Tablets being forced upon VT students?

From Ralph Grabowski's upFront eZine:

Brandon Hill of Daily Tech reports on Virginia Tech's College of Engineering requiring first-year students ("freshmen," in American parlance) to purchase tablet PCs and a collection of software. Students are ticked off because:

1. They are required to purchase the tablet PC, even if they already have a computer.
2. They are required to purchase a tablet PC, which costs several hundred dollars more than a plain notebook and twice as much as a desktop computer (which some prefer, because it is harder to steal).
3. They are required to purchase a collection of software that costs them $500, which includes programs from Microsoft, Autodesk, and MatLab.

Having wireless devices in seminar settings invites email checking, MSNing, and real-time blogging. So, who's the winner in this?

Instructors tend to be behind the technology curve compared to at least some of their students, and I doubt the teachers will easily switch to a tablet PC-based curriculum -- even if they exists.

The administration of the college like to feel they're progressive, but really, they're being taken for a ride by the tablet PC and software vendors. An associated professor sounds like he's doing marketing for the vendors: "Students get a great price break from all these vendors that we're talking about."

The tablet PC and software vendors are the winners, because they have the ideal market condition: a sovereign-like monopoly where (1) _only_ their products may be purchased; and (2) all their products _must_ be purchased -- costing each student an extra $700.


Posted on Tuesday, April 25, 2006 at 01:06AM by Registered CommenterJoel | CommentsPost a Comment

Bill Gates: The future according to the world's richest man

An exclusive interview with Bill Gates in which the Microsoft founder
and world's richest man talks to Ian Burrell in New York - and
identifies the gadget that he thinks will one day provide media
consumers with their every need. [And yes – it is the tablet! -JO]

Alongside waxwork images of Michael Jackson, Jerry Springer, Whoopi
Goldberg and other famous Americans, a life-size replica of Bill Gates,
sat on a metal stool and wearing a red V-neck sweater and the semblance
of a smile, is among the exhibits in New York's Madame Tussaud's,
halfway along 42nd Street.

Just around the corner, the real-life version, as diminutive as the
waxwork, climbs out of a hulking black Yukon XL SUV and steps on to the
pavement before passing, quite inconspicuously, through the crowds of
workers headed for their offices in the spitting early morning rain.

Bill Gates is, by a long measure, the richest man in the world. This
month Forbes magazine valued his personal wealth at $50bn (£29bn). It
was the 12th year running that he had topped the rich-list. His company
Microsoft, which supplies the software for 90 per cent of the world's
computers, is worth $280bn. He is also the chairman and founder of the
the media services company Corbis, which claims to have the most
comprehensive photographic collection on the planet.

Click to read more ...

Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 at 12:35PM by Registered CommenterJoel | CommentsPost a Comment | References4 References

Adesso CyberPad: a near-Tablet experience - The Tablet PCs Weblog

No, it isn’t a tablet PC. But for $200, I’d get one if I didn’t already have a tablet.

Adesso CyberPad: a near-Tablet experience

Posted Dec 15th 2005 11:04PM by Marc Orchant
Adesso CyberPad

I had the opportunity over the past couple of weeks to try out the Adesso CyberPad, a device that records your handwritten notes and sketches and allows you to import them to your PC. If this sounds Tablet-like, it is. Think of the CyberPad as a distant cousin to the full digital ink experience offered by a Tablet PC.

The CyberPad, physically, resembles a clipboard with a small LCD display and a row of buttons running down one edge. It uses plain paper, unlike the Logitech IO pen and other handwriting capture systems which require the use of special (and rather expensive) paper that uses a metallic grid printed on the surface to track the pen's position as you write. That's a huge advantage over time.

More: Adesso CyberPad: a near-Tablet experience - The Tablet PCs Weblog.

Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 at 08:32AM by Registered CommenterJoel | Comments1 Comment | References9 References

Owen Braun: OneNote 12

I love OneNote! It has replaced my paper notebooks. I wish it had Wiki-style links, that create a new page when you type a CamelCase word. But that’s a minor quibble. Its organizational capabilities, looseness, and search – and the fact that it syncs audio with my notes – put it in a class by itself. I’m looking forward to this new version.

OneNote and the Evolution of Productivity Software
posted Monday, January 02, 2006 6:23 AM by owenb

OK, that's definitely an overblown title for the level of breadth & depth I'll be hitting here, but it's the proper spirit. Over the holiday I've been thinking about where the computer industry is these days and where it's headed, and in that vein I’m going to take a quick break from introducing new features in OneNote 12 to jot down a few thoughts about OneNote in the context of the ongoing evolution of software. As I see it.

OneNote (then code-named Scribbler) was an interesting project to me when I joined in 2001 because it up-ended the normal software way of doing things: open an application, select a document, do something with it, close the document. (Actually we hadn't designed any of the application yet when I joined, but it was clear that it was going to require a pretty different approach.) Almost all broadly used end-user software works that way, in domains ranging from musical composition to scientific charting to map creation. There have been a number of idea-collection applications over the years, most notably the collection of outliners and mind-mappers, but none of these caught on broadly to the degree that, say, word processors did. E-mail programs and personal information managers, once e-mail came along, were one of the interesting aberrations, because they delivered personal information, and were thus interesting to consult randomly, even when there was no task to do. Along with commerce and information on the Internet, computers started to become useful to have, well, just around for when you might need them. Computer games are similar, and I think it is not a coincidence that both PIMs and games are both invoked with some frequency in design discussions on the OneNote team.

More: Owen Braun: OneNote 12.

Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 at 08:19AM by Registered CommenterJoel | CommentsPost a Comment

pasta and vinegar ยป 3D Tractus: a three-dimensional drawing board

Pretty far out. Interesting exploration. Not ready for prime time, in my view; but intriguing.

pasta and vinegar » 3D Tractus: a three-dimensional drawing board.

Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 04:50PM by Registered CommenterJoel | CommentsPost a Comment

Autocad on tablets

Robin from New Zealand points to the (huge) upload of Autodesk University's main stage presentation, including Autocad on tablet. I haven't downloaded it yet, but Robin recommends it. (If you haven't tried SketchUp on your tablet, you are missing a major treat! Yeah, it's cool to have Autocad - but SketchUp is a lot more fun!)

Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 at 02:28AM by Registered CommenterJoel | Comments3 Comments | References59 References

Tablets slowly going mainstream

What makes me think it's happening? On a flight from San Jose to Atlanta last Thursday, a Delta flight attendant saw my HP tc1100 and said, "Oh, a tablet PC! I've got a Toshiba. Don't you just love it?"

In the past, flight attendants have said things like, "Wow! What a small laptop!" or "You're actually writing on the screen! How does that work?"

Now they're buying 'em. :-) 

Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 at 02:18AM by Registered CommenterJoel | CommentsPost a Comment | References4 References

Edit in Word with gestures - soon

Incremental Blogger: Another ink gestures sample screenshot movie

Wow! An amazing add-in for Word, coming for tablet users from Loren Heiny!

Posted on Saturday, August 27, 2005 at 11:34PM by Registered CommenterJoel | CommentsPost a Comment

Bill Gates still believes in tablet pcs

After failing to break into the mainstream of computing, the Tablet PC might have been written-off by many, but it still has at least one strong supporter. Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft, said Monday he still believes in the form-factor and repeated a prediction that, with better hardware and software, it could still dominate over traditional laptop PCs. More
Posted on Sunday, July 3, 2005 at 01:26AM by Registered CommenterJoel | CommentsPost a Comment

LAPTOP Mag's tablet pc buyer guide

Posted on Monday, June 27, 2005 at 11:12PM by Registered CommenterJoel | CommentsPost a Comment | References11 References
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