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Turning things on end to achieve results!

Archive for February 2015

Four Eyes

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I'm also a 28 box person

I’m also a 28 box person

Growing up it was common to be called four eyes if you had glasses.   It was meant to be a mild insult but since it was so common to have glasses it didn’t have much of an impact to most kids.  I got four eyes in the seventh grade and haven’t looked back since and I am still able to “Turn Things On End To Achieve Results!” with the best of them.

Today’s topic isn’t about poor vision and the stigma of wearing glasses.  It is about the concept of having a second set of eyes look at something.  To put it another way, it is an independent, critical review for quality control purposes.  For small companies this can be difficult.  Many times the work product is done by the only person in the company with the technical skills and the rest of the company has other skills such as sales and administration.  Whether it is a making a tangible good by a tradesman, preparing a tax return according IRS regulations or writing the code for an app that tracks prescriptions for a 28 Box person it always makes sense to employ the four eye rule.

In some cases, small companies actually have to outsource this function to a service provider.  In other situations, it might be the owner of a company having a loved one review a letter he is writing to a member of his supply chain asking for a price decrease.  This can be a good use of your informal board of directors if it is practical.

Another advantage of the second set of eyes is that a person who is asked to do this will usually take a different perspective.  That can lead to discovering better ways to do things or finding a mistake that has long been overlooked.  This usually occurs because the person is thinking outside of the box.  They only do this because they ARE outside of the box – especially if they are not within the company.  They are not steeped in the company culture and bring a new paradigm when reviewing.  They also may be unsure of what they are being asked and they tend to question the routine which can lead to interesting results.

I hope you can implement the four eye rule at your company with positive results.  Maybe no fantastic revelations will occur but at least you will know you took a step forward in your quality control efforts.

Have a great week, four eyes.

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Written by pacelinebiz

February 23, 2015 at 8:01 am

Mid February Thoughts

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Cherry Blossom

Coming Soon!

 

Do you hear that? I do. It is the rumbling of MLB’s spring training. This week pitchers and catchers begin to report. This is a great time of year. Not only if you are a baseball fan but if you are a fan of warmer weather then this is a sign that warmer days are ahead. All of you snow skiers can tune me out, the rest of you come on with me and let’s take a look at what we can expect encounter after winter is over. Depending on your latitude, shirt-sleeve weather is anywhere from 4-8 weeks away. Below is a list of some simple things I look forward to that money can’t buy.

  • The warm heat of the afternoon sun on my back as I relax on the deck
  • Driving with the windows down, drinking in the sights and sounds of people coming out of hibernation
  • My first glass of sun tea – the first one always tastes the best
  • Catching an unexpected whiff of someone in the neighborhood grilling red meat – such a pleasing aroma
  • Kids running around outside with gusto, unfortunately this is becoming a rarity
  • People working outside, doing yard work, cleaning out their garage or washing their cars
  • Depending on where you live, you might see a backyard campfire and smell the smoke and maybe the food cooking
  • Cars loaded down with bikes, a boat or camper headed out to the great wide open for a visit with mother-nature
  • Stopping at the roadside ice cream shack or burger joint

Those are few things I am looking forward to besides baseball. A change of season is always nice especially when you are going from a season that is not your favorite to one that is. Have a great week.

 

Written by pacelinebiz

February 16, 2015 at 8:05 am

Review Of WinBook TW100 Tablet

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Value-Packed!

Value-Packed!

A few months ago I was considering the replacement of my iPad which is an original that my wife won at a conference in 2010 and handed down to me a two and a half years ago. During this period a digital catalog from an electronics company arrived in my email inbox and I noticed this 10.1 inch diagonal tablet was selling for $200 (actual screen size is 8.5 X 5.5 versus my iPad which is 7.75 X 5.75). I found this intriguing and looked further due to the attractive price.

Upon further review, I realized this was not just a tablet to replace my iPad, it was actually a tablet-pc which ran the Windows 8.1 operating system and came with a one year free subscription of office 365. What?!! “This is too good to be true”; I told myself. I investigated further and read reviews looking for the “catch”.  I could not find one. The more I looked the more I liked what I saw.

When I looked at the specifications it had the following impressive list of items which piqued my curiosity:

  • 1 – Micro USB 2.0 port
  • 1 – Full size USB 3.0 port (I never used one before but they are as fast as advertised)
  • 1 – Mini HDMI port for video
  • 2 – 2 megapixel cameras (front and rear facing) poor quality but you get what you pay for
  • 1 – Micro SD expansion slot 64 gigabyte maximum – “hard drive” comes with 32 gigabyte
  • 2 gigabyte RAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and an Intel quad core processor

What this meant to me was I could hook up a multiport hub to the USB 3.0 port and I am off to the races by attaching a mouse, full size keyboard (which is a must for ol’ fat finger Freddie), a printer, a scanner, and an external hard drive. Right now with the display at 180% in Word I do not need an external monitor and I am typing this without any problems.

…and all I was looking for was a replacement for an iPad so I could go to Fox Sports and YouTube without crashing! I am by no means qualified to know the limitations on this device but for $200 what I do know is this is an adequate back up for any laptop if all you want to use is Microsoft Office. If you want to run AutoCAD or some Multimedia video editing software this will probably not work.

I have seen reviews on YouTube and read written reviews that talk about poor sound quality of the speakers (seriously?), poor backlighting of the screen (I haven’t noticed it) or that the Bluetooth is not great (I don’t know since I don’t Bluetooth) I have only had this for four days but so far I am blown away at the value. I don’t know how the battery will hold up but I already know that it seems adequate. I have been using this right now for 2 hours writing this and answering emails and listening to music on Windows media player through those crappy speakers and it is at 75% battery. That seems to suggest eight hours of moderate usage on battery power is possible.

Have a great week, I know I will.

 

 

Written by pacelinebiz

February 9, 2015 at 8:01 am

Twenty-Eight Box People

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I Am A 28 Box Person

I Am A 28 Box Person

I have been told that when you reach a certain age, it can be necessary to take several prescriptions to control various ailments you suffer from. This can be manageable but can also offer a challenge. Here is why. Some pills you need to take in the morning, others at night, some with food, some without and some you have to avoid certain foods when taking them.

If you happen to get sick you may have to take several pills at different intervals which adds to the confusion. Some you take once day, others you take every six hours some you take 3 times a day and you have to keep track of this in addition to what you are already are taking. If you think about it you might have to take some pill every couple of hours throughout the day. Of course this all has to happen while you are at work so you need to have a way to carry them with you.

There are pill boxes that are available that are set up in a matrix of the 7 days a week and times throughout the day. Some are 7 days across only but the most complex is 7 across for days and 4 rows for morning, noon, evening and before bedtime. That is 28 boxes!

All of this can be a hassle, so the next time you see an older person; remember that they might be one of the 28 box people. If they appear grumpy or distracted cut them some slack. I imagine there is an app to keep track of all of this for my Smartphone (or other connected device).  I better check it out.

Have a great week.

Written by pacelinebiz

February 2, 2015 at 8:01 am