Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Melbourne, Eo, Hugo and them

It seems as though my Tablet PC travels have caught the attention of Bjorn Sstromberg, of the blog. When I did some exploration, and more interesting still, I found out that Bjorn is Employed by VIA Technologies, Inc and writes the UltraMobileLife blog as he keeps VIA's watchful eye over the Tablet movement. Thank you Bjorn for showing interest in Australia, and in what I do, and for running such a thorough blog yourself. In this post I want to describe just how much effort is going into this thing called "Tablet PC in Australia."

So Monday was a massive day. Both eo and I headed to the airport for a 6:30am departure with no intention of returning home until 11:30pm that same evening. Our destination, Melbourne, was still somewhat of a mystery to us both. As the lady in the terminal with the sweet voice bellows: "last call for all passengers flying to Melbourne," eo and I quickly finish our McDonald’s breakfast and make our way to Gate 49.

I land at the Melbourne domestic terminal and witness the runway crew performing a rather good impersonation of Antarctic Explorer's, rugged up and looking very concerned for their own well being; unfortunately I too was to receive a strong dose of the Melbourne climate. As the mobile staircase pulled up to my plane I made sure that my tie was tight, and my shirt tucked in...ouch! I really like Melbourne, a lot. Melbourne is similar in many ways to Europe in that its people are extremely multicultural. The weather, obviously, does its best to imitate the European winters, albeit not as strong. It’s the smell of the marvelous Melbourne cuisine that wins most hearts though…Oh! Tablets.

I picked up my hire care, as requested with Satellite Navigation, and made my way to the Central CBD. After catching up with a friend for breakfast (Jarrod Thomas of Centralite) I made my way across the road from the General Post Office, in the heart of the City. For appropriate reasons I will not disclose their name but lets just say this little store happily runs a staff of 20 plus in a premise that normally survives with 4 retail staff only. After my meeting we’d sealed an agreement and happily given eo a new residence in the heart of the city.

I then moved on to the outer skirts of Melbourne where a Distribution Company was eagerly awaiting eo and I, well, mostly eo. As I prepared in the car I let eo have a conversation with my 3G phone (Motorola A1000) and strolled into my meeting with eo now 3G enabled. As the Distributors looked over the device the questions quickly moved onto internet connectivity, to which I replied: “you’re already online.” To their amusement they opened IE and started surfing.

When it comes to broadband enablement with a device like an UMPC I’m starting to see the phone/UMPC conversation (via Bluetooth) playing a more prominent role than ever. I can’t see why we want to carry another plug in card, therefore depreciating battery life and increasing weight. Short of embedding 3G chips in the motherboard the phone/UMPC scenario seems most effective to me. Given that 89% of us (invented stat) carry Bluetooth enabled phones I can’t see why we would like more devices and more “bills” for internet connectivity.

So eo and I wrapped up this meeting to a resounding applause and made our way to the Chadstone shopping mall. Here I was met by a Malaysian man nmaed Ivan, a humble yet very knowledgeable counterpart. His presence is solid and very determined. He looked through eo, Sahara Touchscreens and even the Superna Control Box I carried with me. He had questions, I had answers, and overall a warm connection was made between us. His project, which I suffer from NDA regarding, is a very exciting one. It may see 1,000’s of UMPCs rolled out between now and the next 18months. Obviously we treaded lightly but both foresaw possibilities beyond our wildest dreams.

Back in the car, more addresses entered into Mr. GPS and I am off to the City again; this time with Mr. Randall H. Garrett, of Apex Software in the United States. We’d been chatting online for several months and connected on several geekish levels. We decided to sit together as his commitment to Tablet PC, and my focus, meant that our two paths were destined to cross. We drank coffee at Starbucks and enjoyed the company of Anthony Caruana, Freelance Journalist, and PDA Guy too, and Apex Australia’s Darrell Cann. This meeting was full of tales and tribulations, frustrations and talk of futurism. Between us we solved the world’s most burning issues of battery power, broadband internet connectivity and even Global Warming…mmmm. Maybe!

As I left the Apex/Journo combo I remembered just how much fun it is to be a nerd. Not only am I entitled to lots of coffee but also like-minded friendships too. And when I say like-minded I mean one-eyed, maniacal like-mindedness that comes with Geek Pride (is that weird???).

As I wave good-bye, we wish each other the best, and I make my way to another location. There I catch up, for the first time (although we’ve been talking for a long time), with Adam Turner, another Freelance Journalist. I hand him the eo and wish him luck. We don’t really get to spend much time together as it turns out he’s wife is rather pregnant; interesting, there must be something in the water?

“seeya Adam, good luck!” I turn the car to the main road and make my way to a nice Pizzeria in around the corner. I walk in, power up my slate and start to surf the news of the day. The sun has gone down on the day and my nervous system is flooded with Coffee. I decide to order a black tea and a double mozzarella pepperoni pizza. As I eat and reflect I decide that the day has done far more than I expected it to. The meetings have shown UMPC to be, if anything, of interest, and Tablet PC to be in the front of people’s mind; and that can’t be a bad thing for me.

As I made the 90minute journey back to the Airport I but on the heater, turned up the radio and began to unwind. It’s now 9pm and all is done. Thank you Melbourne, you put on a great show! Can’t wait to get to bed at around midnight tonight.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

eo gets 3G & GPRS via Bluetooth

The last few days have been an absolute marathon. Not matter how "household" we believe the terms "Bluetooth" and "3G" to be it seems that getting the pair to talk is not that easy, especially when you throw-in an eo and the Motorola A1000. As I hang up the phone with my sixth Support-Staff member he whispers to me: "so how did you get it to work?" Little did I know, three days ago, that this simple task would turn into a revolution in computing terms?

