What Factors Lead To A Hard Drive Crash?

Several factors may lead to a hard drive crash. It is important to know the causes of a failure, as this will effectively boost the recovery efforts. Usually, there may be accidental impact to the computer. When this happens, the drive might get destroyed. Also, when the computer is placed in an unnecessarily hot place, the heat may end up compromising the disk. The same can be said for water which will severely hamper function as well.

imageAt other times, a hard drive crash can be caused by failure on the part of the user of the computer to use well the system. When programs or files are installed wrongly, it only means that there may be damage to the drive. When the files in the computer are corrupted, the problem may extend to affect the drive as well. Hence, malware and viruses are also culprits in this problem.

Power surges are another reason why you just might lose your hard drive. When there is a problem with the power regulation system, the fluctuations might destroy the hard drive. It therefore is important to always have backup of all the important documents in another location. This is because some of these problems may not be anticipated.

Computer owners all around the world have an idea as to the three most devastating words that they can hear about their machines: hard drive crash. If you have ever experienced this before, then you know what I am talking about. It is a situation that brings about a lot of confusion, panic, and anger, all at the same time. In simple words, it is not a scenario one would like to find themselves in, no matter what kind of information they keep on their computers. If you are one of the few people that have never experienced a hard drive crash, believe me you will at some point in time. It is inevitable, like taxes. The statistics tell a similar story, with the likelihood of such a situation happening at some time quite high. This is not to scare you though; rather it should be viewed as a precaution. Now that you know it may happen without warning, it is prudent that you take the necessary steps to ensure that it does not catch you flat footed.

A hard drive crash does not have to be devastating if you back up your data consistently to a secondary location. Even computer manufacturers preach this to their customers; back up your data.

Take A Moment To Think About Hard Disk Damage

Imagine losing a few months’ worth of data on your computers. Just thinking about it makes your head ache, right? This is what happens when your computer’s hard drive breaks down. Hard drive failure can range from simple problems like a few corrupted files to huge ones when everything getting completely wiped out. When things like these happen, there is usually no hope of replacing the data you lost. But, there are few ways to recover your data.

The first way to recover the data you lost when your hard drive crash is using data recovery software. There are lots of recovery software products available on the internet. All you have to do is choose the right one for your computer’s specifications. Some anti-virus programs also come bundled with data recovery programs. Another way is to buy a new hard drive. A hard drive crash usually means some part or even the whole hard drive has been compromised. It is usually better to replace it with a new one rather than risking more data loss. You can make your old hard drive work again, but there is the risk of it getting trashed again.

After you purchased and install your new hard drive, you should reload your computer’s operating system onto it. Then, install it as your primary hard drive and reassign the old one as your secondary hard drive. This way, you can run your computer from the new one while still being able to access the old drive. When you are done, you can attempt to recover any lost data from the secondary hard drive. All these might be confusing if you are a novice computer user so you should ask for assistance.

There are some indicators that can warn you of an impending hard drive crash. When you are keen enough, you might have a backup of all your documents so that in the event that the drive does crash, you can have a way of accessing all the information that is important to you. The first sign that the hard drive may not be in the best condition may be clicking sounds. These should not be ignored when they are heard from the internals of the computer. Closely related to this is cracking sounds. All these are a sign that the hard drive is not in the best working condition.

There might be times that the computer just shuts itself down without prompting from you. This may be an indicator that the hard drive is getting compromised. Careful steps should be taken as soon as you notice this anomaly to have the important documents to another storage location. Also, you might realize that the documents you store consistently get lost. At other times, the names under which you saved them may be altered without your knowledge. All these are signs of an impending hard drive crash and you need to seek qualified help if you notice this. Error messages when handling your files may also be a red flag.

Focusing On Logical Hard Drive Failures

In this article, we will focus on what is a logical hard drive crash, its causes, and how it can be handled. But before we get into it, it is important to differentiate between a logical drive failure and a physical failure. In physical crashes, the hard drive and all its physical components are damaged or destroyed, usually unintentionally. The damage may be caused wear and tear, electrical fault, or by falling. Wear and tear is easy to troubleshoot, as the disk will produce clicking and grinding noises during operation. In such a scenario, the computer should be shut down and be taken for repair.

Logical hard drive crash, on the other hand, occurs when the file system of operating system suffers a failure. This is attributed to viruses and malware, improper configuration, and poor shutdown procedures. While physical damage is easy to see and sometimes fix, logical damage should be handled by the experts. When the operating system or the configuration files are not working properly, an expert on the matter should be contacted. Preferring to handle it yourself may complicate the problem, which can mean data loss forever.

A logical hard drive crash is not limited to computer drives, as external drives are also prone. Recovery is usually expensive, but worth it in the long run.

A hard disk crash is a bitter experience for any computer user and it may lead to diversified problems, as a failed hard disk would cause a loss of data. However, in working with mechanical items, it is better be prepared for any emergency. Even the best of technology tends to fail at certain moments.

