Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson Airport Delivers Power to The People

Back in January I made a trip to Fresno where I found that the newly renovated airport took a decidedly 1980’s approach to publicly available AC power. That is, they basically didn’t provide any beyond the occasional outlet to allow someone to polish the floors.

A recent trip to Knoxville TN presents a splendid contrast. Arriving at Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson airport I found a new-ish facility that had taken a more enlightened approach to providing travelers with power for their gadgetry…they had built it into otherwise normal seating.

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Unexpected VoIP Headset Sited In The Wild

plantronics-audio-480-headsetSome days I think that I’m unique in my dedication to VoIP-ish pursuits. Of course that can’t possibly be true or no-one would be reading this stuff at all. But how many people do you think are so dedicated to the matter that they wear a VoIP capable headset while travelling?

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Sick of travel costs, Deloitte embraces Nortel telepresence!!!

Wow! This is great news!!! Network World has the release here. There’s a lot of talk about the possibility of reduced travel through the use of telepresence, but the actuality seems to be that except for CxOs, it hasn’t yet impacted companies in a fundamental way.

I certainly travel my share, in fact as I write this I’m just completing three days in Durham, NC. In my position, which is technical sales/installation/support, telepresence isn’t going to reduce my travel at all. However, the ability to provide remote support through Webex and GotoMeeting-like services has helped a lot in recent years.

Still, I hope it catches on BIG-TIME. The demand for bandwidth will help everyone in the end. It will also setup a change in our expectations, making video conferences and online meetings acceptable in more situations.

Heck, if some of the CxOs stay home more due to $$$$ telepresence I may even get upgraded more often!

What A Week On The Road!

This week has been crazed. I started out on Houston and had meetings in Waco TX, Dallas TX, Lawton OK, Austin TX. Not all of it was planned at the outset, and the planning was being done (so I thought) by an associate. Based on the information at hand it was decided that I could drive it in order to facilitate moving equipment around. Here’s the route we covered in three days:


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That’s a total of 850 miles on the road, plus meetings, hardware demonstrations, etc. Had I known this was how it was going to work out I would never have agreed to the trip!! I’ll be soooooo glad to be home tomorrow evening.

Business Travel in 2008 vs Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey

Since the turn of the year I’ve been getting around a bit. I’ve been to Austin TX, Cambridge UK, Chicago IL (twice), Indianapolis IN, and Philadelphia PA. In going to/from Chicago both trips were complicated by weather related flight delays and cancellations. It was sleeting in Indianapolis last week, but I was only delayed a few hours.

One of the last HD-DVDs that I bought was Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Watching the early part of the movie it’s funny to examine what he thought space travel would be like. The lead character is presumably traveling first class. The service sure seems good, and there aren’t many other travelers.

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Flying: Not All 777s Are Equal

I spend a very long time Friday on a Continental flight back from London to Houston. Both flights, coming and going were on Boeing 777, which is a really nice airplane for the coach class traveler.

The flights were not so full that we felt crammed in. There was reasonable leg room, and a lot of headroom. There’s no getting around it, the 777 is a big airplane. I’m 5′ 11″ and I can just about stand straight up even at the very outside seat near the wall of the aircraft.

The flight to London was a lot nicer than the return leg. The outbound flight was on a refitted 777. I didn’t think that these aircraft were old enough to warrant a refit, but I’m told that Continental is refitting one a month.

After the refit there is an entirely new entertainment system. It presents 350 movies and TV shows on-demand, displayed on updated widescreen format touch screen LCDs in the seat backs. The user interface is nice and obvious. I watched a number of HBO Comedy specials during the 7 1/2 hour flight.

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