Hmmmm……UMPC?

June 7, 2006

I took a look at the project oragami when it came out first and thought that it’s just another failed attempt from Microsoft at launching a tablet pc, i think this was also microsoft’s first attempt at viral marketing. Well since then its been renamed to a new hardware category called the “UMPC” and has a dedicated site now here. I was surfing through the site and looked at the hardware and software features and to my surprise they are actually pretty impresive! This might actually work!

It is small, lightweight, portable and ink enabled. Its running the full blown Windows XP Tablet PC edition and the inking capabilities of the OS are pretty impressive. I saw a video on jkOnTheRun which walked through a couple of usage scenarios including handwriting recognition and I have read tons of reviews on it and I have to say I am pretty impressed.

I think the most important features to me are:

  • 7” Touchscreen
  • WiFi (roam freely at work and home) and Bluetooth (pair with my cell phone)
  • External VGA port (to hook to a projector)
  • Good multimedia support

So now I am thinking is this something I can really use? I dont plan on using this as a desktop/laptop replacement, but rather an extension to my desktop when I am mobile – be it in the office or at home. Granted I wont be able to blog such lengthy posts while inking but thats why I have all my desktops for.

With that said the UMPC does have multiple input capabilities including a real funky on-screen keyboard [pic on right]. It also has pen input using ink and the regular keyboard that ships with tablet pc edition. My needs are to be able to:

 

  • Read my email and write short replys, Create Task lists, Digitize my notes and make them completely searchable
  • Do all my web reading while watching TV (laptops overheat on my lap!)
  • Stay connected all the time!

So….. i do think the UMPC might be a great addition to my toolset! I am really tempted to get one now. It is a little pricey (~ $1100) but considering I paid 400 bucks for an iPod (which is a flimsy, fragile, flakey piece of junk) I guess this wouldnt be that bad, and if thats not enought Microsofthas a great video that will talk you into it.

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The blogosphere is on fire [link to memorandum] after the nytimes story about google compaining to DOJ about a search feature in IE 7 broke. IE 7 has a search box and Microsoft has decided to make MSN search the default (big surprise here!) and google is up in arms about it saying MS is blocking a users right to choose!

I find this really amusing…first off msn.com has always been the default homepage for IE for a long time now and obviously that didn’t stop people from changing that to google.com, did it? I use IE 7 and I love it and I was easily able to change the default search to google. Don Dodge makes an even better point and has an excellent response up:

Of course the defaults are easy to change…but that doesn’t matter. And of course the FireFox, Safari, and Opera browsers come with Google set as the default search service…but that doesn’t matter either.

Talking about a right to choose, like Don says not too much choice on Firefox huh? The times article brought one more very interesting point – When AOL was really close to cutting a deal with MSN and moving its 30+ million users over, Google stepped in and bought 5% of AOL to ensure that it gets the traffic from AOL members. I don’t see anything wrong with that, but neither do I see anything wrong with what MS is doing.

I guess it was all fun and games as long as google saw no imminent threat from Redmond, but Gates and Ballmer know how to play hardball and now its on! There is always talk about how google is winning and MS is loosing, I never understood that considering that MS was never in the search/online ad business untill it decided to take google head on. And lets not forget search is the only revenue stream for google and MS is slowing eating into it, MS is by no means loosing – rather gaining on google’s turf! Windows and Office are the big cash cows and totally unaffected [right now] by google.

Update: But wait….maybe MS is not all that evil [LOL]– according to the IE 7 blog the new browser will set its default based on your IE 6 settings!! So if google was your default search provider in IE 6 that will remain in IE 7! But ofcourse this wont be the case for new machines being sold at bestbuy or dell. Here is a link to the IE 7 blog.

The New Tech Spy has a post up about a supposedly new Boeing 797 with a radically new shape that would be able to accommodate 1000 passengers!!! I think it is safe to say that this is for humour only ….but nonetheless funny.

Hello Blogosphere!

April 12, 2006

Hello blogosphere!

I thought that I should start out my blog with the obligatory "Hello World" post since that is what us geeks have been taught all through our coding life! I still remember when I picked up my first book on VB3 that was the very first application that I wrote!