Squeak on Compaq TC1000 tablet
tim at sumeru.stanford.edu
Tue Feb 18 22:53:14 UTC 2003
Last night I got to play with one of these new fangled 'tablet pcs'
(funny, I built something like that _14_ years ago).
It's definitely a quite nice bit of hardware. At least, the basic tablet
is - the keyboard thingy is very tacky and wobbly. The screen is nice
and is protected by a pretty solid feeling sheet of textured and
tempered glass. I'd say the texture was a bit too much, personally,
because it made using the pen feel very draggy. It doesn't weigh too
much (definitely something that wasn't the case with the Active Book)
and the size is ok. The screen visual quality is good, especially with
the brightness downa click or two so that one doesn't get too much
back-scatter from the texture. The one I played with is a 1GHz Transmeta
crusoe with 512Mb or ram (_512_ Mb!! Good gravy. When I was a lad.... )
and that ugly windows XP stuff. It's the first time I've actually seen
XP so far as I can recall and it is _ugly_. It also seemed really slow
and unresponsive, particularly in the web browser. Pen calibration was
pretty bad too, drifting as you watch; I suspect some temperature
dependence, varying as it warms up. I'm sure they'll fix it by the third
release, as usual.
However, Squeak runs _really_ nicely on it. So much snappier feeling
than the 'real' OS. The only real problem was the use of the pen
button/switch, which lagged a lot but only occasionally. All the sound
demo stuff ran perfectly, Scamper, balloon3D, Alice, etc etc. Very
impressive. If one could get the hardware with just enough OS to start
Squeak in fullscreen mode it would be wonderful. In a way it's
gratifying to see a 'real' product based on so much of our work and
dreams, in another way it's really annoying to see such ugly software as
its standard suite.
Some pics at http://sumeru.stanford.edu/tim/pooters/TC1000 for those
Tim Rowledge, tim at sumeru.stanford.edu, http://sumeru.stanford.edu/tim
Useful random insult:- Always sharpening his sleeping skills.
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