Grossman: A Tale Of Restructuring In The Face Of Competition

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gatorOn Route 1 in Saugus, Mass., the 38th Grossman’s store to be liquidated in 24 months beckons to customers: Everything Must Go. It’s part of a “save the company” restructuring at the 50-year-old home-improvement chain. For years, customers haven’t been there. They’ve been 2 miles down the road, at superstores Home Depot and Home Quarters Warehouse, where prices are lower, selection is greater, and the registers are roaring.

What went wrong? For one thing, Mike Bergman, Grossman Inc.’s director of MIS and replenishment, wishes his inventory buyers had spent more time shopping the competition in …

Mexico’s Telecom Industry Still A Little Rough Around The Edges

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John Rudasill was steamed.

mtciIf only he’d told his director of Mexican operations to stuff his pockets with pesos when securing phone lines for a new trucking terminal in Monterrey. A savvier hombre would have known this was a job to be done with cash. But Rudasill, president of computer services for Carolina Freight, has American business expectations. As the director stood in line all day for a phone-line application, then queued up at a bank to get the money to pay for it, then stood in line again to turn it all in, …

What Measures To Take On Your Own For Hard Drive Recovery

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Although an out of order hard drive can be a great headache, luckily hard drive recovery in many cases may only require a few simple checks and you may well be on your way back to having a normally functioning hard drive. If unfortunately your hard drive stops functioning properly, first of all you need to remove it from your PC and then perform a thorough examination to rule out the possibility of any specific damage. Make sure that there are not any broken tiny parts on the hard drive. If the disk is physically intact, you may need to check the cables as the next step to full data recovery. Try replacing the power and data connection cables with new, working cables.

happy-hard-driveThere is another thing you also need to try for hard drive recovery if you are using a PATA (IDE) drive. In many cases, changing the jumper pin settings of the drive may work e.g. if it was previously set to “slave” or “cable” change the settings to “master” and it might work for you. Moreover, besides changing the settings, remove any other devices that might be attached to the same port and plug the drive in that port alone.

Relieving RAID Logical Disk Issues

It is often very difficult to counter RAID logical disk issues. However, when this happens to your Dell PowerEdge server system, it is important to seek help right away. Some people attempt to fix the problem all by themselves and end up losing all the files eventually. Some people assume that Dell’s OpenManage Server Administrator (also known by its acronym OMSA) can help them when a drive fails within the array. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Using OMSA can often make recovering data from a Dell PowerEdge server more difficult than is necessary. This is the reason why it is necessary to simply turn off the computer when PowerEdge RAID array logical disk issues are experienced. From there, Read the rest of this entry »

Piracy Still A Major Drain On IT

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psdiitA posse of federal marshals, attorneys, and software piracy auditors turned up one morning last December at the offices of Southern Benefits Consulting in Dallas. Acting on behalf of plaintiffs Microsoft Corp. and Novell Inc., the party was armed with a court order allowing a surprise on-site audit of the insurance company’s computers. U.S. District Court Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater had granted the order after Microsoft and Novell filed a sealed complaint alleging massive copyright infringement. Completed in just half a day, the audit of about 100 PCs turned up enough evidence to produce …

VCs Can Help, Or Destroy Your Business

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vcchLooking for venture capital money to finance your Internet startup? Be prepared for a torturous experience. I’ve been there. And believe me, it’s a game with its own special set of rules and etiquette. I spent so much time trying to convince potential investors that there was a killing to be made, I ended up killing the product instead.

I started shopping for VC backing about a year ago, shortly after beginning work on my project, a product akin to Spry’s Internet in a Box. I talked to about 20 VC firms directly or indirectly, …

LSI Innovated While It Had The Shot

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lsiBrian Halla joined a country club in July, but he has yet to set foot on the green. He hasn’t had time. But the vice president of products at LSI Logic Corp. doesn’t lack for competition. In fact, Halla’s job–turn around a chip company mired in red ink and selling the wrong products–was a lot tougher than shooting a birdie at the 18th hole at Pebble Beach.

In the ’80s, LSI built its business selling core logic to practically every player in the PC, minicomputer, and mainframe markets. As a custom chip maker, its …

Product Life Cycles Only Work At High Speed

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plcKeanu Reeves isn’t the only one who feels like he’s on a runaway bus. Just ask anyone who works in product development these days. It’s all about speed. And it can be as much of a cliffhanger as last summer’s action thriller. Drop below optimum development speed and you’re toast. Drive too fast and you’ll crash and burn anyway. “Sometimes it feels a little out of control,” says Ted Johnson, a founder of Shapeware, which has been breathlessly cranking out new releases for multiple operating systems. “How much can we do in six or seven …

Microsoft Spent Much Of The ’90s and ’00s In Court

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microsoftIt all comes to a head next week. Microsoft gets its day in court, yet again. And the company will be bombarded before appellate judges this time with the charges that it bullies competitors and–in Judge Stanley Sporkin’s view, anyway–has become a potential threat to economic well-being. Ouch! After more than four years of antitrust torture, even battle-hardened Microsoft executives are feeling the sting. They admit to worrying–just a little–about the effect of all this on partners, customers, and employees.

And worry they should. Look what happened to IBM and AT&T during their years …

What Are “User Reference Programs”

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urpsWhen Niraj Patel picks up his phone, a reporter on the other end asks him for a few minutes of his time. Patel, the network and telecommunications manager for General Motors Acceptance Corp., a national finance company, settles back in his chair, interrupting his work for a conversation that could last 30 minutes. Hes used to calls like this. As part of Novell Inc.s user-reference program, he gets requests for interviews at least once a week.

Although its not an official part of the job, Patel and dozens of other IT executives at Fortune …

3Com Execs Were Smart, But Not Smart Enough To Win

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3comThey’ve pinned down 10 deals–and a reputation as M&A champions–by buying technology and talent, not companies. Let Janice Roberts and John Boyle show you the ropes.

They don’t go by names like The Mortician or Macho Man. They don’t bellow threats. And they don’t fling themselves around the ropes. But don’t let that fool you. Janice Roberts and John Boyle are the industry’s championship tag team in the arena of mergers and acquisitions. Wearing 3Com’s corporate colors, they’ve pinned down 10 new companies in the past 18 months. Along the way, they’ve muscled 3Com into …