Dec 13 2012

The Bolshoi Retains Its Operatic Legend

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A visit to the Bolshoi Theater provides evidence that not much has changed. The performance is sold out, and an army of scalpers offers tickets at five to ten times face value. A Russian classic is staged on massive sets, sung by powerful voices that might not be terribly welcome abroad yet somehow seem right here. At intermission, many people speak English or German, a reminder that foreigners make up much of the audience.

bolshThe activity at the Bolshoi is characteristic of the city at large. Moscow retains its fast pace. Some fancy boutiques, especially in the lavish, new underground mall near the Kremlin known as the Manezh, have closed, but some think that would have happened regardless of the economic downturn. Trendy restaurants and clubs respond to economic realities by lowering their inflated prices, even offering cut-rate “crisis” menus. But they profit from the Russians’ craving for an active nightlife and their tendency to spend their earnings quickly. There are fewer Western customers, since the ranks of expatriates have thinned out appreciably. Recent MBA graduates working at investment banks have been especially quick to head home. Yet the banks themselves remain, as do other multinational concerns, determined to ride things out until recovery.

Behind the apparent normalcy, there is genuine concern but not panic. “Sometimes I’m in a state of shock,” confesses the usually ebullient Dmitri Bertman, director of an innovative new company, Helikon Opera. A gifted stage director with several Western credits (including operas in Mannheim and Wexford), the thirty-one-year-old Bertman has much to lose; in eight years he has built the Helikon from nothing into a troupe offering nearly 150 performances a year.

At the Bolshoi, people simply refuse to believe that the theater will be left to flounder. In their view, it remains Russia’s most prestigious company, notwithstanding the higher international profile of St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky (Kirov) Theater. What many Russians want most is “stabilization,” so that they’ll know where they stand. “Since the ruble is floating, we don’t have a fixed way of dealing with our suppliers, because they look to the dollar,” said Sergei Belov, vice-director of the Novaya (New) Opera, a company that, like the Helikon, takes a lively approach to opera production.

For the most part, the crisis has intensified existing problems rather than create new ones, and recent years have provided excellent training for crisis management. Companies have had to make do with reduced governmental support — still upwards of 80 percent of their budgets — while scrambling for other funds, including those from tours. Musicians are poorly paid but have nowhere else to go. And the threat that top talent will be siphoned off by the West is nothing new.

While the federal government funds the Bolshoi, Moscow’s three other companies — Helikon Opera, Novaya Opera, Stanislavsky-Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theater — are supported by the city. This means they fall within the empire of Moscow’s powerful mayor Yuri Luzhkov, a controversial figure, but one who brought Moscow a level of prosperity in the 1990s unmatched elsewhere in Russia.

Asked whether he thought it unusual that a city would support three opera companies, Belov replied, “Not really. The city supports about sixty-five theaters in total.” Its finances may be in better shape than those of the national government, but whether the city can continue to provide support at this level is a big open question. Historically, Moscow’s primary responsibility is the Stanislavsky–Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theater, Moscow’s second major venue for opera and ballet and the third largest in Russia, behind the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky. “Time will see the effect,” is the cautious assessment of Vladimir Urin, the Stanislavsky’s general director, of the crisis. “The city government has kept us very well financed. The mayor is a man who likes culture and the people. And he has done a lot.” As another example of the city’s cultural achievements, Urin cited the Tretyakov Gallery, which reopened in April 1995 after extensive reconstruction and expansion and is now the city’s leading art museum. Clearly, opera is part of Luzhkov’s vision for his city, since he has also backed two start-up operations. Both Helikon and Novaya Opera go out of their way to counterbalance the staid predictability of the Bolshoi with provocative productions, often even taking a loose approach to the score. Yet their popularity reflects the fact that in Russia people go to the opera primarily for its entertainment value and not to partake of an exalted cultural experience. The Novaya (New) Opera is run by Yevgeny Kolobov, one of Moscow’s most able conductors. Its production of Eugene Onegin drew mixed reviews during its run on Broadway in New York last year. The company’s repertory is enlivened by several Italian rarities such as Verdi’s I Due Foscari — unusual for Russia.

