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Wireless World: PDAs vs. Pagers [Office Solutions magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Office Solutions magazine
July 2000

Steve Barrett loves his pager. Seven years ago, the freelance photographer from Alexandria, Va., bought one, and now says he gets very nervous on days when he accidentally leaves home without it.

“Sometimes, I’m half asleep in the morning when I leave the house and my pager gets left behind on the dining room table,” says Barrett, whose photographs regularly appear on the pages of USA Today, Washingtonian magazine, and the Los Angeles Times. “My entire day feels off. I rely on that pager to keep me connected to my clients. When a photo editor from a newspaper or magazine needs a photographer for a shoot, it is often a last minute arrangement. They’ll call maybe three of us, and
the first one to return the call gets the job. Time and time again, my pager has made the difference.”

Barrett says he does not intend to trade in his digital workhorse for, say, a personal digital assistant (PDA). “I paid $60 for my pager and pay only $9.90 a month for up to 200 messages,” he says. “You can’t beat the price. There is no reason for me to even think of incorporating any other type of technology into my life.”

Barrett is not alone. Although PDAs have grown in popularity since Jeff Hawkins introduced the first PaImPilot in 1996, industry experts and users alike agree, the day of the easy-to-use, reliable pager is not likely to go the way of Betamax anytime soon.

Why? Numbers. About 50 million Americans own pagers. Only 10 million have PDAS. Industry insiders agree, however, that in the near future pagers are likely to get some impressive upgrades.

“What is already happening is that pagers are becoming more powerful and functional,” says John Kampfe, spokesperson for BellSouth Wireless Data. “Take, for example, the RIM Inter@ctive Pager 950. A compact device has a 386 microprocessor and a full keyboard. When combined with the BellSouth Interactive Paging service, it is used to perform full two-way interactive communication.”

Kampfe says that because devices such as the RIM can perform wireless stock trading and other wireless e-commerce functions, two-way pagers are a long way from being obsolete.

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Will Temp Workers Work for You? [Office Solutions magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Office Solutions magazine
February 2000

The Milken Family Foundation needed help. The Santa Monica nonprofit organization that gives money to fund educational and medical research, co-founded by infamous junk bond king Michael Milken, was working on a project that required the skills of a graphic designer with several years of experience.

Only, the foundation didn’t want to hire a full-time employee to do the job. The foundation was in the market for a temporary employee. So the organization’s director of design, Gary Panas, turned to Paladin, a 10-year-old Chicago-based staffing company with offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New York, San Francisco, and a number of other cities.

About half of its roster of 7,000 associates have creative skills related to art or writing disciplines, including art directing, graphic design, digital art and production, copywriting, corporate writing, speech writing, and public relations writing; just what Panas knew the Milken Foundation needed.

“We knew that Paladin would have the quality and variety of people to fit our needs,” says Panas. “The breadth and depth of Paladin’s associate rosters gives it the ability to pinpoint the right person for our specific needs.”

Within a few days, Paladin helped Panas find the right person for the job. When the assignment was complete, the foundation continued to use the same designer, as well as other Paladin professionals, on additional projects.

“Companies have come to realize the value of hiring highly skilled professionals on an interim basis [while] keeping their core staffs at levels that maintain the company‚Äôs’ daily operations,” says Jean Ban, executive vice president and cofounder of Paladin Inc. “The growth potential in the professional segment of this industry is phenomenal.”

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"I get by with a little help from my friends," says Hope, who gives special thanks to:

• MICHAEL GIBBS, website illustration and design: www.michaelgibbs.com
• MAX KUKOY, website development: www.maxwebworks.com
• STEVE BARRETT, portrait of Hope on Bio page: www.stevebarrettphotography.com

Contact HOPE KATZ GIBBS by phone [703-346-6975] or email.