Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

High Tech Road Trip

I'm not sure if I've always been a high tech groupie or it just happened over time and I took it for granted. I do remember being shocked when Stevie Nicks recently reported in an interview with Chris Issak that she used an old typewriter to write songs and didn't use email.  I can't even imagine life without email, let alone blogging on a typewriter.  Can you even do that?

Maybe because in one of my prior episodes in this current lifetime I was in the software industry, working with PCs when they were virtually inaccessible to the masses. I also had one of the first Apple computers every made.  I still have it in fact.

My serious hardcore journey into PCs (from the mainframe world) happened at Computer Language Research (CLR) in Dallas in the mid 1980s.  The company was working on several applications for various governments and I was a systems analyst on those projects.  In fact, I was part of the original project team that developed the electronic tax filing system still in place today.

From CLR I hopped in 1992 to a high tech telephony consulting company where we developed state of the art voice technologies.  I was one of the first at the company to work on a Voice Over IP (VOIP) project as a systems engineer.  Of course my other company, T&S Software, which I founded in 1995, was involved in SIP before most companies knew its importance in the grand scheme of things.

At HairBoutique.com we were one of the very first hair sites on the Web starting with The Long Hair Video site in the mid 1990s.  At that time there were a few other hair sites although one of the very first, The Long Hair Site closed a few years ago leaving HairBoutique.com (which evolved from Long Hair Video in 1997) still standing.

As HairBoutique.com has evolved we have embraced every new and "appropriate" technology for growing the company.  Sometimes I was a little slow to jump on some bandwagons due to a variety of factors.  However, over the past two years we have really gotten with the program which I think is so important for offering our visitors and Marketplace customers the best possible experience.  No, we're not perfect and we are rarely bleeding edge, but once the bleeding has stopped we are usually right there adopting the latest and greatest.

You may be wondering why I am talking about all this.  Actually I had an ephinany recently as I was packing for a HairBoutique.com business road trip.

I looked down at my two suitcases (I pack light) to note that I had my tiny notebook computer with my special adapters and wireless mouse (I upgrade about 2x a year), my supersized iPhone, my upgraded iPod (yes I know I don't need it, but I have special options added to mine), my Flip video recorder (which looks like a cigarette lighter), my MP3 voice activated IC Recorder and my pocketsize digital camera.  In addition I have my regular cell phone in case my iPhone acts up.

Yes of course I have all the various rechargers - hey can't someone invent one charger that works with everything?  And yes, I keep extra batteries for my digital camera and IC Recorder.  By the way, one time I was at a show buying for HairBoutique.com and couldn't decide what items to add to an existing hair accessory line.  With the designers permission I popped out my digital camera and shot the entire display.  That way it was easy to order from the images instantly over the next six months.

It had never occurred to me that one entire bag was dedicated to all my digital equipment but the reality is that I would be lost without most of this stuff.

How could I Twitter and answer emails on the plane between takeoff and landing without my iPhone?  How could I capture all those interviews without my Flip or my IC Recorder?  And what about when I needed a super sharp image?  How could I blog at midnight without my notebook computer?  While I have been text messaging since the beginning, I find it so much easier on my iPhone than my other cell phone.  I even find it easier on the iPhone than my prior Blackberry.

I don't know if this shows I am high tech, insane or just extremely addicted to my work.  If I had to guess I would say all of the above.

I will also admit that traveling with all my tech tools makes a trip super productive in every imaginable way.  Instead of worrying about writing my Tweets or blogs in advance and scheduling them appropriately, I can do them real time, even while I am on the plane.  By having my tools with me, I can also capture interesting things that happen real time which tends to happen a lot when HairBoutique.com does a road trip. Some of our best videos have occurred spontenously thanks to the Flip.

In addition, because of all the great apps I have loaded on my iPhone I never ever get lost, always know the weather and can clear out my email box while I am waiting in line.  That used to be such a time waster for me but now with my iPhone I always have something else productive I can do.

My Marketing Guru goes with me on the road trips since they are usually business related but between the two of us we accomplish amazing things because we are not distracted by ringing phones, HairBoutique team members wanding in and out of our offices and other distractions.  Actually, my Marketing Guru loves to travel and has convinced that we can venture even further on our travels since I am now completely digital in every way.

Hmmmm, I guess we'll see.  Until someone can give me a device that automatically translates foreign languages for me without requiring me to carry my notebook, I am probably going to limit my wanderings.

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