Welcome back to the Tablet!
Back in June I handed my TC 1100 Tablet back to the project I was working on and wrote a farewell blog article where I wrote up my on off love affair with Tablet PC computing. In that article I concluded that a Tablet did not really meet my needs a home worker. Well as time has progressed I have missed the Tablet more and more, and eventually a great deal on eBay offer seduced me and I now have an older TC1000 with 768MB of memory and a cheap TDK PC Card Bluetooth adapter. So what changed my mind:
- I realised that I loved the slate format but hated the keyboard on the TC1*, and that all of the usage scenarios were slate format ones. I had been trying to use my Tablet before in a multi-purpose role, I don’t do that now I have a range of machines that I use for specific purposes. For example, almost all of my writing, evaluation and analysis work is done at my desk using my three monitor setup driving 2 Windows 2003 servers. All of my company mobile working needs I use a IBM T40 traditional laptop, with its great keyboard.
- So what does the Tablet get used for? Well, it lays on the desk in slate mode as a notepad whilst I am working at my desktop. While it lays there, robocopy runs every hour synchronising data onto it from my desktop. Whenever I leave my desk my tablet goes with me, what does it have on it:
- All the blog entries that I want to read
- All of the web pages I want to read
- All the documents I want to read/review
- All of the web movies and conference sessions I want to watch
- All of the e-Books I want to read
- All of my email, contacts and tasks
- eMagazines that I subscribe to
- All of my Music
- My eWallet
- My OneNote Notebook
I will probably add the following to this list over the next few days
- All of the stuff I scan into my desktop, for example receipts, kids pictures and certificates
- Photo’s and home movies
- Any changes I make to my Tablet PC Notebook area are synced back to the desktop, as are any files I save to the Tablet PC My Documents area, otherwise currently the Tablet is maintained as a mirror of the desktop.
- Why does this work for me; well it allows me to do a lot of research, reading and reviewing away from my desk, for example:
- When I am sitting at the side of the pool while my girls are at swimming lessons, 2 nights a week
- When I am not feeling well enough to swim myself, but take them and sit in the lounge watching them, once or twice a week
- When I am sitting by the beach having breakfast or lunch, every day
- When I am watching TV
- When I am sitting in the garden, having a break from my home office
- When I am generally out and about and find myself at a loose end, (for example taking the kids to the park)
- When I want to sit and read and eBook, I have a comfy reading chair in my bedroom where I can get away from it all if the kids are having a “mad half hour”
- It’s interesting that I purchased the Tablet with my own money. How did I manage to justify that? Well prior to the Tablet, all of that reading/reviewing was done on paper and used to cost about £30-40/month in paper and ink. So in less than 18 months it will have paid for itself in direct cost savings without considering the improvement in my productivity (which is considerable) and flexibility (which is transformational) and surprisingly my bag is lighter without all of that paper and the office is a lot quieter without all of that printing!