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.