Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Executive Director's Report: Tech and Tell

Only nine members attended the Chamber’s first “Tech and Tell” on March 10th at the Avanti’s Dome.  However, based on their enthusiastic feedback, other should make plans to attend future Tech and Tell events. 

The format of the program was very informal, with an around-the-table presentation and discussion of various technologies.  Participants were encouraged to bring their latest gadget, software tip, smart phone, or other technology tools that make them more efficient at work, and then tell the rest of the group about them. 

The informal format allowed participants to come and go as their schedule allowed.  A few participants were there just to learn, and did not bring anything specific to show the group.  There were no IT people in attendance.  Most were business people who would rate their technical knowledge as average or even below average.

What were some of the discussions and presentations?  Well, someone brought their brand new Motorola Xoom tablet and gave us a demonstration of the features and how they are using the technology at home and at work.  That led to a discussion of tablets in general and included several comments and opinions on iPads and other Android tablets. 

Someone asked what Google Voice was all about and if anyone was using it productively.  There was also a great discussion about QR Codes and how several of the participants are using them to quickly share information.  There was a failed attempt to set up a video voice call between two smart devices, and some simple tips on typing numbers and symbols on Android devices and sorting and searching your Outlook emails.

Cloud computing was discussed and one company told how they replaced their mail server with a cloud email service.  We also heard about Office 365, which will be Microsoft’s next big cloud product.  And finally, we had a live demonstration of an iPhone app and accessory that allows you to swipe a credit card and accept payments.  Afterwards we learned that there is also an Android version of the app and accessory available and one of the participants has already ordered it.

The next “Tech and Tell” will be on Thursday, April 14th at Avanti’s Dome at 7:30am.  Coffee will be provided by the Chamber.  Reservations are not required, but you could call and let us know what gadget you’ll be bringing so we can promote it.

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