Saturday, February 25, 2006 launched!

The surprise is over: Dennis Rice and I have launched our own commercial website dedicated to tablet pc and mobile pc called: It features InkShows, news, editorials, categories, and more that is in the works. This has been something in the works for quite some time and I’m thrilled to be doing something together with Dennis.

Currently on the site, we have an InkShow previewing TEO 3.0, OneNote 2007, and GoBinder 2006 – more coming soon.

I won’t be posting any longer to, but I will maintain my own personal blog at Feel free to visit me over there.

The feedupdate should be transparent. If you don’t have it already, it is

This page should autoredirect to within 30 seconds


Origami - the video

If you are are following this whole Origami thing, check this link:

I’ll take one of those for each person in my family….

Thanks, Warner

Friday, February 24, 2006


InkGestures 1.1 now available

Loren and the developers at Jumping Minds software have just released an update to InkGestures – version 1.1

If you have not given InkGestures a test run on your tablet pc, download it and see what you think. � New blog and Tablet PC

Troy is a new Tablet PC user who just started a blog. He just purchased a Toshiba M200 2 ghz tablet pc.

I’m looking forward to reading how Troy takes to the M200 and what his first impressions are. It is always exciting to watch new tablet pc users start to explore. It’ll be an interesting blog to watch – great job on the design, too.



Engadget has some photos of the Origami Project device

Not sure if these are current, real, or what but Engadget is standing by their sources and posted pictures of the Origami devices might or do look like

Check out Engadget for more Thanks for the link, Warner

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Origami Project? - What the heck is it?

There seems to be a lot of speculation floating about around a new website that Microsoft just launched: Not much detail at all on the site (quite a tease), but it tells folks to check back on 3/2 and then there is a 3rd week option, probably 3/9….will be interesting to watch. Meanwhile,

Scoble is saying that it is a “device”…. Speculation is running the gamut – read below for a list:

I do know that Origami is the code-name for a new kind of device. Oh, heck, here come the NDA police, gotta go! … – Scoble

Network World is running this article on it as well with supposedly with some info from a “source”: From Network World (where they link to Engadget who links to my article blogging the mobile brief). Network World also links to my article from here

Fortunately, we know someone who knows for certain. According to an industry source who has seen the thing and calls it "very cool," Origami is one and the same with this ultraportable "lifestyle PC" we were talking about here earlier today. This source is under NDA, an honest fellow and unwilling to share more than his help connecting the dots.

Earlier this month, the author of a
blog called Engadget described the device this way: "According to at least one report, Bill Mitchell, Corporate Vice President of the Mobile Platform Division, showed a slide that outlined specs for the new PC category, including that it be wearable, always on, no larger than 10-inches, connected through 3G networks, pen-based, and have a suggested retail price of $500 or less. … One notable spec that could differentiate this one: Microsoft is apparently insisting that this run the full version of Windows." - Network World

Another commenter on Scoble’s blog claims that it a mobile phone.

Another commenter on Scoble’s blog says:

The buzz around is that this could be a specialised communicator device based on a National Semiconductor’s design originally presented during the COMDEX

Guess we’ll all find out soon. Meanwhile there are a lot of links coming in to my blog...


Screencast of the week!

The folks at TechSmith selected my ActiveWords / TEO demo  for Screencast of the Week award. I guess I need to find some room on my site for this nice new banner. I hope that you have found the demo useful as well. BTW: I’ve got some REALLY good screencasts coming up – stay tuned  – about a week away……

Find out more about Camtasia Studio and the power of desktop recording


Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Another "expert" article on Tablet PCs .....

You know that an article written by “Expert Author”  Mike Singh is going to be “really good” when he begins with this:

A tablet pc is a personal computer that has a touch screen. Much lighter and more manageable in small spaces than a laptop, a tablet pc is a truly personal computer.

While a built in keyboard is not standard on a tablet pc a keyboard may be plugged in if the user prefers.

Come on…can someone please get their facts straight before publishing an article like this, especially with a tag line “Expert Author”

Tablet PCs can have touch screens, but most do not.

Most Tablet PCs sold today are of the convertible type with the keyboard built in – Slate Tablet PCs are of the type that do not come with a keyboard.

Gotta love this one:

The handwriting is stored as a graphic….

The handwriting is not stored as a graphic – the ink is its’ own datatype, is searchable, but can be saved as a graphic if necessary ( sending a handwritten email automatically converts to a graphic, exporting to .gif for posting on a website, etc).


Blog:: Craig Pringle - Hands on Review of the M400

Craig Pringle has posted the first “Hands On” review of the Toshiba M400 Tablet PC I’ve seen yet. He also posts some really good pictures. Great job, Craig.

Considering the M400? Check it out….


Four Things meme

Looks like Lora has tagged me in the Four Things meme floating around the blogosphere. Pretty fun stuff (thanks, Lora).

Here I go:

Four jobs I’ve had:

Four movies I can watch over and over:

Four TV shows I love to watch:

Four places I’ve been on vacation:

Four favorite dishes:

Four websites I visit daily:

Four bloggers I’m tagging:

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


quick update on the RC800 scanner

Just wanted to let everyone know that I’m writing my review on the RC800 scanner and trying to include as much data as possible, screenshots, and sample scans. It’ll be another week or two before it is ready, but I wanted to at least give you an update.



NuShield screen protectors reviewed has offered up a mini review of NuShield’s screen protectors for Tablet PCs. If you are in the market for one, check out the review.


Monday, February 20, 2006


If we build it....

…they will come



A tablet worth taking - Sahara i215

The Age offers up a nice review of the TabletKiosk’s Sahara i215. Note: the prices in the review are Australian dollars.

Notebooks with fold-away keyboards seem to be the most popular tablet PC form, but slate-style tablets with the keyboard removed seem to offer more innovation.

