A Brief History of Mobile Computing

The fascinating world of mobile computing has only been around since the 1990s. Since then, devices that have been developed for mobile computing have taken over the wireless industry. This new type of communication is a very powerful tool for both businesses and personal use. Mobile computing is defined as the ability to use technology that is not physically connected to any static network. This actually used to mean radio transmitters that operated on a stable base, usually with the help of large antennas. 2 way radios used by police officers were also considered mobile technology but now, it means people can connect wirelessly to the internet or to a private network almost anywhere. As long as a person has one of the devices capable of wirelessly accessing the internet, they are participating in mobile computing. Chances are, you have done it with a laptop computer or a personal digital assistant or PDA.

These days, most laptops and personal digital assistants all have wireless cards or Bluetooth interfaces built into them for convenient mobile internet access. Mobile solutions are right under everyone’s nose these days, and connectivity has never been easier. Other common tools for mobile computing include devices like global positioning systems and smart phones like the Cingular Blackberry. Tons of PDA software development has been going on in the past five years simply because companies have been trying hard to make PDA technology more available to the general public. These days, software companies almost make more software for PDAs and smart phones than for actual desktops.

Pocket PCs are another way to conveniently access the internet on the fly. Everyone has probably heard of the Palm Pilot. While they were the pioneers of the pocket pc, many other companies such as Dell, HP, and Toshiba have all delved into the market. Pocket PC software has also become much easier to use. Most Palms use the familiar Windows interface, allowing the general public to access the internet via the usual Internet Explorer or other ISPs. Also, people can easily download useful software, including games, Media editing tools, organization tools, and even electronic books.

Mobile computing has evolved from two-way radios that use large antennas to communicate simple messages to three inch personal computers that can do almost everything a regular computer does. People can’t go to their local Starbucks and not see a laptop linked up to a hotspot these days, and mobile computing is still in its baby phase.

The Truth About Mobile Computing

A couple of weeks ago I was in a sports bar in Frankfurt, Germany watching the Chicago Bears game and texting back and forth with my son in Chicago about the game. By today’s standards, this is not such a big deal – yet you can’t help but think, “This is pretty cool”.

Yes, a lot is really “cool” about mobile devices. We all like getting our email at anytime and anyplace in the world. It’s handy to look up directions, prices, “fun facts”, LinkedIn® and more. You can look up just about anything yet “Mobile Computing” is really still in the beginning stages of development. As with any new thing, there is a lot to learn and much to keep up with.

Mobile computing covers a vast array of technology: communication; mobile hardware and mobile software. For communication you may use carrier based wireless networks. Devices include a computer, PDA, smartphone, tablet computer, etc. For software you will use any number of communication software tools reliant on what you are connecting to. The concept is to gain computer power when not at the location of the main server.

Though nice, mobile computing is not without issue. Yes, I check Facebook® and LinkedIn® from my phone, but I find it cumbersome and limit the time I spend on those mediums using a phone app. Even when using a specially designed “mobile app” screens tend to be small and the phone buttons are not the most convenient to work with. You are also limited in what you can do. Thus, on the rise you have “the tablets”. The problem with tablets is price and not everyone wants to carry something as large around. Suddenly one feels like sitting at the table with The Three Bears tasting porridge where one is too hot and one is too cold. Of course Amazon® thinks they may have the answer by introducing their Kindle Fire®. Priced at $199 and a size in between a smartphone and an iPad®, could this be the mobile savior?

Everyone knows that smartphone sales are exceeding PC sales. Even with bandwidth challenges for internet access, transmission issues and the small screens and keyboards, people want to connect with these devices. When dealing with more robust applications, the tablets are gaining popularity. The real question is how do companies address this type of technology? Corporate data is suddenly being made available off-site and unprotected.

Mobile devices present a significant amount of serious threats to corporate data. It goes several layers deeper than trusting the recipient of the information. As mobile devices increase in popularity, so do the risks.

