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‘End of Magic’ a Fallacy for Road Warriors, Children at Heart

Commentary
May 16th, 2011 No Comments »

Home Office Highway CollageSeth Godin wrote recently of the end of magic.He was lamenting how the newness of the new seems to have passed us by — how the really cool tools and applications that once wowed us in the workplace and life now are so commonplace that they are taken for granted, and no longer harbingers of Wow!

Wait. Take a moment to ponder the tools we use and what they bring to our daily lives. You might respectfully disagree.

Every day, I use services and tools that keep me connected with the world outside in ways that still seem magical. My BlackBerry brings the Internet and its motherlode of possibilities to a device smaller than a deck of cards (iPhone users will only smirk at the possibilities borne from their device).

Want to contact a peer, client or someone else from my database? Will that be by phone (office, mobile, home, “other”?), or email, or SMS, or MMS?

Add a new name to Google Contacts — and it’s “magically” duplicated in my BlackBerry. Send an email from my phone and it instantly appears in GMail.

As I prepare to head out on Home Office Highway once again this year, I think about the tools that’ll keep me connected from the road.

Read More »

The Lonely Planet Offers Smart Global Travel Tips

Pre-Trip Planning
September 8th, 2009 No Comments »

Hitting the road to locales little known? Travel wisely. With the right tools and plans, you can travel light - and like a pro - no matter where the open road takes you on this lonely planet…

Laptop Lifts Protect Netbooks, Macbooks from Home Office Hazards

Product Review
August 14th, 2009 No Comments »

In the world of computing, seemingly simple mistakes can have devastating consequences.

Laptop Lifts raise the laptop, netbook or Macbook - and protect from spills and overheating.

Laptop Lifts raise the laptop, netbook or Macbook - and protect from spills and overheating.

When we were on Home Office Highway, our technology was subject to all sorts of hazards.

Falls, spills, the heat of an RV all were potential problems. In fact, several times the MSI Wind netbook almost took a fall from the dinette table because RV vibrations set it into motion.

I discovered a simple solution: A few small strips of adhesive-backed silicon stuck to the bottom of the computer. Tacky with the rubbery feel of silicon, they hold the device snug in place.

Such is the premise of Laptop Lifts (www.laptoplifts.com). The product and its creator offer a plethora of PC protections — and lessons in entrepreneurship.

Slippage is just one problem laptops face. Low and close to the table, one spilled drink can soak and fry the device in a flood of fluid. The Laptop Lifts, though, raise the device a mere quarter inch, allowing safe passage for an otherwise disastrous deluge.

Read More »

iPhone, Smart Laptop Add Balance to Road Warrior’s Mobile Life

Pre-Trip Planning, Product Reviews, technology
August 9th, 2009 No Comments »

When Paul Holstein heads to Europe for summer holidays, he’s packed and ready for business.

Paul Holstein - the well-honed road warrior.

Paul Holstein - the well-honed road warrior.

The owner of CableOrganizer.com offered a snapshot into the must-bring tech that keeps him productive “across the pond” — as if he hadn’t even left his Fort Lauderdale offices.

His take…

What a perfect topic for me.  I’m on vacation in France now and, of course, totally connected.

My favorite laptop these days it the Toshiba Portege R600-ST4203. It’s built for the traveler.  It’s 2.4 pounds and one inch thick.  You can’t imagine how this changes everything.  You don’t need to carry a separate laptop bag if you don’t want to.  You can tuck it into your regular carry-on suitcase.

Alternatively, you can carry a small laptop bag and add clothes to it for short trips. Forget the headset and webcam.  Those are built right in to the laptop.  They are built into most laptops today.  That saves you a lot of effort as well. Read More »

Post Home Office Highway Getaway: A New Definition of Stay-cation

Work/Life Compatibility
August 3rd, 2009 No Comments »

Jeff & Stella relax on Ft. Myers Beach.

Jeff & Stella relax on Ft. Myers Beach.

After two weeks in an RV, I’m ready for a staycation closer to the home office.

Yet if the soft market has let slip any hopes of exotic travel this summer, don’t cave to “vacation envy.” Get creative and plan a “stay-cation” of your own.

Urban dictionary defines stay-cation as “A vacation that is spent at one’s home enjoying all that home and one’s home environs have to offer.” Don’t blow your stay-cation catching up on chores, straightening up the garage, fixing the roof or painting the house.  Make sure that you limit the time you spend on email.

The well-planned stay-cation, or stay-at-home vacation, can help de-stress and re-energize the soul, notes FAT Bastard Wines.  Here’re nine tips for planning a killer stay-cation… Read More »

Home Office Home Again: Random Observations After 2 Weeks on the Road

Commentary, The Road Warrior, technology
August 2nd, 2009 No Comments »

After two weeks on the road, it’s the simple observations that bring clarity to the home office adventure. Like…

- Sponsor or no, the Verizon Mifi ‘personal hotspot’ won the day — hands down. It was a true fan favorite and winner of the HOH’09 Product of Choice. Hey, anything that keeps the hoards from beating me up for my Internet connection is worthy of praise. Teleworkers and road warriors alike will find this tool extremely useful.

