Editor’s note: I heard about the Microsoft Courier a while ago, and I saw that these Gizmodo articles are from late last year, but I never really followed up on it. I just watched these demo videos today, so sorry if this is old news to some of you. At this point, IIRC, Courier is still a concept idea (please correct me if I’m wrong), and devices like the HP slate device that MS demoed at CES are what MS is focusing on right now. Hopefully, though, the Courier becomes real soon, because I think it would be a compelling device for people to consider.
Check out Gizmodo for a demo video showing a possible usage scenario for the Microsoft Courier tablet concept. If the demo is pretty close to actual device usage, I will be so happy to plunk down some money (I’ll find it somewhere!) for it. Basically the Courier concept takes the best parts that I loved about using a Tablet PC and updating it for today. I used my Tablet PC as a digital notebook, handwriting notes, drawing diagrams, ink blogging (duh), and clipping parts of web pages to keep for reference, very similarly to what was shown in the demo video. OneNote was a great notebook, and Windows Journal was nice for simpler notes that didn’t necessarily need to be organized into a notebook. Even the snipping tool looks like it made it into the Courier concept.
I will be watching development on this device pretty closely. Even though I think the Apple iPad is a great general-use computing device for a lot of people, I am still very interested in the computing model that the Tablet PC/Courier represents. One of my ongoing clean-up/moving projects has been to go through my stacks of old magazines to cull the articles, ads, and photos/graphics that I want to keep, then recycle the remains. I have a *ton* of loose papers that I’ve been filing into expanding folders that will need further organization into more permanent binders at some point. I’d love it if I could scan them all in and organize them into a digital “inspiration notebook” that is quickly searchable. Currently I can scan all of these papers in, and do some kind of crude notebooking with the apps that are out there right now, but working with such apps now is not quite the same as the Courier’s model of a journal/notebook. The interface for the Courier is so much closer to pen and paper, which I feel puts your mind into a more creative mindset than working on a desktop computer or a laptop.
Anyway, after you’ve seen the demo at Gizmodo linked above, also check out this other Gizmodo post with a second demo video: http://gizmodo.com/5369493/leaked-courier-video-shows-how-well-actually-use-it . It is also pretty intriguing. Yay!
Hey, Kids. I’m inking with my Wacom tablet on the P1610 in Windows Journal. I think this gives a lot more [of a] natural (yet messy) look to my inking so far. A pity that the ink blog plug-in for Window Live Writers doesn’t have as fine a resolution as Windows Journal.
Anyway, how is your weekend going? Mine has been pretty restful. I had yesterday off and basically slept in. I hadn’t been sleeping very well since the hubby was away on a business trip for most of the week (he got back on Thursday night, thankfully before the unseasonal winter storm hit). Did a spot of spring cleaning yesterday, but I’m far from finished. This has taken a backseat to the current goal at hand, however — rewatch all (or at least as much as possible) of Battlestar Galactica before the season 4 premiere on April 4th. Today we were able to acquire all 4 DVD box sets (season 2 is split into 2 box sets) for a little over $30 out-of-pocket, thanks to some gift cards we received for Christmas. I would call that quite a coup. We started watching the miniseries, but the hubby’s still recovering from jet-lag (so he claims), so he had to go to bed before we could finish the last hour or so. It’ll be a mad dash to get through all three seasons in 13 days, but I’m up to the challenge. It’s good that we’re doing this, since there are a lot of details that we’ve forgotten. Season 4 is supposed to be the last for BSG; I hope it closes out with a bang!
I got a new tablet today, but it’s not a fun HP 2710p, or tx2000, or even an Axiotron ModBook (oh how I wish I had one of those… ). Nope, actually, I bought a Wacom Bamboo tablet for use w/ both my iMac & my Fujitsu P1610. I would’ve posted an ink blog post from the iMac, but I couldn’t find an app that would allow me to ink naturally, so I’m inking this from the good ol’ ink blog plug-in on Windows Live Writer. Even though it still seems like WLW isn’t sampling the tablet input as much as Windows Journal seems to, I’m getting much better ink output from the Wacom than from the P1610′s own touchscreen. It’s more difficult to write on a separate tablet than on the screen, but I’m much happier with the results. Yay!
I’ll report back later after I’ve had more time to play around w/ the tablet.
How were your holidays? What fun gadgets or other nifty gifties did you all get?
