Monday, June 06, 2005

Considering the Tablet ThinkPad

ThinkPad X41 Tablet PC unveiled: "The ThinkPad X41 Tablet brings together a lightweight and thin form factor, outstanding security, first-class wireless connections, and the productivity benefits of Tablet PC functionality." —jkOnTheRun

Give it a daylight-readable screen and I'm in. ThinkPads are the best laptops on the planet.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Motion M1300 TabletPC For Sale Sold

This item has been sold. Thanks for your interest!

Last week I was in New York for an analyst meeting and spent some free time catching up on emails and RSS feeds in Bryant Park, taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi. I find myself using my tablet outdoors more and more (which might have something to do with the beautiful spring we're having in Austin) and wishing I had a daylight-readable screen. So I've decided to take the plunge, sell my trusty M1300, and buy a View Anywhere model.

I'm planning on listing my machine on eBay, but thought I would offer it first to the readers of my blog. I'm not sure what a fair price is, so I'll take offers. If I don't get any that seem reasonable, I'll go ahead with the eBay listing.

The machine itself has the following specs:

  • Motion M1300 TabletPC Model T002
  • 1GHz Pentium M
  • 768MB RAM
  • 40GB HD
It also comes with a full set of Motion accessories:
  • Hardtop Keyboard
  • Mobile Keyboard with Touchpad
  • Leather Executive Portfolio
  • Hardtop Cover
It also has a full complement of software, but I need to check my licenses to make sure everything's kosher to sell. I bought the machine as a refurb model through the Motion Friends and Family program. It's in excellent condition, and as an added bonus I can give you the home and cell phone numbers of Motion's support manager. Haha, only kidding, Jay.

Update: After my original post, I got a lot of emails asking how much I want, but since I'm not sure of the market value, I've listed the tablet on eBay. You can view the listing, and bid if you're interested, at:


Monday, April 18, 2005

Motion M1300 and Dell 2405FPW!

Dell UltraSharp 2405FPW 24" Widescreen LCD for $999 shipped: "The new Dell UltraSharp 2405FPW 24' Widescreen LCD monitor costs $999 at Dell Small Business. (To find it, search for 'T6133'.)" —dealnews

This one, unlike the 20" widescreen model, can be driven by a Motion M1300. Mmmm. Megapixels.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Motion M1300 and Dell 2005FPW?

I'm finding myself wanting even more screen real estate than is provided by my tablet's display plus my external 15" flat panel, and lusting after the 20" Widescreen Dell 2005FPW (now available for $487 shipped). I'm concerned about this warning though:

To optimize this monitor's performance, your system must be able to support WSXGA+ resolution (1680 x 1050)
1680x1050 isn't listed as one of the supported resolutions when I go to Display Properties on my M1300. So I'm wondering, is there a way to get my machine to output the proper signal for this display?

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Field Report: Motion FlexDock

I recently posted that I had ordered two Motion FlexDocks and that I would report back once I started using them. This is that report.

Wow, what a difference! I had grown used to balancing my expensive little tablet precariously on the flimsy plastic picture frame stand that came with it, and had almost gotten used to life at 1024x768. But my FlexDocks have breathed new life into my tablet experience.

In Austin, I have the dock connected to my full-sized keyboard and mouse (via a USB switch so I can also control my PowerMac), an external flat-panel display, my PocketPC cradle, and a direct 100Mb Ethernet connection to the aforementioned Mac. (Hey Motion, how about dropping the FireWire port and adding Gigabit Ethernet?) In Denver, I have a similar setup, but with a bigger flat panel display. The addition of the docks has positively affected my tablet experience in two ways.

First, the in-office experience is worlds better. The added screen real estate of an external display is a big productivity boost. Also, I'm constantly getting up from my desk and taking my tablet with me, so the ability to simply pop it out of the dock, rather than fussing with handfuls of cables, makes me much more mobile at the office. My only gripe here is that I have to manually re-enable the external display once I redock. I'm sure there are utilities that can do this for me, but I haven't looked. If anyone knows of anything good, let me know.

Second, the on-the-road experience has benefitted as well. Since a good deal of my travel is simply between my two offices, I can leave the laptop bag at home and just bring the tablet itself in my executive portfolio. A single battery charge is good enough to last the two-hour flight from AUS to DEN, and once I arrive I simply pop the tablet in the dock and get to work.

