The teardown looks interesting. Lots of straightforward components and connectors, nothing state-of-the-art, simple box construction. Low cost high volume = happy happy. Probably pretty reliable too.
3004 posts • joined 8 Oct 2006
I worked on a ship where we implimented a personell locator/lone worker system using the motorola UHFs and some badge responders. about 120 compartments wired up to a dedicated machine which displayed where everyone was, and linked into the Man Overboard and General alarms too - most devices had a panic button.
Whole package, hardware, transponders, cabling, and a terminal running some embedded software (OS9, I thihk) - around 20K UKP in the 1990s. We already had the UHFs with lone worker buttons, that was another 12K but was part of the comms package - I could make half-duplex phone calls home from mine.
1980s, I worked in a laboratory where we wore 'lone worker' pendants that called for help if we stopped moving or went horizontal, or pulled the lanyard off.. Around 1.5K total price, for 5 people in 6 spaces.
"...a willful effort ... inflate the underlying financial metrics..."
And that is exactly the sort of thing that due dilligence and companies like KPMG are supposed to pick up. HP were conned. and HP were negligent. I have no sympathy.
And, yes, two of the principle clowns have left the circus, but that leaves the whole support act to answer questions.
here is a clue, lads. A thing good that looks too good to be true, is usually too good to be true.
[Big clown icon needed]
But Dell, M$, and all the aquisitive remainder (like GE, Siemens, Disney) are paying a lot for success and nothing for failure. it is close to risk-free.
The risk is being taken by the rest of us who invest in startups direct or through our pension funds, and are paying for the 80% failure rate. The acquirers are getting fat on the 20% success rate, without covering the cost of failure at all.
This is all wrong.
Back when I was alive companies like IBM, Xerox, De Havilland, Bell Labs, had vast R&D departments and invented their own stuff. Acquisition is not R&D and is susceptible to fashion and market distractions, it does not take the sum total of human knowledge into new places.
Michael: If you want new stuff, employ designers and build it yerself.
Come on Apple, come up with something pervasive - like a small headset that can be a voice-op phone, or activate voice control on a nearby computer, or pick up timetables from intelligent bus stops, or buzz gently when someone we know is nearby.
How about family photo sharing - all pictures taken by all family members available to all with location and timestamps?
What about a many-sim iphone? or paired iphones, where one number rings more than one phone, like a 1930s plan 1 extension system?
Parked bluetooth (or better wireless method) headsets that charge from the ipad while parked inside it?
Remember 'beaming' your business card from one palm pilot to another. What about tap-to-share-contact-details?
An Identifcation system other than passwords? something like PKI cards, but as a tiny rfid thing in jewellry or watches or phones or badges or spectacles? I would buy a terminal/programming adaptor/app for home, and blank rfid dust. I would then programme/refresh the individual rfid items to identify me for a day, week, month - after which they would die and need replacing. And the terminal could cancel them on request, perhaps by telephoning it. Maybe I would have to be carrying at least 4 to complete succesful ID, so that any one lost/stolen item could not impersonate me. The vendor could sell the terminal; charge a subscription for identifying me; and sell the rfid dust too. Up-front and continuing revenue. Perfect.
Health monitoring and telemetry.
Panic communities: phones with a panic button, and volunteer responders as well as national ones. (see our community defibrilators in vilages in Lincolnshire for how people are keen to help each other)
How about a version of an LCD photo frame with a sim in it? So that I can take pictures of the kids and send them by MMS to their grandma without her having to to do anything?
How about a 'family status' mirror, for the hallway? Nice big mirror, little individual cells showing where we are, the last message we sent, lat photo we took, happy/busy/bored/need a hug icons? Touch two of them and the mirror duplicates each other's status to each other - "Mum said you need to talk to me" sort of thing.
A bigger, better Siri that can be your friend, learn about you, start to suggest things spontaneously?
Things for the disabled? Pick up the state of pedestrian controlled lights for blind people - "West street, crossing outside No. 8, from North to South pavement, Stop. Go in 15 seconds. 14, 13...". "Cooker turned on but not lit". "Saucepan has been boiling for 8 minutes"
I have been buying things from Gaugemaster both direct and via Amazon, thought laziness when they pop up in a search. I have stopped using the Amazon route.
I am more concerned about the AA, (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/nov/18/aa-owner-acromas-corporation-tax) - do the vans all go back to Luxembourg every night? I think I shall be cancelling my membership, and going with Green Flag.
I used a version of it on UK Vodalone company phones in 2005/6. The people who wanted PTT turned it on and nominated up to 3 numbers, then it worked like a normal walkie talkie. Advantage was that blokes pulling cables in on site A could do so without bothering about people working a crane on site B. My phone didn't have a PTT button, so it was voice-operated.
$MEGACORP now uses O2, and no such thing is possible.
PMR radios have rather poor range, and Icom F3000 are expensive. PTT mobiles are a clever idea.
Back in the '90s I was building research ships. A standard fitment there was 'talkback' - a Public Address system covering all the working spaces, with microphones all over the place. Anyone could report a buoy launched, or warn of winch failure, and everyone would know.
Then the project got taken over by an Ex-RN commander. The ships he built had microphones only on the Bridge. When challenged about the impracticallity of it, he replied "People on the back deck have to do what they are told. They have nothing worthwhile to say about it".
I thought HP were going to have a whole comet-full of windows 8 stuff on sale by now. Instead they are slagging it off (or at least the ginger stepbrother of it) Weird gets wieridererer.
Oh, and wasn't WebOs going to rise zombie-like from the grave too? what news on that, lads?
I think HP will be next through the magic curtains to the afterlife.
We bought 3 and put them on a research ship heading to the antarctic. Along with spares and service manuals and service software.
Ended up having to do all the A3 maps on a pen plotter, which was a tad slow, but I do like the way the light glitters off the ink. Much shinier than toner.
Watching a pen plotter trying to colour most of a sheet of very expensive paper blue was the only time I ever felt sorry for a machine.
I had a Sharp car radio in the 1970s, the last bit of stuff with that name on that impressed me in any way. It had far better audio quality, including the casette drive, than any of the competition. 2 years on, the replacement had a flashy display, cost twice as much and had lost the HF performance.
I've seen the products from time to time over the last 30 years. All very Me-too. No reason to buy them over any other. They seem to have survived by having capacity in an undersupplied market, and have no idea how to respond to the opposite position.
What about the commodore Pet.
Whilst the Apple ][ had visicalc, the Pet was very common in engineering circles for conencting to IEEE-488 instruments. I remember seeing one in 1995, still quietly recording diurnal variations in the earths magnetic field, and pumping them out of the RS232 port. The software had been altered some time at the start of that decade to change the data format.
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018