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Subject: IP: RE: IBM"s "MetaPad" Index Card-Size Computer Prototype

  • From: David Farber <>
  • Date: Thu, 07 Feb 2002 07:35:07 -0500

-----Original Message-----
From: "Bob Frankston" <>
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002 15:37:49 
To: <>, <>
Subject: RE: IBM"s "MetaPad" Index Card-Size Computer Prototype

I too am excited about little machines and, by coincidence my APT
machine arrived today. It's 6" x 5.5" x 2" with a 10GB drive
(upgradeable), 512MB RAM, and a DVD drive as well as interfaces for
video, serial, TV (S-Video, sound), USB, Ethernet, Phone (built-in
modem), and Fire Wire. I also got a Spacewalker which is larger but more
readily available. I'm running XP on these though they would also make
fine Linux boxes.

No deep engineering here -- laptops push the limits much more. It is the
ability to deploy these boxes in interesting places that is exciting.
These are the products I've wanted as part of home (IP) networking and
allow the computer to become a building block rather than just the
mainframe on the desk.

I welcome IBM's interest but find it strange that IBM doesn't just sell
such obviously useful, though by today's standards, mundane devices. I
tend to think of books like "The Cluetrain Manifesto" just saying the
obvious but I guess they are needed if IBM feels it has to "research"
applications internally and all they can come up with are the same old
applications in slightly new boxes.

Bob Frankston

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of David Farber
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2002 13:30
Subject: IP: IBM"s "MetaPad" Index Card-Size Computer Prototype

-----Original Message-----
From: Ari Ollikainen <>
Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2002 10:12:51 
Subject: IBM"s "MetaPad" Index Card-Size Computer Prototype 

IBM to Unveil Index Card-Size Computer Prototype
Wed Feb 6,12:16 AM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - International Business Machines Corp.'s research 
division says it has developed a prototype of a portable computer 
module that is the size of a small pad of paper and has the computing 
power of a typical notebook or desktop computer.

The portable computing device, which IBM Research will unveil on Feb. 
11 at a technology conference in Phoenix, Arizona, includes 128 
megabytes of dynamic random access memory, a 10-gigabit hard drive 
and a microprocessor -- which is the brain of the computer -- that 
runs at 800 megahertz, or 800 million cycles per second.

"We've taken the PC down to where you can take it home and finish 
your work," said Kenneth Ocheltree, manager for next generation 
mobile at IBM Research.

Code-named "MetaPad", the module is 5 inches long, 3 inches wide and 
about three-quarters of an inch thick. The module fits into a larger 
accessory piece that features a small, flat screen on front and is 
about 6 inches long, 4 inches wide and 1 inch thick.

The index-card sized module can also be plugged into a docking 
station for a personal computer, enabling the user to move all of his 
or her information and applications from one location to another. It 
runs Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP operating system.

Ocheltree said IBM doesn't have specific plans to sell the prototype, 
which could be ready for market in few years. IBM is talking to 
computer makers and customers about how it could be used, he said.

"We're trying to understand how people would use it and interact with 
it," Ocheltree said.

Ocheltree said some possible uses are in areas like medicine, 
international customs, and airline and hotel check-in. He said IBM is 
working on how wireless technology could be used with the device.

Companies like Palm Inc., Handspring Inc. and Research In Motion Ltd. 
all make pocket-sized computers with various degrees of computing 
power that handle anything from calendar functions to e-mail 
transmission. PC makers Hewlett-Packard Co. and Compaq Computer Corp. 
also make handheld computers.

Rapid growth in the handheld market has slowed amid the overall 
economic downturn as consumers have tightened up on spending, and the 
industry is increasingly introducing wireless devices for 

IBM, with a $5 billion research and development budget in 2001, does 
everything from exploratory research to application development, 
working in computer science, material science, mathematics and 
physics. For exam4ple, it has worked on making semiconductors smaller 
and faster.

  You can't depend on your judgement when your imagination is out of
						          -- Mark Twain.

        OLTECO                    Ari Ollikainen
        P.O. BOX 20088            Networking Architecture and Technology
        Stanford, CA    
        94309-0088                415.517.3519  

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