A hard drive breakdown is typically cause by  damage to the platters either logically or physically. Logical damage, which is also identified as a soft damage, includes track servo information error, section logical error or a system information error. Physical damage refers to a head assembly damage, comprehensive damage, sector physical damage or steering circuit damage. In a moment of a hard drive crash, part of the files in the hard disk will be saved to the recycle bin. The crashed disk should be recovered using data recovery software. MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a free software that can be downloaded for this purpose. This software provides five modules such as undelete recovery, damaged partition recovery, lost partition recovery, digital media recovery and CD/DVD recovery. It is essential to have an understanding of what you are doing before pressing the buttons. A close study of the operating system is needed and if you are not confident of your knowledge in that regard the best thing is to seek the assistance of an expert.

Of course, if your hard drive is clicking or crashing, and you need drive recovery, check http://www.harddrivedatarecovery.org/.

Causes Of Snoring And The Remedy

asnrSnoring has been considered mostly a problem that affects the men. Statistics have proven that a higher percentage of men than women suffer from snoring.  It is also believed that snoring is majorly caused by poor flow of air while breathing. This is could be true; however, there are more causes to this condition.  One of the causes is age. As one gets beyond middle age, the airway gets smaller causing poor flow of air hence restrained breathing causing snoring. Besides, the muscle tone on your throat increases. This can be prevented by use of a stop snoring pillow or even snoring mouthpieces. It offers the balance on the airway reducing rate of snoring in the life of a man or woman. Being overweight is also one of the causes of snoring. The weight causes fatty tissues on the nasal area which contribute to a poor muscle tone leading to snoring. Another cause could be a poor sleeping posture.  This can be corrected through use of a stop snoring pillow. This pillow has been made in a way to give you a comfortable sleeping posture which encourages a clear airway as you sleep. Additionally, the stop snoring pillow has been made to have free airflow where you place your head. This encourages good breathing preventing snoring.

Stop Snoring Pillows For People Who Sleep On Their Back

If you are suffering from snoring in bed, you would consider the stop snoring pillow a great fit. You can now cure this problem by simply using stop snoring pillow without taking assistance of any other anti-snoring aids. The pillow works in many different ways helping users to easily get rid of the snoring problem. It is manufactured from memory foam which has the ability to retain its shape even after it is deformed. Mostly, people snore when they are sleeping or lying on their backs. Why? Let me try to explain it in medical terms. When you sleep on your back, the jaws fall into a specific position which obstructs the normal airflow. When the airflow is obstructed, the sound of snoring occurs from the throat. Stop snoring pillows work in a very simple manner. Stop snoring mouthpieces work similarly, but much better because they offer good control (read here). They encourage an optimum jaw position when are lying on your back to avoid the obstruction of airflow. Meanwhile, there are some types of stop snoring pillows that actually discourage you from sleeping on your back at all. Such pillows require their user to sleep on their side. It is up to you which type of pillows you prefer. In case, you are habitual of sleeping on your back, you should go for stop snoring pillows made from memory foam.

Hospitality Design Stays Strong

Of the 100 Hotel & Restaurant Giants, 82 are primarily interior design firms, seven are architecture firms, four are hotel departments, one is purchasing firm, and six classified themselves as “others.” Twelve firms actually derive more income from purchasing efforts than from design efforts. The average firm gets 84 percent of its fees from hospitality work, two percent higher than last year.

These firms installed 70,000 guest rooms this year, 25 percent less than last year; 180,000 restaurant seats, 40 percent less than last year; and 560,000 function room seats, half as many as last year. But common area space completed was ten percent more this year than last. Overall, the amount of work completed this year was substantially less than last year and even less than the year before.

As usual, costs continue to rise. Hotel costs rose this year, around eight percent more than last year. New hotel work rose to over $130 per sq. ft., with about $45 of that for furnishings and $87 for construction.

Renovated hotel costs were substantially less, but five percent more than last year; the total cost was over $39 per sq.ft. for furnishings and $65 for construction. Almost everything else rose along with the rate of inflation. New restaurants cost almost $54 per sq.ft. for furnishings and over $96 for construction. Renovated restaurants costs $53 per sq. ft. for furnishings and $80 for construction. The cost of common spaces was about $108 per sq. ft., while guest rooms cost nearly $61 and function rooms $75.

The average fee for public spaces in dollars per rentable sq. ft. stayed about the same this year, $4.78 versus $4.70 last year. But fees for rooms went up slightly, from $2.23 to $2.52 per sq. ft. And fees for restaurants went up even more, from $5.58 to $6.36 per sq. ft.

Fees in terms of percentage of work in place were more variable. The average fee for public spaces went from 11.3 to 10.3 percent; for rooms the average rose from 6.7 to 7.7 percent and for restaurants the average fee stayed almost the same, 12.0 to 12.1 percent (CHART THREE).

Confusing the issue even further, the average “fair” fees for hospitality work expressed in dollars per hour rose strongly for all kinds of work (CHART FOUR). The billing rates for public spaces rose from $68.99 to $77.78 per hour; for restaurants it rose from $69.29 to $78.33.

This would imply that the average billing rate per hour should have risen substantially, which is true. Notable were increases ranging from a low of seven percent for senior drafters and project designers to a high of over 30 percent for CADD operators. Increases averaged between 10 and 15 percent for project managers, job captains, junior drafters, senior designers and junior designers (CHART FIVE).

Those results, in turn, suggest that salaries have risen quite strongly this year. They have, but less so and more uniformly. Staying about the same, or less than five percent more than last year, were project managers, senior drafters, project designers, junior designers and non-billable staff. Those enjoying between five and 15 percent were job captains and junior drafters. Those most gratified since last year were marketing people, up 25 percent, and CADD operators, up 33 percent.

