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Mobile computing

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Telxon PTC-710 is a 16-bit mobile computer PTC-710 with MP 830-42 microprinter 42-column version. It was manufactured by the Telxon corporation since early 1990s. This one was used for example as portable ticket machine by Czech Railways (České dráhy) in 1990s.

Mobile computing is a generic term describing one’s ability to use technology while moving, as opposed to portable computers, which are only practical for use while deployed in a stationary configuration.

Many types of mobile computers have been introduced since the 1990s, including the:

Wearable computer
Personal digital assistant/Enterprise digital assistant
Smartphone
Carputer
Ultra-Mobile PC

Technical and other limitations of mobile computing

  • Insufficient bandwidth

Mobile internet access is generally slower than direct cable connections, using technologies such as GPRS and EDGE, and more recently 3G networks. These networks are usually available within range of commercial cell phone towers. Higher speed wireless LANs are inexpensive, but have very limited range.

  • Security standards

When working mobile one is dependent on public networks, requiring careful use of VPNs.

  • Power consumption

When a power outlet or portable generator is not available, mobile computers must rely entirely on battery power. Combined with the compact size of many mobile devices, this often means unusually expensive batteries must be used to obtain the necessary battery life.

  • Transmission interferences

Weather, terrain, and the range from the nearest signal point can all interfere with signal reception. Reception in tunnels, some buildings, and rural areas is often poor.

  • Potential health hazards

More car accidents are related to drivers who were talking through a mobile device. Cell phones may interfere with sensitive medical devices. There are allegations that cell phone signals may cause health problems.

  • Human interface with device

Screens and keyboards tend to be small, which may make them harder to use. Alternate input methods such as speech or handwriting recognition require training.

  1. GH Forman, J Zahorjan – Computer, 1994 – doi.ieeecomputersociety.org
  2. David P. Helmbold, “A dynamic disk spin-down technique for mobile computing”, citeseer.ist.psu.edu, 1996
  3. MH Repacholi, “health risks from the use of mobile phones”, Toxicology Letters, 2001 – Elsevier
  4. Landay, J.A. Kaufmann, T.R., “user interface issues in mobile computing”, Workstation Operating Systems, 1993.
  5. T Imielinski, BR Badrinath “mobile wireless computing, challenges in data management- Communications of the ACM, 1994 – portal.acm.org

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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