mfcgnDavid Walters had fire breathing down his neck. Literally. In 1988, as a summer recruit for the U.S. Forestry Service, he helped conquer a conflagration in Yellowstone National Park. Today, Walters is preparing to take the heat once again. Only this time he’s a tech-support manager at Microsoft, and he’s facing what could be the biggest potential blaze in the industry’s history–the launch of Windows 95. Says Walters: “We’re prepared for the driest season we’ve ever had.”

Walters isn’t the only one who stands to get singed. Battalions of tech-support staffers throughout the industry are coming up against an incendiary mixture–more novice users, increasingly complex software, and a growing number of compatibility issues. The toll: The average software developer now fields 1.8 million help calls per year and spends about 10 percent of revenue on support, says Bob Johnson, Dataquest’s director of software services. This isn’t a fire you can outrun. It’s get smart or get burne d. So leading companies such as Microsoft are outsourcing to third parties, putting more self-help information on-line and making their products “smarter.”

Microsoft is keenly aware of how much it has to gain–or lose– in supporting Win 95. So it’s launched a full-scale effort to beef up support, spending an additional $50 million on top of its annual $500 million in support expenditures, an industry source says. One of its biggest-ticket items was a multimillion-dollar upgrade to its telcom system to route calls among its own help-desk staffers and its five third-party support providers. Analysts agree that Microsoft has done about everything it can to brace itself Read the rest of this entry »

hddrThere are discounts that come with various companies that offer emergency data recovery. Most of the discounts are directed towards select groups in the market. There are some of the companies that offer discounts for emergency data recovery to students. Others offer the discounts to teachers whereas others to military personnel. Mostly they direct their discounts on emergency recovery to a certain group of people who are many within that place. It works magic and very many people seek their services so as to benefit from the discounts when need be.

With emergency data recovery from providers like Hard Disk Recovery Services (site here), you rest assured that you can continue with your work in the shortest time possible because very many service providers do it in twenty four to forty eight hours. It is worth mentioning that it is very important to ascertain the credentials of the service provider you want to employ for the emergency data recovery. Get the best company because very many service provider claim that they can offer very many services whereas it is not a reality. They also advertise unimaginable offers for emergency data recovery and for sure, they cannot offer the services. Go through the reviews left behind by clients who have been previously served.

How Data Recovery Works

Keeping an emergency data recovery plan in place Read the rest of this entry »

Hard drive clicking is a possible complication which may be encountered by any computer user. In simple terms, Hard drive clicking is the hard drive making unusual noises which it ought not to make, in a condition of normal functioning. This situation would arise due to software or hardware related malfunctions. Sometimes, the errors or failures of hard drive itself can cause hard drive clicking. It is worth making ourselves aware of certain causes which may lead to hard drive clicking. When hard drive head is hitting the internal head stop, it may generate a clicking noise. This is often called as the click of death. This is an internal hard drive clicking. If the clicking is external, it may happen due to a loose connection, faulty cable or a faulty power adapter. If the hard drive is on a non-level surface that too may cause clicking. Power supply related problems and power saving setting as well can be reasons for a clicking, once they encounter problematic situations. Hard drive sharing the same power lead as graphics card is yet another reason for the complications. If the circuit board on the hard drive is faulty, it will be indicated through a clicking sound. Highly fragmented hard drives have a high percentage of facing with the error conditions. Apart from that, it should be checked to see whether the problem is with hard drive platter. It is extremely important that the reason for the clicking is identified correctly, in order to address the issue successfully.

Solving disk crashes can be difficult, to say the least.

Solving disk crashes can be difficult, to say the least.

The procedure that follows after a clicking hard drive starts to show signs of dying are to back up the data. There are some other steps that you can take to make sure that all works well is to try to retrieve data from the hard drive. The simple procedure includes trying to do a head swap. With another hard drive from the same batch. It is not an easy thing for if you make a simple mistake it can ruin all that is in the hard drive. If you change on the factory set pressure things can go wrong on the screws. The worst mistake can be to try to do it on your own at all costs, if you are not an expert.

