TEK: An Email-Based Web Browser
Note (Aug 2010): After years of sustained usage, including 7500
searches from 450 locations, we need to shut down the TEK server due
to decreased traffic in recent months. It remains possible to set up
the server at a new location using the code available on SourceForge. If you
are an organization that would benefit from using TEK, or you would
like to adopt the service as your own, please get in touch with us to see how we
can make it work for you. Thanks! |
TEK empowers low-connectivity communities by providing a full Internet
experience using email as the transport mechanism.
Compared to direct Web access, email can be much cheaper, more
reliable and more convenient in developing areas. The TEK Client (TEK
stands for "Time Equals Knowledge") operates as a proxy on the user's
machine, enabling users to browse downloaded pages using a standard
Web browser. New searches are automatically encoded as emails and
sent to the TEK Server, which queries the Web and returns the contents
of resulting pages via email.
The TEK Client (available for download) provides:
The TEK Server (previously running at MIT) features:
- Automatic web search using an ordinary email account.
- Caching, indexing, and searching of downloaded web pages.
- Basic user management for community installations.
- A user-friendly HTML interface designed by professionals at Scirus.
- A customized version of Firefox for viewing pages cached by TEK.
- An interface with Google (or Scirus) for search results.
- Simplification and compression of pages to reduce bandwidth requirements.
- Conversion of PDF and PS files to HTML.
- An internal database of pages sent to each client to avoid wasting bandwidth on duplicated results (optional).
TEK is free software distributed under the GNU LGPL license.