"The only way to be truly satisfied, is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do." Steve Jobs
Once "inking" gets into your veins you will never be able to live without it. Frank J. Garcia

My Surface PRO 3 'Must Have' Accessories List

Monday, December 31, 2007

The top 5 UMPCs of this year

Selecting the best UMPC released in 2007 was not an easy task. In one hand you have few really good products and in another hand you have a year marked with products with poor performance thanks mostly to Intel's new processors and Microsoft's Vista. Taking in consideration all this, here is my list of best UMPCs of 2007:

5-Samsung Q1U - It was one of the first to be release with LED Displays, the first one to be released with a integrated keyboard, a fact that changed the Opinion on UMPCs of the specialized press which never understood the concept and usability of a slate UMPC.

4-Gigabyte U60 AKA Avox A65U1 - This UMPC became the best seller at todoUMPC in the last two month of the year. The low price of it, a integrated keyboard and the GPS Module sold with the device helped to position this UMPC in the best seller list despite some no favorable reviews published by specialized pages.

3-Everun by Raon Digital - a radical new design compared to it predecessor. An excellent battery life.

2-Asus R2Hv - the last of the Pentium M UMPCs. It's a fact that battery life is not that good in this UMPC compared to what we see in other UMPC using the Intel A110. But this device did a good job for those looking for "extra" performance. That and the fact that it has an integrated GPS made this UMPC a best seller. Unfortunately, Asus only had a limited amount of Pentium M so they made only a few them. It predecessor, the Asus R2H was also a best seller in 2006 and part of 2007.

1-OQO 02 - A excellent design that reminds me the Apple iPhone. The best cradle that I have tested. A performance hard to believe for a VIA processor.

The HTC Shift did not make my list because... where is it? It was supposed to be sold by now in USA but that never happened. Another good UMPC is the Kohjinsha SH8 but it's in my opinion a design that makes this device a little bit bigger than what I consider the optimal UMPC. The Fujitsu U810 was not included in my list because of it's poor performance in Vista and the really poor keyboard design. The keys location on this device is in my opinion the worse that I have seen in a long time.

Lets see now that brings 2008. Will Intel finally release a REAL processor? Will Microsoft finally optimize Vista? Will UMPC makers jump into the Linux Boat to release real low price UMPCs? Who knows...

JKK shows how to add a touch panel

I was on vacation last week and that explains why I missed this really useful post where JKK shows how he added the touch panel to his Asus Eee PC.

As  you can see, it's not something for everybody to do but if you know what you are doing is a relative simple process.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Kindle orders status

Amazon is shipping today orders placed in November 29th. They are exactly one month behind. My order status page still unchanged. That means that I should be receiving mine between January 13th to 15th. In the meantime I have been converting eBooks to Mobipocket format and downloading classics "No copyrighted". So for I have already more than 155 eBooks saved in a 1Gb SD card. I read probably 30% of them when I was a teenager so I'm planning to read them again.

Mobipocket Creator does a wonderful job creating eBooks and you can download some free books there too.

Playing games in the OQO 02

My experience with the OQO 02 could be categorized like positive. I have to say that I'm really impressed with how far VIA has gone from the first CPU installed in the already old v7110 from Tabletkiosk. The performance of those processors was really bad and left me  with a real bad opinion of them only comparable with my bad opinion about the Intel A110 processor.

The OQO 02 is a real enjoyable devise with a very elaborated finish. And its performance is more than enough for... playing some good old games.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Interactive Mirror

I'll show here today a mirror being developed by Phillips that I'm sure many of us will like to have installed in our bathrooms.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Everun with Wibro released

 20071226134615187A new version of the Everun was released in Korea according to news posted at Aving USA:

Raon Digital announced the launch of 'EVERUN Wibro(model:S60H Wibro' in Korea market. The EVERUN Wibro is a touched-up version of its previous model adding Wibro wireless internet module. The previous model used to connect a modem through USB port, but this one has built-in Wibro module and allows users to get subsidy from KT. The EVERUN Wibro has AMD LX900 processor and 60GB HDD. Suggested price is 799,000(KRW).

