Friday, March 31, 2006
SyncToy and Total Commander work basically in the same way, you select two folders and you sync them MANUALLY. And I said that in upper case because that's where the system fails in my opinion; in one simple point: Nobody is going to keep track of when a Synchronization is needed and even if somebody try to keep track at some point the person could end with files updated in different ways in two different folders and probably without any possibility of mixing them.
FolderShare is really the best option but... Nobody is perfect, you need an Internet connection for this system to work! Why Microsoft makes thing sometime so difficult? Why the SyncToy team did not apply the same concept used in FolderShare but in an intranet environment? A program running in background checking and keeping synchronized two network folders, without any human intervention once the folder pair is created. In that way as soon as the UMPC device is connected to your home network the program will notice that and will sync the folder that just became available in your UMPC to it's pair in your Desktop PC.
Of course, we are talking here about file synchronization. Outlook synchronization is a whole different topic.
Reading the article I started to count how many times I have put my Pocket PCs in my pant pockets. Never. Why? Because they are not really "pocketable". I wont say that I have not heard of anybody carrying a Pocket PC in a pocket but I can say for sure that I have heard many times about displays broken because of that. So, are really the Pocket PC "pocketables". I don't think so. I liked better the terms of PalmSize PC and after that HandHeld PC. They represented better the reality behind these devices.
So, why is that that all those Origami retractors keep saying that Origamis are bad idea because they are not "Pocketables"? am I missing something?
I got to play with an Origami a few weeks ago and was impressed. I was mum on the topic cause I wasn’t sure how much I was allowed to say about it. Anyway, I want one and plan to get one for my home/kitchen/roaming pc scenarios.
Anyway, today I was waiting for my flight back to San Francisco when my father called. He was screaming on the phone to me that he wants me to order him one as soon as they are available. For a while I could not even make out what he was saying cause I wasn’t listening for it (it’s not a word you hear every day).
If my Dad knows what the heck Origami is, and called me out of the blue asking me to get one for him, I know it’s going to be big. This is very uncanny for him. He calls me and mentions stuff about Microsoft about once a year.
Omar is a developer and he has released recently a freeware that allows to send RSS feeds to OneNote, something that could become a MUST HAVE kind of program for many people.
Note: The sentence in bold shows what usually happens to MVPs, they know about cool stuff coming from Microsoft but they can't talk about it.
"The UMPC is smaller than a tablet, but bigger than a Pocket PC, thus it overcomes the Pocket PCs screen size obstacle, and the larger form factor of the Laptop and Tablet."
And I would add to this comment that they will come with a price right in between those two categories.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Hum... This reminds me something that uncle Bill said the other day..."What ever it takes... Microsoft will be behind it". Source Codes releases, SDKs, etc, etc, etc... Oh yeah, we will see Origamis everywhere soon, believe me.
One of the features that I like from Total Commander is it's capability of comparing folders taking in consideration even the file content. And it's not just comparing, it allows you to synchronize two folders with the latest information in both.
Update: Wow, a few minutes after I posted this comment I received an email from one of the Origamis sellers asking me this question:
Since you are an ubergeek (a term I use with much affection), I have a question to pose.
One of the most important things, IMHO, to the success of the UMPC as a device will be the ability to synchronize files with one's existing Desktop, laptop or tablet PC. My question: What is the simplest, most flexible, least expensive (in that order) software program that will allow this to be done?
Well, I was telling in MS Origami Team forum that this question is a MUST HAVE in any FAQ about Origamis. The answer is not that simple. I was mentioning Total Commander as a solution, MS Origami Team seems to like FolderShare, a new online service from Microsoft that still in Beta stage. Since I saw Paris Hilton pictures and contact book everywhere online I do not trust these kind of online services. Another program to test is SyncToy a beta from Microsoft that I have not tested yet. And finally some people believe that the final solution to this problem is going to be in Windows Vista.
