Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The Closest Thing to Hollywood

My Tablet PC desktop, showing my Mac roots, I'm afraid.

Konfabulator 1.8.1 is Out

So go download it! As promised, it properly repositions widgets when you switch from portrait to landscape mode and back, among other enhancements. The rockin'est tablet utility just got rockin'er.

Experimenting with Speech Recognition

I hadn't experimented with my tablet's speech recognition capabilities until this morning. I had to stop because it was making me laugh so hard. Remeniscent of the handwriting recognition on my beloved Apple Newton, the Microsoft speech recognition system is no doubt the result of millions of man-hours of research. But that doesn't mean it works yet.

Here's what the speech recognizer understood when I read the paragraph above:

"And it's barely made with Michael woods speech recognition capabilities until this morning I had to stop the design was made me laugh so reminiscent of the handwriting recognition on level of an apple Newton of Microsoft speech recognition system is no doubt the resolve of millions of man hours of research but that doesn't mean it works in the."

Hours of fun! Granted, I've only gone through one session of voice training. I'll do some more and see if it improves.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

PowerPoint and Interactive Whiteboarding

The question was asked over on the TabletPCBuzz Motion forum about whiteboarding during a PowerPoint presentation, specifically, how to go back and forth between a blank slide used as a whiteboard and the presentation itself. Here's what I've been doing.

First, create the whiteboard slide. Go to the end of your presentation and create a new, blank slide. I usually use the "Title Only" layout and use "Notes" for the title. Using a title makes the slide easier to find in the outline view. It also makes the next step a little easier.

Now edit the Slide Master (View > Master > Slide Master). Insert a new shape (I just use a rectangle) in the lower left corner of the slide. Leave some room below the shape so it won't overlap with the Slide Show toolbar during the presentation. You may want to make the shape transparent so it won't interfere with the presentation's design. Now create a hyperlink for the shape by right-clicking on the shape and selecting Hyperlink. In the Hyperlink dialog box, select "Place in This Document" from the "Link To:" list. Then select your Notes slide in the "Select a place in this document" tree. Now click on the "ScreenTip..." button and enter "Whiteboard" for the ScreenTip text. Click OK, and OK again, and close the Master View. You now have a link to your whiteboard slide from every slide in your presentation.

During your presentation, you can navigate to the whiteboard slide by clicking the shape in the lower left corner of the screen, just above the Slide Show toolbar. Even if you made the shape transparent, you'll still be able to see the ScreenTip text you entered when you hover the mouse pointer over the shape. (Once you get to the whiteboard slide, remember to choose a pen from the Slide Show toolbar to start inking.)

Once you're finished inking on the whiteboard slide, you can navigate back to wherever you were in the presentation by first selecting the Arrow tool from the Slide Show toolbar, then right-clicking (or your preferred pen equivalent) anywhere on the screen and selecting Last Viewed from the menu.

If this works for you, or if you have a better way to get the job done, leave a comment and let me know. Thanks.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Mobile Movies

As any veteran road warrior can tell you, one of the great uses of a laptop— or a tablet— is watching movies. Stranded at the Sofitel in Minneapolis? Wedged into seat 13D on the Austin-San Jose "nerd bird"? Killing time at the LAX Admiral's Club? Whip out your machine, plug in your headphones, and catch a flick. But without a DVD drive in your little 3-pound wonder, you might ask how you're going to do that. In fact, it's really easy.

Do some Googling about ripping DVD's and you'll soon find yourself neck-deep in discussions of codecs, aspect ratios, bitrates, and audio sync issues. But all of this technical detail is relevant only to the discussion of transcoding DVD's from their original format to something more compact, like DivX. Since my goal is not to store 100 movies on my tablet but rather to have a movie or two to watch on any given trip, I skip all the transcoding nonsense and stick to the basic task of copying a DVD to my hard drive. Sure, it takes a lot more storage space, but the quality is excellent, the process is simple, and I can watch the resulting movies with a standard software DVD player.

Commercial DVD's are encrypted to prevent copying, but the encryption is extremely weak and easily overcome. To simply decrypt a DVD and copy it to your hard drive for viewing with such DVD players as WinDVD or PowerDVD, you can use the freely available DVD Decrypter. But if the DVD has a lot of extra features that you don't want to copy (like the director's commentary and alternate-language soundtracks), you're going to waste a lot of hard drive space.