The size of an A4 notepad and only 25 millimetres thick, TabletKiosk's Sahara Slate PC i215 pen is getting closer to our futurist vision of a tablet PC. Weighing 1.5 kilograms, the Sahara packs a 1.5 GHz Pentium-M, 512 MB of RAM and a 60 GB HDD. It sports a 12.1-inch XGA display and a Wacom electro-magnetic pen that slots into the unit, but a touch-screen version is available.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Working with ActiveInk

Since meeting up with Steve Hoffman of ActiveInk Software during the Mobile Partners Brief several weeks ago, I’ve been playing with their forms based software on and off over the past couple of weeks. I’ll have a full review  and a screencast coming up in a couple of weeks after I get a feel for how I would use the software in my day to day meanderings,  but I wanted to tell you a little about what makes this company tick and why I think they will continue to be successful in the tablet pc space. 

Before I do that, I want to fully disclose to you that Steve gave me an eval license of their software several weeks ago so that I could get a full taste of how it works, etc. I’m also evaluating this software for a client of mine that could have get some real-world benefit from it. I’ll be demoing it for them next week. I get a lot of eval software, some of it I write about, some of it I don’t. I never let that color my reviews. I’ll call things as I see them. That said, on with it…

Last week, I blogged about how Microsoft is relying too much on the TIP to solve inking interactions with the tablet and how it sends a bad message to the ISV market, not to mention their own internal product teams. Well, ActiveInk is a piece of software that helps with the user transparency experience.

First of all, it allows the user to very quickly create an ink-enabled form template directly from a Word file, Excel document, (name your source), or scanned image. Open the form template and start filling out forms (credit apps, patient file info, work orders, etc) – in ink without the TIP! then when you are done filling out the form, you can convert the ink to text or keep it as is. Use that same form template over and over. You can even tie those forms to a database or import the XML files directly into Excel and Access for common data collection purposes.

ActiveInk is a company that recognizes relying on the TIP to fill out forms (think PDF forms, Access forms, etc) is a bad move. They seized an opportunity and buck the trend in terms of ink-enabling software.

All of that said, there are some rough edges around the software that I’ve run into and communicated to Steve: their help system just plain stinks, several UI issues, and a few other weird bugs that I encountered. I’ll get more into that  in my full review, but it leads to what I think will continue to make this company successful.

People like Steve Hoffman are running the company. Case in point: I shot off an email  to Steve last night about some bugs I was finding. Early this morning (on a Saturday) I got a response with each item addressed. He then calls me to go over the issues more in detail. Later in the day, when he’s not able to duplicate my bug, we setup a GoToMeeting so that he can see exactly what is going on. All of this on a Saturday.

Now, I’m sure your reading this and saying: sure, you write this blog that gets a lot of exposure, you bet he’s going to follow up with you on a Saturday and give you all the attention you want. Sorry, but I’ve gotten to know Steve well enough over the past several years to know that this is how they run their company. If you are interested in their software or buy it – you will get a call from Steve and they will be there to help along every step of the way. That is the kind of differentiator that will make ISV’s like ActiveInk succeed. How I was treated this weekend is how they treat their customers. Bottom line.

There is another company like ActiveInk that understands customer support in the same way: Josh Einstein of Tablet Enhancements for Outlook. Ask anyone on about Josh’s support follow through. Often times, he’ll email you within minutes after getting your support request.Why? Like Steve, Josh’s livlihood depends on you being a satisfed customer and they will go the extra mile to ensure that you are satisfied.

Josh’s TEO product is another fine example of seizing an opportunity to present the user with a TIP-less solution. I’m doing some testing with Josh on TEO 3.0 and it is going to rock your world. Look for something  very special from me on TEO 3.0 in the next week or so. Come to think of it, look for something very cool and exciting from Dennis and I in the next week or so.

Well, I think you get my point here: ISV’s like ActiveInk Software and Josh Einstein are customer oriented and are providing solutions to meet some gaping holes. In addition, they understand customer service and go the extra mile. Check them out, download their trials, give them some feedback, buy their software if it fits your need.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


What ride are we on?

Trying to figure what this "blogosphere" is about and can't make sense of it all? Read Warner's most excellent essay. I'll take a Coke with that hot dog!


Is Technorati relevant?

I’ve had a listing on Technorati for quite a while now and I have to say that I’m not that impressed with it.

Some rough numbers:

1) my stats say that I have 259 links from 54 sites. The problem with that number is that it has been the exact same for at least 3 months. I emailed technorati about it last week and have yet to receive a response.

2) I often post 2 – 3 times a day and ping technorati each time. However, when I click on the Recently Updated link, it’ll still show that my last update was 10 – 20 hours ago, even  several hours or so after I pinged them. I posted some stuff last night and I still don’t show up on the list when someone types in Tablet PC on the search screen.

3) What is the deal with the authority tab? It is the default link when someone goes to a technorati keyword. What i’m finding is that anyone that includes a certain term in their technorati tags and has a very successful blog mainly concentrated on something else is listed as a high ranking authority on any subjec that they tag. Scoble, for example, hardly ever writes about tablet pcs, but is considered the #1 ranking authority on tablet pcs because he has a hugely successful blog and included the tablet pc technorati tag in his profile. Is Scoble the #1 authority on tablet pcs in the tablet pc blogosphere? I don’t think so.

I’m curious how many people actually use technorati and find it useful? Is it really relevant if the data is not updated and is so skewed? I know others have had issues with Technorati in the past – they seem to fix the problem (temporarily it seems) if you bring it to their attention, but then eventually you’ll either disappear again or become static.

Curious on your thoughts. If you don’t use Technorati, what is your most successful blog search tool?




