Mobile phones, developing nations, an amazing solution! (Article by Shane)

Shane M. Coughlan shane at
Sun Apr 23 12:44:40 UTC 2006

Hash: SHA256

Alex Hudson wrote:
>> On this point I don't agree.  Having used Sinclair Spectrums, C64s,
>> Oracles and (my personal favourite) the Memotech, I have found
>> televisions to be a decent - if imperfect - textual device.
> I guess you mean Oric, not Oracle ;)

Well spotted!  I must have been thinking of Larry...

The Oric was an interesting machine.  I have one at home.  Apart from
that horrific keyboard, I quite liked it.  The documentation was also
neat.  Someday I should google it, and find out more about the history.

I really loved the Memotech.  Nice keyboard, fun to work with, great
manual.  Ah, those were the days...

> It's not that I don't think the technology would work, but that it's
> never really been used this way and I'm not convinced it's capable. It's
> one thing for people to have used Atmoses and C64s in the past, but
> those devices never had to display the web graphically - you can already
> get phones with QVGA resolution that do that. Amigas and Acorns tried
> doing it, and they were horrendously unreadable on anything other than a
> good TV with a scart connection.

I don't really think we could expect multimedia beauty from a mobile
phone outputting to a TV.  Graphical browsing of the web might be
optimistic, especially when we consider most web pages are going to be
using a resolution that will challenge or wipe the floor with our
available resolution.  It would become scroll-hell, and the variable
text sizes on web pages would lead to a headache.  I would not like to
try reading Wikipedia on my TV.

The main suggestion is for office productivity applications, not web
browsing.  Word processing, spreadsheets, database systems.  Email is
also included as a real possibility.  Web browsing - if it were to occur
- - would be best suited to text sites designed with jphone layouts in
mind.  Many large companies already support this, certainly CNN and
OSNews provide jphone format information.  That should work just fine on
a TV.

You have a good point about the technology not having been used this way
before.  It would be pushing things forward a bit.  But we're talking
100mz CPUs, almost 4meg of RAM, and a display device that can handle
text elements.  I think it'd be fun to see if the 'mobile office' could
be done.

Final note: dropped by your website.  Interesting blog.  I'd love to
meet up sometime and chat in person.


- --
Shane Martin Coughlan
e: shane at
m: +447773180107
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