Monday, November 20, 2006

John Hill Unplugged

My family says I'm crazy and they don't want anything to do with me...

My employees are skeptical but curious...

My dog is excited...

From November 23rd through December 25th, I'm going to be "unplugged" - no electronic devices outside of normal business hours. I'll give Dr. Stephen Covey (of 7 Habits for Highly Effective People fame) the credit or blame. Having listened to some CDs given to me by a vendor, I agree that I don't spend enough time in what he calls Quadrant II - those things that are important but not urgent.

As Dr. Covey says, people understand that spending time on those things that are important (but not urgent) like playing board games with the family, calling friends on the phone, financial and future planning, playing ball with the dog, is where we would like to spend more of our time. The problem is that we are distracted by Quadrant I (urgent and important) and Quadrant III (urgent and not important).

I'll be leaving my tablet and cell phone at the office, avoiding the TV, stereo, phone and computer at home and doing my best to ignore the siren call of the urgent for that which is important.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Improving wireless connectivity for your Tablet PC

One of the most frequent complaints that we hear from customers is that their tablet PC doesn't connect to their wireless network as well as their laptop computer. I've created a short video that shows how to make some adjustments to the properties of your wireless card that will help you improve the quality of the reception. This video was done on my tablet which has an Intel PRO Wireless b/g card. The Atheros a/b/g is somewhat different, but the principles are the same.

If you have better ideas for how to make wireless connectivity better, please leave a comment.

Watch the Video

Sunday, November 12, 2006

OneNote for Builders

I promised to post the video of the webinar we did for the construction and building trades. We've learned that since the webinar was broadcast over the internet, the recording was of very good quality. I'm re-recording them on our website and here is the link to the first one:

OneNote for Builders is applicable to any business user but the examples are geared to those in the building industry. It is about 34 minutes long.

Many thanks to Rob Bushway at for telling me about the video hosting service!

Please be sure to leave feedback on how you did or didn't like it.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Fujitsu P1610s are beginning to ship

Orders that we placed to Fujitsu on or before November 6th shipped from Japan today via UPS International Ground with estimated arrival dates of November 15th. Orders placed from November 7th through the 10th are generally listed as scheduled to ship on November 14th.

If you have ordered a unit from us, we will send you tracking information as soon as it is available to us. PLEASE, be as patient as possible. I know this is one of the most exciting tablet PCs to be released in some time, however the joy won't go away just because it takes an extra day or two to reach you!

Feel bad for me (and a couple folks scheduled to receive early demo units): Fujitsu accidentally changed our configuration from Tablet Edition to Windows XP Professional. When we receive our first two units on the 15th, we have to refuse the shipment. My personal playtoy - I call it a demo unit :-) is now scheduled to ship on the 14th so many of our customers will get them before we do.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Motion Fingerprint Reader tips (this works for other tablets, too)

Following the instructions, you get two fingers registered, each with three swipes. This doesn’t allow for good recognition and leads directly to “frustrated user syndrome”. By taking some extra time and programming additional impressions of your finger, you should get 98% first swipe accuracy.

Here are the steps (after you have “enrolled” the first finger):

Open up the OmniPass software to the main menu (says Add/Remove User).

Choose the User Settings tab

From the User Settings menu on the left, choose Enrollment

From the Enrollment main menu, choose Enroll Authentication Device.
You will have to swipe your finger or enter your password to continue. Next, you should see a picture of two hands. If a finger already has a green check above it, then it has already been enrolled. Click on a finger which has NOT yet been enrolled. A red arrow will point to the finger. Click Next.

IMPORTANT: Swipe the SAME FINGER that you originally enrolled. Why? Well, after we repeat these steps for 8 fingers, you will have 24 impressions of your swiping finger, instead of just three. You can use the other two fingers to create 6 impressions of another digit (in case you cut one off chopping onions or something).

When you are creating the additional impressions, swipe your finger at various angles. This gives additional options for the Omnipass software when it is recognizing your fingerprint.

Have fun and good swiping!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

November 7th Tip of the Day

If, like me, you do a fair amount of purchasing or downloading online you know that at the end of the transaction you are prompted to "print this receipt for your records". Now I'm sure that you have enough paper floating around your office. Heck, that is why you bought a tablet PC. Just because YOU aren't creating paper and killing trees, however, doesn't mean other people aren't encouraging you to do so.

Enter the versatile Microsoft OneNote. When you get to the screen that instructs you to "print this receipt", go ahead and do just that. Instead of printing it to your laser printer, however, choose "Send to OneNote 2003" from the printers menu. This will cause the page to be printed exactly as it would to the printer, except it will go to the 'SENT FILES' section of your OneNote notebook. Now you can file it by moving the page to another section or just leave it their (since you'll probably never need it anyway and are just succumbing to the pressure of feeling like you MIGHT need it one day during an audit).

If you want to make it easier to search for later, add some information to the Title Bar section and it will be easier to find later.

Have a tip to share with other tablet PC users? Email it to john at alltp dot com and maybe you'll see it posted here.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Get $50 for purchasing a Motion 3 year warranty

I just got a call from my rep stating that Motion is now running a promotion for people that purchase a new Motion tablet with a 3 year parts & labor warranty. The cost for the warranty upgrade is $249 and you will receive a $50 Amazon gift certificate in 6-8 weeks. Basically, it brings the cost of warranty down to $199 which is just $100/year for the 2nd and 3rd years.

This promotion runs through November and December. They are having a conference call later today with more details so I'll let you know if there are any more details.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

DO NOT play this game!

Unless, of course, you have way too many free hours to draw lines and loops and jumps; and watch videos of Line Rider on YouTube; and laugh at the cute little Line Rider as he hurtles down hand drawn chasms to his ultimate death or free falls into space endlessly. It is a great game that seems designed for the tablet PC but wasn't.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: This game is great fun and quite addictive and you should consider this your final warning.

Have fun with Line Rider

Who gives a rat's patoot about Vista?

I'm sure I talk to half a dozen people every day about Vista. Having been to several seminars from Microsoft and seen all the demos, I'm left to wonder what is all the fuss about?

First off, anyone with experience using Microsoft products knows that only a fool walks the bleeding edge of their products without waiting for a Service Pack release. This is not news, yet the hype has caused many otherwise rational people to foam at the mouth wondering how they can install the beta. These same folks are using their tablet PCs for critical business tasks, yet the prospect of seeing fancy graphics (MS calls it Aero Glass) causes them to panic that the powerful business tool they own won't give them the "open, lightweight environment", "dynamic reflections" and "smooth animations" promised in Vista.

Don't get me wrong, I love shiny, new things as much as the next person. On the other hand, I have a business to run and if Vista can provide me the tools I need to make more money in less time, I'll upgrade. Right now though, I have everything promised in Vista on my desktop now. I looked at the Business section on the Windows Vista Homepage. On the left are the promised benefits of Vista; on the right are what I am using now to accomplish the same thing free or at a very reasonable cost.

Find and Use Information - Google Desktop

Enable Your Mobile Workforce - VPN, Citrix GoToMyPC

Improved Security - AVG Corporate

Optimize Your Desktop Infrastructure - Windows XP Professional

So please, don't get your knickers in a bunch! Read all the blogs (especially this one :-), subscribe to PC Magazine and watch ZDNet, but unless you have a spare computer to mess around with, don't worry about the magical Vista Operating System until Service Pack 1 is released and tested. My target date to "believe the hype" - the end of Microsoft's fiscal year and the time they try to encourage all their customers to purchase large enterprise agreements - June 2007.