OneNote Planner Plug-in 2.0

Tracy Hooten has posted version 2.0 of her OneNote Planner Plug-in. Looks like a good template to include in your OneNote system. She has also posted a good video on how to use it.

Friday, February 17, 2006


Join Microsoft's Mobile PC Advisory Council

If you are interested in helping Microsoft affect the future of mobile computing, you might be interested in joining the Microsoft Mobile PC Advisory Council. I’ve pasted the letter below that I received from Microsoft.

Your knowledge and feedback are vital to our success! Microsoft’s Mobile PC User Research team is building a panel of customers who use mobile computers such as Tablet PCs in order to better understand what is important to you. This is a unique opportunity to give feedback that will affect the future of mobile computing.

If you’re interested in participating in this panel, please click on the link below to see if you qualify and join today! If you are accepted into the Mobile PC Advisory Council, you will receive a $10 gift certificate that can be used at The survey should take approximately 5 minutes to complete.

Typically, we will send you six to twelve surveys per year. In appreciation of your time, at the completion of each survey, you’ll be entered in a sweepstakes to win cash awards.


Join our elite group and have a direct impact on the development of some of the world's most popular software.


the Microsoft Mobile PC User Research team


Outlook missing from Home / Student Editions - the larger in terms of Tablet PCs

I want to chime in on what Marc Orchant is talking about on his blog regarding Outlook missing from the Home and Student Editions of Office 2007. Marc makes a very good case on how this is good move on the part of Microsoft, especially when you consider Vista’s much improved Windows Mail client.

Here is where I think Microsoft has messed up: part of the Out of Box experience with buying a tablet pc is inking an email and sending it to a friend. Outlook does a fairly good job with that and it raises the “wow” factor tremendously. Think about students as well – sending an email to a fellow student in ink – word gets around “ I gotta be able to do that”. Most folks who go buy to Best Buy and CompUSA to buy a Tablet PC will usually pick up the cheapest version of Office they can get by with: the Home / Student Edition. It will be the edition I buy for my clients who get home PCs and tablet PCs.

Considering that Microsoft is trying to increase the “lifestyle” usefulness of ultra mobile and tablet PCs, don’t you think that ink-enabling Windows Mail for Vista would have been a priority? Getting ink across basic OS apps is a must to increase the transparency and out of box experience for new tablet pc users. Instead, the user is faced with using the TIP to ink an email, or worse, the keyboard. The new tablet pc enthusiast immediately begins to think: inking just isn’t an integral part of using a computer yet. I can’t even ink an email. The wall immediately begins to go up.

I believe that Microsoft is making a huge mistake by relying too much on TIP input for basic OOB expeience: search, windows mail, etc. They also send a message to the ISVs – relying on the TIP is fine. Follow our lead. Relying on TIP input for your apps is wrong. Transparent computing begins with allowing ink to be an defacto input and handlng the recognition automatically without needing a separate interface or need to press another button.

If Microsoft isn’t going to include Outlook in their Home / Student Editions, they MUST ink enable Windows Mail. While Vista is a huge step forward in terms of personalization and tablet pc functionality, the most glaring miss here is Windows Mail, which will be the defacto means of communications with ones peers, especially for those who buy the Home / Student Edition of Office 2007. Including ink as part of that standard experience would do nothing but increase tablet pc awareness in huge ways.


OneNote 2007 and drawing tools

Chris Pratley discusses the new drawing features for One Note 2007, especially good news for non - tablet pc users. Thanks, Bill the intern.

As we pondered drawing tools, we had to decide whether they would be typical Office drawing tools or something more natural for OneNote. One thing that is different for OneNote is that we support ink already (on all PC types, not just Tablets). The Office drawing tools which you see in Word, Excel, etc. have a lot of functionality but also live in a different "layer" which OneNote wouldn't get to interact with much. That would mean for example that ink you draw on a page would not be able to interact with the drawing objects. Ink tools such as the eraser and lasso would not affect the drawing tools. Also these objects would not have awareness of other things on a OneNote page such as text that you might want to type on them. It's hard to explain the subtleties of the issues here but suffice it to say in the end we decided that having native drawing tools would be a better experience for our users.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


M400 thoughts - Brrreeeport

I spec’d out an M400 Tablet PC for a customer – 2.0ghz, Core Duo, 100gb 7200 rpm harddrive, Dual layer CD / DVD, extended battery. $2744. I purposefully wanted as much tablet pc as I could get. Why get a 5400rpm harddrive when I could get a 7200rpm.

WOW! That is a lot of money for tablet pc. Granted I could have spec’d it lower, but the price differentials just didn’t seem worth it.

After sitting on it for a day or so, I canceled the order. Just for grins, I spec’d out an M4 Tablet PC (see both specs below. Same specs all around except for the following:

M4 price: $2211. Price differential: $533

So for $533 more, I get the Core Duo, faster memory, smaller unit, faster harddrive, but integrated video instead of dedicated card.

What would you do?

Toshiba Tecra M4-S115TD Tablet PC Intel® Pentium® M Processor 760 (2.00GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 533MHz FSB), Microsoft® Windows® XP 2005 Tablet Edition, 1024MB (512MBx2) 533MHz PC4200 DDR2 SDRAM, 14.1" Diagonal SXGA+ (1400 x 1050) display, NVIDIA® GeForce™ Go 6600 TE with 128MB DDR SDRAM, 100GB (Serial-ATA, 5400rpm), 8X DVD Super Multi-drive (Double Layer), WinDVD Creator software, Intel® PRO/Wireless 2915ABG (802.11a/b/g), Bluetooth® (Ver 2.0 + EDR), Li-Ion Battery (6 Cell, 4700mAh), 1-year Standard, Limited Warranty,

Toshiba Portege M400-ST9113 Tablet PC Intel® Core™ Duo Processor T2500 (2.00GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 667MHz FSB), Microsoft® Windows® XP Tablet PC 2005, 1024MB PC5300 DDR2 667MHz SDRAM (512MBx2), 12.1" Diagonal SXGA+ Wide View Angle Display (1400x1050), Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950 with 8MB-128MB dynamically allocated shared graphics memory, 100GB HDD (7200rpm, Serial-ATA), Ultra SlimBay DVD SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) drive, Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG (802.11a/b/g), Bluetooth® Version 2.0 +EDR, Li-Ion Battery (6-cell, 4700mAh),



OEMs and the flattening of the press world

Scoble has a fantastic post on the “flattening of the press world”. His post is a must read by PR firms representing OEMs and ISVs.

