• United States

The Inmates Take Over

Dec 22, 20052 mins
Data Center

Welcome to the new Small and Medium Business Research Center (SMBRC for the acronym junkies). What appears in this space over the next few weeks and months will demonstrate what happens when the inmates take over the asylum.

I am James Gaskin, head inmate. I write the Small Business Technology newsletter each week for Network World, and just to keep myself confused, I also write the Enterprise Networking newsletter for That actually works out well, because many small and medium business products and services fit well within enterprise departments and remote offices, and many enterprise vendors modify products for the booming small and medium business (SMB for shorthand) market.

Expanding our confines a bit, I will regularly point out interesting articles in partner publications, like PC World’s list of Top 10 Notebook PCs. Sometimes, I’ll point out books and articles on technologies I haven’t had time to cover yet, such as Ted Wallingford’s book Switching to VoIP from O’Reilly, the small business companion to my consumer VoIP book, Talk Is Cheap: Switching to Internet Telephones. Ted’s excellent article on VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol, an acronym I really hate and believe sounds too stupid to define a useful technology, but it does) on the O’Reilly site is called What Is VoIP?.

I want to hear from you, and I’ll start ongoing coverage of hot button areas like rebates and other lousy business practices that have generated plenty of angry responses in the past. Often, readers write to me describing their technical problems and ask for help solving them. We will figure out a way to open the discussion to the readership, so those of you who have made mistakes already can save the others from making the same mistakes.

This spot now becomes center stage for articles, information, and jokes about technology. OK, small business technology doesn’t sound like a party, but we’ll change that. Properly applied, technology will save you time and money. That, friends, is cause for celebration.

Welcome aboard.