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Author Topic: If Jobs had a tablet...
perfectstormy

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Icon 1 posted April 10, 2003 15:03      Profile for perfectstormy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
...what would it look like?
Posts: 154 | From: nude hampster | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
DoctorWho

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Icon 1 posted April 10, 2003 15:26      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Probably something like this.
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perfectstormy

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Icon 12 posted April 11, 2003 07:28      Profile for perfectstormy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by CrawGator:
Probably something like this.

Oh come on, that's, like, SO 2001 [Wink] What would one look like today^H^H^H^H^H tomorrow? Am now thinking it at least needs a motorized propeller beanie interface.
Posts: 154 | From: nude hampster | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
uilleann
Discontinued


Icon 1 posted April 11, 2003 22:59            Edit/Delete Post 
Hm... the design looked OK - I think I'd prefer a side-loading CD-ROM drive, though.

Couple of thoughts:

- This needs to accept handwriting recognition, so where would that go? Inkwell would be on-screen, but I dislike the idea of this a little - always having to move the Inkwell window around the screen to get it off whatever I'm about to enter text into (too much like Win CE). Something like what the Palm and clones have - a separate writing area.

Now, some of you are familiar with the Windows dynamic screen content area concept, where resizing and repositioning the taskbar will alter, on the fly, which part of the screen is left for use. If Mac OS X can achieve (or has achieved, I've only used 10.1.5) a system that can reserve a section of the screen for an app (such as a Gaim buddy list up the side for X11), Inkwell could have a section of the screen for itself, that apps will stay out of.

- Secondly, define 'tablet'? This is a full size 15"-ish device, or a fancy palmtop-sized affair such as what Apple is rumoured to possibly be making?

I do like laptops, and would not object to owning one (OK, I do, a broken PB 160 that is no use), but I still prefer having a palmtop - it is just much more convenient. Now, there was a palmtop that could do handwriting (not Graffiti) recognition, the Newton, but my definition of useful is that it must go in my pocket and not need some cumbersome case - mine has the screen as its lid, so is safe. A Newton would not go in my trowser pocket, it seems, and nor will some made to date.


What I'd like to see is a colour version of my palmtop - I think people may make landscape (w/keyboard) Win CE machines that size now (and Win CE machine keyboards are superb - far better than mine) - but then, is Win CE any good yet?


As far as the design of a tablet goes - hm... as long as it's not actually butt-ugly (or Fisher Price-like), it will do - I am more interested in the usability side.

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Slurpy
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Icon 1 posted April 12, 2003 03:22      Profile for Slurpy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by uilleann:
- but then, is Win CE any good yet?

Do you really need to ask? My dead cat (the stupid one) could right a better OS [Big Grin] .

Reminds me of a good quote I saw on the Geek Group's page today: Linux - Because rebooting is for adding new hardware.

God, I wish I could play Counter-Strike on slakware [Frown] .

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I must first reveal my personal bias in this discussion, since I worship at the 'First Church of PDF Really Sucks.'
-Bruce Tognazzini
http://thegeekgroup.org
Geek ID# 1162

Posts: 692 | From: Cincinnati, OH | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
uilleann
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Icon 1 posted April 12, 2003 04:52            Edit/Delete Post 
I've only ever used Win CE once, on a portrait-screen Jornada - it was a nightmare. However, I know little else about it. I've used Palm OS a bit more than that, and that I have a good reason to hate - it won't multitask. Last thing I need is a PDA that goes back to a DOS level of sophistication - Palm OS is scarily backward. I see no reason why I shouldn't be able to switch between running apps when and however I like, even with dialog boxes open, menu bar down, etc. Stuff like level-1 OLE in EPOC is just a bonus, but it's also nice.

A cute shot of two menu bars open at once:
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Staged, though - I wrote a line of code to make the app's main window vanish so that the app behind (and its open menu bar) can be seen.

=]

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Slurpy
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Icon 1 posted April 13, 2003 20:51      Profile for Slurpy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've hear PalmOS has really straightened itself out lately, although I haven't seen one to actually play with it. How are the Linux PDAs, like the new Sharp Zaurus 5500? I'd love a chance to play with one of those [Smile] .

--------------------
I must first reveal my personal bias in this discussion, since I worship at the 'First Church of PDF Really Sucks.'
-Bruce Tognazzini
http://thegeekgroup.org
Geek ID# 1162

Posts: 692 | From: Cincinnati, OH | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
perfectstormy

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Icon 1 posted April 14, 2003 05:52      Profile for perfectstormy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Slurpy:
I've hear PalmOS has really straightened itself out lately, although I haven't seen one to actually play with it. How are the Linux PDAs, like the new Sharp Zaurus 5500? I'd love a chance to play with one of those [Smile] .

Slightly OT: The NEW Zaurus is the 5600, I believe--that's what enabled me to buy a 5500 at firesale prices. As a PIM, I like the Palm apps a bit better. And I miss Graffiti, but the new Palms won't have it either, and the keypad kinda makes up for it.

OTOH, the first time I fired up the terminal and typed 'uname', I got goosebumps. Then when I installed Perl...

Posts: 154 | From: nude hampster | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
nekomatic
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Icon 5 posted April 14, 2003 06:30      Profile for nekomatic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by uilleann:
Last thing I need is a PDA that goes back to a DOS level of sophistication - Palm OS is scarily backward. I see no reason why I shouldn't be able to switch between running apps when and however I like, even with dialog boxes open, menu bar down, etc.

[Confused] As far as I can tell I can always switch to another running app on my Handspring, even with dialog boxes open, menu bar, etc. IMHO Palm OS does a damn fine job of doing what it's designed to do, though I suspect the future may be Symbian (on which subject this might interest you...)
Posts: 822 | From: Manchester, UK | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged
uilleann
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Icon 1 posted April 14, 2003 17:29            Edit/Delete Post 
It seems to me like applications save their state before exiting, so some will actually make a note of what dialog was open, etc. But if you started entering some text into edit fields in the dialog, that may not be saved, or other small changes you had begun to make might equally get lost.

Some applications completely reset - I know I selected a folder on a friend's picture viewer app, and then chose a picture, and zoomed in, but when I switched to another app and back, it had reset back to square one. Apps vary in what they do or do not retain when you leave them and come back.

OPL, though, is pretty much a menace - OPL that ships with ER5 is immensely backward. There isn't even any support for multi-dimensional arrays, so you have to flatten down the array and do lots of index maths. For structs, if you really want them, you define a set of variables in sequence, and then pass the address of the first one; to get to each one, you use peek/poke commands (which can do various variable types like peek a four-byte word) with addresses based on that one passed. No object orientation, no multiple source files, no dynamic arrays, etc. Can't even nest dialog boxes.

You do get a heap, though - small mercies.

Something that surprised me was a game that animated the score table (vertical scrolling) even with the menu bar open - OPL won't let you do that - use of the menu bar freezes the app. That game was written in C, I'd imagine, to achieve something like that - there is a C(++) SDK for ER5, but I doubt it would be of much use on a Macintosh.

OPL is not great, but the fact that I can edit and bytecode-translate apps on my PDA itself is nice - I did succeed in making a two-player battleships game in OPL, which is fully playable but needs the ship layout UI finishing (was making it extra fancy). Oh, and it needs ship pictures - the ships currently look indistinguishable from bricks. (It also needs players - were anyone actually playing it, I'd get a proper UID for it and release it)


W.r.t the Register page - if they can transform OPL into a language any more advanced than BBC BASIC... ;P

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted April 15, 2003 11:44      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Personally, what I would love to see, is a return to the wearable computer technology. Sewing circuts into clothing, then a wireless connection to either a small paml like I/O device or to a larger pad would be possible. Infact, it would then make sence to carry both, One for on the move while your in transit and such (like a little spril note pad) AND a full tablet (like a real note book)... The advantages would be that it'd be harder to steal/lose the computer and it's data, at most you'd be out an advanced I/O device.

