Ken Greenwood

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At the recent JavaOne conference in San Francisco, SchlumbergerSema demonstrated the benefits of a Java-based smart card. "A Java what?" was a common response by visitors. A brief explanation showed that anyone with a GSM mobile phone, and many with a credit card, carry one of these around all the time. In an age when processor speeds are measured in gigahertz, it's often difficult to think on a slightly smaller scale. A smart card is, in essence, a computer that can be carried around in your pocket. It has input/output and power - via a set of metallic contacts - a microprocessor (32 bits will soon be common), ROM, EEPROM (64K in recent models), and an operating system (OS). For a Java-based card the OS, as defined by Java Card 2.1 standards, is a slimmed-down version of the OS found on a larger computer. The flexibility, security, ease-of-use, and rapid developme... (more)