Let’s Talk Networks: Now!

networksJust when you thought it was safe to take a breather, your network users are clamoring to tie into another location, or to link to a minicomputer or mainframe system.

As your network evolves from its original local-area coverage into a wide-area behemoth, you, as network administrator, now have a whole new set of devices and concepts to worry about.

It all starts with the OSI model, which is used to represent the various layers of connectivity, from the simplest layer to the most complex. Different devices, with different goals, work at different levels of the OSI model.

The Physical layer of the OSI stack, which is the bottom layer, is concerned with the transmission of raw data, in the form of electrical or mechanical signals, across a communications channel, such as a coaxial or unshielded twisted-pair cable. Repeaters work …

Sunday, June 7th, 2015 Uncategorized No Comments

Negative Ads In Tech Get The Lawyers Excited

Thinking about bashing a competitor in an ad? Take heed of the plight of Legato Systems Inc. It compared archrival Cheyenne Software Inc. to Pinocchio. Now Legato faces a $6 million lawsuit — and it has already lost two early rounds in court.

As the industry becomes more cutthroat, it can be very tempting to slam a rival in print. And there are plenty of recent examples: A Platinum Software Corp. ad shows competitor Dun & Bradstreet’s software in a wastebasket; an ad for Symantec’s Q&A for Windows plunged a shiv in the middle of a beat-up box of Microsoft Access; and an ad by 4th Dimension Software Inc. features a menacing “Rambo” dagger slicing through Computer Associates’ well-known Swiss Army knife logo.

4ddimensionAnd people read those ads. 4th Dimension was flooded with calls from techno-nerds wondering if they got …

Saturday, May 30th, 2015 Uncategorized No Comments

Great Plains Founder Was A Special Kind Of Genius

Think of Doug Burgum as the little combine that could.

Like the machine that reaps his native North Dakota’s wheat crop every year, he’s looking to cut a swath through the accounting field. And with some new products his Great Plains Software plans to introduce soon, he hopes to harvest a bounty from the shift to client/server-based financial software. There’s just one problem: He faces big, entrenched competitors — making his task as difficult as chugging a John Deere through 10 acres of tree stumps.

applenewtonsIn a decade as head of his family-owned Great Plains, in Fargo, N.D., the 37-year-old Burgum has grown the company 37 percent a year — to an estimated $35 million in sales. He’s done that on the strength DOS-based Great Plains Accounting. Last year, Great Plains started plowing a new strategy: Plant a stake in …

Friday, May 22nd, 2015 Uncategorized No Comments

DSP: Rockin’ Technology

dspIf the computer industry had its own National Enquirer, the Jeane Dixon forecast issue would carry this promise annually: “This is the year we’ll see digital signal processors move on to the motherboard.” Right. And Heidi Fleiss will enter a convent.

Yes, the prognosticators are at it again, but we’re here to tell you 1994 will not be the year of the motherboard DSP. (Apple, Compaq, and some others will make major forays into DSP computing this year, but they will be the exception.) Ever since NeXT Computer Inc. became the first computer vendor to join a DSP and a PC in 1988, the ESP on DSP has been very poor. The holdup? The high cost of implementation, a lack of applications, and a dearth of development standards.

There is little question that DSPs eventually will become wedded to the …

Friday, May 15th, 2015 Uncategorized No Comments