Travelin' with Tablet Guy!

Traveling the tabletscape together, commenting on things in the Tablet PC world as they develop.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Don’t go to this BLOG!

Okay, so you came to my blog — GREAT!

The reason I have not been posting much lately is that I have been hard at work with my good friend and now partner Rob Bushway developing a new Tablet PC community site! SO from now on, all my postng activity will be done to! Our new site, GottaBeMobile is gonna be awesome (if I do say so myself!). We are going to scour the news for Tablet PC info, do hardware and software reviews, and just generally comment on what is going on in the TabletSphere!

So..., change your feed or your link, and join us at!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Buzz is acting up again!

Just a heads up on For several months, the site has been having issues with disk drives and network cards. The hosting company has been very little help. Periodically, the site just goes down, but the first symptom is usually that the search function stops working in the forums. We end up having to defrag the disk to get bad blocks identofoed and things working again. Every time I have to do this takes me hours!

I have gotten no less than 30 emails and about 10 IM message about this. When the Buzz is down, people call! Trust me, I am working on it!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Where ya been, Dennis?

Well, after so much initial blogging activity and info from CES and the Microsoft Mobile Partner Briefing, I’ve been a little absent, cause I’ve been busy. Busy with what? Can’t tell you (oh no..., not again with the secrets).

Seriously, what I am doing is better kept under covers right now, but Ijust want to make sure everyone does not think I went away, just been busy on an exciting new project with some unique twists.

Just stayed tuned, okay?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Pssst..., wanna hear a secret?

New things are happening all over the place.

What exactly do you mean Dennis?

Can’t tell you, that’s how new they are.

New stuff, lots of new stuff.

What kinds of new “stuff” do you mean Dennis?

Can’t tell you, have to keep it a secret right now.

Also new places to go, really cool places to go.

Where are you talking about Dennis?

Can’t tell you, it’s hidden right now, and being “birthed”. Wouldn’t be prudent to give it away yet.

Why can’t you tell me Dennis?

Because then you would know, and it would be too early for you to know.

Don’t you just hate it when you don’t know the secret??

STAY TUNED....... !

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Naked Conversations and a Preacher...

My oh my, that is certainly a catchy post title isn’t it? As I previously posted, I recently read Scobles book, “Naked Conversations” about blogging and business. There are some examples there about Christian bloggers, and I decided to discuss it with the pastor of my church while we were having breakfast yesterday. Now first of all, I have to tell you this is not your typical pastor/preacher. Jay is a young guy, considers himself more a teacher who likes to share the benefit of his study on Christian and general life topics with others. He basically is already a blogger, he just doesn’t know it yet. His audience is much more limited, and he doesn’t get much feedback (some but not much). His whole theory in developing the church I attend is that the main target for his teaching should be those outside the church, not so much inside. He wants to reach and have conversations with people who are not in a church, without such a focus to get them in the doors.

So let’s consider what happens to him if he starts blogging. He gets a more natural tone, can deliver many more “messages” (which he prefers to call talks), has a MUCH larger audience (literally worldwide), he gets a ton more feedback, and then has a pretty good journal of his thoughts. He also can blog his message each week for the benefit of those members of the church who were not able to attend that week, and hear what they think. I personally like to reflect for a couple days on what he says in church and give him my feedback anyway, so this will make that process easier for me as well. Today he keeps a personal journal on paper, teaches a couple of times a week, and that’s about it. So..., let’s get him blogging! I set him up a Wordpress blog last night, and hope to get him started in the next week or so. Check him out when you can, Jay has a lot of great stuff to say, and is genuinely not a bible beating hell and brimstone kinda guy! His new blog is The title may change (that was my idea, he I am sure will change it). Encourage him with your comments, or let him know what you think. In other words, welcome him to the blogosphere! Good luck Jay!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Intel's Ultra Mobile PC shipping this quarter?

Intel's Ultra Mobile PC shipping this quarter?: More info coming out on UMP's..... Wonder how accurate this is? There is not a great deal of facts surrounding this project, so don't draw too many quick conclusions. As we stated when blogging this from the Microsoft Mobile Partner Briefing, these specs are design goals, which may take a while to materialize...

