More options for people who take their business
wherever they go
Wireless laptops, hands free phones, portable
by Alan Zisman (c)
2002 First published in Business in
Vancouver , Issue #657 May 28- June 3, 2002
wireless revolution has been slow to deliver, but it is nevertheless
getting easier to stay connected. And for those roadshow presentations,
you no longer need to dim the lights and squint. Here are some options
for people who spend more time on the road than in the office.
wireless lifestyle has been more discussed than put into practice, but Microcell
is helping bring it one step closer to reality. Its Fido
service now provides 56 kbps data service using a Novatel Wireless
Merlin G100 wireless PC Card modem, for notebooks running Windows
98 or above, and for Windows CE and Pocket PC 2002 personal digital
and GPRS wireless communication standards, Fido promises North
America-wide access, through Fido's U.S. roaming partner VoiceStream
Wireless. Wireless access promises easy access to e-mail and the
Web from airports, hotels or offices in most major cities. The 56 kbps
speed, similar to a land-line dial-up modem, is faster than previous
generations of data transmission. If GPRS isn't available, the modem
automatically falls back to the slower (14.4 kbps) but more widely
available GSM standard. Moreover, like wired cable or ADSL broadband
connections, GPRS is "always on." Users can access e-mail or the Web as
desired, without having to wait to make a dial-up connection.
PC Card costs $525. Customers who sign-on with Fido until June 30 are
offered one year of unlimited data transmission (including U.S.
roaming) for $50 a month. Other plans, including bundles of data and
voice service are available. Because GPRS is always on, billing is
based on volume of data transmitted rather than time connected.
Hands-free (www.hands-free.ca) distributes a
series of car mounting-systems for notebooks, PDAs, and cell phones,
aimed at making it easier to take your business on the road, without
having to drill holes in your car There are a variety of styles for
different model cars and technology gadgets made by the Swedish Brodit
AB. The model for my Handspring Visor installed easily in a
variety of locations in my Ford Escort. Prices start at $35. The
company warns customers not to use their notebooks, PDAs, or other
digital companions when driving.
show on the road
Up until now, digital projector sales have mostly been
limited to large corporations. Epson, better-known for its
printers, is offering one of the first digital projectors to move out
of corporate boardrooms onto the shelves of mass market electronics
retailers. Their PowerLite 51c (about $3,000) is compatible
with PCs and Macs. Its ample resolution makes it possible to project
even in a lit room, and it comes in a portable, 3 kg package.
offerings from Epson include its award-winning Stylus C80
inkjet printer (about $250), which offers excellent print quality, fast
speeds, and Mac and PC compatibility. The company's DuraBrite
ink is fade and water-resistant, making it a good choice when printing
text and images that you need to keep. Because it doesn't bleed through
paper, it's usable for double-sided printing. The base model has spun
off two higher-priced siblings with special capabilities for small
office networks: the Stylus C80N (about $450) includes a
built-in 10/100 Mbps Ethernet print server for wired networking
connections, while the Stylus C80WN (about $675) is compatible
with the increasingly popular 802.11b wireless networking standard.