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Re: Ford to Debut Pickup With Mobile Office

__/ [Sinister Midget] on Tuesday 01 November 2005 15:31 \__

> http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051101/ap_on_hi_te/office_in_a_truck
>    DETROIT - Ford Motor Co. says it will soon offer wireless mobile
>    offices in its F-series pickups, an option aimed at building
>    contractors and others who do business on the road.
>    A Ford F-250 Super Duty truck equipped with a mobile office is
>    scheduled to debut Tuesday at the Specialty Equipment Market
>    Association show in Las Vegas. The annual show isn't open to the
>    public, but it dazzles an estimated 100,000 automotive insiders with
>    souped-up vehicles and the latest aftermarket trends and components.
>    Ford expects to offer the mobile office as a dealer-installed
>    accessory in 2006. Pricing isn't finalized, but it would cost around
>    $3,000 for a wireless-equipped computer, printer and global positioning
>    system, Ford spokesman Alan Hall said. Add-ons like a digital camera
>    and credit card scanner also would be available.
>    The system uses a flat Stargate Mobile computer, powered by the
>    truck's battery and mounted on a stand between the driver's seat and
>    passenger seat. The computer has a touch-screen option â?? eliminating
>    the need for a keyboard or mouse â?? and is designed to be removed
>    from the stand and taken to a work site. It stays connected to the
>    Internet via a broadband wireless cellular card and even has a
>    screen that is visible in direct sunlight.
>    "It's super rugged. You can drop it in the dirt, pick it up, brush
>    it off and you're good to go," said Patty Dilger, director of North
>    American automotive and industrial equipment for Microsoft Corp.,
>    which worked with Ford to develop the mobile office and provides the
>    Windows XP Professional operating system.
> If this baby won't run linux reliably, it's worse thanworthless. Unless
> you're somebody who makes a living stealing personal information from
> people. Then this would be a great boon because you could park
> somewhere and let your "customers" drive to you to hand over banking
> and credit information.

It's like a zombie on wheels.

> I wonder about this "super rugged" part, too. I'm not familiar with the
> model. But the Panasonic "super rugged" Toughbook models were really
> tough. Except for the fragile screen. And the fragile hinges. And the
> fragile drive. And a lot of other fragile stuff. Like the keyboard. And
> the motherboard. And the touchpad. Oterwise they were really tough. Not
> the newer models. They aren't tough at all. They're just _called_
> tough. Now it's a model line, not a claimed characteristic. But the
> older models were tough like that. That's why they called them
> Toughbooks.
> I hope these "super rugged" Stargate machines are as tough as that.
> If Ford wants to lose as much money as GM, they should just go with
> what they have and give away as much as possible in negotiaitions for
> pay and benefits. Like GM did. I don't think this idea stands much
> chance of losing money anywhere near as fast.

Pickups and wireless-equipped computers are somewhat of an oxymoron to me.
Better stick to that computer with a cupholder (CD-ROM drive).


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