As my connection to the Internet is through a 56k modem on a very poor line which is unstable and slow. My ISP cutting me off unpredictably is also quite a nuisance. However this reminds me of a network simulation at school. These networking conditions compare to GPRS connections.
The big difference now is that I don’t have a small device, but I have instead a great big desktop PC with WinXP. Plenty of power for software to ease the pain, one would think.
But offline access at least in Windows is shoddy. It can’t transparently reconnect. OE seems OK for handling offline conditions, but not say Thunderbird. A lot of applications of course have not begun to think about what happens if the network connection breaks.
What does work is the simple request/response model of Web applications. Google groups works so much better then OE’s or Thunderbird’s news group implementation.
Summary: Web applications exhibit an advantage over “rich clients” for offline access.