He picks up really well on what I posted earlier about my problems with OEMs and their PR firms. I’ve been experiencing this problem from day one with OEMs. If you represent PC Magazine, you are in, otherwise give up. The good news is that the PR firms are starting to recognize the changing landscape and we will begin to see changes.

Are we seeing the death of the exclusive? I hope so. That’s what I’m fighting for. The “Z list” should have access to info as soon as the “A list” does.

I just want NDA rules that apply the same to everyone. What do you think?


Frank Gocinski and his 55 minute wait

Frank Gocinski has posted an excellent example of the problems that still plague mobile users: how much time it takes to get connected to the stuff we need when mobile. I'd encourage you to check out his post. Sound familiar? He closes it with this plea to the mobile developers:

As the world goes mobile we as developers have to start considering how to build truly first class mobile pc applications. I realize this starts at the platform level and Windows Vista is the platform to empower us. If you haven’t contemplated the mobile aspects of your pc application, please check out what Windows Vista can do for you and your customers. Help me get my 55 minutes back



OneNote 2007

Chris Pratley has posted an entry on his blog announcing the new official name of the Office 12 packages. The best part is that OneNote is now included in some of the Office packages: Office Home and Student. That makes perfect sense considering how well OneNote is situated for students.

Unfortunately, it will not be included in the Standard, Professional, and Small Business versions; however, there is a business level of Office that includes all of the regular Office Apps + Groove + OneNote: Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007.

The upgrade price for current OneNote users: $99.

Pricing and other press items are found here

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Microsoft Tablet PC Partners Having Increasing Impact on Patient Care

Nobody can deny that the healthcare vertical market has been one of the most successful for Tablet PC OEMs like Motion Computing and Fujitsu. If you follow the medical industry, you might want to check out this press release from Microsoft where they talk about their successes in the medical space and also highlight some of their partners:

The steadily growing number of Tablet PC solutions created by Microsoft partners and powered by Microsoft(R) technologies is having a positive impact on patient lives, medical worker efficiency and the balance sheets of healthcare organizations, Microsoft Corp. today announced during the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2006 Annual Conference & Exhibition in San Diego.

Source: Sys-Con Media



Tuesday, February 14, 2006


The Student Tablet PC: Student Apps Demo (#1)

 Tracy has offered up her own Tablet PC demo of GoBinder, MindManager, and few other apps. Great job, Tracy!

Who knew the cascading effect I was going to create (  JK and Craig  have them posted as well) when I posted my ActiveWords / TEO demo. I have to tell you, I really like this new way of demoing apps much better than standard screenshots. I think prospective Tablet PC users will like them, too. I’ve also learned a great deal from watching these other folks do their demos. Nothing like seeing ink in action on the web.

Trust me – you are going to see much more of them very, very soon……

Monday, February 13, 2006


MathJournal 2.0 coming soon

I had a good email conversation with the folks from xThink this weekend. Look for the beta testing on MathJournal 2.0 to begin soon - March!. New features and functions to look forward to.

I'll plan on doing some beta testing for them and am really looking forward to it. Watch the xThink site for more information.

UPDATE: removed wrong link.


Talking to Stephen Torres

I was just talking to Stephen Torres (HPClean on He runs

He shot me this link of him doing an interview with some schools (its’ in French).

He also shot me this link of the two schools set-up. Would you have loved to have those Tablet PCs in your school?



Using OneNote in the day to day

Warner Crocker has posted an excellent entry on using OneNote, PDF Annotator, and web cam via a Tablet PC to do the theatre audition. Well worth checking out.

Thanks for posting this, Warner. The more practical experience we offer the community, the better.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


James Kendrick joins the DualCor BETA

Congratulations to James Kendrick on joining the DualCor Board of Expert Technical Advisors. It looks like DualCor is doing the right things and bringing people who will properly guide DualCor:

I am pleased to say that I have accepted a position on the DualCor Board of Expert Technical Advisors (BETA). The DualCor BETA is a group of well-known people in the mobile technology sector that have been gathered to advise DualCor on technical matters having to do with the upcoming cPC.



Toshiba M400 Tablet PC - Large Pics

The Toshiba marketing rep sent Dennis and I these high res shots of the M400 Tablet PC. Click the image to view higher res shots:


Samsung collaborate with Intel for "Ultra-mobile PC" ?

The Intel collaboration news on ultra mobile pc just keeps coming. From Digiens (via Lora) The feature a photo what they are calling Samsung’s Ultra Mobile PC. I don’t see where it lines up with Microsoft’s Lifestyle PC spec, but it still looks pretty interesting. Samsung as an OEM would be a good choice. They make great ultra mobile devices. I’d love to be at CeBIT!:

Samsung Electronics will collaborate with Intel for the next generation PC: "Ultra-mobile PC". Ultra-mobile PC will have all kind of mobile communication capabilities embeding WiFi, GPS, WiBro, and HSDAP chips.

Samsung Electronics announced on 8th that they will commercialize the Intel's "Ultra-mobile PC" concept for the first time. The prototype will be open to public at the "CeBIT" exhibition, which will be held at Germany next month.


