From: Gregory Alan Bolcer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Jun 20 2000 - 08:30:05 PDT
I swear they took this photo in Cabo San Lucas. Also
you have to ignore the fact that at this point to do
what they want in the picture without the laptop having
at least a dialup or other connection, you need to
have a Magi server with mod_proxy and some OBEX and IrMC code,
but they mention some drawbacks in the story. Coverage
might also be a factor.
Mobiles move PCs together
New software lets phones transfer files between distant computers, says Joia
Published: June 19 2000 18:40GMT | Last Updated: June 19 2000 18:47GMT
You are about to start work on a report but, annoyingly, the file you
need is on a colleague's computer at the office. Or, you are in the
office and it is sitting on your laptop at home. This is an
all-too-common problem for people who work in more than one
place. But relief could come from the humble mobile phone.
Using new software, mobiles can act as a kind of remote-control device, telling
one computer to send files to another. For example, you could move a file from
your office machine to the laptop in your hotel. Or, if you don't have the laptop with
you, you could just send the file to the hotel fax.
The system, called MagiWap, will appeal to all but the truly organised. It works by
making all the computer-based devices you use behave as secure computer
servers that can be controlled by the phone. The mobile is, in effect, transferring
files at the user's request between one website and another.
Users will need a mobile that conforms to the Wireless Application Protocol, a
standard for displaying internet information on a tiny screen. The phone and
computers it talks with must also be equipped with MagiWap software. This can
be downloaded free from the internet form the website
The software is being introduced by Tadpole Technology, a British company that
bought a Californian developer of mobile internet software, Endeavors
Technology, in March. Endeavors grew out of research carried out at the
University of California into the internet and its use by mobile workforces and
Bernard Hulme, Tadpole's chief executive, says: "Instead of just using Wap
phones to read public broadcast information, such as stock prices, weather,
business news and sports scores, our software allows phone users to obtain
'private broadcast information' - business plans, price lists, research documents
- as well as those of colleagues within a trusted workgroup. The mobile user can
read, edit, e-mail, fax or print documents such as Microsoft Office 2000
documents, from a Wap mobile."
The MagiWap system is already available in the US and will be available in the
UK by the end of the month.
The drawback of the system is that the computer devices from which you want to
retrieve files must be switched on and connected to a modem or network.
However, Mr Hulme says: "This is less of a problem in the US, where a lot of
people leave their computers on and have a near-permanent connection to the
internet via a cable-TV network or phone network using digital subscriber line
And, with additional software, you can switch on a computer anywhere in the
world, as long as it is connected to a modem or network. Using the appropriate
password, it is also possible to retrieve files through a computer "firewall",
software many corporate networks use to stop hackers. That allows you to
retrieve any of your colleagues' files to which you have access.
The Magi system is free, but Tadpole plans to sell wireless workflow software
that sits on top of the Magi infrastructure. This might, say, be used by a
field-service agent to check the availability of a part, order a replacement and
co-ordinate with the depot. The Magi software is "open-source", which means
that other developers can design compatible software.
Mr Hulme says: "At present, the internet is like a lot of advertising billboards; we
believe that in the next generation of the internet, two-way mobile work
processes will be very important. So far, the computer industry has not really
succeeded in developing software that brings mobile workers into company
The mobile phone already lets you talk wherever you are. In future, it may let you
work wherever you are, too.
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