Tablet PC 2's News Archive's

March 2004

March 1, 2004

TravelMate's power not worth the weight
Sydney Morning Herald

Given the processing demands of the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition operating system, the original Tablet PCs were never going to be more than "look and see" examples.

Today, Intel's Pentium-M processor and its Centrino platform give more impetus to Tablet PCs by largely solving the issues of performance and battery life but, practically, do they work?

Acer has released its latest-generation TravelMate C300Xci Tablet PC featuring a 14.1-inch, 1024x768-pixel resolution TFT screen, 1.4 GHz PentiumM processor and a 60 GB hard disk drive. Rather than being a dedicated "tablet" design, this one can do double-duty as a tablet and a notebook PC by simply swinging and rotating the screen through 180 degrees. To ensure you get full notebook functionality, you get a QSI SBW-242 DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive as well. Acer's use of Intel's Centrino platform means you also get wireless LAN alongside the existing wired Fast Ethernet port. Overall business application performance is good - the C300 is one of the fastest notebooks Upgrade has tested and rivals most midrange Pentium 4 desktop PCs.

But if you consider the Tablet PC concept was also to enable users to hold the unit cradled in one arm while you wrote on it with the other hand, the C300 has a major drawback, and that is its weight.

The bottom line is that Tablet PCs need to weigh under two kilograms to make them a serious option. In the meantime, the TravelMate C300Xci is a fast performer but a tad heavy. 11:17 am

Air Force buys big batch of rugged portables
GCN.com

The Air Force is buying about 1,000 rugged Itronix Corp. wireless portable PCs to use for flight maintenance services.

The Spokane, Wash., company is providing the systems as a subcontractor to Telos Corp. of Ashburn, Va. Telos will configure the systems to sign on to virtual private networks carrying aircraft repair information.

The service will choose from three Itronix models, said Vince Menzione, public-sector vice president for Itronix. They are the GoBook Max, which lists for $5,000 to $5,500; the GoBook II, which lists for $4,000 to $4,500; and the GoBook Tablet PC, which lists for $3,000 to $3,500. 11:11 am

Windows XP Reloaded May Debut Before Longhorn
CMPnetAsia

Microsoft plans to release significant enhancements to Windows XP after Service Pack 2 and before Longhorn as part of a project known as Windows XP Reloaded.

The software giant confirmed a published report that there is a Windows XP Reloaded project under way, but the company has not decided how the functionality will be packaged or priced--if at all.

While details remain scant, analysts and observers say Microsoft is under pressure to ship something before the next major upgrade of Windows, code-named Longhorn, arrives to drive more Windows sales through the OEM channel and get more customers to sign up for Software Assurance. 11:08 am

Solar power comes in a more realistic package
Capital News 9

When you think of solar powered devices, chances are you think of those old watches and calculators you bought for a few bucks back in the '80's. But as our tech beat reporter Adam Balkin explains, the technology has been refined, and is ready to take on most of the 21st century devices you carry with you every day.

If you're a hiker or biker and don't want to stop to charge up, just do it on the way to your destination, with a specially designed jacket.

"With internal pockets, you could run actually a wireless network or personal area network within your jacket so a tablet PC, your iPod, and your mobile phone can be exchanging data. Problem is, you need power, so we basically integrated solar panels on the jacket, thereby providing perpetual power to your mobile devices."

There's a backpack version too. So now, you can charge that mobile phone no matter where you are on the planet. If only your wireless service could offer the same coverage. 10:58 am

PaceBlade Launches the PaceBook - World's First Tablet Notebook
Mobilemag.com

PaceBlade Technology announced today that the company will launch their new PaceBook into the European markets at CeBIT in Hannover, Germany, March 13-20, Hall 2 Booth C 60/1. The PaceBook is the world's first tablet notebook LCD PC, providing a powerful 3-computers-in-1 system. The product retails for under US$2,000.

The PaceBook functions just like any notebook computer and can immediately be used by anyone who uses a PC. Yet with a click on the unique Rotation Button it becomes the world's first notebook computer to operate in Portrait mode.

With its wireless keyboard, the PaceBook offers the user freedom to find the most comfortable ergonomic working position, curtailing problems related to Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI). An optional office stand gives the PaceBook the full functionality of a desktop computer while it can also used as a mobile notebook or as a Tablet PC in a position much like working with a pen and a notepad. The touchscreen uses either a stylus or finger touch input, or can be used via handsfree voice recognition.

To increase mobility and practicality, the PaceBook can easily be wall mounted, used on tripods, POS devices or in vehicles. It comes in a designer case and can be carried comfortably, thanks to a wide range of standard and customized carry straps.

Specifications: The PaceBook includes a Transmeta Crusoe processor, 128MB SDRAM (upgradeable to 640MB), 20-30GB HDD, CD-ROM (or DVD, CD-RW), and a 12.1" XGA TFT-LCD display with a touchscreen overlay. It comes with either Windows XP Home, XP Professional or Windows 2000. The PaceBook has full connectivity with USB, FireWire, VGA, LAN, modem, and PCMCIA. A number of optional accessories will soon be released, including a port replicator and a CCD camera. An optional stand turns the PaceBook into a fully functional desktop PC used together with a full-size keyboard and mouse. The PaceBook DVD-ROM can be used while sitting in a car, boat or airplane because it does not require an external power source. 10:55 am

March 2, 2004

Alias Continues Its Commitment to Education with Reduced Pricing on Alias SketchBook Pro Alias SketchBook Pro

Now Even More Affordable to Students and Schools Toronto, Canada – Alias, a Silicon Graphics Inc. (NYSE: SGI) company, announced today special educational pricing for Alias® SketchBook™ Pro, the sketching, annotation and presentation software for Tablet PCs and Wacom tablets. Following a restructuring of its education program in July 2003 to provide affordable and accessible Maya® and StudioTools® learning packages, Alias is now expanding the program to include reduced pricing on Alias SketchBook Pro for both students and faculty.

Free 15 Day Trial of Alias SketchBook Pro

Availability: Students and faculty in North America may purchase Alias SketchBook Pro from reseller JourneyEd at www.journeyed.com . To purchase the software as part of the education program in Europe, Middle East or Africa, please contact a local Alias Education Channel Partner or email Alias Education at ed_sales@alias.com . 9:11am

Cancer patients at a Memphis clinic use Tablet PCs to facilitate better communication with their oncologists
medicaltabletpc.com

A Tablet a Day...

At West Clinic in Memphis, Tenn., medications aren't the only kind of tablets being dispensed to patients. Three years ago, West Clinic began incorporating tablet computers into clinical care. The tablets, though, were not intended for physicians or nurses—they were for patients. Today the clinic's 10,000 annual cancer patients routinely use the latest in tablet computing technology—Tablet PCs.

The clinic's staff hand each patient a Tablet PC as soon as they arrive for clinical care. Patients first use the mobile hardware to complete a questionnaire about their physical and psychological symptoms, as well as supply or review basic demographic information.

Answers to the questionnaire are transmitted from the tablet over West Clinic's wireless local area network to a homegrown data analysis application that flags any unusual symptoms. The analyzed patient data then automatically is printed for physicians before they see the patient.

West Clinic's Tablet PCs also are loaded with physician-approved cancer education materials. Patients can read or view the materials while waiting for their doctor. What's more, the Tablet PCs offer Internet access so patients can explore other cancer research and information while they wait. Then, on their way into an exam room, patients return the Tablet PC to the clinic's staff.

In addition to aiding physicians with determining what they must focus on during each exam, Tablet PCs have helped deliver more customized care to patients, says Kelley Moore, R.N., a nurse who previously worked at West Clinic. Moore now helps patients use the Tablet PCs as part of her role at the clinic's indepen-dent patient advocacy organization, Supportive Oncology Services. 9:06 am

Infowave Releases Wireless Business Engine 4.6
Wireless Developer Network
PRNewswire

Infowave Software, Inc. (Toronto: IW), a leading provider of enterprise mobile applications (EMA), today announced a new version of its Wireless Business Engine, a robust middleware solution for accessing and deploying enterprise mobile applications. The Wireless Business Engine (WBE), version 4.6, adds increased security and calendar synchronization to support deployments of mobile applications across a variety of business operations, including email, personal information management (PIM) and calendaring as well as enterprise asset management and field service.

Infowave Software continues to demonstrate its commitment to application portability by including support for several new platforms including Windows 32-bit operating systems, for those mobile workers using Notebook or Tablet PCs on Windows NT, 2000 or XP. Infowave's Wireless Business Engine 4.6 is available today. For pricing information, please call 1-800-INFOWAVE. 9:03 am

Microsoft's Smarter Retailing Initiative Embraced By Leading Companies in the Food Retailing and Supermarket Industries
PRNewswire

Today at the Food Marketing Institute's MARKETECHNICS 2004 show, Microsoft Corp. announced that its Smarter Retailing Initiative, a comprehensive solutions framework for enabling the next generation of retail innovation, is being embraced by leading companies in the food retailing and supermarket industries. Microsoft also announced that both A&P and Smart & Final have deployed Microsoft-based, real-time retailing solutions to improve the flow of information and respond more quickly to changing business conditions.

Food Retailers to See Smarter Retailing on Display During FMI MARKETECHNICS 2004, being held Feb. 29 through March 1 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Microsoft technologies will be on display that cover the three key areas of Microsoft's Smarter Retailing Initiative: Smarter Shopping, Smarter Selling and Smarter Operations:

-- Accenture will be showing its Store Manager Workbench, which gives managers instant access to information on inventory, employee schedules and sales through a Tablet PC or personal digital assistant that takes advantage of the Microsoft Office System and Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003.

-- Microsoft's own Innovations Lab will be demonstrating how a Smartphone can be used in a grocery store, from the shopper's point of view and from the store's perspective, by offering the means to do some one-on-one marketing only found in e-commerce channels today. -- Trax Retail Solutions has two applications, SmartStore StoreWalk and SmartStore SweepTrax, that run on Tablet PC or Pocket PC platforms.

More details on the partners in the Microsoft Smarter Retailing ecosystem can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/smartretail/ 9:01 am

 

March 3, 2004

The Penabled Cross Executive Tablet PC Pen - Available Now!

Cross Pen

Click here to purchase

Initial results of Bentley's three-phase research on Tablet PCs indicate strong potential for use in academic and corporate environments
bentley.edu/news-events

Academic and applied research on Tablet PC usage since Fall 2002 at Bentley involves faculty, undergraduate and graduate students working with corporate partners to identify the market potential for this leading-edge technology.

The Phase II study, from September 2003 through July 2004, is designed to explore the full potential of Tablet PCs by placing them in participants hands for use during a period lasting between three and six months. This research, by Dean of Business and the McCallum Graduate School Margi Olson and Trustee Professor James Hunton compares both the attitudes and productivity of individuals using the tablet compared to others doing the same work using laptops or desktops in the corporate environment. During winter 2003-04.  11:04 am

Users want more tablet PCs
manufacturing.net

Users of rugged mobile computers expect their consumption of tablet PCs to significantly increase over the next three years, according to a new study by IMS Research . The firm's most recent survey confirms the trend that tablet PCs are becoming more widely accepted in the rugged, mobile computer market. IMS surveyed companies that purchase rugged, mobile computers and found that 17.6% expect to buy tablet PCs within three years, which IMS reports is a significant increase compared to current market penetration.

Although the tablet PC market is presently considered to be only a small piece of the overall mobile PC pie, IMS predicts strong growth in the transportation, retail, warehousing and distribution sectors, where tablets will likely take business away from the more established rugged, handheld PC market. 10:57 am

Synergistix Wins Prestigious Microsoft Developers Award for Sales Force Automation Solution for the Pharmaceutical Industry
Business Wire

Synergistix Data Solutions was named the winner of the Microsoft Healthcare Users Group (MS-HUG) 2004 award as the best enabling technology for the health care industry. Synergistix was selected for C.A.T.S. (Call Activity Tracking System), its automated sales tool for the pharmaceutical industry. The system allows pharmaceutical reps to better manage sales calls by receiving updated market intelligence about physicians, as well as the drugs they prescribe.