-Yes, family, we WILL survive two weeks without a TV. And we did. We talked, played more Yahtzee and Racko than we ever thought possible, and watched burning embers in the fire pit. And yes, we surfed the Web. A lot. Truth be told, we watched a few DVD movies on Zack’s HP laptop. But that’s NOT TV.

- Open a bag of animal crackers, and a dog’s nose knows. “Food, food, food…”

- “Yes, Mom, Spaghetti-Ohs make a perfectly suitable breakfast.”

Belkin Clap On Surge Suppressor

Belkin Clap On Surge Suppressor

- Success is in the gadgets you choose. Like the Belkin Clamp On surge suppressor that, well, clamped on to the edge of the bunk and supplied power to all our gadgets (no small feat, given the number of gadgets we employed).

- When plugs aren’t available, old-fashioned cigarette lighters will work. Just the ticket for the Scosche reCoil retractable car charger for iPod and iPhone.

- Netbooks beget adaptors and accessories. And manufacturers are responding. The Targus Netbook Accessory Kit includes a nifty USB hub, a travel mouse and a slip case for netbooks with screens up to 10.1 inches. Read More »

The Apps to Use to Work Like You’re in Your Home Office

The New Work
August 1st, 2009 No Comments »

With the cloud, what can your netbook do?

With the cloud, what can your netbook do?

To meteorologists and remote workers alike, The Cloud is a beautiful thing.

One makes his living off cloud formations. The other has discovered a mobility, flexibility and an untethered experience working in the cloud. These include teleworkers, telecommuters, road warriors and others released from place-based work.

For those not clear, the “cloud” — according to Wikipedia — “is a style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet. Users need not have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure in the cloud that supports them.” In other words, all your applications — and even your documents, if you want — are stored and hosted via a computer with an Internet connection and a Web browser.

So with a laptop or netbook, and our Mifi broadband Internet personal hotspot, I have worked - literally - from anywhere. Or as techies call it, Out There. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve also used some apps that I’ve downloaded to my laptop. But they’re free, and more useful and utility-driven than those that come for free with Windows.

Among the applications I’ve used most have been: Read More »

FREE Home Office Highway Brochure & eBook Ready to Download

Tour News, What's New With the Tour?
July 31st, 2009 No Comments »

Want to learn how to become a more efficient, productive and fun-loving road warrior? Whether you’re a home officer, a teleworker or a road warrior, you can.

Download the same Brochure that was given away across the South as part of Home Office Highway ‘09. Just click here to download your own copy - where you’ll learn all about netbooks, Mifi personal hotspots, and other tips and insights to help you work wisely from the highway.

You also can download the Home Office Highway ‘08 eBook. The booklet and ebook both include tips and insights on where vocation meets vacation on the open Road. Read More »

More Tweets From Home Office Highway

What's New With the Tour?, social media
July 30th, 2009 No Comments »

More tweets from Home Office Highway (@homeofficehiway). And with Tweetlater, I was able to dual post to @chiefhomeoffice . Social Media tools helped spread the word…

22.  Midnight in the RV. Campfire’s burned to embers. Robbie & Stella sleep. Zack reads. I write. Mifi & laptop = productive time

23. Workation, staycation, camputing. Is Home Office Highway is part of a larger trend? From the Detroit Free Press http://snipr.com/nv31b

24. The greatest challenge for HOH ‘09 is finding productive time to work. AM, Stella’s active. PM, I’m spent. Daytime, outdoors beckon.

25. Financial Times needs an pic of my home office. Good news: Even from Georgia, I can see all my pix w/Carbonite. Bad news: No recent pix

26. More on scale: Mobile Workmate is my mobile ‘home office’ (PC, tech, supplies, etc.), messenger bag for day trips, shoulder bag for netbook

27. Hikes beget scale. To walk w/ netbook in tow, my Be.ez messenger bag is a tad large. Next time, my cloth shoulder bag (a la Jack Bauer) Read More »

Home Office Highway: Snapshots From the Road Traveled So Far…

Making Memories, The Road Warrior
July 24th, 2009 No Comments »

The road traveled, so far...

The road traveled, so far...

Four days into Home Office Highway ‘09 and we’ve seen a great deal of Florida and Georgia.

We’ve traveled about 10% of the trip on country backroads, so we’ve seen more of Real America than we have in the past.

A sampling of snapshots from the trip thus far: Upper left (and me in hat), tubing down the Itchetucknee River in North Central Florida; top center and right, Stella enjoying my harmonica playing, then asleep on her perch: My Foray Mobile Workmate; lower right, Robbie sending a Bunk Note to Zoe on the MSI netbook; lower left, the campsite home office: the netbook, Verizon Gz’One Boulder, and a cup of coffee.

These are the images memories are made from…


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