Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Why doesn't free office software catch on?

With IBM's release of Symphony as a free software package for documents, spreadsheets and presentations, I began to wonder why more people don't choose one of the free options.

There are several free and low cost options available, so why do people pay big bucks for Microsoft Office? Simply, it's simple. There are so many other things to worry about in the workplace, why create potential training issues by implementing something new?

The other reason is the concern that customers won't be able to read documents created in these free software programs. If your business can't communicate with your customers and vendors, getting the software for free isn't going to make you feel better.

And besides, nobody every got fired for buying IBM (or Microsoft). :-)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Peace of mind - CHEAP

You don't have a last will and testament, you're not exercising regularly, at least BACKUP YOUR TABLET REGULARLY!

In the past, there hasn't been a very easy way to do so and have quick access to your data. Today, I got a catalog from one of the PC product catalogs. Prominently featured were several USB flash drives. You can get up to 8Gb storage for $170 or less. You can get a 16Gb device for less than a $100 more. What could be easier? Once a week at lunchtime, set your My Documents folder to copy its contents to your keychain flash drive and 'ba da bing', you're done.

Of course, this doesn't contain all your program files, but WHO CARES?, the majority of what you need is backed up and probably more current than what you are doing now - which for most people is nothing. It is cheap, easy, and the peace of mind is - PRICELESS.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Without talking about specific manufacturers, I'd like to encourage you to check out some of the combination active/touch screens available.

I've been using a tablet with that capability for about a week and a half. It has been a really enjoyable way to interact with the screen and I've found myself trying to scroll with my finger and tap on icons while using my everyday tablet.

While it's not for all applications, I've found that having to hold the pen is not nearly as convenient as simply dragging my finger on scrollbars, tapping to switch between screens and even more complicated tasks like updating our webstore. I've used a couple of the onscreen keyboards with reasonable success. These programs allow one to tap on the screen using a semi-transparent QWERTY keyboard and it is a workable alternative if you just need to tap out a few words or enter a URL.

I haven't used the touch feature with the Vista OS. I'm very interested in doing that because Vista has tools built in that makes tapping on the screen more accurate and, while the accuracy is very good now, if it were better that would encourage me to use it even more often.

With both Lenovo and Sahara offering a touch and pen screen that also has outdoor viewing capabilities, I think this could be a real boon to anyone who uses their tablet outside the office.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Is the iPhone a UMPC?

UMPCs are supposed to be small, lightweight "companion" devices that let their owners have many of the features of a PC with a smaller form factor and smaller price tag.

Having seen and used several UMPCs, they are neither small enough to fit into a pocket or robust enough to do the majority of features on a tablet PC. They can be used for getting contacts, surfing the internet, checking and sending email and listening to music or watching videos. The screens are too small for reading most documents and any regular work.

I don't own one (yet), but having played with the iPhone, it does all the above pretty well at a lower cost and smaller size. As a bonus, you can make phone calls!

While the premise for the origami or UMPC is interesting, I think the Microsoft and Intel folks missed the mark. Apple's iPhone is nearly everything I'd expect and ultra mobile PC to be and I think they've set the bar for the convergence of the phone, computer, and multimedia electronics.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

OneNote containers - get the gray out!

The idea of "containers" in OneNote was a noble one, however they can be more annoying that useful. If you are not using the containers (those areas of gray that form a box around text that you are hovering your mouse over) to rearrange items on your page then you probably just find them annoying.

To make them go away, go to Tools and then Options. While in the Display tab, change the settings for the containers as you see fit.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Passwords and hating bots

Over the last several days I've had to enter passwords for several websites and online services. Because of the jerks that create bots that do automatic signups on these sites, I am forced to decipher a scrambled password. My success rate on these is very low because they throw in false letters and numbers that are partially cut off and it is hard to tell which is capitalize and which is not.

Of course, most of them have an audio portion that reads you the passcode if you can't read it. I've used that but then today, while signing up for an account where I'd already got the "secret code" wrong twice, I pressed the audio button. AAAAAAGGGHHHHH! The audio sounds like a ticket taker making an announcment at a busy airport because automated voice decoders have figured out a way to break the system. Of course I couldn't decipher that either and didn't end up signing in for the service.

Makes me want to go to Kazahkstan and pound some hackers!

Monday, April 23, 2007

How to: Wireless in your car or truck

I've been asked several times for a solution that allows one to have wireless access in a vehicle. On a beautiful sunny day in Philly the need for this capability is immediately apparent to me :-)

One of my customers, a private detective, uses a Linksys wireless broadband router ( p/n WRT54G3G-ST). You can power it with the included car adapter or use an inverter in your vehicle. Just take your Verizon or Sprint EVDO card and follow the directions. It's reported that it only takes 10 minutes to set up.

EVDO Forums is a great resource for more information about this and other products.

Now you can sit on the grass in the park (within 100' of your car/truck) and surf the 'net at broadband speeds.

Friday, April 20, 2007

My first computer - what was yours?

Although we owned many kinds of computers in my family, our first true personal computer was the CompuColor II.
My dad purchased it at a computer products show in 1981. At the time it was superior to both the IBM PC and the Apple computer. At only $5,000 it wasn't cheap (remember - this was 1981) but it sure was fun.
It came with 4K of RAM and a 8" floppy drive for storage. Eventually we upgraded it to the maximum of 48K and installed an external floppy drive for more storage. There were some great games, including one where you had to fire mortars at another gun that was placed on a hill. You needed to compensate for angle and windspeed to successfully destroy the other side.

