Soft ICP: PC & Linux Hardware

The Future Has Always Been Linux.

SPARCstation Portable? The Powerlite

For people on the go, portable computing has become an essential part of the working environment. Many of us face the need for computing power at off-site locations. For most, a conventional Intel-based laptop computer fills the bill. For some UNIX users, however, such systems are at best a compromise, even when augmented by ports of familiar UNIX utilities. For some people, a non-UNIX, Intel-based solution is no solution at all. These users may need a Solaris-running, SPARC-based workstation they can carry with them for development, system administration, or product demonstrations. This is the audience for whom RDI Computer Corp.’s PowerLite portable workstation was developed. RDI positions the system as the performance equivalent of a SPARCstation 5. How close does this 110MHz, seven-pound system come to a real workstation, and is it worth the weight?


As with any portable computer, the PowerLite is essentially self contained. The screen, keyboard, and trackball are all part of the system unit, and the Solaris operating system is pre-installed at the RDI factory. Thus, basic installation is reduced to an inventory of parts, plugging in the power adapter, and powering up the system. Depending on the options that have been ordered, installation can be somewhat more complex, but not by much.

Optical Development Continues

SVG Lithography Systems Inc. has been awarded an optical development subcontract by a DARPA-funded program investigating microlithography using 193-nanometer wavelength light.

The four-year, $23 million Direct Excimer Processing Program, most of which is being conducted at MIT-Lincoln Laboratories in Bedford, Mass., hopes to spark development of a commercially available microlithography system using the “deep, deep ultraviolet” wavelength, said Arati Prabhakar, acting deputy director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Defense Science Office.

“The end goal is to have an optical quarter-micron system available to the semiconductor industry,” said Dr. Prabhakar. In addition, she added, the program is researching “process improvements to reduce the manufacturing step count and simplify processing — things like all-dry processing and some further-out ideas like resistless processing.”

SVGL, which is comprised of the former Perkin-Elmer lithography operations, will work with Lincoln Labs to produce an optical train that could be incorporated into the third generation of its Micrascan step-and-scan litho system, which is slated to reach market in 1994. Officials declined to reveal how large SVGL’s subcontract is, but called it “substantial.”

The operation started work on an earlier phase of the program prior to Silicon Valley Group’s buyout, noted Dave Shaver, leader of Lincoln Labs’ submicrometer technology group. “Lincoln had approached several U.S. companies

ASCII Origins

The ASCII facility, which is expected to be completed next year, will house efforts to research multimedia technology and establish audiovisual facilities; a ground station using a communications satellite transponder is also being planned. ASCII is hoping that its media technology laboratory will be a resource not only for Japan but also for multimedia industries in America and Europe as well. One of the most important devices for multimedia may be the CD-ROM. Several computers now contain a CD-ROM in their standdard configuration, including the FM-Towns from Fujitsu Ltd. and the PC8801MC and PC-Engine from NEC Corp. The PC-Engine is a game machine whose core concept is expandability. It was designed for the ease of connecting various peripherals. The PC-Engine’s CD-ROM drive accomplishes the low cost required in a game machine by sacrificing error correction and other features included in previous CD-ROM drives. As a result, the PC-Engine has sold 2.1 million units since hitting the shelves this past July. Not only games (the leading edge of the multimedia wave) but also karaoke and other types of entertainment applications are being marketed. The PC-Engine can be connected to the NEC 8801MC, which also incorporates a CD-ROM drive. However, the connectability reaches only to the hardware level–there is no software …

Netframe: Sweet, Sweet Client-Server Mastery.

An oldie but a serious goodie.

How do you bring UNIX client-server applications to Novell NetWare networks? In the past, users have had two alternatives: run Portable NetWare (now called NetWare for UNIX) on a UNIX server, or have separate servers on the net running NetWare and UNIX. The first way is slow; the second, expensive. Now, NetFrame Systems offers a new approach: a multi-processor server that runs NetWare on one processor and UNIX on the others. NetFrame went public in June, the first “superserver” company to do so. I recently visited the firm in Milpitas, CA, to observe its innovative architecture. What I saw could well become a mainstream solution for UNIX on Novell networks.

