iGEM corner: Future Talk

Pipe Dreams


First Article (Jan. 2002):

Field Computer Tablet

by Mete Oner

We have been waiting for our field computer. It had to be lightweight, small enough to carry around, but large enough to do serious work on. It had to have these capabilities out of the box:

We are getting there mighty fast!

Here is the new tablet computer from SonicBlue. You will be reading about it in PC Magazine next month (Feb. 2002). But we can tell you that it is not the top of the line desktop PC (i.e., the mainframe computer of ten years ago), but it is a Windows machine with all your software ready to run.

Here is our pipe dreams about how it will be used as a field computer by geotechs.


Here is a photograph of the tablet computer. It has a 10" (25 cm) screen, and weighs 3 pounds (1.4 kg). It has a wireless Internet connection, and interactive features---built in. Runs Windows.


The kinds of professional work we would like to do include a slope stability analysis, for example---interactively, thank you very much. This is how...


First, I would like the capability of effortlessly seeing a contour map in the area where I am.


Next, I would like to be able to draw a line on the map.


Then, I expect the computer show me the soil profile along that line I just indicated.


Good, now consider this potential failure surface. (I am sketching on the tablet)


Thank you for smoothing it out for me. Now tell me what the Factor of Safetly is.


All this should be available within the next few years. Let me know what you think, please.


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