For my purposes, I just want the movie itself, the menus, and the English soundtrack. Leaving out the extra features and additional languages can save multiple gigabytes of hard drive space. Luckily there's a great (and free!) utility that lets you do just that: DVD Shrink. It allows you to strip off unwanted content, decrypts the content you do want, and compresses that content to fit on a standard 4.7GB DVD-R disc.

I tested DVD Shrink with a copy of Out of Africa that we own. Running on a ThinkPad with a 1.6GHz Pentium M, the program took 41 minutes to decrypt and copy the 150-minute movie, a time that was most likely limited by the speed of the DVD drive. Copying the resulting 4.7GB folder to my tablet over a 100Mb Ethernet connection took another 8 minutes.

A speedier solution would be to attach a 16x DVD-ROM (like this $27 Sony model) housed in a 5.25" USB 2.0 enclosure (like this $18 one from xpcgear) directly to your tablet.

The happy ending to this story is that now I can watch Out of Africa any time I find myself with two and a half hours to kill. Hmm. Maybe I should start copying my Looney Tunes collection.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Aviation Weather in Your Aggregator

Aside from the fact that it's starting to get a little chilly outside, I know that Fall has arrived based on this morning's aviation weather forecast:

KAUS 241134Z 241212 30015G25KT P6SM BKN025

FM2000 32012KT P6SM FEW040
FM2200 34009KT P6SM SKC
FM0100 33003KT P6SM SKC
What does this have to do with Tablet PC's? Well, since I know that tablets are particularly popular with pilots, I thought you might be interested in a service I host that provides Terminal Area Forecast (TAF) information as RSS feeds.

Just point your RSS reader to the following URL, replacing 'KAUS' with any ICAO identifier:

You can get a (mobile-friendly) web version of the same information at:

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Hardtop Keyboard Experiences

I've been trying out the Motion Hardtop Keyboard, and have found a couple of non-obvious benefits. But first, a one-sentence review: Yes, it's a cramped layout and touch-typing will take some practice, but the key-feel is great, much better than I would have expected. With that out of the way, here are the two surprise benefits.

First, a tablet with the hardtop keyboard attached takes up a lot less room than a laptop, and is therefore much more coach-class friendly. Anyone who has tried to use a laptop on an airline with restricted seat pitch knows the problem. You open your laptop to the degree that you can read the screen, and then live in fear of the guy in front of you suddenly reclining, crushing your $2,000 machine. I've seen it happen with a sickening crunch. Not pretty. The tablet/hardtop combination fits into a much smaller space, eliminating this problem.

Second, the hardtop keyboard makes for a very stable stand. I've started using it for occasions where I don't even need a keyboard, I just want the display held upright—like when I'm watching DVD's. Which reminds me, there's a much better way to watch movies on your tablet than slipping in a DVD. But that's the subject of another post.

Daniel Jomphe Takes the Plunge

Quebecian blogger Daniel Jomphe writes about his plans for using his just-ordered Tablet PC:

In short, I'm gonna do all the things I've been daydreaming about for a year.  I'll be Taking Notes.  Finding My Notes.  Brainstorming.  Planning.  Organizing.  Gathering.  Having A Grasp On My Things.  Sketching.  Drawing.  Marveling.  Showing.  Sharing.  Evangelizing.  Naturally Computing.
A company couldn't hope for a better Product Marketinng hire. I look forward to hearing his perspective on his M200 and tablet computing in general.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Konfabulator 1.8.1 to Address Widget Repositioning

According to a forum post from Arlo Rose on the Konfabulator site, v1.8.1 is due out soon and will include, "fancy resolution checking and repositioning," which sounds like a fix that a lot of tablet users have been waiting for.

Must-Have Upgrades and Accessories

Since taking delivery of my M1300 a couple of weeks ago, I've added some upgrades and accessories and am planning on a few more. Here's what I've found most useful, and what I'm most lacking.

First, the Motion Executive Portfolio is a huge win. I take my tablet to work and back home with me every day, and the difference between carrying a 4-pound leather portfolio and a 25-pound Tumi laptop bag is huge. It's like a weight has been lifted. In fact, it has! Only two minor issues: it doesn't have room for an AC adapter, which I'll talk about below, and the zipper isn't very well made, which could be a serious problem if it breaks.

Second, I've added some RAM, bringing the system up to 768MB, which seems like more than enough. Man, RAM is cheap. Back in the day, I charged people $1,000 to solder 1MB of RAM into their Macintoshes. Now it's $100 for a 512MB module. (The Crucial site doesn't list modules for the M1400, only the M1300, but they take the same memory and I've sent Crucial a note asking them to update their compatibility list.)

