Feb 22 2013

Data Recovery Experts Are Very Efficient

The world of computers has grown adversely and there are some very vital services that come with the same. There are some experts who are needed in the day to day running of the computers for the hard drives keep on crushing from time to time. A data recovery expert is a very essential person who plays a very important role in the maintaining of efficiency in running the computer and hard drives. Most of the computer users are quite illiterate on an issue that concern the computer maintenance and that is why they rely on a data recovery expert. The services of a data recovery expert can be got online and that is why there are very many service providers who market their services online. Most often, the data recovery expert will check on your hard drive for free and send you the state so as to know the degree of damage. Rest assured the data recovery expert would keep all your information secret in the whole process because some of the data might be very sensitive and secrecy has to be upheld at all cost. After taking care of the damage the hard drive can be shipped to you and all this can be done at no expense. All these services are for sure pocket friendly.

How To Choose A Data Recovery Expert Company

Data recovery expert is a very sensitive and important service that is required at one time or the other in a company. Every company goes through a moment of data loss at one point. On many occasions, this causes panic to the users especially them who only have the basic computer knowledge. A data recovery expert company must have professionals. They must be a team of workers who are qualified for the job. In addition to this, they must be well experienced in recovery of data. A good company will also offer affordable prices for their services. For you to get the best prices, you should go through their websites and compare the prices that are offered. You must also choose a company that is reputable. To determine a reputable company, go through the different reviews concerning the company. To get the best results, ensure that you go through both the positive and negative reviews. The company should also be closest to you to avoid the extra transport costs. You should also beware of the companies that offer very cheap prices since this could be a sign that they do not offer quality services. A good data recovery expert company is one that has a record of accomplishment of success and has been in the field for quite a long time. This means that their level of experience is good and dependable. Read more details.

Data Recovery Experts: What Do They Do?

A possible loss of data in a computerized environment can be considered as one of the most bitter experiences faced by a computer user. Due to physical and software problems, drives fail to function properly, posing the threat of a loss of data. If preparing a backup had not been a habit, such a condition would lead to an urgent need to recover data. When a failed drive or server is handed over to a recovery expert, a first-step evaluation will usually be done. It would take the time duration of 1 to 2 days depending on the situation or condition. The report of this evaluation would provide a complete report of the situation, especially of what is recoverable and what is not. There, depending on that report, the customer will decide whether the recovery is worth the cost that they have to bear. If the customer is ready to proceed with the recovery process, it will be continued and the entire turnaround time is three to five days in most cases. Usually, the data recovery experts assure 99% of data recovery. Specially in contexts where the drives are physically damaged, by flooding, hurricanes, fire or any other physical injury, there is still a potentiality of recovering data depending on whether the media is intact or not. Data recovery experts identify the damages done by floods or hurricanes as the most difficult type of failure to recover. However, the assistance of a data recovery expert would minimize the loss of data even in most terrible situations.

Don’t Fear After Losing Your Data

You may delete your data wrongly or due to frequent power surges lose information. You may format the hard drive wrongly or even cover a file unexpectedly. Most of the people freak out of fear but it is imperative to consult a data recovery expert if you have no clue on how you can retrieve your data that may be lost. On the other hand, you can still manage to retrieve your data for it is still in your computer. The easiest way out a data recovery expert will see you through is partitions your hard drive. The basic unit to store data in your hard drive is the sector thus it becomes necessary to partition it to make sure that there is convenient management of data. With partitioning, you will be safer and the risk of losing data will be minimore. Many people freak out and they end up consulting a back yard goon who would claim to be data recovery expert but for real, he is not a data recovery expert. Most of the people fall in this kind of traps but they always regret the consequences after they lose all their data. Use a verified data recovery expert at all times to recover your data.

Feb 12 2013

When You Might Need A Data Recovery Expert

There are a number of occurrences that lead to the loss of valuable data. When this happens, you will need a competent data recovery expert to help you go about this problem. It is important to know the causes that will lead you to look for the services of this specialist. Some of these causes result from human error whereas others are from mechanical malfunctions. Data loss usually occurs due to corruption by viruses or malware. These are programs that ruin the functionality of the computer. Also, when there is a mechanical failure of the hard drive, you are likely to lose important information. Sometimes, you might format the drive without a prior regard to the fact that you have not backed up the information stored there. This will make it prompt for you to seek the services of a data recovery expert. When there is a fire or flood, you might have the information that was stored in your computer or iPhone lost. When you delete files accidentally, you might need to have them restored back to you if they are of importance. It is the competent recovery specialist who will be able to get those important files or documents back to you, in case of any of these reasons for data loss.

General Facts About Data Recovery Experts

The operation of data recovery is a very sensitive and an extremely significant process. Computer users should be vigilant in deciding and employing the expertise of a recovery expert’s service. Inaccessibility to data occurs basically when they are unintentionally deleted or when the operating systems of the computer become corrupted. Hard disk failures often lead to the endangering of data. In case of unintended file deletion, having ore-installed recovery program software in the PC will be of great advantage. The recovery tools should be correctly used to minimize the risk of further loss. In a logical drive failure, it is always advisable to use an emergency boot disk to revitalize the systems and to check the possibility of data recovery and backup. In a physical breakdown, which is caused by either electrical or mechanical harm to hard disk components, the immediate action should be shutting down the PC and visiting a trustworthy file recovery expert. Before handing over the responsibility of data recovery to an expert, a user has a right to ask for an evaluation report of the disposition of the drives and of what can be recovered and what is not. The cost factor should be agreed upon, before any agreement is set. After the consultation and drive analysis, a file recovery quotation should be taken. It is advisable to make sure that the data recovery process should be done in an atmospherically regulated clean room. The user can request the retrieved data to be saved around a media of his liking, a compact disk, expensive media or any other hard drive. See this

Get A Data Recovery Expert To Help You

Many at times one can fall in a misfortune of loosing data due to one reason or the other. The world of business is fast moving and losing out on your data can cause a great loss. It is advisable to always back up your data at all times to avoid the loss which can cost a lot. The first sign of a potential data loss is the clicking or grinding sound and you are supposed to get a blank CD to back up all your data for that sound signifies the death of your hard drive. If you cannot do that, you can always get a data recovery expert to help you with the entire process. If you are inexperienced in this, it is advisable not to try anything regarding the data recovery for any attempt can lead to a complete loss of data and it cannot be retrieved in any way. A courier can take your hard drive to a data recovery expert who can take care of the problem having the needed experience and the right tools and a clean room that are required for the process to go through successfully. I bet there is a data recovery expert in every part of the world even in your neighborhood.