I'll post a video soon but here is what I've done:

I can't wait to tell you all about it. Hopefully this little task can serve as reference to you all soon.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

David Wallace reviews Acer C200

If I’d typed a post using a stick shoved in my mouth as the pointing device I’d expect you all to read it; if that same post, written by Lifekludger’s Dave Wallace, is insightful and enlightening, then it should be considered obligatory.

It seems that our favourite wheelchair bound geek is at it again; first with his review of the Sahara Slate PC, and now the Acer C200. Tablet PC Review Spot has run with the article and given Dave the real time-of-day he deserves. If David has a post then it's definitely worth tracking, his dis-ability gives us the ability to gain insight. I’m a big fan of what David brings to the Tablet PC community and a staunch supporter of his commitment to his own progress.

Thank you Dave, you’re a star.

Submitted by Barry J. Doyle on Thursday, May 25, 2006


It was then I found something interesting in the way I was operating the Acer. The lack of trackball/easy way move cursor meant often resorted to keyboard shortcuts that I normally wouldn't do. As moving the cursor with the Trackpoint' device was possible I found it a bit hard on my teeth and would, when possible (that is, in reach) drag stuff on the screen or tap' the screen rather than stretch back to click the mouse button.

Double-click was difficult for the same reasons. So I often found myself doing strange combinations between screen/keyboard, like tap screen'- hit enter key' to open things. And drag screen'- scroll wheel' to move up-down a page. Odd combinations as a work around for not being able to reach everywhere easily -- I was Lifekludging on the Acer.

So the experience reminded me of a definition of accessibility I read from him years ago by Joe Clark which has driven much of what I do -- it goes something like "Accessibility is about accommodating characteristics a person cannot change by providing options". And so I found myself using the options a touch' screen provides to get around accessing the Acer. The screen adds another option for input.

Friday, May 26, 2006

UMPC Next Stop Canberra

In June I've been invited to talk to the "Canberra Windows User Group." For those of you overseas, Canberra is Australia's Capital City, and home to a large group of our politicians. For those of you that are in Australia, yeh, Canberra, oh well, beats going to Adelaide (jokes).

It’s important to note that Microsoft inspired User Groups are an infectious affair with oodles of geeks and bags of gadgets, the Canberra User Group being no different. Since a great chunk of the attendees will be from the Government sector you can always rely on lots of gossip and plenty of tales. If you’re in the area pop-on over and enjoy some Pizza at half time, and more. I have been asked to run two sessions as listed below and for your convenience I have pasted a snipping from our hosts' group-email sent out earlier today.

Canberra Windows User Group - June Meeting Invitation Group runs Tuesday 13th June 2006 Microsoft Canberra Office
Level 2, 44 Sydney Ave Barton
Two Sessions 16:00 – 17:30 and 18:00 – 19:30
Both sessions meet together @ 17:30 for Pizza and refreshments

David Mackie:

"I was hoping that the UMPC was going to make my need to carry a laptop in the truck obsolete but not to be sadly. I need 3G and I also need a phone with no camera of course it needs to run Windows Mobile too, so Bluetooth is not an option.

So I am a really fussy consumer as you can see and I still think I might get a UMPC and hope the second generation Origami will make my Compaq Evo look like this:

This is what I really want PCMCIA socket or a USB 3G Card so I can really leverage mobility solutions that make sense for me this month Hugo Ortega (The Tablet Guy) will be in town taking about tablet PCs and mobility in general, he will have a UMPC with him so you can get a look at one up close.

I am sure that this will be an informative and very worth while session and we can continue the theme forward with mobility sessions in the Infrastructure optimization of the fictitious company now renamed to HappyTime again so we can protect the innocent. We can help
make their infrastructure fly as the weeks go on."

Hugo Ortega reviews Fujitsu T4020 Tablet PC

Last night I set myself the fortunate task of reviewing the Fujitsu T4020 Convertible Tablet PC. Although the task is somewhat becoming more familiar to me, on this occasion it was combination of some nerves and lack of sleep that turned a simple task, into a two day affair.

Fujitsu sent me the T4020 to use as my preferred blogging device during my role as CeBIT Blogger; I’ve been the proud holder of the device since May 10th and have found it to be quite an asset. While this is my first formal video review of a Tablet PC I think the results may provide you with an insight into the T4020’s look, feel and performance; one day I’ll put together a ‘bloopers’ reel of this review, it’s so funny.

Sit back and enjoy as Hugo Ortega reviews the Fujitsu T4020 Tablet PC…after this effort he has a new found respect for other famed video bloggers like Rob Bushway and James Kendrick, you guys rock!

Watch it here, or here:
[9 min/33MB]

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Tablet PC is great in 2008!

If you follow Craig Pringle's blog you may have seen an article titled "Now is the time for Tablets." Not only was the article very cleverly written but it did what all good articles should do, it inspired thought! Some of the famed responses were:

While I didn't join in on the debate I did find the topic, and everyone's input, rather intriguing. If you look at all the articles it isn't difficult to see that we're actually all sharing one very important common thought, i.e. Tablet PC is on the rise and not vice versa.