P1510 tablet PC reviewed

 TabletPC Corner offers a nice review of the P1510. It is in French, so use your favorite translator.


Warner: OEM's, Evangelists, Transparency, And Moving Forward

Warner has great follow-up to my OEM post and offers his own editorial on the subject

Here's how I see this. I'm perfectly aware that the competitive nature of this business requires a certain amount of secrecy as new products are being developed. I'm also perfectly aware that the PR and marketing games require a certain amount of favor dispensing and the larger, more established resources get the juice. Unfortunately in many cases, the access granted these resources usually only churns out retreaded press release info and rehashed marketing pitches and there seems to be very little follow up to correct bad, incomplete, inaccurate, and in some cases just uninformed information that gets published. The Tablet PC platform has certainly been a victim of that as we still see today in articles where the writer has obviously not really put hands on a Tablet PC. So who is that approach helping?


Handwriting On The Wall For Tablet PCs - Must Lighten Up

Prettyinteresting article from Investors Business Daily on the next slew of lighter mobile devices. As you read this article and other bits slowly coming out from TG Daily and mine and Dennis’ reporting from the Mobile Partners brief, you should be getting a pretty good idea of what’s at play now.

Some other interesting tidbits from this article:

Friday, February 10, 2006


Something new coming soon...

Picking up Dennis’ post, I wanted to put the “tease” out there for something new in the air as well…watch both of our blogs for more details later…


Ink in Infopath Screencast

The MVPs are on a tablet pc demo kick. Check out Craig Pringle’s demo of ink in Infopath.


jkOnTheRun Audio Edition #11- Tablet PC demo video

James Kendrick has outdone himself this time. He has produced a MUST-SEE demo video of the tablet pc in action. He covers all the apps – active words, journal, sticky notes, mindmanager. The music is huge!

Head over there NOW

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Modified Apple Tablet Computer 12" iBook on eBay

Do you remember the modded 12” iBook / Tablet that got so much press last year? Well, the guy who did all of the mods is selling it on eBay. Check it out:


Eric Mack is looking for some help on monitor / resolution issues

Eric Mack is looking from some help from those who use high resolution monitors with their tablet PCs. Head over to his blog and post your thoughts:

Are you using a very high-resolution (greater than 1280 x1024) monitor with your Toshiba Tecra M4 (or other) Tablet PC? If so, I'd like to hear from you. You see, I'm planning to purchase a very high resolution monitor for mind mapping use and I've been researching various options. The productivity benefits of using multiple displays are significant. At one time, back in the CRT days, I had 5 CRT's on my desk and it was great.

The challenge is finding and selecting an LCD monitor that matches the Tablet PC output at its native resolution. Any mismatch and the monitor will likely shrink or stretch the video, resulting in a blurry image. Further, according to the tech notes I've been reading many Tablet PC video cards will not put out the full range of display resolutions to the external port. That's why I'd like to hear from anyone who's currently using (or thinking about using) a Tablet PC with an external monitor at 1280x1024 or higher.


Short update on using the DocuPen RC800

I’m putting the scanner to good use this week, as I meet with clients, scanning  things on the go.

I plan on posting a more detailed entry about the entire workflow from scanning, importing, etc. For right now, I just wanted to let you know some of my initial findings:

1) scanning small items like business cards is a real pain because there is nothing to grab a hold of in order to scan the top part of the business card.

2) my wife absolutely loves this scanner. Kathi is all about removing clutter from a home. I think I might end up having to purchase of these for her.

3) The paperport software that comes with the scanner is pretty cool. I can import all / select images from the scanner have them go into a single PDF or create separate pdf pages.

4) Using the b / w mode, saving a scan to the memory card takes about 4 – 5 seconds

5) I have not tried scanning books, but I’m suspecting that the RC800 will not be the “best” solution for that, simply due to the binding issue.

6) Importing directly to OneNote is a breeze. Enough said on that due to blogging restrictions.

7) Had I not goofed up the installation, the out of box experience would have been great. I couldn’t get the drivers to install properly because I couldn’t find them. Tech support was fantastic and very quick to respond via phone and email.

8) The scanner is very, very light. However, it is a bit to tall for a shirt pocket. I keep mine in my bag.

9) I’ve found the color scans to be quite acceptable for my purposes.

10) The docupen control screen, which is used for selecting the images to import, needs an option to delete the images after importing. currently, the only option is format the disk

11) I’d highly recommend ordering either the 128 or 256 mb expansion card. The internal 8mb flash storage won’t last long.



Custom option on M400 tablet pc

For those of you looking to order the Toshiba M400 tablet and go the custom route, you may have noticed that it has  been down the last several days.

That option is now up and ready to for you to use. Customize it to hearts content: 100gb 7200 rpm harddrive, 2.13 Core Duo, 2gb of ram, etc.

If any of you order the new m400, I’d love to hear how you like the unit.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Intel's Ultra Mobile PC on track for Q1 release | TG Daily

Interesting news from TG Daily, especially coming on the heels of Microsoft’s Lifestyle Computing “ideal” specs released last week. I'm not sure of the validity of the report, but certainly worth following up on:

Intel is gearing up for the release of its handtop computer platform later in this quarter: The first "Ultra Mobile PCs" (UMPCs) will arrive with a standby time of a week and include WWAN and GPS capability. A second batch of UMPCs will follow in the second half of this year and come with Windows Vista preinstalled, TG Daily has learned.

There is so much buzz around Intel's recently launched Core Duo processor and Viiv entertainment platform, one could easily oversee the firm's next major product launch. And no, we do not talk about Intel's next-generation microarchitecture due in September of this year; we are talking about the UMPC.

Sources now indicate that Intel is on track to take the wraps off the platform sometime this quarter: Samsung, Asus and Founder will the first companies to launch UMPCs.