Advice The Data Recovery Expert Will Give You

When you seek the services of the data recovery expert, there are a number of things that he will tell you. First, he will advise you to always have back up for all the documents that you deem important to you. He will tell you that you are better off with an external hard drive which has a copy of all the data that you value in your computer. This will stop you from going back to him as a repeat customer. A data recovery expert will also give you advice on the way that you should detect as early as possible a forthcoming failure of your hard drive. He will tell you that when you hear the computer hard drive producing clicking or grinding noises, you should brace yourself for a failure by having back up as fast as possible. He will also tell you that when the computer begins to shut itself down frequently, it might mean that the hard drive is being compromised. When you fear that you may have lost the details you regard as important, there are a number of things that specialists will advise you to do. He will tell you that you need not try to extract the drive by yourself as this might make the recovery expert more challenging. He will also tell you to avoid freezing the drive as it might render the recovery impossible.

Feb 06 2013

Why You Need A Data Recovery Expert

A data recovery expert is one of the very important people when it comes to data recovery. There are some of the things that you cannot do on your own that only a data recovery expert can help you with. If you make the wrong mistake and try to perform these on your own, you will lose all the data that you have on your hard drive. Data can be very important in your life and the data can be priceless to other people. On the other hand the data can be very important and worth a lot in your business or any other sector. It is not worth the risk of trying to recover your data and you are not sure of the means to use. Data loss is normal especially in this age where there is a lot of computer use and the computer hard drives are prone to data loss. The market is very big for this profession of a data recovery expert. Many at times the experts are in every part of the society whereas other services are found online. All you need to do is choose the right service provider to get the right services to you and make sure that you move on with your life appropriately.

Data Recovery Experts: The Best Option?

Despite the primary advice given to even an average computer user to maintain backups of the significant data in a computerized environment to any other reliable data storing source, thousands of users still encounter the catastrophic event of data loss. This usually occurs when computer drives malfunction. In a situation where there is an urgent need for data recovery, some users may be at a loss to decide on the best option. Most will inevitably try troubleshooting the situation. It is an admirable sense of optimism, but there is no warranty that it would not make the situation worse. Perhaps, a misunderstanding of the faulty drive may cause the user to pull out the wrong drive, thus leading to a scrambling of data. A user insisting on fixing the problem on his own can try the recovery options and tool provided by the system itself. If not, easy and user friendly recovery software are available in ample varieties and they can be used in an appropriate manner to resolve the problem of losing data. If the data is too important to be risked, it is always wise to consult a data recovery expert service even though it may cost a bit. Read more

The Tools That A Data Recovery Expert Needs

There are a number of things that this specialist needs if he is to be a successful expert at the recovery of lost data. He cannot do his work without the knowledge that is relevant for this kind of field. Also, he needs to have all the necessary tools to be able to achieve effectiveness in his line of duty. The tools that he has will also draw the line between his failure and success. The first tools that he needs can be loosely described as physical tools. These are those that are directly in use by the person for such processes as the disassembly of the hard drives. He also needs to have other types of tools for the repair works that he will do on the electronic devices. A data recovery expert also needs to have software programs that he will use to get back the information needed. These are usually found installed inside the machines that are used for recovery or even in optical discs. These tools are usually required after
the physical tools have been used. They are thus very important, as they are directly responsible for getting back the information that has been lost. A competent recovery expert needs to have all these under his wings, as he may not be able to meet his goals of recovery without them.

Get A Data Recovery Expert To Ease Your Work

A data recovery expert follows a recovery process is very important and there are measures that one needs to take to make sure that you do not lose all your data. It can be a physical damage on your hard drive or else it can be a logical damage. Never dare to do it on your own if you cannot for a hard drive is a very sensitive part of a computer. On the other hand, you can use data recovery software that allows you to get the lost data back you can get to access the formatted, deleted or inaccessible data without strain. There is no need to cater for data recovery issues if you run a big company. It can be very cheap to employ the services of a data recovery expert who will see you through the whole process of data recovery, as you get involved in matters that are more critical in the company. Hiring a data recovery expert will free you from such a heavy burden. The data recovery experts are available online and there is stiff
competition in service provision thus more efficiency in the field. There are very many extra services that you can be offered for free as the data recovery experts woos you to his services.

Sep 22 2012

Considerations for Selecting A Laptop Data Recovery Service

If you have accidentally messed up your files and you have done all the possible means necessary to retrieve the files but to no avail, your final laptop data recovery option is to call on a data recovery service.

There are numerous data recovery services found online, and there may even be some in your area. These services may be provided by local computer experts, or can be run by big computer companies. These services may be your final way to retrieve that much wanted data, and with the help of computer experts employed by these services, there is a good chance of laptop data recovery.

The following are some considerations for selecting the best data recovery service. First, choose the service that has the highest success rate. Your priority is to reclaim your files and you want everything complete and intact if possible. Second, go for the service that has established a good reputation. A company that does what it promises to do is a reliable company, and when you seek assistance from such a service, you can be assured that you are in good hands. Third, consider client feedback and comments. Previous customers are a wonderful source of the company’s service performance, so it really helps to do your homework and read online reviews. Fourth, consider the price. Ask yourself how much you are willing to pay to get back the files you lost, and look for a company that offers the best recovery price.

You are not the first one to lose data from your laptop, and you certainly will not be the last. Laptop data loss occurs every day, just as laptop data recovery services are utilized daily. Before you throw your laptop out of frustration from constantly failing and messing with your data, you may want to try some laptop data recovery methods first.