I've also added a CF adapter PC Card and a Bluetooth CF module. I hope to use my Bluetooth GPS with Streets & Trips on my next trip out of town. I'm a bit of a travel technology geek, you see.

So what else could I need? My most pressing issue is power. I hate carrying my AC adapter back and forth to work, since it doesn't fit in my case. I know I should probably have a dock at home and one at work, and I'll probably do that once I can find a reeeeally good deal on a FlexDock or two, but that doesn't do anything for me when I'm travelling. So my next purchase is going to be an iGo Juice power adapter. It will do AC, air, and car, and power all of my stuff: tablet, PDA, and phone. Apparently, the iGo Tip #3 works with both the M1300 and M1400.

Finally, like I said, I'll probably buy a dock or two. But I need to find a really good deal. If anyone has an extra dock they'd be willing to part with, please let me know. :-)

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Scoble's Secret Identity?

I saw The Incredibles last night, and laughed out loud when I realized that tablet über-evangelist Robert Scoble looks and sounds very much like super-villain Syndrome.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Tabletizing Konfabulator

(You have to love a handwriting recognition engine that can correctly recognize that title! Anyway...)

I spent some time last night working on some code that would help Konfabulator respond correctly when I change my tablet's display from portrait to landscape mode and back. The facilities are there, but I can't get them to work. The onScreenChanged event doesn't seem to fire when I change the display orientation. I'll do some more testing later, and post to their developers' forum if I can't act it fixed.

But with God as my witness, I shall get my widgets to remain visible! (Sorry, Gone With the Wind is on TCM.)

Friday, November 19, 2004

Tablog PC Traffic Triples!

In the past week, this site has gone from picotraffic to triple-picotraffic! :-) Seriously, it looks like about three times as many people are subscribed to the RSS feed today as were on Monday. So to all the new readers, welcome! I'm getting in the groove of using my tablet at work, at home, and sometimes in between, and I'll be posting more tweaks, enhancements, uses, and ideas.

This weekend I hope to get some time to work on a hack that should make Konfabulator much more tablet-friendly. Stay tuned.

100GB HD for Your Tablet: $194

Seagate 100GB 2.5" IDE for $194: "Amazon.com offers the Seagate 100GB 2.5-inch IDE 5400 rpm drive for notebook computers, model no. 9W3277-556, for $193.99 with free shipping, as a reader found. We haven't seen a lower total price for it elsewhere."—dealnews

I've been following some of the discussions about increasing tablet HD size and performance. This looks like quite the deal for those with the need for a little extra storage.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

OneNote vs. EverNote Redux

Daniel Jomphe posted an answer to my OneNote vs EverNote question on his blog: Falling in love with EverNote. I wonder which one he prefers? :-)

I haven't yet looked at EverNote, but I must say that OneNote is an impressive piece of software. Like Daniel, I'm glad to see some competition in this space.

Hey Dude, Pass the Tablet

Yesterday I was in a bug review meeting, with an Excel spreadsheet of the bugs in question loaded on my tablet. We needed to get the CTO's opinion on one of them, so instead of sending him an email, I got up and started to walk to his office but passed him in the hall. I handed him the tablet and asked, "Is issue 518 something we should fix?" Someone walking by made the comment that he felt like he was in a Tablet PC commercial. I got my answer and headed back into my meeting.

One of the great things about the tablet form factor is you never find yourself trying to look over the shoulder of someone who's showing you something on a computer- you can just hand the machine back and forth. And unlike with a laptop, you can do it standing up.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

No OS X Ink Support Over VNC

Well it seemed like a good idea at the time, but it looks like there's no way to use OS X's Ink Services when I connect to my Mac from my tablet using vnc.

I got the canonical answer from a friend of mine who works at Apple and who forwarded my question to some of the Panther engineers. Here's the bottom line, straight from the horse's mouth:

In Panther and later, Ink supports tablet-like devices supported by the system's IOHID driver (such as the small MacAlly tablet), along with Wacom tablets. Ink won't work with devices across VNC for two reasons: 1) VNC would need to generate tablet events, and 2) I'm sure the throughput on this connection would lead to pretty poor recognition results.
So much for that idea. But I will continue to use my tablet as a thin client for controlling my Mac, at least until someone writes a Windows RSS reader as good as the Mac-only NetNewsWire.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Motion Knowledge Base Diving

There's a lot of fascinating stuff in the knowledge base on the Motion support site, but it's not terribly easy to get to. I wouund up searching for "M1300", which netted 173 results (in a not quite lightning-fast 63 seconds). Anyway...

