Wireless? Check. Duplex? Check. Cheap? You Betcha!

Recently, the time came to replace the iron workhorse that was our HP Laserjet 4100. It had many long a fine years of service. Many of those long before it came into our possession. It seems is little ethernet card was old and no longer willing to hold a conversation with the network for too long. My wife especially depends on a good laser printer too much than to waste any time worrying about reliability so a replacement was in order.

Therefore, I hoped on over to Amazon to purchase the model I’ve been recommending to my clients for quite a while. It’s one I have even recommended here before. The Brother HL-5370DW Laser Printer with Wireless Networking and Duplex. It a fine printer and one that I would have been happy to have.

Then, as my finger hovered over the OneClick button, a voice from the other room said “Wait, what about this one?”

It was my wife, who proceeded to come in with her MacBook in hand and that special glee in her voice that she always gets when she is about to save us money. I looked at her screen to see, there on Amazon, another Brother Laser Printer, with the same basic features, at a price that seemed too good to be true – The Brother Printer HL2270DW Wireless Monochrome Printer.

She’s a beauty ain’t she? And she can be yours right now for only $99.00. That’s right! A good, dependable, laser printer with wireless networking and duplex printing for less than a Ben Franklin.

Now, that is not the regular price. It’s regularly about $30.00 higher. Amazon seems to drop it to match other national retailer’s specials. So, if you don’t get it right now at that price just wait a bit and it will go on sale again eventually.

Airplane Mode

I recently had lunch with a dear friend whom I had not seen in a while. This friend has a job that places him in a position that is far more important to the organization than even he readily lets on. He is the linchpin for multiple large projects with dozens of internal and external stakeholders competing for his time and attention.

He picked me up and, shortly after getting in his car, his iPhone was all business – ringing, beeping, and buzzing with potential activity. He silenced it, we continued our conversation, and just a couple of minutes later, the iPhone was back to business again. At this point, he picked it up and placed it in Airplane Mode, which cuts wi-fi and 3G but leaves the phone otherwise functional. Respectfully, I did the same.

My first thought was, wow, what a show of respect for me and our time together. I was honored and humbled by this simple act that broadcasted that nothing was more important to him (and, trust me, he has other things far more important).

Secondly, it got me to thinking why he chose Airplane Mode versus turning the phone off. After a few minutes at lunch it became readily apparent. We were showing photos across the table about our recent travels and activities. We were sharing tips, ideas and links and taking notes. We were communing and catching up by using this tremendously powerful technology in ways that enriched the conversation, not distracted from it.

I think far too often we deride the use of such technology when we are having a conversation or in a meeting as a distraction. This was a reminder to me that the technology can, when used effectively, provide a enhancement to the stories we tell and allow us to capture the things that matter. It’s ability to distract is only as powerful as our ability to not let it do so.

Consider this idea the next time you have a need to turn off all external communications yet still remain in a full, upright, and locked position with the conversations you care about.

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