So far, neither the federal government nor the city has reduced its arts budget, but subsidies have not been increased to keep up with recent inflation, either. The fact that opera companies can contemplate a future when government funding has effectively been cut by almost two-thirds is probably another indication that Russia plays by its own social and economic rules, which never fail to puzzle Westerners. The young mezzo Larisa Kostyuk, a favorite at the Helikon, is troubled by the situation but adds, “We in the theater don’t really feel so hard hit. We’re probably more stable than some businesses. Our theater is like a family, and it doesn’t depend on the crisis. Yes, it’s a strange situation, but not for Russia. We’re alive because we have music.”

Perversely, the national government has made it difficult to find alternative funds. For many arts organizations, private sponsorship, often from foreign corporations, remains crucial, but the government offers no tax advantages to the sponsor, and in any event the business operations of foreign corporations have been hurt in the economic crisis. In addition, arts organizations were sent into a tizzy during the fall by a federal decree requiring them to turn over outside income to the state, including amounts from sponsors and tours. But Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov recently assured them verbally that the decree would not be enforced.

Box-office receipts contribute little, since most Russians expect to pay virtually nothing for cultural events. Opera tickets are still priced at pre-August levels, although the Bolshoi raised its top price to 150 rubles last season — then about $25, now less than $10. (Those who go through normal tourist channels pay much more, but the Bolshoi’s low prices mean that revenues are regularly lost to scalpers.) Yet at the Stanislavsky, one of its most acclaimed productions, La Boheme, recently played to two-thirds capacity despite a top price of 50 rubles and a captivating Mimi from Olga Guryakova (familiar to New York audiences from the Mariinsky’s recent tours).

One thing the low ticket prices do facilitate is opera for the family. Children turn up even for Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel at the Mariinsky, with its nude finale, but fairy-tale operas bring them out in greater numbers. Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tale of the Tsar Saltan recently filled the Stanislavsky with kids cheering the magic squirrel and delighting in the bumblebee’s famous flight.

With the theaters generally taking a one-step-at-a-time approach, none has yet cancelled a new production as a result of the crisis. Because 1999 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Alexander Pushkin, even more attention than usual will be paid to this fount of Russian opera plots. The Bolshoi has commissioned The Captain’s Daughter — a new opera by Mikhail Kollontai-Ermolaeva, based on a Pushkin novella — and Helikon Opera has scheduled a three-opera Pushkin series. In addition, the Bolshoi plans Tchaikovsky’s rarity The Oprichnik. But budgets will be stretched. Novaya Opera’s new production of Anton Rubinstein’s The Demon, for example, will have to make do with less costly materials for its sets and costumes than those originally contemplated.

As a further test of the theaters’ mettle (and that of their funding sources), the economic crisis coincides with several ambitious construction projects. Perhaps most fortunate in this respect is Novaya Opera; restoration of the Mirror Theater in the Hermitage Gardens, financed by the city at a cost of $36 million, was completed in time for the company’s September opening. It is now ensconced in a sparkling 650-seat theater that for all practical purposes is brand new.

The Stanislavsky intends to shorten its season to revamp backstage equipment and construct new rehearsal facilities, but the biggest structural project involves the Bolshoi, which plans a thorough renovation starting in January 2000. Although the theater will be closed for two years, a replay of the scenario that has dogged London’s Royal Opera House should be avoided, since work will begin only upon completion of a 1,000-seat auxiliary theater now under construction, where the company will perform during the interim. With a total price tag of $350 million, the Bolshoi’s project is the ultimate test of what is possible in the current environment. But even before August, the federal government’s failure to supply funds on time led Luzhkov to intervene and secure bank credits so work on the auxiliary theater could continue.

Many hope the construction project will be the catalyst the Bolshoi needs to break out of its current routine. Under general director Vladimir Vasiliev, once one of the Bolshoi’s most renowned dancers, ballet has prospered more than opera. Recent seasons have suffered from the lack of an inspired musical leader. And unlike Moscow’s other companies, the Bolshoi currently has no foreign tours on its calendar. Last summer, however, the company appointed the veteran Mark Ermler as principal conductor, opting for proven musical credentials rather than youthful charisma.

Ermler oversees a company that retains an abundance of talent. It has a fine orchestra and many impressive soloists, including a number of accomplished sopranos. (Marina Mescheriakova, who made her Met debut in 1997-98 as Don Carlo’s Elisabetta, is the latest to find international favor.) And while some of the company’s singers may have lucrative engagements in the West, few have broken their ties with the Bolshoi. So maintaining decent musical standards is a goal Ermler seems likely to achieve.