As I've mentioned before, I'm a PocketPC user. Therefore, I'm used to using press-and-hold with a stylus to simlate a right-click. However, the default Tablet PC behavior is slightly different than its PocketPC equivalent: on the tablet, you have to hold longer before a right-click is simulated. With the aid of this knowledgebase article I was able to adjust that setting, and now my tablet behaves more like my iPaq. That makes me happy.

I'll continue to post interesting tidbits I find in the knowledge base, but I wish Motion would make these things easier to browse. And an RSS feed of newly added items would be the bee's knees!

Configuring Konfabulator for Tablet Use

Over the past few days I've been tweaking my Konfabulator settings to get things working just right on my tablet. I now have the Mini Digital Clock, Mini Battery, Mini Airport, and The Weather widgets running, with the clock and battery widgets floating above all windows.

But the most useful change I made was to assign a tablet button (Function-HotKey2) to simluate a keypress of the F8 key. This activates the Konspose feature, allowing me to see all of my widgets, including those usually hidden under maximized windows. Now I can litter my deskotp with widgets and have them all just a couple of buttons away, even with no keyboard attached. Cool!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Most Useful Tips

A recent post on Tabula PC lists a whole horde of Tablet PC tips from Microsoft. I spent some time digging through them this morning, and found the following articles to be the most useful:

Correct Text with Input Panel
I'm still getting the hang of using the TIP to enter text. There's a lot of non-obvious stuff in this article that will help make it less of a nuisance.

Take Your Files Offline
Until we get to the point where wireless Internet access is truly ubiquitous, we'll need to be able to sync files for offline use. This article shows how to set it up. Nice!

Use Ink During Presentations
I've recently discovered for myself the usefulness of marking up presentations. This article describes a more elegant method than the one I've been using.

Friday, November 12, 2004

The Tablet at Work

I just got out of a meeting in which I was working with a group of people to hone a PowerPoint presentation. I'm happy to say I've discovered a(nother) really great use for a Tablet PC.

I had the preso loaded on my machine, which was connected to a projector. As we went through the slides, people in the room suggested changes, and I was able to mark the slides up with ink in real time, making notes about what should be changed. It was like having a whiteboard integrated into PowerPoint. I was then able to email the PPT file to our PR firm and let them see our notes. The productivity boost was visceral. Very cool!

Mac OS X on Tablet PC

This morning I got up at 5:30 with one thing on my mind: firing up a VNC client on my tablet and connecting to my PowerMac to see how OS X looks and feels on my M1300. Scary, but true.

Turns out X is a great tablet UI! I was able to customize the toolbar of my favorite RSS reader (NetNewsWire) to have "Next Unread" and "Mark All as Read" buttons in the top-right corner of the window, making for a great pen interface.

The only thing--and it's a biggie--missing from OS X is ink input. In fact, it's built in, just hiding. It looks like OS X needs to think there's a recognized USB pen input device connected to show me inking options. Is there a way to force this on? I really want to be able to use my PowerMac from around the house using my tablet. I have this very question in to a friend of mine who works at Apple.

And yes, Apple should definitely come out with a tablet. Don't even build in a hard drive- just use a 2GB or 4GB CompactFlash card, and let people attach an iPod if they really need more storage. It's a cool form factor!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Microsoft on Tablet Power Management

Robert Williams, who is Director of Business Development and Partner Engineering for the Mobile Platforms Division at Microsoft, writes about power management issues on his weblog:

One of the things we learned with V1 was that the enhanced mobility enabled by Tablet PC exposes a lot of work we need to do to make power management better. Laptops are used mostly as station to station desktops, rather than as truly mobile devices like PDAs and SmartPhones.
Robert's observation clearly matches my own about the differences between tablet and laptop usage models. I'm glad to hear that Microsoft is thinking about such issues. I'm also glad that he has a tip:
Whenever I set up a new tablet I immediately reconfigure one of the buttons to control screen off... When I am using my tablet in a meeting or at home on the couch I just activate the button whenever I pause to think or actually engage in conversation with another human, possibly even a family member). A tap of the pen on the screen turns the display back on. In Chuck's prototype the screen was 4 watts out of a nominal 10 watt power budget so just this simple discipline greatly extended the battery life. It's almost half way to S3 without any resume issues or delays.
Thanks for the tip, Robert!