One major concern is mobile malware. Yes viruses, worms, software that steals data, spyware, and other malware exist in the mobile environment. The chance of a serious attack is relatively low today but this is growing as the concept of mobile computing expands. It is important to protect mobile devices from malware.

Carrier-based wireless connections offer an entirely different set of concerns. Sensitive data can be intercepted if not protected properly. Another danger is that corporate logins and other sensitive information are often stored on a mobile device which can easily be left behind in a taxi or other public area. This could open the door to unauthorized access to corporate data.

Another item not often thought about is the legal side of unlicensed and/or unauthorized applications. If a mobile device is used for corporate applications who is responsible if the user loads unlicensed applications on to that device? Further, what dangers might these “unauthorized applications” present to corporate data that may be unprotected?

It is very important for companies to devise a Mobile Device Policy if employees will be using mobile devices to conduct corporate business. Such a policy needs to be a part of any mobile computing strategy. It should be a written document similar to any other confidentiality or policy agreement. It should talk about acceptable user usage and responsibility. It needs to specify that the user understands that data being accessed is sensitive and that proper precautions must be taken when using the mobile device. Likewise, companies need to ensure that the appropriate security has been put into place on the device and on the network.

Mobile computing is here and it is not going away. It opens up an entirely new scope of possibilities for doing business. However, it is important to understand how it works and what some of the challenges are in order to ensure safe and productive use.

Benefits of Using Mobile Computer Desks

Mobile computer desks are furniture of excellent practical value. While in terms of price the desks are extremely affordable, that should not at all create the impression that these are not useful items. A mobile computer desk can make your life much better in terms of flexibility, mobility and home decor.

The primary benefits of using mobile computer desks are highlighted here.

Mobility: With good-quality wheel casters fitted, movable computer desks bring mobility into your life. You can easily push your computer to different locations on the cart and use it. Thus your life is no longer confined to the regular corner of your “computer room”.
Flexibility: A mobile computer desk adds a lot of flexibility to your life. You are no longer forced to stay at one spot of your house simply because you cannot move your computer around. It is now easy to carry the computer whenever you want and wherever you want inside your house. So now you have the flexibility to watch a movie in the evening from your bedroom but work in the daytime from your living room.
Space-efficiency: With a movable computer desk, the entire computer is stacked and shelved on furniture that is well-designed and in a convenient manner. So you end up keeping the part of your computer that is lesser used, for example your multi-point plug and the rear end of your processing box, at a relatively backward location that would go unused otherwise. And you get the support for keeping your keyboard and mouse on pads and slides of desired shape and size. This saves space and is also ergonomic in terms of usage.
Home decor: A good-looking mobile computer desk would tremendously improve the decor of wherever you place your computer because of its elegant looks and the organization that it brings into the computer’s physical wire layout.

Clearly these advantages are great to have in the modern-day life. No wonder the movable computer desks have become so popular among most of the users of computers.

Mobile Computing and Its Effectiveness

Mobile computing has become a crucial technology in people’s lives. It provides people with various options of using technological devices regardless of their location. Mobile computing is the ability to utilize a computing device even when it is in mobile or even changing location. In this process, the aspect of portability is present. It has a range of devices from notebook computers to digital assistants like iPhone and blackberry to typical cell phones. This has made mobile computing become an indispensable way of life. Mobile notebooks and laptops can use only two types of wireless connection. The first one is WiFi which uses radio waves to transmit a signal from a wireless rooter to an immediate area. If not encrypted, anyone can have access on it. This connection is used for creating “hotspots” in public places. This means that one has to locate a hotspot. He or she should also stay within the range of a connection. The second alternative is to use a cellular broadband which uses modem or Air Card for internet connection. For this service, one has to remain stationery as the signal remains strong anywhere there is cellular service.