NetFrame was rounded by Carl Amdahl, son of Amdahl Corp. founder, Gene Amdahl. The younger Amdahl, quite literally, learned mainframe architecture design at his father’s knee. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Carl rounded two suppliers of large-scale systems: Magnuson and Trilogy. (Magnuson enjoyed a successful IPO; Trilogy was a huge debacle.) He rounded NetFrame in 1987. Inspired by the IBM System/370, NetFrame reduced the I/O channel and other elements of mainframe architecture to VLSI and adapted them to an Intel processor. The resulting file server has very high I/O throughput while running

NT Never Killed Off Unix

Despite predictions that NT’s rise would ensure Unix’s demise, last year showed that co-existence is the more likely near-term fate for both operating systems. “I do not foresee Unix going by the wayside. NT doesn’t have the robustness,” said Susan Whitney, general manager of worldwide systems sales, IBM, Armonk, N.Y.

Unix vendors, most notably Sun Microsystems Inc., responded to NT’s popularity with lower-cost servers that competed with Intel-based systems directly and with multiprocessing products whose performance was out of the range of NT’s growing market share.

“It’s a broad-based approach from being down in the low end all the way up to machines that the PC world can’t even conceive of yet,” said Anil Gadre, vice president of corporate marketing for Sun, Mountain View, Calif.

There were winners and losers on both the NT and Unix sides of the midrange server market, defined as servers with two to 30 processors.

Tandem Computers Inc., Cupertino, Calif., which in 1997 tied its fate more tightly to NT, made the most impressive leap in sales, growing 1,800 percent to $304 million, excluding its host-based systems.

Unix servers remain strong.

Not all vendors fared so well under the NT banner. Compaq Computer Corp., Houston, appreciated Tandem’s feat enough to buy the company in …

Altantic Leased Its Last System

The collapse of Atlantic Computers, the world’s third largest computer lessor, has left users painfully aware that it is they who will pay for Atlantic’s collapse.

Champagne flowed, party streamers were tossed out of windows and Porsches slipped quietly out of the company parking lot to their drivers’ lavish homes. This was the picture painted by British newspapers, as staff members at Atlantic Computers PLC in Staines, England, learned of the computer-leasing giant’s collapse.

Within hours after the public address system announced to the staff that they were being laid off, there were reports that people walked out the door with PCs, customer lists and paintings. One director was quoted as saying that anything of value not physically locked down disappeared.

Within days, many staffers at Atlantic had found new jobs, mostly in the computer-leasing industry. According to one executive, some of the employees have gone on to other companies that sell leases similar to Atlantic’s Flexlease.

The crash of the world’s third largest leasing company and its London-based parent, British & Commonwealth Holdings PLC, has left in its wake complaints by investors of lost millions and criticisms of Atlantic’s standards that allegedly allowed companies to virtually write their own account of profits and losses.

Despite early warnings from the

Customer Service Software Can Generate Goodwill

csscggwCustomer service software is nothing but help desk software. As such, this goes by several similar names. They have all come into existence to make the support and service center function as smoothly as possible. In almost all of the industries, the business can only be successful if the customer is happy. When the customer comes in with his or her grievance, it is up to the company’s customer support to take care of the issue at the earliest so that there are no more complaints from the customer. After all, you would want the customer think well of your company as well as your products. Keeping this in mind, companies have resorted to customer service software so that the steps from registering the query to issue resolution can move along speedily as well as smoothly. learn more here

You may be able to search for customer service software online and you will find a number of options. Many of them are freely available and can be downloaded immediately for use. There are some that may come with a few other links such as tool bar or additional anti-virus software. Make sure you read the web site carefully before you click on the download button. Naturally, this is applicable to …

Unix/Java And Microsoft/Intel Make Friends

The sense of head-spinning change that you get as an IS manager is an offshoot of a fairly simple phenomenon: the restoration of competition in the computer industry. Two centers of vitality are vying for leadership in advancing the state of the art.

