[Jaffa Software]

Wednesday 14 February 2007

The Internet is everywhere.... or will be. One day. Maybe.

In a comment to Roger at Internet Tablet Talk, Dr. Ari Jaaksi says he'd like to see developed:

[...] an app or service (it doesn’t have to be inside the device, it could be on the network) that demands online, constant access."

This kind of sentiment has been expressed before about the Maemo-based Internet Tablets:

  • "You don't need a PIM, as you use an online calendar."
  • "You don't need a good email client, use Gmail or similar."
  • "You don't need $X, use $Y online."

Now it's self-evident that we're not in a world of ubiquitous Internet yet. Norwich city centre's free wifi rollout could be considered a start, as could the talk of a non-free nationwide WiMax network.

So, I look forward to the day of ubiquitous Internet access...

  • ...which is cheap (or even free) at home and not exhorbitantly expensive when on holiday abroad.
  • ...on the train - in a railway cutting or tunnel (both very common on the UK's West Coast Main Line) with no line of site to a base station or satellite.
  • ...on a plane - despite existing carriers cancelling the service due to cost.
  • ...in the Channel Tunnel - when popping over to a foreign country, incurring roaming charges etc., even when I'm still closer to Great Britain than when in Northern Ireland.
  • ...on a boat in the middle of the English Channel.
  • ...in the middle of the Dubai desert (roll on mid-March!)

Personally, I doubt the Internet will ever be ubiquitous in these locations without paying a fortune (after all, if an FM radio signal can't be ubiquitous, why would people pay to make a cheap Internet connection available); and why should I have to pay a fortune to check my calendar?

Yes, these are Internet tablets, but I should be able to carry my bits of the Internet around with me.


  1. You can't have Internet access in the Channel Tunnel. It would be WAY too easy to transmit the NOC list to an international arms dealer.

    And on a more serious note: Nokia would probably argue that the Internet Tablet is for home use; to which I'd reply: "So why go through all the trouble to make it so tiny? For that purpose a Pepper Pad format would be more than small enough."

    (See? I can have entire conversations with myself...)

  2. Couldn't agree more.

    Paid WLAN is still rather expensive. I do find an open WLAN every now and then, but more and more people are wising up and securing their wireless networks and/or ISPs are giving pre-configured WPA routers to their customers. Which is a good thing, actually, even if I like having a free ride. And the legal aspect of using someone else's open WLAN is also very problematic, at least here in Germany.

    Internet access via bluetooth through your cellphone is also way beyond any reasonable price tag.

  3. When I bought my 770, I made a deal with myself: use it only for net-oriented stuff. Then it doesn't matter if the net goes away. I can still do my thing without it.

    My experience with two different PDAs led me to this. I'd used a Handspring Visor, then replaced it with a Sharp Zaurus. On both devices, I spent more time fiddling and less time using it as it was intended. Plus, it took longer to enter events into the calendar than it did when I used a paper calendar.

    Now I keep my appointments in a pocket calendar. I keep my address book on my computer at home and print it on a single page (in very small type) a few times a year. With 4-point type, I can fit about 100 addresses on each side of a US Letter page. I fold the page and keep it in the inside cover of my calendar.

    I've broken the deal just once, but only a little bit. I now use the 770 as the display for a GPS receiver. I download maps and directions when I have net. It's not as nice as having all maps all the time but it works.