Thursday, September 14, 2006

Warner Crocker tells us HOW

Hop over to and read the thoughts of Theatre Director, and Tablet enthusiast, Warner Crocker. Not only has WC presented a solid case for a truly mobile environment but he’s also answered a question…how do we use all this stuff?

Snippings I like:

[I'm all praise for OneNote 2007 Beta -multiple notebooks is something I can't get enough of.]

The new OneNote 2007 multiple notebook feature is a great addition to the organizational structure that also really makes my life easier. Everything now gets captured into one or two notebooks, Unfiled Notes or OneNote Mobile Notes. (more on that later) and then gets filed into the appropriate section. I don’t create a new Notebook for every show, but I do create a new section for each show under a Production Staff Notes Notebook. That section will then be moved to Past Shows once I am done working on it, which usually happens after the reveiws are in, which get printed or scanned into OneNote.

[Ashamedly I do not use TEO but WC has done a great job of getting me convinced.]

Tablet Enhancements for Outlook (TEO 3.0) This Tablet PC must have application always serves me well when scheduling events around the process. Media interviews, meetings, etc… Being able to quickly call it up and scribble in an appointment is a breeze. I experimented with the excellent note-taking features in TEO 3.0 for this show, and with a few exceptions I think I could do most of what I do in OneNote 2007 with TEO 3.0.

[Now this is WC being cool, innovative, bleeding edge and soldout to the future that is Microsoft.]

The Sprint PPC 6700 and OneNote Mobile (Beta). I have to admit I’m smitten with OneNote Mobile, even if it is in Beta. This is the biggest new tool in the toolbox, and even after one show I can’t imagine not using the functionality.

[Now WC is even trashing his Apple gear for a an all-in Microsoft assault.]

I used to use an iPod for playback on this in rehearsal, before my iPod bit the dust. For this show, I put Steve’s digital files on the PPC 6700 and would play them back over a headset for my listening, when we reached those sections. This allowed me to check timing and appropriateness with the moment. I could have done this with my Tablet PC certainly, but being able to have the smaller device was a big key and also a bit of an experiment. I have to admit, since my iPod died this spring I have missed it less and less.

[and this is my favorite - WC as nasty notetaker]

A side benefit to taking notes on a Tablet PC or UMPC is that you don’t need a light source to see what you are writing. Over the years, I’ve had small battery operated lights that attached to clip boards, my fingers, lights in a pen, you name it. But the Tablet PC, even at low screen brightness levels, is more than a sufficient light source to see what you are writing. Of course, in a darkened theatre, when the actors see that screen light up from a resume, it always freaks them out because they think you are taking a note about something they did wrong.