Digitally record sounds and speeches with a voice recorder.

June 20th, 2006

Digital Voice RecordersWe recently added three new digital voice recorders to our Web site. These recorders are used to capture sound, speeches, conversations and even phone calls. These new voice recorders are the equivalent for recording sound as the digital camera is for capturing images. These recorders store the audio, some up to 65 hours that can later be transferred to a computer for editing or later note taking.

Digital voice recorders are commonly used by students, doctors and lawyers for recording interviews, speeches and more. Rather than having to worry about a tape, all the data is stored digitally in the recorder that can later be stored to a computer and burned to a CD. Tapes tend to lose their integrity over time. Digital data will retain its integrity for years. Tapes limited to a small amount of space, usually ranging 20 to 90 minutes. The sound quality with digital recorders is far better than traditional analog tapes.

A wide variety of businesses and professions prefer to use voice recorders. Doctors will record medical findings, students will record class lectures and private investigators/reporters will use them for gathering data. These are just a few examples. A built-in speaker, or included headset, lets you listen to previous recordings on the spot.

Digital voice recorders are very compact, and do not need to make space for a cassette tape. They can easily in a purse or pocket. A phone attachment makes it possible to record conversations for investigational work or for preserving memories. You can see ABC Office’s entire line of digital voice recorders by going here.

The Max-Bantam counts paper with speed and precision.

June 12th, 2006

Max Bantam Paper CounterThere are many paper counters out there designed to count large stacks of paper quickly and efficiently. Many of the paper counters out there measure the thickness of a stack of paper and give a precise “estimate” of the total number of sheets. I figured this must be one of the quickest and most economical ways to count paper.

ABC Office eventually came across the Max-Bantom paper counter. This paper counter counts ever single sheet, rather than measure the thickness of the stack. This gives you a precise total every time. I counted a stack of 388 sheets of paper four times, and the counter came up with 388 every time.

The Max-Bantom was easy to set up and use. I was surprised to find that batch counting could be done with the push of a few buttons. I decided to set the machine up for batch counting every 20 sheets. After 20 sheets, the counter placed a tab in the stack of paper.

This paper counter is certainly worth looking at if you are in the market for a fast paper counter that can keep precise count of paper inventory. We are in the process of getting the video ready for the Web, but you are certainly more than welcome to request a live video demo. Our customer service reps will get a camera and show you every little detail over the Internet.

You can sign up for the live video demo by going here.

Our desktop marketing tips for small businesses can help you look professional.

May 9th, 2006

One of the most common ways to advertise and promote a new or existing company is by using a business card. Outsourcing business cards to print shops can get expensive. Initially there are often minimum quantities. The price can also go up as the card is customized and personalized. Color and double-sided printing can also bring up the cost.

You may want to consider creating your own business cards. Most laser and ink-jet printers are capable of creating high-quality prints. Simple software can be used to create business cards. The cards can be created to your exact specifications.

Business Card CuttersOnce the cards are designed and printed, you can easily cut them out with a business card cutter. Business card cutters quickly cut cards to size and a high rate of speed. Business card cutters cut cards with a straight edge, unlike scissors that can make edges wavy and awkward. One such business card cutter is the Cardmate business card cutter. You can see our entire selection of business cards by going here.

Paper folders are another valuable addition to any office. They can be used to quickly fold a variety of pamphlets, brochures and other literature. We also recommend using equipment such as laminators, paper cutters and binding machines to help create marketing and advertising material.

If you need to print literature in high volumes, you should consider looking at a digital duplicator. They use ink, which costs far less than traditional toner found in many copy machines. You can see the difference in cost between toner-based copy machines and ink-based digital duplicators by going here.

If you are unable to afford office equipment to get your business up and running, remember that we offer several leasing options. Leasing is an effective way to get people into equipment they need now with little money up front.

ABC Office announces addition of Formax paper shredders.

May 3rd, 2006

Formax Control PanelWe are very excited about the addition of eight new Formax paper shredders to our lineup. We have sold Formax products for years. You may have heard of their popular folder inserters and paper folders. Due to our success in the paper shredder industry, we have been given almost exclusive distribution privileges.

We have had several Formax products set up on our display floor and I have had the chance to play around with the Formax FD8600CC. The first thing I noticed is how quiet the shredder is. The sound of the actual paper being shred is louder than the motor on this shredder. I have never heard a shredder so quiet. Because the Formax shredders are so quiet, they are perfect for use in areas where people are working. Compared to these shredders, comparable shredders sound like lawn mowers.

The shredders are made from durable solid metal. The menu on these shredders are very well laid out and easy to read. The mid to high-level shredders include a load indicator that let you know how much stress is being put on the motor. This helps you know whether or not you are putting too much paper into it. Putting the appropriate amounts of paper into a shredder will help prolong the shredder’s life.

I would highly recommend taking a look at the new shredders. If you are in need of a new shredder, you should try one of these out. I’m confident you’ll love it!

Help your business look professional with some desktop marketing tips.

April 14th, 2006

Digital DuplicatorsStarting a business doesn’t come free. Only a select few of businesses started this year will survive. Money is often the biggest factor in determining whether a business survives or goes under. How do you produce advertising materials, business cards and more from the confines of a small business or home office? ABC Office has some tips and ideas that may help you save some money.

