WiredFire.org http://wiredfire.org Burning down the Internet, one post at a time! Tue, 30 May 2017 14:29:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Tough Times For Windows Developers http://wiredfire.org/2015/12/tough-times-for-windows-developers/ http://wiredfire.org/2015/12/tough-times-for-windows-developers/#respond Sun, 27 Dec 2015 15:34:33 +0000 http://wiredfire.org/?p=20  “Survival of the Fitters.”

wdevI don’t know whom to credit for that wonderful line. I first heard it from Fred Snow, a vice president with the distributor TechData, but he says he picked it up somewhere else.

In any case, I’ve been stealing the line with glee, for not only is it a nice play on words, it’s a perfect description of the PC marketplace these days. It describes the results of both last year’s downward pricing pressure on PC hardware vendors and the market’s swing to Windows applications on software vendors.

That phrase came to me again last month. I’d gone off into the woods, so to speak, for a week, to get away from my daily routine and think about where management of the corporate computing function is headed.

“Survival of the Fitters” indeed. How better could we describe the upheavals in IS management over the past decade — and especially the last two or three years?

So many of the themes that have defined business computing during the ’80s and ’90s are really variations on that idea.

With the advent of …

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 “Survival of the Fitters.”

wdevI don’t know whom to credit for that wonderful line. I first heard it from Fred Snow, a vice president with the distributor TechData, but he says he picked it up somewhere else.

In any case, I’ve been stealing the line with glee, for not only is it a nice play on words, it’s a perfect description of the PC marketplace these days. It describes the results of both last year’s downward pricing pressure on PC hardware vendors and the market’s swing to Windows applications on software vendors.

That phrase came to me again last month. I’d gone off into the woods, so to speak, for a week, to get away from my daily routine and think about where management of the corporate computing function is headed.

“Survival of the Fitters” indeed. How better could we describe the upheavals in IS management over the past decade — and especially the last two or three years?

So many of the themes that have defined business computing during the ’80s and ’90s are really variations on that idea.

With the advent of …

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Cross Border Dentistry Driven Factors http://wiredfire.org/2015/12/cross-border-dentistry-driven-factors/ http://wiredfire.org/2015/12/cross-border-dentistry-driven-factors/#respond Sat, 12 Dec 2015 09:16:21 +0000 http://wiredfire.org/?p=67 cbdtyThe mobility of the patients is increasing day by day and most of the people are now travelling from one place to another to get the dental work. The cross border dentistry is driven by many factors that are basically attracting the people to get the dental care at various paces. The main factors that are responsible for the cross border dentistry include the high local rates of the dentist which are very high and the delays in getting the access to the local dentists. That is inclining the people and they are travelling to other places to get the dental services.

The other factors that are responsible for the cross border dentistry include the fewer charges of airways and the easy and fast access to the internet. This also plays a vital role in the cross border travelling of the people. The internet has also made it so easy for the people to access the dentists online. Now you can get the appointment online and also get the confirmations of your booking to a specific hotel to stay or the clinic to get the …

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cbdtyThe mobility of the patients is increasing day by day and most of the people are now travelling from one place to another to get the dental work. The cross border dentistry is driven by many factors that are basically attracting the people to get the dental care at various paces. The main factors that are responsible for the cross border dentistry include the high local rates of the dentist which are very high and the delays in getting the access to the local dentists. That is inclining the people and they are travelling to other places to get the dental services.

The other factors that are responsible for the cross border dentistry include the fewer charges of airways and the easy and fast access to the internet. This also plays a vital role in the cross border travelling of the people. The internet has also made it so easy for the people to access the dentists online. Now you can get the appointment online and also get the confirmations of your booking to a specific hotel to stay or the clinic to get the …

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Which Factors Decide Hard Drive Recovery Costs? http://wiredfire.org/2015/12/which-factors-decide-hard-drive-recovery-costs/ http://wiredfire.org/2015/12/which-factors-decide-hard-drive-recovery-costs/#respond Tue, 08 Dec 2015 08:28:00 +0000 http://wiredfire.org/?p=59 Hard drive recovery costs may vary from case to case. Prices cannot be the same for every type of hard drive and for every kind of hard drive failure. There can be a range of factors which decide what would be the total data recovery cost will be for you. Some of these factors are listed here.

save-moneyOne of the very basic factors on which the cost of hard drive recovery depends is the type of hard drive itself. Hard drives differ in interface; e.g. recovering data from an SCSI drive would be more costly than that from an IDE drive. Similarly, it is obvious that there would be different costs associated with data recovery from drives of different sizes and model.

