Part of my job is to keep up on new technologies, and I''m always looking for an edge to keep my organized. I have stacks of notepads around with notes from meetings that have my scrawls that pass for handwriting, and lots of diagrams (I used to be a chemistry professor, so drawing is natural to me). In fact, I used to use my Newton 2100 for writing my lectures...I could type the text and then hand draw chemical structures and math equations. I rue the day that product was "Steve''d", but that''s for another rant.
I love real keyboards, but the small keyboards that come with PDAs are a total joke. Useless to me. I much prefer a stylus. I can type very fast with a real keyboard, so for text input that is king. However even a 12"G4 laptop is still a big thing to drag everywhere, and typing on a laptop in a meeting is a distraction...plus I need to be able to diagram.
I have been using Palms for many years, and am comfortable with grafitti. But beyond short notes, it is NOT usefull for real documentation of meetings. The screen is too small, and the input is too slow. Sadly, I find the new HP Pocket PC devices to be pretty damn good. Better screen, and the handwriting recognition is rather good...plus I can write anywhere on the screen rather than being limited to a silkscreened area (and yes, I''ve used write anywhere on the new palms and decuma on the clies...the both are kludges imho).
So a tablepc should be perfect for me, right? Even though I despise MS and have been on Macs since ''85. Well, I''ve got a Motion Computing tablet and I can say that it isn''t all that. In fact, the OS implementation is WORSE than PocketPC. Because of the reality of moving from a small screen (where everything can be "hot") to a larger screen (where inadvertant touches cause problems so you use a special stylus) causes myriad issues. Try using the web browser on one...unless you have all the sittes you want bookmarked, you''ll have no fun writing or peck typing site addresses in. It has boiled down to the fact that it really is only good for using the journal to take notes like a regular note pad. And when you''re doing that, you don''t want to have the handwriting recognition, because you always have to make sure you got the right thing, then you lose the train of thought.
I think the way to do things is to use real paper, then scan them in. Associate key words with the scan and file them. For meetings, I want to start doing audio recording and snap still photos of white boards (yes, I know that "collaborative" white boards exist, but they are still expensive, a hassle, and often times the Mac software is either non existent or lags behind the windows version).
I''m into lowest common denominator these days...simple solutions that gather as much information as possible to document meetings and other events. And a tablet doesn''t do it for me. Now if Apple made one...smaller than the existing ones but bigger than a PDA so you''ve got enough screen space to do decent drawings, and with a separate keyboard for typing long text passages. Oh wait a minute....that sounds like a Newton 2100...