Selected from a diverse field of entrants, this award is a significant milestone for Synergistix. "When we started building this solution, we decided to focus on the health care industry," said Don Schenker, CEO of Synergistix Data Solutions. "We felt that highly specialized applications, based on Microsoft technology, would best serve our customers' needs. This award validates our approach," added Schenker.

"C.A.T.S. delivers territory and competitor data directly to portable field devices," continued Schenker. "It then allows the rep to document daily activity and relay the details back to sales managers via secure transmissions over the Internet or computer networks." Easy navigation and intuitive screen designs make C.A.T.S. a sales rep friendly system. The system works with almost any hardware and is supported on all Windows platforms, including Windows XP, Pocket PC, and Tablet PC.  10:46 am

March 4, 2004

Mindjet Releases MindManager X5 Pro 5.1 to Provide Tablet PC Support and Enterprise Application Integration

Mindjet today announced the availability of MindManager X5 Pro Release 5.1. This latest version is the platform on which Mindjet will deliver, with partners, XML-enabled enterprise productivity solutions. The first solution, to be released shortly, integrates with Salesforce.com. It will improve sales professionals' ability to quickly identify and overcome barriers to closing sales. The 5.1 release also underscores Mindjet's commitment to mobile computing by making Tablet PC and Pocket PC support a standard MindManager feature.

MindManager X5 and X5 Pro Release 5.1, compatible with both desktop and Tablet PCs, is free for current MindManager X5 series customers at www.mindjet.com. Physical product will be available beginning March 10. New customers can purchase MindManager X5 Release 5.1 for $199 and MindManager X 5 Pro Release 5.1 for $299. The new MindManager X5 for Pocket PC is free to current MindManager Mobile users and otherwise available for $49.  8:23 am

AlphaTap Software for TabletPC's

AlphaTap is a pen-based typing app for Tablet PCs which leverages the skills and natural motion of handwriting and applies previously untapped research into pen-based input.

With a week of regular use (and no special training) you'll be typing faster on your tablet and with less fatigue than possible with either handwriting or the on-screen QWERTY keyboard.  8:20 am

Microsoft Research Shows Off Tomorrow's Technology Today
Windows & Net Magazine

Since 2001, Microsoft has held an internal event each year called Microsoft Research TechFest, at which the company's researchers show off upcoming technology to employees, hoping to excite and inspire them about the future. At this year's TechFest event, Microsoft Research demonstrated a wide range of technologies ranging from consumer- and programmer-oriented computer tools to an HIV tracking system that might eventually lead to a cure for AIDS. Like previous TechFest events, this year's event was held at the Microsoft campus in Redmond , Washington .

Other demonstrated technologies include photo editing software that can automatically pick out the best shots in a sequence of similar pictures, and a tiny camera called SenseCam that is worn like a pendant and automatically captures events throughout the day and then stores those images in a digital diary. SenseCam stores 2,000 images in a 12-hour day, Microsoft says.

Each of these technologies will be incorporated, in some way, in Windows Longhorn, or other future Microsoft products. Past products that came out of Microsoft Research include the Tablet PC and the SPOT Smart watches, the latter of which launched earlier this year at CES 2004.  8:18 am

Alias Reduces Student Pricing for SketchBook Pro
Ten Links

Alias, a Silicon Graphics Inc. (NYSE: SGI) company, announced today special educational pricing for Alias® SketchBook™ Pro, the sketching, annotation and presentation software for Tablet PCs and Wacom tablets. Following a restructuring of its education program in July 2003 to provide affordable and accessible Maya® and StudioTools® learning packages, Alias is now expanding the program to include reduced pricing on Alias SketchBook Pro for both students and faculty.

Alias SketchBook Pro provides the latest in accurate digital sketching technology for industries such as industrial and product design, architecture, computer graphics, animation, game development and fashion design. Students looking to break into these industries can benefit from combining tools like Alias SketchBook Pro and a Tablet PC or Wacom tablet to hone their skills and develop a portfolio of exceptional creative work.

Students and faculty in North America may purchase Alias SketchBook Pro from reseller JourneyEd at www.journeyed.com . To purchase the software as part of the education program in Europe, Middle East or Africa, please contact a local Alias Education Channel Partner or email Alias Education at ed_sales@alias.com 8:14 am

March 5, 2004

Course improvements equal good racing
Monterey County Herald

Ganassi runs three Nextel Cup teams and two in the IRL IndyCar Series. While each team is competing with the others (as well as the rest of the field) for the race win, there is also a great deal of shared data to make all faster and more efficient. Previously, communication was via cell phone and hand-written notes passed back and forth on pit road.

The atmosphere on pit road during practice and race conditions is not exactly conducive to communication the old fashioned way.

Sharing data between the two or three DGR pits also used to be a slow manual process. The engineers tried to talk on the cell phones -- which was difficult because of the noise of the track -- or they wrote messages on paper and had them hand-carried to the other pit."

The solution? Wireless tablet PC communication with handwriting recognition capability.

Microsoft developed a custom Windows XP Tablet PC application. Syntel is a global provider of custom outsourcing solutions. The two worked together to develop the capability for the engineers to write on Tablet PCs, have the hand-writing converted to text for direct entry (by wireless communication) into the team data systems, and send the notes to other team members instantly for their use.

"Quickly sharing driver feedback and information on car adjustments between our pit crews is giving our teams a jump on the competition," Paxton said. "As we go from race to race, we have much greater opportunity to take advantage of lessons learned in previous races and to transfer this knowledge throughout our organization."  9:57 am

Internet Fax Desktop Solutions
Internet Telephony Magazine

Venali's Internet Fax Desktop Solutions is one of the leading Internet fax offerings that features e-mail-to-fax, fax-to-e-mail, and even Web-to-fax capabilities.

Another option is Venali's Internet Fax for Windows — a plug-in for the Microsoft fax service, that allows you to use the Microsoft fax client (the printer driver that is part of this) along with the Venali Network for fax delivery

Other features include: Integration with Office Document Imaging (and the built in OCR engine), full tablet PC support, cost calculation within the Outlook fax send screen and automatic “junkfax” filter support  9:53 am

Tablet Evolution Software

Abasoft has released its Tablet Evolution software package. Specifically designed for the Tablet PC, this digital ink software is for note taking, information collecting, organizing and encouraging the creative thought process. Related thoughts and information can be collected and linked across different journals, drawers and web sites. The software is available for free download from www.tabletevolution.com

Keep your notes in all digital ink or as a mixture of ink and text. Menu shapes, menu color and position makes remembering functions and features much easier when using your pen rapidly on a tablet.

What are some of the other interesting abilities: There is approaching and hovering pen sensing, pen shake function changes (ink to erase, ink to lasso), transparency (allows you to see the windows desktop underneath), user designed backgrounds (forms). Larger buttons, fonts and text enhances your screen viewing on these mobile tablet computers. How about floating and automatically disappearing menus, shapes and color instead of small icons and text, pen hover sensing, panel transparency, information linking, boolean searching and the list goes on.

For the software designers at Abasoft, it was almost like a dream come true when the Tablet PC became a reality. As dreamers, they were eager to break new ground away from the venerable desktops and laptops. This absolutely amazing platform allows everyone to enjoy Star Trek style mobility and function. This emerging trio of digital ink, light-weight computer platform and WiFi is allowing the future to arrive and this software offers a user interface that is truly an Evolution.

Abasoft: Is a software design house that believes the Tablet PC is the next step in the evolution of software and mobility. The Tablet Evolution software package is a free download from www.tabletevolution.com  9:51 am

March 8, 2004

Pen&Internet Releases riteForm 2.0, an Advanced Recognition Solution For Handwritten Forms on Mobile Devices
PRNewswire

Pen&Internet(R), LLC, today announced the immediate commercial availability of riteForm(TM) 2.0, an advanced recognition solution for processing handwritten forms on mobile pen-enabled devices, including electronic pen and paper, Pocket PC, Tablet PC and Windows CE tablets.

Key new features:

* Improved recognition accuracy: Provides highly accurate and unrestricted recognition of forms with Pen&Internet's advanced handwriting recognition technology.

* Custom dictionary builder: Developers can create custom vocabularies from individual word lists via Pen&Internet's lexical utility (available for riteForm Local SDK).

* New platform support: riteForm is now available both remotely and via device-based recognition for Windows (including Tablet PC, Ultra Personal Computers and other devices with pen input), Pocket PC and Windows CE tablets.

* Additional developer tools: Provides user-friendly tools for application development of electronic ink and handwriting recognition. Allows developers to save and visualize electronic ink for debugging and troubleshooting purposes.

* Enhanced language support: Now available for German.

Product availability: riteForm Local SDK and riteForm Remote SDK for developing forms processing applications are available for Windows 98/2000/XP/XP Tablet PC Edition, Windows Mobile (including Pocket PC 2002 and 2003) and Windows CE 4.X. riteForm is shipping with over 40 vocabularies, covering the most common forms fields. riteForm is available for a one month free evaluation and for commercial licensing. Interested parties are invited to email: info@penandinternet.com about evaluation and commercial licensing terms.  

Please visit http://www.penandinternet.com for more information  9:31 am

ViewSonic PC V1250 Windows XP Tablet Edition OS
PDA Buyer's Guide

Second generation Windows XP Tablet models represent a vast improvement over manufacturers' first efforts. Take the Viewsonic PC V1250, which blows away most first generation tablets we've reviewed. It's got a fast Centrino processor while first generation models had aging Pentium III processors, and a much sharper, brighter display. If you're considering an XP Tablet model, the V1250 should be on your short list. We received the V1250 Bundle package which includes a docking station, two chargers, two batteries, two styli (with erasers) and an external IEE 1394 FireWire DVD/CDRW drive.

While ViewSonic's first XP Tablet, the PC V1100, has a slate design, the V1250 is a convertible model.

The V1250 weighs 3.9 lbs and is reasonably compact. XP Tablets need to be light and not too large because they're intended to be carried around like pads of paper, and the ViewSonic manages to stay within the comfort range in terms of weight and size.

Pro: If you're in the market for a Windows XP Tablet, the attractive and intelligently designed ViewSonic V1250 is a winner. The fast Centrino processor, full set of ports, good wireless performance and excellent display by Tablet standards are strong selling points. The convertible design makes the unit versatile and at under 4 lbs. it won't weigh you down. The reasonably priced bundle adds a lot of value and allows you to turn the V1250 into a desktop machine. Con: You'll want to upgrade RAM because 256 megs means the machine won't run at optimal speed.  9:25 am

DICOTA ME launches new concept to 'Mobile Computing'
AME Info

Two new cases in Start.Up and Start.Off is the all new addition designed specifically for Tablet PC users.

For those who prefers large screen notebooks DICOTA has carry solutions in the Multi Trend 16', Multi Trend 17' and Multi Trend 18' cases designed in particular to house large notebooks. Another valuable addition to the DICOTA stable is the Back Pac Rain which is targeted at the younger generation & comes in two colors - Blue & Brown. Back Pac Rain comes with attached water repelling rain cover that can be used to protect the Notebook from dampness & also has a neat side opening for earphones for mobile, music players etc.

14 upgraded models have also been added in the past two months. Juice Set 1 and 2, which has been rated 4 stars and termed as the 'most unique product' by PC Magazine last October, has an upgraded model in Juice set 3 which will see it pushed to even higher levels of quality innovation. http://www.dicota.com  9:22 am

March 9, 2004

Kontron Mobile Computing Expands ReVolution(TM) Rugged Notebook ...
PRNewswire

KONTRON REVOLUTION LINE OF RUGGED NOTEBOOK PCS
Kontron Mobile Computing has expanded its ReVolution line of rugged notebook PCs to include entry-level systems as well as models including advanced features such as a sunlight-readable TransRadiant display, convertible displays, touch screens, and wireless capabilities. The ReVolution T Series is a Tablet PC notebook with a convertible, digitized touch screen display and other advanced features. Call +1-888-343-5396 or visit www.kontronmobile.com.