When people lose data from their laptops, their first option is to use an advanced data retrieval tool. There are many such software programs available online, and because they are designed for non-technical computer users who like to do things by themselves, the instructions provided are easy to follow. When your first option fails to yield the results you like, you can then turn to the second option, which is to bring your laptop to the local repair centre. This method is efficient, although time consuming and does not really provide data security. Most local repair shops can fix your laptop and retrieve data if the failure if due to logical concerns, however if the laptop failure is more extensive and because of logical reasons, your third option is to bring your laptop to a hard drive data recovery specialist. Though the specialist has a better chance to retrieve your data from the damaged laptop, you should be prepared to pay a good price for the service because it is usually expensive.

Now that we know that hard drive problems can either be caused by hardware or software, this article focuses more on external hard drive repair if the problem is determined to be a software issue. You don’t really need to worry much if you’re not that literate with computer repair as there are available software fixes in the internet. All you need to have is an internet connection and a mind that knows how to follow a step by step instruction.

Before starting your external hard drive repair, make sure that you were able to do the most important thing and that is creating a back-up of all your files. Remember that since the repair is through software fix program, you are dealing with the risk of losing some if not all of the data in the process so be ready to accept that possibility. You need an internet connection to download the software. This comes with a very user-friendly guide which you need to follow to perform the task successfully. Follow each step and wait until the software is done in scanning the drive. If the problem still persists, it’s time to check the hardware to resolve the problem. External hard drive repair may come in handy if the problem is software but if it’s already a hardware issue, things can get a little more complicated.

If you’re encountering an external hard drive problem, better wish that it’s only a software issue. Many guarantee that software is a lot easier to deal with since the workaround is only to install and scan. Hard drive repair for a hardware problems requires a more skillful execution and on that note, this means that you might need an extra hand to do the job. Software fix programs can be downloaded for free but you need to pay a certain amount to fix a hardware problem. Depending on the damage and on the amount of work, price may range from as low as $500 to as high as $3000.

The very famous, do-it-yourself can be done so as not to spend the amount stated. But if nothing happens, you can either buy a new hard drive and accept the fact that you lost all your files or try and recover your data but be willing to pay for the process. To start with your hard drive repair, do the very basic troubleshooting. Try to insert the drive to another computer and if it doesn’t work, you can go and proceed to the repair. The very basic approach is to open the device, slowly and carefully. Check for any lose ends; make sure that everything is in their proper place. If the arms of the platters are bent, try to straighten them up. After this, bring back all the parts and test it out. Apparently, if the procedure will not resolve the issue, the only thing that can be done to continue the external hard drive repair is to ask for that extra hand.

Process of External Hard Drive Repair

When your external hard drive needs repair due to one reason or another, most people are very cautious about the service provider they are going to engage for the job (we suggest harddrivefailurerecovery.net). One of the major factors that most people consider other than the efficiency in the external hard drive repair is privacy of the information in the external hard drive being repaired. Assurance to the privacy and secrecy of the information is very important.

The process of external hard drive repair is simple. When the drive is received in the lab, it is accessed to know the extent of the damage. After that, the cost of the external hard drive repair is established and communicated to the owner. If the customer agrees on the charge, it is forwarded to be repaired. Whatever has been recovered is then e-mailed to the customer and if the customer approves of the data after inspecting it, arrangement for payment is made. The data is then copied in another external hard drive bought either by the service provider or by the customer. Only when you receive the recovered data, does the service provider then destroy any copies of data that might be available? That is the simple process of external hard drive repair.

Sep 09 2012

How to Recover Data from A Crashed Laptop Hard Drive

Imagine this: You are working on an important document feverishly. An imminent deadline looms over you and then suddenly without warning, your laptop’s hard drive crashes. A foreboding thought creeps into your mind: ‘what now? Can I still recover all my data?’ Keep those panicky feelings at bay and read the following methods you can try for effective laptop data recovery.

If you have the cash, try the services of those who can do the job best. The computer clinics usually claim to recover your files from any kind of hard drive disasters. This can be costly though. If you are a do-it-yourself person, here are some options for you:

Remove the hard drive from your laptop by following the user’s manual of your laptop. Get or purchase an external enclosure where you can insert your hard drive. External enclosure can connect the hard drive to a working computer via USB cable. Browse through your hard drive files and transfer selected files either to the working computer or to another external hard drive. You might need to wait for many hours if you have large files. A Mac laptop user has another alternative. Borrow a working Mac and use a FireWire cable to hook your hard drive into it. The power of the working Mac should be off when connecting. When starting the computer, press the T key and hold it down until a FireWire icon can be seen. By ‘Target Booting’, retrieving the files in the hard drive is possible. Laptop data recovery options include the use of recovery software that you can purchase from local computer stores or download from reputable sites. There are also free downloadable software available from the net.

Laptops are wonderful machines that can be carried and used anywhere. They make people work more efficiently by providing tools that can help with easy calculation, recording, printing, auditing, image creation, communication and a lot more. But despite its great abilities, the very same strength that a laptop is known for is also its downfall, and that is its portability. Since laptops are constantly transported, it is more prone to being juggled and shaken. They also have a higher percentage chance of falling down compared to a desktop. Laptops are usually placed in knapsack, and knapsack straps sometimes break off. If your laptop falls, you may feel that you have to say goodbye to your data forever. Before you do that, first try to do laptop data recovery.

Data recovery begins with evaluating what could be the cause of computer failure. When you turn on your laptop, do you hear it emitting a strange sound? A strange whirring noise may mean that your laptop d rive has a mechanical failure. But if does not make any noise except for the normal faint humming sound it gives off when it is working, yet your laptop refuses to open, the cause could only be due to logical failure. Hard drive crashes due to logical failure can be resolved and data can be retrieved by using recovery software. But if the problem source is mechanical, the only way to reclaim your data would be by employing a data recovery service.

