Squeak on Compaq TC1000 tablet

Alan Kay Alan.Kay at squeakland.org
Wed Feb 19 00:26:43 UTC 2003

Von: Alan Kay <Alan.Kay at squeakland.org>
Datum: Mi, 19. Feb 2003  01:26:43 Europe/Berlin
An: The general-purpose Squeak developers list 
<squeak-dev at lists.squeakfoundation.org>
Betreff: Re: Squeak on Compaq TC1000 tablet

Thanks Tim --

I've been playing with it as well. Andreas gave me a tip, which helps a 
lot with using the pen for drawing in Squeak: set the "High 
Performance" preference to on. The TC1000 has a bug in how it gets pen 
points which shows up in both its SW and in Squeak. With the preference 
"on" Squeak seems to do just as well with points (which is still a bit 
laggy) as does the MS software.

At 2:53 PM -0800 2/18/03, Tim Rowledge wrote:
> Last night I got to play with one of these new fangled 'tablet pcs'
> (funny, I built something like that _14_ years ago).

I remember that visit to my office *very well*!

> It's definitely a quite nice bit of hardware.

Done by guess who? Chuck Thacker who did the original Alto at Xerox 
PARC. Another "grey haired old guy who won't give up".

>  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.

It does run well -- and could run even better if we did a TransMeta 
emulator for the bytecodes. Also, the Croquet stuff runs surprisingly 
well on it, given that it doesn't have the biggest and best graphics 

>  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.

Yeah, but it's nice to have to do penbased experiments for the future, 
etc. We've (Yoshiki) has also put Squeak on the Fujitsu 2.2 penbased 
lightweight (runs really well) and is in the process of doing the new 
Japan only Zaurus PDA (pen based with a beautiful tiny full VGA color 



> Some pics at http://sumeru.stanford.edu/tim/pooters/TC1000 for those
> interested.
> tim
> --
> Tim Rowledge, tim at sumeru.stanford.edu, http://sumeru.stanford.edu/tim
> Useful random insult:- Always sharpening his sleeping skills.

-- Bert

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