All ReVolution models feature the Intel (R) Pentium (R) III Processor M at 1.06GHz or higher, a 40GB shock and vibration resistant removable hard drive (higher capacities available), a three-year warranty, two battery bays or one drive bay, 10-24VDC power input, and magnesium alloy construction built and tested to Mil-Std 810F and sealed to Mil-Std 810F specifications for use in the field and in harsh environments. All support Windows 2000 and XP operating systems, with the exception of the TPC Edition, which supports the Tablet PC operating system.

the ReVolution T Series, featuring model TPC, a Tablet PC notebook with a convertible, digitized touch screen display and other advanced features, designed for applications such as handwriting recognition and remote field data entry.  8:39 am

Agilix GoBinder(TM) and Agilix Mobilizer(TM) Extend Blackboard Learning System(TM) for Offline and Mobile Student Use
PRNewswire

Agilix Labs, Inc., a leading developer of mobilized software, announces the availability of Agilix GoBinder, a smart-client, student-focused application that provides a unified system to manage the rigor of school, including tracking assignments, taking and managing notes on a laptop or Tablet PC, preparing for tests, and increasing learning. Agilix also announces the pilot availability of Agilix Mobilizer for Blackboard, a Blackboard Building Block®. Agilix Mobilizer extends student use of Blackboard Learning System into offline-use scenarios so students can access and use Blackboard content in on or off-campus settings where an Internet connection is not available. Used in conjunction with Blackboard, Agilix Mobilizer and GoBinder provide an integrated solution that increases student learning.

Agilix GoBinder helps students organize classes and schedules, manage assignments, take and store notes, search for information, and share notes with their peers. GoBinder puts everything students need to succeed into a single system, providing comprehensive organization and personalization. GoBinder puts students in control of the learning process so they are prepared with the right answers for quizzes, reports, classroom participation, lectures, tests, and more.

More information and a 30-day trial version of GoBinder are available at www.gobinder.com . GoBinder can be purchased online at www.gobinder.com for the introductory price of $49.95 through March 31, 2004. Standard pricing is $99.95. Quantity pricing, including campus-wide licensing, is available by contacting Agilix at sales@agilix.com .   8:15 am

Fingerprint Biometrics Could Be a Boon for ASPs
E-Commerce Times

New technologies indicate it might not be long before software and hardware providers join forces to protect subscriptions through an alternative to passwords: biometrics.

Tatung's biometrically enabled tablet PC, the Tangy 910, is distributed mainly to workers in the healthcare and education sectors, where protection of sensitive records has become a privacy imperative.

Companies that are serious about curbing abuse of their ASP subscriptions could easily solve the problem by outfitting their desktop hardware with biometrically enabled peripherals. However, most firms probably will wait for software industry associations to get more serious about this issue -- and for a few ASP users to get slapped with fines for password abuse, in much the same way that companies didn't get serious about software piracy until their contemporaries were fined. 8:12 am

TMC300 series: Acer's perfect digital writing pad
ITWeb, South Africa

Acer 's new TravelMate C300 convertible Tablet PC (TMC300) offers users all-day battery life, a swivel 14.1-inch XGA LCD screen, a full size keyboard, integrated gigabit LAN networking functionality and a host of connectivity options to suit power users' needs out of the box. "The size, performance and features of the TMC300 will be attractive to a broad set of customers looking to take advantage of the latest mobile wireless technology,"

"The Acer TravelMate has been designed for users looking to integrated the advantages of convertible Tablet PCs, including switching between typing on the keyboard and writing directly on the screen with the included EMR pen, while maintaining a commonly found form factor,"

The TMC300 incorporates up to a 60GB ATA/100 removable hard drive and the hot-swappable AcerMedia bay. The latter enables data access on a variety of media, including a DVD/CD-RW combo drive or a DVD-Dual drive, and the insertion of a second battery for a maximum eight-hour battery life.

Preloaded with Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition operating system and weighing just 6.2 pounds, the TravelMate C300 provides the freedom and flexibility mobile users enjoy from full-sized notebook systems. 8:10 am

Toshiba Announces Availability of the Portege M205 Tablet PC
Business Wire

Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD) today announced retail availability of the Portege(R) M205 tablet PC notebook with improved wireless connectivity using Wi-Fi (802.11g) and increased storage capacity offering a standard 60GB hard disk drive. These are two new features added to the original Portege M205 announced in November 2003.

Like its predecessor, the Portege M205 works as an everyday notebook computer, but includes an innovative display that rotates and folds back for convenient information viewing and sharing, and offers a choice of data input modes such as typing, writing or speech. Mobile professionals, students and other consumers can handwrite meeting or class notes directly into the Portege M205, eliminating the need to carry organizers or notepads. The unit also offers full features like a dual axis accelerometer allowing users to manually tilt the tablet up or down, for scroll-type functionality; a choice of data input modes such as keyboard, writing and speech recognition.  8:03 am

Future of News Delivery
ComputerWorld

In the 2002 movie Minority Report , a passenger on a subway train gets constantly updated news on a flexible, translucent, portable flat-panel device that he carries with him.

Although the movie takes place in the year 2054, this vision of the future of news delivery may be closer than we think

The buzzword for the future, no matter what platform, is interactive multimedia , which both represents user control as well as the multiple forms of media incorporated into a single format," Gordon says.

"So imagine a Sports Illustrated , when you're reading it on your Tablet PC, and you click on the still photo of a close play at the plate, and you'll see the video of the close play . . . and see it actually unfold in front of you," 7:47 am

March 10, 2004

Mindjet Announces March Madness Contest: Pick the Winning Teams and Win an Acer Tablet PC
Yahoo News

Mindjet today announced its March Madness Contest, with a grand prize of a new Acer Tablet PC. Beginning Monday, March 15, college basketball fans can go to http://www.mindjet.com/us/finalfour/ , download a free trial copy of Mindjet's MindManager software, and fill out interactive brackets with their tournament picks. Once they have mapped out their perfect tournament, contestants submit their completed brackets to Mindjet by midnight on Wednesday, March 17. After the tournament ends on April 5, Mindjet will award an Acer TravelMate C300 to the person with the highest accumulated score of correct picks.

"Mindjet's MindManager X5 Pro Tournament Tracker lets sports fan create their own digital March Madness brackets," said Mindjet U.S. marketing manager Katy Colletto. "Fans can automatically refresh the brackets each day to see actual game winners and how their favorite teams are doing. And they can use the brackets to compare their predictions with friends. Tournament Tracker is a great way to follow the March Madness." 

The winner's Acer TravelMate C300 Tablet PC will come loaded with Mindjet's MindManager X5 Pro software, a 14.1" display, full-size keyboard, on-screen centralized controls, and Intel® Centrino(TM) mobile technology. 9:30 am

Fujitsu Siemens Computers and ANNEX present style on the move with latest Tablet PC
ITWeb

ANNEX Distribution , through its international partnership with Fujitsu Siemens Computers , has added a new product to its existing mobile PC portfolio in the form of the Stylistic ST5010 Series Tablet PC. The series, available in four versions, is powered by Intel Centrino Mobile Technology for network and Internet connectivity and literally places full-featured PC technology, including all standard Windows applications, at the user's fingertips. Designers have focused on convenience for the mobile user and key features include sleekness in presentation, extended battery life, and the pen-based natural interface.

"At 2.1cm thick, almost A4 in size and an average of 1.54kg in weight, this robust tablet PC is built to make life simpler for the mobile worker. A portfolio case and wireless keyboard transform the Tablet PC into a laptop computer. The Tablet Dock also provides full desktop functionality. Fully featured communications, built in modem, wired LAN and wireless LAN, offers connectivity anytime, anywhere," explains Bill Gradwell, General Manager at ANNEX Distribution.

The Stylistic ST5010 Series Tablet PC comes with a choice of transmissive indoor or reflective outdoor/indoor viewable display. 9:28 am

Fusion Business Solutions (UK) Ltd. Selects Mobile Reach to to Provide Enterprise Grade Mobility
PRNewswire

Mobile Reach International, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: MBRI), a product and services company focused around mobility, announced today that Fusion Business Solutions (UK) Ltd., a market leader in delivering Service Management solutions, selected Mobile Reach to provide the mobility solution for a mission critical field audit and assessment application they are delivering next month to one of the worlds largest media and advertising companies.

In the process of solving a key business requirement for their customers Field Health and Safety Application, Fusion Business Solutions identified the need for a fully functional application running on a Tablet PC in an offline or online mode to support remote users. The mobile application created was required to provide an easy-to-use interface for a limited number of field employees to conduct initial site assessments for over 30,000 field assets in a limited amount of time. 9:26 am

Socket show cordless scanner and modem
InfoSync

Socket have announced a new range of Bluetooth wireless peripherals, to be showcased at CeBIT this month. These include a cordless 56K modem, the first battery-powered modem to use Bluetooth. It claims a range of 100 metres and a rechargeable, removable Lithium-Ion battery. It connects to any Bluetooth device that supports the Dial-Up Networking profile, including Pocket PCs and Palm OS PDAs, as well as laptops.

The company have also unveiled a Bluetooth Hand Scanner, which scans barcodes and transmits the data to a range of devices via Bluetooth, includig Palm OS, Pocket PC, Tablet PC, Symbian OS and standard PCs.  9:23 am

Wireless PCs let health organization make referrals faster in field
Chicago Sun Time

A Chicago health care provider is using its new database and computer hardware to help sick people get the services they need -- online and in near-real time.

Access Community Health, which operates 42 clinics in the region, has started doling out wireless tablet PCs to case managers so they can access the database and refer people to medical care or other help while they are out in the field. 

Here's how it works: After encountering someone who needs help -- such as substance-abuse counseling -- the case manager types into the PC the person's vital information, answers 22 assessment questions and instantly refers the person to an appropriate agency.

The agency gets paged with the electronic referral, and the person at the other end of the page either accepts or declines the referral

"We are really helping the clients, who used to get frustrated, sitting there for hours and hours with a critical need like emergency shelter," said Abraham Miller, information systems manager for Access Community Health's Technology Opportunities Program. 9:16 am

March 11, 2004

Alias, Microsoft, Intel, PC Mall, Acer and Wacom Wrap Up the First Ever
Expose Yourself
Contest

Toronto, Canada - March 11, 2004 - Alias, a Silicon Graphics Inc. (NYSE: SGI)
company, today announced the grand prize winners of Expose Yourself, the
contest for illustrators and designers who produce their digital creations
using Alias® SketchBook(tm) Pro software and a Tablet PC or digitized tablet.
An intuitive, pen-based application, Alias SketchBook Pro extends the
capability and versatility of a digitized tablet or Tablet PC by transforming
it into a digital sketchbook. Digitized tablets are revolutionizing the way
creative professionals work offering more control and power, inspiring new
ideas and creations. Tablet PCs offer increased productivity and complete
creative freedom by allowing users to sketch, paint, annotate and present
their work any time, anywhere.

And the Winners Are...
The following designers and illustrators battled through three months of
competition to receive top Expose Yourself honors:
*     Bob Chiu, grand prize, Illustration
*     Vince Galante, grand prize, Design
*     Blake Loosli, second place, Illustration
*     Ben Assefa, second place, Design
*     Mark Behm, third place, Illustration
*     Scott Chin, third place, Design


To view the winning images and the hundreds others submitted in the contest,
please visit www.sketchbookpro.com /contest  1:05 pm

Mobile Reach Signs Contract With UK Firm for Tablet Wireless Application
Local Tech Wire

Mobile Reach International has signed a contract with Fusion Business Solutions in the United Kingdom for a mobile enterprise product which it will run on a table PC.

Mobile Reach said Fusion will use the application “for a mission critical field audit and assessment application.” Its customer is described as “one of the world's largest media and advertising companies.”

Fusion said it needed the mobile solution for its field health and safety application 9:58 am

Toshiba Revamps Satellites, Tablet
PC World

Toshiba has released three new notebooks in its Satellite line, all targeting price-conscious shoppers, and has updated its Portege 205 Tablet PC.