Today I thought I'd wade in on the debate as a friend decided to forward me a hardcopy of an article written in "The Australian," titled: "CIOs struggle to keep staff". While the article itself is of little consequence to the Tablet PC space it was interesting to note one omission from the online version of the article. When I received the attachment I found a small survey, conducted by IDC Australia, titled "Forecast For Management Survey 2006". As part of their finding IDC chose to look at Hot Technologies to 2008 of which the findings therein reminded me of the Pringle Affair... So what did IDC find?

Hot Technologies to 2008/Forecast Growth

  • Voice and voice over IP: 179%
  • Tablet PCs: 87%
  • Sales force automation tools: 84%

As I perused the attachment, and looked back over Craig's article, I must admit that 2008 felt more representative of my conclusions, more so than 2006 does. Since the release of UMPC I've fielded 10 - 4 0 phone calls per day on Ultra mobile PC (and therefore Tablet) as a productivity tool. Not only have I had to explain the idiosyncrasies of UMPC but more interestingly still I've had to educate most of these callers primarily on what is Tablet.

Today we're living in a world where the number one feature that makes callers’ pickup a telephone and enquire about UMPC is its size/processor ratio. While I too see UMPC as a great tool for software, wanting hardware, "bigger than a PDA and smaller than a laptop." What I find disconcerting about most callers is that too often they overlook the power of digital ink.

What I'd like to do today is ask anyone considering UMPC to also consider the power of digital ink; we must always remember that the ability to take handwritten notes, therefore allowing them to be printable, emailable, shareable, erasable and editable, is also the ability to empower free thought. While most companies find it difficult to understand this concept (mostly because they're focused on UMPCs’ size) I think the easiest way to describe this concept is by looking at the "additional comments" box found on most paper forms. Giving people the ability to ink additional thoughts, or diagrams, gives your software the power of free-speech. Never underestimate the ink!

So why do I think 2008, and not 2006?

I believe that between the time it takes a company to research the implementation of a new product, design/redesign software for it, roll it out, rework the software, re-rollout, rework and rollout again, we will definitely see ourselves stroll past 2007 and therefore well into 2008. Look at the EO and Samsung for example; the eo, with late deliveries on all orders, and the Samsung, still trying to decide where and who to sell to, are both prime examples of time rolling by. We're in late May 2006 and the key players are still the OEMs and the Software Developers. Until the key player in this space becomes the consumer the whole Tablet-thing won’t generate enough attention for anyone to deem it a success. Right now we’re in the hands of the Software Developers as they work on that one killer-app that will take UMPC from a clever idea, to a household/executive necessity.

My only advice would be to start sewing Tablet seeds now, because when 2008 rolls around it will be too late for anyone not already involved. I'm cuddling and hugging lots of new Partners so that my 2008 end of year party can raise my champagne glass to Tablet, and not spend the night grumbling about it as another great idea that lost its place in the world.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Hugo Ortega plays with Fujitsu T4020

I announced several posts back that I’d been handed a Fujitsu T4020 Convertible Tablet PC. Today, although not intended as a full review, I decided to posts some thoughts.

I must disclose that my original purpose for having this device was somewhat selfish. Since I’d been handed the role as blogger for the CeBIT Australia Fair I knew that my primary dilemma in accomplishing this task would be my love for the slate pc. I hunted and looked through my piles of Tablets to only realise that I have a rather refined Slate fetish; the only convertible/hybrid I own is a HP TC1100 which would definitely be under-processed and under-sized for the task.

David at Fujitsu answered my call rather enthusiastically with the delivery of a “Brand New” T4020 Convertible Tablet PC that had been sitting in the office and designated as a “Emergency Only” Tablet… I peeled open the boxes, and layers of insulation, to find what at first site appears to be a rather good attempt at post-modern Tabletism. The reason I term it post-modern is that Fujitsu’s design team has gone to considerable effort to create a funky machine; with its rounded edges and two-toned grey/silvers it seems that Fujitsu colour coordinators have definitely done away with PC Beige as a preferred hue.

Booting the T4020 quickly gives the Tableteer a glimpse of great things to come…speed (impressive for an Intel® Pentium® M Processor 750 1.86GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 533MHz FSB) ! As we all know faster is better, right? In this case absolutely, positively better. From the word GO this Tablet screams. Gone are all the proprietary software bits that make very good computers run like dogs, i.e. infamous with IBM and Sony VAIO. When I first booted this device I was pleasantly surprised to find myself in the Windows environment well before many more fabled machines. One Windows Mobile fanatic friend of mine pointed out a very ironic little quirk in this device just recently: “stupid isn’t it that the fingerprint scanner is located on the body of the computer and not the screen? What if I want to swipe my finger when in Tablet mode?”

All-in-all the keyboard feels great and the weight/functionality ratios are all tipped in the favour of the T4020. I like it so far but stay tuned for a more comprehensive Video Review later next week.

More Tablet PC Videos I like

As you all know I'm a big fan of; surfing around I found a newly launched set of videos regarding Tablet PC. I really think that Tablet PC remains untapped in several markets but none more than the Realty Vertical. Look here as VREO takes us through some new videos describing Tablet PC and their environment.

The only peculiarity was the use of images to talk about Ultra Mobile PC (Origami), poor guys at VREO must have missed out on the first allocations of product. )-:

Watch here, here, or here:

Tablet PCs vs. Laptops

Dashboard vs. Journal Demo

PS. Vreo, if you need my assistance in the Australia/New Zealand Market I'll be more than happy to oblige.

