January 11th, 2010

full steam ahead

Dear idiots: climate *change*

I'm seeing the usual idiotic comments that if the UK is having an unusually cold winter, global 'warming' must be a crock. To the hard of thinking let me point out that the mechanism is global warming of the greenhouse layer (many mechanisms, including black carbon from cooking fires which is a huge proportion of the issue) but the result is climate *change*. An ice age is just as likely as a desert if you destabilize the sytem and one outcome is that some places will get hotter, some will get colder and they're all going to be harder to live in. We're going to miss our weather system when it's gone... or as our friend Peter cheerily pointed out, we live on a complex self-healing system and we shouldn't worry because the system will deal with any problem; including us!

For the tablet fans: HP TC1100 resurrection?

There have been some game-changing devices, and some that should have changed the game but came out too soon. The OmniBook 300 was the first netbook, back in about 1994 - booted in seconds from flash (ROM), ran Windows, had a pop-out mouse on a stick and I used to connect a Motorola StarTac and go online on the train to get email. HP's TC1000 and TC1100 convertible slate/tablets - with a proper notebook-style clip on keyboard but everything in the screen - were wonderful machines, but a little too pricey and a little too underpowered (the TC100 designer once apologised to me for believe what Transmeta promised about their chip and the Celeron TC1100 improved performance without adding extra battery life). HP canned it, which frustrated the head of marketing at HP when he arrived from Apple ready to promote the heck out of a product so iconic that everyone thought mine was designed by Apple and for years I asked if it would return, until I was politely requested to STOP ASKING ABOUT THE TABLET, MKAY?

Then, of his own accord, at CES last week, while we were reminiscing about HP's touch heritage all the way back to the OmniGo PDA, Phil McKinney said, as he always used to when I asked, that the TC1100 was the machine everyone asked for. But this time he didn't say that it was too complicated or too expensive or addressed a niche market. Instead he said "The TC1100 and the OmniBook 300 are the most popular products we get requests for. And we listen to our customers". So, watch this space!

It makes me want to dig out my TC1000 and see if it will run Windows 7; now that would be compatibility!