Sep 03 2012

What to Do When Facing Mac Hard Drive Failure

In today’s fast paced computer environment, people are heavily dependent on the computer and when computer glitches happen, it is often alarming and very frustrating. Losing data could be one the worst things that can happen to a person, and most especially so if a huge office project is part of the data lost. While software issues are easily resolved, hard drive problems take time and extensive computer knowledge to correct, especially under crash scenarios. If you are using Mac computer and your hard drive fails, there is a Mac hard drive recovery service available, but it must be delivered by an experienced data recovery service.

Hard Drive Recovery Associates is one of those companies experienced with mac hard dri\ve failure, and is Apple approved, of course. It is important that you select a Mac-oriented company specifically, because many Windows oriented shops really can’t guarantee much outside of drives using the Microsoft OS. However, if you are seeking premium drive recovery software, you can take advantage of the numerous advanced recovery software programs available online and in most computer shops. Such software is now designed for more extensive data retrieval, and even rebuilding directory structures from corrupted disks. Mac hard drive recovery is very possible with the help of many third party tools, except when outright failure has occurred.

Data loss can happen in many ways. It can be the result of human error such as when you accidentally delete a file or it can be a software issue like when a bug attacks your computer data, but it could also be due to hard drive failure. Among the three causes of data loss, the last one poses as the most serious concern since it is the most difficult to resolve. But if you are using a Mac computer, do not fret. There is a very high possibility of Mac data recovery.

To recover Mac hard drive files, most users depend on Disk Utility. This tool is convenient for resolving some problems like damaged hard drive directory structures, but its ability is quite limited in providing hard drive repair, and it does not have strong data recovery features. For a more efficient system of recovering files, you need to have advanced data recovery software. Advanced data recovery software applications are advantageous because they come at a reasonable price, and they usually do the job of recovering your precious files well.

Computers are usually built to give off warning signals when something is wrong with them. For example, if there is a computer virus attacking your data, you will notice your files disappearing or becoming corrupted. If a disk failure is due to mechanical reasons, meanwhile, prior to the day it refused to work you probably heard strange clicking noises coming from the computer. When your hard drive starts acting up, it is time to look for Mac hard drive failure solutions.

Because of the hard drive’s sensitive components, many computer owners hesitate to repair hard drive problems on their own. Some prefer to bring their computers to the nearest repair center to have professional work on the computer concern. Others like to try things on their own first before resorting to the experts’ ability, and utilize advanced recovery software programs in an effort to retrieve the data from their Mac computers. Both methods are effective in retrieving data if the hard drive problem is limited to logical failure, the hard drive failure that is due to corrupted files like when a malware is attacking your files.

However, if your hard drive refused to power due to broken or chipped parts, it is called mechanical failure, and this kind of failure needs the assistance of a data recovery specialist.

Aug 30 2012

Mac Old Times Are Good Times

Humankind has gotten more comfortable with computers over the years, and I’m convinced that this has less to do with operating systems and Killer Apps than it does with simple, caveman-type responses to concepts of Scale.

The Number One most terrifying concept to your basic caveman was, of course, God. So enormous that you couldn’t see Him, touch Him, or hear Him (the prophets notwithstanding), He nonetheless had a very real impact in terms of earthquakes, lightning, and other forms of mass entertainment of the day. Next down were the cave bears and saber-toothed tigers. Enormous, yes; terrifying, definitely. But you could see them, and anything you could see you could run away from.

Humankind really started feeling comfortable with the natural world only after it had been domesticated and could actually do useful things for people. The cow gave us milk, for which we were grateful, but it was the dog that we wound up slinging Frisbees at. Why did Benji: The Hunted star a small cuddly stray mutt instead of an asphalt-clomping stray Holstein? Scale, ladies and gentlemen . . . scale!

The same variety of evolutionary downsizing applies to computers. They started out as enormous mainframes, behemoths hidden in the basement, unseen save for the acts of terror they inflicted upon humankind. And We Were Afraid and thought of them as angry, Old Testament-type gods. Before long, though, they got small enough to have around the house and they became useful: The Mac and the PC are now the draft horse and the cow — the big, smelly, daft-as-a-Manitoban-rice-steamer cow — of the modern homestead.

And finally, after several false starts with palmtop computers, I think the goofy Black Labrador Retriever of the computing world has arrived, in the form of the Newton MessagePad 2000. Oh, the previous Newtons were great, but compared to this latest edition, they’re pit bulls. Those of us who use and love our Newton 100s swear up and down that they’ve just gotten a bad rap in the press, but hey, just try convincing someone else to allow one around their children.

No, here at last is a digital companion, as it were, eager to please and always by one’s side. The MP 2000 is powerful not because it’s the most computationally incredible hardware on the planet but because it’s a friendly beast that’s perfectly scaled for humanity. Will this sweep us into a new chapter in our relationship with computers? Well, why not?

As it is, I think the Newton is my favorite Internet device. I waste so much time on the Internet, and not just by visiting the Spam Cam page. I read. Every morning, I spend my first two waking hours reading the morning news on CNN and MacInTouch and a bunch of other Web sites. It’s usually valuable information, but nonetheless, the Internet wastes my time because it demands that I be planted in front of a screen while I retrieve information.

Using NetHopper (the browser that ships with the MP 2000), I simply fill this electronic paperback with the digerata of the morning, and I’m free. NetHopper has an insanely simple and profound feature: It caches entire Web pages. So on Friday morning, I hit Roger Ebert’s page at the Sun-Times and–bang–reviews of all the new movies are in the cache, where I can read them whenever and wherever I have time.

But what will happen once we scale these things down even more? Well, we have a couple of preliminary answers in the form of Wearable Computers. The components already exist commercially: an eyepiece that tosses an enormous virtual screen over your field of vision, a keyboard and a pointer packaged in a fob that you twiddle with your fingers, and a bunch of Web sites that tell you how to manage to get them working with your portable computer.

And here we have the Ear Mites of the Industry. Oh, I’m excited about the concept, to be sure, but wow, what enormous pests these things could become. You thought it was annoying to have your lunch with your date interrupted by the burble of her cell phone . . . how will you feel when you finish your surefire story about the time the hotel receptionist mistook you for R.E.M.’s lead singer and suddenly realize that she’s been looking at you the whole time from behind a screenful of information from The X-Files Episode Guide? Is there the danger that in the future, we will see and hear only those things our computers have processed and filtered for us?