Sorry about the huge gap in blogging. I was slowly withdrawing from reading feeds & doing much of anything else online other than reading & posting on Jaiku, Twitter, & Pownce (mostly Jaiku). And over the holidays I got rather sick, which really sidelined me for a while. Anyway, enough excuses. I can’t promise that I’ll be more prolific in the coming days, weeks, or months, but I’ll try my best!
In other news, I’m excited for tomorrow’s MacWorld keynote. Rumors about a tablet-style Mac have been running rampant again this year, but I think the ModBook will be the only tablet Mac for a while. There will probably be an ultra-portable MacBook. I hope it’s not called “MacBook Air” as the rumors claim. What I’d really like is direct WiFi downloading of podcasts to the iPhone/iPod touch. Yes, I can already do this via a 3rd-party hack, but native support would be nicer. That’s really all I care to predict at the moment. I’d love it if Apple would release an iPhone-like tablet with a 5″ or 7″ screen and decent amount of flash storage, but it won’t happen this year. Maybe next year. Whatever is announced, I know that tomorrow is going to be unproductive while the keynote is happening.
The other even that I’m looking forward to this weekend is the Detroit auto show! The hubby & I have gone every year for at least the past 4 years (IIRC). It’s a nice weekend road trip to take after the holidays. I’ll talk more about what gear I’m bringing later. Right now I really need to get to bed!
P.S. I really hate touchscreen inking… *sigh*
* 10 points to the first commenter to tell me where “nifty gifties” comes from.
Leave it to Sumocat to tag me for “Meme of the Week”… Just kidding, it’s fun. Here are my 8 random things:
1. I’m going to a 12:01 AM showing of Harry Potter tonight and am very excited about it!
2. I just cut my own hair last weekend because I was fed up w/ how long & easily tangled it got.
3. Even though I still would love to have an iPhone, I’m perfectly happy w/ my Nokia N95. It is super awesome.
4. My summer TV watching has been dominated by DVDs of season 2 of both Buffy the Vampire Slayer & The Office (US version). The rest of my summer TV line up consists of recordings of Mythbusters & Cash Cab.
5. I just bought a bunch of cool t-shirts from Threadless.com to help fill out my pathetic wardrobe. Up next, jeans!
6. I’m having trouble thinking up other random things to write about…
7. I’ve really been into taking Polaroid pictures lately (yes, film!). I am in the middle of scanning in my July 4th fireworks pictures, duds and all, for posting on Flickr.
8. In keeping w/ number 7, I recently bought a Polaroid 680 from eBay, and it is sitting on my porch right now, having been delivered a couple hours ago. I wish I could go home now & get it out of the heat & humidity!
Well, that’s my 8. I don’t think I know anyone else who hasn’t already been tagged! Sad… *sheepish grin*
Hey, Kids, how was your weekend? Mine was rather uneventful. The hubby and I didn’t really have any travel plans, and he’s been preoccupied w/his impending engine swap, so he was busy with that. I, on the other hand, was busy being a couch potato. *sheepish grin* Well, on Friday night we bought the HD-DVD box set of the Ultimate Matrix Collection, essentially duplicating the 10-odd-DVD box set we got for Christmas a couple years ago. But let me say, after watching The Matrix in HD-DVD, I would say that the repurchase was well worth it! The colors & fine details really showed off what a great HD-DVD remastering should look like. Also, the sound was great. I haven’t watched any of the other movies yet, or the Animatrix episodes, but I’m sure they’ll all look spectacular. I can’t wait to buy the HD-DVD versions of the Harry Potter movies, or of Heroes!
We did watch a couple other movies this weekend — Deja Vu and Children of Men. Deja Vu was pretty good, if a bit hokey. Children of Men (in HD-DVD) was a bit of a disappointment in a couple ways. The HD-DVD transfer wasn’t anything special. And the story wasn’t really my kind of story. I thought the cinematography was very good, and there was a powerful scene near the end, but I just wasn’t into the story.
The rest of my weekend was kind of boring. *shrug* I didn’t have a lot in mind that I wanted to accomplish, so I didn’t really accomplish anything. *smirk* Oh, well! At least I sort of got caught up on sleep & some chores.