Another common factor deciding hard drive recovery cost to a great extent is of course the type of damage rendered to the drive. A physically damaged drive usually requires more effort for data recovery than a logically damaged drive.

The type of operating system also has an impact on the cost of data recovery. Data recovery pricing for the UNIX file system would …

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Hard drive recovery costs may vary from case to case. Prices cannot be the same for every type of hard drive and for every kind of hard drive failure. There can be a range of factors which decide what would be the total data recovery cost will be for you. Some of these factors are listed here.

save-moneyOne of the very basic factors on which the cost of hard drive recovery depends is the type of hard drive itself. Hard drives differ in interface; e.g. recovering data from an SCSI drive would be more costly than that from an IDE drive. Similarly, it is obvious that there would be different costs associated with data recovery from drives of different sizes and model.

Another common factor deciding hard drive recovery cost to a great extent is of course the type of damage rendered to the drive. A physically damaged drive usually requires more effort for data recovery than a logically damaged drive.

The type of operating system also has an impact on the cost of data recovery. Data recovery pricing for the UNIX file system would be higher than for the Windows Operating system, as an example.

Besides, the above mentioned factors, often the attempts made by the user to recover the data can also result in an increase in the costs (as well as dangerous chemical exposure) because in most cases, such attempts further increase the damage.

Data Recovery From A Drive That Beeps

When you have a hard drive that is out of order, not completely non-responsive but producing a beeping sound, it means that the motor is trying to spin the drive but cannot do so and hence you hear a sound. This can happen due to two major hardware problems – both of which are of a serious nature. When a drive is not running, the heads of drive park either in the center or at the edge of the platter and never come in contact with the data area of platter. A problem arises when the heads park over the data area once the platters stop spinning. Hard drive data recovery in such cases can only be done in a lab by a professional who will carefully remove the heads from the platter and may replace the heads if needed.

The second possible cause of such beeping sounds can be the seizure of motor spindle around which the platters rotate. If the spindle gets damaged, it may stop spinning and in such cases, the hard drive data recovery can be performed either by replacing the faulty spindle or by moving the platters with their heads to a new hard drive altogether. In both cases, effective data recovery requires the services of a professional. Damaged hard drive units should NOT be touched by an amateur.

Repairing A Hard Drive With A Damaged Printed Circuit Board

If you are totally abusing your rig, over clocking and playing video games, or mercilessly crunching your processor, chances are something is going to get overheated. It could be your motherboard, video card or your hard drive. In hard drives, what gets specifically scorched is the Printed Circuit Board (PCB). Bear in mind that under extreme conditions you can easily damage your PCB, however, you could be lucky if there are no other components that are affected because it can be fairly easy to repair hard drives with a burned out PCB.

As I was saying if you are positively sure that your platters and disk head are functioning well, you are in luck. If there are burn marks on your PCB then, you can be absolutely sure that it is where your problem lies. To repair a hard drive that has this problem, you can just easily find a replacement part.

You can get one from a dead hard drive with a perfectly working PCB and replace it or you can also order cheap parts from online stores. You can find instructions anywhere on the internet for this kind of procedure. If you are still worried that you might do more damage to your hard drive, you can always turn to a professional to take care of and repair hard drive for you.

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R:Base Was Pure Dopeness http://wiredfire.org/2015/12/rbase-was-pure-dopeness/ http://wiredfire.org/2015/12/rbase-was-pure-dopeness/#respond Fri, 04 Dec 2015 08:17:03 +0000 http://wiredfire.org/?p=41 dosWhen DOS 2.0 was brand-new in 1983, I was using Lotus 1-2-3 to maintain a mailing list. It was easier than using EDLIN and the DOS Sort utility, but it still seemed like a clumsy, error-prone approach.

That’s when I decided to get acquainted with my first database package — Microrim’s R:base. My reaction was love at first prompt.

That early experience with R:base gave me some convictions about the proper way to configure a database. Those convictions persist to this day, although I was often forced to use other tools because of a client’s preference.

When I recently had the chance to get reacquainted with R:base 4.0 under OS/2, I was happy to find that an old friend had kept all its good points while adding some useful new features.

