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I've been playing with Tablet PCs a lot recently and I like them; it's not just a notebook with a touch screen. The handwriting recognition is more impressive the more I use it (no, not a learning thing! High Noon at Microsoft on learning recognisers vs. dictionaries this December, I hear). The form factors are pretty neat (and totally, like dude, NDA, alas) and more than just being neat, having a PC you can easily carry around and easily use anywhere (stood up in a bus queue, in the back of a cab at 50, talking to people (digital paper doesn't take as much attention as a full powered beeping blinking application)) means you bend your working life less around the technology and it can become a tool and a resource (all your notes, all your books, all your reference material plus Google^H^H^H^HInternet access always with you - roll on wireless coverage at affordable prices). I think it's going to make Knowledge Management the next big thing (simply for managing the extra info we're going to produce and want to retrieve). It's going to make us want a journaling file system (promised for Longhorn Windows 2005 but MS has started back-pedalling) or a Xanadu-style search and KM interface to our local information (note to Simon - get Zoë running for email and the server documents!).

Tablet isn't the only way to do Martini Computing (anytime, any place, anywhere) and I still want to play with OQO or the IBM MetaPad when they get to it, because I think the modular, plug in bits, transportable may be more interesting. You could plug an OQO into a slot in your hifi or your car dashboard or your TV or your desktop PC and get music, maps, photos, video - or a desktop PC. Tablet PC relies more on wireless and even though the USR 22MBps wireless is here, it's not fast enough for treating the PC as a modular component.

But there was one amusing point that struck me. OQO proportions are 4:3:1 - does that sound familiar, if a year late? ;-)


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
10th Oct, 2002 06:29 (UTC)

That was a bit of an odyssey to get to the pun...
10th Oct, 2002 06:45 (UTC)
it started as a pun, but it did turn into a serious point ;-)
10th Oct, 2002 07:41 (UTC)
No, the monolith was 9:4:1...
10th Oct, 2002 08:35 (UTC)
MOre like 1,4,9..., surely?
10th Oct, 2002 08:48 (UTC)
Fibonacci and Golden Mean?
11th Oct, 2002 02:24 (UTC)
Nope, just the sequence of squares... As ACC says in that plonking way of his "why expect the sequence to end in only three dimensions". Or something.
10th Oct, 2002 08:14 (UTC)
Okay.... I am seriously jealous :-)

I spend all day, every day tied to my powerbook. Having something that would be a little more portable (I really want to catch up on some personal stuff this weekend, but don't want to lug the PB to France just for the weekend, and using either the iPaq or the Palm aren't really practical) but fully functional would just be *SO* cool!

Of course I would prefer a device from Apple, only so it could run OS X and therefore have a terminal window and SSH, etc. available with a minimum of fuss but I will look at anything that actually makes it to market.

- Neil.
10th Oct, 2002 08:23 (UTC)
Apple could do it; Apple has Scribbler and it works with Wacom (pace Steve's comments about I can't show it because there's no hardware). If Tablet PC goes big - and *I* think it will - Apple could bring something out. Of course half the PowerBook team went to OQO so they may be a bit slowed down by that...
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


full steam ahead
Mary Branscombe
Simon & Mary

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