Author: Joe Wilcox

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Smooth Operator

You would think that in this day of Windows dominance, choosing an operating system would be easy. Not so. There are currently three different Windows in the marketplace—3.11, 95, and NT—as well as IBM’s OS/2 Warp. And choosing the wrong OS can be costly to your business.

Folks here in the Maine Outback are typically cautious. Until a few months ago, DOS/Windows 3.11 was the favorite desktop operating system. Now Windows 95 reigns king. But not with everyone. Many businesses are holding fast to the older Windows or waiting to see if the new Windows NT will outshine 95. 

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Color Your Clients

Any northern Maine school kid in Winter can tell you white is boring. With an average 110 inches of snowfall a season, kids get quickly sick of white. But with a box of food coloring, white can be a great canvas for breaking the monotony.

The point: If you aren’t using color in your office, you are doing a disservice to yourself and your clients. Color ink-jet technology has advanced so far that the the quality of printed pictures can rival true photographs. And there is much you can do with a color printer that will save you money, too. 

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You Have the Power

Power is vital to running a business. Without the pulsing of electricity pushing through your office, all work—except maybe using the telephone—would come to a halt. But the quality and consistency of the electricity you receive is important, too.

When I worked in Washington, DC, I thought little about this. The nation’s capital is well supplied for obvious reasons. But things are different up here in the Maine outback. Outages have been too frequent, and, as I have come to learn, the quality of the electricity is sometimes below par. 

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Get Smart

Good reference is essential to any business. If you need fast answers to important questions, digging through dusty almanacs won’t do any good. And if you are writing—whether to a client or colleague—what you say needs to be sharp and correct; good resources can add charm to your words.

My local public library understands this. The institution recently installed a fast PC with 4 CD-ROMs to provide a digital encyclopedia, dictionary, and atlas for townsfolk. The setup is popular with school kids. If they can use digital resources for homework, why shouldn’t you?