__/ [Sinister Midget] on Tuesday 01 November 2005 15:31 \__
> 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
> 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).
Roy S. Schestowitz | Useless fact: Every polar bear is left-handed
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