Did you see GottaBeMobile's RoB Bushways great P1510 review? Watch here, or here!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Tegatech Australia announces 2nd sellout

It seems Tegatech Australia and Ultra Mobile PC are on-fire; Tegatech Australia has just announced another sellout, but this time of allocation number two. While Samsung still ponders the UMPC market in Australia, Tegatech Australia seems adamant in proving that Ultra Mobile PC has a place.

When asked exactly who is buying these devices Tegatech Australia is quite clear: "Our Resellers are targeting the Verticals and major Corporations. Medical, Finance, Gaming, Education and Realestate all seem to be hotspots. In recent times several Government Agencies have made enquiries too."

You tell me if Ultra Mobile PC has a space in Australia and New Zealand.


ETA in Australia is end of April 2006. Units will be allocated on a priority basis to orders placed, and paid for, as of now 29th March 2006.

[UPDATE 13th April 2006 10:30am] First allocation of eo is sold out (in black) and we have 7 only left (in white). Second allocation is now ON SALE and due for delivery in Australia on the 19th of May 2006.

[UPDATE 28th April 2006 17:28] First allocation of eo is now completely sold out. Second allocation is now ON SALE and is already 20% sold out. Due to final retooling the first allocation is due for delivery in mid to late May 2006 and second allocation early June 2006.

[UPDATE 18th May 2006 16:33] Second allocation of eo is now completely sold out. The third allocation is now ON SALE. Due to final retooling the first allocation, and second allocation, are due for delivery in mid June 2006.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Australian sees Ultra Mobile PCs

Finally the newspapers and mainstream media have jumped on the UMPC bandwagon, albeit way after the blogosphere has been reporting of its progress!!! This time it's "The Australian" newspaper with its rendition of a UMPC wrap-up, or better yet, introduction. The author Ian Cuthbertson seems quite enamored by the products and is one of the lucky few to have had both the Samsung Q1 and the Tablet Kiosk EO grace his presence.

I sent Ian the EO after issuing strict instructions: "same-day delivery to you; and same-day delivery back to me." He obliged and subsequently did a rather nice job of the article. I’m not only praising the fact that he understood the product and its intentions, but more so that he used all his resources to get the job done, i.e. intelligence, open-mindedness and most importantly both the products. It was Ian’s boss, Stuart Kennedy, Editor of IT for The Australian, that came to my home on a very rainy Friday morning to pickup the device. We spent several minutes together as he probed and pried into the life and times of UMPC; as he rode off on his motorbike in the rain I could only pray for EO’s safe return – being that it was the only working Ultra mobile PC in the ANZ marketplace.

The one issue that has given me the sh!ts more than anything else recently is journalists that are scathing towards UMPC without having ever lay eyes, or fingers for that matter, on one.

Read here as Ian takes us on an Ultra Mobile stroll through Tablet stardom.


The almighty midget
Ian Cuthbertson
MAY 16, 2006

“Early adopters will be keen to dive on in, but if UMPCs are to become as ubiquitous as mobile phones, prices are sure to tumble fairly quickly, perhaps to below $1000 by Christmas.
So this cute little item could easily wind up being the next big thing.”


"So the fi rst UMPCs in Australia will be the Samsung Q1 and the TabletKiosk eo, both expected next month. The Samsung seems to be better built, but the TabletKiosk will probably be cheaper.

Early adopters, start your engines. "

UMPC news from the middle-east

If you're like me then the colour of PCB will excite!!! EO UMPC

A close friend of mine from the middle-east recently shot me an article (no pun intended) regarding UMPC in Israel. Although the article is written in Hebrew he was kind enough to translate the key points for us. He tells me that the EO UMPC, albeit wearing new clothes, was spotted at the Microsoft TechED Conference held in Eilat (click on Eilat to see it on Google Earth), Israel, the city on the Red Sea – most south point in Israel. TechEd Israel was a two-day event that closed on May 11th 2006; Stephen Sinofsky, Senior Vice president of Windows and Windows live Group, Microsoft, was the keynote at this event; it certainly looks as though Mobility was the focus at the Conference (other topics were Vista).

Microsoft seems to be pushing the Ultra Mobile PC quite heavily in the consumer electronics space as that was the focus at this show. The Israeli Journalist of the article is keen to point out that: "Microsoft wants people to take their info everywhere with these devices, just like people learnt to take music with the iPOD".

Here is a picture from the show, and a link to the article (for all of my Hebrew reading audience)

Anyone want to make an "Ink Donation?" Don't ask!

A Hebrew translation of the article, copied from an email sent to me:

  • Microsoft people demonstrate the new Tablet capabilities built -in Vista.
  • Number 1 – the digital pen can now perform 8 (eight) actions that in regular computer require a mouse. High-light, delete, cut, paste and a few more action with a touch of the Pen. Work with those features can be quicker in Tablets now, however it requires some training and skills acquisition.
  • Number 2 – Hand write identification capabilities is far better now with T9 dictionary adopted from the Mobile phone space. Meaning – at the moment Microsoft running a process of collection handwrite samples in many languages. When writing on the tablet the T9 will try to guess what the writer means and complete the sentence before the writer does. Whom that tried that before in his mobile phone knows the pros and cons of this system but the fact that this is a valid option in Vista means allot more users would be able to use them efficiently simply because they are comfortable and quick with T9 already.