Sunday, February 05, 2006

"Naked Conversations", a mini review

I first became aware of Robert Scoble and Shel Israel’s new book, “Naked Conversations” while in Las Vegas attending CES and having a conversation with Robert. When I got home, I ordered a copy, thinking it may be a mildly amusing way to pass some time, just like Scobles blog . As I was getting ready to walk out the door for my last trip to Redmond for the Mobile Partners Briefing, UPS dellivered the expected tome. “Great”, I said, something to read on the cross country flight, which I proceeded to do, all 200+ pages (I live on the east cost -- long flights)! So began an interesting journey. I was very surprised. Having just started blogging myself, I was just beginning to participate and learn a bit more about the “blogosphere” as the worldwide blog community is referred to. I was surprised to learn just how much I did not know, and many mistakes I had already unknowingly made (at least in their opinion!). I expected a bit of tongue in cheek type writing, commenting on how to start and run a blog. What I got was a professionally written book on business, blogging, and how the two relate now and in the future. The basic premise is that business are already being affected by the blog, and can expect to be affected more in the future, and can choose to embrace it or fight it. Robert and Shel do a really nice job sharing a number of successes and failures in blogging in business, and some insightful reasons for both results. They encourage businesses both large and small to join the conversation, and communicate directly to people to get real facts, issues, and yes, even solutions to problems they are facing. I particularly enjoyed the individual stories of how people have used the blog “revolution” to benefit their businesses, both large and small. From Tailors to plumbers, to GM executives, they are all covered in this book. Its a great effort gentlemen, and one well worth reading. You can discuss the book in the official”Naked Conversations Blog”.

See you in the Blogosphere!

Saturday, February 04, 2006 OEMs - participate in the conversations

Rob Bushway has something to say, and I agree. We have had lots of trouble over the years with this issue... Check this out. OEMs - participate in the conversations

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Frank and Lora, MPB Hosts

Our gracious hosts, Frank Gocinski, and Lora Heiny. Thank you folks, for having us, and putting on a great event. Already looking forward to the next one.

These two people are very instrumental in promoting tablet, and especially the development of great tablet applications. What a team!

Tablet Guy's buddy!

Arguably the "First Lady of Tablet", here is Lora Heiny. Lora is awesome in her role of Tablet ISV Evangelist. She is behind a lot of what happened here in Redmond the last two days.
Thank you Lora!!!

MPB - Have you been on Handango?

I spent some time last night talking to Marshall Port and Emily Schuloff from Handango. They are here talking to ISV’s about using Handango as their distribution point for Tablet nd Mobile software. It had been a while since I had been to Handango, and was surprised to see 117 Tablet PC titles listed now! If you are looking for a Tablet PC app, or just interested in seeing what is developing, go take a look. Thanks for the updates guys!

MPB - Windows Applications in a Mobile World

Time to hear from one of our favorite Tablet PC folks, Frank Gocinski. This was a really good talk, and one could not help but be excited about the future of the Tablet PC Platform. Frank is a driver in this process, and his enthusiasm is infectious! Here are some major bullet points:

  • The Mobile PC Landscape
    • People want more mobile applications, creating rich opportunity for ISV’s
    • More than half a billion buy new Windows devices each year, so is a greatly expanding environment
    • The more people see mobility in others, the more they desire it in their lives
  • Technology Trends
    • The desktop is becoming marginalized, move to mobile devices is increasing
    • Mobile devices are becoming more prevalent and powerful
    • Crucial standards are coming together
    • Smaller more portable devices are coming, making our data and experience also more portable
  • Mobile PC Decisions for Customer and Developers
    • Form factor decisions
      • Slate, convertible, etc.
      • Grab and go Docking
      • Integrated wireless
      • Longer battery life
    • Software tuned to the device
      • Anywhere access to info is critical
      • UI design for smaller devices
  • Windows Vista Opportunities - Frank highly encouraged ISVs to get involved in developing for Vista. Microsoft is putting an unprecendented amount of effort into the development, marketing, and launch of Vista. Analysts say that Vista will be the most quickly adopted OS ever, 475 million new PC’s in the first 12 months, with 200 milionupgradeable devices. Office 12 will drive people into Vista as well.