Toshiba expects the multimedia-oriented Satellite M30-S350 to retail for about $1600. The estimated street price for the low-end A10-S100 is $1050. The A40-S161, which Toshiba is touting as a desktop replacement, is expected to sell for $1180. The Portege M205 Tablet PC will command a considerably higher price, $2500.

Tablet Revamped

The Portege M205 extends the M200 family, which was introduced last fall . The new version incorporates two primary improvements: Its hard drive has grown from 40GB to 60GB, and its built-in WiFi support now meets the 802.11g standard.

In all other respects, this is the same machine. It can be used as a regular notebook or--after the user rotates the screen and lays it flat with its back against the keyboard--as a tablet. At 11.6 by 9.8 by 1.3 inches (1.5 inches if you count the little rubber feet), it's reasonably comfortable to hold in one arm while you write on it with your other hand (though you won't mistake it for a pad of paper). It comes with a 1.5-GHz Pentium M processor, 512MB of RAM, and NVidia graphics.

According to Toshiba's numbering scheme, the third digit of the product's name refers to its distribution; the 205 is marketed in retail outlets, while models whose names contain the number 200 are available directly from the manufacturer or from resellers. 9:41 am

March 12, 2004

PDA Buyer's Guide has the following Windows XP Tablet PC reviews:

ViewSonic V1250

Acer C100

Toshiba Portege 3500

Gateway

ViewSonic V1100

Keeping IT Safe
CIO Asia

Inspection is the other side of the fire safety coin, and here too, FISOPS plays a part, before permits can be issued. FSSD has 26 inspection officers, conducting about 750 inspections each month. About one in ten buildings are subjected to inspections, and these are picked by the system, based on certain criteria, such as a history of breaking fire codes, and those which have not had their Fire Certificates renewed. E-mail alerts are sent to the relevant officers, who conduct their inspections armed with a cryptcard-secured Acer Tablet PC running on Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC edition, on which a copy of the building's plans are stored. (Officers doing enforcement checks use handheld PDAs and mobile printers). The officers' notes are downloaded to the system, eliminating tedious paperwork and manual selection of sites for inspection.  8:39 am

A Mine Built on Air
CIO Asia

PT NEWMONT Nusa Tenggara, the Indonesian subsidiary of the US$2.7 billion, 13,000-employee gold mining company, Newmont Worldwide Group, faced a hostile, infrastructurally-challenged jungle terrain just a year ago. The gold and copper mines it operated on the Indonesian islands of Sulawesi and Sumbawa were far flung, remote areas with a lack of IT expertise, making the job of giving users access to the data they need, highly challenging. As such, employees and business partners out in the field had no access to core business applications--a stumbling block to employee productivity and operational efficiency, and potentially, company profits. In the pit area of the mine, for instance, workers had to drive 60 minutes each time to access the nearest available LAN-based PC, just to update their mining activities.

At the mine, Newmont Indonesia has also transformed a technologically-backward jungle terrain with no land-based telecommunications infrastructure into a high-speed wireless gateway, where users are no longer tethered to land-based networks but can access applications remotely via their mobile laptops or tablet PCs, with no degradation in performance.

Deploying wireless technology has its challenges. The biggest hurdle Diesh faced in his Indonesian implementation was neither battery life nor security and network management, but the inability to use conventional wireless devices for outdoor mining operations due to the glare of the sun, rain and dust.

"To solve that problem we looked at a technology called transreflective screen, which is available in some of the higher-end PDAs from players like Dell, HP's iPAQ, and PCs from Fujitsu and Panasonic. We purchased 20 of these computers, which can be used as well under sunlight as conventional computers can work indoors.  8:32 am

A Tale of Two Tablets
eWeek

There is a growing belief that by the end of 2006 all laptops will have digitizers and the name, "Tablet Computer" may only apply to the slate designs. But we aren't there yet and, currently, very few computers, notebooks or otherwise, have screens you can write on. Microsoft's Windows XP for Tablet PC, and the tablet PC hardware were born in November 2002 . The devices fall into two design categories, clamshell, and slate.

Bottom Line: The HP design is better as a pure tablet. It will force users to actually use the tablet features and, with the exception of the anemic battery life, sets the standard against which all tablets should be measured.

The Toshiba delivers the best Clam Shell tablet experience, but I am increasingly questioning this form until the market transitions. It is too easy to use it just as a laptop, and while the Toshiba design may be closer to what we'll have in a few years, it's not right if you want to embrace new tablet features  8:20 am

March 15, 2004

Starbucks to put digital music on its menus
USA Today

LOS ANGELES — How about a mocha, a muffin and a tune? Starbucks (SBUX) is adding digital music to its menu this week, offering consumers the opportunity to order both beverages and custom-made CD compilations, with music from major labels.

On Tuesday, Starbucks will launch the Hear Music Café in Santa Monica, Calif., where customers can listen to more than 250,000 online songs on headphones for free. Should they choose to buy them, in any variation, they can have custom CDs made on the spot. The price: $6.95 for five songs and $1 for each additional tune.

Starbucks will expand the service to 10 Starbucks stores in Seattle next month and roll it out to 2,500 stores over the next two years.

With the new download service, Starbucks customers will be able to sample the musical offerings on slim, laptop-like computers from Hewlett-Packard. The tablet PCs will be encased in glass and unmovable.

To purchase music, customers will walk up to a music "bar" and order from a "barista," who will deliver the CD when it's completed.

H-P is providing the PCs, CD burners, printers and servers for the venture. "This is a great way to introduce people to the digital, mobile lifestyle," says Felice Swapp, H-P's director of strategic initiatives. 8:15 am

Appliance Evolution
San Diego Union Tribune

The model in the photo reclines on a trendy, modern lawn chair, soaking up the sun, a Tablet PC at her side. She appears to be cooking dinner via a home computer network while catching some rays.

"Say 'Hello' to the kitchen of the future," says the Internet Home Alliance on its Web page.

The intelligent home, filled with "smart" appliances, is no longer just science fiction. The first generation of such devices for the kitchen and other parts of the home is in stores today.

These products, a year or more away, will include more networked devices, which can connect with each other and with the Internet. Among them is the remote-controlled oven.

A new kitchen range by Whirlpool can refrigerate uncooked lasagna while you're at work, then turn itself on and have the mozzarella bubbling when you pull in the driveway

Participants in the six-month program received a prototype Polara appliance, which can be controlled using the Internet. The current retail version, with a suggested price of about $1,800, doesn't have an Internet connection.

The families in the study also received a prototype Whirlpool Internet refrigerator, with a Tablet PC, a touch-screen laptop that can be used without a keyboard.

The family chef can use it to call up a recipe, theoretically from a lawn chair, and click on any ingredients not currently in the kitchen's shelves. The fridge can then order those ingredients from Peapod, an online grocer.

The appliance also can be controlled by the Tablet PC.

While many of the networked appliances available to study participants are not yet offered to the general public, several stand-alone smart products are. 8:08 am

Tools Of The Trade: HP's tablet computer
Independent, UK

The first generation of tablet PCs were not an overwhelming success, with sales making up only a fragment of the notebook computer market. But the second wave are a far more attractive proposition.

Among the most stylish of the current tablets is HP's Compaq TC1100. This smart silver unit is smaller than an A4 pad and around an inch thick. Weighing 1.8kg, it is lighter than many standard laptops, with a clear and bright 10.4-in screen. This is perfectly adequate for most applications a business traveller would use, including word processing, email, spreadsheets and surfing the web.

HP sells two versions of the TC1100, with 1ghz or 800mhz processors and hard drives from 30gb to 60gb. Memory starts at 256mb and goes up to a generous 2gb.

For frequent travellers, the TC1100 has all the toys, including built-in wireless networking and Bluetooth (for connecting up to personal digital assistants or mobile phones), and a PC card slot. Long-haul flyers may be disappointed that the DVD drive is in the dock, not the main unit, ruling out watching movies on the go. The TC1100 isn't perfect, but HP makes up for that with sheer versatility. 7:59 am

Starbucks, HP, deal won't work
p2pnet.net

The Starbucks, Hewlett-Packard, music industry 'listen-while-you-sip' venture is unworkable, says Josh Wattles, a sometimes Internet entrepreneur who's studied offerings with similar goals.

Third, Starbucks associates can't answer the simple question of whether the in store wifi connection is open or pay. Only the Baristas are trained in operating the espresso machine. As much as HP is known for great printers (and for lousy PCs), the combination of hardware needed to execute this offering in stores when multiplied by the number of available gremlins and then multiplied by the tech capabilities of associates would suggest that the down-time will be sufficiently dramatic to sink the effort within a few weeks

"Think about the coffee spills as consumers navigate the HP Tablet PC's with Latte's in hand, he says, "or navigate out of the store with the Tablet PCs." 7:52 am

March 16, 2004

Microsoft Hopes for Return on Costly Investment in China
Miami Herald

Microsoft's Chinese researchers are developing at least a dozen technologies for its ubiquitous Windows operating system. The lab, which specializes in multimedia and computer graphics, is becoming as sophisticated as any of Microsoft's other research facilities in Redmond, the Bay Area and Cambridge, England.

"In the next two years, almost every product Microsoft ships will contain our technology," said Ya-Qin Zhang, who was managing director of the Beijing facility until January, when he was promoted by Microsoft.

The lab relies heavily on China's best, brightest and youngest minds.

In a conference room, two high school students test the handwriting recognition abilities of a Tablet PC. Conference rooms are named after Chinese innovations: gunpowder, printing, papermaking, the compass, the abacus and zero. Down the hall, dozens of university students file into the lounge for a Microsoft computer camp.

Contributions of Microsoft's Chinese researchers include "digital ink," which enables a handwritten message to be read by a computer; simulations of water movement; and software for editing video footage. The Beijing lab also is pursuing research tailored to China's needs, such as software that recognizes handwritten Chinese characters and spoken Mandarin.  8:13 am

Acer TravelMate C300 versus Toshiba Portégé M200
Australian Personal Computer,.

Like their predecessors, the TravelMate C100 and Portégé 3500, the C300 and Portégé M200 belong to the “convertible” camp: they're as much a conventional notebook as a Tablet PC. This means you get the benefits of a traditional notebook design for usability, with the option of swinging the touchscreen around and clamping it over the keyboard to produce a Tablet.

One area where the Portégé picks up ground is the quality of the screen. Toshiba's SXGA+ display runs at a native resolution of 1400 x 1050 pixels, significantly higher than the Acer's 1280 x 1024 pixels. The increased screen resolution on the M200 goes a long way to improving the accuracy of handwriting recognition and drawing.

Between both Tablets, the Toshiba Portégé M200 comes up trumps. The Acer's curved keyboard is more comfortable to type on, but the Portégé M200's smaller form factor, high-resolution screen and extra features helps it nose in front.

That's not to say that Acer has got it wrong. They're both sensational machines, but are suited to different buyers. If you're looking for a device to live as a Tablet most of the time but still need occasional notebook functionality, the Portégé M200 is ideal. Otherwise, the Acer TravelMate C300 is for you. Other Tablet vendors will refresh their product lines in the coming months, so stay tuned as the market matures and develops further.  8:04 am

Aton TN3270 .NET Framework Editions Now Available for Mobile-to- Mainframe Access
PRNewswire

Aton International, Inc. ( http://www.aton.com ), Specialists in Device Integration, Data Access and Smart Client software, today announced the release of the .NET version of Aton(R) TN3270 for XP-Tablet PC 5.6. Aton TN3270 for XP 5.6 was developed using the .NET framework to meet the needs of enterprises wanting to easily access mainframe applications with Tablet PCs and XP Laptops without additional middleware.