I wasn’t aware of my R:base-inspired principles until I ran across other packages that didn’t uphold them. For example, this was quite apparent when I finally had to learn dBASE. It was required by a consulting project that specified the use of the then-new Clipper compiler for low-cost distribution of dBASE applications.

Not a

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dosWhen DOS 2.0 was brand-new in 1983, I was using Lotus 1-2-3 to maintain a mailing list. It was easier than using EDLIN and the DOS Sort utility, but it still seemed like a clumsy, error-prone approach.

That’s when I decided to get acquainted with my first database package — Microrim’s R:base. My reaction was love at first prompt.

That early experience with R:base gave me some convictions about the proper way to configure a database. Those convictions persist to this day, although I was often forced to use other tools because of a client’s preference.

When I recently had the chance to get reacquainted with R:base 4.0 under OS/2, I was happy to find that an old friend had kept all its good points while adding some useful new features.

I wasn’t aware of my R:base-inspired principles until I ran across other packages that didn’t uphold them. For example, this was quite apparent when I finally had to learn dBASE. It was required by a consulting project that specified the use of the then-new Clipper compiler for low-cost distribution of dBASE applications.

Not a true DBMS

I was dismayed to discover that dBASE, though billed as a database manager, was really just a record-oriented, BASIC-like interpreted language that worked with separate files of data, indices, formats and the like. That’s what it was then and that’s what it still is today.

I was spoiled by R:base, which was ahead of its time in treating a database as a conceptual whole. A database in R:base was — and still is — represented by exactly three files, no matter how many relational tables the database might contain. By contrast, trying to create a dBASE application was a pick-up-sticks exercise of looking through the source code to identify every required file.

Advocates of the dBASE approach might argue that certain tables, such as supplier information, might relate to several different applications — so it makes sense to make the table a separate file so any application can use it. This method ignores the first requirement of a database: to carefully collect and protect data.

When a data table is left to fend for itself in an unguarded file system, who knows what can be done to it by some other well-meaning program? With data in separate files, records are only as safe as the least carefully written application that uses them.

I was spoiled by R:base, which makes data-validation rules an integral part of table definition — not merely a hoped-for feature of every application.

Applications that use the same data should be treated as part of the database, rather than the data being treated as a mere accessory.

But as I said, I didn’t appreciate these niceties of good database practice until I encountered tools that didn’t have them. What made me such a fan of R:base in the first place was the product’s elegant approach to supporting new users who had yet to learn the SQL-like command language.

All you really had to learn was one word, “Prompt.” This put you into a top-level dialog box, which provided a tree of interactive menus, each defined by which database was open and what column it contained.

At each point, you saw a template of the command you were building, which became more complete as you responded to the prompts. Finally, you got the chance to select the menu option “Execute” and see the results.

It was the most painless process I’ve ever seen for learning this kind of thing: novices could quickly learn the simple cases, the advanced users could easily get help with new features, and anyone could use the prompted mode until they were comfortable typing queries on their own.

Today’s OS/2 R:base is multithreaded, fully SQL-compliant and has all sorts of other refinements. To me, though, it’s still that great product that taught me how to do a database 10 years ago, and it still does it better than most.

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Chipmakers Have Come A Long Way, Baby http://wiredfire.org/2015/11/chipmakers-have-come-a-long-way-baby/ http://wiredfire.org/2015/11/chipmakers-have-come-a-long-way-baby/#respond Sat, 28 Nov 2015 21:06:26 +0000 http://wiredfire.org/?p=30 cmaThe U.S. semiconductor industry has staged a startling comeback from its dark days of the mid-1980s.

It was in 1986 that American semiconductor companies, which had once enjoyed a 70 percent share of worldwide sales, watched their market share slip below 40 percent and their number of dynamic RAM manufacturers dwindle from 11 to two. Japan quickly capitalized on the erosion of the U.S. semiconductor industry and vaulted to the top.

“People seriously thought there wasn’t going to be a semiconductor industry in the United States by the end of [the 1980s],” said Dan Hutcheson, president of VLSI Research Inc., a San Jose, Calif., market-research firm. “Now, the semiconductor industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the U.S. economy.”

In 1992, American semiconductor companies once again surpassed Japan in worldwide sales by a margin of 43.8 percent to 43.1 percent, according to figures from VLSI Research.