Thanks Frank, this would have been great as a webcast! All the good informtion would be great for the masses to hear!

Chris Pratley and Owen Braun from Onenote Team

One of the best things about being in Redmond is getting to actually visit with the folks making things happen! We took some time to visit the Office team building. Had some really good conversation about OneNote 12 with Chris, Owen, and other team members. If you have not gotten hold of the new OneNote 12 beta, do it NOW. Great, stable product, with more new features coming later. Chris is playing the OneNote Sax, which only plays, you guessed it — ONE NOTE! Thanks guys for the walkthrough and updates!

MPB, “Making Windows Personal”

Ken Hardy shared on making software more personal. Highlights:

  • Small enough to go almost anywhere
  • Simple enough to be used naturally
  • Fashionable enough to be carried

Out technology devices are not just about hardware and software, they are about being a part of our lives, and more important. Convergence is desired by the consumer, but has become difficult because each device has been designed with a specific purpose, and other funtions suffer as a result. “Ultra Mobile PC’s” are becoming a reailty. However, Windows is hard to use on small screens, on the go, and info is too hard to get to. It needs much more personalization.

So what would have to happen to Windows to make it personal, portable, and more adaptable to individual lifestyles. We need:

  • Simplicity
    • Never more than a couople of “clicks” from primary actions
    • Reflect the users tastes and personl experience
    • Easy to use, casual and natural
  • Making Windows about “People, places, and things” - All the information is there in Windows, but it makes you dig deep for it at times. It’s just too diffiult. The design goal would be to have much more personalized menu and navigation to take us quickly to where we want to go, based upon “learned” experiences of what you do on a day to day basis. Different menus for different functions, quicker access to the needed functions based upon my current activity. All this would be based upon an individual and their current need, location, etc., not on a one method fits all idea.
  • Awareness - Does my PC know where I am (GPS), does it know what I am doing (pen in hand, may want to write), does it know where I should be (schedule). The OS should support ways to intelligently locate you not just physically, but your position in your workday, your tasks due, etc. If I have a budget due in a week, and I need two days to get it done, it should let me know when to work on it. Wehn I have a meeting, it should suggest a map to get to the location. You get the idea, it is about making the experience with Windows not just good, but truly great!

Great session, looks like great research and direction!

MPB, “Lifestyle Design”

Arnie Lund shared this morning about the exploration being done into integrating technology into life. I’ll post as it occurs, so keep refreshing this post. Here are some highlights:

  • Definition - Arnie spent time discussing what is meant by “Lifestyle”. basically the idea is to appeal to each persons idea of how they express their individual style as indicated by the choices they make. Products are designed in order to meet particular lifestyles, and support the image being sought.
  • Design Trends - Here are the areas of technology being evaluated as new products are being designed. These items are PC’s, Cell Phones, Media / MP3 players, etc. :
    • Devices need to be: Mobile, Organized, Connected, Powerful, Expressive, Efficient, Collaborative, Entertaining, Personal, at different levels based upon a consumers weighting and desires.
  • Making the Connection
    • The intersection of experience and intimacy. Basically, this means that if I have a good experience with a device, my level of intimacy, and therefore my integration of it in my life increases. Different groups will reach this point at different times and via different stimuli.
  • Research Plans
    • Trying to get out and learn about where people live in their interaction with technology. This will affect the actual design and look and feel, as well as connectivity, etc. Where will these devices be used, how are they actually held? Fit to the user, to he heart, and to the activity.

Very interesting stuff. The actual human interaction and response research my sound like marketing hype and blurb, but being in this session made me think about my own “style”, and why I tend to move toward certain types of devices and away from others. Having companies consider my actual needs on a day to day basis, cannot help but produce a product that will better meld into my life.

I'm ready!