The product has passed the "Verified for XP" test conducted by Veritest, an independent third party testing lab. This test, which was designed by Microsoft, is intended to promote product development practices that will ensure a good user experience with Microsoft Windows(R) XP.  8:02 am

March 17, 2004

Review: Electrovaya Scribbler SC2010 Windows XP Tablet Edition Notebook
by Lisa Gade, PDA Buyers Guide

Electrovaya is a company that knows power, and their Scribbler SC2010 will last you longer than any other consumer Windows XP Tablet Edition computer. Electrovaya is known for their work with Lithium Ion batteries and they've made a name for themselves in the XP Tablet market in the past year. The Scribbler 2010 has their own 9,500 mAh (that's huge capacity) SuperPolymer Lithium Ion battery and, as a second generation tablet, offers a fast Centrino processor and a bright, sharp display. It's currently the only tablet to offer a biometric fingerprint scanner for security. The tablet is an attractive and very solidly built product that exudes quality and durability. 4:35 pm

Bringing innovative solutions to market products
The Daily Star

HEWLETT Packard (HP) introduced the intelligent HP Compaq tablet PC -- TC 1100 -- at a lucky draw competition, which started from March 15. HP announced this at an event at a local restaurant.

The architecturally redesigned HP Compaq Tablet PC -- TC 1100 is a versatile and fully functional mobile PC. Its design offers exceptional mobility and versatility for sharing business information and simplifies computing with the added convenience of handwriting. TC 1100 incorporates the integrated wireless Centrino technology with the 802.11b wireless LAN solution and built in Bluetooth technology.

On every purchase of selected HP products, such as iPAQ pocket PC h2210, HP Compaq Business Desktop d220, HP Compaq Notebook nx9010 and HP Proliant servers, consumers will have the opportunity to win a free HP Compaq tablet PC TC 1100 worth 2000 US dollars. 7:36 am

Inclusion Inc. Signs with MobileDataforce to Provide Enterprise Mobility
Business Wire

MobileDataforce(R), a privately held company and leader in mobilized business solutions, today announced that Inclusion, Inc. has named MobileDataforce's Intercue Mobility Suite as their organization's standard mobility software solution. Inclusion has been using the Intercue Mobility Suite to empower its mobile workforce for more than 4 years. Inclusion is extending its use of the Intercue Mobility Suite across its entire mobile IT infrastructure, using it to design, develop and deploy mobile forms and applications.

The Intercue Suite offers an XML development environment for creating and publishing XML-based forms for data collection on all three major mobile platforms; Palm OS, Pocket PC and Tablet PC/Windows. This application provides enterprise users the ability to quickly build applications for collecting data on mobile devices without the need for programming. Sample forms shipped with the product provide templates for users in several industries including Healthcare, Finance, Engineering and Human Resources. 7:34 am

31 local firms heading for CeBIT show
Business Times

THIRTY-ONE Singapore-based companies will take part in this year's CeBIT show - the world's largest trade fair for the IT and communications sector - which starts this Thursday in Hannover, Germany.

International Enterprise (IE) Singapore will lead 22 of these companies to the seven-day fair. They will showcase their wares in the Singapore Pavilion in Hall 2 for IT Equipment & Systems and Hall 27 for Telecommunications, Wireless & Networks.

Local companies like Infowave, Sumitronics, muvee Technologies, Addvalue and Inke will display products such as an in-car tablet PC, technology to capture and convert songs played on the radio to fully-legal MP3s, software that converts home movies into cinematic works of art, wireless controllers for Xbox game enthusiasts and a no-mess one-touch system for automatic refill of ink cartridges.  7:32 am

 

March 18, 2004

The New HP tr3000 rugged Tablet PC

Compare, Price and Purchase the new HP tr3000 rugged Tablet PC from TabletPc2.coms quick Compare pages. 11: 27 am

HP Unveils Rugged Notebook, Tablet PC
CRN

Hewlett-Packard on Thursday filled a hole in its portable PC line with the introduction of a rugged notebook PC and a rugged Tablet PC.

Both products--the nr3600 rugged notebook and the tr3000 rugged Tablet PC--exceed military standard MIL-STD-810F in terms of resistance to vibration, heat, humidity, drop and dust

At 1.65 inches thick, the tr3000 Tablet PC weighs 3.7 pounds and includes an outdoor transmissive 8.4-inch touch screen with a digitizer pen. It carries a list price of $3,499 for a base configuration with a 933MHz mobile Pentium 3 processor, 256 Mbytes of memory and a 40-Gbyte hard drive.

Both products are scheduled to ship April 5 via HP's direct and indirect channels 10:54 am

Microsoft Ships XP Service Pack 2 RC1 to Testers
Windows & Net Magazine

"Microsoft has now released to testers Windows XP SP2 RC1," a company representative told me. "As you know, Windows XP SP2 RC1 is another key milestone in the development of SP2 and is intended to provide a broad range of IT professionals and developers an opportunity to conduct testing and to prepare for deployment."

As previously reported, XP SP2 includes the "Lonestar" updates to Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, so users with Tablet PC devices will upgrade their systems to XP Tablet PC Edition 2004 when they install SP2. New to SP2 RC1 is the inclusion of the Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) 2004 for Media Center PC users. XP MCE 2004 provides users with new features like "improved TV picture quality, an enhanced music library, a richer photo experience and access to music and video on demand through Online Spotlight," according to Microsoft.

The decision to package the XP MCE 2004 and Tablet PC Edition 2004 software with SP2 was done to provide customers with the best possible security. 10:52 am

 

Phoenix FirstWare Assistant Enables 'Instant-On' Email Access for or Windows-Based Mobile PCs
Yahoo News

Phoenix Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: PTEC - News ), the company driving the global core system software standard in PC systems and connected digital devices for 25 years, has released an expanded version of Phoenix FirstWare® Assistant, now with support for email. The Phoenix cME certified application, designed for mobile professionals, now allows users of any Windows-based notebooks, tablets and ultra-portable PCs instant "read-only" access to their email from Microsoft® Outlook® without the need to launch the primary operating system. The product, available this month, was introduced at the CeBit technology trade show in Hanover, Germany.

Phoenix FirstWare Assistant effectively turns the mobile Windows-based PC into a "read-only" PDA, so there's no need to purchase a separate device that must be synchronized. Users of tablet PCs, notebooks and ultra-portables installed with Phoenix FirstWare Assistant simply push a button or hot key upon start-up for instant access to their Microsoft Outlook email and PIM data -- such as calendars, notes, and contacts -- on the computer screen. This access in the pre-boot environment provides greater convenience and simplicity for time-constrained users.  10: 50 am

Post Your Software on TabletPCPost.com!

Submit your Tablet PC software application to TabletPCPost.com and reach your target audience -- Tablet PC users! TabletPCPost.com offers free listings for free, demo, and trial software downloads.

Registered TabletPCPost.com users can already post comments about the applications.

Features Include:

March 19, 2004

Windows XP Service Pack 2

Technical Preview Program

If you install Windows XP SP2 (RC1) on a Tablet PC, you will automatically be upgraded to RC1 of the next version of Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, codenamed “Lonestar.”

Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) provides an enhanced security infrastructure that defends against viruses, worms, and hackers, along with increased manageability and control for IT professionals and an improved experience for users.

To aid IT professionals in planning and testing for the deployment of Windows XP SP2, Microsoft is making available this preview, based on Release Candidate 1 (RC1) of the SP2. Additionally, we have established 11 newsgroups for sharing information.

WARNING!

This technical preview is unsupported and is intended for testing purposes
only. Do not use in production environments.

FireWire Is Finally Getting Hot
TechWeb

After running in the middle of the pack with several other transmission schemes for a decade, 1394 is poised to break out this year. The high-speed technology is about to take its place tying together the pieces in the home theater's move from analog to digital TV. In addition, the technology--also called FireWire and i-Link--is beginning to show up in surprising ways in enterprise applications.

“The really interesting stuff-wireless--is coming later this year,” said 1394 Trade Association (TA) executive director James Snider in an interview. “We've already showed that 1394 wireless can go through walls with no degradation of the signal.” Snider said more than 1300 separate products now include 1394, ranging from HDD drives and set-top boxes to televisions and DVDs.

FireWire will be in virtually every high-end computer--in workstations and, particularly, in Apple machines,” Snider said. “It's going into tablet PCs, too, because tablet-PC manufacturers seem to want to make tablet PCs high-end with everything possible in them.”  10:11 am

Microsoft to extend Media Center in 2005
ZDNet.co.uk, UK

Microsoft has said it plans to launch an 'Extender Technology' for its Windows Media Center PC in Europe next year that will allows users to share media files with other members of their household using a wireless network.

Media Center and Tablet PC, the other customised version of Windows XP, are taking on added importance for Microsoft, which is still years away from shipping the next major release of Windows, code-named Longhorn. The company has said it plans this year to bring out a new version of its Tablet PC software, code-named Lonestar. By contrast, the mainstay editions of Windows XP are only due for a service pack this year, adding security enhancements and other modest changes. 10:09 am

Intel and BMW unveils 'tomorrow's mobile office'
ComputerWeekly.com

Forget working from home--not long from now you could be running a business from the back of your car.

Intel and BMW drove a prototype BMW 7 Series, which doubles as a mobile office, to the Cebit trade show in Hanover, Germany. The computing power comes from a Tablet PC fitted into the armrest on the back seat, along with a Bluetooth-enabled printer and fax machine.

For wireless connectivity the car has a wireless LAN access point that connects to the outside world over General Packet Radio Services and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System third-generation telephone networks, which support wireless data services.

"It's just a prototype, so don't go asking BMW for one just yet ... but the automotive industry is working on these types of advances.  8:45 am

PRIMEDIA Pursues Growth in Free Publishing Business with New Auto Guide; Auto Guide Debuts in Charlotte, NC Market
Business Wire

Auto Guide(R) delivers value to its advertisers by using cutting-edge technology, including digital cameras and tablet PC's, on site with dealerships to photograph the vehicles and instantaneously capture data used in the classified ads. This enables the guide to be completed and delivered significantly faster than the competition, therefore delivering the most current used car inventory available. This speed to market, combined with its extensive distribution, provides Auto Guide(R) advertisers with a unique advantage to reach a wider range of consumers at a much faster pace.

"Auto Guide(R) provides consumers with an easy way to find the vehicle they are looking for without having to turn page after page," said Gary Austin, president, PRIMEDIA Consumer Guides. "Patterned after our successful Apartment Guide and using a very easy 'shop and compare' format, Auto Guide(R) will be of great benefit to consumers and a powerful platform for dealers looking to sell used cars and trucks." 8:43 am

Mobile IT trials get the public sector moving
VNUNet.com

Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, known for its treatment and care for people with heart and lung disease, wanted to lessen the time spent by medical staff on updating patient records and digitising notes.

With only 20 per cent of patient data contained in the electronic patient records, the Trust, based at sites in Chelsea and Middlesex, needed to increase the amount of patient information available digitally to medical staff and researchers.

As a result, they initiated a pilot project of Tablet PCs powered by Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, including Windows XP wireless support.

Theoretically, patient records can be called up and notes updated electronically, in the wards. Test results from X-rays, for example, can be shown to patients at their bedsides. Digital Ink technology also makes it possible for staff to take notes, draw or convert their own handwriting to text.

Dr Mark Dayer, cardiology research fellow at Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, uses his Tablet PC daily, and stated that it has become his primary PC.  8:39am

Happy Warriors
CFO.com

The traditional desktop computer will serve as the primary device for just 45 percent of corporate workers, larlely because many of them are now "corridor warriors," says Kleynhans, roaming from meeting to meeting and work group to work group. As a result, they need the sort of mobile access to information that a notebook or tablet PC can provide. While tablet PCs have yet to win the kind of sales Microsoft and others hope for, Kleynhans says that when more of the devices are offered with integrated keyboards, sales will improve. He predicts that by 2006, one-third of all notebook computers sold to corporations will offer some kind of tablet (that is, pen-based) functionality, allowing all those corridor warriors to take notes wherever they go.  8:37 am

Attention Technology/Business Editors:
CNW Telbec

Media Advisory/Technology Demonstration - Toshiba's Tablet PC with Motion Sensory Controls and Advanced Versatile Docking Station

Toshiba of Canada Information Systems Group (Toshiba ISG) is inviting media to try out its Portégé M200 Tablet PC and multi-usage docking station. Toshiba ISG's combination notebook computer and Tablet PC is the leading pen-input Tablet PC in Canada.