But how much more exciting it would be if the Bolshoi could use its new theater to cultivate a fresher, smaller-scale production style, to explore greater theatrical and musical responsiveness, to investigate new repertory and even to strengthen its ties abroad. Artistic vitality will be the company’s best bastion in any economic crisis.

Nov 22 2012

The Old Convention Center Was A Biggie

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AUSTIN, TEXAS–Local voters will decide this weekend on expanding the Austin Convention Center, a vote which could be essential to the continued staging of the Semicon/Southwest show here.

Semiconductor Equipment & Materials International (SEMI), the industry trade group which has held its Semicon/Southwest exposition and conference in Austin annually since 1994, is officially neutral on Austin’s Proposition 1, which would increase the local hotel room tax to 15 percent, from 13 percent, to fund a $110 million expansion of the convention center and to provide $25 million for flood containment measures on Waller Creek, the waterway that flows by the convention facility. But the Mountain View, Calif.-based SEMI would clearly be delighted if the measure passes in the special election on Saturday, May 2.

Until recent years, Semicon/Southwest was a biannual show, held in Dallas and alternating with the now-defunct Semicon/East show in Boston. It was first held in Austin in 1992. After SEMI management killed off Semicon/East four years ago, Semicon/Southwest was made an annual event and has proved quite popular with exhibitors and attendees. Too popular, in fact.

“We have a lot of people (exhibitors) who would like to join Semicon/Southwest,” said Rick Heim, SEMI’s VP of operations, who runs the Semicon shows worldwide. But the size of the Austin Convention Center limits the exhibition space, and so a number of potential exhibitors are relegated to a waiting list.

Two More Halls In Plan

Opened in 1992, the convention center presently has 176,200 square feet of meeting space. If Proposition 1 passes, the facility would add two more exhibit halls and a total of another 205,000 square feet of meeting space. The center would expand northward, stretching across what is now Third Street and extending up to Fourth Street. That block of Third, between Trinity and Red River streets, would be closed to traffic, as would the perpendicular Neches Street, between Third and Fourth streets. The existing facility extends south to north from Cesar Chavez Street (First Street) to Third Street.

SEMI is not making any threats about relocating Semicon/Southwest–clearly, the Texas semiconductor industry is now headquartered in Austin, and there is prevailing sentiment to keep the show here. Motorola’s Semiconductor Products sector now makes its headquarters in Austin, shifting last year from Phoenix, and aside from Texas Instruments’ headquarters and wafer fab operations, Dallas has a relative handful of semiconductor companies compared with the capital of Texas. Austin boasts the Motorola complex in Oak Hill, the Sematech and Microelectronics & Computer Technology consortia, Advanced Micro Devices’ huge Fab 25, the new Samsung Austin Semiconductors DRAM fab, the Somerset design center for IBM and Motorola PowerPC microprocessor design and dozens of related businesses. Before the Asian financial crisis took hold in South Korea, LG Semicon was actively considering locating a DRAM fab in the Austin “metroplex,” possibly in the town of Cedar Park. The semiconductor equipment and materials suppliers have followed their customers here, with Applied Materials establishing a major manufacturing center in Austin, and other vendors setting up shop here. Even SEMI has an office in Austin.

So it’s not surprising to learn that Semicon/Southwest will be here this fall, and in 1999, and likely beyond that, too, regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s vote. “We don’t have any intention to move the show,” Mr. Heim said. Last year, SEMI expanded the exhibition into the Palmer Auditorium, a short distance across the Town Lake from the convention center, and kept a steady stream of buses shuttling between the two facilities.

There doesn’t seem to be much local controversy about expanding the convention center. Gwen Spain, public information officer for the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau, said local environmental groups, such as the Save Our Springs Alliance, have endorsed the measure, chiefly because of the Waller Creek measures. “What’s unusual for Austin is the Chamber (of Commerce) and environmental groups agree,” she added.

Visitors, not residents, will foot the bill for the proposed expansion, and that’s usually a popular play with voters. Voters in San Francisco approved an increase in the hotel room tax two years ago to fund an expansion of the Moscone Center convention facility, which has housed the Semicon/West show annually since 1992.