A big part of getting your business going is getting your name out in the open. Business cards are a good way of doing this. Paying somebody or outsourcing business cards can become expensive, and custom business cards are often not an option. Many business card makers require minimum orders. You are often left in the dark during many parts of the printing process. We recommend printing your own business cards and cutting them out yourself. This allows you to get a business card that is exactly what you want and need. ABC Office sells business card cutters that help do this. One of these business card cutters is the Cardmate business card cutter.

Paper folders also help assist in making mailers and advertising material. They can be used to fold hundreds of documents at a time with little effort on the part of the user. This is ideal for folding brochures, booklets, mailers and other business oriented literature. ABC Office also recommends other pieces of quipment such as laminators, paper cutters and binding machines.

You should consider printing your own fliers, brochures, mailers and other literature. Standard toner-based copy machines can be very costly to use for large projects. Digital duplicators, much like the old hand-crank mimeograph machines, use ink that is far less expensive than traditional toner-based copy machines. Digital duplicators can be found here.

Money is an important part of getting a business going. If for any reason you cannot purchase the equipment needed for your business, ABC Office offers leasing as an option. Through leasing, many small businesses are able to get the office equipment they need. ABC Office customer service representatives are always happy to help answer questions and offer suggestions to help get your business up and running.

Have you heard about the new ten-dollar bill?

March 30th, 2006

This month the United States is circulating a new ten-dollar bill through commercial banks to try and combat of the United States, while keeping you from falling victim. The majority of the new ten-dollar bill’s features will remain the same as before.

The new ten-dollar bill has added the words “We the People” in red text. The font is that found on the U.S. constitution. The new bill will also feature two red Statue of Liberty torches. The new bill is designed to prevent counterfeiters and help protect the currency. The new currency began circulating March 2, 2006.

Distinguishing real bills from fake can be difficult. Printers and scanners are now able to product high-quality prints that can make counterfeit money appear to be real. Because counterfeiters are using high-tech means to copy money, businesses need to use high-tech means to combat this problem.

The new ten-dollar bill incorporates several “visual” methods of detecting counterfeit money. These are three methods easily seen with the naked eye:

  • First is a security thread. The thread goes the entire width of the bill and states USA TEN along with
    small flags.
  • Second is a watermark of Alexander Hamilton’s head that can be seen when held to light.
  • Third is color-shifting ink. This can be found in the lower-right corner of the ten-dollar bill. The color  will shift from copper to green, depending on the angle it is held.

These are the most important counterfeit detection methods used today:

  • The first is UV (ultraviolet) detection. UV counterfeit detectors have a dark light that makes built-in features in tangible currency light up and appear yellowish green.
  • The second is MG (magnetic). MG detectors detect magnetic ink that is in U.S. currency. When a bill is slid over the MG detector, a light or other indicator will let the user know if it is authentic or fake.

ABC Office continues its efforts to try and help educate businesses and individuals regarding counterfeit money problems. ABC Office has an online fraud prevention guide that can be accessed here. To see the different types of counterfeit detectors that are currently used by banks and businesses, please go here.

Duplo V-350 Forms Burster Review

March 10th, 2006

Duplo V-350 BursterA few days ago I set up the Duplo V-350 in our show room to shoot an online video demo. I have used the Martin Yale 970A burster (found here) in the past. I used this to help gauge the performance of the V-350. I was surprised how easy it was to set up the V-350 for operation. Setting up the machine required a few simple adjustments. Once the adjustments were made, I fed the paper through the machine. This was easy to do thanks to a jog button.

After feeding paper through the machine I was able to see the paper being burst apart. Using the jog button I was able to run the machine with the protective cover open as I made sure things were operating properly. Once I let up on the jog button, the machine ceased to operate. Pressing the button forward allowed the machine to operate in continuously without having to keep the jog button pressed in. The machine cannot operate continuous mode unless the protective cover is down. This helps prevent personal injury.

I ended up running three different sizes of paper through the machine. The first stack I ran through the machine didn’t have tractor feed on the sides. The paper was perforated every four inches. I set the machine up for four-inch burst intervals. The V-350 ran flawlessly. The second stack of paper had tractor feed on the sides that was slit off using the V-350’s side slitters. It was burst every 11-inches along the perforations. The last stack of paper I ran through the machine was some billing forms that a customer had sent in for testing. The billing forms were burst every four-inches and had the side tractor feed slit off.

The machine created little mess and the papers came out the other side of the machine in order and organized, thanks to a conveyor-style exit tray. This was especially nice in comparison to bursters that throw bursted paper into a catch bin, leaving the paper unorganized.

To sum things up, I would rate the V-350 a solid five out of five stars. The components that are used to make the machine are high quality and the rubber rollers used to pull paper through the machine are very solid and should last a long time. You can find the Duplo V-350 here. The demo we shot should be available in a couple of weeks.

How do grocery stores preserve food?