When: Tuesday, March 23, 2004 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

What: Toshiba Portégé(TM) M200 Tablet PC and docking station. 8:30 am

 

March 22, 2004

ViewSonic Adds Centrino 802.11g WiFi to Convertible Tablet; PC to Feature Newest Wireless Technology From Intel
Business Wire

ViewSonic(R) Corp., a worldwide leader in visual display products, today announced the launch of its V1250S, a convertible tablet PC that includes integrated 802.11g and 802.11b wireless access via Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2200BG Centrino(TM) technology. The 802.11g wireless standard supports newer local area networking technology with transfer speeds nearly five times faster than 802.11b.

"As technology progresses, it becomes increasingly important for companies to ensure they are using the latest tools while staying prepared for advances on the horizon," said Dan Coffman, senior product manager, ViewSonic. "This new chipset adds versatility to the V1250S that makes it the perfect product for a broad range of customers from companies with existing 802.11b networks to those who will look to move to 802.11g in the future."

As the first tablet PC available with the PRO/Wireless 2200BG Centrino technology, the V1250S takes full advantage of Intel's next generation silicon to deliver optimal performance and battery life. The product is expected to ship in the second quarter of 2004.

The Tablet PC V1250S is currently the lightest convertible tablet PC available with a 12-inch screen and is available through authorized ViewSonic resellers, distributors and mail order for estimated street prices starting at $1895.  10:19 am

Xplore tablet can take a beating
FCW.com

If you're looking for a tablet PC that can roll with the punches — and the drops, splashes and bumps that come with harsh environments — you'll want a machine with some form of "rugged" in its description.

You'll see tablets and notebooks labeled semirugged, ruggedized and rugged. Semirugged is the lowest level and means the computer is a little tougher than standard systems, perhaps featuring a magnesium-alloy case and shock-mounted hard drive so it can withstand a few extra bumps.

We recently tested an excellent example of a rugged computer, the iX104-TPC tablet PC from Xplore Technologies Corp.

You can tell at first glance this is one tough tablet. Thick rubber bumpers protect all four corners and the ports are sealed with sturdy rubber covers. The tablet's function keys, including a handy joystick navigator button, are also sealed with rubber.  10:35 am

Lower prices healthy for tablet
Australian IT

A one-person business may see enough value in portability to justify the price of a tablet PC, he says.

Wireless was a selling point when the Windows XP Tablet PC was launched, but now it is less of a point of differentiation, as wireless chipsets are in notebooks selling for less than $2000. Entry-level tablet PCs sell for about $3500, but the price difference alone doesn't compare apples with apples.

Tablet PCs are flagship products with the best, lightest most power-efficient parts that manufacturers can put in them — that and a suite of productivity software.

Acer is to launch its third-generation tablet PC at the end of the second quarter and by then the price on its second-generation unit will have fallen to $3200 or lower. 10:31 am

LCD to stay but super size screens fading
Australian IT

Current liquid crystal display technology is here for the foreseeable future, according to Australian notebook distributors such as Sony.

Manufacturers continue to improve the clarity and brightness of LCD screens, but the underlying technology has reached a point where the market is not demanding immediate change

Tablet PCs use a motion-sensitive LCD and layer it above a high-resolution digitiser similar to a graphics tablet.

The technology allows the user to write directly on the screen, and their pen movements are translated instantly into digital ink 10:27 am

HP Toughens Up Portables
eWeek

Hewlett-Packard Co. is going rugged.

The company on Tuesday will introduce two ruggedized portable computers—the HP Rugged Notebook mr3600 and the HP Rugged Tablet tr3000—which are designed to withstand falls, long-term vibration, extreme operating temperatures, dust and rain (although an HP official at the CTIA Wireless conference here refused to pour water on the notebook to prove it).

The HP Rugged Tablet PC tr3000 includes up to a 933MHz Intel Pentium III processor, support for up to 640MB of SDRAM, an internal microphone and speaker, fax/modem and Ethernet ports, and a Compact Flash slot. It weighs 3.7 pounds. Pricing starts at $3,449. 10:23 am

CeBIT 2004 news: Microsoft at CeBIT
msmobiles.com, EU

Microsoft´s marketing efforts at CeBIT 2004 were concentrating on marketing of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and on presenting Microsoft office, Tablet PC, and most of all on other business and enterprise solutions (like CRM, etc). Area for Tablet PC notebooks alone was at least 5 times bigger than the area at Microsoft´s stands devoted for Windows Mobile10:14 am

Regents approve PC fee for DSU students
Aberdeen American News

The South Dakota Board of Regents has approved adding a $275 fee to the bills Dakota State University freshmen and sophomores pay each semester so they can lease wireless mobile computers from the school.

The fee is on top of a 5.5 percent overall tuition and fee increase for the six public universities.

The school will use Tablet PCs for classroom work. The computers will be leased from Gateway, according to Doug Knowlton, Dakota State University president. The fee will be phased in as a requirement for juniors and seniors in the next two years.

Tablet PCs are "a strategy for a technology institution to keep up with technology. 10:17 am

Intellisync Debuts Suite for Wireless Carriers
eWeek

Intellisync Corp. on Monday will introduce a new suite of products for wireless carriers who want to woo corporate customers.

Based on the company's existing remote-access software for enterprise customers, Intellisync Mobile Suite for Wireless Operators lets carriers offer a single solution to enterprises, smaller businesses and individual professionals. The suite uses technology acquired when Intellisync, then called Pumatech Inc., bought Synchrologic Inc. last September.

Operators will be able to offer wireless data services including push-based e-mail, basic calendar information and file access for devices that run Microsoft Corp.'s Windows, Windows Mobile and Tablet PC platforms, the Palm operating system and the Symbian operating system.  10:09 am

March 23, 2004

Does Your APP Think In Ink?  Win $100,000!
Contest Dates March 22- July 31, 2004

Think mobile. Win big.
If you are an independent solutions vendor (ISV), you’ve spent most of your professional life waiting for an opportunity like this—and now it’s here. The question is: Are you up for the challenge? Microsoft, HP and PC Magazine invite you to put your genius to the test to create the next killer Application for the most mobile PC ever, the Tablet PC. Create the best mobile Application, and you could win US$100,000! Even if you don’t win the Grand Prize, there are additional cash Prizes totaling US$65,000 still on the table.

You do not need a Tablet PC to start coding today! The Tablet PC Platform SDK application development can be done on a standard Windows XP desktop. 11:50 am

Sunlight Proves No Match for New Fujitsu Tablet PC; Stylistic ST5000 Tablet PC Brings Extraordinary Flexibility, Increased Productivity with Reflective Front-Light Screen Technology
Business Wire

Fujitsu Computer Systems Corporation today gave mobile professionals the option of an indoor/outdoor display on its new slate Stylistic(R) ST5000 Tablet PC. The new screen is ideal for field workers who need a reliable mobile computing solution as they inspect job sites, conduct surveys or visit clients.

Offered as an alternative to the indoor-only 12-inch TFT display, the 10.4-inch indoor/outdoor display is one of the best on the market today for outdoor viewability. By employing special reflective front-light technology, text and graphics can be clearly seen in a wide variety of light environments. Under direct sunlight, the display gets even brighter rather than becoming washed out. In low light conditions, the display's front light can be adjusted to enhance viewability.

This adaptive feature gives users the freedom to carry their Fujitsu Tablet PC wherever they need to go. Together with a high capacity battery and Wi-Fi capabilities, users can be more productive throughout their day, whether they are on campus or in the field.

The Fujitsu Stylistic ST5000 Tablet PC is powered by an Ultra Low Voltage Intel(R) Pentium(R) M Processor operating at 1.0 GHz. Designed specifically for mobile applications, the Intel Pentium M Processor helps the system deliver superior performance and extended battery life. This longevity is enhanced by a bigger standard battery (4,400 mAh), providing users up to five hours(1) of computing time. A high-capacity battery (6,600 mAh) which can last up to eight hours(1) is also available.

"With multiple screen options and two distinct form factors, Fujitsu accommodates the needs of all types of mobile professionals," said Paul Moore, director of product marketing for mobile computing at Fujitsu Computer Systems. "The variety of solutions offered by Fujitsu demonstrates our commitment and expertise in the tablet computing arena."  11:37

eRXSYS, Inc. Signs License Agreement with a Premier e-Prescribing Technology Company, Network Technology, Inc.
Yahoo News

eRXSYS, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: ERXI - News), a customized e-script pharmacy service for pain management and related physician specialties, announced that it has entered into a licensing agreement with Network Technology, Inc. (RxNT), one of the nation's leading innovative electronic prescription solution providers. eRXSYS intends to deploy RxNT's software as its core technology solution beginning April 1, 2004.

RxNT, a Pasadena, Maryland-based Company founded in 1997, offers an integrated web and technology software devices to healthcare professionals ensuring greater accuracy and safety in prescription transactions. Product features include wireless Tablet PC and wireless PDA functionality for mobile prescribers, a comprehensive drug database, real-time patient specific prescription plan eligibility and formularies, drug utilization review, a custom sig creator for frequently prescribed drugs, and HIPAA compliant interfaces to many of the popular practice management systems. 11:35 am

Field2Base Software and RTP Developer's Interests Merge for White Ventures LLC; Field2Base Joins Prestigious Tenants in White Venture's New Town Hall Commons Business Park
Business Wire

White Ventures LLC, a leading commercial real estate development company in the Research Triangle Park area, today announced it has made a private equity investment in Field2Base, a pioneer in mobile, Tablet PC construction communication solutions. Ed White, President of White Ventures LLC, has assumed the role of Chairman of the Board at Field2Base. White Ventures will also use Field2Base Tablet PCs in its development of White's new Town Hall Commons, a $200 million, 270-acre residential, commercial, and retail development in Morrisville, NC. Field2Base has moved its headquarters to the first Town Hall Commons office building, joining Diosynth (a division of Akzo Nobel)(NASDAQ: AKZOY) at this increasingly prestigious address.

"Rarely do I see a merging of opportunities where I can help my construction and commercial real estate operations, as well as take a private equity stake in a tenant. Field2Base is that rare opportunity," said Ed White, President of White Ventures LLC. "Town Hall Commons is successful beyond even our aggressive expectations and now we have a tenant that will increase our success even more. For the remainder of construction, we will experience first-hand how Field2Base streamlines operations and saves money by putting approval forms, purchasing documents, and digital blueprints in the hands of field workers." 11:31 am

foneGEAR Announces Magnetic Wireless Headset Solution for Desktop Notebook and Tablet PCs
Yahoo News

oneGEAR(TM) LLC (Troy, MI) -- a new leader in mobile communications accessories -- today announced the upcoming availability of MAGicvoice(TM) USB® and 3.5 mm audio jack adapter sets for the company's acclaimed CORD FREE(TM) Headset. Using newly developed magnetic induction technology, the foneGEAR CORD FREE Headset uses an enhanced form of "near field" magnetic communication rather than conventional radio frequency (RF) technology to offer the lowest-power, most affordable noise-suppressing, wireless Headset on the market today.