The company previously stated that the first run of UMPCs will not be commercially available before the second half of this year. If the three vendors are able to ship the UMPCs then this is a clear indication that Intel is well ahead of schedule and is pushing the platform for an accelerated market adoption. The "breakthrough" of the UMPS so far has been targeted for the 2007 and 2008 timeframe.

For the second half of 2006, Intel expects a second wave of UMPCs that will include devices from LGE, Acer and Averatec and run Windows Vista.


The winners of the 2005 Engadget Awards! - Engadget

Lenovo’s X41 Tablet PC won the Readers Choice and Engadget’s Choice for Tablet PC of the Year for 2005.


Fujitsu ST5022 Tablet PC for sale

I have the following tablet pc for sale for $1250 . I’ll cover ground shipping.

Fujitsu ST5022

no scratches on the screen (which is fantastic by the way). This tablet pc is in fantastic condition. I picked it up from someone last week to show a customer the Fujitsu model.

email me at rob at zoeinc dot com if you are interested


The M400 Tablet PC is posted on

Check out and order Toshiba’s new M400 on!!!

The custom version - has option for 7200 rpm harddrive, choice between 1024 x 768, 1400 x 1050 resolution; and up to 2.13 Core Duo processor. 5-in-1 Bridge Media Adapter, 3-USB (2.0) ports, i.LINK™ IEEE-1394, TV-out (S-Video), 10/100 LAN port, V.92 modem port, RGB monitor port, Microphone jack (monaural), headphone jack (stereo) , Intel 950 integrated graphics


Motion Computing responds to my OEM post

My OEM post has been up since last Friday and guess who is the first to respond: Motion Computing. I’ll be doing an interview with Scott Eckert, CEO of Motion Computing, within the next two weeks. If you have some particular questions that you would like asked, post a comment to this thread.

Still working on the review unit issues.

Thanks for listening, Motion.


| Office Evolution - Marc Orchant

Time to update your RSS feeders, everyone. Marc Orchants new blog, Office Evolution, is now live.

Marc, see what you can about getting full text subscriptions. I understand the advertising issue, but surely they can put ads in the RSS feed. I much prefer a full text subscription.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Just received my DocuPen RC800

I just received the RC800 pen based scanner that I purchased the week before last. Out of the box, it is much lighter than it looks, but it is much taller than what will fit in a shirt pocket.

I post later this week on my findings: installation, out of the box experience, scanning, and importing directly to OneNote.


jkOnTheRun: Building a virtual cubicle

Great article by James Kendrick on building a virtual cubicle. Well written, and looks like he is setting it up for a series.

The backbone of the virtual cube is the Tablet PC for me. I must have all of my applications, PIM functions, and documents no matter where my work takes me and using the Tablet PC is the main foundation for my work. Countless times I am plopped down in an empty cube at an office and in minutes I am set up more productively and comfortably than many who actually work there full-time. A convertible Tablet PC lets me set up as either a notebook computer or a slate depending on what I need to accomplish. The ability to ink is crucial to me as I constantly need to sign documents that are sent to me for return, mainly legal contracts. On the Tablet PC I can open the file up in PDF Annotator, sign it, and email it back to the sender. No muss, no fuss. I can also use the slate to take handwritten notes in meetings, secure in the knowledge my ink is fully searchable and my notes are thus retrievable in the future. For me it's the Tablet PC or nothing.

Looking forward to it, James.


Activewords and TEO screencast

I have produced a screencast demoing how well ActiveWords  and Tablet Enhancements for Outlook work together for the Tablet PC user. I created the screencast using TechSmith's Camtasia .

I plan on creating some more of these, demonstrating various tablet pc apps, productivity tips, etc. I’m curious if you, the Tablet PC community, will find them useful as you evaluate various apps. Any helpful hints, criticisms, etc are welcome.


Sunday, February 05, 2006


Dennis Rice's "Naked Conversations" mini review

Dennis Rice, a Tablet PC MVP, has just posted a nice mini review of Robert Scoble and Shel Israel’s book Naked Conversations.

Dennis just started actively blogging, so it is refreshing to read his review.


Neek Talk : An Interview with Fritz Switzer

The girls from Neek Talk are back, and this time with an interview with AbletFactory’s Fritz Switzer. Should be a very interesting show.

For those of you who don’t know, Fritz is a Tablet PC developer who has written multiple apps involving tablet pc dictionary tools, special interest dictionaries, and OneNote applications for the medical arena. Fritz is also a Tablet PC MVP and is one great guy.

Downloading now.


OnTheRun with Tablet PCs #12-is posted

James and Marc are back with Tablet PC Show #12. Take a listen. According to the show notes, they reference several things that I blogged about this past week ( Ultra Mobile Lifestyle PC, OEM's, etc).

I’m downloading it now.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


The DocuPen RC800 winner announced

I’m ready to announce a winner to the DocuPen RC800 contest!

To start off with, I want to thank everyone who submitted an entry. I’ll be honest, I did not expect such high quality submissions. I also did not expect so many submissions (160 +). Many of the submissions were long essays. Some were quite funny. We even had a fantastic video submission from Mr. Warner Crocker himself. I received a high number of submissions from students, teachers, missionaries, seminary students, several from business professionals, several from medical professionals, etc. Lots of vertical markets represented. Several “higher ups” at Microsoft told me that they were really impressed with the mobile lifestyle case studies presented. Look for some more high quality contests like this in the future. I’ve got something really big up my sleeve, but it will be little while before I’m ready. If you are game for it, I am too. More details later.

I’d also like to thank everyone who linked to this contest and helped promote it. You made a significant contribution in making this contest a success. This contest was a success because of the community involvement.

