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Thu Jan 25, 2001 - 8:05 PM EST - By Scott Hanselman

Product Info
Name YadaYada Wireless Web
Company Yada Yada
Width: 2.6"
Length: 5.0"
Length (external to Visor): .73"
Thickness: .32"
Weight: 4 oz
Fact Sheet & User Opinions

The Hardware

The Minstrel "S" is a CDPD (Cellular Digital Packet Data) Modem. Novatel's data sheets spec it to run at 19.2kbps full duplex. When you add in the latency for the open-up and tear-down for each connection, the sustained speed of the modem doesn't mean as much as you'd think. The modem adds about 1/3" to the thickness of any Visor.

Since the YadaYada-branded included modem is the identical modem that OmniSky uses, the battery life on the modem is STILL amazing. I was very pleased with the length of time I could surf the net. Unless you use it constantly for 8 hours straight, I don't think that the average business traveler who charges nightly will have to worry about battery life. One complaint though, and this is a Modem one, not a YadaYada issue - it would be nice if the modem charged while it's in the Prism and the Prism is charging in the cradle. The VisorPhone has this capability, it'd be a nice addition to the Minstrel.

There are three LEDs on the modem. Starting on the left, is a green led that indicates signal strength. When it's blinking the modem is looking for a connection, when it's solid the modem has a connection. In the middle is a red led that indicates if you have waiting alert. YadaYada says that this feature will be used for "YadaYada Alerts." YadaYada Alerts will be real-time notices of changes of information that is most important to you. For example, is one of your stocks up 10%? Did your favorite baseball team just score a run? This looks to be an interesting feature, and one that will distinguish YadaYada's service from OmniSky. It was unavailable at press time, but the software is in beta. The third green light indicates when the Modem is charging or fully charged.

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