s harrowing experience illustrates a dirty little secret about client/server applications. When they’re spun across the enterprise, many can’t handle the high-transaction traffic or unpredictability of com-plex, production-level environments. Increasingly, some companies like the one above are turning to a tried-and-true mainframe approach to keep their new client/server …

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Client/Server Apps Still Make For Corporate Advantages

cscrappsForaging for corporate gold? If you haven’t paid heed to business rules, you’re burying your head in the sand. These rules need tending like any other company asset.

At their most basic level, business rules are the tenets that reside in the management brain trust. In their finished form, business rules can be a line of code such as “Value=Qty*Price*(1- LOOKUP Order Discount)” on a database server, credit-limit guidelines on a server in the sales department, or commission structures housed on the old PDP-11 at corporate headquarters.

Given the complexity of client/server environments, companies can no longer afford to have these rules scattered throughout an organization. One solution: a three-tier architecture that splits the rules apart from the application logic and hands developers more flexibility in managing these new resources.

“When you begin to build systems, it’s key to …

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