Thursday, November 11, 2004

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.