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Technology and Construction - Year End Review - 2002

   Author: Preston Harris
Location: Winter Park Studios, Inc.


Every company doing business in this world can benefit from technology. Manufacturers can use computers during the design, build, service and support phases for thier products. Contractors and Erectors can use computers, digital cameras and wireless products to help with bidding, job costing, accounting, quality control, jobsite communication, etc. The opportunities for technology to help your business are nearly endless.

After working with hundreds of products last year, there were a few from each category that really stand out. This article will help your company decide what products can help your business the most. The top picks from each category have been decided upon based on a combination of product features, quality and value.

BEST MOUSE - Logitech MX300 Optical Mouse
The MX300 mouse is a fairly low cost mouse that gives you everything you need - plus it includes the latest technology in optical sensors and image processing power. If you are still using an old mouse with a roller ball - you don't know what you are missing! Not only will you never have to clean your mouse again, but you can toss that dirty mouse pad in the garbage as well.

MSRP $29 - $27

BEST KEYBOARD - Logitech Elite
This new keyboard provides the expert controls to optimize what you do when you want to do it. The enhanced function key commands bring new efficiency to the things you do. They allow you to instantly access your email, instant messenger, favorite files, pictures, music, and websites - plus, you can quickly navigate around the web, applications, media files, and documents. It evens connects via USB or PS/2 ports.

MSRP $39 - $35

Print laser-quality black text plus professional color photos at up to 4800 x 1200 optimized dpi color printing on premium photo papers and 1200 x 1200-input dpi. With quick print speeds - up to 20 pages per minute in black and up to 13 ppm in color - your high-volume printing will be incredibly efficient! Save time and money with smart features like automatic two-sided printing, automatic paper sensor and an optional second input paper tray.

MSRP $199 - $195

The HP LaserJet 1200 Series allows you to print, capture, and manage high-quality documents at your own desk - providing privacy and convenience for both PC and Mac environments. At a true 15ppm with a 10 second start-up time, this printer is the fastest in its class. Includes standard printer port and USB 2.0 connections.

MSRP $399 - $389

BEST WORKGROUP PRINTER - Minolta Magicolor 2300DL
The Magicolor 2300 DL is a value-packed color laser printer that's small but energized. Harbored in its compact design is a hefty combination of speed, networking, and fantastic print quality. With 2400dpi resolution, speedy 16ppm black and white output, and a reasonable 4ppm for full color output, and entire office can utilize this printer for all of its standard 8.5" x 11" and legal 8.5" x 14" prints.

MSRP $799 - $789

The new HP Multi-Function printers are quick, efficient, easy to use and packed with features. If speed and versatility are what you need, the HP Officejet D series is for you. You'll get fast all-in-one functionality with print speeds up to 19 pages per minute in black and a 400-sheet paper capacity mean faster printing and fewer paper refills. Plus it adds photo-quality color for professional-looking projects. The D145 is a color printer, color copier, color scanner and color fax machine - all rolled into one device.

MSRP $499 - $479

The CanoScan 5000F USB Flatbed Scanner is loaded with advanced performance features to meet your demanding scanning needs - at a less than demanding price. The 5000F scanner delivers spectacular 48-bit results for over 281 trillion possible colors and up to 2400 x 4800 dpi resolution to take your film and photo scanning to a new level. The new USB 2.0 Hi-Speed interface enables incredible scanning speeds-up to 2.5 times faster than before. And you can preview them quickly in approximately 7 seconds. A built-in 35mm film adapter scans 3 negative frames or 2 mounted slides at a time.

MSRP $199 - $189

BEST MONITOR - Viewsonic PerfectFlat G90F
The ViewSonic G90f represents an exciting technology milestone by incorporating a PerfectFlat screen with shadow mask technology for edge-to-edge precise images, sharp focus and fine image clarity. This 19" (18.0" viewable) monitor features SuperClearŪ technology and an ultra-fine 0.21mm horizontal (0.25mm diagonal) dot pitch for superior display performance. And its PerfectFlat screen reduces light reflection.

MSRP $299 - $279

BEST FLATPANEL MONITOR - Viewsonic VG191 19" LCD FlatPanel
ViewSonic takes the lead in LCD display technology with the VG191. With superior video response and super-wide viewing angles, these displays are among the most ergonomically configurable LCD flat panels available. An outstanding 600:1 contrast ratio and 250 nits of brightness assure blacker blacks and richer colors. And OptiSync dual-input technology makes these displays ready for DVI input. These new screens will help save power, reduce desktop clutter and reduce eye fatigue.