If billing rates rise more sharply overall than salaries, the implication is that the multiple (the number that multiplies the salaries-plus-fringes to generate a billing rate that also covers overhead) is rising. Typically, billing rates are 2.6 times the direct personnel expense (salaries plus fringes). This year’s Hotel & Restaurant Giants are averaging 2.8.

Total employment rose just slightly from 2,322 staff members last year to 2,381 this year. The only notable changes in percentage of staff were the reduction of non-billable members, from 20 to 18 percent, and the doubling of the marketing staff, from three to six percent. It is probable that the increased marketing costs resulted in a higher multiple, as delineated above.

The average use of consultants slipped somewhat this year with only five (lighting, food, art, purchasing and audio/visual) used in more than ten percent of the projects.

The special areas that we track each year increased significantly. Conference centers grew from 45 to 51 percent of all projects, while physical fitness installations increased from 41 to 50 percent and business services doubled from 21 to 43 percent. Also, 18% of hotel facilities ended up with entirely new point of sale configurations. Not surprisingly, considering the awareness of the need for them, day care centers shot up from three to eight percent.

Some 58 percent of hospitality work this year was new work, compared to last year’s figure of 56 percent. Continuing a trend, these firms were hired even more often by top management than last year, up from 62 to 64 percent. And fewer jobs this year were determined by the lowest bid, 36 versus 39 percent.

The firms most respected by their peers are: Hirsch/Bedner & Associates in Santa Monica, California (#1 again this year on the following listing); James Northcutt in Los Angeles (#21); Frank Nicholson in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Trisha Wilson of Wilson & Associates in Dallas (#5); and Pat Kuleto in California and New York. Among some of the installations most admired by this year’s Hotel & Restaurant firms were: Postrio restaurant in San Francisco; the Mirage Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas; and two Four Seasons installations, one in Santa Barbara (see Interior Design, February 1990) and the other in Chicago.

Ideas For Staying In Florida

Apalachicola Is the center of a relatively hard-to-reach coastal region in the eastern Panhandle which is, ironically, prime for vacationing because little has been done for tourists. What has been, on tawdry St. shores on its western and northern sides which ebb into blue waters. Families vacation in a string of little towns whose short and curving streets slow such traffic as eddies toward land’s end. Children can safely ride bikes here. Action peaks at the Sandbar, where the person who comes closest to guessing when the sun will set is rewarded with a bottle of champagne. Otherwise, vacationers divert themselves with excursions to the wildlife sanctuary on Egmont Key or to Sarasota to visit the museums and theater for which that city is famous. A good place to stay is Harrington House, back at the beach. This stylishly casual retreat shows itself attentive to details (for example, its seven rooms all have floral porcelain doorknobs) and to the big picture as well (the living room has a twenty-foot-high peaked ceiling and a massive fireplace for warming up on chill nights).

It’s a beauty.

Three or four keys farther south is narrow, seven-mile-long Manasota Key, its winding, canopied road coming out here and there spectacularly along open gulf. This is a quiet, residential area. The people who come to visit tend to want to go offshore-fishing by day and to stroll the beach barefoot by night. The key’s Manasota Beach Club has fifteen cottages, some of which have been on the beach since the early 1900s. There are bocci and tennis courts, over which coastal forest arches. There are walking trails and bayside docks. Year after year Manasota Key is blessedly left unnamed on state highway maps.

Also consider staying inland, in the central highlands. To the north of Lake Wales the economy is shifting from citrus groves to motor homes: freezes have recently destroyed crops, and the rising value of land around Disney World is helping to replace the trees with retirees. But south along Alternate 27-the Scenic Highway, as it’s called-you can find another world. On Crooked Lake, near the tidy college town of Babson Park, Robert and Martha Wetzel operate Hillcrest Lodge, as they have for forty-four winters. Wetzel kids return every winter to help, bringing along the grandchildren and great-grandchildren; they’re joined by college students from across the lake. Generations of guests return too, many for weeks at a time, to slip into slow motion. By day people swim in the lake (one of the few in central Florida that are still clean enough for swimming), fish for bass, and sail. Highlands Hammock State Park-among Florida’s crown jewels-is half an hour south. Closer, to the north, are Cypress Gardens, the Bok Singing Tower, and the site of the well-known Black Hills Passion Play, which is performed every winter. Evenings, guests socialize in the living room by the fire, and often come to feel like part of the family. If you stay long enough and the quiet gets to you, Disney World is only an hour north.

Even those who hanker after a city vacation or even business travelers with specific needs can catch something of the spirit of an older Florida by staying at a congenial inn. In the Miami area I recommend three. Hotel Place St. Michel is low-rise, vine-covered, Mediterranean-1920s-style-now surrounded by the glass-and-steel towers of Coral Gables. Downtown, Sallye Jude, a prominent preservationist, has restored four boardinghouses of pre-First World War vintage and renamed them the Miami River Inn. Across the street inter-island freighters whistle signals to bridgetenders along the little five-mlie working river. In swank Bay Harbor Islands Sandy Lankler has fashioned the Bay Harbor Inn out of buildings as old as the town-they date from 1945. Lankler, who grew up in Cortland, New York, remembers the old hotel there as the center of town life.