One is the Microsoft/Intel camp and its large following of third-party developers. During the past 10 years, this group has toppled many cherished precepts and emerged as the dominant source of innovation.

The other is the Unix community (more precisely, the Unix/Java community), led by Sun, Oracle and Netscape. This camp is closer to the Internet. In the past year, it generated its own army of third-party followers, partly because of a generous infusion of venture capital. The Unix/Java camp now is challenging the PC leaders with its own rapid innovation.

My confidence of renewed competition isn’t because the Unix/Java camp has united behind Unix or because it threatens to displace Microsoft at the desktop. Neither statement is true. But it is true that Unix advocates have assimilated the lessons of the PC revolution and are putting them to use.

For example, the Unix/Java crew has finally learned that appropriate technology available today is more important than the best technology promised for the future. Software is

The Logical Volume Manager With Unix Hard Drives

When I first started managing UNIX systems, I underestimated the amount of time I would spend managing disk space. Traditional UNIX operating systems let you divide disks into 8 or 16 partitions (also called slices). When a slice becomes full, you must either move data to another slice or repartition the disk to make that slice larger. Repartitioning is time-consuming because you must back up the disk, repartition it by modifying the disk label, and restore data as necessary.

A typical UNIX disk analyzer.

Logical-volume technology provides the ability to reserve disk space that can be added to slices as needed. You can increase the size of a slice on the fly without losing data or experiencing significant downtime.

Overview Of Logical Volumes

The examples shown are for an HP-UX 10.20 system. The concepts also apply to other systems, such as AIX, that support logical volumes.

A disk can be divided into logical volumes (analogous to physical partitions). However, a logical volume can span more than one physical disk. Logical volumes are grouped into logical volume groups. Logical volumes cannot span more than one logical volume group.

The first step to using logical volumes is to create a volume group. Next, disks are added to the logical volume group

What Is Raid 5 Recovery?

If you are having problems with your drives, this means that the digital asset archive of your array needs a raid 5 recovery. This can help solve your problem before it gets worse.

RAID is the acronym for Redundant Array of Inexpensive or Independent Disks. It currently has eleven levels but the most popular ones are RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10. Each level provides a unique velocity and so-called fault tolerance. Its volume combines at least three hard drives to configure data which can be later written into three other drives. It is easily accessed by configuring it beforehand to supply information on a combination of data mirroring, data striping and data redundancy. Data mirroring helps increase the overall safety of data. Data striping on the other hand works by separating data in a certain logical order. Lastly, software for data redundancy is used to execute data in at least two tables.

Raid 5 software used to be an exclusive and expensive service that is used only by applications in high-end servers. Nowadays, it is slowly being integrated into motherboards during mass production with the help of affordable drives like PATA and SATA. There are actually two types of this product. The first is the “software” RAID which is found in the current Windows and Linux version. The “hardware” RAID on the other hand has a distinct controller that you can manipulate to sustain needed information to use for the computer’s hard drive. Raid 5 Recovery also controls the writing of data and contact to its volume function.

If you got caught in a situation when your RAID 5 just won’t work, meaning as an example that the Dell Linux RAID server you are using cab no longer recognize the data stored, what do you do? Lose the data by reformatting the disks or talk to a RAID specialist? If you have the never say die attitude, I’m pretty sure you would use the latter approach. But how will you do it?

To recover the files safely, you need to capture the Read the rest of this entry »

Ad Agencies Recognize Importance Of Computer Systems

Back-shop operations, the tasks that ushered in computers at many agencies, remain the most popular functions. Word processing is No. 1: 100% of agencies with computers do it. Spreadsheets, revenue/income analysis, customer billing and client record keeping follow, with 89% to 94% each.

Media buying (69% of agencies) and trafficking (63%) are also widely done on computers, as are typesetting (64%) and comps and layouts (62%).