Well, actually, I was going to use that as a lead to a profound statement about the concept of The Enormous Scary Computer becoming The Tiny Scary Computer, but now that I think about it, that sounds kind of cool.

Aug 30 2012

Frontier Changed The Web’s Look

So you’re making the transition from managing a handful of Web pages to managing a site of dozens, even hundreds, of pages. But you’re wary of the challenges. You know that several tools are available to help you manage your site, from Adobe SiteMill to DeltaPoint’s QuickSite, but you’re also aware that these commercial applications are expensive and may not individually include all the features you need.

Before you decide to invest in a site-management program, consider an alternative that’s increasingly popular in the Mac Webmaster community: UserLand Software’s Frontier. Although it isn’t the easiest Mac application to use, it has very important advantages over most site-management tools on the market — it’s flexible, and it’s free.

The New Frontier

Frontier began life in the early 1990s as a commercial scripting environment, designed to automate file management and to remotely control scriptable applications. Today it’s free, and unlike AppleScript, Apple’s scripting software, it’s fully PowerPC-native and multithreaded and has a built-in database in which you can store information permanently.

With the advent of the World Wide Web, Frontier has become a powerful tool for Web-site management, allowing Webmasters to organize and automate the creation of large Web sites. You can also use it to create CGI (Common Gateway Interface) applications that add capabilities to Mac Web servers.

Frontier isn’t a WYSIWYG page-design application; you must know the basics of HTML to use it. In fact, it’s not much of an HTML editor, instead providing a framework for your Web site and its pages. Like AppleScript, Frontier is a scripting environment, and you’ll want to learn at least the rudiments of UserTalk, Frontier’s scripting language. This isn’t as challenging as it sounds, as you can easily get by with knowing only a few of Frontier’s many commands. But the fancier you want your site to be, the more you’ll want to spice it up with custom scripts.

In this article, we’ll give you a taste of Frontier’s structure and site-management interface; take you step by step through the site-creation process; and describe some of Frontier’s more important tools, including templates and glossaries.

Frontier Basics

So what is Frontier, anyway? It has two basic components — the Frontier application itself and a companion file, called Frontier.Root. The root file is actually a database, organized much like the Finder, with a tree structure. Like folders or an outline, the database is a hierarchical collection of objects. We’ll describe a few of the many kinds of objects, as we use Frontier to create a basic Web site.

The first kind of object you’re likely to notice is called a table. Tables can contain other objects, references to files, and even other tables (see Figure 1). Another useful object is wp text. Clicking on a wp text object reveals a window into which you can enter text, just as if you were typing in a word processor. For starters, you’ll enter most of your HTML pages’ body text into these text objects (accessible from the root table), although more-sophisticated pages can use other Frontier objects, such as outlines and scripts.

If you’ve ever worked with Microsoft Word in Outline mode, Frontier’s outline objects should look familiar to you. You can nest lines of text hierarchically and can rearrange outlines by dragging various outline elements. Outlines can play a special role in a Frontier-managed Web site: You can use them to create various kinds of lists, tables, and even forms. Scripts look quite a bit like outlines, except that instead of containing text, they contain commands in UserTalk (you can also write AppleScript scripts and store them in Frontier script objects, if you prefer).

Your First Frontier Web Site

A complete description of Frontier’s site-management capabilities and tools is beyond the scope of this article, but you can get a pretty good idea of them by creating a simple Web site. After you’ve launched Frontier and entered your name and e-mail address as prompted, you can create a new site or import an existing site into your root file. Frontier can properly parse pages created by HTML editors such as Adobe PageMill and Claris Home Page.

To see the full benefit of Frontier’s automation capabilities, let’s create a site from scratch, using these steps:

1. Select New Site from the Web menu. Name your site “user.websites.mySite,” and click on OK. Frontier creates a table containing directives (the table entries beginning with #) as well as empty glossary and tools entries. Directives contain information that will be automatically incorporated into the HTML pages Frontier generates for mySite when you give it the command to create, or, in Frontier parlance, render the site. Directives in the table affect every page in the site and in subsidiary tables, unless you override them with other directives specific to a given page (see Figure 2). Most of the directives Frontier supplies for you pertain to the colors that will be applied to pages controlled by the table.

2. Before you can create Web pages, you have to tell Frontier where to put the HTML files it renders. You do this by choosing a destination with your site’s #ftpSite table. Click on the triangle at the left of #ftpSite to open the table, and you’ll see that Frontier has stored the path of a local folder it has created for your pages in the Folder entry and has made a space for you to enter your site’s URL. After you’ve rendered your site, Frontier can use FTP client software to upload your pages to a Web server. For now, store your site in the local folder. Close the #ftpSite table.

3. With your mySite table frontmost in Frontier, select New Text from the Table menu. Name the text cell “home” (it’ll become your site’s default home page), and click on OK. Open the new entry, and type

#title “My First Page”

This is my first page.

This is just a test.

You have just created your first Web page in Frontier. If you’d rather use a text editor to create and modify your pages, you can use BBEdit. With BBEdit installed, highlight the home entry you just made and launch your home page in BBEdit with the keystroke Command-E. When you save your changes in BBEdit and return to Frontier, the text will appear within your text cell.

To preview your page, highlight the home entry in your Web site’s table and select View in Browser from Frontier’s Web menu. The page that appears in your browser isn’t fancy, but it’s all yours!

4. Add this line to the beginning of your home text cell:

#template “normal”

Now preview the page in your browser. It looks something like Figure 3. You’ve just gotten your first taste of the power of Frontier’s templates and produced a basic home page. Now let’s take a look at some more-advanced features that Frontier offers.

Massaging the Page

You may have noticed that your rendered pages, especially the one to which you applied the “normal” template, contain information and text you haven’t actually typed yourself. Frontier’s rendering process does some very neat, and welcome, transformations of your text.