So for those Motion owners of you who haven't also bought a FlexDock, I highly recommend it. Sure, it's expensive for what it actually is ($99 would be more in line), but you'll be amazed at what it does.

Chris does Tablet PC newsgroup RSS feeds

Chris does Tablet PC newsgroup RSS feeds: "Chris De Herrera has built RSS feeds for the Tablet PC newsgroups. That's cool. Now I can watch what people in those newsgroups are saying in my aggregator."—Robert Scoble

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Four Great Tablet PC Applications

Googy Software - four great Tablet PC applications: "Talk about jumping into the pool from a running start! Googy Software is a new Tablet PC-focused software developer that has released four, count ‘em four Tablet PC applications. The team behind this company includes one of my favorite Tablet PC bloggers Iggy Kin whose Bootstrapped blog features posts centering around Iggy’s sketches in digital ink."—The Tablet PCs Weblog

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Tablet PC Sells Millionth Unit

Tablet PC sells millionth unit: "Congrats to the Tablet PC team for selling a million Tablets."—Robert Scoble

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Home Networking Made Simple

Home Networking Made Simple?: "Network Magic is the only software that makes the day-to-day use of your home network easy, intuitive and enjoyable. With Network Magic, you can:

  • Set up Windows home networking in just a few steps
  • Add new devices in minutes instead of hours
  • Get automatic repairs made to your network
  • Share pictures, files, printers and more securely, reliably and effortlessly"
Network Magic

If this works as advertised (and according to a friend of mine it does) it could be just for thing for a Windows networking twink such as myself.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The $3,000 Laptop Bag

Don't skimp on your laptop bag: "When it comes to a laptop bag I opt to go as small and light as possible. My laptop already weighs over 6 pounds by itself and to add a lot of weight with a heavy case just doesn't appeal to me. I may have to rethink that strategy after..."—jkOnTheRun

I found this article amusing, given that just days ago I was complaining to whoever would listen about my 3-pound laptop and my 30-pound bag. Don't get me wrong; it's an excellent bag. But it literally gives me back problems, despite my ultramodern, superlite tablet computer's meager heft. And as with all great luggage, there's a story behind it...

It was early 1999 and my new wife and I had moved to the Bay Area to get used to being married and try San Francisco on for size. I was working as an SE for Vignette, and business was going gangbusters. The sales rep I worked with and I had a presentation scheduled with a company in Santa Clara, and it was for a relatively small ($70k) deal. The rep (who shall remain nameless... wait, no he won't, his name is Ladd Austere), lived in the East Bay and called me the night before the meeting. He told me that it was a really long way for him to drive for such a small deal (I told you business was good) and that I should do the whole meeting myself. Now, you must understand that the way this normally works in enterprise software sales is that the SE does the demo and the chalk-talk and handles technical questions and the rep does everything else. Doing the whole thing myself was something I had never even considered. But being the cocky young gun I was, I agreed.

The presentation went off without a hitch (if I do say so myself), the demo was flawless (at least from my side of the table), and the deal was done. I think Ladd actually took the paper, but he never had to leave his house to do it. He got the commission (probably around three grand unless he was already into accelerators, which is likely, in which case it would have been more like five) and I got... a laptop bag.

Ladd, being the gracious guy that he is, bought me a very nice Tumi bag, which I carry to this day. It's too big and it weighs too much, but it and I have been through a lot together, including at least 500,000 air miles. It's protected every laptop I've had in the last five years, and I'll carry it until either it falls apart or I do.

The whole situation made me realize I was underselling my own skills, so I demanded a sales rep position in order to make better commissions, both of which I got. But looking back, I realize that between Ladd and me, I probably got the better end of the deal. I still have the bag. I can guarantee you Ladd doesn't still have the three grand.

Ladd, if you read this give me a call. Good times.

What's Up, er, Dock?

For months I've been using my M1300 without a dock, simply plugging in power and USB connectors when I get to my desk and unplugging them when it's time to go home. But my new office setup has tipped the scales. And not being one to do anything halfway, I bought not one FlexDock but two.

As part of my new job, I'll be working some from Austin, some from Denver, and a lot from seat 3C on a plane to somewhere. The tablet form factor is ideal for airplane work, but I need to have a full desktop setup, including keyboard and mouse, second monitor, and wired Ethernet, in both of my offices. After a week of plugging and unplugging all of those connectors every time I got up from my desk to go to a meeting, I decided it was time to invest in a dock for each office.

