Tuesday, December 30, 2008

OQO Model 02+ to Launch at CES With OLED Screen, Atom Processor, Touch Technology

OQO will launch a revamped version of their Model 02 UMPC, dubbing it the Model 02+ and endowing it with an OLED display, embedded touchscreen, Worldwide 3G internet, and a 1.86 GHz Atom processor.

Referenced in an email by trade event organizers Pepcom, the Model 02+ will be announced at CES. Further details are pretty nonexistent, seeing as this was mentioned in passing, but it will apparently be twice as fast as the Model 02 and will be on display next week in Vegas. [OQO Talk]

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Asus R50A full review


Dynamism very kindly lent us this Asus R50A for review.


Have a look at the R50A [Portal page] slate UMPC from Asus. A pretty nice piece of hardware that unfortunately lends itself to some poor software integration. I’ve been testing the…

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tablet PCs at Southwell School, UK

Tim Bullock opened a new Southwell School, UK blog to chart the progress of a Toshiba initiative in two classes using Tablet PCs, starting in February, 2009.

Two classes will have access to Toshiba tablet notebooks for two years.

Tim will report student progress to indicate whether Tablet Technology can enhance student learning.

The first post indicates a possible (quasi?) experimental and control class. This blog will reflect the teaching and learning that will occur in one of the two tablet classes.

If so, that makes these posts even more interesting.

Welcome, Tim, to the Tablet and Ink blog community. Know that many of us look forward to your posts and wish you and expecially the students well.

Thanks, James Kendrick, for pointing me to this post. I missed it.

Southwell School Toshiba Tablet Initiative

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Viliv S5 launch party pics.

Not much to read on the linked article below but there are some nice pics from the Yukyung Viliv S5 launch party. Welcome to one of the first XP-based MIDs (or is it a UMPC!) I’m eager to get my…

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Technology is not there yet

With CES around the corner, I’ve once again been contemplating various ways that we can use technology to share what we see and learn at the event with others online. Once again we hope to do some live streaming and plenty of posting of images–well as much as bandwidth allows.

This year my approach is going to be a bit different because I know people will be using services like FriendFeed to watch many different poeple at once. So I’ll want to post to services that FriendFeed can pick up.

But this doesn’t get me to where I really want to be.

If I had my gadget-lovers wish come true, I’d be able to broadcast our position as we walk the showroom floor so people can better interact with us. As we walk past the HP booth for instance, someone could chime in and ask, “Would you check out so and so for me?” I think this would be a great way to enhance CES. There are so many things going on that I often miss things. Many a time I’ve “found” somthing not because I discovered it, but because someone told me to check it out.

I’ve been thinking through how I best can implement a positioning system like this and what’s so funny is that I keep coming back to an iPhone app. I’m envisioning a map of the conference (actually a series of maps) with coordinates that correspond to a lookup of booth names. Since there’s no automatic and easy way to update position indoors I’m thinking I could tap on the appropriate map where I am. It would be a manual process, but not too bad since the iPhone is quick to use. It could then broadcast the position to a web page where a chat client would be available for people to use.

Similarly automatically posting images to Flickr seems like it could be easily done with the iPhone.

What’s interesting is that I can’t think of a better device to do all this with than an iPhone. The iPhone is small, easy to use, connected, and fast to use. It sure makes me realize how far behind all the other devices I have are. For instance, initially I was thinking I could use a UMPC or a Netbook to do this. It seemed like a good match because of the larger display and the fact that I could also stream from a connected webcam (I can’t do this from the iPhone). But the problem is that these kinds of devices are too slow to use. They boot slowly, fall alseep at unfortunate times, don’t have great interactivity (though a keyboard would definitely be handy on a Netbook!), and the connectivity although comparable (I can plug in a USB EVDO device) is not as trivial as I’d like to use (such as using the DUN).