MSRP $899 - $879

The D520 features a 2.0 megapixel CCD, 3x optical/2.5x digital zoom, and a host of innovative automatic features. The compact D-520 lets you take crisp, colorful pictures at the touch of a button. Even shooting a short movie is simple with QuickTime mode. And with USB Auto-Connect, the D-520 will be automatically recognized by almost any USB-equipped computer. The built-in closing lens cover is a must for construction sites. 2.0 megapixel resolution prints 3x5, 4x6 and 8x10 photographs.

MSRP $249 - $239

The Canon ZR60 camera is a new model digital video camera from Canon that gives an unbelievable amount of impressive features for a very low cost. All the benefits of digital video, Digital Photo Mode, a 2.5" Flexible Color View Screen, 18X Optical Zoom/360X Digital Zoom, Color Night Mode, Image Stabilization, High Quality Microphone, Built-in Analog to Digital Converter, remote control over the Internet using Microsoft Messenger, and more! This camera is perfect for recording jobsite video, making presentations, etc.

MSRP $599 - $599

BEST CELL PHONE - Nextel i58sr
The Nextel i58sr is a rugged phone designed to hold up on the job site. Equipped with rubber grip and rubberized battery door to withstand the toughest work environments. It includes standard speakerphone, headphone jack, GPS enabled applications, 250 number address book, datebook, Direct Connect, voice mail, call waiting, mobile messaging, caller ID, call hold and more.

MSRP $249 - $149/w Rebate

Wireless-G is the new 54Mbps wireless networking standard that is backwards compatible with existing Wirless-B (802.11b) networking devices found around the country. Since both standards are built in, you can protect your investment in existing 802.11b infrastructure, and migrate to the new screaming fast Wireless-G standard as your needs grow.

The Linksys Wireless-G Broadband Router is really three devices in one box. First, there's the Wireless Access Point, which lets you connect Wireless-G or Wireless-B devices to the network. There's also a built-in 4-port full-duplex 10/100 Switch to connect your wired-Ethernet devices. Finally, the Router function ties it all together and lets your whole network share a high-speed cable or DSL Internet connection.

MSRP $159 - $149

The Linksys Wireless WPC54G PCMCIA Network Adapter lets you wander your office or job-site with a laptop computer and retain full network and Internet access at the same time.

MSRP $79 - $75

The NetScreen-5XP is a low cost enterprise-class solution for small businesses. Using the same firewall, VPN, and traffic management technology as NetScreen's highend products, the NetScreen-5XP is fully capable of securing a small office, retail outlet, or a broadband telecommuter. The NetScreen-5XP offers enterprise class security and manageability at the entry level. The Netscreen-5XP provides firewall security, Denial of Service protection, user authentication, Virtual Private Networking (VPN), high availabilty, dynamic routing, traffic management, PPOE/DHCP services, and graphical web based management.

MSRP $595 - $550

The Winbook Notebook PC's have a great reputation for performance, quality, value and service. They include Mobile Intel Pentium 4 Processor-M CPU's featuring SpeedStep, 15" XGA with 1024 x 768 resolution Active Matrix screens, Speeds up to 2.2ghz, 2 x Hi-Speed USB 2.0 ports, 10/100 Ethernet, v.90 56K fax/modem, Windows XP, DVD/CDRW combo drive. $1299 for 1.8ghz, 256MB, 30GB

BEST PDA - Palm m505
A stylish marriage of form and function, the Palm m515 handheld is perfect for today's tech-savvy professional. Whether you're managing contracts or your calendar, composing email or a Word-compatible doc, you'll get brilliant color, simplicity and sophistication in one ultra-slim design. 65,000 colors, 16MB memory, Word/Excel/PowerPoint support, optional wireless LAN and keyboard support, e-mail, video playback, and e-book reading support.

MSRP $349 - $299 After Rebate

Choosing the perfect workstation is difficult to do. Dell workstations have proven their quality and reliabilty over time. Our recommended system configuration is as follows: Pentium IV 2.4ghz, 512MB RAM, 30GB Hard Drive, CDRW/DVD Combo Drive, 15" Flat Panel Screen, 3 Year Onsite Service, 10/100 Network, 56K Fax/Modem, 104 Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Microsoft Office Small Business Edition. (Small Business owners with only a few PC's can also save some money using Windows XP Home)

Custom configure at

Honestly, here at we like to build our own servers from scratch. Rack mount cases, dual power supplies, dual CPU's, dual network adapters, caching SCSI RAID controllers, custom software packages, etc. But we know most companies are not about to build their own servers. The DELL PowerEdge 1400SC is the best server for the money, although we do not recommend picking one up with the minimum configuration. Dual CPU's, 512MB RAM and RAID with dual 36GB Ultra160 hard drives are a must.

Custom configure at

Comments: Technology and Construction - Year End Review - 2002

Great review! Worth taking the time to read.
By Michael
Post a comment > -

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