Using a Tablet Like a PDA

One of the things I'm noticing about my Tablet PC use is that I tend to use it in short bursts. For instance, when I arrived at the airport yesterday I needed to look up my flight number to get my boarding pass. (Why? Only Southwest knows.) So I woke my tablet from hibernation, opened the PDF with my itinerary on it, got the flight number, then put the machine back to sleep. I did this same wake-look-sleep routine a dozen times yesterday. It's a lot like how I use my PDA.

The problem with this use model is that the waking and hibernating functions take some time, and spin the hard drive, and surely wear down the battery. Which got me thinking: I wonder if I could configure Windows to use a flash RAM card to store state while hibernating. You can get a 1GB CompactFlash card for $66 shipped, which is more than enough storage for this purpose. It's low-power and might even be faster than the hard drive, especially considering spin-up time.

A quick Google search reveals that several people have suggested this, but none that I can find have succeeded. Sounds like something I should test.

Good tablet resource: Tabula PC

MarsEdit/Blogger Hiccup

Well this is a pain. I'm getting a 'null pointer exception' from Blogger when I try to post with MarsEdit. I can post to Bubble 2.0 just fine though. Not being able to post with an external editor is a serious impediment. Hmm.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

First Field Test

9:32a For my trip to Dallas this morning, I decided to forgo my usual bag of electronics and bring along nothing other than my new tablet. It certainly is light, but I'm not confident about the battery lasting the whole trip. It's a quick one though, so we'll see.

I did find one situation where the whole the tablet form factor has proven useful... ok, PED's off. See you in Dallas.

2:47p Quick trip-now I'm waiting for my return flight to board. The tablet is great for taking notes in meetings, especially since I'm the kind of person who winds up drawing diagrams on whiteboards to explain everything. Now my boxes and arrows will make it into my (electronically managed) documents. Big Win!

Battery life has been good, since I let the machine sleep when I'm not actually using it. I'll be tweaking the power settings over the next few days. Turning off bluetooth and wi-fi will surely help.

7:11p Now that I'm back home I can say with confidence that my M1300 will replace my PDA, my laptop, and my legal pad on all future business trips. Cool!

P.S. When I got home I found my Executive Portfolio waiting on my doorstep. Off with the hardcover!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Firefox TIP Fix?

I found an easy solution for the Firefox-TIP issue in the form of a Firefox extension: tpctip. From the site: "tpctip is a simple extension that lets a Tablet PC SP2 track the Mozilla cursor (by way of Mozilla accessibility support). This allows the Tablet Input Panel (TIP) work correctly."

Even though as other people have pointed out, "It doesn't support the shortcuts (.com, http, etc) like the TIP in IE does," it works perfectly for me. So, IE goes back in the trash and Firefox goes back in the Quick Launch toolbar.

Update: I can't figure out how to write a URL without spaces being inserted after the .'s. For instance, if I write "www.yahoo.com", I get "www. yahoo. com", which is a bit of a pain. Any ideas?

Update2: There's a thread on TabletPCBuzz about tpctip being incompatible with the newly-released Firefox 1.0. The saga continues.

My M1300 Arrives

I've taken delivery! I picked up my Motion M1300 on my way home from work last night and spent a few hours playing with my new toy. My first thought was, "Wow, this thing is light." Good first impression for a longtime laptop user. I fumbled a bit with the hard cover (which I find a little cumbersome and plan to supplant with the Executive Portfolio) but managed to get everything situated correctly.

Once I started using the machine, I found myself exhibiting "PDA hand", the condition in which the user, accustomed to touch-screen PDA's, awkwardly hovers his hand over the screen while touching it with only the tip of the stylus. After a few minutes I realized what I was doing, relaxed, and planted the heel of my hand on the screen like I was writing on paper. Much better.

I fired up Firefox to get a feel for web browsing in portrait mode and was disappointed to discover that (unlike MSIE) selecting its URL text box doesn't automatically invoke the Floating TIP (Tablet Input Panel). I'll be using IE for now, and looking for a workaround for Firefox.

I also installed Konfabulator, which, as I mentioned before, rocks. Having vital information (like the time, the weather, and WiFi signal strength) available at a glance is huge. The only problem I've found is widget placement when you change the display rotation. I plan on using my tablet in portrait mode most of the time, but when I rotate the display, the widgets I've placed in the bottom-right corner of the screen are no longer visible. It would be nice if Konfabulator recognized the change in display settings and moved widgets accordingly.

Finally, I downloaded the Intel processor ID utility I mentioned yesterday. It reports my tablet running at 1000 MHz (on battery power, "Max Battery" power scheme), while the Properties panel for My Computer shows it running at the expected 598 MHz. I think I'll trash the Intel utility.

