Apr 20 10 5:13 PM

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Originally Posted by Tom Gillespie on December 26, 2009 at 2:42pm

I'm wondering--waiting for modbook pro--if anyone makes a flat transparent overlay for the tablet screen's digital keyboard? I'm thinking it would be a nice little touch, "j" and "f" tips for location, keep hands off tablet, etc.

I suppose one could make one but maybe there is something already out there.

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Reply by EricN on December 29, 2009 at 11:21pm

Nice idea: a marker or two to help the touch typists among us to position their hands. I doubt there is anything out there already since it would have to be sized to fit the not yet existent Synergy Touch keyboard. Curiously, a related Apple patent has recently come to light.

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Reply by Tom Gillespie on December 30, 2009 at 11:21am

Hmmmm. Synergy and Mod Pro even more interesting than I expected. (Don't expect Steve to offer anything remotely comparable on the iSlate, btw. Life is about addiction, planned obsolescence, 3-6-12 month development/introduction cycles--all the better for quarterly and annual reports).

I've been waiting for Modbook laptop ever since the first lcd laptop appeared; HP (if memory serves me) introduced the CRT touchscreen, circa 1980's. People looked at it, said, "So what. Can't imagine what it's uses could be. Ordering pizza's? It'll die on the vine or be esoteric."

However, being in graphics and journalism circa '77--and having been at the 1st Computer Faire in SF, met Steve and Woz at Apple booth showing this keyboard/cpu, monitor and tablet, software even, bells/whistles went off in my head. (I quickly wrote my article "A chicken in every basket?") What we're seeing now--and yet to be fully flushed--is a '77 discussion in a loft, whilst running between typesetter, darkroom, litho, wax/pasteup, overlays, Huff-Puff-Wheeze/whatever, to make up my newspaper. (We avered, Er, don't invest in Compugraphic/typesetting industry. lol) Every other computer at the faire was a blinking black box, little else. A few were hooked up to IBM Selectrics, maybe a dot matrix printer. A lot of them just had the blinker and printer. (Where's the monitor?) So one can image the commotion around Apple booth as they introduced/demoed this puppy).

I won't be buying a Modbook MacPro any time soon, I guess. I just saw the price...er, maybe a Macbook upgraded version with Synergy would get my attention.

These days, everyone misses the touchscreen technology point. Touchscreen/tablet technology (Wacom, others) has been around for a long time. So have tablet type laptops. Technologically, this isn't much to crow about. Jump ahead with me: touchscreen tablet with lcd screen (page size easily transportable; large enough for any graphic artist, about the size/thickness of large Kindle or MacBook, others). Has wi-fi and simple telecommunications card. No hard drive or optical drive, no fans, no keyboard/touchpad. Throw in coupla handy ports; usb, av, hdmi, multi-port (whatever is plugged in is recognized), cpu/graphics chip, modest on board memory. Common 'been there/done that" technology. So what can this weigh and cost with today's technology, $500 bucks? $250? It's just a existing mass produced hardware (thank goodness) touchscreen with ports.

Oh yah, I forgot how one creates/stores any computer, tablet, telcom, whatever--OS, application software, data. Always nice to have, no? A battery, too.

How about a technology nearing per penny/GB technology? 2-3 SDHC slots, front/side/whatever.

(What do they weigh, use any power?) Gee, I guess there goes the optical, hard drive and fans/heat issues. Weight, too--thus Macbook thickness or 1/2"-1". Weigh maybe 2 lbs, tops. Li-ion battery. Huh, what's this on the underside of the screen; it looks like a small detachable solar panel. What do they cost, 20-30 bucks? (My rv has one, keeps my engine battery's charged. Cheap, efficient toward it's purpose.)

So let's see--one can instantly load any cpu compatible OS, operational software, data storage capability. Maybe the sky's the limit? Multiple cards, security in one's pocket, even. Tablet theft? Why? At the end of the day there is/isn't anything in the tablet. Don't know the initial screen code to log on? Looks like you're not getting in anytime soon; worse, cpu locks up after the fifth unsuccessful attempt? All this theft for a registered dumb tablet that's locked up, no screen/cpu communication, OS, data? lol Hardly worth fencing from a van or back alley. (All risk, No reward.) It's a piece of junk is what it is (like most of hardware technology, c'mon admit it--planned obsolescence is junk. Besides, all this IT/telcom is already overlapping, bumping into itself; we pay outrageous fees for duplicate services.

Eh, eh, eh. Of course, there are always minor details--generally technology advances into nano proportions--so I wouldn't worry about weight or storage issues. (We know what the world of third party adapters/upgrades is about...ipod/iphone, digital this-that, maybe the size of one's thumb? "Way too large, bulky." lol)

After all, this is all about that "Chicken in every basket" proffered/debated in '77 SF loft, without the question mark. Kids, adults, business, pleasure, photographers/artists, cine,--use it for what it's good for. It's just a piece of junk...pretty cheap and getting cheaper by the moment, too. The real computer is on the SDHC (nano) card(s). DVD/Blueray? Pfft. Old world stuff. Passe.

Hey, why not a cigarette pack size CPU, multi port, 2 sdhc slots, wireless mylar keyboard--hook it up (wireless or hdmi type cord) to any screen--book reader, tv, monitor, auto, phone--use screen as a dummy peripheral. Take all the junk from a mini-mac, how large could it possible be...pocket size?

Thanks for the Synergy tip. It led me to the price of ModPro. 5k "GULP"...wait/pray for Synergy on a Modbook...