Now maybe a MID would be a better match. Alas I don’t have one. I’ll have to leave this for a CES 2010 experiment. Hmmm.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

CES 2009: A mobile showcase for Netbooks and MIDs

My friends are buying Netbooks, not yet by the droves, but in sufficient numbers that I’m beginning to feel like I’m missing something.

Here’s the thing: I’m not that enamered by Netbooks in their current form. In fact, I don’t think there is much of a Netbook “form” as in form factor or OS/hardware/software design. To me, the Netbook is more about price than form. And I think that’s missing the opportunity here. So I sit on the sidelines waiting for things to shape up a bit.

A Netbook to me, should be more than just a smaller notebook with an old version of Windows or a veneered Linux.

To me, Intel’s Classmate PC Tablet PC, uh, I mean Netbook, is a better Netbook than most because it shows some design considerations that make sense for the small form factor.

I’m very interested in getting a chance to try out the Classmate PC at CES this year. It looks promising. I’m a bit concerned that the digitizer isn’t engineered well enough, but that’s par for the course. Something tells me the wrong engineers are working on this stuff.

Anyway, I’m guessing there are going to be some other interesting Netbooks at CES too. Can’t wait. I predict that several best of show products will fall into the Netbooks category–even if I might want to call them something else.

The other big thing I expect to see at CES is a plethora of MIDs. It’s been a year since Intel first highlighted them at last year’s CES show, but now I think we’re getting closer. As a developer, I’m keen on talking with Intel and its partners about the opportunities here. As I’ve blogged in the past, I’m a bit concerned about the lack of a cohesive hardware/software strategy here, but given my early adopter nature I’m willing to bend a little here.

As a heavy iPhone user with 40+ year old eyes, I’m eager to have a device that trumps the iPhone in large part because of a larger display. Give me a streamlined device with a display I can more comfortably read. Please. That’s a starting point. From there we can talk about how these kinds of devices should best be opened up to the ISV community and to consumers of all kinds.

More than anything I want CES 2009 to be a year about reality. With the downturn in the economy we need that right now. I want to know what I can use right now, what I can develop for right now, what I can design for right now. I’m always enthusiastic to see concept devices, but I need something real.

Fortunately I think this is exactly what’s going to happen. In fact, I think CES 2009 is going to be a banner year for mobile devices: For Netbooks. For MIDs. And, yes, even though no one seems to want to call them Tablet PCs anymore, for Tablets.

I wonder how wrong I’m going to be? :-)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Win EeePC and Dell Mini SSDs at JKKMobile

Don’t waste time reading this, get on over to JKKMobile where you’ve got a chance to win an SSD.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Apple Netbook. DIY OS X Compatibility Chart from Boing Boing

If you’re looking to run OS X on a netbook, this is a good starting point.

In nice easy big-icon graphcs, boing-boing give you the details on what’s compatable and what’s not.

I’ve never really found a reason to switch over from…

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Viliv S5 MID launch party in South Korea.

So the Viliv is really launching! We’ll try and get some info about the US release dates because the last time we spoke to them they were talking about a U.S. release.

3G for Europe too please Viliv!

Viliv S5 info here.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Laptopmag.com: Hands on with Classmate PC

Laptopmag.com has a hands on look at the Intel Classmate PC which is to be officially unveiled next month at CES. The online publication is particularly impressed with the Tablet form factor, though it sounds like the Tablet bits are not included, yet Intel is working with ISVs to get around this or at least to provide learning appropriate material.

In terms of the ISV community, what is Microsoft indicating here since its Tablet bits aren’t on board? Weird.

Monday, December 15, 2008

WiBrain. It looks like they’ve gone under.

After delays on the WiBrain i1 and the disappearance of our usual contact-point within WiBrain, I was a bit suspicious that something was going on. Mobilx don’t have the original B1 models on offer any more and now it seems like…

Sunday, December 14, 2008

NITdroid video. (Android on The Nokia Internet N810)

As I said a few days ago, Android is now as the point where it’s past the point of just being an interestingly-branded OS. The ecosystem is growing and the development community is growing.