Semi/West Needs Space

SEMI is facing a similar situation, on a larger scale, with Semicon/West, which has overwhelmed the exhibit capacity of Moscone Center. Last year, SEMI expanded the show to San Jose, some 50 miles south of San Francisco, in order to accommodate the sprawling needs of exhibitors, and will do so again in July. What happens to Semicon/West in 1999 and beyond is up in the air–the show clearly needs a larger exhibit facility, such as the convention centers in Las Vegas and Anaheim, but those cities are hundreds of miles away from Silicon Valley, which is why Semicon/West is in the San Francisco Bay Area in the first place. SEMI may draw in a third Bay Area facility, the Santa Clara Convention Center, to keep up with the exhibition demands of “West.”

Back in Texas, an expansion of the Austin Convention Center will take about two years to complete, so it may be ready for Semicon/Southwest in 2000. Two critical points exist about the convention center: While it is generally regarded as a success in attracting convention business to the city and helping fill the downtown hotels for more than University of Texas home football games, it has yet to bring much visible prosperity to the southeast corner of this rapidly expanding city. Part of the reason is the flooding threat from Waller Creek, known to many conventioneers as the stream which separates the convention center from the highly popular Iron Works barbecue restaurant. Some of the funds created by Proposition 1 will go toward helping funnel storm runoff in the creek down to the Town Lake.

The second critical point is parking. The city bought a 12-story parking structure six years ago to help deal with parking during conventions, but the garage is a two-block walk from the convention center. Proposition 1 doesn’t provide any money toward new parking, but it is possible the city will sell the existing garage, at a substantial profit, and then would have sufficient funds to build a more convenient garage.

austconMs. Spain of the local convention and visitors bureau said of the convention center, “The demand is outgrowing the supply.” Many groups looking into the possible booking of the Austin Convention Center wind up doing business with the larger facilities in Dallas, Las Vegas and other cities because the Austin building is too small for their requirements. “We haven’t been able to accommodate some of the groups,” she said. Because meeting planners typically work two to three years in advance, now is a good time to start the Austin expansion, so the facility could start booking bigger events in 2000.

Austin wants to keep and attract high-tech events like Semicon/Southwest because “it’s a real clean industry,” Ms. Spain observed. There’s no heavy demand on local infrastructure, and conventioneers bring lots of money to local hotels, restaurants (it’s very difficult to get into the Iron Works for lunch during Semicon/Southwest week) and Austin’s famous music venues.

She commended Terry Berke, who heads SEMI’s office here, for spearheading efforts to expand the convention center and to accommodate the growing needs of Semicon/Southwest. “He wants (the show) to stay in Austin,” Ms. Spain said. “He has spoken to the City Council and been a leader.”

A bigger convention center may attract one of the bigger hotel chains to put a convention headquarters hotel adjacent to the convention center, Ms. Spain noted, and that may help resolve the parking issue, with a garage facility built into the hotel structure.

Oct 12 2012

Looking Back At The Scandals Of The Clinton Era

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Is the softening of American culture ruining our politics?

THE House votes on whether to impeach the President, and the nation yawns. According to the polls, the American people are sick unto death of the Lewinsky scandal. They would much rather talk about the important issues.

But the American people are lying. Sure, the scandal turns them off. But they were disengaged from politics long before they had heard of Monica Lewinsky. It was clear in 1997 that public attention was turning from the political to the cultural. The top stories of 1997 were Princess Diana’s death and the trial of Timothy McVeigh; of political stories, only campaign- finance and military scandals made the top ten. When pollsters asked people to rank the political issues they found most important, nothing got more than 25 per cent-generally a sign of an apathetic electorate.

Recognize this???

Recognize this???

The Promise Keepers marched on Washington, true, but to get media attention, not to ask anything from Congress or the White House. Political pundits found that nobody wanted to listen to them, not even the corporate associations that used to fly them to the hinterlands for amusement. Political magazines saw their circulations decline, and political books went unsold. CNN canceled Capital Gang Sunday for poor ratings. Dr. Laura’s audience numbers briefly eclipsed Rush Limbaugh’s. Limbaugh’s subsequent recovery, along with the boosted ratings and expanded time slots for political talk shows this year, suggests that scandal has increased interest in politics among segments of the population.

Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, likes to describe the forces of political conservatism as a “leave us alone coalition” of parents trying to raise their children without state interference, farmers trying to keep control of their land, gun owners trying to protect their silos, etc. It turns out that the vast majority of Americans have joined the leave-us- alone coalition-with a vengeance. They want conservatives and libertarians to leave them alone, too, not to bother them with talk of privatization and reform.

This anti-political tendency is probably endemic to liberal democracies, especially in times of peace and prosperity. It is encouraged by the politics of consensus and trivia that has characterized President Clinton’s second term. But as Norquist’s formulation suggests, it has also been encouraged by the conservative slogans of the last generation. Plenty of conservatives, indeed, have professed satisfaction at the public’s lack of interest in politics and disdain for politicians-but fewer than did last year. Unhappy is the nation consumed by politics. A nation that affects a pseudo-sophisticated cynicism about politics, however, will find it impossible to hold real miscreants accountable because “they all do it.”

Thus actress Janeane Garofalo on one of Larry King Live’s ludicrous panels: “[Clinton critics are] going on the theory that all other Presidents have been honest and good. And that somehow Bill Clinton’s character is the only questionable character that’s ever been in the White House,” even though it’s impossible to become President “without lying basically the whole way up.” (It is a testament to the weakness of our political culture, by the way, that celebrities are now routinely invited to add spice to it.) Nor does this contemptuous attitude serve the cause of limited government: a people without respect for government will not hesitate to ask it to lower their cable bills and fluff their pillows.

Politics has a bad reputation in part because it involves argument, or “petty bickering.” And that, in turn, fits poorly with a contemporary shift in American sensibilities that is perhaps deeper than any change in morals or views. The new sensibility reacts negatively to strong personalities. (If Douglas MacArthur was too much for Americans to take in the 1950s, he would be positively terrifying today.) It is uncomfortable with sharply defined arguments; it wishes to defer tough choices for as long as possible. It is emotional rather than logical. Michael Barone recently described this political style in National Journal as “sogginess,” as opposed to “crunchiness.” Clinton, all things to all people, is soggy. Republicans, who were willing to shut down the government to force a choice over its direction, have been crunchy. Sogginess won.

It’s still winning. One reason the impeachment debate has hurt Republicans’ image is that they have been perceived as trying to force the public to make a choice it would rather duck. Several polls have found that the public says that law-breakers are not fit for office, that Clinton is a law-breaker, and that Clinton is fit for office. In one focus group, women broke down in tears when asked to resolve this cognitive dissonance. No wonder the public favors the soggy option of censure.

This is a womanly approach to politics, and its prevalence will grow as politicians court “soccer moms.” The spread of sogginess is, in fact, part of the much-remarked feminization of America, as is the shift from public life to private life. A feminizing tendency, too, is probably built into liberal democracy, and within bounds it’s a good thing: it civilizes and tames men. But taken too far, it threatens the masculine stubbornness and intractability that serves as a bulwark for republicanism. Francis Fukuyama, writing in Foreign Affairs, has recently reminded us that women have been less supportive than men of every war America has fought this century, including World War II and the Gulf War. Women also tend to be more averse to risk than men. The shifting politics of guns and tobacco in the Nineties suggests that ours is not a populace jealous of its liberties. And it is no accident that these liberties have traditionally been associated with men, and macho risk-takers at that.

JUDGE NOT

Conservative politicians have tried to adapt to the new mood by professing their “compassion,” but the effectiveness of this tactic has its limits. The antonym of compassion in our increasingly feminized political culture is “mean-spiritedness,” and this is a vice inherent in conservatism. Social conservatism is mean because it judges; and the credo of soggy America is, “Judge not, lest ye be judgmental.” Hence America seems to be getting more socially liberal in theory even as it turns more socially conservative in practice. As usual, economic conservatism cannot sever its fortunes from social conservatism: insisting on formal restraints that keep government from helping people is also mean. And rational politics in general will have rough sledding through a sea of fudge. If judgment is impossible, objective reason must be unable to arrive at public truths. In that case, men in public life cannot offer arguments but only proofs of virtue-of how much they care.

