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« OnTheRun with Tablet PCs #16 | Main | OnTheRun with Tablet PCs #18 »

March 19, 2006


Tablet PC User

Great show guys!

Marc, the show you were thinking about is "Down Periscope"

Mark Polino

Ok guys, twice you've made the comment that UMPC's are not designed to be a main PC. I have a simple question. Why couldn't it be your main PC?

Here's my situation, I'm a Controller, as in CPA. I spend most of my day at a desk. But sometimes I need to wander through the warehouse or the office to check on processes. I have a lot of meetings and I take a lot of work home.

A UMPC with an external monitor and keyboard at my desk and house seems perfect to me. (I assume the video out resolution is better than 800x600). I can imagine carrying it in to work, plugging it up to a KB and big monitor in the morning, unplugging to take notes at a meeting and check on a warehouse process and connecting back up for some heavy duty spreadsheet work. Then I unplug to go home. If I have big budget spreadsheets to look at, I work at a desk at home with a monitor and keyboard. Otherwise, I sprawl in the chair with the UMPC to browse the web and control my Media Center PC.

I don't currently have a tablet PC but I do a lot of managing of my wife's tablet for her. Right now, I use a thin/light laptop to do most of this but the UMPC seems like an even better form factor.

So what am I missing? Why couldn't a UMPC be my main PC?

(I've only found one negative, lack of a PCMCIA card for EVDO connection. When I'm on the road, I don't want to look for connectivity. I just want it to be there and currently, PC Cards are the only option.)


Mark, what I have said is that the UMPC is not intended to be someone's main PC. That certainly doesn't mean it couldn't. I have used an ultra-portable for months and they can be a very good main computer but it wouldn't be so for everyone. It does appear that the intent behind the release is to provide a secondary device for most, at least according to some of the statements from MS in the video interviews.

Marc Orchant

Mark - I have essentially the same comment as James but let me expand a bit. The biggest issues I see with UMPCs as a primary PC are the processor and hard disk (speed and capacity). The processors being specc'ed in the first generation devices are OK for occasional use but simply are not fast enough for the work I do. To get the best battery life, the emphasis is on low power consumption, not processing speed. Same thng goes for the hard drives in these units. I can't wait to get one and I'm confident that a uMPC will become a valuable option for mobile computing but I don't see abandoning my more powerful Tablet anytime soon.

Andrew Oliner

Great show, as usual. One comment/complaint, a few questions.

Can you guys do something about the levels when you record your shows? In the early part of this show, James is inaudible unless I turn the volume way up, in which case Marc is blasting. I had to keep adjusting the volume everytime you guys changed who was speaking, and when there was a dialogue, I missed part of what James was saying. This problem has also occurred when you've had guests.

Question: Marc, I'm glad that you expanded on your use of GTD in this show. I started with the Tablet not knowing anyting about GTD, and started learning about it because of the Tablet influence.

That said, I am finding it very difficult to implement. David Allen's books get very vague about a few points. I recognize that this is at least in part due to the very flexible nature of the system.

My question is about your filing system, mostly physical. You alphabetize things, which is standard GTD methodology. But how? That's what I can't figure out. By Author? By Subject? By Category? By Company name? By Day of the Week? Much of my stuff which is unfiled is unfiled because I can't figure out where I would put it.

Also, you discussed your computer filing system. You mentioned how you separate things into folders. I'm wondering about how you did this with OneNote, which seems to demand to have everything in the same directory.

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