And the information boom has made strong inroads as well. Electronic information sources are available at a solid 62% of the shops. Market analysis is done by computer at 60% of the agencies; client-industry tracking is done at 59% of the shops; customer database accessing is done by 54%; and new-business prospect identification is done by 52%.

One-third of the agencies send messages on electronic mail. Some 27% are using their computers to create finished art, and a handful – 2% to 3% – are exploring the frontiers of graphics, desktop publishing and presentations and slides.

The end result is finding agencies becoming, literally, greater than the sum of their human parts. “The scales are being tipped,” says Beason. “With the competitive edge of having access to information, smaller agencies can compete with larger agencies. Agencies of all sizes can compete on the same

Mac Hard Drive Recovery: Software and the Services

One of the challenges that a lot of consumers and business owners are facing is data loss. It can cause a lot of problems that can affect the growth of your business in a major way. Investing in a business is the best thing to do and you need to take good care of your business. One of the corrective measures that you need to put in place is having the address of a Mac hard drive data repair service. They can help with recovering data and also preventing your entire Apple computer system from virus. They can usually work with all Mac file systems and recover data from a drive, no matter its Mac OS version.

When you lose your important data, you don’t have to worry. Mac hard drive recovery experts can recover all your lost information. No one is perfect and life is about uncertainties. There is always increased chances of software virus, which is the major cause of data loss. If you approach an expert, he or she will help you in taking care of your important information. They have the experience and know how to apply different strategies to recover your data. For software user interface, you can approach a software support expert who will …

How to Select A Laptop Hard Drive Recovery Service

When your laptop hard drive crashes and you lose your most important files, you may have to get the help of an external party to get all of that data back. If you are unaware of the hardware operating system on your laptop, it is advisable to not to attempt to recover your data, as it will further damage your laptop hard drive and may professional recovery that much harder. In such a situation, selecting the best laptop hard drive recovery service provider is a question you need to answer.

The security of your data is the key factor you have to think of. That depends on the extent of the confidentiality of the data stored in your laptop. The more the security that is needed for your data; the more you need to look into your provider’s focus on security. Look over the track records of the laptop hard drive recovery service providers nearby your area. The other factor you may want to think about is the professionalism of the technical staff of the company. Are they technically qualified to do the data recovery job? If you ignore these points, you may lose your data and you will not be able to get your files recovered at all.

Losing …

The Grudge Match – NT vs. Unix

Anyone who regularly reads this column knows l have spent much of the past year calling on the UNIX community to pay serious attention to desktop UNIX. Not only have lexhorted vendors to develop small, friendly, shrink-wrapped versions of UNIX, but I have discussed at length the market effects on companies such as Santa Cruz Operation (SCO), if UNIX does or does not meet the challenge.

The good news is that UNIX vendors have perceived the same need ldid and have understood that the desktop UNIX must look and feel a whole lot different than its predecessors. USL and Univel have made surprisingly giant strides in this direction. SCO, in its own way, has continued to improve its high-end product, ODT. What Sun is doing, other than standardizing on SVR4, is open to conjecture, but the Solaris’s portability to Intel systems shows an appreciation of this platform.

For 1992, UNIX’s understanding of the strategic importance of the desktop rates very good. The next question is: Can UNIX market its wares?

The marketing arena is critical. Here, the main opponent is Microsoft and its vast marketing resources. For example, the recent UNIX Expo in New York had more vendors and more attendees than ever. The mood was by and large

Ways to Avoid Hard Drive Crash

It has been said that the way we handle things is reflective of our personality. This old principle is also applicable in the way we handle our computer systems at home or in our offices. The more careless we are, the more our computers will experience problems in the days to come. One of the common problems which many computer enthusiasts experience is hard drive crash. This computer failure can be traced to several things. But how can we keep this from happening in our computers?

Creepy hard drive crash!