First, anytime you type a URL, Frontier will automatically insert the appropriate tags around it, so that http: //www.macintouch.com would be rendered as <a href= “http://www.macintouch.com”> http://www.macintouch.com </a>. In a similar vein, if you type an e-mail address into your text, Frontier will add the appropriate tags to make it a clickable mailto: link. And if you’ve typed accent characters, Frontier converts them into the appropriate ISO-8859-1 text, so most Web browsers will display them correctly.

Frontier’s coolest text-substitution features, though, are glosseries. A glossary is a table containing the names of Web locations and their URLs. When you type the name of a site, surrounded by quotes, in your text objects, Frontier renders the name as a properly formatted link to that site. So “MacUser” would be rendered as <a href = “http://www.zdnet.com/macuser/”>MacUser</a>. Imagine the amount of time you could save by simply typing in “Products” or “Contact Information” and letting Frontier fill in the links to pages in your site for you. Frontier even adds a Scripts menu to Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator, allowing you to add any Web site you happen to be browsing to your main Glossary file, with a single command.

Even More Automation

In theory, you don’t actually need to know any UserTalk in order to set up simple Web sites in Frontier. However, scripts (which are referred to as macros when embedded in your Web pages) add so much power to your pages that you’ll find yourself diving into the language in no time at all. For example, a call to Frontier’s current-time command, within braces — {clock.now()} — inserts the current date and time into your Web pages when you render your site, so you can time-stamp each page.

Another handy macro, by the name of {outlineSite()}, adds an outline object representing your entire site, wherever you use the macro in a rendered page.

You can also create automatic Next/Previous links at the top or bottom of your pages with a macro. Run it on your Web table in Frontier before you render your site. The command generates an outline window listing all of your site’s pages. Drag the pages into the order you want, and add this macro to your templates: <P> {linkPrev (“Previous”)} | {linkNext (“Next”)} </p><hr>. Frontier’s rendering process will take care of the rest.

The kind of information you can put into your pages with macros is limited only by your ingenuity and knowledge of UserTalk, but remember that these are not CGI scripts; whatever shows up on your Web pages is the result of your scripts at the time your site was rendered and is not updated in real time when your pages are viewed.

Aug 30 2012

Creating A Financial Plan For Your Business

Two years ago when a small-business owner in New York launched an attractive members-only resort, she violated two business rules: setting the price of goods before nailing down her costs and inadvertently mixing up her personal and business records. As a result, she bit into her business profits.

It wasn’t until after she reorganized her books for “business use only” that the resort owner discovered her costs for hamburgers, paper goods, and other expenses far exceeded her estimated prices. Even worse was that she’d already commissioned an artist to create her snack bar signs listing prices. With summer fast approaching, the entrepreneur quickly compensated for the error by introducing higher priced daily specials, tightly controlling the size of food portions, and shopping around for cheaper supplies.

Whether you sell french fries or financial advice, it’s important to set aside time from your busy schedule to study your company’s vital statistics. With the same care a doctor gives the human heart, you need to measure the pulse of your company’s finances and create meaningful records, including a chart of accounts, a cash flow statement, and a monthly profit-and-loss statement. With these tools, you can compare your numbers with those of others in your industry and–should you spot an anomaly–take action to improve your operating efficiency. What’s more, since the IRS will likely want to make its own diagnosis, having organized business books will make it a snap for you to file tax returns.

To help your company’s heart beat at a healthy clip, in this first installment of our three-part series we explain the essentials of financial recordkeeping, prescribe a report-generating routine, and dissect a profit-and-loss statement. Over time, following a healthy financial regimen will increase the longevity of your venture.

Taking Your EKG: Create a Chart of Accounts

Naturally, most of us are in business to make a profit. And the way to know if your enterprise is in the black is to track every transaction in a chart of accounts. Whatever type of business you’re in, the circulatory system is the same: money comes in; money goes out; inventory and supplies are received; and merchandise and services are supplied.

To record these events, you will need to create files to store such documents as sales slips, packing slips, check deposits, and so forth. Then, at least once a week, enter your financial transactions either in a paperbound ledger or in an accounting program’s master chart of accounts, which are divided into the following five categories.

1. Assets, everything your business owns that has cash value, such as real estate, accounts receivable, inventory, and cash.

2. Liabilities, what your company owes, including accounts payable and loans.

3. Capital, your investment in the business.

4. Revenues, your income from sales and investments.

5. Expenses, your costs of doing business, including insurance premiums and taxes. Now here’s where it gets tricky–and where a computer package comes in handy: Every business transaction you enter is either a debit or credit, which increases or decreases the value of corresponding accounts. Fortunately, programs such as QuickBooks  (Intuit) or Accounting Software Group’s Small Business Accounting Software automatically recrunch your numbers each time you enter a new transaction. In addition, many programs prompt you to set up a chart of accounts based on your type of business.

Of course, you might ask your accountant to assist in setting up your chart of accounts to avoid mistakes. And you may even need your financial adviser’s help to figure out more complicated calculations, such as the depreciation of equipment. But stop there: You don’t want to rely on others to completely interpret your financial data–it’s up to you to understand what’s happening in your own company.

Checking Your Pulse: Prepare a Profit-and-Loss Statement

Also known as an income statement, this report would have helped our resort owner zero in on the hidden costs of a chef’s salad. Unfortunately, some business owners are nearsighted when it comes to finances and only know if they’re generating cash. But it’s the profit-and-loss statement (P&L) that reveals whether you’re actually turning a profit. “A P&L smoothes out the ups and downs of cash and gives you a better picture of your company’s overall health,” says David H. Bangs Jr., author of Managing by the Numbers (Upstart Publishing).

Take our New York resort. By capturing the owner’s gross (how much money her business was projected to generate in a given month) minus the variable cost or cost of goods sold (including hamburgers and paper goods), she could have calculated her company’s gross profit margin. From there, she needed to subtract all her other expenses (such as insurance and employee salaries) to get to her pretax profit.