Even around Disney World there are alternatives to cookie-cutter hotels and motels. The Courtyard at Lake Lucerne, in the Lake Cherokee Historic District, includes Orlando’s oldest building (the Norment-Parry Inn, 1866), one of three that make up the inn and that are now linked by a courtyard. In neighboring Winter Park the restoration, some years ago, of the 1920s Hamilton Hotel as the Park Plaza induced a revival of the neglected south end of Park Avenue, now one of Florida’s prestigious shopping streets. The two-story hotel has a wholly European feeling, from the unpretentious latch at the door of the wine-dark lobby to the rooms, which make you feel birthday-party happy. Nearby is the five-room Fortnightly Inn, in a grand house built by a doctor and officer of The Fortnightly Club, Winter Park’s first literary organization.

Should you have business in Jacksonville or be passing through, alternatives beckon there, too. Two bed-and-breakfasts are now open in historic Riverside. The Willows is fondly Mediterranean, and its rooms are furnished with antiques that date as far back as the Middle Ages. The guest quarters of the House on Cherry Street are embellished with collections of duck decoys, clocks, and handloomed Pennsylvania coverlets. In reviving Springfield, which is a demonstration neighborhood of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Archibald flaunts uninhibited paisley wallpapers next to parson-proper oak wainscoting.

South of Jacksonville, in Orange Park, where the St. Johns River flows three miles wide, Frederica Massee has restored the estate of Caleb johnson (the founder of Palmolive Soap), reworking its palatial aspect into something friendlier with pools, a historic house that was barged downriver to be redeemed as a clubby bar, and a restaurant in a fan-windowed loggia. The result is named The Club Continental. All seven of its second-story suites overlook riverfront gardens, barely downstream from Mandarin-alas, today the domain of subdividers. Mrs. Stowe would feel at home at Massee’s establishment and these days might write for distant readers less innocently, more urgently.

EuroDisney Takes Center Stage

It’s worth remembering that Mickey and his crew are children of the Depression and will seem out of place and under-dressed in Euro Disneyland’s hotel area, an environment decorated with the hyper-sophisticated ironies of Post-Modern design. What distinguishes some of these hotels is their gawking obeisance to the monied world of Newport, New York City of the 1920s, and the beaches of Rio, with the slums wished away. By taking the facades of wealth and attaching them to conventional Ramada-like hotels, Eisner’s architects have made gawking at the rich a new Disney attraction. Stay a night in a mock-exclusive hotel, the way American teenagers, for a high price, go to a mock-exclusive club like the Hard Rock Cafe. Disney invention is overwhelmed by the generic.

The American sense of inferiority before European culture also emerges in Euro Disneyland’s hotels. Why are we dressing up again in the way Daniel Burnham, a hundred years ago, clad Chicago as the White City to impress visiting Europeans? Euro Disneyland’s use of architecture is more a version of American boosterism than enlightened corporate patronage, in the way it existed in Renaissance Florence or in recent decades in Columbus, Indiana. Disney’s effect on real building may be negligible, but its influence on marketing will be great. Serious architects are being used chiefly for their celebrity and market value, to sell a product just as “uncompromising” Lillian Hellman modeled a mink coat. How else can we explain the choice of architects as diverse as Robert Stern, whose hotels are frankly historicist, and Frank Gehry, whose relatively modest Entertainment Center resists revivalism. Culture here is being commodified, sold, and traded, the way Disney’s intricate, hand-colored drawings for animated cartoons, once thrown out by the truckload, are now offered for thousands of dollars at international auction houses. The actual experience of Disney as a retreat or place apart is compromised and treated as a brand name.

Disney’s social climbing has been part of a prudent business strategy carried out over a number of years. Under Michael Eisner, whose leadership resuscitated a corporation without direction, Mickey has consistently gone upscale. The Mouse, who 30 years ago lent his ears to a high-spirited but goofy television show for kids, has them now appropriated for a doorway in a flashy new building at Disney World by Arata Isozaki. Mickey has proved to be big business, and not just for kids.

Walt Disney made a reputation and fortune by drawing flat cartoon images and setting them into motion. Slightly altering the details of each image, he flipped them under bright lights and recorded the results. He animated the static world of newspaper comics and managed to create a universe of characters who have provided great pleasure and won remarkable devotion. In the Mid-1950s, when he first built a town to transform his cartoon creations three-dimensionally, he carefully chose a neutral site that would have little competition from tawdry Hollywood or Los Angeles’s small and already derelict downtown.

Orange County presented no dissonance for Disney’s brilliant blend of the fantastic, like Tomorrowland, and the nostalgic, like Main Street. Architecture wasn’t needed for the skin-thin backlot illusions. All who entered willingly suspended disbelief if only to keep eyes fixed forward so as not to see the incongruous gas station signs and palm trees behind the Matterhorn. Disney peopled a series of improbable landscapes with the happy characters of his own imagination, a classless, racially homogenized America as inoffensive as a Jimmy Stewart movie. His formula owes its success, in large part, to the fact that it came as close as sprawling Los Angeles had ever come to the density and excitement of a real city: It did not have to compete with Paris down the road.