Ideal for applications such as IP Telephony and speech recognition, the combination of the foneGEAR CORD FREE Headset and MAGicvoice is uniquely suited to PC applications -- using a low-frequency approach to wireless communications at 13.5 MHz (an "uncluttered" portion of the frequency spectrum) enables a clear and interference-free user experience for SOHO (Small Office / Home Office) and enterprise applications alike. The CORD FREE Headset is immediately available online at www.fonegear.com for $74.99

For Tablet PC(TM) users, the CORD FREE Headset is the only wireless solution to integrate and function with these devices, as the RF interference radiated by Tablet PCs interferes with Bluetooth Headsets. 11:24 am

Quarterscope Solutions Announces The Wi-Fi Positioning System
Internet Telephony Magazine

Quarterscope Solutions, a new company, announces the Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS) this week at the CTIA Wireless 2004 show in Atlanta. Building on the explosive growth of Wi-Fi enabled devices, WPS is a new location system that includes a nationwide network of location beacons designed to pinpoint a users' precise location. WPS is targeted at the millions of laptop, Tablet PC, PDA and Smartphone owners that have Wi-Fi capabilities but lack location devices like GPS.  11:09 am

Motion Computing Partners With LifeGuard America To Help Expedite Donated Organs, Tissue to Recipients
Business Wire

Motion Computing and LifeGuard America LLC ("LifeGuard") today announced a partnership to streamline the lifesaving process of organ and tissue donor information gathering and distribution.

Under a joint marketing agreement, LifeGuard will offer its new organ and tissue donor information software on Motion Computing's ultramobile tablet PCs. LifeGuard's software automates much of the paper-intensive process of collecting organ and tissue donor information. By using the software on Motion's clipboard-sized tablet PCs, which only weigh about three pounds, organ procurement coordinators can augment their paper binders with a pen-enabled application for quick, on-site data collection once organs or tissue become available.

The new software links to LifeGuard's secure databases and 24x7 CareCenter, speeding the connection of donor organs and tissues with recipients by making accurate donor information immediately available via the Web to physicians in remote locations. LifeGuard is providing access to better information so healthcare professionals can make better decisions regarding the suitability of transplants for their patients.

"Organ procurement coordinators on call 24 hours a day need a lightweight, rugged device like Motion's tablet so they can grab it and go," said John R. Fitzpatrick III, president and chief executive officer of Tulsa-based LifeGuard America. "We believe the combination of our software and Motion's tablet PCs will help us fulfill our mission to improve the process by which organs are assessed and procured, and ultimately, help doctors save more lives."

LifeGuard chose Motion's tablet PC line because it offers a bright 12.1-inch screen that approximates the dimensions of a sheet of paper, wireless communications capabilities and a full-fledged Windows XP operating system. In addition, the thin and lightweight design enables procurement coordinators to operate the unit in one arm, which facilitates interaction between donor family members, physicians and nurses.

"The Motion tablet PCs enable procurement coordinators to use the software effectively in a mobile hospital environment like the intensive care unit. We can take it with us everywhere," said Ron Smith, P.A., procurement coordinator for the Oklahoma Organ Sharing Network.  11:07 am

HP Drives Mobile Computing Into New Terrain with Rugged Notebook and Tablet PCs; Productivity from Remote Field Locations Moves into Mainstream
Business Wire

HP (NYSE:HPQ) (Nasdaq:HPQ) today entered the rugged PC market with the introduction of the HP Rugged Notebook nr3600 and the HP Rugged Tablet PC tr3000. Designed to withstand long-term vibration, rain, dust and extreme operating temperatures, these mobile PCs are ideal tools for users who often work in remote and demanding environments.

"Continental Airlines is enthusiastic about HP's entry into the rugged device arena as we have a need for highly reliable, durable mobile computing products in our operational environments on a daily basis," said John Stelly, Jr., managing director, technology, Continental Airlines. "HP's high level of service and value provides Continental with confidence about making an investment into mobile rugged computing."

"HP's decision to introduce mobile rugged computing products is very timely and indicates the increasing importance of the category," said Randy Giusto, vice president, Personal Technologies and Services, IDC. "HP can bring its full spectrum of service and support to the rugged computing marketplace, allowing customers to benefit from an entire mobile solution optimized for durable, mobile computing in extreme environments."  11:04 am

March 24, 2004

Fujitsu Stylistic ST5000 will brighten up your day
Mobilemag.com

Fujitsu has added an indoor/outdoor display to its Stylistic ST5000 Tablet PC model. The new Reflective front-light screen is ideal for anyone working outdoors and needs a reliable mobile computer with a clear picture in daylight.

Fujitsu claims the 10.4-inch indoor/outdoor display (only costing $200 more then a standard display) is one of the best on the market for outdoor viewability. The reflective front-light technology allows text and graphics to be seen clearly in direct sunlight, it actually increases brightness with the more sunlight hitting it. If you’re indoors, you can also adjust the front light to a comfortable setting.

The Stylistic ST5000 Tablet PC will cost at $2,249 and runs on the 1Ghz Intel Pentium M processor, powered by a 4,440 mAh battery lasting around five hours. A beefed up extra capacity battery can be added that will give you eight hours of fun in the sun.
9:51 am

Sony To Market Electronic Ink
PC Magazine

Sony Electronics said late Tuesday night that it plans to offer an e-book for sale in Japan this April, utilizing a display that approximates the style of newsprint.

Sony said its LIBRIe reader would include technology developed by E Ink Corp., which developed a form of electronic ink with a contrast ratio and viewing angle that approaches newsprint.

The LIBRIe reader is the result of a three-year collaboration between Sony, Royal Philips Electronics, Toppan Printing and E Ink. The LIBRIe reader was designed to allow readers to download and store information to be read later, using a light, low-power display. It is expected to compete with tablet PCs and other means of displaying downloadable media. 9:48 am

MobileDataforce Announces XML-Based Forms for Mobile Data Collection with New Version 4.0 of Intercue Mobility Suite
Business Wire

MobileDataforce, a leading provider of mobilized software solutions for the enterprise, has released a new version of its XML-based mobile forms development software, Intercue Mobility Suite version 4.0.

The Intercue Mobility Suite offers an XML development environment for creating and publishing forms for data collection on all three major mobile platforms, Palm OS, Pocket PC and Tablet PC/Windows. This toolset provides enterprise users the ability to quickly build applications for collecting data on mobile devices without the need for programming. Sample forms shipped with the product provide templates for users in several industries including healthcare, finance, engineering and human resources. These sample forms are available for download in the Intercue Mobility Suite at http://www.mobiledataforce.com/downloadrequest/download.html. 9:45 am

March 25, 2004

MindJet MindManager X5 Pro
VNUNet.com

Released in early March and priced at £199 + VAT, version 5.1 of MindJet's Mindmanager X5 Pro is the latest update to the vendor's enterprise organisation and planning software. With core tablet PC support and backwards compatibility with earlier editions, the new version improves what was already an effective planning and collaboration tool.

The software integrates with the four Microsoft Office applications: Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and Project. In Word, selected paragraphs can be exported directly to X5 Pro if the two applications are running simultaneously. In X5 Pro, export to Word gives a .Doc file containing a bulleted list of the mind map.  11:56 am

Mobile DevCon Update
whatisnew.com

Talks with Tablet PC ISVs gone very well. Several more confirmed that they're planning their product download listing at TabletPCPost.com after the conference.

We just walked by the Tablet PC Hands-on lab. The room is full of potential Tablet PC developers running through a sample project.

The Tablet PC booth in the exhibit hall is, again, one of the most crowded areas. 8:47 am

Viewsonic tablet first to feature Intel 802.11g
eChannelLine

ViewSonic's V1250S, a convertible tablet PC that includes integrated 802.11g and 802.11b wireless access via Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG Centrino technology, supports newer local area networking technology with transfer speeds nearly five times faster than 802.11b. As the first tablet PC available with the PRO/Wireless 2200BG Centrino technology, the V1250S takes full advantage of Intel's next generation silicon to deliver optimal performance and battery life. The product is expected to ship in the second quarter of 2004. It is currently the lightest convertible tablet PC available with a 12-inch screen and is available through authorized ViewSonic resellers, distributors and mail order for estimated street prices starting at $1895  8:42 am

For the Pit Boss, Some Extra Electronic Eyes
New York Times

In most casinos today, managers track and rate players by hand, using pens and clipboards. It is an imprecise, labor-intensive chore and one reason that the overhead cost of table games exceeds that of slot machines, which have gradually occupied more floor space at casinos over the last two decades.

By contrast, the MP21 system maintains a level of vigilance that no human can match. It takes notice when a particular gambler alone at a table is playing 120 hands an hour at a 1.5 percent disadvantage (in other words, fast and poorly), recognizing that he is more valuable to the house than another player who bets slowly and skillfully. The pit manager can call up this information on a tablet PC; he can monitor any game in real time and can calculate a gambler's statistics for the last hour, the last 30 days or since the day the player's casino account was opened.

The technology can also spot card counters, whose tactic of periodically raising their bets for no apparent reason would eventually prompt the system to alert the manager. 8:36 am

Internet-based software solution
Dial Infolink Manufacturing

SYSPRO e.net solutions, a new software solution which allows manufacturers and distributors to make inventory and production data transactions over the internet, will be launched at National Manufacturing Week (NMW 2004) to he held in Sydney in June.

The software solution allows transactions within each part of the supply chain through secure Internet access or via a local wireless network.

In the same way that a personal signature is needed for a delivery in a paper-based process, a Tablet PC can capture a signature image using handwriting recognition for receipt verification. The captured document is then transmitted back to the SYSPRO system resulting in real-time updates of the inventory delivery process.  8:31 am

Why Tablets CAN Replace Laptops
Mobilemag.com

Handwriting recognition is a wonderful thing. It feels gratifying to have a computer recognize your pen marks on its surface. It may even improve your penmanship as you adapt to its tolerances, which are finer than your own. The Tablet PC's recognizer is remarkably fast and accurate, and getting better.

When the Tablet PC's freehand drawing capability is augmented by AlphaTap's typing capability, the result is a device that is more productive and mobile than a laptop. After you have used a tablet so equipped for a week or so, you may wonder how you ever got along without it, and why anyone ever imagined handwriting worthy of recognition.
8:28 am

 

March 26, 2004

Maximize your display space: MaxiVista Review
Spencer Goad, TabletPcBuzz.com

One issue that is often run into with Tablet PCs is the issue of screen real estate. This especially becomes an issue if you are using your Tablet PC as your main computer. Obviously you can hook up an external monitor, but this can sometimes be limiting. MaxiVista seeks to solve this problem by allowing you to setup a second tablet/laptop/computer as an external monitor. It works over the existing network, so it doesn't require any additional hardware setup.

One thing that really impressed me about MaxiVista was its support for various color depths and resolutions. It even supports the odd Tablet PC portrait resolution of 768x1024. And by providing an option to rotate the screen 180 degrees, you can have your secondary PC running at primary or secondary landscape as well as primary and secondary portrait. To switch resolutions all you have to do is right click on the MaxiVista icon on the primary PC, and navigate to the configuration menu

I could easily see using this to take advantage of my various computers that are just sitting there most of the time. With my workflow though, and the way I switch back and forth between Tablet PCs, I went back to ShareKMC after using MaxiVista for a couple weeks. MaxiVista does exactly what it is designed to do, and it does it well.  8:55 am

Last Call to Earn $50,000
whatisnew.com

Do you have a clever way that using Tablet PCs has increased your SMB and reduced your costs? Then you may qualify to win national recognition and prizes.

April 2 is the deadline for submitting your way to A New Category in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Program Microsoft’s Realizing Business Potential award contest.

You and your Tablet PCs may qualify to win. Best wishes for success! 8:17 am

Windows XP SP2 RC1 Adds Features
ENT News

Microsoft made a lot of changes to Windows XP Service Pack 2 between the beta stage in December and the Release Candidate 1 version that became widely available for download last week.

The service pack also includes upgrades for customers with earlier versions of specialized versions of Windows XP. Windows XP Media Center Edition users can upgrade through SP2 to Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004. Users of the Tablet PC edition can upgrade to RC1 of the next version, code-named "LoneStar," with SP2.

Windows XP SP2 RC1 is available for download at www.microsoft.com/sp2preview/. 8:15 am

March 29, 2004

Mobile DevCon Wrap-Up
whatisnew.com

It was great to see people asking questions and becoming involved in Tablet development. Most of the people attending these sessions were looking for ways they could change their existing Pocket PC applications so that they could take advantage of the larger screen real-estate and power available on the Tablet PC. Those with whom I spoke had a variety of backgrounds from major retail chains, to medical forms companies, building contractors, to those just wanting to know more. Little by little the Microsoft Tablet PC team persuaded people to develop Windows XP Tablet PC Edition applications.

