Home Office for Road Warriors: Cooling Pads Draw Heat From Laptops

News & Reviews, Technology, The Road Warrior
December 4th, 2009 No Comments »

I’m sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room with my HP laptop whirring on my lap.

Man, things are getting toasty.

I’m using a LapWorks folding laptop tray. It folds in half, has grooves for cooling, and is light enough to be a permanent accessory in my Oakley laptop backpack. With a folding elevating flap, it can angle toward me for easier use.


Frankly, with some of the crazy things I’ve heard about working with a laptop – and its accompanying magnetic field emitted to the surrounding areas – upon my lap is probably the last place I want my laptop computer. Besides, heat is not good for laptops and other living things… Read More »

What Tools do You Use in Your Home Office?

Create & Run Your Biz, Set-up / Design & Organization
August 9th, 2008 No Comments »

Desktop PC? Check. DSL with wireless router? Check. BlackBerry, ergonomic chair, broadband fax? Check, check, check.

Xacto knife and hemostats? Huh?

Running a home office or home-based business is about more than having the industry-standard tools. Sometimes, it’s the unexpected tools that make a difference. Pliers, screwdrivers, flashlight and even a screen brush to sweep away dust are just a few of the tools you need to better manage your home office as a home officer, ITer and do-it-yourselfer.

Watch this video to learn what tools you need. Thoughts? Let me know…

Space Starved and Need a Home Office? Think Out of Box

Home Office Furnishing
June 16th, 2008 No Comments »

The folks at Shedworking had a review of a novel little product: Out of Box. Designed by a team from Mumbai, it’s not home office furniture, per se, but a full-on home office. Apparently still in the conceptual stage, it remains a cool take on how a home officer with little space to spare can create a working office.

Out of Box (closed)Out of Box open

A similar office I reviewed sometime back was the trunk office. I also discussed the Office Pod. Me? I’m OK with my custom desk, or the couch, or the patio, or my bed…

Crickets & Coffee Trays: Where’s Your Home Office Work Space?

Productivity & Efficiency, Set-up / Design & Organization
June 12th, 2008 1 Comment »

Coffee Laptop Table

There’s a cricket in my home office. And there’s a coffeeless coffee tray, too.

No, we’re not infested with katydids. And my hot beverage of choice is tea. Earl Gray. Hot. But these two doodads help transform my entire house into a home office.

Lately, I’ve found myself working from my laptop computer — in the kitchen, the den, even the bedroom (it’s 5am as I write this from a darkened bedroom; the wife and eldest daughter are in Naples, Fla., for a girls’ mini-vaca). My laptop rests atop a coffee tray I heisted several years ago from a hotelroom.

[A disclaimer for those who believe working from home should be strictly the domain of the home office: Not in my SOHO. Work is where the laptop is. And I kind of like working from my bed, instead of traipsing all the way to the office. What a shlep…] Read More »

Sunday Home Office Round-Up: From Telework to Paying For Stuff…

News & Reviews
May 25th, 2008 1 Comment »

Treehouse Office 03 from Blue Forest via eSoupBlogdotcomFrom telework as a way to work, to the stuff we use to get work done, the home office wires were rife with news, views and reviews this week. Take a look…

– Think you have a righteous home office? Prove it. BusinessWeek is looking for the coolest home office set ups around. They’ll build a photo essay from the submissions. Send an image up to 1meg in size to (and Click here to learn all the details). And thanks to Sharon Sarmiento and Pamela Slim over at Escape from Cubicle Nation for the heads-up on this one. And for another point of view…

– Michael Arcand runs Real Men Stay Home, and offers a view from his own home office. He’s on to something that I’m exploring, too, at Learn more from us Work-at-Home Dads.

– More ITers are working from home. Or are they? The impetus for IT workers to work from home is likely no different from what’s driving any other profession to consider telework: Sky-high gas prices, traffic congestion, a desire to be environmentally friendly, business continuity, commercial real estate savings, and the appeal of flexible work arrangements, to name a few of the drivers. Learn more with Ann Bednarz’s Network World look at IT and telework.