- Page 19, dialkeys: "You can enter letters using the DialKeys by pressing a key on the screen with your thumbs while holding both of the lower corners of the computer with your hands."
- Page 107, tips for using your computer: "The LCD has a polarized surface and can be damaged easily. To prevent damage, avoid touching the screen."
Touch Screens are made to be touched!
You’ll know that Toshiba has a very strong partnership with Microsoft and will continue to push these boundaries to develop real productivity tools and easy to use consumer devices - said Matt Codrington (Toshiba Australia) and after that He added - "although a device like this is a possible extension of the next mobile platform, I’m not sure it meets a real need? Too heavy to carry in your pocket, and probably can’t be used for extended periods [outside battery life] with a 7” screen? So…I hope I’m not going to disappoint your readers when I tell you that although Toshiba is going to continue to be at the leading edge of technology there are no plans to bring an ‘Origami’ type UMPC device to market. Having said that things are always in the works……"
If you read our Yesterday comment about power it's not hard to imagine why Toshiba and Dell have decided to stay away from this project pushed by Microsoft and Intel. These two companies just are not ready for this challange. Plain and simple.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Leveraging an advanced shared memory architecture, the VIA VN800 integrates the VIA UniChrome™ Pro Integrated Graphics Processor (IGP) ensuring optimal performance for all multimedia, entertainment, and productivity applications. With an internal data flow equivalent to the latest AGP 8X graphics cards, a 200MHz 2D/3D graphics engine features dedicated 128-bit data paths for pixel data flow and texture/command access.
The 128-bit 2D graphics engine enables acceleration of high quality graphics features, allowing all productivity applications to run with the best appearance possible while not sacrificing system performance. The 128-bit 3D graphics engines features dual pixel rendering pipes for advanced 3D rendering, and is capable of two textures per pass with a triangle rate up to 4.5 million triangles per second, a pixel rate up to 200 million pixels per second, and a texel bilinear fill rate up to 400 million texels per second.
VIA Vinyl Multichannel Audio Suite: Delivering rich, warm surround sound at resolutions as high as 24/96 through up to six- or eight-channel outputs, the VIA Vinyl Audio 5.1 surround sound and VIA Vinyl Gold Audio 7.1 surround sound enables crisp, clear performance, representing the highest levels of audio quality in a mainstream integrated or onboard solution.
- » Full support for VIA C7-M processors as well as support for the latest Intel® Pentium® M processors
- » Supports 800/533/400MHz Front Side Bus Settings
- » Supports up to 4GB DDR2 or DDR Memory
- » V-Link 533 MB/s high bandwidth North/South Bridge interconnect
- » Full Featured Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) compliant with AGP 8X/4X
- » Integrated VIA UniChrome Pro Graphics
- » Optimized Unified Memory Architecture (UMA)
- » 200MHz Graphics Engine Clock with separated 128-bit data paths
- » 128-bit 2D and 3D Graphics Engine
- » Chromotion CE Video Display Engine
- - MPEG-2 Decoder
- - Video Deblocking
- - Adaptive De-Interlace
- - Full HDTV support up to 1080p
- » Two 8-bit Video Capture Ports
- » Three 12-bit Digital Video Ports for connection to TV out, Video Capture In, and external TMDS transmitter
- » Full Software support including Microsoft DirectX 7.0, 8.0, 9.0 and Open GL support
- » Support for VIA Vinyl Gold 8-channel Audio controller & integrated VIA Vinyle 6-channel Audio
- » Serial ATA support for up to 4 devices
- » Integrated V-RAID with RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1, and JBOD (SATA) support
- » Parallel ATA133/100/66 support for up to 4 devices
- » Support for up to 8 USB 2.0/USB 1.1 ports
- » Support for VIA Velocity Gigabit Ethernet companion controller & Integrated 10/100 Fast Ethernet
- » Advanced System Power Management Support including ACPI/On Now
- » Hardware Display Rotation
Yes, it supports Display Rotation, that means that if the eo V7110 does not include any software to rotate the screen sooner or later somebody will create such software.