I'll be installing lots of extras—more memory, more software, and more accessories as I can find them cheap. Twelve hours into my ownership experience, I'm very happy with my purchase. Now let's see what this thing can do!

Monday, November 08, 2004

More Tools

My collection of software to install on my tablet (once I pick it up) continues to grow. Intel has a utility that will show you your processor's current operating speed, which can vary from its advertised speed, due to Intel's SpeedStep power-saving feature. You can download it from Intel here. Thanks to Jim Artis on the TabletPCBuzz.com Motion forum.

Text Entry with SHARK

Text Entry Epiphany for the Tablet PC- SHARK: "There is no question in my mind that SHARK is the best on-screen text entry system I have ever used. This method is so simple and accurate it amazes me every time I use it. It is a must try for every user of a Tablet PC or other touchscreen enabled computer."—jkOnTheRun

Since I ordered my tablet without any kind of keyboard whatsoever, I'm particularly interested in this. If I can get away with not carrying a keyboard around with me, I'll be very happy. My only concern is how the JVM will affect battery life and system performance. I'll post a review of my own once I've had a chance to try it out.

Konfabulator is Out!

Konfabulator for Windows is out! Download it. Pay for it. You'll love it. $25 cheap. (And no, you can't use the license key from your Mac version.)

Tablet Navigation?

I wasn't able to pick up my tablet before I left town for the weekend, but I should be able to get it today. One of the things I'm eager to try out is Microsoft Streets & Trips. I've tried an older version of PocketStreets before and found it lacking. The map files were huge and suffered from incompatibilities between versions. I hope the 2005 version is better.

Microsoft has some tough competition in this field. On my trip to Palo Alto this weekend, I used my iPaq running the excellent Mapopolis software for in-car satellite navigation. That combination sets the bar high, with compact map files, smooth on-screen scrolling, super-fast screen refreshes, and a user interface optimized for use while driving.

Once I have a chance to test Streets & Trips running on my tablet, I'll post a review and include a comparison with Mapopolis running on a PocketPC.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

"The waiting is the hardest part."
—Tom Petty

My flight to San Jose (and BloggerCon III) departs Austin tomorrow morning at o' dark early. I hope to have in my hot little hands my new machine to play with on the plane. Hi, my name is Charlie, and I'm a geek.

Best Note-Taking App?

Question: How does EverNote compare to OneNote? Looks like I'll need to do some trials.

Windows to Get Widgets

Konfabulator coming to Windows: "It appears that Konfabulator, a desktop “widget” program originally developed for the Mac OS, is being rewritten for the Windows platform."—The Tablet PCs Weblog

I've been a paying user of Konfabulator for a long time, and plan on buying it for my Tablet PC as soon as it's released. It's fantastic for at-a-glance information, including things like the weather, the time, your calendar, Gmail status, etc., and is one of the most visually beautiful interfaces I've seen on a piece of software. I can't wait for the Windows version.

Update: Looks like I won't have to wait long. Konfabulator for Windows will be released Monday, Nov 8!

Bluetooth is Goooood

One of the first things I plan to add to my M1300 is a Bluetooth adapter. I use Bluetooth to sync my phone, my PDA, my laptop, and my desktop, and to communicate with my GPS receiver. I'm not sure yet if I'll add a USB dongle or a PCMCIA card—any recommendations?—but once I do, this support document should make the software setup a lot easier.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Blogging the Tablet PC

Hi! My name's Charlie Wood, and I've been thinking of buying a Tablet PC ever since Motion Computing started selling them oh so long ago. Well, after years of hand-wringing, rationalizing, and fence-sitting, I've placed my order. Mind you, it's for a reconditioned demo unit, a previous-generation M1300, but it will be new to me.

What prompted me to finally take the plunge? A tragedy really. My wife's dusty old Latitude finally gave up the ghost. So I'm giving her my 1.6 GHz ThinkPad T40p (!) and downgrading (?) to a 900 MHz1GHz Tablet PC. I hope to take delivery in the next day or two.

Will it be cool? Will it be irritating? Will it make coach-class airline seats more comfortable? Will it change my life? Well, I don't know, but I'm going to find out. I'll be posting regularly (which I can say with great confidence, as I've done this before) so you can follow along at home and find out with me.

I invite you to comment on the posts here, or if it's more appropriate, to send me an email at charlie.wood@gmail.com. Thanks for visiting!