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Peter Loforte - The Tablet PC has changed my life (in bed)

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It's not often that you get a general manager at Microsoft to admit that he brings his computer to bed. But that's not the only way the Tablet PC has changed his life, in this video he explains how the form factor of the Tablet PC has enabled him to use a computer in places and ways that he never was able to before.

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  • territerri This is how I really feel
    I'm really pleased to see all this coverage for Tablet PCs.

    Thanks and keep it coming!!!

    Too many rumors are surfacing that have no basis in fact that the Tablets are doomed.
  • bassrck4bassrck4 Hell hath no Fury...
    terri wrote:
    I'm really pleased to see all this coverage for Tablet PCs.

    Thanks and keep it coming!!!

    Too many rumors are surfacing that have no basis in fact that the Tablets are doomed.
       Google Mail? can you help me out? bassrck4@hotmail.com
  • Edit: As I've ignored tablet pc concept before, I'm still learning what it exactly is. So removed some nonsense.

    Is it possible to use the tablet pc display only with a pen, in such way that the keyboard part of the tablet pc could be used by another person with a external display? The person with the portable display part could then make overlay markings that would come also visible to the external display? So two users on the same desktop, both having their own "mouse pointer". I'm sure someone can come up with uses for such arrangement lol.

    Other possibility is of course to have two tablet pc's and use remote desktop wirelessly. I just hate how they tend to mess your own mouse pointer instead of having separate ones.
  • KarimKarim Trapped in a world he never made!
    I watched this video in bed on my tablet PC. Smiley

  • SuperRobSuperRob UI Geek
    My only real issue with the Tablet PC is that for someone who types 120 WPM, going back to using a pen for data entry seems a great deal backwards.  Not to mention my terrible handwriting.
  • LandstanderLandstander I'm a monster!

    Has anyone tried doing development, not just for the Tablet PC, but on a Tablet PC?  Thinking of Visual Studio .NET, I assume you can't just ink straight into the code window.  Do you open the input panel, write a few lines, convert them to text, then open the panel again?  And maybe I'm just dreaming here, but does the recogniser integrate with Intellisense?  Does it switch back to the dictionary when I start a comment or open quotes?

  • SuperRob wrote:
    My only real issue with the Tablet PC is that for someone who types 120 WPM, going back to using a pen for data entry seems a great deal backwards.  Not to mention my terrible handwriting.


    Try to think of it as adding a pen, not replacing the keyboard. You can still type when you want to, and if you're a developer you'll certainly need to continue typing Smiley

    When you want to point & click, let's say when browsing a webpage, you can just use the pen to tap that exact location. No more over shooting an area when you're using a touchpad or mouse.

    Drawing, sketching, inking is also improved because by using a pen in line of sight with what you are drawing you gain better control, range of motion, can work faster, and gain a higher quality output. Potenitally, this can have a dramatic impact on the way artists, architects, designers, authors, editors, teachers, students, etc. work. Think of the flexibility of input you have now when designing an app for a client. You're not limited to one method of input.

    In terms of improved paper (say for notes) digital ink has the value of improved efficiency with search and creating multiple copies of handwritten documents.

    The value of saving ink as ink is easily overlooked, but really has a considerable value too. For instance, many of my notes I consider low value or temporary. While I'm talking on the phone with someone, I keep an outline of the conversation, jot down time, date, phone number, draw doodles.... Instead of using a piece of paper (which I use way too much of as it is), I can write it in digital ink, save it, and file it away electronically. In a six month time span, I may refer back to only 3 or 4 of those sets of notes. Most of the content is not valuable enough for me to handwrite and type up. I used to just save the notes in a binder. Now instead of going to a binder on a shelf, I just do a quick keyword search and have the information in seconds instead of minutes. Much less time spent on something that I consider low value, and that decrease in time is valuable.
  • Landstander wrote:

    Has anyone tried doing development, not just for the Tablet PC, but on a Tablet PC?  Thinking of Visual Studio .NET, I assume you can't just ink straight into the code window.  Do you open the input panel, write a few lines, convert them to text, then open the panel again?  And maybe I'm just dreaming here, but does the recogniser integrate with Intellisense?  Does it switch back to the dictionary when I start a comment or open quotes?



    Yes, there are developers using Tablet PCs as a primary development machine. I've heard several developers ask for Visual Studio to be more ink friendly for comments, editing, and code review.

    Bill Gates made a statement during the CEO Summit speech this week, "An example of just this shows in a tool we're coming out with early next year that goes into beta in a few months, our Visual Studio tool. You can just draw the model, actually you can draw it with ink on a Tablet and we'll recognize it and build it. It's just a diagrammatic thing." Perhaps that is an indication of an even greater integration of ink.

