Geekspeak: July 16, 2001

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2001-07-16 Print this article Print

Easier than finding a clerk at your local Home Depot

When I saw this ruggedized wireless terminal at the local home depot, I had two reactions.

The first thing that came to mind was that wireless data devices are truly ready for real-world applications when they can survive in the hostile environment of a hardware store, surrounded by paint, sawdust and other unfriendly stuff.

My second reaction, though, was to wonder when wed get our own hands on this kind of help instead of having to wait for a clerk. For example, when will we be able to walk up to a camera-equipped kiosk, hold up a broken piece of hardware and get a map of the store that shows us where we can find a replacement item?

I hope that Homer is working on it.

Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developers' technical requirements on the company's evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter company's first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.

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