A data recovery company is imperative in making sure that you get all your data back. It is not a very costly affair and it does not take long. The clicking drive and the other parts are dissembled carefully with a lot of care being taken on the heads to make sure that they do not touch one another. The experts work on your clicking hard drive and retrieved information is given to you to facilitate the running of your affairs.

Among the most common hard drive problems that computer users around the world experience are clicking hard drive and other such noises. There are different hard drive noises and there are also different things causing them. Clicking hard drive sounds may be due to software or driver issues but most of the time; these are caused by mechanical failure. But, this should not send you into panic. You first need to diagnose the problem and confirm that your hard drive is indeed dying on you. Check whether the hard drive is indeed the one that is creating the clicking sound.

Once it is confirmed that you have a clicking hard drive, it is time to backup all your data and have data recovery software at the ready. If you have been doing backups regularly, then this should not be very strenuous to you. You only have the most recent important files that you need to backup. Among the items that you want to backup Read the rest of this entry »

Version 2.0 of Netmind Services Inc.’s Enterprise Minder, an e-mail-based system that monitors Web sites for changes, includes notably improved monitoring options and management features.

PC Week Labs found the new features in Version 2.0, released earlier this month, to be welcome additions, providing users with several ways to track specific changes in Web sites, including a number-monitoring feature that proved useful for tasks such as tracking changes in prices at online stores.

eminderHowever, some of the problems we found in the previous release, Version 1.04, are still there, including a propensity to fill users’ mailboxes with messages. But Enterprise Minder is still a unique, worthwhile application for businesses that need to gather up-to-date information from a variety of Web-based resources.

Enterprise Minder 2.0 is priced ranging from $45 per user for a 100-user license to $10 per user for a 10,000-user license. The server portion of

More here.

Bolero 2, Everyware Development Inc.’s new Web server analysis tool, gives site administrators good reporting capabilities in real time, as long as their Web server is one of the few supported by Bolero.

logfileboleroNevertheless, in recent tests, we were impressed with the reporting capabilities in Bolero 2, which shipped last month for $13,500. In addition, once we got past a few setup glitches, we found the management interface simple and intuitive.

Bolero’s price is comparable to that of Andromedia Corp.’s competing product, Aria, and other high-end log analysis tools.

The Bolero 2 package includes the Bolero Server, the reporting system, a SQL database and one Server Agent. (Additional Agents must be purchased separately.) Also included is a limited-license version of Everyware’s popular Tango Web development application for report customization. Many of Bolero’s reporting features are based on Tango.

However, many companies will be unable to take advantage

More here.

mdcpnATDT (Attention modem, dial tone). On Sept. 21, the man who pioneered the modem business–then drove one of the most successful technology brands straight into Chapter 11–gets a chance to ring up redemption. That’s when Dennis Hayes could see his Hayes Microcomputer Products Inc. emerge from the shadow of bankruptcy and into a powerful merger with Boca Research Inc. So far, the applause has been loud and long. “This is going to be an excellent merger,” predicts analyst Hank Powell, of Southeast Research P artners Inc.

But then again, several things could disconnect this modem marriage. It must find approval in the bankruptcy court. After that, the task of combining small Boca with large Hayes will be a major management challenge. Then Anthony Zalenski, the Boca CEO who will occupy the same role after the merger, must convince Hayes’ suppliers and customers that happy days are here again. That’s unlikely to be a problem for Zalenski, a 27-year industry veteran who was chief operating officer of Read the rest of this entry »

sbrgThe Challenge: Find a way to roll out customer service, do-it-yourself technology that actually works. Usually the systems are so touchy, users are put off. Some are actually scared away.

The Remedies: Make sure you’re solving a real business problem. Talk to customers, not just your corporate users, who are much more technically savvy. Partner closely with the business units involved. And remember, there is no help desk in this world.

The Payoff: If it works, do-it-yourself technology can save millions on labor costs, speed sales and delivery times, and improve customer satisfaction.

They don’t bite. They don’t snarl. And they don’t even frighten small children. Still, they can be so intimidating that the only option is to pull the plug.

Who’d have thought that something as benign as do-it-yourself kiosks could be so formidable that no one would use them? Certainly not executives at Read the rest of this entry »