As for the inkwell, there have been lazer light pens for quite some time that work on the display array, so you'd write right in the area you'd want the typed text to appear... without the need for a docked or movable "inkwell."

It would also happen to be running an embedded *nix like system... I think that we see this trend to be more like the *nix systems in the fact that in OSX they allowed accesses to the under laying OS, as opposed to the all powerful GUI...

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Posts: 3038 | From: State of insanity | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
perfectstormy

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Icon 1 posted April 15, 2003 14:01      Profile for perfectstormy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Perhaps wearable is the way to go...
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Posts: 154 | From: nude hampster | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
uilleann
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Icon 1 posted April 15, 2003 20:16            Edit/Delete Post 
Sewn-in wearable, eh? I assume this stuff is washable? And if you wear just a t-shirt in summer, do you sew one into each shirt?

The sewing-in idea doesn't sound right to me - strap-on, maybe. But then, with a PDA, I can pass it to someone if they want to read some notes or play games on it.

But then, the idea that a wearable one is harder to steal, or even simply drop, is curious...

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted April 15, 2003 23:15      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by uilleann:
Sewn-in wearable, eh? I assume this stuff is washable? And if you wear just a t-shirt in summer, do you sew one into each shirt?

The sewing-in idea doesn't sound right to me - strap-on, maybe. But then, with a PDA, I can pass it to someone if they want to read some notes or play games on it.

But then, the idea that a wearable one is harder to steal, or even simply drop, is curious...

The things that I've read suggest that the sewnin computers are highly durable, however need to be built into something that is drycleanable, as the computer wouldn't handle a washer and dyer very well. A beltmounted computer the size of a capachino or a diskman isn't that far fetched, but there is always the power problem...


I was thinking of bluetooth technology for the display devices, which means that it woud work to pass your notes or a game to someone... as long as they are within a reasonable distance (what is the mayimum range for bluetooth?)... The issue that I see is portable power, in such a issue is increased. Each display will take regular batteries (AA), and would most likley be recharbeable. The computer will require a significantly higher amount of electricy, and in order for the wearable to be viable it needs to have a fairly long battery life. The issue at hand is that there isn't a very effeicent portable powersource yet. The fuel cells that I've seen on slashdot would be better, but still not ideal... Just some thoughts.

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted April 16, 2003 14:10      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
GameMaster wrote:
A beltmounted computer the size of a capachino or a diskman isn't that far fetched, but there is always the power problem...

No problem... just sew a 5' induction coil into a huge sombrero and always stand underneath high voltage power transmission lines [Big Grin]

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Slurpy
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Icon 3 posted April 16, 2003 16:00      Profile for Slurpy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Great idea! Cellular cohesion is overrated, anyway [Big Grin] .

--------------------
I must first reveal my personal bias in this discussion, since I worship at the 'First Church of PDF Really Sucks.'
-Bruce Tognazzini
http://thegeekgroup.org
Geek ID# 1162

Posts: 692 | From: Cincinnati, OH | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
uilleann
Discontinued


Icon 1 posted April 16, 2003 19:39            Edit/Delete Post 
GameMaster: My point was more of what it would be sewn into - a coat would be fine in the colder months of the year, but I don't want to wear the same t-shirt every day for the whole summer just because it has my computer in it, nor do I want to have to dry clean it all the time so that I can wear it every day [Wink]

And Steen - marvellous (as usual) [Wink]

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2003 10:54      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ah, I do see your point... hhmmmmm... But carrying an extra bag with me all the time (or even a fanny pac type thing) would annoy me. If it was small enough I suppose it wouldn't be a problem... Or if it was also a usable bag, and was light and easy to carry.... Hmmmmm....

I suppose when I have a little extra money (which won't be for a little while) I might invest in a tablet or other mobile computer that is better than my current laptop.

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