Before I announce the winner, I want to also let you know that PlanOn, the makers of the DocuPen RC800, have stepped up to the plate in a huge way. They have been so impressed with the quality and number of submissions that they have offered to pay for the RC800 pen. I didn’t learn of this decision until Thursday, but I gladly accepted their offer! In addition, they are making an offer for any of my readers who want to buy an RC800 digital pen scanner: a free leather case ($35 value) and a free 128mb expanded memory card ($35 value). Send an email to with the promo code of CML02060 if you are interested. This offer is valid through Sunday, February 12. FYI: I have no vested interest in you buying a scanner from them. Until last week, PlanOn did not know I even existed.

Now for the winner:

I read every single submission. Several of the submissions were neck and neck. However, I kept going back to one that consistently stood out: Aaron’s post. The whole entry impacted me, but the last sentence summed it up greatly:

Honestly, the number of uses within our setting is almost countless, but like I said, it's not about just impacting a current digital lifestyle as trying to create one for some good kids.

His entire entry was focused on impacting a digital lifestyle for those he cares about: his learning challenged students. I honestly wanted to choose a winner who could best state his case, show the impact, and presented an honest need. Aaron, I hope you put this scanner to some good use. I’d love to hear back on how you are using it and would love to see a picture of you and your kids with the scanner. Congratulations!

His entire entry:

How would a pen based scanner like the RC800 impact your digital lifestyle?

This actually kind of a hard question for me to answer as my hope would be that for me, it's not about impacting my digital lifestyle as much as trying to create a digital lifestyle for my students.

I work as a science teacher with emotionally disturbed (ED) students -- kids with bipolar disorder, severe depression, anxiety disorders, severe ADD and ADHD, school avoidant kids (plus many of our students have learning disabilities on top of this) -- and we're a small school; only 36 kids in the entire school! My class size is between 3 and 7 kids! But, this also means we don't always have the tools that large public schools have the budget for. I'm the only science teacher for the entire school, and the youngest (25) so a lot of the integrating technology part of education falls on me since many of the other, older teachers simply aren't that knowledgable.

I try to integrate technology into my lessons, not just for learning's sake, but because our students have been left behind in tradional methods that aren't eye-catching because they are so internally distracted and because they are frequently more visual learners who do better with things like powerpoint, videos, and internet tools. At the same time, I try to teach them study skills that they can carry back to public schools if they make it there, and eventually college. This has meant talking to them about effective computer use (Google is great but doesn't write the report for you, just gives you resources :) )

So, I try and show them tools that are out there that they can take advantage of. Kids hate reading textbooks, but make a webpage out of it, and they're there. They'll lose their homework and misplace study guides, but know where all their documents are saved on the computer. We have a handful of computers in the classroom for them to use, but the tools to get their normal written work onto the computer so easily?!?! It would blow their mind. I think that if a lot of our kids knew they could go totally digital, they would. Their generation simply prefers it. I've even had in depth discussions with them about making their next computer a tablet pc (although we can't afford those for the school) just so they could do MORE digitally. They always love that idea.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'd use it too. Being able to scan their papers to show good examples to the class, keeping electronic copies of papers after I hand them back so that I can refer back to them, and scanning student documentation! You'd be amazed how much paperwork we copy, file, and write for every single student. Some of these students have their own file cabinet drawer (2 feet deep) of documentation on their disabilities, therapy notes, and case histories. Every teacher keeps a copy of the student's Individual Education Plan and other paperwork, but imagine if we could go digital! Not to mention scanning examples from old texts for future use in presentations and the like.

Honestly, the number of uses within our setting is almost countless, but like I said, it's not about just impacting a current digital lifestyle as trying to create one for some good kids.

Thanks for the chance at this.


Friday, February 03, 2006


OEMs - participate in the conversations

I attended CES last year with a single goal in mind: establish relationships with OEMs in order to provide better content for my readers and the Tablet PC community. I attended CES this year with that same goal in mind. That content includes reviews of new units when they are launched so that the many of the “how big, how fast, screen angles, usability” questions could be answered right away. A big problem I’ve noticed the past couple of years, is that we have about a 6 – 8 week wait in order to get a decent review of a new tablet.

My experience with Motion: I’ve been trying to get an interview with the CEO, Scott Eckert, for about a year and I keep getting told “ We can’t get you Scott, but maybe a VP level person.” I thought, ok, I’ll take what I can get. A year later and still no interview with a VP. Emails either go unanswered or I’m told they are working on it and promise to get back to me soon. Obviously, they don’t think it is important to get out and talk to the community. Motion, however,  has been kind enough to give me briefs of upcoming products, about a week or two before the launch. No matter how hard I try, though, I have yet to get a review unit – before or after launch. Any units I’ve gotten, I’ve purchased. Motion is one of the few OEMs to actively participate in the on-line community. No interviews, no review units.

I made a great contact at HP last year who provides me some good background info and is pretty forthcoming with me. Still no review units, though.

With my emails to the contacts I’ve made at Fujitsu, I’m sent to the PR folks (like Motion does) and I’m basically told that I’ll be put on a list for review units, but don’t look for anything to happen. A year of emails and nothing has happened.

Martin Smekal, of TabletKiosk, is the most accessible of all the OEMs. Obviously, they are smaller then HP and Fujitsu, but Martin recognizes the value of involving himself in the commmunity. He is active on and will gladly send a review unit to influencers. There is no PR wall between TabletKiosk and the community.

Dennis and I finally made a good contact at Toshiba. He’s been forthcoming with data and it is much appreciated. It is a relationship that Dennis and I will continue to cultivate. Requests for review units, however, are lost in a black PR hole.

What I’m finding is that the OEMs do not grasp the importance and size of the on-line community and establishing the relationship with influencers in that space. If you are PC Magazine, however, the Red Sea will part for you. I have found that all of the OEMS frequent the influencers blogs and and follow everything that goes on. They just don’t participate in the conversations – big mistake. Read Scoble’s Naked Conversations. Don’t create a PR wall between your company and the community. Break that wall down and start participating in the conversations.

