Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

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I thought it was a move away from monolithic computing

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? ;-)

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