Published April 18, 2008
laptop_lust , mininote , umpc
Tags: comparison, hp, hp 2133, mini note, mininote, umpc, unboxing, xp
I must admit that I’ve been spending way too much time lately perving on the new HP mini note. It’s just so pretty. So far it’s a little quiet with some hands on real user-reviews, but at least there’s a forum up. I did find some awesome unboxing shots and comparison pics on the really awesome blog journey of a code monkey. Codemonkey74 who has the blog is also one of the first to write about his trouble getting XP installed on the mini note. He’s reporting that most things are working fine, but that there are some issues still with the audio card.
I must admit the machine is looking beautiful and apart from the Via disaster and the less than stellar battery life I’m completely sold.
(picture from journey of a code monkey)
I just stumbled upon this promising site in the comments on engadget. One thing that impressed me when I was an Eee owner was the vibrant community at eeeuser.com. Here’s to hoping that mininoteuser can become just as awesome. When I signed up a couple of hours ago there was only 4 (four) members of the forum. Here’s to hoping that grows a little.
Here’s the link to the site
If you’re following the gadget-themed blogosphere it should be no surprise to you that 2008 will be the year of the budget UMPC. After Asus launched their original Eee late last year and sold out in 10 minutes consumers have shown that the combination of compact size and compact prize is a hit.
Naturally, everyone is looking to get in on the action and in the next couple of months we should be seeing not only Asus’ own updated Eee pc 900, but pretty much all the big actors are wanting a piece of the action. Dell and Acer have both announced that they’ll be releasing their own takes on the budget laptop concept this year.
Several lesser known (to me anyway) entities are also showing promising concepts. For instance the (perhaps mac-inspired) MSI Wind and the G10IL from ECS (which I always read as geil when I see it mentioned). There are a lot more UMPCportal has a nice list of the top ones (scroll down a bit – it’s on the right side).
The tendency is clear from the first iteration of the Eee. The screens are getting bigger and storage size is creeping upwards as well. Judging by my own experience with the Eee (that I blogged about here) this is a good thing. It’s a pain in the ass to fit your stuff into 4GB of storage and even though purists may see it as a fun exercise, I believe most people will se it as just a hassle that they’d rather be without.
HP released their take on the UMPC last week and it shows great promise (great review here). It’s beautiful, has a useable keyboard, has a bigger screen (8.9″), an awesome resolution, has bluetooth and ample storage built-in so you don’t have to resort to bizarre mods to get it doing what it should be doing out of the box.
Based on my reading on various forums it seems that there’s a front forming on whether or not this is an instance of “feature creeping” or if it’s bringing the product up to snuff. Everyone agrees on the crappiness of the Via C7 processor (hint: it’s about 10% slower than the underclocked Celeron in the Eee).
I like the way this is going. I think my personal sweet spot for buying another one of these after my Eee flop is something like the HP mini. Although I would like a 10″ screen and less Vista. That HP is so sweet it’s keeping me up at night though
Joint venture company Virgle. Objective: permanent settlements on Mars. Godspeed.
A list of previous hoaxes from our information mongering overlords.
Not too long ago I stumbled upon the fantastic cartoon Garfield minus Garfield on Tumblr. It’s hilarious, sobering and slightly spooky at the same time. Highly recommended. And then just today I stumbled upon another great feat in the same vein The Nietzsche Family Circus. Nothing like a cute drawing to make the German, philosophy-by-hammer approach go down.
I’ll be keeping an eye out for more awesome bricolage.
Published March 30, 2008
Tags: battery, eee
Even though I sold my Eee (and still love my Macbook to bits) I’m still following the development in the low end of the UMPC market rather closely. One of my gripes with the Eee I had was the measly battery life. It doesn’t mean a lot that your computer is small and portable if always have to be within 6 feet of an outlet.
JKKmobile is reporting about the development of higher capacity batteries from Asus themselves and also from 3rd party vendors. I especially love the thought of the 8-cell battery promising 10400 mAh of juice for your Eee. Compare that to the 5200 mAh of the original battery and you should go well over 6 hours of wireless productivity (as the so aptly call it in Cupertino)
Published March 30, 2008
it , mac , notetaking , productivity , software , webapps
Tags: applications, eaglefiler, evernote, mac, notetaking, software, voodopad, yojimbo
I (re)started life as a graduate student a couple of months ago now and I’ve been using the opportunity to drastically revamp my notetaking techniques. My system is still under construction, but this is what I’ve got so far:
- General notetaking: Voodoopad
I fell in love with Flyingmeat’s little, nifty app when it was first introduced to me. So much in fact that I splurged the 30 bucks for it when I reached the limitation of the free version (15 pages max IIRC).
- pros: lightweight, easy to use, really easy wiki-like functions and a great search function.
- cons: only very rudimentary support for drawing sketches and figures. Not the greatest for handling pictures and screen clippings.
other contenders for this post: Circusponies Notebook, Evernote, Tiddlywiki
- organizing PDFs and other reference material: EagleFiler
- pros: great support for tagging and folders and subfolders, lets me read my PDFs in skim instead of in Preview.
- cons: world’s ugliest icon (almost shameful to keep it in the dock), not the most intuitive tagging system in the world.
I started out with Yojimbo solely because it had an awesome name and BareBones makes some killer software (textwrangler FTW!). I never disliked Yojimbo, but the number one killer for me was when I realized that I couldn’t open my PDFs in skim instead of in Preview. EagleFiler just opens with whatever program is set for default in your OS. Nice integration. Handles powerpoints and such as well.
Other apps considered for the job: Yojimbo, nice and orderly folder structure
- Overall General mind-dump: Evernote
I’m very fascinated by Evernote. It’s in beta at the moment and a closed beta at that, but you can sometimes find invitations floating around the blogosphere. I got in through an article in Wired and I’ve seen them offer up invites on jk-mobile.com as well.Evernote shows some awesome promise at being a dump for all the things that would otherwise occupy your mind. I’ve note done any thorough testing, but as a replacement for random files scattered across my desktop and notes in the post-it dashboard widget it’s awesome. There’s a desktop client (for both osx and windows) and various mobile clients as well. You write your notes, send e-mails, do screen dumps, take pictures and dump them into Evernote which in turn lets your organize and tag them and (drumroll) makes everything searchable. Even your photos and screendumps. It’s an awesome technology that has worked very well so far for me. I took a photo with my mobile of a job-listing I saw at school. E-mailed it to my Evernote and when I came home it was searchable (even if the pic was grainy as heck). I’m impressed. It’s still in beta and does weird syncing errors and crashes sometimes. But it shows great promise. Hopefully they won’t make it too expensive when it leaves beta.
- pros: Awesome app, pretty icon, text recognition in pictures!
- cons: Beta-symptoms. Mac client still not as packed with features as windows counterpart.
There are more stuff to be covered about this in the future, but that’s for another writeup. How to handle to-do’s, e-mail etc. will be covered here some other time.
In conclusion it’s sad to say that there is no OneNote 2007 killer for the mac. There are some awesome apps made by indie-developers, but the “do-it-all” notetaking app is nowhere to be found. My Eee (which was the last pc I’ve had with windows on it) had Onenote 2007 installed and while the dimunitive screen made a lot of stuff harder than it should be there was a lot of good stuff to be said for the program. I still think there must be Mac-developers out there who can best it. After all they’d be building it on the world’s best operating system, right?