One of the things I’m really looking forward…

Saturday, December 13, 2008

S6 MID drops to 299 Euros

We’re double-checking that this really is a no-contract price but so far, it looks like the same deal as UMPCPortal reader Alberto had when he bought one.

For a 3g-enabled PC its a great deal. Hell, at that price you could…

Friday, December 12, 2008

Taking the iPhone off the power grid.

Kevin Tofel of JKOnTheRun is going solar. He plans to run the iPhone for 30 days via a solar-powered battery pack. Good work Kevin. I’ve responded on my Solar-UMPC blog.

The Solar UMPC Blog: Taking the iPhone off the power grid..

Thursday, December 11, 2008

How much will the Germans pay for their Dream Netbook?

My country-mates, the Germans, are quite the netbook nuts. They love a quality, good-value product (don’t we all!) and they’re also pretty damn good at doing their research. Sascha, the top man at EeePCNews.de is getting huge numbers at his German…

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mapfactor Navigator moves to V8.1

Mapfactor’s Navigator is a well-priced, touchscreen friendly EU and U.S. PC-based turn-by-turn navigation system that I tested last year and gave the thumbs up. At 120 Euros its very well priced and it works very well on UMPCs.

Version 8.1 is now…

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Novatel mobile hotspot

Wow this gadget looks like a winner. It’s a mobile 3G-to-WiFi hotspot from Novatel that fits in the palm of your hand. Very slick.

James Kendrick blogs that it won’t be available until the first quarter of next some time. Hmm. I wish it were here now. This is an absolute must have product for mobile adopters like me.

Price? Don’t know yet. I’m guessing I’ll need to clear significant room on my credit card though.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Advertising tips for a small budget?

With all the conversations about start-ups operating on a small budget through this recession, I am reminded of the ways we scaled and operated during the last recession. Specific Google adwords for no more than $2 a click; blogging every day at random times; participating in newsgroups & forums every day; writing detailed product photos, videos and reviews for online and print on a regular schedule; help forum communities; networking at events were all ways to help get the word out.

Thankfully technology is more mature now than it was several years ago. Many of these same things can be done simply and much more quickly than before. New techniques are possible too. Here are a few to get the conversation started:

  1. Make search engines can actually search your website

  2. Feed feeds - Get your post listed under the proper keyword category at Alltop

  3. Link & be linked - there is more than Slashdot to help you drive traffic; places like Techmeme show that others are linking to you

  4. Go beyond forums to interact with your potential customers and your existing customers - start by trying FriendFeed & Twitter

  5. Read & post in topic relevant forums to keep communication with the community and understand their needs and product trends

  6. What are your tips? What works best for you?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tableteer Offers The Chemistry Book Online

Science teachers and students might find it useful to check out The Chemistry Book, an online textbook for high school. The author developed the text as a Wiki. Any member registered on the site can edit the text. He uses it in classes with one or more Tablet and other mobile PCs.

Last summer, one class of low achieving chemistry students used this text to prepare for and to pass the class in order to graduate. They scored in the highest category of the state standardized exam after completing the six weeks of instruction and use of the text.

The Chemistry Book

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Link: A Tablet PC running Linux

Just a link: A Tablet running Linux and Xournal.

Question is: Does a Tablet PC without recognition make a difference?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Anyone predict Windows 7 will RTM in 2 notes–uhm months?

A “Name That Tune” like competition seems to be going around, though not with naming a musical tune in a minimum number of notes, but rather in guessing when Windows 7 will be widely available in the shortest amount of time.

Originally there was talk on the street of Windows 7 being widely available by 2010. Not sure who really originated this one. Then Long Zheng read the Windows tea leaves and came up with October 2009. Not to be outdone, Ed Bott has been eyeing July 2009 as a possible launch date. And now Paul Thurrott tosses in a stunningly close date of April 2009.