GRRRR! The last couple days I’ve had headaches that lasted all day, despite taking some kind of headache medicine like Tylenol. Dunno if it’s due to lack of sleep, or something else. Anyway, this morning I was fine until I did a stupid thing and drank a bit of this energy drink that I wanted to try. Without getting into a whole big story, just know that some energy drinks give me huge headaches. So basically, I didn’t have a headache today for once…until I induced one myself! Psh! >:|
Just a quick rant here: I hate the little trackstick/eraser nub thing on Pigio. It is so annoying! It’s not that accurate. It’s uncomfortable to use. And the worst thing about it is the whole “recoiling” thing… I don’t know what it’s called. It’s when the trackstick has been held in one direction for a long time, like when I’m scrolling down a long webpage, and the cursor becomes too hard to manipulate because the trackstick has to reset back to a neutral position. So I have to let go of the trackstick and watch the cursor fly in the opposite direction [and] slide along whichever edge of the screen it hits, until the trackstick has rid itself of all of its stored-up potential energy. >:P And recently it seems like this has been happening a lot more frequently lately. So I guess one of my alternatives is to buy a travel mouse? What a pain. I guess I could opt for that flat, PC-card-sized mouse (MoGo mouse, IIRC?) that fits into Pigio’s PC card slot and hope that it doesn’t bring on a killer case of carpal tunnel! Yeah, I could just use the stylus to mouse around the screen [and I do], but I find it tedious and awkward to do when in laptop mode.
I know it’s not really feasible to put a trackpad on a laptop this size, but you would think someone would’ve thought of a much better alternative to the trackstick by now. What about a little trackball instead? If they can put one on a BlackBerry Pearl, I think it’d be no problem on the Fujitsu…
Fujitsu, are you listening? And while you’re at it, add some kind of jog wheel (mechanical, please) on the side of the screen to use for scrolling through a page while in slate mode!
I recently got a comment from a fellow ink blogger that I need to write more ink blogs. It’s true, I’ve been forsaking ink blog posts because using the ink blog plug-in for Windows Live Writer wasn’t producing good (IMO) ink posts. However, just now I realized that if I turn off pressure sensitivity, the ink doesn’t look all wiggly, like I was sitting on some bumpy train ride while writing! I still think active digitizer inking is tops, but this is good for a touchscreen device.
So how was your weekend? I had a fun day of shopping in the city with the hubby yesterday, topped off with a nice dinner at our fave Japanese restaurant — Sushi Naniwa.
After we got home, I edited some pictures that I took Friday night of my Valentine’s day bouquet.
Flickr/Smugmug shameless plug here: if you’re interested, you can click on the picture below to see my Flickr gallery. If you’re interested in buying a print to show your support, click on the Smugmug link below in the text transcript. I sure would appreciate it!
Hmmm… Seems like I’ve used that title before. Oh well! This is going to be a gripe-y post (if you didn’t already guess from the title), so you’ve been warned.
Gripe #1: I’m at work with virtually nothing to do but wait until the hubby picks me up around 5pm. I have something to work on, but it’s not urgent, so I don’t have a lot of motivation to do much with it before my upcoming 2-wk vaca.
Gripe #2: The hubby took the FJ so he’d have a vehicle to drive his parents around in at lunchtime. I forgot to bring something to have for lunch, so I had to buy a turkey sandwich from the cafeteria downstairs (I usually go out for lunch because I don’t like the cafeteria food). When I got back to my desk, I found out that a) the bread for the sandwich is the kind with anise seeds in it (rye?), which I hate, and b) the sandwich has no mayo or mustard, so it’s totally dry. *bleh* Meanwhile the hubby & his ‘rents are having a nice lunch at a Thai restaurant, which rules out ordering Thai for dinner tonight at our place! Gah.
I am so ready to be on vaca, obviously. *smirk*
I will probably feel a lot better after going home tonight, even though it’s our turn to host dinner with the hubby’s fam. It’ll be nice because tonight is Friday and there’ll be time to play some games or something after dinner. Last night we had dinner at the hubby’s brother’s place and had to cut the evening short (not that I minded that ) because it was a weeknight.
Tomorrow my parents will be getting to town & we’ll have dinner with them. Then Christmas Eve & Christmas festivities will ensue. And after Christmas our parents will head back home, leaving us to finally get some rest and recuperation without being “on” as hosts. Don’t get me wrong; spending the holidays with family is what it’s all about, but being hosts to visitors gets tiring after a while! Basically our holiday celebrations started last weekend when we drove home to Iowa to visit the hubby’s grandma & extended family, so we’ve been getting quite a lot of family time in. Not to mention starting Christmas shopping earlier than usual. It’ll be nice to see people’s reactions to the gifts we bought. Hopefully there are more good reactions than bad reactions. *smirk*
Well, this might be my last blog post before Christmas, so I’ll wish you all happy holidays now, just in case.
