Four tips for smart business trips

Say the word “travel,” and images of Caribbean paradises and exotic, fun-filled adventures come to mind. But say the words “business travel,” and a whole different set of scenarios come up: losing time during the journey, lost or delayed luggage, poor internet connections. One study listed these items—and flight delays on top of it all—as some of the top stress triggers for business travelers [1].

Yes, business travel is often stressful. But it doesn’t always have to be. Before you next head out of the office, ask yourself the four questions below. A few simple preparations can help turn a stress-filled experience into one that’s much closer to stress-free.


Secrets to getting more out of your Laptop Battery

With the rise of the notebook PC and tablets, we’ve been able to stay productive, creative and entertained almost anywhere. We’re no longer tethered to our desks or a certain location—that is, until it’s time to recharge.

How we use a notebook and all its features controls how long the battery runs without recharging. Here are a few tips to follow that can help improve overall battery performance —and keep us on the go.

Charge-cycle care
One of the more commonly-known strategies revolves around how often you connect and disconnect the charger. This method also largely depends on the type of battery and notebook model you’re using. Many older notebooks feature nickel-metal batteries, while modern notebooks are built with lithium-ion batteries. For the nickel-metal variety, it can help to completely drain your battery until it shuts down, and then fully recharge it. But doing so for lithium-ion batteries, though, has been known to have a negative effect on battery efficiency.

Strategies for maximizing power based on the charging method vary by battery type. To find out which type of battery you have, shut down your laoptop and release the battery. On the top or bottom of the battery, there should be a “Li-ion” for lithium-ion or “NiMH” or “Ni-Cad” for nickel batteries. Most tablets have Li-ion batteries installed.


Safely Using Airport Wi-Fi

 (Editors Note:  Although this is written with Norton by Symantec products in mind, the tips are valid and important. Enjoy your trip!)

Heading out of town to visit relatives during the Holidays is as traditional as turkey dinners, electronic gifts, mistletoe, and snowmen. But what many people do not look forward to is the hustle, bustle, and time-consuming activity of actually heading into, through, and out of airports. This year, more than ever, millions of travelers will be using the public Wi-Fi systems available at municipal and International airports around the world. You may be one of them. With your handheld device, your laptop, or your tablet computer, you’ll be checking on your flights, sending out email, or maybe even working on that report that you promised your boss by January 3rd. But how safe is the airport’s wireless security?  How do you protect yourself – and your private information - from identity theft, fraud, and other cybercrimes? 

Airports are high on the list of having “rampant phony Wi-Fi hot spots” created by phishers and other criminals, according to a recent study. This means that when you’re travelling and using the Internet at an airport, your personal information (including user names, passwords, credit card numbers, etc.) are passing through the air unprotected and is perfect prey for cyber-crooks. Experts cite a number of reasons for this serious breach, including the cost of securing a public area as large as an airport. In fact, as city and state budgets get slashed during the current economic climate, even the Federal government has trouble finding funds for adequate Internet security at airports.  The result is that airports have become a perfect breeding ground for professional and amateur jerks trying to rip you off in some way.

There are a few things you can do in advance and at the airport to minimize your risk.  Here are some tips to help you keep your holiday travel safe and secure:


Tips for Stress Free Traveling with your Notebook

(Editor's note;  This is from our friends at Hewlett Packard, but these tips will work with virtually any notebook device.  Safe travels!)

As a frequent traveler, your notebook must be able to withstand the stresses of mobility. Bumps and bruises, minor spills and high reliance on battery power are all conditions that you’ll want your notebook to handle with ease. But it’s not all up to your notebook—there are a couple techniques, some helpful products and some buying advice that’ll help make your business travel more stress-free.


1. Stress-free screening: Make going through the x-ray machine less stressful by choosing a carrying case that enables airport officials to scan your notebook without you having to remove it from the bag. The HP Evolution Checkpoint Friendly Case zips down the middle to allow clear x-ray scanning by isolating the notebook to one side. Designed to accommodate notebooks with up to a 16-inch screen, the case also features the SafePort Air Cushion System for notebook protection.


A trip across North America 2

In June 2011, Larry Baum, CEO of The Computing Center, his wife Trudy, and two close friends traveled across North America to Alaska and Canada in Larry's airplane.  This Blog of the trip was originally published on the East Hill Flying Club web site. It is divided into separate entries in reverse order.

Whitehorse, YT Tue June 14, 2011 @ 20:00PT:  The best laid plans Part 2 … Sometimes, mechanical devices just fail.  So it was with us today.  The left fuel boost pump on the Aerostar quit today as we were leaving from Prince George to Whitehorse.  Obviously a “no-go” item.  Most big engines have an electrical backup boost pump in case of failure of the engine driven fuel pump.  That pump is also used for starting and to boost fuel pressure if needed at higher altitudes.   It was most frustrating to watch the rest of the group depart for Watson Lake, our first a stop. Fortunately, there is a GREAT shop in Whitehorse.  Bobby did a fabulous job replacing the brushes in the pump.   We had brought an extra set along “just in case” thanks to Joel at Juliet Delta Aviation. So we were on a way in a record 1.5 hours.  Given the rest of the group was stopping for lunch and fuel, we thought we could catch-up. The route to Watson Lake from Prince George follows a river up to Williston Lake, then through a relatively narrow area called “The Trench”.


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