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Embracing technology comes with a cost

Embracing technology is a way of life for most of us these days. The rapid advance of the Information Age demands that we invest in the latest and greatest gizmos, gadgets and applications. If we don’t keep up to date, we’re out of the game.

That’s no fun.

For businesses trying to keep up, though, the challenges are significant. It can feel like an old-fashioned Cold War arms race — with the budget deficits to boot. The Mississippi Business Journal is no exception to other small businesses striving to use technology in a beneficial and profitable way.

Unfortunately, that striving has been something of a struggle for us the past month. In a PC-Windows world, our editorial and production departments are islands of everything Apple. Whether it’s QuarkXPress, Photoshop, Acrobat or any of those other high-priced software packages needed to publish a newspaper every week, it’s running on a Mac. And that’s worked for us. Life has been good.

And then… (you knew that was coming, right?)… and then, our Mac guru left for Louisiana and a trusty, old computer decided to wig out. Error messages abounded. Apps wouldn’t open. Now, we’re scared to start up. Thanks to our, um, unique set up, one sick Mac has four of us sharing another one at different times of the week. It’s getting a bit complicated.

After calling, Googling and throwing out the occasional prayer, we’ve been unable to track down a metro-area technician who can exorcise our System 9 demons. However, hope remains. We just might have to expand our search. In the meantime, let me know if you have a number for a skilled Mac savior.

This week’s lineup

I’ve never appreciated that Luddite line about being “slaves to technology,” but when hardware and software go south on you, it does lead to questions about how we’re doing our jobs.

Can we work without e-mail? What about the server? Printer? Cell phone? Wireless network? And on and on and on.

But, I won’t dwell on the darker side of technology anymore. Let’s take a look at the exciting ways Mississippi businesses are using technology, which just happens to be our focus on pages 20-29:

• Lynn Lofton digs into e-mail and how it can be a powerful business communications tool — when used correctly, which can be tougher than you might think — on page 21.

• Find out more about Intechra, one of the leading tech recycling companies in the U.S., and based in Jackson. Lynne Jeter has the story on page 27.

• And thumb through the section to find out how Air-O-
Space, Lextel, the MTA Innovation Center, Ergon and more are contributing to the growth of high-tech industry in the Magnolia State.

And seriously, let me know if you can resurrect an old Mac.

Contact MBJ editor Jim Laird at jlaird@msbusiness.com.

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