When we speak of hard drive crash, what comes to mind is the failure of our Mac or Windows systems to respond. Most of us are careless in handling them, which often results to this problem. So, one way to avoid this to happen is to perform consistent hard disk maintenance on them. Routine maintenance is a must so that computer’s hard disk drive lifespan will be prolonged. For most of us who are fond of downloading computer applications, one way of avoiding hard drive crash is to install an antivirus tool on our computers. This antivirus tool is effective in blocking unsafe sites. But let us remember that computers are still machines which have a specific life span. So to be safe, every time you store important files in your computer, generate a backup weekly file. With this, you can retrieve your files despite the occurrence of hard drive errors.

Just like the human brain, hard drive plays a significant role in most computers. It is through the hard drive that we can store files and applications. It also enables game addicts to download online games and have easy access to these stored files for playtime, anytime.

A hard drive crash is a condition wherein the computer hard drive system fails to respond thereby avoiding one to access the unit or open it. Sometimes computer viruses can cause these hard drive failures. Computer viruses also corrupt files stored in your computer units, which later on can cause damage to the computer’s hard drive. In addition, long time use of computers will also cause the hard drive to crash. However, you can do something to avoid this type of hard drive failure. The secret is so simple – just handle your computer with a little bit of care. Handling with care can surely protect your computer and even extend its life span. So, starting from now, treat and handle your computers delicately!

A hard drive crash is one of the serious disasters that may engulf an end user in the world of computing. Prior to employing any diagnostic measure on a crashed hard disk it is quite imperative to have a clear overview of the hardware itself. Unlike several other devices in a computer, a hard disk is not a purely electronic device. The fact that a hard disk is both electrical and mechanical put the device at a higher potential for physical failure.

Being a mechanical device implies that a hard disk is subjected to the damaging effects of wear and tear. This means that a hard drive crash might be predictable if the device is not put under good use. An abrupt power failure striking a disk that is already writing might be a lead to a major crash of the hard drive. Extreme heat on the surface of a running disk might cause sudden electronic circuit board failure leading to a hard drive crash. Jostling or bumping your PC, Mac or laptop while it is in a running mode might also cause a severe crash of the hard disk. A malfunctioned filter or clogging of the air filter intake limits the amount of air circulating in a running hard disk and this might lead to a crash of the device as well. More information on hard disk crashes is here.

Doctors usually rely on symptoms in order to identify whether or not a patient is infected with a particular disease. A similar process is also used by computer technicians and data recovery professionals especially in dealing with hard drive failures. Troubleshooting computer problems requires a step by step process. Knowledge about computer applications and terms is also helpful to ensure a successful hard drive repair. There is no perfect rule to follow Read the rest of this entry »

He Invented The Computer, Frankly!

The father of the computer as we know it!

Round the corner of a newly opened exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C., and you’ll see a photograph of a young man named John V. Atanasoff. Below it is a much smaller photo of John Mauchly.

For decades it would have been the other way around-if you saw Atanasoff’s picture at all. Atanasoff invented the modern computer, but it took a 1973 court ruling and years of campaigning by his family and others to gain him recognition as a founding father of the information age.

Atanasoff’s rise plays like a Hollywood script. It’s the tale of a ray of inspiration, fueled with a little bourbon in an Illinois bar, that created the computer; a liberal dose of misplaced trust; and millions in lost royalties.

It’s also the tale of a genius inventor whose brainstorm eventually worked its way into everyone’s life. It’s almost impossible to imagine present-day money management, stock trading and banking without computers.

Atanasoff, a theoretical physicist, taught at Iowa State College (now Iowa State University), in Ames. In the late 1930s he began thinking about ways to simplify the myriad computations necessary for his research. Breakthroughs in electronics, such as the invention of the vacuum

Designing An Old-Style Linux Network

Everything starts from a proper design.

If you’re smart, you know the solution is 100 percent pure Linux. All the internal network from the routers down to the Web servers is 100 mbit/sec (Fast Ethernet). From the Web servers to the Network Appliance file servers the wires run a cool 1000mbit/sec (Gigabit). The first time the gamblers hit a Linux machine is when the TCP/IP packets arrive at the firewall.