How did the United States turn it around? Observers and analysts cite a series of events — both political and otherwise — that helped revive America’s semiconductor industry, including a U.S.-Japan trade agreement; the formation of the Semiconductor Manufacturing …

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cmaThe U.S. semiconductor industry has staged a startling comeback from its dark days of the mid-1980s.

It was in 1986 that American semiconductor companies, which had once enjoyed a 70 percent share of worldwide sales, watched their market share slip below 40 percent and their number of dynamic RAM manufacturers dwindle from 11 to two. Japan quickly capitalized on the erosion of the U.S. semiconductor industry and vaulted to the top.

“People seriously thought there wasn’t going to be a semiconductor industry in the United States by the end of [the 1980s],” said Dan Hutcheson, president of VLSI Research Inc., a San Jose, Calif., market-research firm. “Now, the semiconductor industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the U.S. economy.”

In 1992, American semiconductor companies once again surpassed Japan in worldwide sales by a margin of 43.8 percent to 43.1 percent, according to figures from VLSI Research.

How did the United States turn it around? Observers and analysts cite a series of events — both political and otherwise — that helped revive America’s semiconductor industry, including a U.S.-Japan trade agreement; the formation of the Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology Institute (Sematech), a U.S. semiconductor consortium; and Japan’s current economic hardships.

The turnaround started six years ago when the U.S. semiconductor industry acknowledged that it was second to the Japanese in the worldwide market.

“That was the wake-up call for us,” said Tom Beerman, president of the Semiconductor Industry Association, a trade organization also based in San Jose. “The U.S. industry as a whole realized it had to get its act together in terms of quality, better relationships with its suppliers and a whole variety of other areas.”

At the root of the U.S. decline, according to Beerman, were several “disturbing trends” that needed to be addressed. The first: Japan’s practice of dumping semiconductors into the U.S. market, which contributed to the loss of billions of dollars. Japanese producers were selling some forms of common memory chips at prices below cost in an effort to buy market share.

Trade pact helped

In an effort to halt this practice, the United States and Japan formed a trade agreement in 1986 that prohibited Japanese firms from illegally dumping semiconductors into the U.S. market. But the pact also gave the United States greater access to Japan’s burgeoning semiconductor market, which had essentially been closed to the United States, Beerman said.

“That trade agreement was a significant factor in our ability to come back against Japan,” he said. “Companies once again had the confidence to invest in U.S. semiconductor manufacturers.”

Another galvanizing force in the U.S. comeback, according to observers, has been Sematech. The U.S. government-sponsored consortium was formed in 1987 in an effort to save the nation’s semiconductor industry.

“The real clear intervention by Sematech helped improve the quality of the equipment and develop more learning about higher yields,” said VLSI Research’s Hutcheson. “Eventually, those things tied together and drove the U.S. semiconductor industry.”

Finally, Japan’s struggling economy and its own semiconductor strategy played a role. Japan’s semiconductor strategy revolves around the mainframe computer business, according to Hutcheson, while the United States molded its semiconductor industry around the PC.

“Look where we’d be if we had built ourselves around IBM’s and Digital Equipment Corp.’s [mainframe and minicomputer platforms]. We’d have completely shot ourselves in the foot,” Hutcheson said. “[IBM and DEC] certainly aren’t the pillars of strength that they used to be five to 10 years ago.

“Today, we’re seeing companies like Intel Corp., Advanced Micro Devices Inc. [AMD] and National Semiconductor Corp. feeding from more capital investment in semiconductors,” he said. “We’ve returned to a more competitive manufacturing base and a more focused market.”

Nowhere is the comeback more evident than in the financial success of Intel, which in January reported $429 million in earnings on sales of $1.9 billion for its fourth quarter ended Dec. 26, more than doubling earnings from the year-ago quarter. National Semiconductor, AMD and Cyrix Corp. also posted strong earnings in 1992.

Analysts project continued strong growth for the U.S. semiconductor industry, not only in the microprocessor segment, but also in the complex logic arena, which includes such technologies as digital-signal processing, digital speech compression and digital filtering.

In fact, according to Drew Peck, an analyst with investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Inc. in New York, the future of the U.S. semiconductor market lies in digital-signal processors. This is an area where companies such as Motorola Inc., Analog Devices Inc. and LSI Logic Corp. are carving out a niche for themselves, said Peck.

“Digital-signal processing components may surpass microprocessors in unit volume and perhaps market size by the end of [the century],” Peck said.

While the U.S. semiconductor industry looks toward the future, it also keeps a wary eye on the not-so-distant past and, in particular, 1986. “It was quite a catastrophe,” said Peck.

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The Top Three Contenders: Anti-Snoring Devices http://wiredfire.org/2015/11/the-top-three-contenders-anti-snoring-devices/ http://wiredfire.org/2015/11/the-top-three-contenders-anti-snoring-devices/#respond Sat, 28 Nov 2015 04:55:08 +0000 http://wiredfire.org/?p=107 Anti-Snoring-DevicesNow that you have “I could have been a contender!” rattling around in your mind let’s get to business. You’re reading this article because you or someone you know snores. There are a lot of factors as to why people snore. Those who are struggling with their weight or are crumbling under stress will snore. Those who drink alcohol or smoke heavily before bed are more likely to snore. These issues can potentially be combated with lifestyle changes but changing a lifestyle isn’t always easy. In the meantime those who snore may need to employ the services of an anti-snoring mouthpiece. There are three specific mouthpieces who are strong contenders for the top spot. Each has their own pros and cons but they will all get the job done. It just comes down to a matter of personal preference.

Good Morning Snore Solution®

Good Morning Snore Solution®, or GMSS® for short, is one of the most popular devices available today. This piece sits between your teeth and your lips and functions by holding your tongue in place. Many people snore because when their muscles relax …

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Anti-Snoring-DevicesNow that you have “I could have been a contender!” rattling around in your mind let’s get to business. You’re reading this article because you or someone you know snores. There are a lot of factors as to why people snore. Those who are struggling with their weight or are crumbling under stress will snore. Those who drink alcohol or smoke heavily before bed are more likely to snore. These issues can potentially be combated with lifestyle changes but changing a lifestyle isn’t always easy. In the meantime those who snore may need to employ the services of an anti-snoring mouthpiece. There are three specific mouthpieces who are strong contenders for the top spot. Each has their own pros and cons but they will all get the job done. It just comes down to a matter of personal preference.

Good Morning Snore Solution®

Good Morning Snore Solution®, or GMSS® for short, is one of the most popular devices available today. This piece sits between your teeth and your lips and functions by holding your tongue in place. Many people snore because when their muscles relax it causes their tongue to fall to the back of their mouths, obstructing the airway. When they breathe the vibration of the tongue causes that snoring sound we all know and love. The GMSS® uses a small ball that suctions the tip of your tongue and holds it in place all night. One of the best things about this mouthpiece is that it does not force your lower jaw forward, which many mouthpieces do. That can cause considerable pain and discomfort. With the GMSS® the tip of your tongue may be tender in the morning, but your jaw should be fine. This is also suitable for denture wearers and prevents the user from spitting out the mouthpiece during the night and snoring again.

SnoreRX®

This piece functions as a full mouthpiece that is to be worn during the night. The upper and lower pieces are connected and are not able to be opened once inserted. While this custom molded jaw retainer does push your lower jaw forward to allow more air into the airways, it is hyper personalized. By used micro calibration you can customize how far forward or how far back the piece needs to jut. There are calibrators on the side of the mouthpiece that allow you to adjust the spacing by millimeters to get a unique and comfortable experience.

ZQuiet®

While being a mouthpiece that also pushes your jaw forward can be seen as a negative, the ZQuiet® has some special features going for it. This mouthpiece has a connected top and bottom by way of a hinge. The amazing thing about this is that it allows you to open and close your mouth while inserted. This way you can talk or take a drink of water without having to constantly remove the mouthpiece. The top of its class the ZQuiet® doesn’t’ require any molding or heating. It is ready to use right out of the box.

These three are the top contenders in the anti-snoring mouthpiece world as noted by http://www.istoppedmysnoring.org/. Using any of them will contribute to a better, quieter sleep. Choosing one all comes down to what works best for you and your mouth. Taking your personal situation into consideration will allow you to make a smart choice as to which one of these devices is going to suit your needs. While you can’t go wrong no matter what you choose, be sure to do your research and select the mouthpiece that will bring your household peace and quiet. You and your family will be grateful you’ve made this decision.

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Distributed DBs Don’t Live Up To Hype http://wiredfire.org/2015/11/distributed-dbs-dont-live-up-to-hype/ http://wiredfire.org/2015/11/distributed-dbs-dont-live-up-to-hype/#respond Wed, 18 Nov 2015 11:42:24 +0000 http://wiredfire.org/?p=54 ddbVendors love to solve problems by declaring them solved. Declarations don’t require much research and development, don’t take much time to produce and don’t cost much to make.