Editor’s note: text conversion to follow later. Too tired now.
I just read an article on GottaBeMobile about how Rob Bushway, having tried out both the Lenovo X60 and the Fujitsu P1610, is planning on getting both of them for his mobile computing needs. The P1610 would be his ultra-mobile computer, while the X60 would be his mobile workhorse for desktop and mobile work that requires a lot more processing power (and screen space).
All I have to say is, “me, too!” Now, how to convince the hubby about this???
Just yesterday Kevin Tofel posted on JKOntheRun about the “Constant Touch” settings on the Q1 to configure the sampling rate for the digitizer. This picture from the blog post really intrigued me:
The lower you set the Constant Touch value, the finer the ink resolution becomes. I tried it out on the hubby’s borrowed Q1 and set the value to 1, the lowest it would go. I was amazed at the results! I would’ve done an ink blog from the Q1 to demonstrate, but I ended up distracted by trip-related errands (going out of town for the weekend).
I probably will still put up an ink blog post from the Q1 sometime, but Kevin’s Journal snapshot pretty much demonstrates this cool feature.
Speaking of devices with touchscreens, I have been lax at virtually jumping up and down because of the sudden appearance of reviews and videos for the two Tablet devices I’m most interested in right now — the Lenovo x60 and the Fujitsu P1610! I haven’t had a chance yet to watch all of the video reviews from GottaBeMobile, so my excitement is still just based on specs I’ve read about the Lenovo Tablet. And just a few minutes ago I saw that James got a review unit of the Fujitsu P1610…lucky dog!
While I’m disappointed that the multi-touch screen on the Lenovo is lower-res than my M200′s screen (it’s not surprising, given the current state of touchscreen technology…I was just hoping they’d figure out a way to make the multi-touch high-res anyway), I am very very very tempted by this Tablet. It kind of trumps the Asus R2H as far as possible future purchases for me right now.
The Fujitsu P1610 really interests me as well, especially because of the reports of really good palm-rejection software, but I don’t know if I would buy it over the Lenovo. At this point the Lenovo is ahead, but just by a smidgen… I might ultimately decide that having a really small convertible Tablet (which would end up replacing any need for a current UMPC offering) is the way to go, but for right now I’m just going to pore over all of the reviews and videos that are out there and start figuring out how I’m going to pay for either device. *smirk*
Even though I’m really excited to see an Asus R2H in person, and maybe even buy one, I think I’m more excited about the rumored specs for a new Lenovo X60 Tablet PC! I’m actually not a fan of Thinkpads. I know they are well-built and high quality, but the design just turns me off — very staid and business-like. However, when I read bits and bobs about the X41t, I was intrigued. And when I saw one in person, I thought it looked really good. Go figure!
Anyway, I’m actually very interested in seeing how the X60 shapes up. The biggest news about it is a possible hybrid screen that allows pen and touch input. WOW! That would be the best addition to a Tablet PC, assuming that the active digitizer still works as well as the ones out now… Some of you may know that I am very particular about inking experience. Inking on a touchscreen is the suck right now. Too jaggy and imprecise. If this hybrid screen comes to fruition, I will be traveling out to wherever I can find a demo X60 to try out in person!
Yay! I’m going to see the Sony Reader in person tonight after work. I read that even though the Sony Style web store said that shipment of the Readers were delayed until mid-November, there were some brick & mortar Sony Styles that are selling them right now. Unfortunately, when I called the SS near me, the salesperson I talked to said they just sold their last one today. But, I can still see the demo unit in person, which I’m eager to do.