Wibro is what we know here in USA as WiMax. Should I say "we know"? Well, I hope that year 2008 will change the overall situation with WiMax in USA.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A UMPC in charge of the Entertainment

pc240009This Christmas I decided to do something different to animate the party: to use a UMPC. The reason why I decided that was because that gave me the possibility  to combine music and Video all coming from a small device easy to carry and set up. The UMPC had access to my network where I keep more than 4000 mp3 and had access to my Slingbox from where I could stream video from my Tivo. And my whole setup used a very little space in my gazebo another thing that was needed.



Friday, December 21, 2007

Amazon almost a month behind in Kindle orders

According to all the data that I was able to get from current Kindle owners, Amazon has not shipped any order placed for a Kindle after November 24th. From the data posted by owners at Kindle Korner Yahoo Group, the last owners to receive the Kindle got them on December 11th, so Amazon has not shipped a Kindle in more than 10 days! I contacted Amazon regarding this situation and all I got was the usual canned answer: They do not have any information about when more Kindles are going to be shipped.

It seems to me that Amazon was not enough prepared for this release and sellers at eBay are using this situation to have their units sold for more than 1000 dollars.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Once again, who is holding the price up?

Sometime ago Loren Heiny wrote a very good comment about UMPC prices and he was asking on it why the UMPC price was that high when it could be a lot lower. Well, today I'm going to show you a video of a Asus Eee PC, a subnotebook which price is $399. This subnotebook does not classify as UMPC because it does not have a touch screen but in this video JKK upgraded this device with a touch screen for just 60 dollars! So, why we do not see UMPCs for less than $600 dollars?

Who is holding the price up?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Did I say that I ordered a Kindle?

If I did not now I did. I ordered a Kindle. And people that know me also know what I mean. I ordered about a week ago but these 7 days have been to me like 7 months. Today I contacted Amazon to see if I could get from them a EST (Estimate Shipping Time)... God, I love canned answers!

Hello again from Amazon.com.

Unfortunately at this time we do not have a specific shipping or delivery date for your Kindle order.

Currently we do not have enough devices on hand to immediately fulfill the number of orders we have received, but we are working very hard to prepare and ship these orders as soon as possible.

We do not have access to information regarding the number of devices we currently have, expect to receive, or how many orders were placed before yours. Due to this, I am unable to provide a shipping estimate.

We'll certainly do our best to get your Kindle out to you as quickly as we can. You will receive an e-mail with an estimated delivery date as soon as we are able to fulfill your order.

We definitely appreciate your interest and I apologize for any frustration caused by this situation.

I hope you found this information useful. Our goal is to help you get the most out of your Kindle experience. If you need further information, please contact customer support at 1-866-321-8851.

Thank you for choosing Kindle.

Did you buy a Kindle after they ran out of stock? If you did it and already got it, how long it took to get it to your hand from the time when you put the order?

Wibrain unboxing!

My friend Steve from UMPCPortal.com just got the Wibrain B1 and of course, he posted a video of the unboxing process. A very interesting moment in that video is the comparison between the "almost good for nothing" keyboard of the Samsung Q1U and the keyboard integrated in the Wibrain B1.

Hugo Ortega is back!

P1060123Yeap, our Australian friend is back on business, this time he just got the Wibrain B1 UMPC so we should keep our eyes opened because he is preparing one of his crazy video reviews to talk about this new UMPC. That's for sure!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Amtek iTablet T221 caught on camera

This video comes from todoUMPC where you can find also a few pictures of this beauty, the Amtek iTablet T221.

VĂ­deo: Amtek iTablet T221 (www.todoumpc.com)

New UMPC from Tabletkiosk coming soon

After reading this news at Gottabemobile I contacted Martin Smekal, Tabletkiosk's CEO asking for a confirmation and here is what he told me about it:

Hello Frank,

Good to hear for you – I can only confirm that we have a new UMPC which will be released in Q-1 based on the new Intel Silverthorne (Menlow) platform.  This unit is a completely new in-house design based on feedback / research we have received from our customers and past unit designs we have shipped.

I’d be happy to discuss this unit in detail with you after our formal announcement at CES, but until then I can say no more then this…..


Martin J. Smekal
President & CEO
386 Beech Ave Suite B-6
Torrance, CA 90501

This is going to be the second time that Tabletkiosk releases a Intel Based UMPC, the first time was with the 7200 series which market life was extremely short.

What's the biggest disappointment of 2007?

According to PC World the biggest disappointment of 2007 was.... VISTA!

It's just that Vista isn't all that good. Many of the innovations the operating system was supposed to bring--like more efficient file and communications systems--got tossed overboard as Microsoft struggled to get the OS out the door, some three years after it was first promised. Despite its hefty hardware requirements, Vista is slower than XP.

To be fair, that's something that you should normally expect from any new Operating System. If you keep adding new more complex objects and animations into the OS it will become slower at some point. But that's not the main issue here. The complains come from the fact that Vista is 5 or more times slower than XP.

Now, that's the first disappointment of 2007 according to PC World - a magazine that I do not like too much, I should add. I'm gonna tell you now the 2nd big disappointment of 2007 according to me. It's..... ta da da... Zune Software! I never have seen a 2nd version with less features than the previous one. In my mind, I have embedded something that says that a Second Version of any software is or should be better and keep the features that everybody likes from the first version. Well, that's not the case with Zune software where everything that was useful and popular from the first version was removed in the second one.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bye Bye Jornada

It's time to get new gadgets and to do that I have to let go some of my old but trusted ones. My Jornada 720 is for sale in eBay. I'm selling it in one package with a extra battery, a charger and a WiFi Card.


Testing InkSeine in a Q1

InkSeine is a new program being developed by Microsoft for Tablet PCs and UMPCs. This ink notes saving programs is something between Journal and OneNote with one very useful new feature: the possibility to link files and web pages to your note.

To show you how all is done I have prepared this short video.

Testing InkSeine In A Samsung Q1 - The funniest videos clips are here

Friday, December 14, 2007

Amazon Kindle Disassembled

12b First of all, let me confess that I could not resist any more all Susan's news and notes about her Kindle. I placed an order for one. I still don't know when I'm going to get it. Second of all, I won't open it like these guys from RapidRepair, I checked their pictures and found that inside of it there is nothing that can be upgraded for something better.

RapidRepair has completed the new Amazon Kindle disassembly guide.  With the slicing and dicing complete, you need only look down to see the internals of the new Kindle from Amazon.

Zune for just $89.99

cosaIf you still looking for the perfect Christmas gift here is your chance to get something good and for an unbelievable low price. Buy.com is offering the Zune for $99.99 dollars, but if you get the Google Check-out set in your account you will receive an instantly $10 off from your first buy! Yes, I know that it's a refurbished Zune but I do not have any problem on that. In fact, to me a refurbished device is just a device twice inspected by QC.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Asus R2E naked

r2ed2If you are thinking about to buy the Asus R2E UMPC you may want to see these "semi-porno" pictures of this UMPC published today by JKKMobile. The bad news for those that like to do all kind of upgrades to these machines is that the Memory chips are soldered to the motherboard and there is not any empty or available slot for memory upgrades so "what you see is what you get".

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dell Latitude XT Tablet PC first pictures

Dell Latitude XT Tablet PC -2aLinda Epstein as posted at TabletPC2.com the first pictures of the new Dell's Tablet PC, the first Tablet PC coming from Dell, the Latitude XT Tablet PC. First of all, I'm glad to see that Dells after 5 years has knowledge the existence of Tablet PCs. I'm glad to see another company joining the competition though to be honest, Dell's Tablet PC lacks of innovation and it has a very poor design. It's like Dell thought that it was a good idea to put all the known features of all the existent Tablet PCs in one package and as result we have a ugly, bulky convertible Tablet PC. Did I also say expensive? Oh yeah, after adding all the available and possible features then you have a Tablet PC with a price tag of 2499 dollars. And according to them, it's targeting at education. Well, I don't know, as IT Manager taking decisions of what to buy, this price tag for that kind of Tablet PC is out of my mind so if the Education Field can pay that money I will have to go back to college because probably students are making more money than me.

