by January 12, 2000 0 comments

If
all you want to do is send and receive e-mail, then you don’t need to buy a PC
for this. This is the concept behind the iStation. It’s a small rectangular
box with an LCD panel and a keyboard for working on your e-mail. The device can
be hooked to any telephone line. It then dials to the service provider and
uploads or downloads all your e-mail. The company that makes iStation also
provides the e-mail service.

It has several good features. First of all, it’s
multi-lingual. Currently, it only supports Kannada, but more languages will be
added later. One thing we were not able to check was whether the recipient of an
e-mail sent from the iStation will be able to read the e-mail without installing
a separate font.

The iStation has 2.5 hours of battery backup, so it can be
used even if there’s no power. The storage space on the device is limited
though. It has an RS-232 port for connecting to a PC. The e-mail on the iStation
can be transferred to your PC using this port.

The e-mail client on the iStation is very simple, but
sacrifices many functions that are available in an ordinary e-mail client. First
of all, you can only send and receive text-based messages with it. No
attachments or HTML messages are supported. Second, you can only operate the
e-mail account provided by its service provider. So if you have any other POP3
accounts, then you can’t use them with this.

Initially, e-mail service for the iStation will only be
available in Bangalore. However, the company is planning to make it available
across the country later. iStation is expected to be launched sometime in
December.

Anil Chopra in Bangalore

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