Another service linked with mobile computing is cloud computing, which is the ability to use website services from portable computers. Portable computing also grants access to a firm’s virtual private network (VPN) by tunneling through the internet. It makes life easy and also makes work to be manageable. There is an increase in productivity especially in developed countries where there is high use of technology. This clearly shows that mobile computing has so many positive effects to the lives of people. However, it also has its own limitations.

Advantages of mobile computing

1) Portability- devices used in mobile computing are portable thus making it easy to complete tasks. Portability means that they can be moved from a place to another. This means that one has the freedom to work from any place he or she wishes to be. This can be regarded as flexibility of location.

2) Increase in production- the returns are high because one has the freedom to work in a fixed place. A person is also in a position to multitask thus increasing productivity. It also, minimizes time wastage especially where one has to report to an office on a daily basis.

3) Marketing of products and services made easy- this is evident because one can market his or her products and online from anywhere as far as there is fast internet connection.

4) Communication made easy- calls making, text messages and emails can be sent or received anywhere using the mobile devices.

Disadvantages of Mobile Computing

1) Insufficient bandwidth- when using this process, internet connection is slower compared to when one uses a direct cable connection. There are cheap technologies available like EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates GSM Evolution), GPRS (General Packet Radio Services), HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) and HSUPA (High-Speed Uplink Packet Access)3G which are fast but can only be accessed within a certain range.

2) Power Usage- This affects this process of mobile computing because it relies on battery power when power connection or portable generator is not present. This means that one has to buy an expensive battery which can keep power for a long time thus increasing consumption.

3) Security standards- When a person is working in a mobile basis, he or she depends on public networks thus use of VPN (Virtual Private Network) is necessary. It is dangerous if the VPN is not carefully used because one can attack it through a massive figure of networks interconnected through the line.

4) Health problems- those people who have a tendency of using mobile gadgets when driving has a high risk of causing accidents due to divided attention. Mobile phones are also likely to get in the way of sensitive medical devices. There are some beliefs that mobile phones cause health hazards.

5) Transmission interferences- In most cases, there are so many interferences involved in mobile computing. These interferences include terrain, weather, range of the nearest signal point and others. They can interfere with the passage of signal. Transmission of signals in some buildings, tunnels and rural areas is often slow.

6) Human Interface with Devices- some components of the devices used is not user friendly. For example, some keyboards and screens tend to be small, and this makes it hard to use them. In addition, some techniques like handwriting and speech recognition require thorough training

Opt for Mobile Computer Repair Instead of Going to a Retail Store

Many people relate a damaged computer with a lengthy journey to the neighborhood computer repair business. However, in recent times, the mobile computer repair industry has seen a sharp rise in demand services. This is due to the busyness of the average working lifestyle increasing by large amount. With working professionals having to take on more work, they therefore have less time to spend at home and to carry out activities. If you’re a working professional, then you likely value your time a great deal, and may see taking your computer to the repair store as a bit of a hassle.

Fortunately, mobile repair providers are generally here to help. In almost every community, there’s a computer repair business that is able to do residential home visits. Not only is an in-home technician service seen as a given in a modern society, but the time efficiency of such work is far greater than that of taking a computer directly to the store.

You’ll likely find that if you obtain a repair professional to come to your home, the issue is solved in one appointment. This is partly due to the initiative by mobile computer repair companies to carry out work as efficiently as possible. Not only does this make work more cost-effective for the business, but it also makes it more cost-effective for the consumer.

Conversing regarding companies, your mobile computer repair community has a large range of small business consumers inside its customer base. Business clients hold a large amount of computers in today’s society, and therefore there are many more issues to be found in corporate computing, then there are in-home computing; generally speaking.

The added advantage of your repair providers for firms is that they do not have to employ associates, or get their existing associates, to take IT products to computer repair depots.

Business consumers may also value the convenience of such a program as, the caring devoted assistance of a computer professional through a procedure enables a great deal more work to be completed than if it ended up having to be taken in to a depot. Turnaround time is the most important businesses, generally speaking, as IT equipment is often mission-critical for getting a project completed.

