New smartphones help businesses

by charlie mathews Herald Times Reporter June 18, 2009

MANITOWOC With a pinch, flick and a swipe on his new Palm Pre, Dominic Ciliberto will be able to quickly view and respond to personal and work e-mails.
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For the owner of D and S Electric Inc. in Manitowoc having the latest hot technology "smartphone" makes good business sense.

"I'll be able to use the Internet and read my e-mail out in the field," said Ciliberto, in Sprint's Calumet Avenue store where he also was getting two new BlackBerry cell phones for son, Daniel, and daughter, Jessica.

Palm led the nation in the "personal digital assistant" field for several years but its Treo smartphone franchise has fallen behind in the cool factor behind iPhones and BlackBerrys.

Sprint, too, is counting heavily on the Pre. The nation's third-largest wireless carrier has been losing customers to other national and regional companies like AT&T, Cellcom, U.S. Cellular, Einstein Wireless and Cellular One.

Verizon also has been aggressively grabbing market share with Lloyds Photo & Video in Manitowoc, an authorized reseller.

Owner Todd Kresheck said many cell phone buyers are interested primarily in size and color and the number of minutes in their plan before they start considering features.

"Our biggest thing lately has been connecting your computer desktop or laptop using mobile broadband," Kresheck said.

"You can go anywhere in the country and be connected to the Internet, via the cell phone towers, not be limited to just Wi-Fi hotspots," he said.
Film cameras still sold

Kresheck has sold cameras since 1980 and the majority are now digital, featuring such features as face, smile and blink detection.

"A newer feature is 'in-camera panorama mode' where you take the first picture," he said. "The software in the camera processes the image and tells you where to position your camera for the next two shots.

"Once you're properly positioned, the camera automatically fires," he said.

Film cameras haven't totally disappeared but are purchased, Kresheck said, by the individual who is "very fussy about picture quality or wants to replace a broken body but still has lots of lenses."

Kresheck said all his digital cameras can produce a great 8-by-10-inch print. He said the megapixel technology in most cameras sold at Lloyd's can even produce 2-by-3 posters.

He said disposable film cameras remain a popular wedding reception table item with guests shooting the frivolity and then turning over the cameras to the bride and groom for development of lifetime photographic memories.
Quality is 'mind boggling'

Tom Henrickson, owner of Sauve's Computer & Supply in Two Rivers, marvels at the technology advances in the products he sells primarily to businesses.

"What continues to happen with computers is that the price stays the same but the features keep going up and the quality is mind boggling," said Henrickson, who has been in the field for more than 20 years.

He said the system memory demands of 2009 computers hardware and software is substantial but adding memory chips for peak performance is cheaper than ever.

"For anybody running XP they should have, at least 1 gigabyte of memory, two is better, and Vista users should have 4 gigs," Henrickson said.

The first question prospective new computer buyers should ask is, "Does it need to be portable?" he said.

Since Sauve's has a strong business customer base, the majority of its sales still are desktop PCs.

However, he sells Nobilis laptops in custom configurations and offers telephonic technical assistance or on-site service to his customers in Manitowoc, Brown, and Sheboygan counties and the Fox River Valley.

A newer trend in the personal computer world is the popularity of so-called "netbooks" or downsized laptops often featuring screen size of about 10 inches with limited processor power, and a smaller hard drive.

"They do have their place," Henrickson said. "You might use one in the living room to poke around the Internet but it typically doesn't replace a desktop."

Charlie Mathews: (920) 686-2969 or cmathews@htrnews.com

New smartphones help businesses | htrnews.com | Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter