June 28, 2003

Introduction to Text Messaging

Why Text?

Text messaging is a quick way to stay in touch with people for personal or business purposes. With text messaging, you can chat with a partner by typing on the keyboard and reading what they write to you on the screen. Many text messaging products can work with cell phone text messaging (aka SMS or Short Messaging Service) so you can chat with people who aren’t in front of their computer. So, why not just pick up the phone and talk?

It’s faster than e-mail and phone calls. And you don’t have to pay anything to text. If you need to chat with someone briefly or ask a quick question, it’s much less intrusive than calling someone. As with most developing technologies, several types of text messaging are available and each one is incompatible with the others. But don’t let that keep you from trying it out. The main text messaging products are ICQ (www.icq.com), MSN Messenger (www.msn.com), AIM (www.aim.com), and Yahoo Messenger (www.yahoo.com).

btw (By the Way...)

Each one is free and simple to download, install, and sign up. You can locate your “buddies” by searching in an online directory by their screen name, e-mail address, name, or telephone number. Once you get the hang of it, text messaging can be extremely addictive. As you continue to use text messaging, you will find yourself learning to abbreviate words and sentences. When you leave an online chat, you might say BRB (Be Right Back), I’m afk (away from the keyboard), or TTYL (Talk to You Later). See glossary below.

Some text messaging products are beginning to offer voice and video chat. The future of digital communication is an integrated product, since voice, video, interactive text messaging, and e-mail are all effective means of communication. In the future, you will be able to switch between text, voice, and video with ease. Until then, we will continue to use different methods for different communication needs :-(


:-) Smiley face. Means that someone is happy

;-) Smiley face with wink.

:-( If someone sends you this in an e-mail, they’re probably not having a good day

BTW - By the Way

FYI - For Your Information

FWIW - For What It’s Worth

IMHO - In My Humble Opinion (or IMO) TIA - Thanks in Advance

WRT - With Respect To

LOL - Laughing Out Loud

ROTFL - Rolling on the Floor Laughing

AFK - Away From Keyboard

TTYL - Talk To You Later

CYA - See You Later

About The Author

Deryck Richards is the founder and managing partner of Desktronix. With an extensive educational background in computer information systems, Deryck currently manages hosting and data center operations for Desktronix. He also provides system administration and technical support directly to small businesses as he has since 2000. His areas of expertise include networking, Windows, Linux, and Macintosh systems and he is the author of The Guide to Technology for Small Business. For more information on Desktronix, visit www.desktronix.com.

June 20, 2003

Recent Cell Phone Advancements

Cell phones have come a long way since the early days of the 1980s when they were the size of a brick and weighed almost as much. Today, cellular phones come with built-in cameras, polyphonic ringtones and high-tech games. New “3G” mobile phones are also capable of downloading full motion video and full spectrum music. Whereas there were only a few manufacturers of cell phones in the 1980s, today there are many. In addition to original manufacturers such as Motorola and Siemens, today phones are manufactured by Sony-Ericsson, LG, Toshiba, Samsung, Hitachi, Danger, Palm, HP and others.

As wireless cell phone use increases around the globe, the old CDMA and TDMA standards are being replaced with GSM, the global standard outside of North America. Relatively new mobile phone companies such as Vodafone and T-Mobile in Germany and NTT DoCoMo in Japan have taken advantage of increased cell phone use by expanding their mobile phone offerings and plans world-wide. Also, traditional computer companies are moving or have moved into the cellphone industry—PalmOne manufactures the Treo 650, HP is coming out with its own smart phone PDA and Microsoft powers the operating systems of many of the newest cell phones on the market.

In addition to being used as a method of wireless voice communication, cell phones have within the last decade morphed into mobile computing platforms. These new cell phones are powerful enough to power many applications that only a few years ago required one to be stationed at a desktop computer.

Concurrent with technological innovation and increased adoption worldwide, prices for both hardware and service plans have dropped steadily over the last decade. Whereas only a few years ago most cell phone service providers required 3 year contracts with heavy penalties for early cancellation, now one can get a free state-of-the-art phone with only a one year contract.

