Author: Noah Graff

The great rip off of IMTS is the $1200 that McCormick Place charges to run an Internet connection to an exhibitor’s booth. Such a charge is absurd on its face, but even more heinous because at least where the TMW booth is located, we can buy the McCormick Place Wi-Fi signal for $10 a day. It is perfectly adequate for email and searching Google but a little slow for video. The McCormick Place Wi-Fi points out how old school the IMTS-McCormick Place approach is, despite the kinder and gentler face the Teamster’s Union is presenting. On Tuesday, the day before…

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One week until IMTS and I’m pumped. For me this is a show, a spectacle a conversation, an old home week and a roving seminar in machinery, tooling and software. It is also a huge test. For Today’s Machining World, it is time to match ourselves up with the other publications in the field. We are still considered newcomers by some, and our approach is so different from the competition that I am anxious to sample our reach and acceptance on the IMTS floor. It is certainly a physical test. Walking a million square feet every day for a week…

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My friend Stanley lives for laundry. He is a young entrepreneur who brings his intellect and creativity every day and night to his sliver of a laundromat in a strip mall in Homewood IL. The Starbucks and Panera Bread stores are the offices where he plots his forays into the lucrative land of institutional laundry. Hospitals are the Valhalla of laundry. A decent sized hospital has a million dollar a year laundry tab. Stanley says once you get into a hospital’s billing system it takes explosives to evict you. So how does a tiny strip mall laundromat shop get into…

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eBay has lost its love in the merchant community, and it is looking to find it in all the wrong places. Much of the attraction to eBay is the auction mode where there is an opportunity for both the buyer and the seller to make a score. The auctions built eBay, but they are losing their appeal. Professional sellers fear the randomness of an auction for an unusual item at one given point in time. For a machinery dealer like Graff-Pinkert & Co., the sister to Today’s Machining World magazine, selling without a reserve or high starting price seems foolhardy…

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In July, my friend Justin and I traveled to the Sahara desert in Southern Morocco. We camped out in the wilderness twice, the first time in Zagora, the second time in Merzouga. Both times, we traveled by camel to reach our campsites. Our camels in Zagora were some of the smallest, mangiest looking camels we had ever seen, yet they got us to our destination generally unscathed. On our desert treks, we had little control of our camels because our nomad guide Muhammad pulled us the entire way. Camels provide an interesting travel experience, but not the most comfortable journey.…

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