Zero2Sixty™ - Brought to you by The Launch Pad

November/December 2007

Welcome to our November/December issue of Zero2Sixty, The Launch Pad’s monthly technology newsletter for small business.  If you missed last month’s issue or you’re a new subscriber, our newsletter has undergone a redesign and a new name, Zero2Sixty™, which reflects our core customer's organization size. Each month's issue includes a wealth of IT and web information, expert advice, tips on how to save money, maximize your business processes and generate revenue.  We give you the scoop in non technical terms to on industry news to help you stay on top of technology issues in your small business, school or organization. Our selection of timely and informative articles is designed for busy executives, IT specialists and staffers assigned the task of "keeping the computers and website up and running".

Just a quick note because we know everyone is looking for a great deal.  Levovo is clearing out the rest of the Windows XP notebooks in the channel and offering instant rebates
up to $700.  This is one of those really great deals.  So, if you have been thinking about a notebook, this is a good opportunity to save!  Ideal for your sales team. View Units Here >>

In This Issue

What’s the Scoop on Mobile Broadband
Almost every notebook today comes with built in w-fi but what about mobile broadband. What you need to know.

Office 2007- Is the Upgrade Worth the Investment for Your Business?arw-grn
Microsoft has announced it will discontinue Office 2003 July 2nd 2007.  Is it time to upgrade?

TechRec Utility arw-grn
WebCEO - Learn how to Properly Optimize and Market your Website - Free Edition Available.

New in Our Small Business Resource Centerarw-grn
Keep your Business Running: Five Steps for Disaster Planning for your Technology Systems - With lightening and hurricane season upon us, a good disaster plan is essential for your organization. Visit our Small Business Resource Center to read the full article.  more info >>



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This Month’s Technology Picks



Lenovo Win XP Notebooks
Lenovo is running a BIG month-end instant rebate.  Up to $700 off.  We picked the top 8 deals to still left to feature.
 View Units Here >>
Lenovo ThinkPad T60 1953


Office 2007 (all versions)


Upgrades starting at $135
more info >>


HP Spring Fling Printer Special

Save up to $200 on select HP printers and receive up to $1000 cash back for your tradein.
more info >>

All Launch Pad Promotions >>





WLAN’s has Arrived - The Scoop on Mobile BroadbandVista2

It’s next to impossible to find a notebook without built-in wi-fi these days. With high speed access and a growing number of hotspots and other access points, wi-fi is a blessing to mobile workers around the globe. Just as integrated Ethernet became standard in almost all PCs and notebooks several years ago, integrated wi-fi has as well. After all, what’s the point of a mobile computer, aka notebook, if you can’t access the resources you need when you need them?

Ah, but that’s the problem. While wi-fi access has continued to grow, and certain metropolitan areas are building out public wi-fi infrastructures for even greater accessibility, wi-fi is far from ubiquitous. Speaking of ubiquitous, how many people do you know without a cell phone? When you think of wireless and access, it is hard to beat the cellular networks in the U.S. and around the world. Until recently, relying on the cellular networks for wireless computer access was both expensive and frustrating. Plans could average $80 a month and connection speeds weren’t much better than dial-up. A lot has changed over the last year or two, however, with more changes for the better on the horizon. The emergence of a new class of wireless access over the cellular networks, known as mobile broadband, is a serious contender for any mobile workforce that needs constant connectivity.

Mobile broadband, based on 3G (third generation) wireless broadband technologies, now provides much greater performance than in the past, with average download rates of 400-700kbps, or about 50x faster than earlier networks. And with mobile broadband you can get a connection anywhere you can get a cell phone signal, which is pretty much anywhere in the U.S. that mobile workers are likely to be found. Costs have dropped significantly, with plans averaging closer to $50 per month.

To get mobile broadband or WWAN, you need two components; a cellular modem and a service provider.  In the recent past, connecting to a mobile broadband network required the use of an external adapter card inserted into one of the slots in the notebook. These cards provide decent connectivity and include the required antenna. Now, however, a number of leading notebook vendors are providing an integrated / embedded 3G mobile broadband solution which can provide some significant advantages over the external card solution such as better reception, durability and reduced interference because the card is imbedded behind the notebook screen.  Plus, the card is already preconfigured so all you have to do is locate a provider.  The two major providers are
Verizon and Sprint.  AT&T and Nextel also have plans available. So, if you have an existing notebook, you can get the adapter directly from the provider you choose.  If you’re notebook shopping, particularly for your sales team or other mobile workers, the best solution is to locate a notebook that indicates in the specifications that a “cellular modem” is included.  For example, to search on the notebook section of our store, you can identify notebooks with a preinstalled cellular modem by enter “cellular” in the Narrow your Results by Keyword box.  You’ll also be able to see what provider is tied to the installed card.














small business IT solutions & advice for your organization



Office 2007- Is the Upgrade Worth the Investment for Your Business?

