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Posts: 192 | Thanked: 5 times | Joined on Nov 2005 @ Eugene, Oregon
#1
There's a new handheld X terminal that can read credit/debit cards with magnetic stripes and smartcards that's surfaced at Thinlinx. It looks like the new mobile device comes with a world class point of sale solution built in and includes a rapid development framework to build all kinds of vertical market packages. It has the same resolution as the Nokia 770 and a larger, 7" display.
 
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Posts: 78 | Thanked: 1 time | Joined on Sep 2005 @ San Francisco, CA
#2
Originally Posted by Remote User
There's a new handheld X terminal that can read credit/debit cards with magnetic stripes and smartcards that's surfaced at Thinlinx. It looks like the new mobile device comes with a world class point of sale solution built in and includes a rapid development framework to build all kinds of vertical market packages. It has the same resolution as the Nokia 770 and a larger, 7" display.
This looks like vaporware; unless I'm missing something. All the pictures on that site are done in 3D software, and there are no technical specifications for the device you are talking about.

Where are you getting this information?
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Posts: 192 | Thanked: 5 times | Joined on Nov 2005 @ Eugene, Oregon
#3
Originally Posted by mk500
This looks like vaporware; unless I'm missing something.
It looks like you haven't clicked on my home page. The software image shown at Thinlinx is an X window dump affine mapped & antialiased. The GUI & point of sale application represented in the image have been on the market since '95. The GUI itself is based on X primitives and is rendered on the X server in real time using data from the remote client application. The software is not vaporware; it's the 3rd generation (as in total rewrite) of work I began 30 years ago. As far as the hardware goes I can't tell you any more than what you read at Thinlinx except to say that what you read there is accurate. It's fair to say that what you see there is, in the very near term, only a competitor to the 770 in the sense that they each can be used as a mobile point of sale device and that point of sale can finally be transformed into a personal productivity tool. I have a long background in all of this. I hope to play a big part in the continuation of what I started a long time ago.

The maturity of hardware such as this and the 770, converging with the maturation of wireless networking and countless other technologies has throw us all into the post-PC era, an era of useful, intuitive software from the network to mobile users. Anyone thinking 'ultra PDA' or 'needs more CPU power/memory' is going to see just a great PDA that they wish had more power and memory, though. This is about net-driven, collaborative, vertical market software for mobile users; it has nothing to do with handheld computers trying to deliver a portable version of the desktop.

You wrote not too long ago that, "I have optimism for the future though. I think as Linux takes over the PDA/cell world (like the A780), innovators will start to take risks with the GUI". That's pretty insightful, or maybe I just think so because I've been on a course for the last 30 years that is based on the premise that the only GUIs that can ever work are not only specific to the application of the moment but are totally customized for & by each person and useable wherever one is, whatever one is doing. Apple has X; when it grasps the value of remote X it could easily build hardware like this. But this isn't just about hardware, of course. It never was. It's about the GUI & the apps. It always was.
 
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Posts: 78 | Thanked: 1 time | Joined on Sep 2005 @ San Francisco, CA
#4
My apologies. I certainly didn't mean to say your software is vaporware, as it obviously is quite real. I was referring to the "Hot-e Handheld" hardware device.

I've just seen so many companies show 3D renderings of future devices and then never deliver, that I guess I'm a bit pessimistic. From the Thinlinx site, if you click the link "Products -> Hot-e Handheld", it doesn't go anywhere. If you click the link "Web Store -> Hot-e Handheld", it goes to the "Hot-e" device instead. There's not much info there on the handheld other than the 3D rendered picture. The "Hot-e" screenless device seems to have pretty detailed specs though, so I expect that might be coming soon.

I think remote X sessions make a lot of sense for all sorts of vertical applications like warehouses and retail stores. It would also be very exciting for normal users who would like to have "one desktop" with centrally located data that they could access from their desktop, or a mobile terminal that they carry with them. We'll need WiMax to get there though, or more free wifi. Hopefully there are ways to compress the X connection also, as my experience with remote X sessions has always been that they are very bandwidth intensive.
__________________
Nokia N800, 4GB ADATA SD (Class 6)
Nokia 770, 1GB Sandisk RS-MMC
LG CU500 for 3G data service (uses my iPhone SIM)
http://www.markandjo.com/markblog
 
Posts: 192 | Thanked: 5 times | Joined on Nov 2005 @ Eugene, Oregon
#5
Originally Posted by mk500
My apologies.
None needed, really.
Originally Posted by mk500
I think remote X sessions make a lot of sense for all sorts of vertical applications like warehouses and retail stores. It would also be very exciting for normal users who would like to have "one desktop" with centrally located data that they could access from their desktop, or a mobile terminal that they carry with them. We'll need WiMax to get there though, or more free wifi. Hopefully there are ways to compress the X connection also, as my experience with remote X sessions has always been that they are very bandwidth intensive.
You're right to favor scepticism when viewing pics like this, usually. I can't say any more than what is said at my own web site and at thinlinx already but reading between the lines is safe.

It will take the arrival of WiMax to make this all work correctly but that will certainly arrive ready for use by mid 2006.

You've probably never seen an application specific GUI like mine before, one that is rendered natively on the remote display. It's very fast - makes VNC look pathetic, but that's because VNC isn't designed to do what my GUI is. The 770 and the ThinLinx handheld are both great handheld touchscreen X terminals. That's the single thing that makes them such breakthrough devices in my opinion. It seems like such a simple thing to ask of a handheld device, or of Windows, even to offer a built-in X server, but it's been virtually nonexistent. That's what the 770 and ThinLinx offer, a touchscreen X Server. Imagine that!

Let me expound a little bit about my GUI in particular. It's a personalized GUI which offers simultaneous access via remotely rendered touchscreen icons to software all over the LAN & WAN. GUIs until now have only been a window, for the most part, to a given PC, or maybe to a remote file system. That's pretty limited compared to a GUI where each touch icon is network transparent. Of course X has been used to build desktops like KDE & Gnome , but these uses of X make absolutely no use of X as a remote display protocol. I use X to build tools to build all kinds of application specific GUIs that can be used in collaborative contexts over the LAN & WAN.

The most popular GUI is the one with the POS engine. An example of what this allows me to do is that while you are sitting at a table in a restaurant in Texas ordering your appetizer, I'm sitting in my home in Oregon putting a new entree or dessert on the menu you're ordering from. Neither one of us has a computer, though. What we have, because it's all we need, is a touchscreen X terminal, a display that is attached directly to the network and which has a window open on the X client application. It's running on a small supercomputing cluster (using any of the several free software cluster packages) on the net's backbone.

It's trivial to build GUIs for education, entertainment, just about anything with this approach. I say GUI instead of app because an app is, to me, just a GUI that has specific usefulness. If you think you see the value of X on the 770 and the X GUIs that can be built with it, then I think you see the same thing I do that can make the 770 unique. An X-based network GUI reaches into free software components to deliver usefulness and ease of use to people without requiring them to have a PC, or even a very small PC. The promise of this is the ability, finally, to remove the requirement that to use software you have to have a PC. Everything is just a remote service made available by the GUI, and users have complete control of the GUI. That's what the 770 and any wireless touchscreen device with an X server is.

Last edited by Remote User; 2005-12-20 at 10:13. Reason: rewrite
 
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