Unlike the international architects hired to build Euro Disneyland, Walt Disney did not use irony. He seemed to understand intuitively that it would undermine the fragile balance between illusion and realism, which kept his operation going. Midwestern in its compactness and fetish for order, Disneyland met the public’s appetite for escape, community, and an unthreatening sense of place. Disney provided a displaced urban setting for a suburban generation threatened by the disorder and violence of the post-war city. His buildings and streets had the reduced scale of movie sets, not to accommodate the camera, but to satisfy the visitor’s eye. The careful manipulations of scale made certain that visitors would not take on too much too fast or be overwhelmed. Everything was happily mechanized. Visitors did not map their own path through the park as they might on a walk in a real city or a visit to the zoo or museum. Experience itself was predigested and then parceled out in easily swallowed doses. No one was threatened or permitted to escape the system. Even litter was abolished. Drop a gum wrapper and a smiling uniformed worker snatched it from the dean street with the snapping jaws of his butler’s helper. The total environment with its passion for order made adults as pliable as children. Walt Disney also seemed to intuit the potentially suffocating nature of his enterprise. In compensation for the totalitarian control that he felt was necessary to make the place function, he planned for disorder. Disney replaced the chanciness of modern urban life with futuristic rides and funhouse boat trips. All surprises occurred in the dark. Experiences were safe, coming predictably, one at a time, like the steady crawl of celluloid between the sprockets of a projector.

Walt keeps rockin’!

Ever since the 19th Century, when educational planners divided the study of architecture into the Ecole des Beaux Arts and the polytechniques, sundering design from function, architects have been prone to mistake image for substance. Making historical facades at Euro Disneyland, in the form of images from the wild West or the monied East, divorces plan from program and breaks with the founder’s original intention to create a compelling alternate city. What Euro Disneyland calls its “scenographic” organization for the hotels is unfortunately just a self-aggrandizing metaphor. Its strong associations with the making of movies serves as slick cover for yet another ad hoc development of another anonymous exurban property. Skimming America for its regional identities to serve as elevations for grand hotels that remain pedestrian in section has nothing of the back-lot wonder of the less grand and less self-conscious amusement park. By nourishing the imagination without pandering to the avariciousness of people who see pleasure only in terms of the images of power and exclusivity, Walt Disney created his own kind of authenticity. Euro Disneyland’s hotels and their architects might do well to try to imitate that model. Ross Miller

American Exotica

Disney has attracted some of the deans of High Architecture Robert A.M. Stem, Michael Graves, Antoine Predock, and Frank 0. Gehry, for example to the world’s most ambitious amusement park, where they’ll provide Europe’s version of the Magic Kingdom with a resort of 4688 hotel rooms and assorted nightspots. The French architect Antoine Grumbach has also been hired by Disney to design the Sequoia Lodge, inspired by America’s national parks, but it is not illustrated here). These hotels show the challenges of building for the mass tourist market: Here, there’s little salvation for mediocre designs, but on the other hand, the setting helps strong schemes become more dynamic.

Stern, Graves, Gehry, along with Tigerman McCurry, and Venturi Scott Brown Associates, developed the resort site plan in accordance with Disney’s value system: Functional efficiency and the entertainment quotient are equally important. The hotels are to be at once whimsical and profitable; the resort will be both a playground and a commodity to be marketed to the entire Continent.

In some ways, Disney’s hotels validate the design-by-packaging method the company has always pursued: Disney asked the architects to give their hotels themes inspired by American places, namely Newport, Rhode Island, New York City, the Western Frontier, and the Southwest. Given their tight budgets and the rigid functional issues of hotel design, some of the architects relied on associative images to furnish a veneer of architectural quality. Others told Disney they had no interest in representative architecture and instead relied on landscape design or abstract forms for impact. In both cases, Disney’s bottom line calls for visual dramatics. During these video-saturated times, people associate entertainment with a surfeit of images and special effects. In a couple of projects, we find innovative spatial sequences or structures of impressive ingenuity. But otherwise, Euro Disneyland’s resort is not a resounding chapter in the annals of architectural patronage.

Robert A.M. Stem’s Newport Bay Club (1, 2) and Michael Graves’s Hotel New York (3), sited at opposite ends of Lake America, show the difficulties of reconciling associative images with large modern hotels. The Shingle Style, one of Stern’s most favored architectural resources, inspired a structure with a monumental colonnade in front and a rambling lakefront modulated by gambrel roofs. While Stem’s architectural allusions are gracious, the scale of his facades seem forced – an 1100-room hotel does not readily accommodate domestic motifs.

When Michael Graves designed the Hotel New York, he knew that it would be futile to recreate a fragment of Manhattan on his open site. Instead, he interpreted several of the city’s buildings in a hotel of three parts, each of which recalls a different aspect of Manhattan. The eight-story core emulates five midtown high rises; three adjacent wings represent Gramercy Park, and the low-rise wing opposite “Central Park” evokes the brownstones that pervade the city. Meanwhile, the pos system setup is truly exemplary – it enables superior business management for all parts of the retail environment. It succeeds in breaking the large structure into more manageable components, but with its minimal detailing and park-like setting, the hotel’s allusions to Manhattan seem rather vague. It may succeed as a lyrical collage of buildings, but its “New York” traits are literally nominal.

