JOURNALISM: Report on Business Magazine, e-insider, "End-user friendly; Traditionally, companies have focused on macro tech issues. Time to consider the micro.", Kevin Marron, 30 January 2004, The Globe and Mail. An exasperated executive stares helplessly at the hourglass icon on her computer screen while a program crashes. Urgent e-mails linger in an inaccessible in-box, while a harried technician sets aside other tasks to investigate the glitch. The speed of e-business slackens as precious moments of productivity are lost. It's a familiar scenario in the corporate world, where few people can do their jobs without access to e-mail, the internet and all the data stored on their personal computers. In fact, managing and operating desktop computers and other indispensable technology is a huge expense and a major headache for both small and large businesses, yet it's an issue that many organizations are only now coming to grips with. After investing millions of dollars to integrate enterprise-wide software and connect with customers and suppliers, companies are finding that the technology on their employees' desktops has become "the weakest link," according to Bill Dupley, business solutions manager at Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Co. BOOKS: from "The Slammer - The crisis in Canada's prison system": For those seeking simple solutions to the confusing problems of modern society, there is much to be said for the idea of sweeping criminals off the streets, locking them up and letting them rot in jail. But it does not seem to occur to those people who glibly air such views that in an age of blue boxes we do not even treat our garbage like that. This is a book about society's rejects and the prisons that house Canada's most serious criminals. It is the story of a system that punishes and sometimes destroys, but also seeks to reclaim the humanity of those whom the rest of us fear and despise. This is an account of the compassion, as well as the horror and turmoil that I found behind prison walls. It is a story about people struggling to keep the hope of positive change alive an a chaotic, degrading and dangerous environment.
BUSINESS WRITING: from a case study for a telecommunications company: A winter storm batters the summit of Pink Mountain with icy winds that whip snow into six foot drifts and chill temperatures down to as low as - 60 C. While the hum of a diesel generator is drowned out by sound of the storm, a weatherproof wireless repeater and sturdy antenna relay a constant stream of radio signals, connecting isolated natural gas fields in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains with Westcoast Energy's communications hub in northern British Columbia. Meanwhile, thousands of miles to the south, in the parched savannahs of the Brazilian hinterland and on off-shore platforms in the Atlantic Ocean, wireless transceivers are beaming the voice and data communications essential for petroleum giant Petrobras's massive oil exploration and production efforts. Oil and gas companies often operate under extreme conditions in remote locations, where a sophisticated and totally dependable communications system is essential to the safety of their personnel, the security of their equipment and the efficiency of their day to day operations.