Yes, Dell has entered the Tablet PC market to show us nothing new. Yes, Dell has entered the market with a Tablet PC that will have big problems finding that market.  Yes Dell, we need more Tablet PCs, but we need them to be affordable ($1500>), innovative, with a good exterior design and weighing less than 3 pounds.

Now that I said all this, let me end with a Welcome aboard Dell!

The Avox in pictures

As usual with any UMPC that I'm reviewing, here is the set of pictures that I have prepared for the Avox from Ruvo.


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Sunday, December 09, 2007

RIP Marc Orchant

I did not know him personally but I know about his job and love for these gadgets. Rest in Peace, Marc.

Update: 2:56PM Pacific Time December 9th, 2007:

It is with great sadness that I report that Marc Orchant, Husband to Sue, Father to Rebecca and Jason, and friend to so many, passed away just a short time ago. I was notified by Marc’s brother Craig.

His family and closest friends were at his side and his favorite music was playing. Craig said that Marc’s passing was as peaceful and easy as anyone could have hoped and he left this world surrounded by love from so many people that he couldn’t possibly have failed to know how many people cared for, appreciated and respected him.

Anyone that knew Marc also knew how much he loved music; especially the Grateful Dead. The excerpt below is from one of the songs that helped the family say goodbye to Marc and helped Marc move on to the next world. I talked to Marc almost every single day for the past couple of years. I’m sure that I’m not alone when I say that I am going to miss him so, so much.

To allow for people that may need to travel and take time of work, services are most likely going to be held this coming Wednesday afternoon at the Temple where the Orchants are members. I will provide more specific details as soon as they have been provided to me. Marc’s family expressed once again their gratitude for the outpouring of love and support that the technology community has shown in this very difficult time. Your warmth, concern and friendship will not be forgotten.

Marc Orchant Updates and Information | StarrTrek

Using a Avox UMPC as Navigation System.

Many people think that UMPC do not work well as Navigation System and one of the complains is that it takes a long time from the moment that you enter into your car and the moment when the GPS Software in your UMPC is ready to be used.

The following video shows a Avox UMPC being used as GPS Navigation System and you can see there how long takes to be ready to hit the Road if you are using such system.

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Friday, December 07, 2007

Trade in

I'm considering to trade my TabletKiosk v7110 with two extended battery, a 6 cells and a 9 cells, for ONE Amazon Kindles. My TabletKiosk v7110 is in perfect conditions, it was upgraded with a 100 GB 7200 RPM Hitachi HDD and 1 GB of RAM. The retail price counting these upgrades was more than 1400 dollars.

I have not decided firmly this deal, I'm still thinking about it, but I open to any thoughts, comments, subjection, etc.


Gigabyte U60, the inner secrets

For the first time, at least that I know of, pictures of a opened Gigabyte U60 (AKA Avox, Ahtec X60GT, Medion, etc) have been published in the web, and that's thanks to todoUMPC.com where the bad guys wanted to see exactly what was inside of this UMPC and what were the upgrade possibilities on this device.



In the first picture you can see the fan from LG and part of the isolation on covering the processor and the memory ships attached to the motherboard. The fan and isolation partially explains why this is the cooler VIA that I have tested so far.

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Cold season is here

How do I know that? You guessed. That explain why I have been so quiet lately. There are people that lose their appetite, in my case I lose my communication channel with my Muse. I read the news but I don't like any or I just can't quote them.

I  have to gain strength because I need to shoot a video about the Avox GPS receiver. The Avox is the perfect carputer. That's all I can say. 