    [Now why this feature is extremely important for the Israeli market – because till now there was no handwrite Identification software for Tablet in Hebrew, which made Tablet obsolete in the Israeli market. It is safe to assume that this is the situation with another few non-latin based languages around the world. Now with the new systems for handwrite identification the Israeli market can hope that within a year there will be Hebrew enabled Tablet. Shmuel Yair, in charge of Localization in MS Israel, hope that by the end of the year he will be able to collect the 15,000 samples needed for creating the database.]

It's great to see that Ultra Mobile PC has made it to Israel and is doing its best to blanket the globe. It really only takes two minutes to realize how powerful these devices can be, especially if English is not your mother tongue. If you've seen someone send an email in Hebrew or Chinese you'll realize just how revolutionary Digital Ink can be. by giving people the ability to input handwritten notes in these languages and have the device, UMPC, convert these to text for them we've given them access to an extremely powerful tool.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Media has UMPC on their mind

So the CeBIT Australia Fair has come and gone; a grand event that attracted thousands of attendees. The one flow-on effect that I love most is PR. There has been so much good publicity come from the event and it has generated more enthusiasm than I expected.

I wanted to take the opportunity to point you to some articles, good and bad, and allow you to express your own thoughts. Enjoy.

Some Examples are:

CeBIT show descends on Sydney
The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age
By Louisa Hearn
May 8, 2006

snipping -

Another small product to make its debut at CeBIT is eo, which is one of the first of the Ultra Mobile PCs to hit the shelves in Australia. Developed by TabletKiosk, the eo sits somewhere between a tablet PC and PDA.

Built around the Microsoft XP tablet PC operating system, it allows users to take handwritten notes, surf the internet, exchange instant messages, listen to music, watch movies and play games. It is being distributed locally by Tegatech.

Best bits
The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age
May 13, 2006

[I love the title as it relates to the CeBIT Show, and UMPC is the highlighted product]

snipping -

Among the stars of the show was the ultra-mobile personal computer (UMPC) - between a tablet PC and a personal digital assistant (PDA) - with full PC capabilities at half of the price of a tablet. The new $1650 EO from TabletKiosk is 50 per cent bigger than the average PDA, runs Windows XP and ditches Pocket PC applications in favour of full Windows software versions.

Hugo Ortega, the principal of Tegatech Australia (, distributors of the EO, says demand has already outstripped initial estimates, with 250 units sold in the first two hours of orders opening. It arrives in June.

[Surely the 250 is use of Journalistic license, as I never said that! Sounds like she's talking about a Rolling Stones concert, not a Tablet...]

CeBIT Australia shuts up shop
The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age
By Louisa Hearn
May 12, 2006 - 9:46AM

snipping -

Although Microsoft was absent at this year's CeBIT, its spirit was kept alive through the EO Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC). Based on the Origami concept first devised by Microsoft, the EO sits somewhere between a tablet PC and PDA and allows users to take handwritten notes, surf the internet, exchange instant messages, listen to music, watch movies and play games.

[Related post: Origami unfolds at CeBIT, again! ]

The question remains - why?
The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age
By David Pogue
May 9, 2006

snipping -

WHERE: Since it's so hard to enter text, few will try to do email, programming, word processing or spreadsheet work on this computer. Good for boardroom presentations.

[Too funny; talk about missing the point (boardroom presentations, please.) David, mate! If you run Microsoft Infopath or if you bothered ink-enabling any enterprise applications then you'd see that the repercussions on increased productivity are massive. Just ask XXXXX (big credit card merchant) who pay hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for hand-recognition software that can read a filled out application form. What if XXXXXX used UMPC's to input the data straight into handwriting, therefore converting it to text on-the fly? Wouldn't that alone increase productivity, and render the UMPC useful? This Merchant cannot do this at the moment because PDA screens are too small and under processed for this task!!! It's beginning to sound oh too familiar; PDA's too small for many tasks, and Laptop’s too big. All we need is for UMPC battery life to improve for more enterprise solutions to be developed.

I've said it before and will say it again: UMPC is a "workhorse." The expectations on a workhorse are that a given task, namely one, is conducted in the most effeciect manner. You wouldn't axpect a workhorse to multi-task, and I wouldn't expect my UMPC to either. As generation 2 and 3 are released I'm sure that the UMPC's multi-tasking abilities will improve; for now however I'm sticking to my arguement that UMPC is a great workhorse.

It's so funny when Journalists miss the point; it's like handing a Monkey a gun sometimes!]

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Hugo Ortega Unmasked

As you all know I've been spending some time with David Wallace; David is not only ambitious but committed too. As a commitment to himself he has started a new Podcast on Cameron Riley's "Podcast Network," dubed the "Extraordinary Everyday Lives". David and I actually met on one of Cameron's shows and hit it off since then.

Although this is not a Tablet PC related post I am pointing you to David's podcast as his first ever guest on the show! Obviously we've all done a lot in our lives and I believe that given the chance you all could share great tales; on this occassion it's my turn and I therefore share it with you as friends of mine, and extended family.

Oh! One really cool feature of this podcast is the addition of Google Maps to help dentify places of interest. Also David and Mike have written a little XML to take you through a Google Journey that relates to this show! Have fun...

Thanks for reading The Under Tablet Blog, and for supporting David. Have a great Weekend.

Show Notes

Dave Wallace and Mike Seyfang talk to Hugo Ortega of UberTablet blog fame. As it turns out, Hugo is famous for something else…
We discover how Hugo came to be living and working in war-torn Kosovo, what he did there for 2 years and what a Balkan Sunflower is.
Also we find out what other language Hugo speaks, why he’s fit just right for running a successful business and what musical instrument he still can’t play.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Can't help but talk Tablet

As you all know I was involved with the CeBIT Fair just recently. I was helping out one of the stands, as Tablet PC Guy, and also running the CeBIT Blog. Although I could not be too opportunistic, what I could do is be efficient.Allow me to explain.

