Have you all tried the new Netbook category of portable computing devices? I have not, yet. I still carry my 15-in. MacBook Pro everywhere. It packs some weight, but it is my entire office. Now that I have a new blogging platform that is accessible over the Web, perhaps it’s time for me to consider traveling with lighter equipment.
I used to use a Palm similar to a tablet PC. Then I thought integrating it with a phone would be cool. But the Treo was a disaster, and I didn’t want to wait for the Pre (good thing). Some people want to use the iPhone like a tablet, but typing on those screens is a pain. I still like the original Graffiti of the old Palms. Now that I have a Blackberry Storm (OK device, not outstanding, but workable), mobile Web and email are good, and even contacts and calendar. Camera is OK. But note taking and document editing is impossible.
I’ve gone back to 3×5 cards for thoughts and note taking. Drawback is manually loading them on my computer productivity software (something missing in the productivity part–automation editor is not automated, hmm what a headline). If the rumored Apple tablet has pen input, maybe that would be a winner?
Dave Winer has an interesting analysis of the netbook phenomenon. Is there a similar thing in manufacturing and automation?
Ah, so many gadgets, so little time. What works best for you? What works in manufacturing?
I finally became fed up with dragging my portable desktop around (a massive 17" Toshiba with about 45min of battery life). I looked at the Mac Air but wasn’t prepared to shell out that kind of money. I was strongly leaning toward a netbook but couldn’t justify that expense either once I started looking at inexpensive ultraportable laptops. I settled on this Acer and I’m really happy. The screen is "big enough," it’s very light and has a realistic 6 hours (they advertise 8 but whatever) of battery life. Most surprising was the performance – nice and nimble running Vista with a free Windows 7 upgrade forthcoming. Best of all, it’s full OS and has a generous enough hard drive to be a portable office (if you’re not a hard core software developer as I am).
As for the netbook phenomenon itself, I think it’s here to stay even though I don’t see myself buying one. I am serving as IT director for a political campaign and have built an entirely cloud-based infrastructure so that staff and volunteers can collaborate (almost) anywhere and if we need to provide hardware we can use inexpensive netbooks. I believe there are plenty of other task-specific solutions for the netbook that will keep it around.
Have you taken a look at Evernote for replacing your index cards? I’ve dabbled in it but never really fully utilized it. It has a BlackBerry app but it needs a little work in my observation.
"I’ve gone back to 3×5 cards for thoughts and note taking. Drawback is manually loading them on my computer productivity software"
Have you tried the Livescribe Smartpen yet? http://www.livescribe.com