Better screen panel technology is the key at the moment. They are inefficient and we will have to wait until new panel technology filters though into the correct price range. Battery technology is obviously important and again, the new technologies need to filter into common use before they are affordable. Miniaturization of components will help to reduce case sizes having the advantage that a 5” or 6” screen wont make it look like a toy. Processor technology needs improving and complete integration of CPU and co-processors is needed. Its going to be a game of cutting down here and there and waiting for better pricing on new technoligies.
Another point is that the device that is going to be sold in USA uses an Intel Celeron processor and does not include GPS. So after all this, the Samsung Q1 does not seem to me in any way better than the eo V7110 from TabletKiosk.
Unfortunately MobileWHack did not posted any link to FCC where I could check the veracity of this information though this was an expected move after all the Microsoft buzz around Origamis.
Update: Confirmed! Here is the FCC link.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
The eo V7110 is scheduled to ship to customer the last week of April (week of April 24th). The 1GB ram upgrade is a $265 option (from the base priced unit of $899), if you would like to have this option added to your pre-order please let us know and we will make the adjustment.
That means that the eo V7110 with 1 GB of RAM will have a price of 1164 dollars! If you want the 40 GB 5400 RPM HDD you should add 50 dollars more for a total of $1214!
Once again, in case you have noticed yet, TabletKiosk is taking orders for the eo V7110.
eo comes from Latin and means GO, no like somebody already told me that eo comes from Electronic Origami.
Monday, March 27, 2006
You can select between the Black and the White color and between 256 MB ($899) and 512 MB of RAM ($999).
In another hand Ultra Mobile PC has posted the following press release:
TabletKioskTM Introduces New UMPC Device eoTM offers exciting new opportunities for mobile computing users Torrance, CA, 3/27/2006
TabletKioskTM, a leader in Tablet PC and exhibit centric computing solutions, announces the much anticipated launch of their new Ultra Mobile PC, eoTM which will begin shipping the last week of April 2006.
eoTM represents the new generation of mobile computing. Measuring 9”W x 5.75”H x 1”D and weighing just under 2 pounds, eoTM is the most portable and convenient Tablet PC device for taking handwritten notes, accessing the internet, instant messaging, listening to music, viewing movies and playing games. eoTM enables you to connect, communicate and accomplish any task anywhere, any time, and be entertained and informed wherever life takes you.
eoTM, named for the Latin word meaning to go, advance, or progress, was developed to meet the ever-changing needs of today’s highly mobile individuals by combining the power and compatibility of the full version of Microsoft® Windows® XP Tablet Edition with a lightweight “carry-everywhere” hardware design. As part of Microsoft’s Ultra Mobile PC initiative, eoTM features enhanced touch-screen capabilities with handwriting recognition and a revolutionary new, on-screen keyboard. For convenience and efficiency, eoTM also offers a wide range of other input options including the enhanced touch-screen via stylus, stereo microphone with voice recognition, and hardware controls that are easily adaptable for left or right handed users.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Meet a large portion of the teams that make the Tablet PC and laptop/notebook features. We have a wide-ranging discussion from how to make battery life better (developers take note!) to new handwriting recognition features coming in Windows Vista.
It is true that most of these devices won't rotate but ultimately it is something the OEM could choose to support. Windows however doesn't exactly work great in a resolution like 480x800 so on devices that do rotate you need to expect a fair amount of usability issues if you play around in the UI too much. I can image a lot clipped screens, etc. in a portait resolution on these devices. It is true the LS800 rotates I belive in 600x800 mode, but you do run into various issues when running in that resolution.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Friday, March 24, 2006
I hope this is just in this prototype and that they wont sell the device without screen rotation. :(
Well, it is a PC, and for a lot of people, it will be their second PC. And I'm a total believer in the tablet - I think it will be totally mainstream. Whatever it takes, Microsoft will be behind it to make it better and better. If I'm critical of us, I'd say that making it easy to have multiple PCs [and having] your "state" just show up on those PCs - that's been partly holding people back.