I love Tablet, & Tablet loves me; As I made my way through The Official Blog duties I managed to squeeze in some valueable Tablet exposure.

Here's some examples:

The greatest moment however was when Australia's Gadget Guy, Peter Blasina, from the Sunrise Show, invited me on stage to talk about the Ultra Mobile PC. Since I was at CeBIT helping out one of the UMPC resellers I decided to take up two other poducts too; a Home Automation device by Superna Systems, and the world's thinnest credit card sized flash memory, Walletex.

Enjoy this video here, or here, or here:

Friday, May 12, 2006

Official Blogging complete - for now!

Today I completed my task as Official CeBIT Blogger. The role was extremely fulfilling and a lot of fun. You’ll be pleased to know that as part of my kit of blogging utensils I used a Sahara Slate, a HP TC1100, a Fujitsu T Series and the eo UMPC.

As part of today’s activities I interviewed the Senior Vice President of Hannover Fairs Worldwide; I told him that Tablet PC was my favorite productivity tool in the hope that he might admit to owning one too! He didn’t. But it was fun to shove the question in there. LOL.

I hope you enjoyed the CeBIT Blog and I promise that the UberTablet Blog will return to normal broadcasting right after I catch up with some sleep. I gave the role my absolute all, even though it was unpaid and under resourced, in the hope of giving you a different look at CeBIT affairs.

Stay well and talk to you soon…

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Television Guy & Hugo talk UMPC

Today I spent the day at CeBIT Australia – and I know you’re all wondering, yes, eo did too! We (eo and I) walked around the Fair, got harassed by Frank Arrigo (thanks for breakfast mate) and the SWMUG Boys. It was evident early on that eo would once again shine today.

I've been at the CeBIT show as Official Blogger (what a contradiction in terms :-) and as part of the G Innovations Stand. G Innovations is a reseller of Tegatech Australia's and therefore UMPC. They specialise in Home Automation and know just about everyone inthe industry. They asked me to assist at their stand, and even made me a badge that reads "Tablet PC Specialist," wow!

Today it was Channel Seven’s Peter Blasina that stopped me and requested a impromptu Origami Performance. How could I say no? For all of you that know me, it’s stopping me talking about Tablet that is the problem, not starting me, poor Peter. Watch here, or here, or here:

I’ve got a brand new T Series Fujitsu Tablet to play with…mmmmmmmm yummy. It will be with me, and eo, in NZ, Melbourne and all over Sydney.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Origami Unfolds at CeBIT Again

Today I spent the day at Day-One, Cebit Australia. It was a real blast and always too short for me. I ran around and completed my mediacasting duties, as the Official CeBIT Blogger, and managed to catch up with many familiar faces. You can see all the latest antics from the fair at! BTW, in an effort to help Roger Lawrence I've named all the CeBIT podcasts, "mediacasts." (SWMUG joke, you had to be there)

As you all know I have my Origami (I can call it that as the User Manual tells me that this is the name). Today I took it into the CeBIT Australia Fair and sat it at the G Innovations stand. I've blogged about my experience here.

The amazing thing is that there is no lack of interest from the device; from major corporations to SME's, they’re all crying out for mobility. Is the UMPC mobile? Yes! But it’s so much more than that. With it’s four dimensional input panel, i.e. Touch, Pen, Joystick and Jogdial, the UMPC can adjust to many environments.

You'll need to forgive me but it's very late here and I need to sleep! I’m going to be blunt about this...Origami is a workhorse. Give it ONE task to do, and it will out perform anything else. Consider this; if you buy a workhorse and expect him to run races and prance too, then you're deluding yourself. A workhorse is designed to perform one task, and perform it well. Just ask Tablet Kiosk! Most of their sales come from major enterprises, not mums and dads. Enterprises don't need one device to do everything; they need one device to do one thing... a work horse!

I think the UMPC device is here to stay and will sell in the thousands. FULL STOP, PERIOD!

Monday, May 08, 2006

My First Ultra Mobile PC

It's been an Everest like adventure but my EO is finally here. FedEx arrived at approximately 11:48 & 53secs on May 7th 2006, but who's counting? I, performing tasks for the CeBIT Australia Blog, was unable to sign for the device. Instead my wife, now three-months pregnant with twins, phones me up yelling down the phone: "it's beautiful!" "For God's sake what is Beautiful?" I retorted. The EO, it’s here, the EO, it’s here!

It seems my entire household was anticipating the arrival of the Ultra Mobile PC. When I made my way home, at around 3pm, and in time to pickup my son from school, all I had to do was whisper, "hey mate, you know the UMPC we were waiting for? It's here." My son, uberly passionate about technology, quickly climbed down from the monkey bars and raced me to the car to see it. As we entered the back door and into my office we noticed that Mum had cleverly left it on charge, mostly in fear of any backlash.

I let Leon, of four years old, have first turn. As he grabbed the orange joystick and navigates the "Application Launcher" he quickly realizes the screen is resistive touch. He then proceeds to navigate using touch only; he journeys to Solitaire and has a brief game, then the default My Pictures, and back to Solitaire again. As he grasps the push buttons, and jog dials, it becomes very evident that Daddy's toy has met the much anticipated fanfare.