After June 30, 2007, Microsoft Office 2003 will no longer be shipping to retailers. It’s a great time to think about making the move to the 2007 Microsoft® Office system. If you haven’t seen the new office, you can view a tour here.  We migrated to Office 2007 here about a month ago and found we very impressed with what we found.  So, we thought it might be helpful to recap some the key features and benefits of upgrading.

1) Office 2007 represents a clean break in platform design, built from the ground up it really does enable a new (forgive me) paradigm for usability. Instead of trying to implement some fairly critical enhancements on top of the existing design (e.g., blogging capabilities and security features like the Document Inspector), Microsoft opted to incorporate those changes, along with a radically re-architected interface, into a brand new model. Nice.

2) The price structure for Office 2007 maps pretty closely to Office 2003. For example:

The retail price for Office Professional 2007, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook with Business Contact Manager, Office Accounting Express, Publisher, and Access, costs $499 dollars ($299 our price for the upgrade).

3) The new ribbon replaces the menu structure and offers a context-sensitive display of options organized according to function. Along with the Ribbon come a number of other usability aids, including Live Preview, which gives users a look at the effect of various formatting options on selected text before they make any changes; the Mini Toolbar,which offers basic formatting buttons and hovers semitransparently over selected text; galleries, which are essentially prefab collections of attributes for certain items (like tables); and a customizable status bar with buttons for genuinely useful features


4) Apart from their interface-lift, Office 2007 applications provide some legitimate feature improvements that in many cases, will allow users to be more productive and produce better results.

A few examples:

Word 2007 offers an enhanced document comparison feature lets you view original copy against revised copy in a tri-pane window; its Document Inspector finds and removes comments, hidden text, and personally identifiable information; it offers prefab building blocks (elements like cover pages and sidebars) to speed document assembly.

Excel 2007 has expanded its spreadsheet capacity to 1 million rows and 16,000 columns; charting is simplified; conditional formatting is easier to apply; new tools make it easier to discover trends and variances in your data.

PowerPoint 2007 lets you set up slide libraries on a SharePoint Server 2007 site and keep presentations synchronized with the slides stored there; you can design custom slide layouts; you can apply a theme to globally transform the appearance of a presentation.

Access 2007 includes new database templates to help you set up things like inventory tracking and project management; you can use new grouping, filtering, and sorting features to refine your reports; it includes some new field types.

Outlook 2007 offers a To-Do bar that shows you flagged e-mail and tasks; calendar sharing has been improved; an attachment previewer has been added; it includes support for reading and managing RSS feeds.

Overall user assistance is beefed to reduce user training and assistance.  By default, the Office help system is tied into Office Online when users are connected to the Internet. (If that feature is disabled or they're not connected, they can still access the locally installed help files.) Along with topic and task-specific help for each application, Office Online offers a wide variety of training and support options, including video demos, self-paced training courses, interface guides to help users map familiar commands to the new Ribbon locations, eLearning modules, downloadable training presentations, and a few experimental podcasts.

So, overall we feel now is probably a good time to upgrade.  The product is stable and pricing is right.  You’ll also find that going forward other software that integrates with office is not going to work with the older versions because of the big difference in Office 2007’s file structure.  Plus, the upgrade process is very smooth and will run just fine on most existing PCs.  If you need any assistance with upgrades or have any questions regarding the new office, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.

launch pad techrecs


WebCEO - Learn how to Properly Optimize and Market your Website - Free Edition Available.
This is an amazingly good product in its free edition form (paid editions are also available) for getting your website optimized properly for the search engines.  Lots of instructions and video tutorials as well.  For those of you who may not be aware, The Launch Pad is now offer Website Marketing Services.  We are using this tool and we think it is a great starting point for any organization interested in properly optimizing and marketing their site.  If the task feels too complex, don’t hesitate to contact us and we can provide a proposal to assist you in your efforts.

launch pad news








Find Great Technology Resources in our Small Business Resource Center
Our Small Business Resource Center & Resource Library offers a wealth of tools, information and resources to help you understand current technology options and build your business.  New resources are added every week.  more info >>

Check our Latest Press Releases
Keep up with the latest company buzz  more info >>

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About The Launch Pad
Established in 1992, The Launch Pad is a Florida-based business solutions provider and online computer retailer.  The compancs_refy’s goal is to offer a single source of web and technology guidance and tools to help small businesses and organizations save on IT downtime and costs, increase business productivity, enhance their brand – and turn their goals into reality. The Launch Pad’s information technology solutions are based on products from industry leading vendors, including HP, IBM, Apple, Cisco, Microsoft, Intel, Symantec and many others. For more information, please visit or contact us toll-free at 888-920-3450.