March 3rd, 2006

Vacuum SealersHave you ever wondered how food is processed and prepared for the store? It may not be at the top of your list, but it is still very interesting. If proper care is not taken, food can easily spoil. Bacteria sets in and causes the food to rot. Rotten food is both tastes bad and can be dangerous. Rotten food can also cost stores a lot of money in lost merchandise. Several types of food preservation are available to extend shelf life. These preservation methods help eliminate and slow a variety of bacteria, fungus and more.

Salting food used to be widely practiced to help preserve meat. Food was kept outside during cooler times to preserve food. Refrigerators were later introduced to help slow down bacteria. Refrigerators can now be widely found in both stores and homes. Putting all food in refrigerators is expensive and not economical for grocery stores. Due to cost, other methods have been invented to help preserve food. One of the more popular methods is the vacuum sealer.

Vacuum sealers put food in an airtight environment that prevents bacteria and fungus from growing.
Vacuum sealers remove air and seal products in a bag. This eliminates the vital oxygen that most bacteria require to grow. The finished vacuum-sealed bag can then be placed on a shelf, hung on a wall or be put in a refrigerator for superior preservation.

Chamber sealers are one of the more popular vacuum sealers used by commercial producers of food. This style of sealer uses a chamber where the products and bags are placed. Air is removed from the entire chamber, including the bag and food, which creates a vacuum. The bag is sealed and the air inside the chamber is returned back to normal. Because the bag is previously sealed, the air inside the bag remains in a vacuum-like state. You can see an example of this by going here. The demo is pretty fun to watch.

Potato chips and delicate food such as crackers can be damaged if all the air is removed from the vacuum-sealed bag. For this reason, the amount of air removed from the bag can be adjusted. Nitrogen air tanks can be attached to most chamber vacuum sealers, replacing the oxygen with another gas that has better preserving properties. Although some bacteria do not require oxygen to survive, most bacteria are wiped out when the oxygen is swapped out for nitrogen.

You can see ABC Office’s entire selection of vacuum sealers by going here.

How do you get rid of a top-secret document?

February 21st, 2006

Top Secret ShreddersYou have probably wondered at one time or another how effective shredding documents really is against identity theft. Although ¼-inch strip-cut shredding is the least effective method of shredding documents, most thieves won’t bother to try and tape the documents back together. They will simply skip that and go to another garbage or neighbor who doesn’t shred.

Why take the time to piece together strip-cut particles when you could easily go to the next location? Most thieves want to put forth as little effort as possible. For added security, it is generally recommended to use a cross-cut shredder. Cross-cut shredders create particles that are almost impossible to tape back together.

The reason I say almost is because some people are willing to take the time to try and tape documents back together. It is not the casual thief or the regular shredded material that I’m talking about. It is the thief interested in discovering corporate secrets or finding out top-secret information from the government that I’m referring to. It used to be generally accepted that a level 5 shredder (1 x 11 mm) was the best in shredding. Particles were believed to be impossible to decipher. It was later discovered that some data could still be read using a high-powered microscope.

After 9/11 it has become even more important for the government, Pentagon and military to shred top-secret documents. This led to the creation of the level 6 shredder (1 x 4 mm). This is now the standard for use by the government, Pentagon and military.

Some level six shredders shred paper down to particles as small as 0.07 x 2.6 mm. Although the U.S. military and government are the biggest consumer of top-secret shredders, large corporations also find the need to shred sensitive documents using sophisticated shredding methods. You can find all our level six shredders by going here. You can read about all six shredder levels by going here.

ABC Office receives dealer of the year award from MBM.

January 30th, 2006

MBM Office ProductsABC Office recently received the prestigious MBM dealer of the year award. MBM is a world-known manufacturer of Destroyit document shredders and makes advanced finishing equipment for the graphics and print industries. MBM has been manufacturing state-of-the-art paper handling equipment for over 60 years. We are excited to be a recipient of this award and are continually working to better ourselves and work harder to provide you with the equipment and products you need to keep your businesses running.

MBM Products are known for their quality and reliability. They are best known for their line of Destroyit paper shredders. Reliable, fast and easy to use, Destroyit shredders have set the world standard for over 45 years. Unlike shredders purchased at office super stores, Destroyit shredders are industrial grade, precision-engineered machines built to provide years of reliable and efficient operation. With data and identity theft on the rise, effectively disposing of your company’s confidential data is more important than ever. More powerful and reliable than machines from office super stores, the smallest Destroyit desk-side models are built with the same industrial-grade components as the largest high-volume shredders. MBM also manufactures a line of paper cutters under
the name of Ideal and Kutrimmer.

Manufactured in Germany, Triumph paper cutters and Kutrimmerpaper trimmers lead the world in performance and safety. Their line of guillotine trimmers can cut through hundreds of documents at once. The Kutrimmer line of paper trimmers can precisely cut paper down to any size needed.

MBM manufactures paper folders, collators and bookletmakers. All this equipment is designed to help companies save money by bringing outsourced projects back into the office. Businesses can save a lot of
money by doing their own shredding, paper cutting, folding and more. All the products manufactured by MBM are designed to streamline the office, be easy to use and operate at fast speeds.

We are excited to continue our partnership with MBM and strive to be the best source for all MBM products.

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