The Origami - you want to take it to meetings with you but you don't want to think about syncing before you walk out to that meeting. [The information] should just be there.
So Michael Dell, you better jump into this boat!
Source: JKonTheRun, Builder AU
Thursday, March 23, 2006
The new page also shows a 3D look of the device.
The OS that is going to be installed in this device is the Japase version of XP Tablet PC Edition, that is telling us that this device will not leave the Japanese market.
Quote: Matt Codrington (Toshiba) is therein quoted: ...It will have Tablet PC functionality... and ...to use something that's smaller than a 7 inch screen all day every day is difficult... and ...the screen may support pen entry, but I wouldn't want to niche it into the current category of Tablet PC...
When Michael Dell was asked about Origamis his answer was "We don't support all what Microsoft does"
Many Pocket PC current owners willing to buy UMPCs were hoping to see Dell's reaction to this new concept because Dell sells the cheapest Pocket PCs in the market. Well, now we know the answer, Dells is out!
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
If this is the price that Samsung is thinking to use here in USA it seems to me that the whole Origamis Project for Samsung is going to be a huge failure!
This device has been sold in this Spanish Online Store since 2 month ago for the incredible price of 840 dollars!
It's running at 800 MHz, and with a resolution of 800x600. I have not found any other reference to this machine in any other place and I have to confess that this one sounds good.
Update: I found some info about the device in a forum (link 1, link 2). The maker is EliteGroup Computer Systems (ECS)
Update 2: If you still want to buy it, you can do it in USA here. Warning, this is not an Origami.
Size comparison with a DVD.
I believe that PPC owners are potential future buyers of UMPCs and it's always interesting to see what are their real needs.
The full text of this press release can be read here.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
When she was asked about Hexic Deluxe, another game part of the Education pack she replied "Hexic Deluxe works great. I just finished testing it out. It was so enjoyable actually that I got sucked into playing well after I had established it was "functional" on the Origami."
Another good news for Origami devices!
Sources: GeekZone, PocketPCThoughts
Such list will give all potential buyers a clear idea of what can be done or how can be used these new devices.
DyKnow is one of the leaders in interactive education.
It seems to me that Microsoft is having a hard time interiorizing that we don't need another iPod, what we need a real small and cheap(in bold) Tablet PC.
May be they [Microsoft] think that nowadays executive can afford a real Tablet PC. Well, that's true, but let me tell you a real life story. About 6 month ago the owner of the company that I work for asked me to buy him a Laptop. What was his main requirement? Weight! He wanted a Laptop around the 3 pounds limit! Executives and Businessmen don't want to carry 7 pounds around airports! And at the same time they don't want to pay around 2000 dollars for a companion PC.
Monday, March 20, 2006
We want more...!
Sunday, March 19, 2006
From that above picture you can see that the Smart Caddie, Tablet Kiosk V700 and now the T700 are the same device. Who is the original maker of this device? I can bet that we have found it: AMtek. You can read the specifications of the T700 here.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Friday, March 17, 2006
I would add to those 3 methods another that in my opinion is a faster and better way: using a USB Memory Stick! Now you can buy a 2 GB USB Stick for around 100 dollars or less.
After I opened IE to check out the browser experience, I installed Skype, MSN Messenger, Audacity, InkGestures, and the Music Composition Power Toy. Within a few minutes I was able to write, "Hello from an Origami," to my family and friends online. As I'm sure you can imagine the responses that I received were fairly excited. People asked, "What do you think? Are you using your finger or pen?" And, questions have continued through to right now.
I can use buttons, pen, or finger to navigate. Since I am proficient at using the pen on a Tablet PC already, I am trying to make a special effort to use the additional input methods. I'll give you an update tomorrow on how well I'm doing. So far, it's simple and straightforward.