    An important step will be for developers to immerse themselves in using new input methods, like digital pens and speech, in order to understand what areas need to be improved when using that method. Through learning how to use a Tablet PC as a primary machine then you will also learn what will be easier for a general user, and can build that. Plus, as many developers have pointed out to me: the more developer friendly Tablet PCs are, the more likely they will develop FOR the Tablet PC, and then we'll have even more applications to choose from.

    Loren, Julia and Marauderz describe on their blogs what it is like to use Tablet PCs as a primary development machine.
  • SuperRobSuperRob UI Geek
    Thanks for the comments, Lora.  However, a couple of my artist friends found out after the fact that Tablet PC's can't replace a high-quality digitizer or the ol' paint and scan for detailed artwork.  The Tablet PC just doesn't have the necessary resolution.

    My other issue with using a pen as an input device is that because of the way I write (I have a very unique writing style ... think of a right-handed person writing like a lefty), my hand drags on the screen, and I am covering up a lot of the screen ... and that just annoys me.
  • akmadakmad www.​weslandia.​org

    I think tablet PC's are great.  I am currently working as a developer creating application specifically for tablets and have been very frustrated by the lack of visible support I've seen from MS.  I feel that tablets can revolutionize how corporate oganizations and sales forces work; enabling a dramatically simpler UI's that let people work the way they work, rather than working the way a computer works.

    The problem that I see is that MS isn't pushing this technology resulting in reluctance by customers to purchase these machines instead of less expensive laptops.  MS has invested the time to create a great application specifically designed for Tablets (OneNote), it's confusing to see them flounder with the marketing.

    I'm sure this is something that is going to change soon and hopefully the upcoming Tablet PC conference's will signal a change in this.

    Akmad

  • akmad wrote:
    The problem that I see is that MS isn't pushing this technology resulting in reluctance by customers to purchase these machines instead of less expensive laptops.  MS has invested the time to create a great application specifically designed for Tablets (OneNote), it's confusing to see them flounder with the marketing.

    I'm sure this is something that is going to change soon and hopefully the upcoming Tablet PC conference's will signal a change in this.

    Akmad


    Akmad, I too have seen that people who have experience with Tablet PCs want more features, more visibility, greater variety, and want Microsoft and all the OEMs to yell, "World - use this great PC with even more features than your old notebook!"

    In your brief statement, you address issues that can be addressed in several different ways. Let's just pick PR or visibility of the product. There is a college campus roadshow; new kiosks for retail locations, like Circuit City & Best Buy, (to stop that "where's the pen?" situation); new advertisments; Developer Tours; Developer Labs at conferences like TechEd; contests; new catalog; redesigned MSDN section; and I could go on and on about how they are building a strong foundation for growth with ink and speech in PCs. Yet... we want more!! Smiley I am amazed at the tremendous effort and how responsive people are to this effort. It's really very encouraging. I want more too Smiley
  • SuperRob - I'm curious as to what your artist friends would want designed differently. You interchanged digitizer and the resolution. These are two separate hardware issues.

    1) If you haven't already, you might want to watch to Michael Tsang - How does Tablet PC's digitizer work? The digitizer is collecting information from the pen at 133 samples per second. The pen coordinate and pressure sensitivity can be collected. The slower the pen moves the more information colleected. The digitizers are capable of collecting angle too, but that is turned off right now (OEM choice). Now, developers can choose to do wide range of things with this data. Coupled with direct eye-hand coordination for improved accuracy and precision, the improvements is considerable over previous products (even if using graphics tablet like Cintiq). So if your artist friends aren't seeing the result they want, it might be related to the type of software they were playing with. I'd be curious what they thought of Alias Sketchbook Pro, which uses this digital ink (versus pixels). My guess is they want improved ink in a wider variety of drawing / animation applications. I can see how today it will depend on type of art too. (See what Rory is doing by adding simple cartoons to his blog.) Did they share better detail of what they want with you? It might be helpful to others to know.

    That said, I hope Tablet PCs don't compete with oils, watercolors, and charcoals. Smiley I like texture (though ArtRage  flirts with creating the appearance of texture. Art samples.) But in terms of computer art media, a greater range and quality level is possible than before. This is a good thing.


    2) Resolution is a totally separate issue. Most Tablet PCs currently use XGA display (1024x768 for primary portrait mode). The Toshiba Portege M200 uses SXGA+ so they can have more screen real estate. (Factors like screen size, aspect ratio, etc impact visual perception too.) It would be nice to have UXGA resolution on a Tablet PC, but we don't have that yet (ooooh, and those icons would be tiny!)

    Just like I said before... we all want more now Smiley Anyway, hope this helps a little. Can't help you with your handwriting Smiley I assume you have this same issue with a piece of paper too. There are writing tips to improve how you can use a Tablet PC/ graphics digitizer for word recognition. You brought up good issues that I'm sure many people wonder about. Thanks!

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