Konditori 100, guest

Mr IT, fourth table

Konditori 100 guests
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You probably know about those boxes that gives you the opportunity to visit Internet via your tv-set. Something I feel is a bit like "the wrong thing" - an unnecessary detour. Many families have problems today when choosing what tv program to watch - and now we'll get Internet via the same screen. Maybe someone want us to buy more tv's and boxes...

I think of a family with a couple of children, or a small company. Where a small number of persons want to use different tv-channels, telephone, Internet etcetera. What I want to buy is a multibox that works as a hub in a small network in an apartment or small office, with several functions for communication.

The multibox shall have inputs for tv-aerial, cable-tv, telephone lines, aerial for cellular phones, ISDN, keyboard and mouse, cd-unit, scanner and other channels we users get information through. Also inputs from our pc:s at home or in the office, and places for extra inputs if we for example want to double inputs or for new channels we don't know about today.

To the multibox outputs I shall be able to connect both digital and analog telephone-, tv- and radio devices, as well as pc:s, printers and so on. I also want to connect a "slave" unit, so that I only have to use one cable to my desk where I have a pc, telephone and some more devices. Naturally there shall be space for extra outputs.

Communication center
The multibox shall work as a communication center for the whole family. Complete with functions for phone answering, letterbox for fax and internal mail handling. I shall be able to choose how to get messages, like reading messages on the phone answering function, and listening to text in e-mail and fax.

Maybe the multibox also can sort messages to different family members, since many messages start with words like "Hi Mr IT". Or by a phone answering function that tells the caller to "Dial number one to leave a message to Mr IT".

Using the multibox shall give possibilities like three family members using Internet at the same time (but it's ok with a bit longer waiting time in that case), and counter functions that keep track of used time for each device (to give help if wanting to split bills). Small companies shall be able to connect modules like telephone switchboard.

For parents it's also interesting with functions to prohibit access, like filters to web pages and other unsuitable channels. Maybe also timer so that children can't watch tv when they are supposed to be sleeping...

Yes, that's the kind of multibox I'd like to buy. Naturally for a reasonable price. A price that quite likely will be cheaper than to buy a tv-/Internet box to each family member, who still will get collisions of wishes to use certain communication channels.

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Updated January 18, 1998. (Code polished 19 November 2000.)
Text: Arne Granfoss © (if nothing else is said).
Production: AG Informice.