Indeed, by taking the pulse of your business with a P&L, you can quickly diagnose operational maladies. For the best results, run a P&L each month as well as at the end of your fiscal year; then create a projected P&L for the forthcoming year. By doing so, you’ll plot your financial progress over time and be able to ask such questions as, “Is my business more or less profitable than last year? Are expenses growing at the same rate as revenues–or faster? Are my sales significantly below my expectations?” (For more information, see the annotated chart, “What Can You Tell From Your P&L? “)

Monitoring Your Blood Flow: Compile a Cash Flow Statement

When you look over your business’s finances, they can appear completely healthy on paper. But beware: Your company may be slowly suffocating due to poor cash flow. “The P&L checks that you’re making money, but cash flow is what sustains your business,” notes Harriet Greenberg, a partner at the accounting firm Friedman Alpren & Green LLP in New York. Seasonal businesses in particular are prone to cash squeezes, running out of money to pay bills during slow months. Compiling both a monthly cash flow statement and a six- or 12-month projection helps you know exactly where you stand (or should be standing), so you can plan ahead.

Like a P&L, you can use popular accounting programs to set up a cash flow spreadsheet that includes:

Receipts, cash sales and credit payments for current and future months from customers as well as interest income.

Disbursements, taxes, insurance premiums, capital expenditures, licensing fees as well as salaries.

To calculate your cash flow, subtract your disbursements from your receipts, and you’ll see your cash position. If the number comes up negative, you’ll know you need to borrow money, stretch out payments of bills, or put off major purchases. Conversely, if you discover you have a big surplus, you can put that cash to work for you by making major equipment investments, taking advantage of volume discounts on supplies, or depositing the money in a interest-beating account.

Preparing a cash flow projection is a bit trickier than a statement, because you don’t know when credit customers will actually pay. In this case, look at your financial history to estimate how long it takes to get your money. Better yet, find your “average days collection” figure by dividing your total sales by 365 (for every day of the year) and then dividing that number into your accounts receivable.

With this number you can project the days that it’ll take you to collect. This also is a handy exercise to see if your accounts receivable are overdue. Ideally, you should receive money in hand within 30 days of your business transaction. If your average days to collect are 60 or more, you’re most likely financing someone else’s business.

As you can see, a cash flow statement or projection can give you a instant X-ray of your position. But if you still feel your finances are anemic, run a “rolling” six- or 12-month cash projection. After you fill in the actual numbers for the month you just closed, continue on for the next 11 months.

Says Lorre McKeone, a North Platte, Nebraska, entrepreneur who teaches business owners money management: “[Long-term] cash flow projections help you understand sales trends–so you can adjust your marketing efforts.” Of course, projections work fine if everything goes as planned. But in business if something can go wrong, it will. That’s even more reason to take these preventive financial measures.

Aug 30 2012

Multiple Web Servers, Tons Of Power

Can you have multiple Web servers, application servers, and database servers without transaction-oriented middleware? We doubt it.

Oh, what a tangled Web we weave when first we practice to write three-tier Web-based applications without using transaction processing (TP) monitor middleware. The same software technology mainframes use to process millions of transactions per day, recast into Web-suitable form, is a sine qua non for developing and running business-automation applications on an intranet or the Internet.

The effort to program the business logic isn’t the issue here. Supporting thousands of clients is. Business logic analysts and programmers have neither the time nor the expertise to create the transaction-oriented, network-based architecture a high-volume application will demand in everyday use; they have enough work to do automating business procedures and rules.

Fortunately, a small but growing group of vendors offers Web-aware TP monitor tools you can choose from. Some of these are mature, pre-Web products to which vendors have added Web awareness, while others are new tools designed expressly for use within applications based on Web browsers and HTTP servers. Read on to explore the software technologies embodied by Web-based TP monitors.

Transactional Superglue

People sometimes call middleware “glue” or “plumbing,” and a few even mystically say, “If you need to ask what middleware is, you don’t need it.” Web-based TP monitor middleware is simpler to understand than vague metaphors and churlish misdirections imply.

The levels of a three-tier architecture are presentation, business logic, and data storage. Middleware exists between each of the tiers, connecting the presentation layer to the business logic layer and the business logic layer to the data storage layer. For example, you might use a Cisco router or a transaction-aware Java class library to distribute incoming HTTP traffic among several Web servers–the router or the Java class performs a middleware role. Software you incorporate into the application to help distribute transactions among multiple application servers (running the business logic) is middleware. Whether purchased or home-grown, application components that distribute database server requests across several relational database management system (RDBMS) servers are also middleware. The connectivity software (or, in some cases, hardware) is the middleware, and its place in the system assures transaction integrity and enforces security, in addition to balancing the work load. Web middleware, and TP monitors in particular, gives designers and programmers the intra-application network linkages and services that let a distributed Web-based application handle a large number of clients.

TP Middleware

Middleware categories include TP monitors, Distributed Computing Environment (DCE) and remote procedure call (RPC) environments, messaging, object request brokers (ORBs), and database access tools. TP monitor products offer a middleware environment oriented toward handling transactions over a network. For example, TP monitors bracket developer-defined application operations with implied BEGIN TRANSACTION and END TRANSACTION. By using TP monitor services, applications don’t have to specifically provide for transaction integrity.

TP monitors help the various parts of an application running on several computers coordinate with each other, performing tasks such as queuing transactions, balancing transaction work load, managing and isolating transaction processes and threads, monitoring the completion of transactions, and verifying rights and permissions. Further, a Web-based TP monitor overcomes HTTP’s inherent statelessness by recognizing which HTTP messages (Web pages, most likely) belong to each transaction, or by augmenting HTTP with the monitor’s own state-maintaining protocol.

You integrate TP monitor services into an application in several ways. You can insert statements into your application program that call the TP monitor’s APIs, or register with the TP monitor those application components and resources that relate to a transaction, or sometimes by taking both actions. Some TP monitor APIs are extremely simple, while others are more involved. In either case, invoking the APIs is usually quite easy once you identify where in your application’s flow the transactions occur. TP monitor vendors currently have proprietary APIs, but most say they plan to implement the new X/Open standard APIs.