Beyond the cell phone hardware, whole new industries have sprung up catering to the needs of cell phone users who demand accessories such as cell phone covers, screen-savers, and ringtones. As well, SMS (simple messaging system) and MMS (multimedia messaging system) lingo is slowly entering the cell phone society vernacular. Use of shorthand abbreviations such as LOL (laughing out loud), SWAK (sealed with a kiss) and G2G (got to go) has become second nature to teenagers who are the main users of phone messaging globally.

(c) 2005 Philip Liu - All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Philip Liu is a freelance author and publisher currently based in New York City. Philip publishes regularly on his websites, Cell Phone News + Reviews (focusing on cell phone news, rumors and reviews from around the world), and DTVScoop - Plasma, LCD Reviews + News (focusing on digital television news and reviews).

June 06, 2003

What is SMS?

SMS, also known as short messaging service, is the rage in Europe and parts of Asia. Gradually SMS is gaining momentum in the US as a low cost messaging solution. SMS is defined as text messages, up to 160 characters in length, sent to mobile phones. In recent months SMS has become synonymous with any text message sent to a cell phone.

Benefits to SMS

SMS is a convenient, cost effective alternative to voice messaging. SMS popularity has grown as a result of:

1.) Cost - SMS is less expensive then the airtime used for voice calls or web access.

2.) Non-intrusive - messages are received in a discrete fashion and do not interrupt an individual if they are in the middle of a meeting

3.) Integration Capabilities - many software programs can be set up to send text alerts to mobile phones when urgent conditions exist.

Short Messaging Explained

Short messages can originate from other phones, personal computers or the Internet. Consumers and businesses alike use SMS for remote communication, allowing for staff to be mobile and stay in touch with those who matter.

Who Offers SMS?

Today nearly all the cellular carriers provide some level of SMS or text messaging capabilities. Cost and features vary, with carriers offering a variety of packages to suit individual or business needs. Typically there are three options that carriers provide:

1.) Free of Charge - text messaging is included as part of a select plan.

2.) Per Message Fee - users are charged per message.

3.) Monthly Fee - a set monthly fee includes a specified number of text messages.

How Do You Send SMS Messages?

Messages can be sent a variety of ways, depending on the service provider that you use.

SMS Software

The most popular way to send text messages is using software. When using software there is no cost associated with the sending of messages. Depending on the carrier that you are sending to messages can be sent any number of ways. Different carriers use different standards or protocols, the common protocols supported by most software is: via modem (TAP, UCP), the Internet ((SNPP, WCTP) and via email (SMTP). Software is flexible and often allows for group or scheduled messaging. Another benefit to software is the ability to automate processes, sending SMS alerts when specific conditions exist often without the need for human interaction.

SMS Software - free trials available for download and evaluation http://www.notepage.net

Public SMS Gateway

Public gateways are often referred to as SMSC or SMS centers. The centers typically run a robust software application (like advanced versions of those mentioned above) and subscribe to a large database that allows for the messages to be routed to the appropriate carriers using the appropriate settings. When using an SMSC the sender incurs a per message charge. Cost will vary depending on the SMSC used to send the message but its not uncommon for it to cost .05 per message.

Phone to Phone

Many of the new mobile phones and those on the GSM network allow for messages to be sent from phone to phone. The keypads are rudimentary and not conducive for long messages but are effective when time is an issue and a concise message is needed.

Win for everyone

SMS messaging has been helpful to consumers and carriers, as the cost of sending and delivering SMS messages is relatively low. SMS messages have proven to be a lucrative revenue stream for struggling telecom providers.

The Future of SMS

SMS will continue to grow as part of the telecom industry. As software processes become more complex users will exploit text messaging capabilities in order to allow for additional mobility in the workplace.

About The Author

NotePage, Inc. develops SMS, alphanumeric paging and wireless messaging software solutions. http://www.notepage.net