Thursday, May 04, 2006

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.

No comments: