Sunday, May 31, 2009

Josh Einstein gives Silverlight a twirl

Josh Einstein of TEO fame gives forms in Silverlight a spin in 2.0. Nicely done.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

TouchBook Netbook/UMPC/Tablet runs on OMAP 3

I had an update from TI’s ‘Mobile Mover’ Seshu Madhavapeddy on Thursday evening and came away with a very strong impression that Ti want to conquer the whole ‘Ring of FIE’ with their OMAP 3 platform. PMPs were mentioned (Archos.)…

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Gigabyte Touchnote Screen Gestures in Action. Useful and Fun!

One element of the Gigabyte Touchnote that I’m starting to get used to now is the gesture support. It’s built into a special set of eGalax drivers that have been included on the device. Originally I wanted to turn them off…

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Computex. More UMPCs from Viliv. Microsoft to use S5 in Keynote

We had a very detailed email and press release from Viliv today which is now available on their English-language website. In summary, it looks like they will be highlighting global 3G and 4G versions of the S5, X70 EX and S7…

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Introducing Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7

Today Brandon LeBlanc blogged the introduction of the Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7.

Of the various apps in the pack, the Microsoft Surface Globe is my favorite. There’s something adicting about being able to spin the earth around like a real globe. Thanks Surface team.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Gartenberg: The pen is the platform

Michael Gertenberg gives the LiveScribe a spin.

His impressions of the LiveScribe:

“I spent some time with the system last night and I can say, it works really well. The pen is well designed with a nice OLED display to let you know what’s going on. Interaction is entirely with printed materials on special paper. Click on a printed calculator, and the pen displays the results. Click on a Piano keyboard (or draw one) and the pen plays. Click record and the pen records the spoken word and links it to whatever you write. The system works and it works well.”

However, the pen does require special paper:

“This is the probably the system’s greatest weakness. No special paper, no digital magic. LiveScribe plans on releasing a template so you can laser print your own paper but at the moment you need to order from them. Worse, each notebook is sequentially numbered and you need to keep using the next notebook in the series or the pen gets confused.”

He does walk away with an overall favorable impression though:

“….I’m recommending for folks who want a pen computing experience.”

Friday, May 22, 2009

OQO Shuts Up Shop.

What a shame. One of the companies at the core of the UMPC movement and with a history that goes back beyond my first blogs about the topic has gone under. The confirmation came through GottaBeMobile and all we’re left with…

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

OQO Shuts Down Repairs, Discontinues Phone Lines

It's not a surprise, but ailing UMPC company OQO has just stopped support service and closed down their phone lines, citing "financial constraints." That's pretty much the end of OQO. [OQOTalk via Engadget]

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Asus Eee T91 hands-on gallery from Electricpig

The still upcoming Asus Eee T91 tablet netbook [Portal page] is looking better every day. I’m pretty excited for this device and what it could do to spice up the otherwise (dare I say) boring netbook space. Electricpig has a…

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Asus Eee T91 tablet netbook gets taken apart, manual revealed

The much anticipated Eee T91 tablet netbook [Portal page] has just taken one step closer to seeing an official US release. The FCC has gotten their hands all over the computer and given us plenty of nice internal photos as well…

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Intel Investor Presentation Highlights Smartphone Push.

We’re not quite sure if we’re supposed to have this PDF but it’s just landed in our lap and we don’t see any confidential markings so we might as well relay the info. It’s a slide set from an investor meeting from the Ultra Mobility group and it highlights a few interesting points about Moorestown and Medfield. It appears to be dated 05_2009 so it’s very recent. Related posts:
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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Asus Eee PC 1008HA review roundup

One of Asus’ upcoming Eee PCs, the 1008HA, which Chippy and jkk got to check out at this year’s CeBIT, has seen a handful of reviews from across the web recently. Engadget rounded up several of them and they seem to…

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Smart Q7 Tablet. New images.

My Smart Q7 should ship from China on Friday so it’s interesting to see more live images of the device to try and get a feel for what’s going to turn up next week.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Windows 7 on Viliv S5. Overview from JKK

If the Viliv S5 Full Review isn’t enough for you today, then check out the Viliv S5 running Windows 7. As with my Gigabyte Touchnote, the floating TIP and other tablet features aren’t enabled but JKK is reporting a full and…

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Smart Q7 Tablet – Live Pics and Availability Info.

The $189 Smart Devices Q7 web-pad story gets more exciting today as we’ve received some live pics of the device. ElectroWorld, the strange looking Chinese website that many of us would probably avoid, have come up trumps after we contacted them for…

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Three touch devices make PCWorld’s most anticipated list

PCWorld (Canada) lists the 10 most anticipated ultraportables of 2009 in this article.

Three touch devices make the top list:

*) Asus Eee (All-in-one) Keyboard PC: Rumored price $400-$600. To be released Summer 2009. Windows XP Home. 5″ touch screen.

*) Asus Eee PC T91 (Tablet PC): Projected price around $670. To be released Summer 2009. Windows XP Home. 8.9″ capacitive touch display. (SlashGear has more information on the launch here. UK expected in May/June.)

*) CrunchPad: Unknown price. Unknown release date. Linux distrobution. 12″ capacitive touch display.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

One more reason a smartphone-style OS should take over

Here’s one more reason that a smartphone-based OS, such as Windows Mobile or Android or the iPhone’s OS, should take over–and I mean completely take over the consumer space: I want smartphone style OS integration across my calendar, clock (with timers), browser links, cameras, and so on.

Yes, I know I can do all of this with a little bit of effort in Windows, but frankly I’m too lazy. It’s either it works out of the box or I move on.

Now, I have downloaded Windows Live Essentials (or at least parts of it) a couple dozen times for my Windows 7 beta machines. It’s a little clunky, but not a terrible thing.

I guess it makes sense to have Windows Calendar as a separate download, but at some point it gets silly. Why isn’t Microsoft Paint a separate download? Or Windows DVD Maker? Or Media Center? Or just about any application in Windows itself?

The problem here is that the manufacturers are going to have a field day creating their own applications and making Windows subpar to OS X as well as Linux.

That makes me want to simplify even further. If I can’t create an event via the taskbar calender out of the box, then I’m all for tossing out Windows classic en masse. Let’s go as basic as we can. And that means smartphone-style OS time.

Sorry, I’m just disappointed that my iPhone works better than Windows. I’ll get over it. I just needed to vent a little.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Amazon Kindle DX ready for pre-order at $489

Jeff Bezos and crew just pre-launched the Amazon DX at a press event in New York City. You can check out the live blogging here. TechMeme also has a bunch of news.

Here’s a breakdown in what the Kindle DX offers:

9.7″ E-Ink display (1200 x 824, 150 ppi with 16 shades of gray)

1/3″ thick (10.4″ x 7.2″ x 0.38″)

3,500 books (3.3GB available for content)

Native PDF support


EVDO connectivity

3.5mm stereo audio jack, built-in stereo speakers

18.9 oz

Up to 4 days battery life with wireless on, charge time 4 hours

Formats: Kindle (AZW), PDF, TXT, Audible (formats 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, RTF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion.

1 year warranty

You can pre-order one, for summer shipment, on Amazon here for $489.

Although I have no idea how I’m going to pay for it, I decided to pull out my credit card and pre-order one. Here’s why:

1) The Kindle DX is about viewing documents as they are laid out. For worksheets, puzzle books, etc this is a winner. Yeah, there’s very little interactivity supported in the Kindle DX, but I want to get a feel for what it might be like to use one now.

2) There’s no touch or ink, but that’s OK. One step at a time.

3) Did you see how thin this thing is? And the weigtht is only 19 oz. Now we’re talking.

4) Why not wait for the TechCrunch CrunchPad or the Apple “tablet”? Well, neither of these products are out now, so even if they are announced in let’s say another month or so, there’s still going to need to be ship time and so on. So my guess is that the Amazon Kindle DX is going to come out first. That means I’m going to get in line now to give it a go. If, by chance, Apple releases some must-have gadget at WWDC, I’ll think about changing my order.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Whose the Tablet PC leader now?

Even before Amazon announces their Kindle DX or Apple announces something about a rumored device which is bigger than an iPhone yet smaller than a MacBook, people like Anthony Massucci are standing in line to pronounce to the two companies as winners in the tablet PC space (note the lowercase “T”).

Amazon may not be racing against Apple (AAPL) or another player to create a widely-used tablet PC, but a bigger Kindle could become a market leader by default. The dominant product or player in tablet PC field has yet to be defined and it seems that Apple and Amazon have come the closest to putting a real-time updating media player in your hands.

There has been speculation that Apple could unveil a bigger version of it’s touch-screen iPod Touch, which is already a mini-version of a portable computer, this year.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Fastest Netbook Disk Ever? (Runcore Pro IV SSD in Gigabyte Touchnote.)

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Samsung Q1EX possilibities

Steve “Chippy” Paine spent some time with the Samsung Q1EX UMPC this past week. Here’s his video:

The $750 UMPC lends back to a sleeker UMPC design–somewhat reminiscent of the first generation Founder device if I recall correctly. The unit also boasts a 1.2GHz VIA Nano ULV U2500 processor, which is not bad. The touchscreen supports palm rejection which looks nice, however, there are no HID drivers so the Tablet Input Panel (TIP) does not float. Battery life? Somewhere in the 3 hour range. Not bad. Oh, and weight? 1.4 pounds. Again, not bad.

I’d really like to give the Q1EX a spin, though even $750 is too much for me at this time. Why? Because I’d really like to try out some of my software on the light touch interface. Here’s what I’m interested in: Does the Q1EX support a capacitive-like feel? If so, is it feasible to flick or scroll content via a finger tip al la iPhone style? My guess is no, but there’s a bit of me if it’s possible. That would make the Q1EX an excellent choice for some consumer apps.

Now as the back facing camera: I’m not sure what they were thinking with it only being 1.3 mp? That’s quite unfortunate. There’s not going to be enough quality there. I wonder if higher resolution chips slowed down the Nano too much. Is the camera upgradable, possibily with a camera that offers a glass lens?

Ah, the possibilities.

Saturday, May 2, 2009 – Closed. BuildYourUMPC – Closing.

A sad moment and one I tried to stop., along with all our links, tips and content, is gone forever.

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Friday, May 1, 2009

Windows 7 RC available now on MSDN and TechNet

Microsoft is announcing the availability of Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) via MSDN and TechNet.

From the Microsoft press release:

“Windows 7 RC Reflects New Advancements

New to the Windows 7 RC are advancements such as Remote Media Streaming, Windows XP Mode (beta) and the upcoming beta of the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor:

• Remote Media Streaming. Enables highly secure, remote Internet access to home-based digital media libraries from another Windows 7-based PC outside the home.

• Windows XP Mode. Utilizing Windows Virtual PC, Windows XP Mode allows Windows 7 users to run many Windows XP productivity applications, launched right from the Windows 7 desktop. Windows XP Mode will be available to Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate customers via download or, for the best experience, pre-installed directly on new PCs. As part of today’s announcement, Microsoft is releasing the beta of Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC. For larger businesses where management is important to reduce the total cost of ownership, Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) within MDOP adds management to Windows Virtual PC including centralized policy, administration experience and deployment.

• Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. To help enable a smooth transition, Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor will help people analyze their PCs in preparation for a Windows 7 upgrade. Available soon, Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor will be a downloadable tool that will help people determine their ability to upgrade from their Windows XP-based or Windows Vista-based PC to Windows 7.

In addition, a number of enhancements were made to existing features based on feedback from beta testers, including the following:

• Refined navigation. Several enhancements to the Windows taskbar, JumpLists and search make navigation and finding exactly what you want much easier.

• Internet Explorer 8. InPrivate browsing in Internet Explorer 8 prevents browsing history, temporary Internet files, form data, cookies, and usernames and passwords from being retained by the browser. With Windows 7, you can start an InPrivate session straight from the JumpList. You can also open a new tab from the JumpList.

• Windows Touch. Controlling the computer by touching a touch-enabled screen or monitor is a core Windows 7 user experience. Improvements in the RC include several Windows Touch updates, including the ability to drag, drop and select items with touch, even inside Web sites that scroll both horizontally and vertically.”

In terms of the Windows Touch and multi-touch, you’ll need to update your Windows 7 multi-touch drivers from your manufacturer’s website. For the Dell XT (and Dell XT2) you’ll need the latest N-Trig driver. For the HP TouchSmart you’ll need the latest NextWindow driver available here. I don’t see updated drivers for either at this time, but I’ll keep checking. In the meantime I’m going to install Windows 7 RC on the HP Mini 1033.