The refrain of Clinton apologists that “it’s time to move on” from the President’s public character to allegedly more important matters like campaign-finance reform or HMO regulation is thus deceptive. Let’s be honest: the public has even less interest in these policy issues than in Clinton’s malfeasance. To ask the public to “move on” under these circumstances is to encourage it to retreat from politics altogether-to shirk the (manly?) duties of public life, which include holding public officials accountable. It is to abandon self-governance itself as just too much trouble. Newsday, however inadvertently, caught the real appeal of “it’s time to move on” perfectly in its editorial on Clinton’s August DNA speech: “He hasn’t been much of a President and he’s even less of a human being, but it’s still not worth the strain of impeaching him.”

Sep 09 2012

IT Jobs In Austin Not So Difficult To Find

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Looking for an IT job in Austin, Houston or San Antonio?

1jobsLearning as much about an employer’s technologies and business issues before the job interview can mean all the difference in whether you get an offer. There are easy ways to learn about southern Texas employers. It just takes a continuous process of drilling down for more information until you get to the company, technology and job that’s right for you.

HOW TO FIND IT

The first place to find information about companies, industries and technologies is the Internet. Virtually every company has a presence on the Internet now. That makes it easy to find company profiles, including current job listings and descriptions, and to take a peek at the technologies they’re using.

And that’s no “if-I-find-the-time” advice. These days, employers expect that all job applicants, especially in the information technology ranks, will visit their Web site. They fully expect you to at least have gained general information about the company from the corporate Web site, says Gary McGowen, manager of technology customer support at Arthur Andersen & Co. in Houston.

“Our Web page shows all of what we do, our vision and our scope of customers,” McGowen says. And if you expect to sit across the interview table from McGowen, he says it’s imperative that you learn beforehand that the company does much more than accounting.

There’s also a plethora of robust technology job search sites on the Web. Those can be a gold mine of information on IT organizations in southern Texas.

“By searching job markets or technologies through job listings, you can make inferences about what companies are doing with their projects and technology,” says Clint Tomlinson, president of recruitment firm Technical Scouts in Austin. For example, “If you are interested in Java Web development, once you have found a detailed job description from a company, you know more about what they are up to,” he says.

Opportunity is BIG in Southern Texas

SAN ANTONIO

The San Antonio IT job market includes companies in insurance, health care and the military. And then there’s United Services Automobile Association (USAA), jokes Roy Forsstrom, IT director at ASI/CartoTech Inc., a computer mapping services company in San Antonio.

But there’s truth in the humor. USAA, a worldwide insurance and financial services family of companies that serve the military, is a huge presence in San Antonio, says Jim Burgess, USAA program manager of IT recruiting.

Burgess recently developed USAA’s dedicated IT recruitment program. What jobs are available at USAAand in the San Antonio job market? “Pick one, and we are looking for it,” Burgess says. That includes skills from mainframe IMS, MVS, Cobol experience to client/server, C++, Visual Basic, Unix, Oracle and object-oriented design to good Internet development, he says.

AUSTIN

Sometimes it seems as if Austin is made up entirely of musicians and technicians (and sometimes the two are one and the same). There’s a strong group of start-up, high-tech companies here, mixing with established companies such as Dell Computer Corp.

The city hires a lot of technical professionals, Tomlinson says, and the demand for skills is wide and varied. C++ is always a mainstay. Unix and Windows background is needed, and there’s growing demand for Java developers, he says.

HOUSTON

In Houston newspapers and business periodicals, the common theme is the labor shortage. Houston is feeling the squeeze from a mass exodus of professionals caused by the downturn in the energy industry in the late 1980s, says Steve Satterwhite, president of Entelligence Inc., an IT professional contract firm in Houston.

“We see a wide gamut of skills needed in the area — robust knowledge of Microsoft NT technology and Exchange server and the whole suite of [Microsoft] back-end products is strong,” he says. “There are quite a few [enterprise resource planning] projects getting off the ground, calling for SAP, PeopleSoft and Oracle developers. And in the middle, a continuing demand for general client/server skills like C++, PowerBuilder and Visual Basic.”