More about UMPCs at Lora's blog here.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Yes, VS 2005 should install on the device if you're in at least 800x600. I just tried installing it in a Virtual PC image of XP running @ 800x480, and it shows a message saying I should switch to 800x600 before continuing. I changed the resolution, continued, and all appeared to be fine (note: I didn't complete setup, I canceled out after the wizard started).
Sears is a program mannager in Oragamis Team.
He also confirmed that: When you hit the change resolution (aka auto-scale) button to go into 800x600, it's 800x600. Same as if you went into the Display properties and moved the slider over a notch to 800x600.
Here are some of the most important questions that have been answered:
Will UMPCs be compatible with Vista?
UMPCs that meet the Vista hardware requirements will be compatible with the new operating system. We are beginning to test the new UMPC devices with the Beta versions of Vista to identify any compatibility issues.
What software is compatible with the UMPC?
In general, if a program runs on Windows XP, it will run on the UMPC as long as the device meets the program's minimum hardware requirements. The smaller screen size and resolution may cause some clipping on programs, but the units support increasing the resolution, which in most cases will solve the problem. Some manufacturers may include hardware buttons to give you quick access to different resolutions. Standard resolutions include, but are not limited to, 800x480, 800x600, and 1024x600.
Can I play Halo on this device?
Lots of folks saw the Digital Kitchen video that showed someone playing Halo on what looked like a UMPC. The video, which was intended for viewing by Microsoft employees only, showed our ultimate goal of running all Windows software on this ultra-mobile form factor. However, in this first release, youll probably be primarily limited to casual games.
A few days ago Gottabemobile.com published an interview with him that I think should be read by anyone thinking about to buy their UMPCs or Tablet PCs.
Here is a fragment of this interview:
"I feel the first challenge is to make consumers aware of the benefits of the platform rather then the perceived weakness. There has been a lot of hype/speculation around an instant on, 1024 x 768, 5-8 hour battery, GSRM enabled, sub 2 lbs solution that would cost $500 - reality will not be able to meet these expectations. This is the first generation of this platform, and as technology advances this platform will mature as well to a point we all hope will meet these lofty goals.
What has been developed and announced is amazing by itself - a true 900Mhz - 1.0GHz PC that utilizes the Windows XP Tablet extension set, has wireless capabilities and is under $1000 - before the UMPC was announced the closest you could get to something like this would be based on a 8.4" screen and carrying a price closer to $2000 - and people were raving about these units. When you consider how an average user might utilize the UMPC in their daily life to compliment their primary computer, you quickly recognize the value proposition is enormous."
I have contacted him about a few questions that I have and I hope that I can post back here his answers soon.
At the beginning of this month Gottabemobile published an interview with Scott Eckert where he did not answer a question about UMPCs. Two days ago he did it. If you want to know what he think about MS UMPCs click here and read the comments at the end of that page.
Later on in the same thread answering to another question I added: "Could be that the processor is no powerful enough for these two latest version of it [DirectX]. I don't know the answer to this question but I believe that the answer is relative to the hardware configuration in these devices. That's one of the reasons why I opened this thread. MS team knows about it but has not participated yet and I believe that the main reason is because their test devices have been reassigned to one more important area: Marketing!
Well, I should remind Microsoft that the earlier adopters of these devices are going to be no the "beauty housewife" neither the important "VP". The earlier adopters are going to be IT professionals and geeks and if they do not have clear how good these devices are, just few of them will risk their money in this first generation. These earlier adopters are the continuation of their marketing campaign; they are the ones that are going to post reviews (objective reviews) everywhere in the NET. I was talking yesterday with one guy from one of the online stores taking pre orders and he told me that they are having a hard time doing that, and it seems to me that the main reason is because the potential earlier adopters do not have a clear picture of what good these devices are going to be in the real world. The idea of paying 1000 dollars to do some browsing, show pictures and draw with Paint is not really appealing. We need to know more about practical uses for these devices. What programs have they tested, what are the limitations beside the screen resolution? How good the auto-scaling is? Can programs like Photo shop be used in a bigger resolution using the Auto-Scaling feature?
If MS team demonstrates us here how well these devices are going around some of the limitations that we can "guess" they have I really believe that they are going to see an explosion of units sold in this first wave.
I hope that they are reading these lines and learning from the real world what the market is expecting, something that could be far away from Otto's fantasies ;-) Now is the best time to learn from US real users what are our needs. "
If you are insterested to know if your favorite program works in UMPCs, please feel free to participate in that thread. It's the time to show Microsoft what the real market needs.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
The initial price posted at that site was 899 dollars for the UMPC with no memory neither HDD upgrades. I should point that the same day that Allegiance Technology (ALLTP) started to take pre orders at their site, TabletKiosk told JKonTheRun web site "that they have not confirmed dealer pricing to ALLTP so there is no way the prices on the ALLTP web site can be stated as final."
Despite all this, ALLTP has won a good reputation within the Tablet PC community and thanks to their Happiness Guarantee.
Update: I have been in contact with ALLTP since I posted this news and I received a note from them today saying that "people can call their toll free number to make a deposit if they want". As far as the initial price of 899 dollars, it has been restored back but... remember "pricing on units, memory and hard drive upgrades has not been finalized, but the numbers you see should be very close." I have to add that I'm very pleased with the quick responses I'm getting from these guys!
"Microsoft Watch editor Mary Jo Foley quoted the blog post Tuesday morning as saying "Yes, Vista will be released in November of this year." By Tuesday afternoon, however, the November date had been replaced by the "second half of this year" language."
Many news media have criticized Microsoft for putting the UMPCs in the market before Vista was released; and many potential buyers of these new devices are asking the same question over and over: will be upgraded with Vista when this one is released late this year this first generation of UMPCs?
Samsung Q1 in Samsung Website in UK
Samsung has officially posted the specifications and pictures of the Q1 intheir web page for UK.
It seems that MS was right saying that this device should be thefirst to hit the market in April. The point that it has appeared in UK site alsoconfirm rumors that this device will be released first in Europe and after thatin USA.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
According to Microsoft UMPC team blog, the Samsung UMPC could be the first one to hit USA Market in April.
“Samsung realistically will be the first units available to purchase in the US, most likely in April. I'm sure you'll see it posted here as soon as we find out they're available. Keep an eye out for availability of other units too such as Founder, ASUS, PaceBlade Japan and others.”
Monday, March 13, 2006
Let me try to prepare a list of UMPCs that have been announced and try to update the list with new comings.
- TabletKiosk v700 or eo V7110: This is the first preproduction unit to be reviewed by an independent web site. There is a web store currently taking preorders.
- PBJ SmartCaddie (This device looks very similar to TableKiosk v700, both devices use a VIA processor)
- Samsung Q1 : probably will be sold for around 1190 dollars according to some sources.
- Asus RH2: This one uses a Intel Celeron at 900 MHz.
- Founder Mr Mininote: A Chinese UMPC it comes with Pentium M and Celeron M. A complete list of models and possible prices can be read here. It seems that the maker of this device in reality is ECS: ECS H70.
- ECS H70: This one will be release in two versions, one with Pentium M and another with Celeron M.
Some of these devices look almost the same and it could be because Intel have been behind the whole design of UMPCs providing no only the processors that's the case of the Founder and ECS UMPC. The same applies to VIA devices like the v700 from TabletKiosk and the PBJ SmartCaddie. So far only ASUS and Samsung have designs that we could call unique.
ECS has announced a new UMPC in CeBit 2006 according to news published at Tech Digest.
This new device will be “Powered by a choice of either the Intel Pentium M ULV 1GHZ FSB 400MHZ with a 2MB L2 on-die cache or an Intel Celeron M ULV 900MHZ, FSB 400MHZ processor with a 512 KB L2 on-die cache, the H70 features a 7-inch WVGA TFT LCD touchscreen display and a "slip proof" to stop you dropping your new toy on the move.”