Operational Excellence with Technology

Lost Your Laptop?

I came very close to losing my laptop last year.

I was returning from London via Chicago O'Hare. After clearing customs at the international terminal, I took the shuttle train to terminal 1 to catch my flight to Denver. I took the laptop out of my backpack for security. Somehow I got distracted, because I didn't put it back. Fortunately I noticed when I went to check email at the C concourse Red Carpet Club. So a quick jog back to B and a talk with the TSA got me my notebook back.

Do Your Own Webinars/On-line Meetings

by Amanda Marshall

How many conference calls have you been on where the discussion is so off topic the most productive use of your time is playing solitaire?

Having done conference calls before without, I can say that the visual prompting of the webinar improves attention.

The last couple of years we’ve done a number of conference calls using Netspoke, which allowed the call leader to share his desktop with everyone via the web (still using standard conference calling for audio).

New Resources Added

We've added a number of resources in the members only section.  Non-members can view the menu options, but can't access the content.  The menu options all point to pages of links to further information.  Over the next few weeks we'll be adding more content to the members only section.
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My Netbook Specifications

I’ve been reading a lot about netbooks recently.

If you didn’t follow the link to Wikipedia, a netbook is a notebook computer that is light, sufficiently powerful for web browsing, email, etc., and relatively cheap.

I didn’t know it at the time, but at this year’s CES in January my daughter and I looked at one of the first netbooks, the ASUS Eee PC. It had a 7” LCD screen, a modicum of memory and ran Linux off a flash drive.

Conference Calls for Free

Need to set up a conference call and can’t even figure out how to add a third person to a call, much less have 10 people on the same call?

Don’t want to pay monthly fees and/or 10+ cents a minute for conference calls?

There are free alternatives. One I’ve been using for several years is

You go to their web site and register for a free account. They send you an email with a call-in telephone number and a conference call code.

Finding Cheap Hotels and Cars

ITA Software’s site is good for finding a good airfare, what about hotels and rental cars? Which site has the best “deals”?

One way to make sure you get a good deal is to check several sites. That takes time.

Another option is Kayak ( It is a meta-search engine, which means it searches other sites and presents all the results in one place. When you click on the deal you like you are taken to the best site to book it.

Travel is expensive; saving money on it goes to your bottom line (or stays in your pocket).

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Plane Quiet

If you fly a lot you’ll see more and more people wearing their own headphones, usually active noise cancelling.

My first experience with noise canceling headphones came the first year United flew the new Boeing 777. Upgraded to business class, the headphones were nicer and had a noise cancellation switch. It made a noticeable difference.

Active noise cancellation headphones work using a small microphone to listen to the outside noise then generate a sound pattern that neutralizes that noise as it reaches your ear.


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