I miss my Classmate

The SCOTTEVEST Essential Travel Jacket I got for my birthday arrived today. This is some pretty serious geek-wear with 19 pockets for various electronic gadgets.

The SCOTTEVEST Essential Travel Jacket I got for my birthday arrived today. This is some pretty serious geek-wear with 19 pockets for various electronic gadgets. One of the pockets is actually large enough to hold a netbook and all are designed to rest in such a way as to minimize bulges (so you don't look like you have 19 gadgets including a netbook in your coat).

So here I am, filling the pen and pencil pockets, the glasses pocket (complete with attached lens wipe), the MP3 player pocket, the cell phone pocket, the digital camera pocket (OK, you get the idea), and I came to the giant side pocket that could hold a netbook. Only I didn't have a netbook. One of my kids now has the Aspire One that I grew to love so much and one of the teachers at the high school has my convertible Classmate.

It's moved on from the 2-year old and is now in the hands of a new family with a 2- and a 4-year old, on a new set of adventures (I'll be reporting back on these adventures in early childhood computing soon).

The Travel Jacket, however, reminded me just how fond I was of the Classmate tablet. Really, what's not to like about it, unless you have Jason Perlow's Shrek hands? It's a sub-$500, sub-3 pound tablet with a bunch of cool software. It also happens to have a pretty usable keyboard and a handle to boot. Thinner than the previous-generation Classmate, it would also fit in my EVEST.

The Classmate is a netbook at heart, so it can't replace a full-blown PC. I put together a quick training video with the built-in camera and Windows Movie Maker, but actually editing real video would be utterly painful. However, it is precisely the kind of device that I could, well, toss in my EVEST and take anywhere.

In the same way, it's very much the kind of PC that a teacher could take between classes, between desks, or between work and home. Having lived with it for awhile (and now pining away for it), it's very clear that the Classmate can work well for a lot of adult needs and represents a great choice for many teachers as well as students.

Now if I can just clean off the peanut butter and jelly and get it back before our winter vacation...

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