Mobile Computing

Vol. 3 No. 4 – May 2005

Mobile Computing

A Conversation with Tim Marsland:
Taking software delivery to a new level

Delivering software to customers, especially in increments to existing systems, has been a difficult challenge since the days of floppies and shrink-wrap. But with guys like Tim Marsland working on the problem, the process could be improving.

Enterprise-Grade Wireless:
Wireless technology has come a long way, but is it robust enough for today’s enterprise?

We have been working in the wireless space in one form or another in excess of 10 years and have participated in every phase of its maturation process. We saw wireless progress from a toy technology before the dot-com boom, to something truly promising during the boom, only to be left wanting after the bubble when the technology was found to be not ready for prime time. Fortunately, it appears that we have finally reached the point where the technology and the enterprise’s expectations have finally converged.

by Bruce Zenel

Kode Vicious vs. Mothra:
A koder with attitude, KV answers your questions. Miss Manners he ain’t.

Dear KV, My co-workers keep doing really bad things in the code, such as writing C++ code with macros that have gotos that jump out of them, and using assert in lower-level functions as an error-handling facility. I keep trying to get them to stop doing these things, but the standard response I get is, “Yeah, it’s not pretty, but it works.” How can I get them to start asking, “Is there a better way to do this?” They listen to my arguments but don’t seem convinced. In some cases they even insist they are following good practices.

by George Neville-Neil

Mal Managerium: A Field Guide:
I have seen the enemy, and he is me.

Please allow me the pleasure of leading you on an “office safari,” so to speak. On today’s journey we’ll travel the corridors of computerdom in search of the widespread but elusive mal managerium, or bad manager, in common parlance. They will be difficult to spot because we will be in a sense looking for that most elusive creature of all: ourselves. That is to say, it’s quite possible that many of us will share some of the qualities with the various types of bad managers we shall encounter. Qualities that we are loath to admit we possess, I might add.

by Phillip Laplante

Mobile Media: Making It a Reality:
Two prototype apps reveal the challenges in delivering mobile media services.

Many future mobile applications are predicated on the existence of rich, interactive media services. The promise and challenge of such services is to provide applications under the most hostile conditions - and at low cost to a user community that has high expectations. Context-aware services require information about who, where, when, and what a user is doing and must be delivered in a timely manner with minimum latency. This article reveals some of the current state-of-the-art "magic" and the research challenges.

by Fred Kitson

Streams and Standards: Delivering Mobile Video:
The era of video served up to mobile phones has arrived and threatens to be the next “killer app” after wireless calling itself.

Don’t believe me? Follow along… Mobile phones are everywhere. Everybody has one. Think about the last time you were on an airplane and the flight was delayed on the ground. Immediately after the dreaded announcement, you heard everyone reach for their phones and start dialing.

You Don’t Know Jack about Network Performance:
Bandwidth is only part of the problem.

Why does an application that works just fine over a LAN come to a grinding halt across the wide-area network? You may have experienced this firsthand when trying to open a document from a remote file share or remotely logging in over a VPN to an application running in headquarters. Why is it that an application that works fine in your office can become virtually useless over the WAN? If you think it’s simply because there’s not enough bandwidth in the WAN, then you don’t know jack about network performance.

by Kevin Fall, Steve McCanne