Here’s another example of how a Web-based TP monitor can help an application run smoothly in the face of a high volume of transaction requests. Because you configure the middleware with information about which database servers are equivalent copies of each other, as well as which databases a transaction can affect, the middleware can monitor server activity and send SQL messages to less busy database servers. If a particular server fails, the middleware queues the SQL request and delivers it when the server returns to the network. Alternatively, the middleware can reroute the message to a different database server that (as you’ve designed) is a replicated copy of the failed server. Without faltering, the system continues to process transactions that don’t need access to the failed server. Some middleware products can even route HTTP messages to Web servers that are less busy.

Web-Based Solutions

Companies such as BEA Systems, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Prolifics, Visigenics, and KIVA are in the forefront of Web TP monitor technology. Each takes a somewhat different approach to helping your application process transactions.

BEA offers Java programmers transaction services with its Jolt product, a collection of class libraries and functions that complement BEA’s well-known Tuxedo middleware. Jolt also replaces HTTP with its own Jolt Transaction Protocol (JTP), which gives Jolt-based Java programs extra capabilities beyond the limited, document-presentation-oriented HTTP. JTP helps Jolt maintain transaction state information and helps servers distribute transaction workloads.

Tuxedo, which supplies the basic middleware services to a Jolt/Java application, is a distributed transaction monitor. It gives developers message-oriented functions implemented in terms of transaction semantics. Tuxedo consists of a transaction manager, queue services, a domain feature, DCE integration functions, and client components. The transaction manager provides naming services, dynamic message routing, load balancing, configuration management, transaction management, and security. Queue services provide a messaging framework that insulates business logic from the specifics of the underlying transport layers of the network. The domain feature allows you to segment application components on a large network into administratively autonomous groups. Tuxedo’s DCE integration is a set of utilities and libraries that can provide DCE services and functions to Tuxedo-based applications.

Programmers use Application-to-Transaction Manager Interface (ATMI), a set of 30 API function calls, to incorporate Tuxedo into their applications. The Open Group has adopted ATMI as a standard X/Open API. The ATMI toolset gives developers asynchronous service calls (callback functions), typed buffers, service request forwarding, service request prioritization, and dynamic, programmatically controlled data routing.

Prolifics, a company that offers a product of the same name, gives Tuxedo-based application designers a visual tool for incorporating database-oriented business logic. The tool emits HTML, JavaScript, and (soon) Java to help Tuxedo IS shops develop three-tier Web applications.

Borland’s Midas (a not-quite acronym for Multitier Distributed Application Services), in development as we went to press, is an object monitor for Web applications. It consists of three broker components: Business ObjectBroker, Remote DataBroker, and ConstraintBroker. The Business ObjectBroker performs load balancing and assures transaction integrity for OLE Automation objects (i.e., ActiveX components) registered with it. The Remote DataBroker acts as an intermediary between thin clients (e.g., browsers), business logic, and database servers. ConstraintBroker copies database constraint logic onto the computer running the business logic and lets the business logic use those constraints as data edits. Without ConstraintBroker, applications must either contain data edits that express the same database integrity rules as the constraints in the database or face the likelihood of insert/update failures when issuing SQL statements to the RDBMS. Constraint Broker reduces network traffic and simplifies application maintenance.

Likely the neatest feature of Borland’s Midas technology is that you don’t have to insert code into your applications to take advantage of it. Borland says it will supply graphical tools for registering applications with Midas and configuring their behaviors.

IBM’s numerous middleware products currently connect more computers and applications, in more diverse ways, than any other. For Web-based applications, IBM supplies developers with IBM Transaction Server, which runs on OS/2 Warp, AIX, and Windows NT and was formerly called CICS for OS/2, CICS for AIX, and CICS for NT. It acts as an enterprise-wide coordinator and integrator of servers and clients, managing applications and data sources across a network. IBM also offers Encina, MQSeries, and the CICS Gateway for Java.

IBM Transaction Server is a TP monitor middleware product that ensures integrity for transactions involving a set of related updates (all the updates succeed or all the updates fail and get rolled back), allocates system resources to transaction-oriented applications, launches applications as necessary to process transactions, balances workloads across application servers, and even initiates transactions within Lotus Notes. IBM bundles CICS Gateway for Lotus Notes and IBM CICS Internet Gateway with its Transaction Server products. The CICS Internet Gateway interfaces Web servers and CICS applications, translating between HTML and 3270 data streams in order to, for example, let Web browsers display 3270 screens as if they were Web pages.

IBM’s complementary products for Transaction Server include Encina and MQSeries. Encina is a DCE-integrated (and RPC-based) transaction processing solution. MQSeries is a platform-neutral messaging facility; it uses a message queue coupled with a transaction monitor to free interbusiness developers from having to comply with one another’s network infrastructure and timing requirements. The CICS Gateway for Java consists of small Java class libraries developers can use to connect their applets to CICS programs running elsewhere on the network.

Microsoft Transaction Server manages low-level operating system resources, such as processes and threads, thus allowing concurrent client access to applications. It synchronizes access to shared data, lessening the effect of multiuser database access as it routes transactions to application servers and database servers. Transaction Server supports ActiveX, has a simple programming interface for hooking into your application, and offers just-in-time instantiation of object components. This middleware product manages a pool of ODBC connections that clients can draw from, and it can act as a repository for shared data variables that multiple concurrently executing processes can access. The application components that Transaction Server manages are location-transparent, meaning they can reside virtually anywhere on the network without the application having to keep track of which server, drive letter, or directory structure contains them.

An application environment that includes Transaction Server has an architecture consisting of base processes (client programs, which might be browsers), application components (implementation of business logic, written as ActiveX components), the Transaction Server Executive (manages transactions and provides services to application components), resource dispensers (distribute and control shared resources, such as database connections), and resource managers (SQL Server is an example).

Microsoft Transaction Server, like most other TP monitors, has a proprietary API. While other vendors plan to implement the new X/Open standard APIs, Microsoft plans to stick with its ActiveX component model and simple calling conventions. Transaction Server adds just two new APIs: GetObjectContext() and SafeRef().