Forward Migration: Ad agency and AirPort

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(For those new to the column, Forward Migration is our term for companies moving from Wintel machines to Macs -- or at least adding or increasing the number of Macs they use. A Forward Migration Kit is an overview of Mac OS products for a particular occupation, such as photography, optometry, etc.)

Galen Wright, creative director at Emma, an ad agency in Ashland, OR, depends on his AirPort-equipped PowerBook, for a variety of things, including escaping to the local coffee shop to do a little creative thinking, according to an Apple Hot News article by Diane Cohn.

"At Starbucks across the street, I have complete access to our own extranet," Wright told Apple. "I can download TV commercials, rough edits, print ads and storyboards. We post those for client approval, so I can be talking on my cell to a client while I'm reviewing work right there in the coffee shop. It's amazing."

Emma has done work on accounts for such national firms as Guitar Center, Leatherman Tools, and Mitsubishi Home Electronics. And they're big fans of the AirPort wireless technology.

The partners at Emma also own a post-production company in nearby Medford, where they do a lot of editorial and audio work. They outfitted the entire shop with AirPort.

"There, you're going from suite to suite to suite," Timothy Arthur, Emma's production manager, told Apple. "With AirPort, you can roam around, communicating with everyone, working on audio. It's really freeing."

Keeping the agency's wireless network secure was important. Otherwise, anyone with a laptop and an industry-standard IEEE 802.11b (Wi-Fi) card could wander by Emma, log onto their internal network, and see everything they're working on. In order to secure the network, Arthur listed the unique AirPort Card addresses for each authorized user in the base station's access control panel. That was it.

Now, when Emma employees cross the street for coffee, they can still access their private in-house network via their PowerBooks. But no one else can.

"I can be anywhere and receive and send email, including files. I just love that," Wright said. "Before, I felt so helpless, you know, feeling nervous or guilty in a coffee shop about what might be going on at work. So I'd load up and go back just to check everything. Now I'm connected everywhere I go."

This story, "Forward Migration: Ad agency and AirPort" was originally published by PCWorld.

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