While Loren was stationed at the “Ask The MVP Lounge”, I talked with several people interested in seeing existing Tablet PC applications. I was curious to see how they’d react. I wasn’t sure if it would be an emotional comparison to Pocket PCs or if it would be professional curiosity, and was prepared to respond either way. I was very pleased to see that though many believed the myth that Tablet PCs are just a big PDA that by the time they used it and saw what was being done that they understood that the Tablet PC is really an extension of standard Windows XP in a highly portable design. Many asked if this is simply the future direction of all Windows clients. Yes, they got on the right track quickly.

Judging by the number of people in the hands-on labs and in the sessions I’d say that had the Tablet PC been given a more prominent spot in the conference the group could have accomplished even more. It was a fantastic effort on the Tablet PC team’s part. They were interacting with potential Tablet PC developers and receiving a great response. 10:45 am

Mi-Co Demonstrates Latest Digital Writing Developments
Local Tech Wire

Mi-Co, working with 15 partners, unveiled its latest developments in mobile data and digital writing last week at a trade show geared for government agencies.

The FOSE 2004 event in Washington, DC, drew some 19,000 attendees.

Representatives of Mi-Co, which specializes in mobile data and electronic writing, were on hand to work with partners such as Hewlett Packard, Motion Computing and others.”

Mi-Co provides digital writing software to increase efficiency and effectiveness of the entire process of capturing and using data with end-to-end enterprise solutions. Mi-Co’s Mi-Forms technology supports .the Tablet PC, the Logitech io Digital Pen, Pocket PC and signature capture devices. 10:40 am

Tablet PCs unwanted?
Asia Computer Weekly

The bumpy ride for tablet PC vendors will continue for at least the next couple of years. Back in 2001 when Microsoft’s Bill Gates unveiled the first tablet PC prototypes in Comdex, he forecasted that tablets would become the most popular form of PCs within five years Allen Wong, business development manager of Fujitsu PC Asia-Pacific admitted that selling tablet PCs is not an easy business.

“For users who want to use PCs to increase productivity, tablets are too expensive; for vertical markets, tablets do not support enough applications that are useful to them,” Wong said.

According to Microsoft, it will release its next tablet PC OS—Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2004 in Q2 this year. The new release will include new features such as easier pen-based input with the new Table PC Input Panel and enhanced OneNote. This allows users to write, type, draw, and audio-record notes on the same page, organise the notes, and reuse them in Office applications.

The lack of applications, according to Wong, is a significant hindrance. “We projected that the major users of tablets would be verticals such as building, insurance, and hospitals. If there are no useful applications for them, there is no reason for them to carry a tablet around.”

But Toshiba disagreed, foreseeing that the tablet’s uptake would be primarily driven by the need to increase productivity.

“People use tablets because of the convenience it offers. It allows ‘corridor warriors’—who run from one meeting to another—to continue their work. For instance, looking at their PowerPoint slides again to prepare for the next presentation

Despite the convenience tablets bring, short battery life remains a major hindrance. “Four to five hours is not enough for people on the go. And for those who travel on the plane, much longer hours are needed,” Wu said.

Wu also believed monitors for tablets need to be brighter. “For indoor use, tablets’ monitors are fine, but for outdoor usage, they need to be brighter and of higher resolution. 10:33 am

Microsoft Touts Perks of Yukon, Whidbey and Laguna
eWeek

Microsoft released the first alpha version of the SQL Server 2005 bits to developers attending the Mobile DevCon. The bits shipped as part of the Visual Studio 2005 "technical community preview" alpha release that Microsoft handed out at the conference. The final version of SQL Server 2005 Mobile, code-named Laguna, is slated to ship by mid-2005, along with Whidbey and Yukon.

Laguna is a subset of SQL Server that is optimized for mobile devices. The compact database is designed to run on Microsoft's PocketPC, Smartphone and Tablet PC systems.  10:27 am

March 30, 2004

ADT at Gartner Expo: Gates sees more modeling, less coding
ADT Magazine

Moving to the subject of the tablet PC, Fleisher questioned its necessity, noting that two generations of students have now been taught to type as part of the PC revolution. Gates insisted that people still want to write notes in the margins and circle and underline key points in presentations and other documents.

He said what is innovative about Microsoft’s concept of digital pen and paper is that those notes in the margin on the original document can be immediately e-mailed to co-workers. This, Gates argued, provides a context that is frequently missing in e-mail today. An e-mail that reads, “What’s going on with sales in Japan?” may be meaningless without the source document that raised the question.

According to Gates, these technological innovations will be among “many of the holy grails of computers,” which he predicted will be solved in the next decade. 12:56 pm

Citrix Fine-Tunes a Winning Formula
Microsoft Certified Professional 

resentation Server is the core product in the Access Suite, and FR3 offers several interesting new features. Optional integration with Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) provides more comprehensive and centralized monitoring of terminal servers. A new Tablet PC-compatible ICA client for Windows, ICA clients for Java and Mac OS X, and native support for Windows 2003 all help make FR3 a compelling upgrade for existing MetaFrame users. 12:51 pm

Tighter code part of Microsoft security effort, Gates says
SearchWindows2000.com

Speech and handwriting recognition will join security as key areas of research and development for Microsoft in the future, Bill Gates said today at the Gartner Symposium ITxpo.

In an on-stage interview with Gartner Inc. CEO Michael Fleischman, Gates also said that Microsoft plans to do more to help IT organizations conform to business processes, a concept that the company's chairman and chief software architect referred to as "modeling."

On the issue of software security, Gates said that Microsoft is working on limiting the parts of the Windows operating system that may be vulnerable to attack, while also streamlining Microsoft's code. But in an acknowledgement that hackers will always try to exploit weaknesses, Gates said that his company is focusing its effort on isolating viruses and other threats once they have entered a system, so that damage can be limited.

The handwriting is on the wall

Handwriting-recognition software, which Microsoft introduced in its Tablet PC operating system last year, will see an increase in adoption because of IT workers' need to annotate documents so they can better collaborate with one another.  12:48 pm

 

March 31, 2004

New CD-ROM-equipped Tablet PC from NEC Personal Products
Japan Corporate News

NEC Personal Products has begun marketing the LOOKCLUB Series, a new tablet PC that comes with a built-in 4x CD-ROM drive. The portable PC is primarily designed for web browsing, listening to music, and viewing images and documents.

The product incorporates a simple user interface to enable intuitive, simple operations for inexperienced PC users.

Powered by an Intel 400MHz PXA255 processor, the Linux notebook features 64MB of ROM, 32MB of RAM, and an 8.4-inch LCD screen (640x480). The 1.1kg unit measures 243x161x34mm, and is priced at 68,250 yen ($599).

A model with a 12.1-inch LCD and the LOOKLET, a smaller model with a 4.3-inch display, will be available later this year.
  1:08 pm

SBC Park Offers Universal WiFi Connectivity
TMCnet

As the San Francisco Giants prepare to open their fifth season at SBC Park, fans will find numerous technological enhancements to their ballpark experience making SBC Park the ultimate “hot spot” in 2004.

The Giants, along with partners SBC and Nortel Networks have installed 121 802.11b Wi-Fi access points to provide continuous universal coverage to all concourses and seating areas, creating one of the largest public hotspots in the world. Fans who bring their PDA, tablet PC, laptop or other Wi-Fi enabled devices to the ballpark will gain free access, during the 2004 baseball season at SBC Park, to the internet through SBC’s Freedomlink network. 1:06 pm

Cutting edge: Schools and colleges clamor for more computer power
Milford Daily News,

At Dean College, chalkboard dust and erasers may soon be a thing of the past.     

Lyn Benton, an associate professor of business and math, is now testing a Motion Computing Tablet PC, a product reminiscent of an Etch A Sketch that projects onto a screen in front of the class.

 "You used to have to sit in class and write feverishly," Benton said. "Now students are able to sit back and see how you got to where you are. Instead of just having to do it by rote, they're doing a different type of thinking, a different level of thinking."

 The high-tech tablet is also connected, wirelessly, to the Internet, so on the screen Benton can incorporate data of all kinds.

"In a business class I was talking about the European Union so I brought up a map of Europe and d the countries that have the Euro," Benton said while writing on the tablet with her stylus.

The beauty of the computerized tablet, Benton said, is the math problems, graphs, charts andshe scrawls on the screen are not only flashed in front of students, they are also saved onto the school's intranet. Students simply go back to their dorm rooms and download Benton's notes onto their computers.

Benton is Dean's self-proclaimed guinea pig for the tablets, an expensive piece of equipment that technology directors at several local schools say they'd love to use, but can't afford. But that doesn't mean nearby Framingham State College and public schools are technology neophytes.  12:56 pm

2014: The Year of Free Hardware?
InternetNews.com

Gates told the audience that ten years from now, thanks to the principles of Moore's Law with processing power, and the evolution of software, hardware will be so ubiquitious that it would practically be free. Not absolutely free, he added. "But in terms of the power of the servers, the power of the desktop machines, the network will not be a limiting factor."

Fleisher pressed Gates on why, if devices will have speech recognition, Microsoft has such a focus with the Tablet PC.

"Well, ink is super, super important," Gates responded, because written information can be looked at by several people at once, especially when it's part of an interactive, multimedia document, such as a sales report that's linked to a variety of data sources. Besides, he said, there are many situations, such as meetings, where verbal note-taking would be annoying to others. It's also good for adding annotations to digital documents.

He implied that people who don't get the Tablet PC just don't get it. He said, "I mean, I don't go to any conferences now and have people tell me, 'Hey, what about a graphics interface, wasn't that a stupid idea?' There was a decade of my career where almost every conference like this would be, 'Why have you bet your company on this fruit-loop graphics interface thing? It's slow. It's hard to program to. Who needs 59 icons and 11 fonts?'"

When Fleisher pointed out that there's a hardware cost involved with adding a Tablet, Gates agreed that the addition of Tablet functionality has to cost $100 or less to be accepted by users. "And that's what we're getting to," Gates said. "Literally, this year, that will be about the situation."  12:52 pm

New wave of Web ads on the way
CNET News.com

Internet marketers are promising a new generation of online advertising "lite" that's more effective and less annoying than some current methods, but they could have a hard time convincing jaded Web surfers they're for real.

Highlighting the trend, 180solutions this week will begin promoting a downloadable program that purports to offer a gentler twist on "adware," providing users access to free music downloads and other content in exchange for the right to flash a limited number of ads onto their computer screens

In one example, a story on BetaNews (an IntelliTxt customer) about Microsoft's game strategy links the words "Internet access" to an ad for AOL's 9.0 Optimized premium Web access package. Microsoft's own name in the opening paragraph features an ad for a tablet PC  12:49 PM

Cirond Ships Winc Manager 2.0; Latest Version of the Company's Leading Wireless Network Management and Security Solution Includes Broader Support for Access Points and Sensors
Business Wire

Cirond Corporation (OTCBB:CROO) is now shipping the latest version of its flagship wireless network and management solution. Winc Manager 2.0 is now available at a price of $2995 directly through the company's Web site at http://www.cirond.com or through its network of Value Added Reseller (VAR) partners.

Cirond has gained extensive feedback from beta test users of the product over the last several months - and took time to add further features to Winc Manager based on that feedback. As a result, Winc Manager 2.0 is now shipping with support for the widest possible range of wireless access points of any product in its class - as well as support for wireless sensors that can be used to provide wireless positioning and performance information.

Winc Manager 2.0 is a cost-effective, Microsoft Windows-based software application that sits on the "wired" side of a company network and includes all the capabilities needed to manage wireless networks. Winc Manager 2.0 is designed for implementation by value added resellers (VARs) and network administrators - and includes 50 licenses for Cirond's innovative Winc or pocketWinc "client" software (which customers can use on any Windows-based, wireless-enabled notebook, desktop, Tablet PC or handheld computer). 12:45 pm

 

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