Although no one likes to be called silly, the new AOL Avant Intel Dot.Station terminal is popularly known as a silly PC with Internet access. Ciberp @ ís sailed with AOL Avant for a week. Checked that the Internet browsing is totally free, that is, you can access any web page on the network and all its contents. Another thing is to try to work with it as if it were a normal computer: it does not let you run or burn any new software.
Intel Dot.Station, dark blue, looks a lot like an iMac, because it has the CPU integrated in the monitor. AOL Avant has already placed more than 100,000 terminals, of the 250,000 that it bought from Intel, in Spanish homes, according to industry sources, since the campaign began in September. The rental of the terminal costs 2,950 pesetas a month, with a minimum contract of one year. The costs incurred by the telephone line are borne by the user.
Once it crosses the threshold of the door, the installation of the Intel Dot.Station is in the hands of the client. It will have the help of a user guide and the telephone helpline. Registering and registering the email requires about half an hour, also necessary time to familiarize yourself with the tactile mouse that incorporates the keyboard.
AOL Avant is designed for an inexperienced family on the Internet, and can be customized for each of its members. When it comes to configuring the mail, they offer seven accounts, but only one person can be set up as superuser. It is the real administrator, with the ability to add and remove users and reset passwords.
Intel Dot.Station has 12 shortcut keys to different services, including the Internet. The first screen is the AOL portal with content focused, above all, on electronic commerce and leisure. For example, trips from Sol Melià, books from Casa del Libro or financial services from BSCH. If during the navigation the internaut decides to download a program, he will not be able to execute it. It will simply be saved in the Miscellaneous file. “I think it’s expensive and slow for the benefits it has,” says Xavier Pérez Morató, who has just hired him. Others consider that their services are sufficient for what they are looking for.
The last of Michael Jackson in MP3 (Real Media 8 is used) and the photos of his concert can be copied and saved in his folders. It supports PDF format, jpg and gif images, and MP3, midi and wav sounds.
It also has instant messaging AOL Instant Messenger, and has functions of answering machine, address book with direct dialing and, of course, telephone. You can not talk and navigate at the same time.
AOL Avant updates the device’s software remotely and periodically, taking advantage of the dead time of navigation. The company does not install anything without prior notice.
To write you have to resort to the notebook, a minimum word processor with only some types and sizes of letters. The terminal, which does not have a floppy disk drive, supports the Epson and HP printers and soon from Canon.