LAB NOTES

LAB NOTES

Wireless wonderland. The players in the wireless marketplace last month formed new alliances (see story, Page 33 ) and issued broad statements such as this one from Motorola Inc.: 'By 2001, every handset we produce will be Internet-enabled.'

Compaq Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Nokia Inc. prepared to release Wireless Application Protocol server software for wireless workflow applications, while makers of handheld and phone devices got ready to accommodate wideband, 2-Gbps access on so-called third-generation wireless networks that are supposed to go on the air next year.

Meanwhile, pager makers are also upgrading their devices. Alphanumeric pagers and cellular phones can display only a few lines of text, but new models will show much more information and operate under multiple wireless transmission architectures. The new thin clients' greatest limitations are clumsy keyboard entry and limited screen size.

Motorola's PageWriter 2000X [GCN, Sept. 13, 1999, Page 1], which enjoys a usability advantage in those areas, has wireless workflow, Web and transaction applications on the way from HiddenMind Inc. of Cary, N.C., based on WAP and Sun Microsystems' Java and Jini technologies.

There's even a WAP search engine, FAST WAP, at www.fast.wap.no. It's operated by Fast Search & Transfer ASA of Norway. FAST WAP already indexes 20,000 WAP-enabled pages.

Better defrags. National Software Testing Laboratories Inc. of Conshohocken, Pa., has found that systems running Microsoft Windows 2000 get a significantly greater performance boost from defragmentation than do systems running Windows NT 4.0 'as much as a threefold improvement. NSTL said: 'Defragmenters are rising sharply in popularity as people realize they can deliver performance gains comparable to hardware upgrades at a fraction of the cost. This might be related to the apparently diminishing returns hardware can provide.'

Lowballed. Minimum RAM requirements have been a sore point with users who order new client systems with the standard 64M only to learn that groups such as Crucial Technology, a Meridian, Idaho, division of Micron Technology Inc. of Boise, Idaho, suggest twice as much for satisfactory performance.

The organization's Web site, at www.crucial.com, recommends at least 128M for any Win 2000 system. It says: 'In our Ziff-Davis Benchmark Operation High-end Winstone 99 tests, a 433-MHz Celeron system equipped with 128M of memory ran 12 percent faster than the same system with 64M RAM and a 533-MHz Pentium III processor.'

'Susan M. Menke

E-mail: smenke@gcn.com

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