Stern describes his second hotel at Euro Disneyland, the Cheyenne (4, 5), as a place where “the building not the vessel for entertainment; instead the building is the entertainment.” It recreates the film set of a Western: Hotel rooms will be distributed among buildings that line pedestrian streets. Though it is probably not Stern’s intention, this hotel could be the most sardonic work of architecture at the resort – an implication that place-making amounts to nothing more than installing programmed space behind false fronts. On the other hand, stage-set architecture may be the ultimate Disney hotel – a place where people can conjure their own Wild West fantasies.

It seems at once appropriate and ironic for Disney to ask Antoine Predock to design the Santa Fe Hotel 6): While he is one of the leading architects of the Southwest, Predock is also one of our most site-specific designers. Paradoxically, he had to consider his hotel site a tabula rasa, and interpret a landscape that exists in another hemisphere. He responded thoughtfully, h five Discovery Trails, where plantings, sculpture, and artifacts (including an “abandoned” car) create a series of thematic courtyards. These lyrical vignettes of the Southwest are inspired by the films of Wim Wenders, as well as personal recall; they suggest that media images can enrich, rather than trivialize the identity of a place. The hotel, a collection of castin-place concrete buildings, Will be a neutral backdrop to the trails, with references to roadside motels of the open desert and plains. A drive-in movie screen, an icon from rural America, will be the Santa Fe’s frontispiece.

Traveling With Laptops

One of the major benefits of laptop computers is that users can maintain contact with E-mail and other data services while traveling. To this end, most laptops are equipped with internal modems that add no bulk and little weight to the package.

This high-tech equipment, however, can be laid low by a very low-tech problem: how to connect the modem to the phone system in the absence of modular RJ-11 phone jacks.

Although the situation is gradually improving, too many hotels still do not connect their guest-room phones with modular jacks.

The first choice is hotels that cater to the modern business traveler by providing phones with additional jacks on the side labeled “data port.” These jacks let a hotel guest connect a modem without unplugging any cables. the phone and modem both can be left connected to the line, and the phone can pick up incoming calls if the modem is on the hook.

If the phone has only one modular jack, connecting the modem requires merely moving that line from the jack on the phone to the jack on the modem. If the line disappears into the phone with no visible means of connection, check whether there is a jack where the line comes out of the wall. The jack may be deeply recessed, requiring the use of a small-blade screwdriver to depress the release catch.

Problems arise if there are no jacks at either end of the line. There are a number of solutions, each requiring an increasing amount of disassembly of equipment.

The simplest means of connection is with an acoustic coupler. The first problem is that most such devices are limited to a line speed of 300 bps, which makes them practical for sending only a small number of short text messages. Secondly, couplers do not work with all modems. External modems with built-in couplers are available, but that means carrying additional equipment, thus negating the major advantage of a laptop–compactness.

Acoustic couplers are available from most Radio Shack stores and from Novatek Corp. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., which also offers acoustically coupled external modems.

Any other type of connection requires a patch cord with a modular plug at one end and alligator clips at the other. Cords can be purchased with alligator clips already attached, or with spade lugs to which you can attach clips. If you take the latter approach, only the red and green wires need clips on them; the other two are not used.

A relatively painless way of connecting this cord is via the mouthpiece. Unscrew the mouthpiece cover from the telephone handset and remove the microphone (it is not attached). In the resulting cavity will be two spring-steel terminals; attach an alligator clip to each of them and plug the modular connector into the modem.

This connection does not allow auto-dialing, so you must dial the telephone number manually. When the remote system answers, direct your modem to pick up the line in originate mode (for Hayes-compatible modems, issue the ATD command without a phone number).

The requirement for dialing manually and controlling the modem makes this method impractical for automated communications programs such as Lotus Development corp.’s Lotus Express or CompuServe Inc.’s Autosig and TAPCIS.

If the phone line is attached to a terminal block at the wall, you can remove the block’s cover and attach the patch cord’s alligator clips to the terminals. Now you have a fully functional modular connection for your modem.

Wall-mounted phones, like the ones in some hotel bathrooms, are often connected through modular jacks. Some are actually hooked right into the hotel’s pos software, so that you are billed for your calls right away. Often you can remove the phone from its mount without unscrewing it; underneath you might find a jack or a terminal block.

If none of the above methods are possible, the final escalation in the connection war requires disassembling the phone. On most traditionally shaped instruments, the cover screws are located under the paper strip holding the telephone number; getting to them requires removing the clear plastic cover strip.

Once the cover is off, you can attach the patch cord’s alligator clips to the terminals to which the incoming red and green wires are connected. The most difficult part of this method is holding down the phone’s switch-hook: With the case removed, there is no cradle for the handset to lie on and depress the switch-hook. Try taping it down with strong adhesive tape.

The best way to avoid all these hassles, of course, is to insist on staying only in hotels that provide appropriate communications facilities. But it pays to be prepared to fashion your own connections.

Portable computer users who use their systems extensively on the road and need to maintain contact with headquarters via electronic mail or other data connections are often forced to become experts at wiring their modems into the hotel’s or motel’s phone system. While many business-oriented hotel chains now have modems or at least data lines in their rooms, many other hotels do not. Of the hotels that do not provide separate data plugs, some at least have traditional phone jacks into which business travelers can plug their laptops. However, in many worst-case scenarios hotel phones have no jacks at either end of the line. In these situations, travelers can resort to acoustic couplers, but most are limited to transmission speeds of 300bps. Another solution is to use a patch cord with alligator clips attached to the wires in the telephone’s mouthpiece.

