Database A Boon For It

The advent of the database is perhaps the most valuable thing that has come out of the computer age. The power of information brought to us in every increasing speeds and volumes has increased our ability to make money like never before. Information for the businessman is everything and so the database provides him more … Continue reading Database A Boon For It

The advent of the database is perhaps the most valuable thing that has come out of the computer age. The power of information brought to us in every increasing speeds and volumes has increased our ability to make money like never before. Information for the businessman is everything and so the database provides him more power to work with his everything.

Database technology is simply the storage of material and information in such a way as to increase the speed of retrieval on demand and to compare and make useful inferences on a large volume of data. Computers as long as they are equipped with enough memory are capable of housing more information than we can give them and in the space of virtually no space. Gone are the days of libraries that cover acres of land and go up multiple stories to hold all of the volumes of information that they do. Soon libraries will be virtual, contained on a server some where and completely accessible via a personal computer.

In statistics the more data you have the better your information isthat is the less affected by chance in a negative way. The better your information is the easier it is to make decisions about the next step with complete confidence that you will get the desired outcome. The database has allowed huge amounts of information to be compiled, sorted, and analyzed and has given businessmen information that makes them money and lots of it.

Consider a database for the items bought in a store in a year. You can know the date and the time of purchase. You can know the quantity of purchase. If the person pays with a credit card you can know the demographic of the population that that product is popular with, you can know what other items went along with a certain product. You can see the differences in sales strategies and marketing ploys. You can tell the affect of price on a product and location in the store. The list really is endless, and marketing really becomes a science more than a game because consumers are predictablehumans are creatures with similar desires and responses to situations.

The thing that the database can improve now is the speed in which it handles the information. Changing the partitioning of the memory, or the language in which it is stored can have a significant difference in the time of a query. The difference may be in milliseconds or smaller but when you think about how many queries might be useful (millions!) that becomes a significant amount of time and time is money.

Microsoft Outlook: Traveller’s Secret Advantage

If you want to become a better traveller, you can skip some of those how-to books penned by armchair road warriors.

Instead, fire up your laptop computer and open Microsoft Outlook. Yes, I’m talking about that ever-present application that handles e-mail, scheduling and some word processing tasks.

Make the Most of Your Laptop
Odds are pretty good that you’ve got a copy of it installed on your laptop, and that you take your portable with you when you travel. (Regarding the latter point, a recent survey by Harris Interactive found that more than one in four laptop PC owners say their machine is one of their “most prized possessions,” and nearly a third said they’ve regretted leaving it at home on trips and have turned around to retrieve it on at least one occasion.)

Outlook is to travellers what a paper clip is to MacGyver. It does a lot more than you think. (My apologies to those who aren’t familiar with television show which had its heyday in the 1980s and ’90s.)

Using Scheduling Features for a Trip
Marielle Barnes, a consultant in Bangalore, India, counts on Outlook’s scheduling features to make her trip fall into place. “I use the task manager to keep my ‘to-do’ list in order,” she says. “I organise the tasks by city, and type of function, so that items get grouped and can be easily completed in a stretch.” An alternative is keeping her itinerary on a calendar or a personal digital assistant. But if the laptop is coming along for the trip anyway, why not use what you’ve got (especially when it has a bigger screen than a PDA)?

Robert Hanson relies on Outlook and a third-party application called Xpressions to access his e-mails from a phone – a nifty feature if you happen to leave your laptop at the hotel. “Outlook saved me from wasting money on a plane ticket by finding out the same day that I booked a non-refundable ticket that the meeting was supposed to attend was cancelled,” says Hanson, from Wilmington, Del. “So I was able to cancel the flight without penalty.”

Outlook has bailed me out a few times, too.

My favourite feature is the contacts manager, which has rescued me more often than I’d care to admit. How’s that? I usually print a full itinerary with phone numbers before I leave on a trip. (Call me old-fashioned, but with a piece of paper you never have to worry about a low battery.) Being hopelessly absent-minded, that schedule has gone missing numerous times. Fortunately, I was able to retrieve the key addresses and phone numbers from Outlook rather than completely unpack my luggage in the middle of the terminal.