Later, once I pried it from my son's fingers, I managed to have a play. As I made my way through the Touch Pack and Application Launcher I realized that the UMPC is an addictive experience. Where my finger became too substantial (fat) I just grabbed the joystick, and when the joystick got cumbersome, I reached for the pen. Was there anything this couldn't do? I went onto install Skype 2.0, Messenger 8.0 BETA and Adobe Acrobat Reader. We connected to our favorite 802.11g network via WPA-PSK (with WPA Encryption set as TKIP), and all worked seamlessly.

The EO has been online now for the last 6 hours andpassed through several pairs of hands. We've charged it on occasions but all in all its battery life has been manageable. One important note to remember about battery life is that all devices have a threshold; when that threshold is met, by any device, we feel the same burden and level of frustration. If it's 4 hours of 2.5 hours the time fly's too fast anyway. A friend once told me that if you look up and the clock strikes midnight, and you realize you haven't even had lunch yet, only then can you truly call yourself a geek. With the EO I think lunchtime, dinnertime and perhaps breakfast may keel-over and I might not even flinch.

This EO, I’m humbled to say, is the only EO to touch Australasian soil. The reason it’s here, while so many wait for delivery, is that CeBIT Australia and all their Media has write ups, and potential Television spots for this little device. It will be treated like Royalty and therefore never leave my line of sight.

All this week I'm on CeBIT duties, but stay tuned for a VideoCast of my life with EO.

FedEx man my new best friend

Guess who's coming over to play??? Let me give you a clue, the first part of the word start with E and the second is O!!!!!!


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Hugo Ortega to have a CeBIT affair

I mentioned a few blogposts ago that CeBIT Fairs and I are slowly getting acquainted. This evening it's with much excitement that I can announce my involvement with the Fair.

Recently one of the CeBIT Organisers based in Australia gave me a call and thanked me for being so effective in the Aussie Blog space. They went on to quote some of their favourite posts and talked at length about the videos I'd published. As I felt a little sheepish and definitely humbled I still failed to predict what was coming next.

“We want you to write the Official Blog for CeBIT Australia,” he exclaimed! Once I picked myself up off the floor I peered at the handset and realised that perhaps someone was still on the phone! Wow, I said I’d be honoured.

I always promised to notify you first of any new developments in my space, this time being no different. The URL for the CeBIT Australia blog is:, and the first few posts are now live. I hope that you might consider telling everyone you know and help me garner attention to what is our industries most followed showcase - the CeBIT Showcase.

Obviously with my love for the "ink" you can only expect some Uberly Passionate Tablet PC posts. Motion Computing is at CeBIT, and I hear that the Tablet Kiosk EO (Ultra Mobile PC) is too!!!

Thank you for reading my blog and thank you for doing all you can to point people to The Official CeBIT Australia Blog. For me, as an unpaid volunteer, the Official Blog presents a big challenge; it's a playground, and a project all rolled in one. If you thought I was creative with my posts so far, stay tuned because someone at head office just handed me a AAA (Access All Areas) Media Pass - watch out, Monkey with a Gun on the loose!

Hugo Ortega writes Official CeBIT Australia Blog

Sumocat gets it right!

Once again our friend, the maniacal inker, Sumocat has managed to produce the goods. If I were a trained FBI expert in handwriting recognotion I'd say that sumocat had a little something to get off his chest. Not only does he get passionate but down right dirty too.

Go and have a look, I love it. He points fingers, demands answers and gives praise, to very few!

Here's a sampler:

Source: Warner Crocker

Saturday, May 06, 2006

UMPC has some making bold predictions

It seems that the folks at have done another great job with spreading the Tablet word. First with this video, then this one, and now this:

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Ultra Mobile makes a Media splash

Next week is the official launch of the CeBIT Fair in Australia. It runs from the 9-11 May and is the Southern Hemisphere's biggest gadget playground. I'm lucky enough to be playing a role in the event and will make a very important announcement shortly. As far as UMPC is concerned it seems to have found a happy home also.

The last 4-days have been so frantic. I have been fielding phone calls from all the major publications in Australia regarding Ultra Mobile PC and its guest appearance at the CeBIT Fair. As we all know the Ultra Mobile PC was announced at the CeBIT exhibition in Hannover earlier this year. Not only was it well received but it created a huge level of expectation for subsequent appearances at any other CeBIT event around the globe.

I've received phone calls from the Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and now from Channel Nine (not Scoble's) regarding having the UMPC make a cameo appearance on the Kerry-Anne Kennely Show - big Aussie Breakfast Show!

It seems that UMPC has captured the hearts of many and is set to make its presence felt on the 9th, 10th and 11th of this month. Stay tuned while any new developments are published online. I will be at the show - oh, and guess what, I have a special pass into the hall on the day before!!!

  • I've heard whispers of a behind the scenes look at the CeBIT Fair about to take place. I'll let you know of any updates.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Lifekludger gets an Acer C204

Mike (Learndog-Left) & Dave (Lifekludger-Right)
So we all know that David Wallace, a C4 quadriplegic, loves digital ink - or does he?

My mate Dave "lifekludger" Wallace has finally had his callout for an Acer Tablet PC answered. Took way too long if you ask me Acer!!! He's just informed me that the little Acer C204 has arrived and is safely in his lap. Dave will take it through its paces over the next few days and let us know his thoughts - stay tuned.

For those of you that don't know David, and his Tablet antics, then just read this post.