Tablet Guy: Okay, Mobile Products Division Briefing, day two. We’re gonna hear more this morning about the new “Lifestyle PC’s”. I kinda excited about this addition to my lineage. I know what they are talking about is a concept that we may still have a while to see come to fruition, but having a little brother sounds like fun. Keep your eye out, I’ll keep you “in the know”!

Dennis: I’m pretty excited about thiss too. If you saw the design goals for this project, you know what I mean. I honestly think this category has the ability to get into a market segment that price has kept out until now. Like TG said, we’ll let you know what we hear!

Tablet Guy loves MVP's at MPB

Dennis: Tablet Guy snuggled up to an MVP here this morning. His name was Mitz or snitz, or something like that. He is so sad to watch when he is around his “admirers”.

Tablet Guy: Dennis is so sad sometimes. I mean, watching his jealousy is an ugly thing. By the way, the name was Fritz, Fritz Switzer, and I found him to be a distuinguished, professional gentleman who knows his technology. You can check him out at his company’s web site, .

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Shifting gears ....

Dennis: Wow — what a day. Kinda gets the head to spinning. We are now at the end of the sessions for today, time to switch to networking mode. We get a full 15 minutes off before we have to be at dinner at a Bellvue Italian restaurant. It is in this venue that real info is passed, and new relationship are formed. I’ll let you know later what neat people I meet, and all the cool things they are doing. Check back later.....!
Tablet Guy: It’s amazing how much I learned about myself and my future today! I have been surrounded by admirers all day (which is the way it should be every day). Gotta go - gonna go bask in my limelight!

Microsoft support for the ISV community

Rob and I broke out to cover a couple of different sessions. Rob went to a developer session, I went to a session involving how Microsoft is working with software vendors to help them build products for the platform. there wasa lot of good discussion on how customers can get connected to vendors to create a strong environment for growth. Here are some high points:

  • Over 350 TPC applications currently deployed
  • Over 850 registered ISV’s with either released or in process applications
  • Microsoft is supporting ISV’s through:
  • ISV Alliance Program
  • Premier Partners
  • Marketing materials:
  • Code Focus Magazine - Issue specific to Tablet PC dev, lots of great articles
  • Ads running in a number of magazines to drive traffic to ISV’s and get more info on Tablet dev
  • Case Studies - Success stories and promoting good innovative efforts in Tablet PC space
  • Tablet PC ISV sales portal - Handango now supports a Tablet PC specific area for ISV’s to sell product
  • Professional marketing materials - New sales tools that celebrate tablet successes. Includes print DVD, and video materials to be used to promote products
  • Events - Industry trade shows
  • Match funds - $15,000 in match funds available for approved marketing plans

MPB - Ian Legrow

Ian is the Program Manager for Tablet PC at Microsoft. He is doing a great demo of Tablet on current builds of Vista. There are a ton of great new thing that people are gonna love. Once again, not an exhaustive list, but here are a couple of highlights:

  • Moveable, dockable TIP - Great control over the TIP, which has been a common complaints in Tablet/XP versions
  • Erasing in TIP - Can be done with much better strokes than the diffiult “Z” stroke. Can use a single diagonal stroke, circles, etc., PLUS use the pen eraser in TIP!
  • Handwriting training - A lot of work is being sone here. Not just on teaching the PC how you write, but automatic corretion based upon common errors you make in strokes. You can also “donate” your training data to Microsoft, to help with reco development.
  • New version of Snipping tool - Improved version which gives more feedback on status, provides links, etc.
  • Gestures / flicks - These are awesome. Gestures are pretty much just improved, but the intor of “Flicks” is very nice. Flicks are basically just specific motions that occur without touching the digitizer. Flick up in IE to move, scroll, etc. was a great demo!
  • New button “states”. Support for button hold actions, as opposed to just push.
  • Touch screens - Ian spent a good deal of time on using Touch with a passive digitizer. The big question there has been the error rate oif having a hand, etc. touch the screen while in use. When the digitizer detects the pen in “range”, it turns off passive digitizer response. Nice implementation, but we’ll see when general users start using it!
  • Vista wireless projection - Had demo issues, but it is a great idea and will be in Vista.
  • Mobility Center - Gret new tool that contains all the common functions that mobile users like to have handy. Volume, display, rotation, brightness, battery settings and level
  • Presentation settings - Nice new “mode” that allows you to give a presentation without popups, screen savers, etc.. A “Monitor Discovery Wizard” will find and configure the presence of additional monitors. Nice!
  • Blocked Shutdown Resolver - Nice handling of the ugly shutdown experiences we have now. MS has mad “significant investment” in more intelligent handling of hung apps, etc. to make this a better process for users. MS wants the default mode to be “sleep”, not shutdown.

