Phillip G. Sinclair

Certified Public Accountant
310 North First
Longview, Texas 75601
Fax 903-753-5982

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Have you ever lost data on your computer due to a corrupted hard disk?

IF not yet, you will. What can you do about it? Fortunately there is something. The most obvious is to make regular backups of your hard drive, or at least those important files. But let's suppose that you did not make a backup. Then what? You could send the hard drive to a data recovery service, where you can pay between $400 and $2,800 to recover data from a 4 gigabyte hard drive, depending on the severity of the damage and the difficulty of its recovery. Recovery rates are about 75 percent. But, you can also try using a program such as Norton Utilities, which includes a utility that can correct such "logical" problems as a corrupted file system. It can also help you deal with such "physical" problems as a weakened magnetic charge on isolated areas of your hard disk by moving data stored there to more secure areas of the disk. But beware that there is a risk that using a hard disk utility program will decrease the chances of recovering your data if your hard drive is physically malfunctioning.

Moral Of The Story

Make those backups regularly. But, don't just make backups, periodically test those backups to be sure that they are working and that you are backing up what you think you are. And be sure to store those backups in a safe and secure place (preferably off site).

Some resources to consider.

400 Bel Marin Keys Blvd.
Novato, CA 94949

Ontrack Data Recovery
6321 Bury Dr.
Eden Prarie, MN 55346

Norton Utilities - Symantec Corp.
10201 Torre Ave.
Cupertino, CA 95014

Mijenix Fix-It - Mijenix Corp.
3030 Sterling Circle
Boulder,CO 80301

McAfee VirusScan Network Associates
3965 Freedom Circle
Santa Clara, CA 95054

What is on the leading edge of technology?

Try the new PDA's. But, what is a PDA anyway? Try nothing short of a small miracle in the palm of your hand. Yes, Really! PDA stands for Personal Digital Assistant. A PDA is a miniature computer that fits in the palm of your hand. They are about the size of a handheld calculator, but much more sophisticated and powerful. They can even open your garage door and perform as a TV remote control, thus becoming a multi-functional device that you can take with you. (Sort of like Star Trek, Star Wars, and the Jetsons, all in one.) Some even have built in microphones and speakers to record and play back messages.  With wireless modems and software, you can even send and receive e-mail and browse the internet.  WOW!!!  Wireless telephones have been developed that will also send and receive e-mail. Eventually, I expect PDA's to become the communications, internet link, calendar, portable office, etc. of the future. Talk about convenience, if you want to give a file to someone else who has a PDA and each of you has an infrared port (IR), you can "beam" the file to them without hooking wires together. If you use the built in address book and convert an address to a business card, to give out your business card, just beam it to the recipient and he instantly has your information, which if you desire will have your e-mail address, your web page address, etc. PDA's are very affordable too. Click hee to see a picture of what a typical PDA looks like.

Following are some web sites that can provide additional detailed information about PDA's and may help you decide if a PDA is right for you and which one is right. Click on the following link to buy from Handspring, Inc. Click here to go to Palm, Inc's web site. Click here to go to PDA Buyers Guide: handheld, palmtop and mini notebook computer reviews and sales . Click here to go to Netscape Handheld Decision Maker. Click here to go to To download PDA programs, click here to go to SasEz! Palm Pilot Files where many of the programs are free and most of those that are not free are very inexpensive.

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Last Updated 01/02/2001