I remembered that Borders is partnering with Sony to see the Readers and gift cards to the Sony Connect e-book store, so I also called my local Borders to see if they had any. Surprisingly, the guy I talked to knew about them, and gave me some decent info. Supposedly they were going to get some in stock today, but because of the bad weather last night, many of their orders were delayed. So the guy said he expects them to be in stock in the next couple days, and that I could check back on Friday. Sweet! Incidentally, I called another local Borders and the guy I talked to had no clue about the Reader. Why don’t employees of chain stores get the same information? So annoying to get conflicting info when calling multiple stores. In this day & age of near-instantaneous communication, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Phew! Finally my M200 is starting to feel normal again. I went back to running XP Tablet Edition. Even though it was possible to run Vista RC1, it wasn’t a very pleasant experience. The lack of Toshiba driver support was annoying, and the machine’s HD was almost constantly chugging due to some unknown process (HD indexing, perhaps?). Overall my M200 was boggy and unresponsive under Vista RC1.
I loved the tablet-related changes, especially the movable floating TIP, and the new Start menu. But the other sacrifices I had to make were not worth the improved tablet features. So now I’m back on XP Tablet. While it’s not as pretty, XP works well on my M200, so that’s all that matters to be at the moment. Sometime later, when I’ve upgraded to a more capable machine, I’ll check out Vista again. But I’ve had enough of Vista beta testing for a while.
I know there’s a new beta download available now; hopefully I can get it downloaded and installed tonight, because ON2007 is running like molasses on my M200 + Vista RC1. Anyway, I wanted to ask a quick question:
For those of you who use the printer driver to print documents to OneNote 2007, do you know if there’s a way to configure it so that each page after the first one is a subpage in ON, instead of having it print out all pages onto one ON page? It’s annoying to switch between a document printed into ON and a page of my notes, and have to scroll back to the place I left off reading (it’s like the Gigabeat’s (or PSP’s) lack of bookmarking for audio files! GRRR.). At least with the ON2003 printer driver there was a way to do this “one-to-one” printing.
Any suggestions for workarounds? Any way to tell the ON developers that I want this feature back?
Thanks to a helpful commenter on my last post about my RC1 troubles,
I was able to install a display driver that seems to work better as far as
screen rotation is concerned. I still can’t get it to rotate automatically
when I twist my screen around into slate mode, but this is better than
before. This at least allows me to do some inking now. Thanks, Shahn!
OH BOY! This new beta of Ed Holloway’s Ink Blogging plug-in for Windows Live Writer has dropped, and it is awesome. If you want all the details on what has been updated, check out his site. Personally, the following features are what I really like:
- Customizable pens — colors and line weights
- Support for erasing with the eraser tip of the stylus
- Vertically expandable text area (no more pasting together blocks of inked text)
- Rule lines that can be shown/hidden — I usually didn’t use rule lines when I ink blogged from OneNote, but this feature definitely comes in handy (using it right now ).
There are tons more features, like the ability to recognize your handwriting as text, shape recognition, ability to re-edit your ink before publishing, and more. I’m definitely going to enjoy exploring these new features!
Hey Ed, where do I send my donation?
Well, Kids, here’s an ink blog post from the Q1. Ugh, this ink is super ugly… That’s one thing I’m not enamored of with touchscreen devices — I have yet to see one that doesn’t have vectoring issues if I try to rest my hand on the screen. And the ink is ugly.
But just being able to do this stuff on such a compact device is a cool concept in itself.
I tried out the Logitech keyboard with the Q1 this evening while IMing back and forth with the hubby (who’s away on business, for those of you who aren’t regular readers ). This keyboard was much improved over the Solidtek ultra-mini keyboard I got yesterday. Since the keys are basically full-sized and in the same layout as a regular keyboard, it was no problem to regularly touch-type. I would have no reservations using this keyboard with the Q1 to type out an e-mail, blog entry, or even something longer, like a report. The keys felt solid and were easy to type on (didn’t require any more pressure than a regular keyboard), if a bit louder than a standard laptop keyboard. The keys are thicker (taller) and have a little longer distance to travel than the keys on my M200 keyboard, which accounts for the louder sound. But the keyboard is solid, well-made, and well laid out. Although it is thicker and larger than the Solidtek keyboard overall, I don’t think it would be hard to transport in a small bag along with the Q1. It’s still well within the range of the ultra-portable category. The Logitech keyboard seems like a very good contender against the official Samsung Q1 keyboard. Its price of $19.99 at Fry’s (you can also find this cheaper online) makes it hard to buy the Samsung keyboard over the Logitech (the Samsung keyboard is $99). The only thing I would really ding it for is the lack of a carrying case, but since it is meant to be used with a Playstation 2, I’m not surprised that it lacks a bundled slipcover.
Below are some pictures of the Logitech keyboard: