Friday, June 30, 2006

Origami UMPC and National Australia Bank

The first deliveries of the Ultra Mobile PC platform have hit the streets of Australia and it seems that The National Australia Bank (NAB) is part of the bleeding edge. On this occasion Australia's Tablet Guy, Hugo Ortega, has been invited into a "Staff Only" TechExpo run by the NAB.

"As I walked in I gathered that the NAB was doing a great impersonation of a Tech Savvy Company. Not because they are behind the eight-ball but mostly because the next big thing on everyone’s lips was the Windows XP rollout about to happen…next year!” Ortega Said. Obviously with all the security issues, and the need to have standardised platforms in banks, we can forgive the NAB for talking-up XP as something new. What Ortega found to be more refreshing was NABs’ involvement with new platforms like iMate JasJam and the EO UMPC.

Hugo has become well known for exposing and for getting exposed, so on this occasion you can expect nothing less! (Has someone taken a digital eraser to Hugo’s head?) Watch as Hugo makes his way around this very closed and private Expo (with a Video Camera) and finds his way to the Innovations Booth. With talk, behind curtains, of “Project Madonna” and “Customer Realignment Program” it looks as though NAB and UMPC will be a force to reckon with.

[17MB/5 minutes]

Thursday, June 29, 2006

UMPC Still Causing Provocation

Got an email from a friend:

Aint much love for the UMPC they are saying … interesting perception:,1995,1978818,00.asp?kc=MWRSS02129TX1K0000535

Which prompted this reply from another friend:

All I’ll add is what Analysts and Journalist almost never add (because it doesn’t make for compelling reading) is “yet”

Remember the slating Microsoft Word got compared to the “de facto” standard of WordPerfect 5.1
Remember the slating Microsoft NT 3.1 got compared to the “networking dominance” of Novell
Remember the slating Microsoft Exchange 4 got compared to the “workflow dominance” of NotesAnd far more recently…
Remember the slating that Microsoft Windows CE got compared to the “functional dominance” of PalmAnd Smartphone compared to Symbian & RIM.

This is a version 1 product, and there is no competitor in the same space. (Yet :o) unlike any other enabling technology we’ve come out with.

So, read the analysts and journalists, even pay for their opinion, but don’t let it unduly influence your strategic insight, which should appreciate tenacity and persistence.

While I won't disclose the names of the parties, I will say this: UMPC has provoked many threads around the world of which this is only one!

UMPC Available in Australia...Finally

Tegatech Australia is pleased to announce that the first roll out of Ultra Mobile PC in Australia has gone through without a glitch. Unlike the rest of the globe, Australia chose to not receive faulty devices (battery issues) and experienced delays while waiting for healthy EOs to deliver.

As you can see by these photos, deliveries that fell part of the first allocations also received the Tablet Kiosk apology touch, i.e. tee-shirts and free simple stands. While it is still very early to deem UMPC a success in Australia, especially when you consider that the first buyers are those on the bleeding edge of this thing, what I can disclose it that every single delivery was greeted with the same reaction..."well worth the wait!"

UMPC made it to Western Australia (perth), Melbourne, South Australia (Adelaide), Queensland, The Government (several sectors), Education, Home Automation, 2/4 Major Banks, several finance institutions and more...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A defining moment for Origami by Craig Pringle

Although I've only just found these posts I feel that they're relevant enough to reference.

Even though Craig corrects himself on his own previous definition, i.e. "When I use the term UMPC I mean something running the touch pack. I use the term Ultra Portable to describe other devices like the LS800" I do believe that now he's on track:

"We have a real problem with confusing terminology here. Let me be crystal clear on this next point Steve, and others like him, did not cause this problem. Microsoft did."

and this one

"From this point on I am going to avoid using the term UMPC at all. For devices running the MS touchpack Im going to revert to the term Origami. For other really small computing devices In going to stick with the term Ultra-portable."

As for my opinion you may have noticed that I've been dubbing these devices Origami for a while now, even on the Official CeBIT Blog. I thought it only appropriate given the lack or clarity that Microsoft provided on the subject. While the snowball effect of codename/releasenames is almost irreversible I also agree with Craig, "who cares really." Lets all make an effort to denote these devices as Origami as it stemmed from that Project. Ultra Mobile PCs is a generic term that should be allowed to be used by anyone...otherwise we might see Microsoft coin "Really Clever Software," or Intel coin "Very Fast Processors;" they're both tags for marketing and not definitions of entire movements in the PC space, or hardcoded monikers for all to rule over.

I'm done!

Sydney Newspaper says "Keep Taking the Tablet"

On one of my recent trips to Melbourne I left the EO Ultra Mobile PC with Journalist Adam Turner. I've followed his reviews for a while in such publications as APC and ROAM Magazine. I got to know when he chose to review the Sahara Slate PC and needed access to one; this time Adam has written an article on the EO. While most of it is not very flattering all-in-all it's not as scathing as some others I've read recently.

Adam is known for his frankness and yet on this occasion he has also put on his "Swiss Soccer Jersey" and remained as neutral as possible (my literary reference to the current FIFA action).

Here is the article written on 13th June 2006 in the Sydney Morning Herald, titled Keep taking the Tablets.


At first the v7110 appears to be this dream device, but because the screen is practically useless outside and you can't use it in portrait mode, the dream is somewhat spoilt.
It's also still a little heavy and bulky; we'd at least want to halve the weight and thickness before declaring it the ultimate portable computing device. The v7110 lies somewhere between a tablet PC and a hand-held PC in terms size, features and performance.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Australia's first Ultra Mobile PC Software

click here to see screenshots of Software for UMPC

The Ultra Mobile PC has started to find a home amongst the Home Valuation space. With the Tablet Kiosk EO UMPC now shipping in Australia it has been Apex MobileTech that has developed, and released screenshots of, Australia’s first UMPC specific software.

This evening Tegatech Australia (Ultra Mobile PC Distributor in Australia) went live with the first screenshots of Apex Software's latest development. With a great set of 800x480 images it's not hard to see why UMPC is finding a happy home as a clever workhorse.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

ZDNET's Tablet PC Buying Guide

This evening I was looking for some Tablet PC related posts and comments on the net. My main focus was tablet in Australia and my diving led me to a ZD Net article titled "Tablet PC Buying Guide." (one notable absentee from the list was the Sahara Slate PC)

While a lot of the initial commentary is rather vague, and somewhat naive in its description of Tablet PC, i.e. clipboard, and digital signature input, I did however find some very resourceful links. What was also a pleasant surprise to me was mention the UberTablet Blog, and Craig Pringle's Blog, in the "Tablet PC forums, blogs and podcasts" section.

Here is a link to the article and below are some of the links they provided (under the heading of "Business Case for Purchasing Tablet PCs"); the webcast on ROI is worth a look at [it requires a very simple online registration], and the Whitepaper on Vista on Tablet is resourcesful too.

Business case for purchasing Tablet PCs

Maximising ROI with Tablet PCs
While tablet PC prices are dropping, the devices still cost more than the average laptop. How do you justify the extra expense?

Enterprise Mobility by Forrester Research
How does mobile and wireless technologies affect businesses, their employees, and customers?
Whitepaper (PDF)

Tablet PC technologies in Microsoft Windows Vista
In Windows Vista, Tablet PC shifts into the mainstream. Ink becomes more ubiquitous, integrating directly into the presentation subsystem in Windows Presentation Foundation.
Whitepaper (PDF)

The case for Tablet PCs in healthcare
The Tablet PC, with its versatile form that supports pen navigation, makes it easy for mobile healthcare workers to capture, access, and use information wherever the job takes them.
Whitepaper (PDF)

Friday, June 16, 2006

Another Story from Kosovo: & Tablet PC

Hugo Ortega (me) on a U.S Army Tank - in Kosovo 2000

A lot of you may not know but I actually spent two years of my life as a volunteer in Kosovo. When I saw Rob Bushway had posted a Tablet Tale from Kosovo I couldn't help but point to it. Although while I was in Kosovo I did not have a Tablet PC with me I do know that it would have made life a lot better while there. Enjoy this article as Jeff Singfiel, of the Missionary Geek blog, takes you through Tablet PC in Kosovo, and how its help make his life more productive (great job Jeff! I think you and I will have a lot to talk about).

The Opening of the Gjilan Municipal Park - Kosovo 2001

My role in Kosovo mostly revolved around kids; I helped them deal with post traumatic syndrome by organizing activities and exercises. The culmination of my work was the construction of a Municipal Park in the town of Gjilan (pronounced: geelan), it even made the . For your interest I am posting a couple of photos from my years in Kosovo, and you can also listen to my tale here, as I was interviewed by a friend for his podcast titled: "Extraordinary Everyday Lives".

UNHCR had lent me a vehicle for a few days - Kosovo 2000

The article is part of GottaBeMobile’s “Life With Ink” series, of which my mate Warner Crocker will be the new henchman. Go get em’ Warner! I’ll be logging in daily. I think a great additioan to the spot will be David Wallace and his “Life with Ink” as a Quadriplegic Tableteer.

Canberra Windows User Group

This last week I spent time in Australia’s Capital City, Canberra (pronounced Kambra if you’re an Aussie). Amongst the sites and sounds that engulf this wonderful place are: our Parliament House (and our politicians), The Royal Australian Mint (where we make our coins) and Questacon – a Geeks Haven. Apart from enduring enjoying the four hour drive from Sydney I also had the chance to catch up with friends and acquaintances too. My main reason for being in Canberra was to conduct a Tablet Talk for the Canberra Windows User Group.

As I arrived in Canberra the one distinguishing feature that really hit me was the cold; as I left Sydney that morning it was a healthy (18 degree Celsius = 64.4 degree Fahrenheit). As I made my way to my meeting I knew my body was experienceing the weather difference, I glanced at my in-car thermostat and realised it was (1 degree Celsius = 33.8 degree Fahrenheit) and dropping rapidly - it got to -7 degrees Celsius that evening. As usual I had my little wheelie luggage bag full of Tablet PCs and now Ultra Mobile PCs too; knowing that the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) is covered in Governmental Agencies I came armed with resources and answers. I spent the evening prior developing a PowerPoint presentation that would take attendees through the past, present and future of UMPC. I will post this later for your own resources.

The CWUG is actually conducted over two 90 minute sessions with a pizza session in the middle. The first session attracted a lot of representatives from the Australian Defense Force and other Governmental Agencies. Judging by the amount of left-over pizza it looks as though the turn out was not as big as intended. The second session was mostly Microsoft Staff members that were keen to get a look, and understanding, of UMPC in Australia. The main topical questions revolved around battery life and Internet connectivity, but I was however pleasantly surprised with the two group’s enthusiasm and interest. The sessions turned out to be a real deep-dive with some more intriguing topics like implementation scenarios and internal hardware specifications getting a lot more focus than usual.

All-in-all my Canberra event was deemed a success by my host, David Mackie, and has sparked a wave of conversation and thought. I look forward to returning to the ACT shortly and continuing the traveling UMPC show. My commitment remains unresolved and my passion remains focused on building an understanding, and faith, in what will shortly become the Form Factor of choice in the enterprise arena…UMPC!

PS. Special thanks to Jeff Alexander, Microsofty, for garnering attention towards the CWUG, and my UMPC convoy!

Long Zheng on Vista

It seems that since I sold Long Zheng his first ever Tablet PC, a Toshiba M400, he's really picked up the ball and ran with it. First came his video review, and now his Vista wrap-up via pictures and video.

To you give you an understanding as to how much attention this 18yr old University Student has garnered check this out:

Jump onto his site, everyone else has, and checkout these great screens shots and screencasts. I’d hate to steel his thunder but it was me that sold him the Tablet, motivated him to keep blogging, answered all his late night queries, and evangelized Tablet to him…he did the rest!

EO gets Sexy, or Sexy gets EO!

When it comes to attracting attention the Ultra Mobile PC has won many contests hands-down. On this occasssion it would seem that the United Kingdom, via PC Format Magazine, has done its best to make EO stand out. While most of us will not be able to buy a copy of this magazine we should all do our best to see what they actually say about the UMPC.

Here is a link to the PCFormat website that shows the cover girl EO.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Downunder Tablet Bloggers make International Splash

Now there are few occasions that I find more humbling than public recognition; on this occasion I am floored by the International Recognition that two of my favourite bloggers, and some of the world's best Tablet Bloggers, have bestowed upon two of the three "Downunder Tableteers" Craig Pringle and I.

Watch this Ink Show as the dynamic Dennis Rice works his magic (cool editing man) over Warner Crocker. This is a chance to witness two Tablet Blog Aristocrats as they meander their way through Tablet Talk, Tech Talk, History and Future. Stay tuned for the announcement at the end, I won't spoil it now; I'm soooooooo excited about the massive repercussions of the announcement, most of which is great content!

One important note is just how awesome all our Video Blogging is actually getting, we're all pushing the envelope and performing mini moments of magic that connect, and often inspire. GottaBeMobile has to be commended for this interview and thanked for exposing the man behind the Wicked Stage, Warner Crocker.

[Job well done Warner, and clever amalgamation for you both, GottaBe and WC! I clock in first and foremost to Wicked Stage everyday, which means GottaBe will probably move to the top of my list now! Warner has been the most effective blanket of information in the Tablet PC and can only do himself very proud in the space.]

Listen to the InkShow interview here! ( 17 minutes, 64mb, Windows Media streaming or direct download)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Sumocat empties his Gadget Bag

Sumocat is up to some mischief again. First he paved the way for digital inkers like "late to the party," Matt Faulkner, oh, and himself, Sumocat (I made a contribution too). This time I love his two part rendition of James Kendrick's "What's in your gadget bag?" and "What's in your Gadget Bag, NOW?" Since James started the post I followed its contributions and comments and really began to enjoy the feedback everyone gave. Some of the comments left on the posts that I found interesting were:
  • 2 phones, my main voice phone and a backup that I use for data connectivity via bluetooth.
  • Western Digital 120G usb drive. This is one of the few that runs without a external power supply or a Y usb cable (using 2 ports). I use this to sync between the work laptop and my travel laptop. What I do in my consulting job is run my clients work in a virtual machine (Virtual PC) and when I travel i grab the virtual machine and have all of my work docs and code.
  • Aiptek PocketDV 5900 (recording stuff for my podcast and video)
  • Batteries (AA/AAA) - Be Prepared
  • CardScan Professional

Judging by some of these comments we've really got some mega-geeks out sorta guys! So tune in here to Sumocat as he talks us through his rendition of What's in my Gadget Bag?" Keep up the great work Mark, it's workin for ya mate! The viewers may not realise what all the video bloggers do; video blogging is not for the faint hearted! We make it look easy so that you don't have to.

Mark 'Sumocat' Sumimoto:

Part 1 [The Bag] Part 2 [The Gadgets]

Note: most of these links and resources come from the ever present, hard working, living/breathing library we like to call The Wicked Warner Crocker.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Gartner thinks Tablet is mature...finally.

Gartner Organization has always provided insights into Technology and its effects on life, and lifestyle. This time Leslie Fiering comes out blazing with her interpretation of Tablet PC, and it’s not all bad, wow! This is a rarity for Gartner and worth listening to.

I found this article via the ever resourceful Rob Bushway and thought it was worth pointing to. Sit back and listen to this Podcast as it walks through TabletPC, in the eyes of a Gartner vice President.

Communications On The Road

Helen Bradley, Jounalist of the Sydney Morning Herald, recently approached me for more information on UMPC. Her efforts, as shown by the link below, revolving around the advent/arrival of the mobile office space. What's cool about this isn't so much her massive insights but her choice to make UMPC part of this topic. While some journalists continue to argue against UMPC as a productivity tool for business at least Helen is a little clearer on its intentions.

Enjoy this article regarding mobility:


BlackBerry aside, the hottest new mobile solution isn't a PDA or a tablet but somewhere in between. The Ultra Mobile PC is a smaller tablet PC running a full version of Windows XP Tablet edition. It has wireless and Bluetooth built in and is designed for low power consumption and longer battery life. It will run office applications and Internet Explorer and offers plenty of options for the business person on the go. The first UMPC to be available in Australia is Tegatech's EO.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Samsung, Eo and I: SWMUG

photos: Jon Harsem

So last night I carried out my monthly "Tablet Guy" duties with the Sydney Windows Mobile User Group. For anyone that hasn't attended the should. For those of you that can't, well for you it's important that you know two things about SWMUG, lots of geeks, and lots of Pizza (oh, and lots of geeks).

photos: Jon Harsem

Last night there was a guy from Vodafone Australia (sorry forgot the name) who probably wishes he hadn’t come. Between Dr. Neil and I, we managed to intimidate the socks off him and perhaps think twice about coming near a Microsoft User Groups again. It was more in jest than anything else but what do you expect when “data bundles” and “content management” were what he put forward as topics. We also had the enigmatic engineer/salesperson (in his own words) Stephen Gray from Seratec. In he’s eyes Seratec could do no wrong and provide no harm; I decided to see him again for coffee as anyone this optimistic should surely be a hoot to spend time with! At half time the “real geeks” left the room and joined James Mccutcheon from J3 Technology on a quest into some really cool coding stuff; I stayed for Vodafone Guy and Stephen, oh well!

photos: Jon Harsem

Earlier that evening I arrived at the Microsoft building with a real sense of accomplishment and excitement. Not only had I arrived with the only eo Ultra Mobile PC currently in Australia but on this occasion I also had the only Samsung Q1 too. Now if you've ever heard me "Talk Tablet" you'll know that sometimes I find it hard to stop; on this occasion with both the eo and the Q1 in my pocket it was always going to be special.

photos: Jon Harsem

Although my chat was brief and somewhat interrupted by our uberly time-protective leader, Roger Lawrence, I did manage to squeeze in a brief history of UMPC, an Aussie roundup of the UMPC success and failure and the future...imagine if Roger actually gave me three minutes instead of two! What was interesting after the close of the evening was the enthusiasm surrounding these devices. I still can't work out if it's largely due to the viral marketing campaign that pervades the blogosphere, or due somehow to reality.

What I know is this: "umpc remains a form factor that seems to hit-the-spot in the corporate arena. Not so much for it Tablet qualities but mostly for its size/computing ratio. Its success will revolve around getting it on the internet and its demise, as we all know, will revolve around the battery life. If the device carried 6 hours battery life and had a PCMCIA slot then the device would surely hit-the-spot we all want it to hit. For know between software developers, and enterprise mobility teams, it seems as though we're all trying to understand just where does UMPC lie in our arsenal of devices. Only time will tell.

photos: Jon Harsem

Stay tuned as I bring to you more thoughts, reviews, pics and videos on these magical devices.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Hugo gets the Samsung Q1

The FedEx man has earned a very intimate spot in my geekish heart. It seems that every time he comes calling I am left with an exuberance that is unequalled by almost anything else on the planet...almost! Today as I signed his Symbol RFID scanner I knew that life would never be the same again. What was inside the box? Just the Samsung Q1.

Today I spent the day in and out of meetings, the daily chore type, and yet nothing could keep me from thinking of Samsung. Knowing that I had the Q1 to play with made today all the more cumbersome. I'm just about to sit down to dinner but in the wee hours of the morning, come 1am and 3am, both eo and Q1 will start to get intimately acquainted. What makes the experience all the more unique is that I have both the eo and the Q1 Ultra Mobile PC’s under the same roof, at the same time. From what I know, which is sometimes little, this is a first in Australia. When I told the Samsung Product Manager in Australia that I had the device he was shocked!

If anyone wants me to check anything for them I'll be happy to do so (don’t forget to checkout Kevin Tofel as he is running constant updates on his experiences). If you're in Australia I'll be running my monthly “Tablet Talk” at the Sydney Windows Mobile User Group (SWMUG) at the Microsoft Head Office in Ryde; both eo and Q1 will attend with me! If you’re in Canberra I’ll be running another event there too.

Have a great day/night.

PS. Maybe Frank Arrigo will shout me another coffee so he can see how Soduko runs on the Q1 vs. the eo.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Kevin Tofel making his way into my nightly routine

I’ve never been one to say no to some naked action (my pictorial of Sahara intestines), so when Kevin C. Tofel published his playboy styled look at the Q1 I couldn’t help but link to it. First it was Kevin’s fantastic Video look at the Q1, albeit with a webcam on a shoebox (remarkable Kevin), and now this great peek at some Q1 internals.

Enjoy this look at the latest run of posts from the enigmatic Kevin C. Tofel; I’m going to keep visiting to see any further updates.


Brace yourselves, because this isn't pretty. It's one thing to
have an unboxing video of the Samsung Q1, but viewing the UMPC stark naked is a whole 'nother matter. In fact, just to keep it clean for those under 18, I've only put a thumbnail pic here; a virtual UMPC peep-show if you will. Assuming you're of age, you'll have to click the jump for the full thrill ride.