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Susan Cameron - New Tablet PC powertoy under development

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Susan Cameron, group product manager, for the Tablet PC group, shows off a yet-to-be-released PowerToy for the Tablet PC that converts all the fonts used on the desktop to your own handwriting -- she also shows off why the Tablet PC is better for people who are left handed.

The PowerToy in question is under development and plans for its release to the public have not been disclosed yet. As soon as the team announces something, we'll let you know here on Channel9.

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  • Great powertoy!  When can I download it?  I just found this site thanks to tabletpcbuzz.
  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    Not sure, probably not for a while. They are working on making it rock (and will probably put it into a pack with other cool stuff). I'll try to get you an answer.
  • I see Susan had some problems opening up programs and having her Tablet recognize her name. I am curious if that has something to do with her being left handed. I am a fellow leftie (yes, my IQ is very high).

    I find that to successfully double click an icon on my desktop with my stylus, I have to hover the pen slightly forward over the icon and then slant my pen backward to get it. If I hover the pen below the icon, and then slant the pen forward, doesn't work so well.

  • arjunsingh wrote:
     (yes, my IQ is very high).





    I Know my sense of humour is awful. Seems no one wanted to respond to me yet.
  • The Channel 9 TeamThe Channel 9 Team 5 guys from Redmond
    You might try recalibrating your Tablet PC using the pen the way you usally use it.
  • arjunsingh,

    are you using a full-size tablet pen or a reduced size pen?  I ask because the full-size pen can actually recognize significantly more pen angles than the reduced size and that may be a factor one way or the other.

    Steve
  • ii
    As a leftie, I totally disagree that a pen-based computer is more convenient than a mouse. During the video, we could see Susan craning her hand around to avoid obscuring the screen. The fact that many of the Windows controls -- most notably the drop-down button on combo boxes, vertical scroll bars, submenus -- appear to the right of the control means that lefties are not be able to use these without covering the contents. This isn't a problem with a mouse irrespective of which hand you use it in.
  • sbcsbc GW R/Me
    That may be an intersting thing to do with menus - if you are left handed or select left handed mouse, should the menus align to the right instead? May look a bit odd, but would it work? I wonder what it would be like if everything was swapped round (title right aligned, minimise, maximise and close on left hand side, notification area on left, start menu on right etc)?
  • That would be the trick for us lefties!  I know of one web site that puts the scroll bars on the left side for lefties, but I want that ability myself in all my apps as well as the features you mentioned.
  • sbc wrote:
    That may be an intersting thing to do with menus - if you are left handed or select left handed mouse, should the menus align to the right instead? May look a bit odd, but would it work? I wonder what it would be like if everything was swapped round (title right aligned, minimise, maximise and close on left hand side, notification area on left, start menu on right etc)?


    Yes, when you turn a Tablet PC on for the first time a Getting Started guide comes up with instructions on how to calibrate the pen and make personal adjustments. One of these adjustments is right/ left hand selection. The menus will fly in different directions then. You can also drag the start menu to the left side of the screen to have a quicker vertical access to info. Susan had hers in the default position.

    Of course, some people who write with their left hand hook their left hand around to write in attempt to form letters as they would if using right hand -- this is what Susan was referring to when she said in school her hand used to smear the ink when writing & using spriral notebooks. I have a feeling though, she was just hooking her hand in the demo so the camera could have a clear view Smiley I do this too when showing other people Tablet PC features -- compromise my own comfort so they can have a full view of the display.

    You know when you move a mouse from point A to point B, you can see the cursor track that whole distance. With a Tablet PC, you can lift the pen - as Susan was going - and then you don't see that drag. On pen lift the cursor stops, move to point B and cursor appears at point B. It looked to me like she was touching off the area to change the selection point (like when she moved off the Program list to the desktop). Again, I think it's was just the way she was using it to demo the app, not necessarily a software issue.
  • BTW I see the powertoy MyFont is now available.

    www.pcmag.com/tabletpcpowertoys
  • Actually, the Windows API does allow you to reverse (or "mirror") everything. It's intended for use in RTL (right-to-left) interfaces, mainly for Hebrew and Arabic (the localized Windows versions do this by default).

    You can find out how to mirror Windows Forms controls at the Middle East MSDN website.

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