This computer is a Compaq Alpha workstation with 256 MBs of RAM and it runs SuSE’s 7.0 distribution. This being the only non-Intel machine in the solution, one might wonder why. The reason is security. Most buffer-overflow exploits on Linux are pre-compiled for the Intel x86 architecture. Running a platform not able to execute them will statistically diminish the attacks by script kiddies. One more reason is that this is the only non-redundant point in the whole network, and Compaq’s Alpha machines are just more reliable than other x86-based PCs.

You’re going to need some of these.

The firewalling itself is IPCHAINS-based. Basically, the only thing allowed to come into the network is an http’d packet addressed to port 80, everything is discarded. In the outgoing direction, only packets back from the Web servers are allowed. The rule set for

Once, There Was Windows NT

As NT boldly goes where only Unix went before, hopes are high for a distributed computing environment that will work happily with existing PC hardware and software. But can NT really supplant Unix, with its 25 years of proven network reliability?

Until now, serious networked applications users have turned to Unix to find tools capable of doing the job. Unix may still not have found favour on the desktop, but it was designed to be both multitasking and multi-user — making it great for the network, despite problems getting Unix and PCs to co-operate.

This paradigm is now under threat. The growth of Microsoft Windows, along with the company’s promise to deliver the 32-bit NT operating system, has raised users’ hopes that a genuine alternative to Unix is close at hand — with backward PC software compatibility.

Yet Microsoft will be at least four months late with NT. The product is a lynchpin of the company’s future success and its push into higher computing. Even taking into account the announced delay, NT has been under development for some time. Bill Gates, Microsoft’s CEO, recently revealed that the NT project actually started before IBM and Microsoft began joint work on OS/2. As one analyst said in a recent issue of PC

IBM Strikes Back

IBM launched a new marketing assault on its vast but aging System/36 base last week as it brought out three CPUs at the low end of its AS/400 line, including its fourth so-called Entry model that runs S/36 software but which is the first that can be field upgraded to full AS/400 capability.

In addition to the introduciton of the new computers, as well as new sotware and peripherals, IBM issued a statement of direction, noting it plans to expand AS/400 performance with a field-upgradable model offering twice the current high-end B70 performance in mid-1991.

Industry sources said the moves signal IBM’s intent to boost the price/performance of its proprietary systems to keep pace with similar developments that have occurred in the so-called open systems market based on industry standard architectures and operating systems. Fueling IBM’s intent at the low end, they noted, is the sizeable base of the company’s earlier equipment, in this particular instance of S/36 machine, which the firm has previously said amounts to some 200,000.

The latest AS/Entry model comes about 11 months after IBM brought out the initial Entry models, (EN, October 2, 1989) that extended the S/36 architecture but incorporated some of the newer technologies found in the AS/400, which when originally introduced were

Companies That Recover Data from Hard Drives

Nowadays when you lose data that is not the end of your life. We all understand that data can be lost in one way or another as in here. Some of these companies are very efficient in carrying out this work of data recovery. Such companies have developed very comprehensive strategies to overcome the woes of data recovery. They can recover data across an array of devices and even all types of operating devices. These companies can recover data from any kind of laptop, server, network, desktop or storage device imaginable. One of the most reliable companies is Kroll Ontrack. This company is on the payroll of most Fortune 100 companies in the USA. This is a gesture which shows that it is extremely reliable.

Professional data recovery usually takes place in clean rooms like this.

The above named companies have a reputation for proper industrial security. In the past, it was recognized by the USA Defense Department for the last 15 years. From this kind of reputation, I recommend to you this company to solve all you data recovery problems.

Hard drives can lose data due to crashing, being broken, if they are dropped, damage by fire, water damage, virus damage and a crushed personal computer. Always look for a company that can manage to recover data from all types of hard disk manufacturers. Read the rest of this entry »