Saturday, January 24, 2009

This is interesting

I've been looking around for suppliers of all sorts of dentistry equipment. Things like veneers, dental veneers and all the other sorts of things associated with cosmetic dentistry. Why is really rather too long a story to explain right now.

But in my searches I came across the company that is the major supplier of these, with a huge network both of trained dentists and places where you can actually get the treatments (just click through any of the links to see their site). What amused me was that years ago I had some dealings with that company.

For, years ago I was in fact in the business myself, along with some associates in California. And one of the things we did was take their equipment and specialty and provide it to dentists in the former Soviet Union. It's nice to see that they're still thriving, still expanding: as indeed the dental clinic we set up on Almaty, the capital of Kasakhstan is still thriving.

Nopthing very important, I agree, just a small tale of how business can loop around on itself over the years.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Phone 007

I really do like this little gadget here, the Phone 007. It's just the sort of sneaky recording device that appeals to me.

To start with it looks very much like an ordinary phone. You plug it in and put it on your desk. Great, you've got a phone. But it automatically (or at least, can be set up to automatically) record each and every conversation on that phone. It also has another microphone whereby it records every conversation in the room where it is. So you can track both what is said in your absence and also keep a record of what is said to you on the phone.

But even better than this the Phone 007 is web enabled. You can listen to what is happening over the web, remotely.

No, I think this is a great little gadget. All I have to do now is work out who I want to entrap first.

Those international flights

Yes, yes, we know, we're not supposed to be taking those long haul international flights these days. They boil Bangladesh you know. However, if you're either stuck down in Australia or want to get to Australia there's not really all that much you can do about getting there without flying.

And if you're going to be flying there then you do indeed want to get around at the cheapest possible prices. Which is why I think is such an interesting site. Of course, it allows you to search for flights, for international flights. They can also deal with insurance, hotels and so on for you. But the part of the site that I think is most interesting is that for international flights.

Because, of course, if you're going to be going to Australia, that's the most expensive part of your trip, isn't it? Getting to hte other side of the world is going to be expensive so it does indeed pay to try and make it as cheap, or at least as least expensive, as you can.

Getting your signs made

We all need to get signs made at one time or another. It might be a regular occurence, in a business say, where you want to be able to tell people of a new offer, or of a change in the program. Or it might just be the occasional thing, one of those "Welcome Home Daddy" banners perhaps. Or indeed any of the possible variations of all and everything inbetween.

My own desire was to get some decals made. I'm working for a political party and we've already got people who work on posters and the like. But I wanted to be able to use those decals as a way of identifying people at specific events that we organised. Things like, well, if we had a couple of hundred people at a meeting (yes, small numbers, it's not like we're Obama or anything and we're certainly not running for President) then it's surprising how magnified the event can seem when those couple of hundred are leaving. And they're all wearing something on their lapel. Or take a bumper sticker and put it on their car.

The great thing is that if you go to FASTSIGNS you can see quite how cheap and easy it can be to employ these tactics. There's nothing like leverage of your existing customer base to get things working for you.

Of course they can also do other things for you, I'm just talking about what I've found to be worthwhile.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Finding driver software.

I recently made the mistake of purchasing a PC which had Windows Vista on it. I know, I know, silly mistake. I should have insisted upon having XP, for at least everyone has the drivers for that OS, right?

And yes, I believed the silly stories about how all the drivers were already included in the operating system itself. So I plug the new box in, have a look around and start to play with it. You know, as you do with a new Windows, what are the new games they've got for me to play, that sort of thing. And of course, they don't have the nvidia drivers I need for the graphics card. Sigh. I also tried to get the HP printer/scanner/fax thing to work and no, it will only work as a basic printer for the lack of the proper HP drivers. Sigh again.

This went on for months actually, I just couldn't care enough about the machine to try and work out what to do. Screaming at Microsoft and refusing ever to buy any of their products ever again was about all I could think of.

Until, until....well, click through any of those links to see how I solved the problem. Great site and most useful.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Get your tickets Here!

If you're thinking about buying tickets, going to see a show, going to see the game, what you obviously need to know is where you're going to get those very tickets. And in these modern days of the web and the internet obviously you're not going to go and queue at the actual venue to get them, are you? No.

So, what you want is a guide to where you can indeed get those tickets you want online. Allow me to hlep. For TD Banknorth Garden tickets just click through that link right there. For Philips Arena tickets, try that link. And if you're in the market for Pepsi Center tickets you'll want to try that one.

This is all a great deal easier than it used to be, it has to be said. I once spent 8 hours in line for some Rolling Stone tickets....and even though I waited that long I didn't actually get them, they sold out before my turn came. Glory be for the internet, eh?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Looking for light fixtures?

Here's some advice if you're looking for light fixtures. Actually, this is good advice if you're looking to buy pretty much anything online.

OK, first up there are the search engines, Yes, they'll find you just about anything. However, it's not really all that structured: and it's very difficult indeed to compare offers from hte different possible suppliers.

Comparison engines are better at comparing the diferent suppliers: but it's usually true that the only ones in the engine are those who have paid to be there. Which is why we'd really like to have a combination of both techniques which is exactly what ShopWiki does.

Yes, you get all of the different competing offers, not just those who have paid to be there. But you also get to compare them easily. You can also drill down: for example, start with light fittings. Then you can refine by moving down to wall fixtures, ceiling lights or hanging lamps.

If you're out and about and looking to buy online this is a system it's well worth you having a look at.

Going to a trade show?

Next time you go to a trade show, have a look at the trade show exhibits. It's worth having a look around, seriously. A decent trade show exhibit will be one that actually gets potential buyers to step up and ask for the information, give their contact numbers, you know, become a target for your sales efforts.

You don't have to spend a fortune on one, of course (unlike some of these quite gorgeous trade fair exhibits) you just need to have the appropriate display of what it is that you do. It's fine for a small cmpany to have a small one, a large company to have a large one. That's not the point. It's that the potential customer should be able to get a decent idea of what it is that you do, how you do it....and of course, get the impression at least that you do it extremely well.

That's why a trade show exhibit is a crucial part of your marketing mix. It's your opportunity to stamp into the minds of your potential customers who you are what what you do.