Unfortunately, simply saying something is so doesn’t make it so.

Client/server database systems, for example, are not necessarily distributed database systems. No matter what their vendors might say — and some vendors are trying to equate the two — the two are different.

Spotting a client/server database system is pretty easy. A server machine runs database server software. Some machines networked to that server run client software that uses the data-management services of the server database software. End of basic story.

Now the logic of some vendors goes: Put a few such database servers on a network, possibly a WAN, and you’ve distributed your database servers. Distributed database servers equals distributed database system, right?

Wrong. The mere presence of two or more geographically distributed database servers does not create a distributed database system. The term “distributed database-management system” (DDBMS) has been around for many years and has a reasonably precise meaning.

Logic is everything

First, a …

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ddbVendors love to solve problems by declaring them solved. Declarations don’t require much research and development, don’t take much time to produce and don’t cost much to make.

Unfortunately, simply saying something is so doesn’t make it so.

Client/server database systems, for example, are not necessarily distributed database systems. No matter what their vendors might say — and some vendors are trying to equate the two — the two are different.

Spotting a client/server database system is pretty easy. A server machine runs database server software. Some machines networked to that server run client software that uses the data-management services of the server database software. End of basic story.

Now the logic of some vendors goes: Put a few such database servers on a network, possibly a WAN, and you’ve distributed your database servers. Distributed database servers equals distributed database system, right?

Wrong. The mere presence of two or more geographically distributed database servers does not create a distributed database system. The term “distributed database-management system” (DDBMS) has been around for many years and has a reasonably precise meaning.

Logic is everything

First, a true DDBMS must be able to work with logically related data that is spread across multiple databases on multiple machines. The “logically related” part of this definition is vital.

If one database server on a network, for example, holds employee information and another database server on that network contains unrelated data on items for sale, you don’t have a DDBMS. You just have two database servers on the same network.

But, if the database server software lets you work with related data on both servers — say, employee data on one machine and insured dependent data on the other — then you have a DDBMS.

Slightly more technically, if you can run single database transactions that manipulate data on multiple machines, and if the database servers give those transactions the same consistency and integrity support as single-server transactions, you have a DDBMS.

Distributed database systems face some problems that plain database servers don’t. Two such problems are particularly tough.

The first is dealing with storing data on multiple servers.

In the example we just gave, all the employee information was on one machine, and all the dependent data was on the other. No piece of data appeared in more than one place. That’s a “partitioned” database, and it’s conceptually easy: If you want any one piece of data you have to go to only one place to get it.

Partitioned distributed databases, however, can be expensive to use precisely because you always have to send requests to where the data is located. That process can take a lot of time over a network, and it can also turn any server that holds frequently used data into a bottleneck.

To avoid those problems, you can duplicate parts of the database on different servers and create a distributed database system with “replicated” data. The cost here is that every time a data item changes anywhere, the database system must make sure every copy of that item changes.

The other especially difficult problem for distributed database systems is a related one: how to support multiserver updates and maintain database integrity.

To remove an employee entirely in our example, you must delete both the record of the employee and the records of all that employee’s dependents. If you delete only one or the other, the overall database becomes corrupt. (The right answer here is to support two-phase commit.)

Plain client/server database systems don’t have answers. If you buy the bogus claim that client/server database always equals distributed database, your problems won’t get solved.

No matter what the vendors say.

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Oracle “Glue’s” It All Together http://wiredfire.org/2015/11/oracle-glues-it-all-together/ http://wiredfire.org/2015/11/oracle-glues-it-all-together/#respond Fri, 06 Nov 2015 07:24:49 +0000 http://wiredfire.org/?p=25 orclOracle Corp. customers will see the benefit of the company’s new Glue middleware immediately: Glue’s architecture is built to take advantage of the optimization features of the Oracle database server. But while Glue has a strong architecture, its success will depend on its acceptance and use by other software vendors.

PC Week Labs examined a beta version of Oracle’s middleware, a software layer that allows front-end software to talk to back-end databases. Glue takes middleware a step further by including E-mail and personal digital assistants (PDAs) as data sources that can be linked into the corporate data network.

Oracle’s short-term plan for Glue, which is set for release in March, is to use the product as an API (application programming interface) that is optimized for the Oracle database server and easily implemented from any front-end software.