  • Mike and Dave recently started their own Podcast Show caled - Extraordinary Everyday Lives. Their first show (after the pilot) was an interview with a guy named Hugo Ortega, I wonder what he had to say???

A great Rugged Technology Video

Hi Everyone,

In a recent post I mentioned the SWMUG meeting that I took part in on Tuesday. In that post I also talked of Symbol Technologies and a very cool video that someone had composed to demonstrate just how rugged Symbol scanners are.

Well, after a little maneuvering I finally found the video - for your enjoyment - via this site.

Download the video here [3MB]

Hugo Ortega to help out at CeBit Australia

It seems that Hugo Ortega and Superna Systems are going to be working more closely. The recent success of my last videocast really caught their attention; subsequently Superna have asked me to help out on the G Innovations stand at the CeBit Australia Expo.

G Innovations is in charge of Distributing the range of Superna Controllers and Touch Panel screens. They have close affiliation with the Superna boys and are putting together a home automation extravaganza for all to see. This will include a 42" Plasma, Sahara Slate PC and more. Since Tegatech Australia supplied Tablet PC's for the G Innovations stand (U45) it seems logical for me to hang around and lend a hand...NP! Oh! And the only Ultra Mobile PC in the Southern Hemisphere (for general public viewing) will be at this stand...

Register to attend CeBit

  • If you're around the halls of Darling Harbour, Sydney, on the 9th, 10th and 11th of this Month (May 2006) then pop in and see me, I'll have oodles of Tablets and Gadgets to boot!!!

SWMUG and Tablet Duties Call

Last month went so quickly that my regular contribution, as Aussie tablet guy at the Sydney Windows Mobile User Group, caught by surprise. Knowing that I now had been asked back as a regular feature of this dynamic date in my calendar (1st Tuesday of every month at Microsoft HQ) I had to come up with something good.

As you know I’ve recently been holding talks with the staff at Fujitsu PC Australia. Not only has this proven to be very productive for all parties involved but it has created a new friendship between Fujitsu’s David and I. So when the time came to organize my Tablet Talk for the month I gave David a call…

This month SWMUG was a real vibrant affair. There was a buzz in the air as many keynote speakers had lined up to meet the SWMUG gang and give their version of things to come. Firstly we met Jon Preedy of Symbol Technologies. Jon focused on his Company’s ability to build things tough. Not only did his demonstration involve case study of Symbol implementations, it also showed a really cool video of some warehouse staff beating up one of the Symbol RFID Scanners!!! The video watched over two fork-lift drivers (sort of) as they kicked, punched and through the Symbol scanner all over the concrete warehouse floor – eventually giving it a rest to perform a scan, or three, in an effort to prove it still worked…way cool.

Also in the room was one of the Canadian Partners of Psion Teklogix (someone correct me if I’m wrong) named Dominic (can’t remember surname, sorry Dom). This was rather ironic as Dominic and Jon (Symbol guy) had a rather similar presentation. Between the two of them they bantered and carried on about rugged scanners and market share. It really turned into a muscle flexing contest of which the only winner on the night was SWMUG – thank boys!

Roger Lawrence, now Microsoft Employee, and half-Manager (as he put it) then took the floor. His contribution revolved around a demanding but noble cause – killing iTunes. Let me explain. iTunes, as we all know, is a beautiful seamless bit of software that allows you to subscribe to podcasts (or if you live in Redmond, “Mediacasts”) and synchronise them, without effort, to your iPod for your listening pleasure later. Roger therefore in all his evangelistic glory did what he could to find a solution that would make the synchronization process bearable in a world of Windows. As a conclusion he found that using Doppler and Windows Media Player 10 seemed to fit the bill quite handsomely – sort of??? Hopeful Roger will blog about it and enlighten us all. I for one would like to give an honorable mention to him for having conducted such an auspicious attempt to lead us to an iTunes parallel Universe.

Then came one of my favorite sessions of the evening by a little lady with a bag full of mobile phones (cell phones for the US readers). She (please give me a name someone, as she deserves it) represents i-mate in Australia; and I must say she does it very well. My favorite was the wi-fi enabled K-Jam. Since I am the holder of a Blackberry (shame, but a carry over from a previous job) I thought the K-Jam was the ultimate camera, ipod, pda, and mobile phone killer. The only thing it would never kill is my UMPC.

After this clever lady came the Tablet Guy, me! I had 5 minutes of what turned out to be a marathon of an evening. I said hello, flashed a Gateway tablet and handed it around (with two hands) and let David Niu of Fujitsu PC Australia hold court. David brought the Fujitsu TD4000D Tablet PC that I must admit looked like a real M400 assassin! As he Talked Tablet and answered questions he kept getting dirty looks from a rather impatient onlooker in the bleachers. This man, the onlooker, happened to be another Fujitsu employee, and what he was eyeing was the rather thin looking (15mm), very light (900 grams), 3G enabled laptop sitting under David’s arm. What none of SWMUG had realized, but had not been lost on this bewildered onlooker, was that David Niu had brought with him the only working model of the yet to be released Fujitsu notebook as part of the Q series (I will post photos shortly – and I’m sure David will visit the blog and give us more information).

The evening wrapped up a little over time but always well managed by our fearless leader Roger Lawrence. If anyone is looking to attend the most intimate forum for coming out of the geek closet then make sure you bookmark SWMUG, starting at 6:30 on the 1st Tuesday of every month at Microsoft HQ, Sydney. With product demos, product exclusives, and Vendors mashups, the SWMUG really is the place to be.