Tablet Guy at MPB!

TG is here and listening! I had to get him his own seat. Actually, there is an entire room full of TG’s (Microsoft gave one to all attendees), but TG wanted you to know that he is really the one , the original, and the only REAL Tablet Guy!

(via Treo 650)

Rob at MPB!

Serious at MPB!

MPB - Robert Williams

Robert Williams is “The” Tablet PC hardware man at Microoft. Quick points:

  • Showing the direction of Tablet PC Hardware, as well as the exciting sales growth.
  • There is some very exciting hardware direction and machines coming out, so stay tuned for more on that as it develops.
  • Tablet at retail is going to be increased a lot soon. Best Buy in particular will have a greater Tablet availability soon.
  • Should me more “Packs” coming in 2006. These are small collections of applications for ink / tablet. More OEM’s are including these as preloads

As an MVP, there was not a lot I have not heard before, the difference is that now the info is not so NDA, and can be discussed. It is tough to try and summarize here for you, but we should have copies of the Powerpoint slides soon, and can give more detail when we have those.

MPB - Who is here?

Just a quick post here, but there is a great mix of people here. Hardware vendors, ISV’s, Community members (like me and Rob), etc. A really good mix. Examples:

  • Toshiba
  • Intel
  • DualCor
  • Tablet PC Talk
  • TheTabletPC.Net
  • Lockergnome
  • Motion computing
  • ActiveWords

Many, many more.... Great group, I’ll never get a chance to talk to them all!

Quick visual at MPB..

Just a quick pic of the venue!

(via Treo Smartphone)

MPB - “Windows Sideshow”

Windows Sideshow, and Windows Sidebar are concepts being introduced to supplement your laptop or notebook PC. Deisgned as an external display or even removeble device that contains application ability to give you a “quick view” of important data. In a demo of a prototype developed with ASUS, Microsoft showed how having this display can summplement the on the go lifestyle, while still using a full notebook PC.
To get the concept, picture having your laptop under your arm on the way to meeting an not remembering what room it is in. You simply press an external button on the notebook (with it’s power off and lid closed), nd scroll to your calendar. Or maybe you are in the car and need a phone number. Without opening and powering on the laptop, you can go to your contacts and do the lookup.
More later, but a nice potential concept in my view.

MPB - “Lifestyle PC’s”

Bill Mitchell introduced the concept of “Lifestyle PC’s”. The concept (and it is just that right now folks!) is basically a low price point, small “UltraMobile” PC that is meant to be the device that goes everywhere with you, and that you will not want to leave home without. Here are a couple of the goal highlights:

  • Price point - Ideally < $500 (yes...!)
  • Very portable (think smaller)
  • Wearable / Carryable (small, etc.)
  • LONG battery life
  • “Always on” , always online
  • Run full Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
  • Extremely durable
  • Full ink support
  • Pen and Touch input
  • A “10 inch” UI
  • Announcement coming in a month or so ...

This is an exciting space...., so stay tuned

Mobile Partner Briefing .. Day 1

Already had some good conversation this morning with Brian Foster from Toshiba. Rob and I playing with the M400 on the bus to Microsoft...

M400's to start shipping in the next week or so, but lots of orders!

I know people have been concerned with the integrated Intel 945 graophics, but..., the M400 IS Aero certfied! :-)

(via mobile phone)