In the long term, Oracle will pit Glue directly against Open Database Connectivity (ODBC), Microsoft Corp.’s middleware solution, and the Integrated Database API, middleware technology from a consortium of vendors that includes Borland International Inc., IBM and Novell Inc.

Oracle officials said they plan to release a driver …

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orclOracle Corp. customers will see the benefit of the company’s new Glue middleware immediately: Glue’s architecture is built to take advantage of the optimization features of the Oracle database server. But while Glue has a strong architecture, its success will depend on its acceptance and use by other software vendors.

PC Week Labs examined a beta version of Oracle’s middleware, a software layer that allows front-end software to talk to back-end databases. Glue takes middleware a step further by including E-mail and personal digital assistants (PDAs) as data sources that can be linked into the corporate data network.

Oracle’s short-term plan for Glue, which is set for release in March, is to use the product as an API (application programming interface) that is optimized for the Oracle database server and easily implemented from any front-end software.

In the long term, Oracle will pit Glue directly against Open Database Connectivity (ODBC), Microsoft Corp.’s middleware solution, and the Integrated Database API, middleware technology from a consortium of vendors that includes Borland International Inc., IBM and Novell Inc.

Oracle officials said they plan to release a driver for an ODBC connection in late 1993, which will give Glue users the ability to connect to popular databases such as Sybase Inc.’s Sybase and IBM’s DB2. In the interim, however, users will have to look to other middleware solutions to meet their database connection needs.

PC Week Labs found many of Glue’s Structured Query Language (SQL) commands easy to use and more compact than comparable commands used with Microsoft’s ODBC.

For example, ODBC required six lines of code to select records from an employee database and load them into a Visual Basic application, whereas Glue required only one line.

One reason Glue uses less code for tasks is its use of “containers,” memory areas into which Glue will put data selected from the database.

With ODBC, a memory area must be defined and then loaded with data, while a single Glue command automatically selects data and loads it into a memory area.

Oracle Glue’s API consists of 71 SQL commands grouped into a database, the Oracle SQL command set, and mail and PDA subsets.

PC Week Labs successfully loaded a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with data from an Oracle database. Using only four Glue SQL commands embedded in an Excel macro, we were able to connect to the server, select a subset of data and disconnect from the server.

We were also able to use Microsoft’s Visual Basic application development environment to select and display data, both from an Oracle database and from a Sharp Electronics Corp. Wizard PDA.

The Glue PDA commands allowed us to use Glue to interact with the Sharp Wizard.

While the Wizard was in PC Link Mode and connected to our PC via a cable, we were able to read, record-by-record, from the Wizard and load this data into a Visual Basic form.

A middleware connection to various mail systems is not as important as providing connections to database servers, but it is nice to know that Oracle’s New Technology division is doing some advanced research in the area.

Glue currently works only with Oracle Mail, which is not surprising since Oracle Mail is built as a front end to the Oracle database.

In tests, the Labs was able to extract mail messages from Oracle Mail through a Visual Basic application with only a few Glue commands.

Oracle will have to devote a lot of development time to deliver connections to other mail systems, and the company will more than likely wait for a messaging API such as Vendor-Independent Messaging or Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI) to become mainstream.

Glue’s ability to connect Oracle Server to PDAs, or palmtops, is another area that might not have as much use today as it will in the future. Testing methodology

PC Week Labs tested Oracle Glue’s ability to connect Oracle Server with a variety of front ends, including Microsoft’s Excel. We also examined Glue’s E-mail capabilities as well as its ability to connect to PDAs.

We tested Oracle Glue on a 25MHz 386-based Compaq Computer Corp. 386/25 with 16M bytes of RAM and a 200M-byte hard-disk drive.

We ran version 6.0 of the Oracle database on a Sun Microsystems Inc. SPARCstation 1 running Unix.

Oracle Mail was run on a Sequent Computer Systems Inc. S81, a 486DX-based, 25MHz machine runing Sequent’s Dynix 3.11 operating system. The workstation was connected via Ethernet using TCP/IP as a protocol.

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Reviewing Classic DEC Hardware http://wiredfire.org/2015/10/reviewing-classic-dec-hardware/ http://wiredfire.org/2015/10/reviewing-classic-dec-hardware/#respond Fri, 30 Oct 2015 11:57:39 +0000 http://wiredfire.org/?p=14 rcdhDigital Equipment Corp.’s upcoming desktop systems, based on its new Alpha processors, will be the dream machines of the Windows NT world, according to an examination of a preproduction unit by Geekstir.