What was your first computer?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Installing Vista on your LE1600 or LS800? Read this.

Paul from our tech support department sent me this note:

LE1600 and LS800 both have a BIOS update that requires you to install it prior to the Vista installation. If you could note it on the website and blogs with this link to Motion's website driver downloads that would help. Only the BIOS is required before the installation. All other drivers can be done after the installation of Vista.

LS800 Vista Drivers:

LE1600 Vista Drivers:

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

What's in the new Motion Pack...

With the release of the LE1700 series tablets, Motion Computing has updated the Motion Pak. It now includes: Microsoft OneNote 2007, Ambient Design ArtRage2, Grahl PDF Annotator, nFinity QuickVoice, Microsoft Streets & Trips Essentials 2006, and Microsoft Office Ready 2007.

ArtRage is a great painting package. You can get more information here.

Grahl PDF Annotator lets you markup PDF documents using your pen.

nFinity QuickVoice lets you send voice emails, record notes and more.

Streets & Trips is a mapping and directions program. Office Ready is a 60 day trial of the Microsoft Office Suite. OneNote 2007 is the latest version of their great notetaking software.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Get backup disks for Office 2007

If you want to have backup disks for Office 2007 software that came preloaded on your tablet PC you'll need to visit this website to order it. The cost is $9 and you'll need the Product Key from the Office license that came with your machine.

It's a good idea to order it as soon as you get your tablet because if you have to reload your system due to a problem you don't want to wait.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Tablet PC Demo Day/Open House/Forms Seminar

Our next Tablet PC Demo Day is on March 27th and will combined with an Open House at our office in Horsham, PA. Come visit us and get the opportunity to touch, feel and play with all the latest and greatest tablet PCs from Motion, TabletKiosk, Lenovo and Fujitsu.

The event will be from 9am - 4pm and no registration is necessary although we are encouraging people to let us know they are coming by filling out our contact form. This will be a really fun day with plenty of opportunities to get hands on time with tablets running Vista, Office 2007 and OneNote 2007. Come by and say hello!

On March 29th we are hosting an electronic forms webinar and breakfast at Otto's Restaurant in Horsham for people who are considering implementing inkable electronic forms in their company. This is a breakfast meeting from 7am - 8am and is limited to 20 people. The seminar is free, but is limited to one person per organization and registration is required. Contact Rich Kinzler at 215-441-5580 x103 or fill out our contact form and we'll call you.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Yes, Virginia, we have X60 with SXGA+ screens

While I was away on vacation there was an uproar on the GottaBeMobile forum about Lenovo saying they were not shipping any more SXGA+ or MultiTouch/MultiView screens because of problems obtaining the 1.83Ghz, Core Duo processors. I was able to find some at distributors and bought them so we now have eleven of Lenovo's Top Seller model 6366AJU. This unit has an SXGA+ screen, 2Gb RAM, 120Gb 5400rpm hard drive, Bluetooth and comes with an Ultrabase and DVD/CDRW combo. It is a pretty sweet deal at $2,499. When these run out, there aren't any to be had until Lenovo makes some more.

After getting many customer requests for the X60 with a 7200rpm hard drive (all but one have to be custom built by Lenovo), we are rolling out a program to do this upgrade for you. Here is how it works:

ALLTP will upgrade your hard drive to the Hitachi 100Gb, 7200rpm hard drive, load the operating system and put your 120Gb hard drive in a hard drive bay adapter that slips right inside your Ultrabase. Now you have the fastest hard drive and a backup. If you ever need to get warranty repair for your unit (and we hope you don’t) you still have the original hard drive and don’t have to send back the one with all your data.

It's listed as a $279 option under the 6366AJU. We will likely roll this out to other units but this is the first.

Click here to purchase a 6366AJU

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Download our Vista Upgrade whitepaper

With so many questions about Vista and what it means to Tablet PC users, I decided to gather the best information, have it reviewed by our tech staff and some tablet gurus (many thanks to Rob Bushway of and Frank Garcia of, among others).

The result is a relatively brief and readable document that explains the highlights of Vista as they pertain to tablet users as well as some of the requirements and potential pitfalls of upgrading. The content is not meant to be the alpha and omega of Vista, rather a jump start for those considering an upgrade.

Here is the link to download the whitepaper:

Comments and suggestions on improving it are very much appreciated.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Updates and new stuff on

If you've missed any of our past newsletters you can find them on our website here.

We have started a brand new video series called "True Tablet Heroes". Each month or so we'll feature one of our customers and how they are using the Tablet PC to improved their business. This month's hero is Rich "Moose" Scaffidi, Deputy Fire Marshal for Abington Township in Montgomery County, PA.

Click here to watch the video.

Rich has been using a Motion Computing M1400 tablet for about 3 years now. Utilizing a Verizon EVDO card he can dial into a national database and enter high risk building information. If a fire or other incident occurs later at that occupancy, Rich can dial in and retrieve that information right away. This lets him know about any hazardous materials stored on the premises, how many employees or residents occupy the building during the day and at night, and how to contact the facility manager.

If you are within a 2 hour drive of Philadelphia and would like to be featured as a True Tablet Hero, let us know.