Sunhawk – Great Idea, But Perhaps Too Far Ahead Of Its Time

sunhkBrent Mills calls Sunhawk Corp., the company he co-founded, “the second wave of the Internet.” That’s because Sunhawk’s products, development process and marketing are all completely digital. Using innovative software, Sunhawk produces and markets multimedia sheet music that can be downloaded, read, rearranged and even played over the Internet. The foundation of the virtual organization: an intranet that is the glue between software programmers in Canada, music editors in Russia and Sunhawk’s official “headquarters” in a Seattle house.

After people log on to Sunhawk’s Web site and download special software, they can buy sheet music that goes far beyond anything available in music stores. Users can see the individual notes on the score light up as they listen to the music. They can change the instrumentation and pick up the tempo. Musicians can even turn off part of a song so they can play or sing along.…

SNA Server Set Future Net Protocols For Windows

mssnasvrSNA Server 4.0 extends the product’s already broad reach even further, pairing important new protocol gateway features with innovative data and transaction integration features. In particular, SNA’s new ability to provide seamless access to mainframe transaction code will provide Windows developers with the best of both worlds. For straight terminal access, organizations that don’t want to run IP directly on their host will find SNA Server the most complete option around.

Pros: Rich 3270 and 5250 emulation services; failover and load balancing; allows host…

Push Technology Changed It All

pushtIn the nearly two years since the first push systems landed on desktops, vendors have sold the technology to almost everyone–everyone, that is, but corporate IT.

To be sure, the concept of pushing data or applications to desktops has caught the eye of users and analysts alike. Startups such as PointCast Inc., BackWeb Technologies Inc., Acurest and Marimba Inc. are still enjoying excellent mind share and cash flow from venture capitalists.

But so far, many large companies don’t have push at the top of their to-do lists. For these sites, there are many more immediate concerns: year 2000 compliance, enterprise application deployment and even rolling out intranets. Heck, there is even Web 2.0 generators to think about.

LDAP: Functional, But Never Ready For Prime Time

LDAPThe LDAP tidal wave forced vendors to adopt the standard whether they wanted to or not, galvanizing product development efforts.

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol quickly gained that power because the directory market is small and immature. No single vendor or technology had grabbed the market share and the momentum to drive the market when LDAP came along, so the standard took center stage.

In the messaging market, things are different. Yes, we have Internet standards that have a…

Making The Most Of Network Bandwidth

nbwThe switch to gigabit ethernet and other high-speed technologies will eventually increase the bandwidth available to users, but in the meantime, network managers should look for ways to get the most out of the bandwidth they have, says Ernie Halpern, of W3 Tech, which offers an HTML crash course.

One weapon in the campaign for network efficiency is IP multicasting, now moving from experiments on the Internet’s Mbone (Multicast backbone) toward commercial implementation. IP multicasting can reduce bandwidth demands when groups of users need the same data at the same time, so it’s ideal for such uses as pushing financial data, videoconferencing,…

Remote Managers Becoming More Important To Network Managers

remsTo overcome the unique challenges of managing a remote network, network managers are using a variety of tools to help them automate data transmissions, reconfigure remote-location PCs, gain access to troublespots on the network and centrally track performance of networks that span multiple locations.

Chick-fil-A is a fast-growing restaurant chain with more than 700 outlets in the United States and Canada, all of which require remote management. With the company’s first international expansion,…

Neglecting Skills Can Sink IT Companies

itcompAfter 20 years in systems development at Belk Department Stores Inc., Don Harris has gotten used to taking care of other people’s needs. These days, however, Harris is nurturing something other than Belk’s myriad users. He’s catering to the internal IT organization, hoping a little self-help will go a long way.

Harris, Belk’s first-ever manager of IT staff development, is now in charge of assisting the Charlotte, N.C., retailer’s IT department in taking command of its most coveted resource–its staff. His approach: taking inventory of…

The Web Invites Trouble For Employees

awkrsAmerican workers are finding a whole new way to slack off: surfing for smut.

A study of 185 companies conducted between November 1996 and this month by consulting firm Digital Detective Services, of Vienna, Va., found that a quarter of the companies’ workers visited pornographic Web sites.

Media Metrix (formerly PC Meter), the top Web-traffic analysis company, reports that 19 percent of users at work visit smut sites (compared with 69 percent for news or information sites).

And a Nielsen Media Research study earlier this year claimed that staffers at IBM, AT&T Corp. and Apple Computer Inc. made 13,000 workplace visits to the Penthouse magazine Web site during a single month.

From these numbers, it appears that the “smut break” has replaced the coffee break as employees’ favorite way of letting off steam.

But human resource managers and other company executives tell a different story, getting decidedly nervous when asked whether workers at their companies are getting sidetracked by visits to off-color Web sites.

A random survey of large and small companies outside the information technology industries revealed that few …