Expected to be released when Microsoft Corp.’s Windows NT is announced in the second quarter, the Alpha AXP 21064-based system examined by the Labs uses a minitower case and standard PC components and will cost between $7,000 and $10,000, depending on configuration. DEC also has plans for both lower- and higher-end Alpha systems.

Side-by-side comparisons with a 25/50MHz 486DX2-based system running our test release of Windows NT were no contest. The Alpha system, still far from final optimal condition, was considerably faster than the 486 PC. We compared the Alpha and 486 systems by running simultaneous generations of fractal images on each, using the fractal demonstration program included with the Windows NT Software Development Kit (SDK).

The test was heavily floating-point-math intensive, stressing one of Alpha’s strong features.

Our test system ran at 125MHz, short of the 150MHz expected in release-level systems. The NT Alpha compiler — and therefore the applications we tested — …

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rcdhDigital Equipment Corp.’s upcoming desktop systems, based on its new Alpha processors, will be the dream machines of the Windows NT world, according to an examination of a preproduction unit by Geekstir.

Expected to be released when Microsoft Corp.’s Windows NT is announced in the second quarter, the Alpha AXP 21064-based system examined by the Labs uses a minitower case and standard PC components and will cost between $7,000 and $10,000, depending on configuration. DEC also has plans for both lower- and higher-end Alpha systems.

Side-by-side comparisons with a 25/50MHz 486DX2-based system running our test release of Windows NT were no contest. The Alpha system, still far from final optimal condition, was considerably faster than the 486 PC. We compared the Alpha and 486 systems by running simultaneous generations of fractal images on each, using the fractal demonstration program included with the Windows NT Software Development Kit (SDK).

The test was heavily floating-point-math intensive, stressing one of Alpha’s strong features.

Our test system ran at 125MHz, short of the 150MHz expected in release-level systems. The NT Alpha compiler — and therefore the applications we tested — …

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IBM Shifts Its Sales Force Into High Gear http://wiredfire.org/2015/10/ibm-shifts-its-sales-force-into-high-gear/ http://wiredfire.org/2015/10/ibm-shifts-its-sales-force-into-high-gear/#comments Tue, 20 Oct 2015 19:45:15 +0000 http://wiredfire.org/?p=9 ibmsWhile all eyes focused on the management shake-up at IBM last week, the struggling computer giant was zooming in on another target: the vaunted IBM sales force.

IBM is quietly working to further split its “Blue Suit” sales team along product, geographic or vertical-market lines, sources said last week. The moves continued amid a week of turmoil following John Akers’ announced plans to resign as the company’s CEO.

Much like the increased autonomy being given to IBM’s product units, dividing the sales force will give IBM’s developers more freedom to sell their own products instead of relying on one group to peddle everything from Token-Ring adapters to mainframes.

The single sales force — once a driving force behind IBM’s success — has become an albatross because it lacks the training and motivation to sell customers PC- and LAN-based products instead of higher-profit mainframes and minicomputers, observers said.

“The local IBM marketing guys … had to have a broad knowledge of everything and not a specific knowledge of anything,” said Steven Verne, a PC specialist at Tree Top Inc., a Selah, Wash., fruit-juice company. “It just hurt …

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ibmsWhile all eyes focused on the management shake-up at IBM last week, the struggling computer giant was zooming in on another target: the vaunted IBM sales force.

IBM is quietly working to further split its “Blue Suit” sales team along product, geographic or vertical-market lines, sources said last week. The moves continued amid a week of turmoil following John Akers’ announced plans to resign as the company’s CEO.

Much like the increased autonomy being given to IBM’s product units, dividing the sales force will give IBM’s developers more freedom to sell their own products instead of relying on one group to peddle everything from Token-Ring adapters to mainframes.

The single sales force — once a driving force behind IBM’s success — has become an albatross because it lacks the training and motivation to sell customers PC- and LAN-based products instead of higher-profit mainframes and minicomputers, observers said.

“The local IBM marketing guys … had to have a broad knowledge of everything and not a specific knowledge of anything,” said Steven Verne, a PC specialist at Tree Top Inc., a Selah, Wash., fruit-juice company. “It just hurt …

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