OEMs ought to be seeking out folks like myself, Warner Crocker, James Kendrick, Marc Orchant, Dennis Rice, and engaging themselves in the community. I’m going to post something tomorrow that will show how one company totally gets the community and steps up to the plate.


Single, most important takeaway from the Mobile Partners Brief

The Mobile Partner brief in Redmond was fantastic. Chock full of information.

As I reflect on the brief, the single thing I take away from it is:

ISV's need to begin concentrating on mobilizing their apps, especially considering Microsoft's blue print for the ideal Lifestyle / Ultra Mobile PC.. Depending on the focus of the app, it includes many of the following issues:

I'm sure that others might have a different perspective, but that is the primary thing I walked away with.


Chris Pratley's OneNote Blog : OneNote "12" and the Tablet PC

Chris Pratley has just posted a great blog entry regarding OneNote 12 and the Tablet PC. A must read for Tablet PC users. Here is an excerpt:

I promised some time ago to write about the Tablet experience in OneNote 12 and how it has changed. This is a tricky topic to cover since there are still a lot of people out there who think OneNote is only or primarily meant to be used on Tablets. I still feel I have to make the point that OneNote was designed for all PCs and also to take advantage of tablets when used on a Tablet.

FWIW, the % of OneNote users with a Tablet has been steadily climbing even as the overall size of the OneNote user base grows steadily - up from ~5% in the first few months after OneNote 2003 launch (winter '03-'04) to almost 15% now. We also know that a significant majority of Tablet users own a copy of OneNote - so our "attach" to that platform is very strong. Another way to say it is that although we sell a significant majority of OneNote "units" to the 98% of people buying non-Tablets, every time a Tablet PC ships it nearly always results in a OneNote sale.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Apple's patented the Tablet Mac (part II) - Engadget

Looks like we are getting closer to that Apple tablet pc, via Engadget. Lets’ release it already…


Download Mobile Ink To-Do Starter Kit

if you have not done so already, be sure to download the Mobile Ink To-Do Starter Kit from Microsoft:

This Visual C# and Visual Basic .NET Starter Kit is a complete Mobile PC and Tablet PC application. The starter kit contains a semi-transparent form for taking notes and keeps them synchronized through a Web Service. It also supports battery awareness and online and offline data, two key features of a great Mobile PC applications. The project comes ready to compile and run and it's easy to customize with only a little extra programming.



Frank Gocinski - Mobilizing your Windows apps

Frank is giving a good talk on mobilizing applications for mobility and tablet.

Bottomline: ISV’s need to be optimizing their applications for the tablet experience, especially as tablets go mainstream and become a feature of all notebooks. Mobile PCs are becoming the primary pc purchase, outselling desktops. ISVs also need to be designing their apps for smaller screen devices: 8 – 10”

Tune your applications for mobility: power management, screen sizes, touch

Review the Mobile APIs within the new Windows SDK

Take advantage of rich Windows Vista frameworks in your applications

Take advantage of the marketing opportunities: handango, DevX, Windows MarketPlace

Let the Mobility team know what you are doing:



Meeting with the OneNote team

Chris Pratley and his OneNote team were gracious enough to take some time out of their day to meet with Fritz, Dennis, Loren, and I. What an opportunity to meet the programmers and lead programmers writing the application we are using.

They are doing really good stuff with OneNote 12. Their team is really small (12) and it is that way on purpose – keeping the team small in order to rollout service packs and new features more quickly.

Certainly one of the highlights of my trip.

Here is a picture of Chris Pratley and Owen Braun. Chris is holding the instrument “onenote” – it only plays one note.

Poster board where OneNote team members were suggesting names for OneNote when it was in the conceptual stage:



Lifestyle PCs - Making Windows Personal

 Ken Hardy is talking more about the Lifestyle PC - making Windows Personal


Lifestyle devices



Lifestyle PCs at the Mobile Brief- Arnie Lund

 Arnie Lund is talking about the new Lifestyle PCs at the Microsoft Mobility Brief

His major talking points - a must-read to understand where Microsoft and the OEMs want to go with these ultra mobile / lifestyle device. These points paint a really good picture….





Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Mobility Center on Vista

Although not a direct replacement for Control Panel, Vista will feature Mobility Center – a single place users can go to in order to change mobility settings like: display brightness, sound muting / volume, battery, wireless connection, rotation, syncronization and presentation mode.

Microsoft is working with OEMs  to make the Mobility Center hardware button enabled.

Much like the Motion Dashboard and the Access IBM button.


Another blog to follow on the mobile brief

Dennis Rice is doing a heck of a job blogging the Mobile brief. Checkout his blog


Ultramobile Lifestyle PCs coming

Look for the following device to be announced very soon

From Bill Mitchell's slide:

The ideal Lifestyle Ultra-Mobile PCs will be

There will be trade offs of the above featues to hit the $500 mark, but the $500 is critical this new device that will be announced soon. You won’t want to leave home without it – like a cell phone.


Windows SideShow - Vista

The auxillary display that was talked about at WinHEC last year is being called Windows SideShow – look for it in remotes, smartphones, a device you can remove from the display of your tablet pc (the size of a small pda). The smartphone can act as a remote control to your tablet pc.

you can get your email, calendar, contacts, photos.

more later…


DualCor PC notes

Just spoke with Steven Hanley, President and CEO of DualCor. Look for the DualCor PC to start taking orders in the first week or so of February, shipping March 1.


Toshiba M400 and glass

Dennis and I are sitting next to the Toshiba rep and he told us that the M400 with the intel 945 graphic chipset has been certified by Microsoft for Aero glass.

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