Thursday 7 November 2002 — This is over 20 years old. Be careful.
Technology marches on: now you can play Doom on a cell phone (just so long as you don’t play it on the cell phone while driving!). This tops SimCity on the Palm for the “least-likely desktop app squeezed into the smallest device” award.
These two ports point up an interesting point for software developers, though. Desktop machines become more and more powerful. Developers who write for those machines have become accustomed to having their minimum platform specs improving over the years (used to be 640×480, 256 colors; now it’s 1024×768, 32k colors), letting them assume more- and more-capable infrastructure for their apps. But as the range of devices broadens (desktops to hand-helds to cell phones), the minimum capabilities will remain low, perhaps even get lower. And it isn’t just new whizzy gadgets that show this effect. Even running an application on a desktop, if the app is accessed over a remote-access program (like VNC or Microsoft’s Terminal Services), the capabilities of the “device” will be reduced for bandwidth reasons.
As much as developers would like to believe that they can count on richer platforms, it is still valuable to be flexible in what you assume about your hardware.
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