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Favorite Companies of 2004

December 30, 2004

Filed under: review — Terry Wohlers @ 10:24

Over the years, I have developed a strong appreciation for products and services of high quality. Some companies deliver, but many do not. The following companies, listed alphabetically, are those that met or exceeded my expectations over the past 12 months:

1) Communication Technologies … for maintaining and growing Time-Compression Technologies magazine through some very difficult times. As a columnist, I’m admittedly biased. I appreciate the company’s willingness to give me space to voice my views and opinions through the year. 

2) Hewlett-Packard … for offering the OfficeJet 6110 all-in-one printer/copier/scanner/fax machine. The hardware and software have worked exceptionally well, unlike the first generation all-in-one unit that we purchased. It was a dud. Also, kudos to HP for its LaserJet 4M printer. It has been a reliable workhorse for 11 years of steady use and the print quality has not degraded a bit.

3) Panasonic … for delivering what I believe is the best laptop computer ever produced for the road warrior. The Toughbook CF-W2 offers 4-6 hours of battery power, a built-in DVD/CD-RW drive, and 802.11b/g wireless, all in a 1.27 kg (2.8 lb) package with a strong titanium shell.

4) Qwest … for great people at their call center. They are competent, personable, and helpful. Also, the Qwest DSL service that we use has been rock solid and its speed has been upgraded at almost no additional cost. 

5) United Airlines … for getting me and others to so many places safely and usually on schedule. They’ve also experienced a difficult year, yet most UA employees have remained upbeat and helpful.

6) WestHost … for offering reliable and inexpensive web hosting services.

7) What’s Cooking (now called Meals Made Easy) … for helping to improve things at dinner time. Meals Made Easy is a local company that prepares and packages gourmet meals at reasonable prices. Prior to 2004, we would dine out 3-4 times per week, mainly due to our very hectic schedules. While this may sound good to some, it comes at a price, both in time and money.

So there you have it. Seven companies that stood out and made life a bit easier this year. Check back at this time next year to see which companies make the list for 2005.