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The art of computing should not be making the users spend a huge amount of time learning how to deal with it but the computing ecosystem should at least adapt according to its users' needs. Our idea of achieving seamless computing is to adopt the right technology platform to serve the required purposes, instead of reinventing the wheel. There are tons of technologies out there but correctly mapping the right technology to the needs of a project's objectives, still requires a significant amount of efforts in order to match not only the needs but cost and scalability.
The management and users of a rural telecentre are usually people who have very little experience with the computing system. The introduction of telecentre to the rural community is mainly to introduce a technology tool to assist them in doing something that was not possible before this, for example, obtaining information for learning and self-improvement, expressing and presenting their ideas, a place to allow them to educate the others, and possibly provide some facilities to assist their daily needs. The telecentre being a comprehensive place where all sort of technologies being put together, the operating procedures of ICT equipment and the system is a whole lot to be learned. On top of that, the setup and configuration of certain facilities before they can be used is no less complicated than just using them. The maintenance and troubleshooting of the equipment and system when they act up may also require a significant amount of training and experience in order to catch up with.
Our design concept on telecentre is to achieve a seamless computing environment where all ICT systems and equipment integrate seamlessly without introducing much setup and configuration so that the required functions can be carried out by anyone with minimal technical knowledge and training. Looking into the roles the telecentre is playing, the design is governed by its primary objective to achieve seamless computing. All components and equipment to be included and adapted to form the complete telecentre will have to fulfill the need to work seamlessly in the same telecentre environment. The whole idea is to get the telecentre to operate as easy as possible by people who receive only very minimal technical training. Of course, the computing environment will have to be robust to withstand the mistake made or even to prevent such mistake from happening at all.
As for our TPOA project from 2013 to 2018, the seamless computing for the telecentre encompasses tablet-based computing working seamlessly with a local portal system through customized apps. The computing environment also allows seamless file sharing, printing, and large screen projection all over wirelessly. For the TPOA project, we appreciate Apple for some of their great products and features that blend flawlessly into our design concept of telecentre with seamless computing functionalities. We aim to further enhance and customize some of the current feature sets to value-add the next generation telecentre design.
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