– It’s the Monthly Bills that Really Add Up. Think that just because you work from home you’re immune to skyrocketing costs? Think again. With no CFO or Finance Dept. to underwrite the cost of your stuff, costs fall to you. Learn where to cut corners on everything from your desk and PC to those pesky recurring nuts.

– Think you can make a living working from home? I do. And so do others interviewed in Kristina Cowan’s piece in on 5 Lucrative Work-at-Home Jobs. What got to me in talking with Kristina was how some writers believed it impossible to make an annual income of more than $50,000 (the baseline figure Kristina used for the story). Those who think you cannot average $961 a week as a freelancer obviously lack desire or the entrepreneurial guts — and don’t belong in the business. Read my rant…

– One Round-Up Begets Another. Read Brandie Kajino’s Home Office & Productivity Link Roundup. You might learn some new tips — and see a familiar face…

Targus’ Flare Notebook Case: Just in Time For Airlines’ Fee Boost

News & Reviews, Telework & Virtual Officing
May 24th, 2008 No Comments »

Targus FlareSo one of the airlines has seen fit to charge a fee for passenger’s first checked bag (I won’t mention the airline; business travelers and home office road warriors know the name — and I won’t feed their P.R. efforts).

Suffice it to wonder, “Friendly skies?” Hardly…

The result will be more people packing more stuff into bigger cases — disguised as carry-on bags. So along comes the Targus Flare Notebook Case ($69.99). Significantly larger than a traditional notebook backpack, this beast is designed for a 17-inch laptop. Measuring roughly 14″ by 8″ by 20″, it’s overkill for your “ultra mobile device” or mobile PC, mobile Internet device or handheld PDA expected to explode by almost 75% this year. But can hold so much more.

One interior compartment includes an ID holder, cell phone pocket, key clip and pen loops — plus a ton of storage for a day or two of travel (meaning: the airlines can take their $25-per-checked-bag fee and stick it in their exhaust pipes). Read More »

Home Office Marketing: A Kitschy Take on the Home Officer

May 14th, 2008 2 Comments »

Chuck Newton of The Third Wave ran a blog recently featuring a cute (or cutesy) 2007 ad from Lincoln Mercury. The spot featured what appeared to be a corporate tower dweller. He kissed his wife and child good-bye, left his home and drove off down a winding highway only seen in most TV spots — seemingly to his office out there somewhere. He checked in with “Grace” — before pulling back into his driveway again

“Morning, Mr. Johnson,” Grace — his wife — says as he walks through the kitchen in his tailored suit and into his finely appointed home office, complete with a plasma screen showing the day’s market activity. Then his son walks in, “Hey Boss, wanna play catch?” He pauses for a moment. “I can take an early lunch.”

“My dream…” the voiceover says, “To have to best office in town.” I agree. I’ve written in the past about people who have “routines” to start their day — like driving to the coffee shop, or dressing in nice slacks and a button-down shirt to look and feel more professional. For me, my work is my professionalism.

I admit: He’s got a great office. Just lose the suit and tie, the executive desk, and the cockamamie commute, and Mr. Johnson’s got it goin’ on…

From Cave Dweller to Home Officer: Book Answers Our ‘Innovation Fatigue’

Commentary, News & Reviews
April 23rd, 2008 2 Comments »

The Shift AgeThink you’re drowning in data, details and detritus of the Digital Age. Don’t blame your brain. And don’t castigate “adult onset ADD,” as so many netizens are wont to do. Blame the fast pace of mankind’s evolution.

And know that you’re not alone.

I was reading futurist David Houle’s book, The Shift Age, while sitting in the carpool line this past week (not intended as an indictment of your book, David; more a statement of making good use of idle [no pun intended] time). He likened mankind experience as 3,006 “lifetimes” on earth, spanning back 150,000 years. After the equivalent of 2,800 spent in caves, 200 spent tilling the land and 5 spent with machines, our current generation is the first to spend any time – just one lifetime – in the Information Age.

“When we look at our species in the context of this timeline, it is clear that most of what we think of when we think of ‘humanity’ and ‘society’ is recent,” he writes.

Think you’re overwhelmed by dataflow?

Now you have your reason… Read More »

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