Regardless of whether you happen to be a consumer or a business person, you will certainly discover a number of important benefits from your local mobile repair companies. This is not to say, however, if you do have the time to visit a computer repair store, you’ll likely find you get a greater customer experience when it comes to taking a trip down to the local computer repair store. Part of the reason why customer experience is generally greater at a computer store, is due to the fact that many repairs take place at the depot itself. If you have access to all of the staff services at a computer store, you’re more likely to see a wider range of options for your job.

Inevitably, it is up to you to determine whether or not a mobile computer repair fits you, or if you will be considerably better off proceeding to your local computer repair shop. One thing to bear in mind, however, is the fact that you have to realize whether it’s better to value cost, or to value time. The most cost efficient method would be to go directly to the store, however, if you value your time more; then mobile computer repair is most likely going to be your answer.

Business Technology Career Training Schools

In business, the use of technology is becoming prominent. Working through a training program can teach students how to understand business technology. Several colleges offer career training to students by preparing them for the work needed within a business. Two main options are available to students and these include completing a certificate or associate’s degree program. Students can learn a number of things prior to enrollment.

1. The goal of education is to learn how to become an administrative assistant or office manager. The skills learned integrate business knowledge with computer technology and training in these areas fosters the correct level of understanding to work in any clerical or supervisory role. The technology of a business includes all computer programs used to keep track of business transactions and communications. Working with Word and desktop publishing programs are all programs covered in the technology side of this degree. Many colleges offer basic business courses as well.

2. When training inside a certificate program students should expect to be immersed in studying how to effectively work with business technology. Colleges create this environment by providing courses in business math, database management, and staff management. Essentially, students are learning how to work as a business technology manager. The skills acquired include being proficient in keyboarding, accounting, and managing. Students can expect to learn how to use computer systems to accomplish everyday tasks needed to help keep a business running smoothly. Continuing education at the associate’s degree level is where most students begin their education.

3. A two-year associate’s degree trains students to enter the competitive field and be successful. With the knowledge gained through specific courses students are able to work inside a business setting and contribute to a businesses operation. Business information systems, business principles, spreadsheets, data management systems, and business communications are all courses that provide the needed career training and experience to enter a career. Students learn what it takes to provide these services to a business. The work done contributes to business information that needs to be typed, saved, and distributed accordingly.

4. The workplace provides a place for trained students to observe and learn more about how a business works. The field is estimated to grow considerably. This is due to the continued need that businesses have for qualified individuals. Trained students are able help a business reach its highest level of potential and workflow making their education in demand. Depending on the level of education students can obtain careers working for a business as an office manager or assistant. The average yearly salary is approximately $35,000. Student’s that find the work of a business intriguing and desire to move up in the industry can find training in management technology. This closely related field prepares students to become managers of an office by operating business technology like computers, spreadsheets, and bookkeeping programs. The added responsibility is gained through the management side of career training.

Managing Small Business Technology

Technology Levels the Playing Field

One advantage small business has gained over the years is the ready availability of sophisticated technology that was once the exclusive asset of the largest corporations. But with this benefit comes the additional responsibility of proficient management of that technology.

Customers Demand Better Service

Today’s customer has come to expect the greater convenience and efficiency the Internet Age, with online connectivity to company accounts, or at least computerized records, information databases, and customer management systems.

A Technology Breakdown Can Be a Public Relations Nightmare

Managing your technology may not be at the top of your list of important business activities, but perhaps it should be, because how your computers, database, network, phones, etc. are running can make the difference between being seen by your customers as competent and caring about their needs, or inefficient and unconcerned.

Asset Management Can Be a Daunting Task

Your technology must be chosen and sized to the required tasks and your staff must be proficient in its operation, but there is much more to keep track of. Your technology must be periodically upgraded. It is vital that software be updated for security and fixes. Hardware and software depreciate and must be either upgraded or replaced. When facing budget constraints, decisions must be made whether to continue using current equipment and software, or to replace it. For example, perhaps a three-year depreciation cycle could be extended to five years, but circumstances might dictate replacement, such as the inability of older equipment to support the software needed to remain competitive.

Threats Cannot Be Ignored

Damage from computer viruses, unreliable power sources, improper usage of software, etc. is a problem small business managers didn’t have to deal with in the past. Proper rules need to be set up, taught to your employees, and enforced. Commercial grade surge protectors, UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies), or even backup electrical generation may be necessary for the protection of your equipment, and proper technology training of your employees is always important.

Technology Glitches Must Be Handled Properly

No matter how good your hardware, software, and employee training, technology breakdowns do occur. Properly handling them is a matter of communication. For example, if a customer experiences difficulty accessing their account, they may keep trying over and over. This uses valuable bandwidth and CPU time. Multiply this by many customers trying to access your system, and your network, as well as your technicians, could be tied up with customer requests instead of working to solve the problem. The solution is to tell your customers you are aware of the problem, apologize for the inconvenience, and let them know you are working on it.

Outsourcing As a Solution

Many businesses solve their technology management problems by contracting with an outside technology management service. It is important that you chose one which is competent, flexible in its prices and levels of service, and has a reputation for effective communication with its clients.

Managing your business technology is as important for your business as sales, employment, and other aspects of your business. Properly managed, technology can give you an edge over your competitors and bring you up to the level of the large corporations.

Contracting with the right managed support IT service company is a valuable part of a successful business strategy. InHouse Techies offer several levels of managed IT support services, including custom tailored monthly plans.

Business Technology in Small Business

Business technology in small businesses can mean a lot of different things and can be interpreted in many different ways. But it will always come down to the same thing – the technology implemented and used by a business must provide the maximum amount of efficiency for the minimum amount of cost and maintenance.

Technology in business must be well planned and implemented in a sensible manner and a plan for technology management must be developed and adhered to. This may mean moving more of your business systems onto the internet to increase the mobility of your business, or identifying and investing in new systems which will do the same job but in a more efficient manner.

How Can the Internet Help My Business?
If you are looking to save money for your business, the internet is an excellent place to start. If your business includes a small call centre to provide customer service, you could save a lot of money in the long run by investing in changing the phone system to an IP telephony system. This would mean that rather than incurring massive phone bills using normal phones, all calls would be routed over the internet and customers would be able to call in using a normal local telephone number.

It is much cheaper to call someone through the internet than through a standard phone line and the savings you would make here would more than cover the cost of implementing such a system.

You would need to ensure that your business’ internet connection is powerful enough to manage this of course. If there is not enough bandwidth to accommodate all of the calls being made, the sound quality can suffer. As long as both parties can hear what the other is saying, this does not have to be too much of an issue – making allowances for this would need to be part of your business’ strategy for technology management.

What about My People in the Field?
If you have a large team of sales reps in the field, the savings which you could enjoy through the implementation of internet based telephony can be carried on to this side of your business as well. Nowadays, there are many mobile phones available which are capable of making calls over the internet using the 3G network. This would mean a possible upgrade of your corporate mobile phone contract and possibly some retraining for your staff – but ultimately it would save you money on phone bills.

How do I Know that My Company is Now More Efficient?
Technology in business also encompasses the assessment and monitoring of work performed by the employees. With modern networking and targeted technology management, it would be possible to not only make your company run more efficiently for less money; but also allowing you to keep an eye on exactly what is going on in real-time.

There are many products available which will allow you to monitor your employees’ statistics – be it the amount of time they are spending on each call or the amount of time they take to finishing each file before they are able to move onto the next one. Through this, you would be able to address any possible issues which may arise and discuss them with the employee.

Business technology should broaden the horizons. You should be able to do more for spending less. Something as simple as making phone calls cheaper or something as involved as identifying areas of concern in an employees performance and having more information which can be used to develop strategies for the employee to avoid this.