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Praying for Marc Orchant

One of us is down, and the last thing we can do is pray. I'm re-posting this Rob's Bushway call, lets pray for Mark:

We are one tight-knit group of folks gathered around the Tablet PC / UMPC space. It is one reason why Marc Orchant's current situation has stunned us all. We've been following Marc's writings and listening to his podcasts for years, growing to know him more and more. Now, one of our very own is in a critical situation, and his family is in an immeasurable amount of pain. I know first-hand the impact and encouragement that a community can give as it rally's behind you in times of severe trial. When my daughter, Maggie, was undergoing chemo and multiple brain surgeries, the community gathered around us in some unbelievable ways, flooding the hospital with more cards than they had ever seen, and praying for us on a daily basis.

I'd like to ask all of you to join me, and many others around the world, at 1:00 pm MST today to pray for Marc and his family.  Knowing that we are gathered together at the same time, lifting up Marc and his family, will encourage you as well. Please repost this and pass the word around to as many sites as you can.

With this latest update from Sue Orchant, we have some definite things to pray for, and to be thankful for on behalf of Marc’s family:

In this past day we have seen some baby steps of improvement. He has some response to stimuli and his oxygen levels and heart rate have improved. I am guardedly optimistic. He still has not regained consciousness but we will take things minute by minute.

With you at 1:00 pm MST, Rob Bushway

OQO on rails

East Coast railway company CSX Transportation is using OQO 02 to inspect railway tracks according to an article published at Information Week.

"We wanted to go with something small and Windows-based," said Larry Biess, director of advanced engineering for CSX. "The biggest thing for us was, with the OQO we didn't have to develop new software for the handheld device -- we could just port over our existing applications from the desktop environment. It took a lot of pressure off of us."

Pocket PCs played a big role in mobile technologies a few years ago but today UMPCs are replacing them in most of the tasks. And the main reason is the above mentioned, there is not need to port any application to use them.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tweaks2K2 50% off coupon

A week ago I cut down the price of Tweaks2K2 to 5 dollars in a event that I called "Tweaks2K2 Black Day Event". The event was a success. But it left me with a bitter taste. I received many emails of people asking me after the event was over for a chance to buy the program at that price. And that made me think about how tuff has been life lately. The gas price going up and up, the real estate market going down and down. People loosing their houses... Sad, really sad.

So I decided to help a little bit by cutting down the price on Tweaks2k2, the biggest collection of hack for Pocket PCs that ever existed,the Pocket PC and Smart Phone Magazine Best Software Award winner in 2005, 2006 and 2007, from 15.50 dollars to 7.75 dollars.That's 50%.

To buy it at this price use this link and apply this discount code:   D172A5BB

If you are a webmaster, please post this news at your site.

If you have a friend that have not bought the program because it was expensive, please, let him know about this discount code.

The code will expire on January 1st, 2008.

Happy Christmas Everybody!



Monday, December 03, 2007

Third Annual Life on the Wicked Stage Ink Blot Awards

2007inkblotWarner Crocker is a MVP in the Tablet PC and UMPC category and that's why I feel so honored to be listed as one of the awardees of his Third Annual Life on the Wicked Stage Ink Blot Awards. To know that a colleague appreciate your work up to that point is the greatest honor than anyone can achieve.  

This year, in addition to honoring that passion for Tablet PCs and mobile computing, I'm adding some other categories to honor some other things and people that I find interesting or worth noting. As usual the rules for inclusion here are my own. Recognition here comes from things that strike my fancy or I think merit attention, praise, or ignominy. Some things are included just for the fun of it. Some are "best of breed." My good friend, Mark, "Sumocat" Sumimoto was the first to christen the Ink Blot Awards with the nickname, Blotties. I still can't afford to have a big celebration where we can all get blotto while celebrating the Blotties, but until then, have the beverage of your choice, kick back, and enjoy the Third Annual Life on the Wicked Stage Ink Blot Awards.

It was funny to read his note about me.

Best Unqualified Love for UMPCs: Frank "CTitanic" Garcia (wherever he is blogging.)

Thanks Warner!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Avox video review

every weekend I post a video at todoUMPC, my second cyberspace home, and this week was not an exception.

Video: Avox

This weekend video was about the Avox, a UMPC sold by Ruvo, a company that I want to thank for lending me this machine. The review has been translated to English to make it understandable to all our readers.

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