Aug 22 2012

Factors To Consider When Selecting A Professional Hard Drive Recovery Expert

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Computers have become part and parcel of our daily lives. It is not easy to survive without them, especially in business or school. Computers increase one’s efficiency and effectiveness in carrying out the day to day activities that make work easier. It reaches a point in one way or another when one loses their data through different ways. Some people have their data accidentally deleted, others suffer data loss due to physical damage and others get to experience natural disasters such as floods which completely lose all the data that you had in the computer.

wd-hdIf you are in such a dilemma of finding a computer data recovery service, the first step can be looking for one through the internet. Your search engine is able to list the many websites that provide computer data recovery services. Slowly go through them and try to find one that is the best amongst them and get their contacts. Since almost everybody owns a computer lately, you can consult with your friends and relatives to direct you to one who has worked with them before. As they tell you about the service providers, demand to know both the negative and the positive so as to make a sound decision. Do not rush for a service provider just because they promise a 100% recovery. Dig deep to discover all about the effectiveness of the provider.

Involving an expert in hard drive data recovery is very essential for your success. Therefore, it is very important to choose one that is very effective and can deliver what you need. An expert in drive recovery can never promise a 100% recovery rate whatsoever. This is because one never knows the outcome of a recovery process since there it all depends on the degree of a disk’s damage. If you come across one who promises the 100%, then probably that is not the right person to settle for. He is probably trying to advertise himself by using such a figure.

While finding a data recovery expert, consider looking at their qualifications first. Do not settle for anyone who is not qualified for this might turn out to be another disaster in itself. For they that have a website, go through it thoroughly finding all the important information you need to know about them. A great example of a California hard drive recovery expert is Hard Drive Recovery Group (http://www.harddriverecovery.org/)You should also find out about their experience and the best place to confirm this is through the reviews and feedback given by the previous clients.

Talking About DIY For Hard Drives

DIY recovery is often thought of as simple so that even regular users can do DIY data retrievaly to get the lost data back. However, you should give it a try if you are confident that you have all the skills to recover your own data as well as you understand your computer’s file and partition system. There are some complicated steps for hard disk recovery. The first step is making sure that no additional data is written to the drive after the files have been lost. When you write additional data to drive after deleting a file, there are chances of overwriting of your lost data. Hence, it becomes less likely to recover the deleted file. In the second step, boot the computer from a DOS boot disc with DOS-compatible file recovery program. The program will allow you to access all the files, on hard drive with a corrupted system, to retrieve them.

One thing you must understand is that DIY data recovery is not a completely guaranteed method to recover lost file. Therefore, it may be risky to rely on this program if your data is valuable to you. You may or may not be successful. It is not wise to risk valuable data. Therefore, the best option to retrieve valuable files is contacting a reputable computer data recovery firm.

The Process Of Drive Restoration

Hard drive recovery is a process that must be undertaken with a lot of caution since a slight mistake might make you lose all your data. Here, we shall look at two types of software that are recommended for carrying out the recovery process. Avira UnErase is one of them. It is one of the simplest file recovery programs ever designed. The first step that you will take towards using it is to install it since it has no standalone version. Avira UnErase can recover data from your hard drives, memory cards and USB drives. It supports Windows XP, Vista and 7.

The second recommended software is the Free Undelete. As its name suggests, it is free and it undeletes files that have been deleted or lost. It has an easy to use interface and even a learner can use this software without much strain. It also shows the files that are available for recovery through a “folder drill down” formula other than a long unmanageable list of files. Data can be recovered from hard drives, memory cards as well as other storage devices that are connected to your PC. Free undelete computer data recovery software supports all versions of Windows. These include Vista and XP. Free Undelete and Avira UnErase can both be downloaded from the internet for free.

Accidentally Deleted Files
Sometimes crucial files and documents get deleted from your hard disk while working on your computer or laptops. When something like this happens, it looks like a great trouble that how to get this crucial data back. There are various reasons for data loss like hard disk system failure, virus attack, etc. Whether it is mistakenly or on purpose, the main concern after such a situation is to get the erased documents back, especially when the lost data was related to your business or job. There is nothing to be troubled about, as the answer for every problem is available today. The lost information can be obtained again using computer data recovery service.

To get the erased document and files back, it is better to look for professionals who are experts in this field. The experts will help you effectively and timely in the recovery of valuable items using trusted sources. They offer instant solutions to their clients and help in avoiding huge financial loss. The information can be obtained again from different storage media using compatible software systems. Computer data recovery plays a key role in an organization.

Affordable data recovery prices are offered according to your personal requirements. It is better to go for reliable sources. This will help in reducing mistakes and fake contacts.