A Traveler-Friendly Upgrade
To say that Outlook has been underappreciated by the jet set in the past might be an understatement. But that is changing. Microsoft Outlook 2003 is designed even more with travellers in mind.

Here are a few of its handy features:

  • Find it faster. Outlook helps you make sense of all the e-mail you receive on the road. Its new Search Folders “virtual” folders that contain views of all e-mail items matching specific search criteria let you quickly separate the important messages from the ones you want to ignore. Search Folders also flag priority messages first, so you don’t waste time reading spam.
  • Keep junk mail out. Speaking of spam, the new Junk E-mail folder separates out most of your junk mail into a separate folder, helping to un-clutter your inbox.
  • Work without a Net. If you use an e-mail account through Microsoft Exchange Server, you can work offline while you’re out of the office or if your connection is too slow. Outlook only tries to connect to the server when you ask it to or when you choose to do so in the “Send/Receive” groups.
  • Mine your business contacts. The new Business Contact Manager feature, which integrates with Outlook, turns your address book into a powerful tool that can create, track, and manage your business contacts, sales leads and opportunities. Perhaps the best thing about Business Contact Manager is that it’s as intuitive as the old Outlook, so you don’t have to spend hours reading a manual before you can use it.

Cool “Feel” to Outlook 2003

Think of the latest version of Outlook as MacGyver trading in his screwdriver for a power tool. Both gizmos worked fine, but somehow that drill just looks cooler. (Indeed, the new icons and “feel” of Outlook have my friends who use older versions or other e-mail systems drooling.)

But best of all, the Outlook 2003 with Business Contact Manager promises to make me more productive on the road.

As the publisher of a travel e-mail newsletter, I was particularly impressed with integrated features that allowed me to send personalised messages to designated contacts, with the help of List Builder. In an age when clients are less likely to accept “I was travelling” as an excuse for missing deadlines, that’s something that will probably help me keep the customers I have. And maybe find some new ones.

With Outlook 2003, the learning curve is steep on a few functions – I’m still trying to figure out how to get my navigation pane to do what I want it to, for example – and users of the old Outlook will have some adjusting to do.

But it won’t take long to get the hang of it. And once you do, the new Outlook will become an even bigger reason (if you need one) to bring your laptop on a trip.

Fast And Reliable Recovery Of Microsoft Office Documents

What would you value most in a data recovery solution should you lose an important document? Would it be speed, convenience, or ease of use? These things surely matter for all kinds of computer software, but data recovery has one specific demand that outweighs everything else by a huge margin. This factor is reliability of the recovery.

Microsoft Office documents store results of many hours, days or even years of work of practically all office employees and most people who use their computers at home. Microsoft Word dominates the market of word processors, and most if not all documents are stored in RTF and its proprietary DOC formats. Microsoft Excel and its XLS file format dominate spreadsheet market. Most presentations are created in Microsoft PowerPoint and stored in PPT files, and most charts and drawings are drawn in Microsoft Visio and saved as VSD files. Combined, files in these formats occupy significant space on the users’ hard drives, and represent hours and hours of work, much more than any other file format.

In an unfortunate case of hard disk crash or file system failure, what would you try to recover the hardest? Would it be a set of software products such as Windows or Office itself, which you can easily re-install from the original CD or DVD, or would it be files and documents you spent your personal time working on? Unless you have a fresh backup of your documents somewhere, the documents are impossible to simply re-install. If you have a recent copy of your Office documents, that’s great! But what if your backup is several days old, and you’ve put a lot of work into these documents? Or even worse, what if you don’t have a backup at all?

Recover latest versions of your deleted documents even after a hard drive failure with DiskInternals Office Recovery securely and reliably. Unlike general-use undelete and data recovery tools, DiskInternals Office Recovery strongly benefits from being designed specifically to handle documents stored in Microsoft Office format.