Anyone want to predict January 2009? Anyone? :-) Kind of silly, isn’t it?

As I’ve blogged before, if Microsoft picks a date like Paul or Ed is suggesting, I’m a little concerned that there won’t be much community developer support by that time. Let’s face it, even at PDC there wasn’t much real developer talk about the new multi-touch, or info about the Math Input Panel or even the new taskbar. And there’s lots more too. Now maybe Microsoft is thinking that it only needs to work with a handful of top ISVs for each of these areas and then let the rest of the market catch up over time–for the sake of the small developers I hope not. Are all small developers going to have to switch to the iPhone platform? Heh. Or is teched2009 going to be the seminal developer event for Windows 7?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mind Trust Invests in Entrepreneurs to Transform Public Education

Mind Trust announced awarding $730,000 through Education Entrepreneur Fellowships to help incubate their ideas to transform public education in the nation’s most under-served communities.

The three fellows were selected from an applicant pool of 342 people. The Mind Trust awarded two-year Fellowships to the following three individuals to launch their respective initiatives:

Dr. Celine Coggins, formerly a middle school teacher and Research Director at the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded a Fellowship to pursue “Teach Plus,” an initiative focused on keeping excellent early career teachers in the profession.

Ms. Abigail Falik was awarded a Fellowship to launch Global Citizen Year (GCY). GCY will engage thousands of diverse young Americans in a transformative “Bridge Year” of global service between high school and college.

Mr. Earl Martin Phalen, a three-time recipient of Fast Company’s Social Capitalist Awards, was awarded the Fellowship to create a national organization that will provide over one million elementary and middle school students living in low-income communities with research-based summer learning programs designed to produce substantial academic gains.

Kudos to awardees! Thanks for setting a brisk pace for the rest of us.

Fellows are full-time employees of The Mind Trust throughout the Fellowship. They receive a $90,000 annual salary during the Fellowship and a full benefits package that includes medical, dental, and retirement benefits. In addition, fellows receive a stipend of $20,000 over the two years for travel and customized professional development.

The Mind Trust received applications from 342 people in 37 states and citizens of Canada, China, Lithuania, Nigeria, and the United Kingdom. Of the 342 applicants, 270 had or were working toward an advanced degree, including 75 Ph.D.’s, 50 M.B.A.’s, 169 Masters’, and 18 J.D.’s.

Applicants represented some of the nation’s best schools including all eight Ivy League Schools, Stanford, Northwestern, Spelman, Duke, UC Berkeley, Howard, Emory, UCLA, Michigan, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Texas and MIT. Applicants also represented 21 leading colleges and universities in Indiana.

The Mind Trust staff and a team of national social and education entrepreneurship experts reviewed applications and interviewed candidates, advising The Mind Trust’s Board of Directors on the top candidates.

The Challenge Foundation provided The Mind Trust with $486,400 to support The Mind Trust’s Fellowship. In recognition of that support, this Fellowship cohort has been designated as honorary Challenge Foundation Fellows.

The Mind Trust will announce in early 2009the application process for a third class of fellows. Watch for the announcement, Tableteers, venture educators, and others interested in widening the use of mobile PCs in order to increase learning. I'll post it as soon as I receive it.

The Mind Trust is a nonprofit organization with a mission to improve public education dramatically for underserved students by empowering education entrepreneurs to develop or expand transformative education initiatives.

To achieve its mission, The Mind Trust has two strategies: (1) a nationally unique Education Entrepreneur Fellowship that serves as an incubator for transformative education ventures; and (2) a Venture Fund to recruit to Indianapolis the nation’s most successful entrepreneurial education initiatives.

To date, The Mind Trust has invested nearly $3 million from its Venture Fund to successfully attract Teach For America, The New Teacher Project and College Summit to Indianapolis.