More work gets done if Net takes centre stage

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 June, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 June, 1998, 12:00am

I want to connect a modem to a telephone extension (a hunting line) instead of through a direct line. I don't want to lay direct lines or networking cables in the office. We don't spend a lot of time on the Net. It was suggested I use a converter that converts digital signals to analogue, but these are not available in most computer shops. Do you have any suggestions? NG ENG KEAT Admiralty Everything depends on the PABX to which your office phones are connected. If it is really old like the one in my office, no amount of fiddling with converters will help. In our case, we had a few possible options: upgrade the PABX to one that can handle modem connections; set up direct lines for the machines that need Internet connections; or get a leased line and connect it to the existing office network. We went for the latter as all of us needed Net access and reasonable connectivity speeds.

A friend of mine was in your position, in that only a few people in his office needed to access the Net, and only occasionally. He simply installed one direct line, hooked it up to one computer and stuck it in the middle of the office where everyone could get to it. He reasoned that putting the Net-connected computer in the middle of the office would prevent people from hogging the connection by going to, say, casino sites in Tonga or sex sites in Denmark.

If you find it costs thousands to upgrade your PABX (ask the supplier), you should consider the single direct-line option - as a temporary measure, at least. When more staff need Net access, you might consider the leased line.

I sent a PC for repair and was told a transformer had burned and the hard drive was damaged. The shop staff said they could not detect a hard drive, thus all the data inside was ruined. I have an important database inside and must retrieve it. How can I do it? JUN Hong Kong To say the data on your disk is inaccessible because the computer cannot detect it is rubbish. While your disk might be irreparably damaged, this might just be a sales ploy to get you to upgrade. Take your machine into the Digital Super Service Centre (soon to operate under the Compaq brand name) in Taikoo Shing. I always recommend this centre as it claims it can fix almost any machine. If there is any way your data can be recovered, they'll find it.