Volume 16, Issue 6 - November/December 2012

Open 24/7
By Manny Hondroulis

Recommendations for Technology

I’m often asked for my recommendations on different technologies so I found it appropriate to share them with you. Keep in mind that technology changes at rapid speeds, so what might be a great product today may be outdated tomorrow.

A good desktop computer is the backbone of any office’s infrastructure. It keeps our financial records, contact lists and is used for checking email and creating documents like spreadsheets and presentations. So given the importance of its job, what should you look for in a desktop? Nathan Work of Work Consultants, a company that advises small-to-medium size businesses on strategic technology decision making and then implements those solutions, writes, “As far as desktop computers go, I’m mostly vendor-agnostic; most of the parts inside desktop computers are identical. The differences are found in the accessibility and serviceability of the parts inside, the manufacturer’s customer service, and the usefulness, or better yet, the absence of vendor-installed software.”

There may be some members of your organization who are better served using a laptop, especially an outside salesperson with computing needs. When making the decision to purchase a laptop, you will need to consider other factors. Work states, “Laptops are a different story. Unlike desktop computers, laptops have to balance weight with ruggedness, battery life with screen brightness, and heat with performance—none of which matter in a desktop computer which spends its life sitting on the floor.”

Productivity Suite
I’m a big Microsoft Office user and live by Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint and Word. This suite has a large share of the office productivity market. Any new computer you purchase should be configured to include Office. If you’re intimidated by the $200 per license price tag for software you have never used, Microsoft lets you try it for free on a trial basis. If you’re looking for a free and toned down version of Office, consider using Google Docs.

It’s no secret that I’m an iPhone fan. I have written about its many benefits numerous times in my column. Currently there are three mobile carriers that support the iPhone in the United States: AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint. Not only will you use your iPhone to make telephone calls, but you’ll quickly find that it begins to organize your entire work—and personal—life, especially since it syncs up so well to your other computing devices.

It should come as no surprise that as an iPhone fan I’d recommend the iPad for your tablet needs. Essentially, the iPad is a larger version of the iPhone but does not make traditional telephone calls. Initially I was a bit reluctant in purchasing an iPad, feeling that between my iPhone and laptop all of my computing needs were sufficiently covered. Finally, I grew tired of lugging around my seven pound laptop around New York City to customer presentations and felt the need to purchase an iPad to fill the gap between a smartphone and a laptop. I haven’t put down my iPad since.

Digital Camera
A good digital camera is a must have—whether as a separate piece of equipment or as part of your smartphone. You can take pictures of installations and update your online photo gallery. So what should you look for in a digital camera? According to CNET you should be mindful of the following when making a decision: lens, sensor, media, viewfinder, batteries, flash and warranty.

Ultimately you need to be happy with the device you choose. It needs to be something that you are comfortable using. Before you make any decision, play with the device and make sure that you are not beyond your comfort zone. Be sure to do your research.

Manny Hondroulis is marketing manager for Energy Performance Distribution in Baltimore.

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