From The “It Never Happened” Files: IKEA Inn?

Interesting press release found while checking the archives. Really funny!

IKEA moves into new budget-hotel chain

The furniture emporium will have a go at the lodging business in Canada, with plans to expand to the U.S.

Since 1985, IKEA’s expansion in the U.S. has been slow but splashy. The Swedish furniture retailer only has six stores, but they are meccas for young people in search of style and value. Now, as demographics and economics change, IKEA wants to be more things to more consumers.

The company last week announced a joint venture with Allegiance Capitol Holdings, a Montreal hotelier, to launch a chain of 100 mid-priced hotels. Called Sweden Inn, the chain will be furnished and promoted by IKEA. The first hotel will open in Canada next spring.

Marketers at Sweden Inn hope IKEA’s financial resources and marketing savvy will carry them through the slump in the North American lodging industry. And the retailer can extend its image to a broader base of consumers. The biggest market for furniture, first-time buyers, has been shrinking. And so has the economy.

“Each room at a Sweden Inn is a potential showroom of IKEA furniture,” says Robin Conners, executive vice president of Sweden Inn and Allegiance. “You can’t get much better advertising than that.”

The hotel chain will follow the IKEA philosophy of selling a standardized product with better quality and lower prices than competitors. Nightly rates will be about $70. But each hotel will have a gym with a Swedish sauna, a conference center and a Swedish restaurant and sweetshop. The chain has also ordered a number of specifically configured pos systems for its individual locations. The chain plans to target both businesspeople and families.

The new chain will borrow from IKEA’s aggressive marketing tactics, which helped the retailer’s 1989 sales grow 34% to $130 million. After the first one opens in Montreal, Sweden Inn plans future hotels near IKEA stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, California and Washington, D.C. Regular customers will get discounted rates.

IKEA will advertise the new chain in its catalogues. The company puts out 65 million a year. Print and billboard ads are expected to break in early spring. The hotel will put IKEA catalogues in each room, allowing the retailer to reach the elusive business market.

The Paramount Hotel

The Paramount (with the word hotel conspicuously absent from its name) would be more than a place to sleep. And no surprise given Schrager’s background in defining the quintessential New York night life during the late ’70s and early ’80s with both Studio 54 and the Palladium. The Paramount, as his mind’s eye saw it, would offer the best of services by bringing in some of the acknowledged tastemakers of their fields: Brian McNally would open a restaurant; Dean & Deluca, a branch of their gastronomie; Hubert Boukobca of the Parisian night club Les Bains Douches, a similar version. Imagine, says Schrager with all the enthusiasm as if this had been his first project, being able to ask the concierge where is the best restaurant in New York City and where is the club of the moment and having it all right here. “The Paramount is meant to blur the distinction between different entertainment spaces.” Integral to the concept was the role intended for the lobby. It would be treated not as a passthrough on the way in or out of the hotel, but as a destination place of its own for New Yorkers and out-of-towners alike. High on the glamour quotient, the lobby was conceived as analogous to salons of the past where friends would meet for conversation, cocktails or whatever. It all comes from the Normandie, says Schrager, showing us a large picture of the luxury liner in an office whose walls are covered with magazine pages of fashion shots, interiors, furnishings, gossip tidbits or anything else that might pique the interest of this man who has positioned himself on the cutting edge of style.

For the Paramount’s renovation, configuration and room count (610) would remain basically intact. The lobby, an impressive volume with 22-ft.-high ceiling and 4,500-sq.-ft. area, was razed and rebuilt. Here, Starck pulled out all the stops. The lobby is entered from an anteroom or so-called decompression chamber marking a transition from the chaotic streetscape to the elegance inside. In true Starck style, this first encounter with the hotel prepares one for the unanticipated, for the marble-faced vestibule is detailed with lighted niches and individual roses seemingly growing from within the wall. The lobby proper is simultaneously grand yet intimate in scale, thanks to the manner in which seating is arranged in small conversation-encouraging groups smack in the center of the space. Here too, the seating pieces represent a departure from the expected. There is no collection of Starck-designed chairs. Instead, Schrager and the designer collected off-beat pieces during trips to Europe; there is seating by Marco Zanuso and Franco Albini of Italy, Jean-Michel Frank of France, Antoni Gaudi and Carlos Riart of Spain, Jasper Morrison of England and Mark Newson of Australia. “Wouldn’t it be great,” Schrager recalls himself saying, “to have a collection that would be more sophisticated than the obvious?”

Much has been said of the lobby’s grand gesture–an off-center, canted stairway framed by a platinum-leafed wall on one side and a glass sheet railing on the other. Glamorous it is, and it also hints at a touch of danger given the slightly canted orientation. Yet as impressive as this stairway is, other details are equally worthy of note. The three elevator doors open to reveal the interior of each cab lighted with a different colored glow. “The elevator treatment cost only $1,400,” comments Schrager, “but it’s not about money. It’s about style and theatricality.” Then there are Starck’s whimsical postcard stand at the international newsstand, his full-height carved wooden vases for reeds, and the very human touch of small occasional tables with reading lamps and telephones. Adding another 3,000 sq. ft. to the public space is the newly built mezzanine, where framed seating groups, fronted by a glass railing, provide ideal people-watching posts from a stance just removed from center stage. The mezzanine also functions as the lobby bar.