I placed the orders yesterday and now eagerly await delivery, especially since I left my AC adapter in Denver. Since Motion's headquarters is about a mile from my house, I'm hoping shipping won't take the estimated 6-8 business days. But then again, FlexDocks might be coming overseas. We'll see. Once I get set up, I'll let you know how my experience goes.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

What Does Your Tablet Say About You?

Tablet PCs at Yahoo!: "First it was Powerbooks. I was seeing them more and more around campus. But today I was in a meeting where two of our execs appeared, both sporting Tablet PCs. The near one was using it as a mini-laptop while the far one had sworn off the keyboard. After the meeting I got a really brief look at them and later received an 'Ink' e-mail...."—Jeremy Zawodny (Yahoo)

I've been talking to a friend of mine who is a die-hard Mac user about the social implications of the choice of one's laptop in a business setting. You see, he works in a creative field where Macs are de rigueur. But I work in a more buttoned-down industry where toting a PowerBook into a meeting is akin to wearing rainbow suspenders. It just marks you as a willful goofball. That being said, I use a PowerMac at home. On the Internet, no one knows you're a goofball. In the office and on the road, I use a Tablet PC.

So what does a Tablet PC say about its owner? I've gotten reactions across the spectrum. Most people I run into are vaguely interested, and ask how I like it. Some people are indifferent, and a handful look at me like I brought an Etch-a-Sketch to the meeting.

Ultimately, I think people's reactions to your machine of choice says more about those people than anything else. I myself harbor some prejudice against anyone with a Newton MessagePad, but that's probably just my way of dealing with my hidden shame of being a one-time NewtonScript developer.

For now, I'm sticking with my tablet. It runs the Windows apps I need for work, it's very light, and it's usable in a cramped coach seat. I just wish it ran OS X too.

Reboot daily, Tablet users advised: "Microsoft has publicly acknowledged the Tablet PC bug that eats up the computer's memory until the machine crashes. The out of control memory leak remains unchecked while Redmond's Red Adairs grapple to put a lid on the blow-out. But there's no word yet of exactly when a fix will be issued."—The Register

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Expand Your Tablet with Flash RAM

Kingston 512MB Secure Digital for $23 shipped after rebate: " offers the Kingston 512MB Secure Digital card for $42.99. A $5 off coupon and $15 mail-in rebate yield a net price of $22.99 and shipping is free. It's the lowest total price we know to be available for a Secure Digital card of its size. Rebate ends January 31."—dealnews

Secure Digital and CompactFlash flash RAM are great ways to transfer files and keep backups, and the sizes are starting to creep into small hard drive territory. Prices just keep falling. Gotta love it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Microsoft is NOT making its own Tablet PC

Microsoft is NOT making its own Tablet PC: "There was a report today on heise online that said that Microsoft would release its own Tablet PC. I immediately emailed a bunch of people inside Microsoft to check on this report. It is abjectly NOT TRUE. That's straight from Peter Loforte, general manager on the Tablet PC team."—Robert Scoble

Crisis averted. Stand down.

Microsoft to launch low cost Tablet PC?!

Microsoft to launch low cost Tablet PC: "According to ActiveWin, Armin Cremerius-Gunther, Windows division head for Microsoft Germany, announced Tuesday that Microsoft intends to launch its own Tablet PC. The article also states that Microsoft's intention is to sell the Tablet PC for less than 1200 euros. Microsoft realizes that the high costs of current Tablet PCs..."—jkOnTheRun

If this is true, it will either revolutionize the industry or kill it. Or both.

Friday, January 14, 2005

PDF Annotator

PDF Annotator: "Previously, annotating, commenting or proofreading a document received for review in PDF file format was possible only by using multiple software products in a row—or only by printing the document and adding comments manually. With PDF Annotator, annotations can also be added in a natural way—using a pen—but everything remains in digital format. PDF Annotator allows commenting of PDF files in a single step."—Grahl Software Design

This is the missing piece for many electronic forms applications. Nice!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Microsoft's Longhorn may blend Tablet PC, Media Center

Microsoft's Longhorn may blend Tablet PC, Media Center: "Microsoft plans to drop the 'Home' and 'Pro' tags with the next release of Windows, code-named Longhorn, and is looking at shipping a single product that includes the features found in today's Windows XP Media Center and Tablet PC editions."—InfoWorld

Let's hope that's a free upgrade for Windows XP Tablet PC Edition users.