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Re: Fresh start? Re: Minimal Browser Capabilities

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2001 09:45:12 +0000 (GMT)
Message-Id: <200112290945.fBT9jCg05376@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Really even for devoloping countries the cost of supporting earlier machines
> with their increased power requirements,
> maintainance,reliability,serviceability,slowness of access (which is

Like price, power consumption has probably stayed fairly constant, assuming
you switch off the machine when not in use.  Whilst it is probably possible
to produce much cheaper and lower power machines and keep the processing
power constant, in practice heat dissipation is becoming a serious 
problem on the latest generation machines, as price is held and processing
power increased (although useful processing changes little).  (What they
do do is power down when idle, but you can get the same effect by keeping
utilisation high, or shutting them down manually.)

Maintenance is an issue, mainly for hard disks (fans haven't changed much).

> signifigent in areas where commuication costs are high...ie almost all third
> workd countries, is too high.

Slow machines are better matched to slow communications.  For text only
pages, machine speed really isn't an issue.  In fact, you can use very
simple, possibly floppy only machines, with one higher powered server,
to provide text only access to large numbers of co-sited users.  Economies
of scale may also mean that small clients using VNC or X-servers combined
with a, relatively, expensive server, may well produce a cheaper solution
than lots of individual modern PCs, although this does require some basic
system admin skills that might make their possesor head for the towns or

> My GP uses a DOS Character based system too but she also drives a SAAB.
> Strangely her staff spend an inordinate amount of time manually processing
> claim forms.....at $15+ an hour plus overheads would probably be better for
> her to mortgage the SAAB and upgrade her computer:)

It's unlikely that processing the forms requires any significant amount
of processing power.

Another example, but a rather more mixed one, is the Sabre airline 
reservation system.  This is not even character cell in the form used
by travel agents.  It's mixed, because travel agents tend to update their
hardware more often, so it tends to run, as the dominant application, in
a terminal window on a windowing system.  (There is a web based interface
to Sabre for the general public (travelocity), but I suspect the travel
agents would find it much too slow to use.)
Received on Saturday, 29 December 2001 04:50:26 UTC

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