e-HR glossary: a cut-out-and-keep guide

With predictions that about 60 million people in the US and Europe will be
working remotely one day a week by 2004, HR is going to have to get to grips
with, and set an example by using some of the technologies that make mobile and
remote working feasible:

ADSL Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line

A broadband (high bandwidth) line that allows you to transmit digital
information about 10 times faster than traditional 56k modems. It provides an
‘always on’ link to the internet and does not require the user to dial-up via
an ISP each time they go online.

Relevance: Anyone working from home will benefit from an ADSL
connection to the internet – it is faster and a flat monthly usage fee allows
you to control costs.


A hand-held computer that has personal digital assistant (PDA) functionality
but tends to be seen as a mobile e-mail device.

Relevance: Dead handy due to the availability of software that will
forward incoming e-mails from your individual e-mail account to Blackberry for
remote access. If you reply using Blackberry, it sends a copy to your e-mail


A short-range wireless specification that allows computers, PDAs and mobile
phones to talk to each other. Devices must incorporate a Bluetooth transceiver

Relevance: You can probably live without Bluetooth, but it is handy
for synchronising info on PDAs and laptops. If you want fully co-ordinated
mobile and desktop devices, it’s a gem.


Connects a palm handheld computer to a desktop or laptop PC using either a
physical cable or a wireless connection.

Relevance: As well as synching, it also allows palm owners to share
resources across various devices.

Tablet PC

A wireless PC that performs the function of traditional notebook and a
laptop. You can write on it with a digital pen or stylus, rather than inputting
data, and a keyboard can also be attached.

Relevance: Why key in when you can write with a pen? Fear not, your
hand-written digital scribbles can be revised.


Snappy abbreviation of Wireless Fidelity. A wireless local area network
(LAN) that can be used in place of a wired LAN. In the news recently as it is
possible for outsiders to access your network and surf the net for free (you
have probably heard of the associated term ‘warchalking’).

Relevance: With an increasing number of public wi-fi hotspots at
airports and hotel lobbies, wi-fi offers lots of potential for hooking up to
the internet and liberating otherwise dead time.

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