Moving to guest rooms, Starck was faced with severely limited quarters. Rooms average 160 sq. ft. with another 35 sq. ft. for a foyer and 35 to 50 sq. ft. for baths. But small size and style are not mutually exclusive, as Starck proved, with all the requisite hotel room elements provided. The pair of bedside tables consists of tiered constructions of metal, marble and laminate, and incorporates both lighting and a telephone stand. Placed in a corner is the television armoire whose doors, when closed, form a small oculus that leaves visible the flickering of the turned-on set behind. A white writing table bears a distinctly Starckian stamp as does the slightly underscaled upholstered chair. Inspiration for the custom lighting fixtures came from a Brancusi sculpture seen at the Guggenheim museum in Venice. Pragmatically, the fixtures make use of existing electrical outlets; to address wiring needs, moldings were added. Most unusual, of course, is the headboard, a framed silkscreen of a detail from Vermeer’s Lacemaker. The painting, says Schrager, was chosen by himself and Starck on a trip through the Louvre. Of the subject, Schrager comments, “We thought it irreverent and funny to have someone looking over you.” Too, they wanted an Old Master’s work, but not an obvious choice with mass appeal. The single room rate, by the way, is from $90 to $110.

“We’re trying to package an image; we’re looking to create a magic moment…in a new kind of gathering place,” says Schrager of his and Starck’s efforts. “The details count; I’m not sure which one is most important, I think they all are.” Finally, Schrager says, the Paramount is an attempt “to capture the moment, and it’s not about economics and interest rates although the Paramount is a response to all this. I’m really trying to see which way the wind is blowing and anticipate what people want. The Paramount is the next generation of hotels.”

Traveling Disabled: It Gets No Easier

If you don’t laugh, you’ll commit suicide or cry.” This caller was jokingly relating an experience she had recently when she stayed in a motel that was being billed as accessible. At one point she said she was ready to go to the bathroom outside because she had to go so bad but couldn’t transfer to the toilet. “What they called accessible was bars on the toilet,” she said. “Can you imagine trying to transfer from a wheelchair to a toilet with bars on it?” she asked.” “My husband is a big man and to get into the tub, he had to straddle the bars on the toilet and step over.” She went on to relay the story about how they had to take the hinges off the bathroom door so she could get in.

This is the kind of situation that Donald England of Travelac would like to eliminate. He’s not looking for the “ultimate” handicapped room because he claims there is no such thing, but instead would like to provide information so people can “pick and choose” what they need.

Disabled travelers continue to face challenges.

To this end, he, personally, has visited 183 hotels from Hawaii to Tel Aviv so he can provide detailed data sheets for disabled travelers. England believes that when you request a handicapped room it is not a “preference” request such as a sea view but a “necessity.”

In another magazine there was an article about accessible motel rooms. However, England says that others who try to promote the idea of accessible rooms are trying to sell the idea of certain products, such as grab bars. He also says while the book put together by the Hotel/Motel Association and the Paralyzed Veterans of America that lists standards for accessible hotel rooms is a good resource, it is strictly on a voluntary basis as far as hotels go.

Don is proposing a business proposition for hotels that would be similar to a franchise. Hotels would pay him a fee to attract a market. He feels this is the only way there will be any set standards used, which provide a reliable means to select a place to stay that would accommodate “particular” needs.

Don says that there’s always been, “Excuse us, [disabled] but we have problem.” He says both disabled individuals and hotels have a problem — there’s a problem with consistency.

England would like to establish some standards for hotels/lodgings which would display a symbol easily recognized as being accessible. In addition to design standards the following would be required:

1. The ability of the hotel staff to tell what is being offered. They would know whether the bathroom doos is 32″ or 36″ wide. Don thinks this is as important as the physical aspect of accessibility.

2. Ability of the hotel staff to deal with disabled people (some individuals have not had much experience and are uncomfortable in this situation.)

3. Set rooms aside as more than just “convenience” rooms. If reservations are made — these rooms should be held until arrival if reservation is guaranteed.

Don has visited hotels personally because even friends can come up with different descriptions of an accessible room. He said a new hotel in Hawaii is advertising it has sixteen disabled rooms. But upon visiting the hotel Don found that the sinks were shrouded. “An ambulatory person might not have a problem with this but a person using a wheelchair would find it difficult to use the sink,” England said. He did bring this to the attention of hotel management.

“There is also a problem with the 17-19″ commode that the American ANSI standards specify as accessible,” he continued. “This causes problems for some people. A better solution would be a regular/standard commode with the addition of a padded seat.”

Don says his proposal is a “win win” proposition for hotels. The market is there, and he also suggests that the hotel pos software be configured directly to the disabled customer. He does not feel they are reaching the market that is there. He feels he can attract disabled travelers and convince those who have had bad experiences to try again.

Don says he has to begin at the chain level, i.e., Holiday Inn, Super 8, etc. Ironically his first sell has been overseas. Two hotels in London and Amsterdam will join the program in early 1991 and will display the Travelac symbol so disabled travelers will know they are accessible. He said it was only after booking one of the rooms that he found it had a roll-in shower. “This aspect was not even mentioned to me,” he said. “This would be a real selling point to a disabled market.

“Hotels don’t see the demand for accessible rooms,” Don said. “But the market is there and they need to communicate what they have available.”