General-use recovery products scan the computer’s file system in order to locate files that were deleted or corrupt because of a hard drive failure. However, they frequently fail to work properly if the file system itself is damaged, which happens a lot after hard drive failures.

DiskInternals Office Recovery scans entire surface of your hard drive in order to locate all Microsoft Office documents that are still there. In order to find the documents, it uses a set of signatures that are characteristic for the Office file types. The file system is also scanned in order to retrieve the names of the files. The results of disk scan are matched against information contained in the file system, and you are presented with a complete list of all Microsoft Office documents that are on the disk and that are still possible to recover.

Quite often you don’t want to see the list of all Microsoft Office documents that were ever saved on your computer. There’s no point in spending time scrolling through an endless list of files if you just need the latest revision of a PPT presentation or an XLS spreadsheet, but you need that document right away. DiskInternals Office Recovery offers an extensive set of filters allowing you to display only the files that you need with just a few mouse clicks. If you need a DOC file that you know you worked with today, you simply activate the File Format and Date filters, and only the Word documents that were modified on this day will be displayed. If you don’t remember the name of the file, but know its title or the person who created the document, the Title and Author filters will show you those files. Similarly, if you only remember a line or even a few words of text from the document, you can instantly locate that particular file by activating the Text filter.

Alarm Systems

Did you know that security systems do not deter a burglar from breaking into your house? If someone wants to get into your house bad enough, they will find a way to do it. Burglars are aware of the different types of systems and how they work. They are also aware of how to get around them. Basically there are two types of home security systems.

One type, called a monitored system, alerts a central notification center once the alarm has been tripped and this center then checks in with the homeowner to see if everything is ok by calling. The call center is alerted through the phone wires. A clever burglar will locate the outdoor phone wires that are exposed and cut them. By doing this, the information center is never alerted and the burglar is free to enter the home. One disadvantage to having a monitored system is that even after the alarm has been triggered, it gives the burglar time to still get into your house, steal some valuables and escape undetected. This can happen because typically once the alarm has been set the security company waits for approximately 30 45 seconds before contacting the homeowner by phone to receive the correct password. They wait this long to allow the homeowner to deactivate the alarm if it is a false alarm. If the monitoring company does not receive the correct password, or the phone is not answered, they then contact the police. By the time the police arrive at least 1-2 minutes has passed. An experienced thief can make off with quite a few of your valuables in that short amount of time.

The other type of alarm systems is ones that make a loud siren like noise inside and outside the house alerting neighbors. These are called unmonitored systems. The responsibility to contact authorities then rests on your neighbors. With this type of alarm system, it is best to also include flashing lights so people are well aware of where the alarm is coming from. The advantage to having this type of system is that burglars often become deterred when the sirens and lights start blaring. Their goal is to get in and get out with some loot and without being noticed. This is really tricky to do once the alarm has been tripped. A disadvantage of this type of alarm is that your neighbors must be home and willing to get involved by calling the authorities. This type of alarm is also not made for those who live in an isolated area of the countryside or whose neighbors are not close by.

If youre still interested in installing an alarm system in your house there are a few things that you need to consider when researching the correct one for you.

Cost security systems cost about $1,000. If you choose to have it monitored, there is an additional monthly fee for this service.

Package be sure that your package includes: control panel, keypad, siren, motion detectors inside and outside and door and window contacts. You can add other accessories to your package, but in order to have a good system installed it should include the above-mentioned items.
Licensing etc. get references and referrals on any company you might consider using. See how quickly they can install your system after it has been purchased. You do not want to hire a company that can sell their systems faster than they can install them.

Be sure to get information on their warranty.

Ask about their screening process for installers. Installers should have a criminal background check completed on them.

Call your police department to find out what their response time is to home security alarms. You may be surprised by their answer. Also check to see if there are any fines associated with false alarms.

Nothing replaces good old-fashioned safety and intelligence. Lock your doors and windows when the house is vacant, leave lights on inside and outside and keep valuables in a very safe place maybe even outside of the home.