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Tablet Tales

I'm back on the Tablet again--and loving it once more. Whatever I think of Microsoft's slipping grip on the rest of the network OS, there's no doubt that the Tablet continues to go where noone has gone before.
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Written by Steve Gillmor on

I'm back on the Tablet again--and loving it once more. Whatever I think of Microsoft's slipping grip on the rest of the network OS, there's no doubt that the Tablet continues to go where noone has gone before. As those of you who downloaded the Podshow strategycast now know, I've signed with Adam Curry and Ron Bloom to produce a series of shows for their new company. In addition to reincarnating the Gillmor Gang, I will also deliver a daily program, ironically called Gillmor Daily, produced with the CastBlaster software on, yes, the Tablet.

 Of course, I'll be using my beloved Powerbook for GarageBand, Audio Hijack Pro, and other development of sequences for the shows. In addition I plan on using the iRiver for remote recording. Beyond that, we'll see. The format of the GD show is under construction, or as my wife says, do you have any clue as to what you're going to do? Judging from the expression on my daughter's face (disgust with a hint of boredom), no I don't.

Back to the Tablet. The first thing I've noticed since the last time I used the form factor (a year or so ago with an HP unit) is how powerful the Firefox Wave is. I call it the Firefox Wave as a tribute (and commentary) on the Longhorn Wave of yore, where we all were Scobleized and then Allchin Taxed and then Allchin Reset and now Tiger Counter Punched. But this time I've been determined to retain cross-platform compatibility and redundancy via Firefox, Skype, Rojo, and GMail. In doing so I've sacrificed a bit of Tablet engineering in Firefox, which does not support (Brendan?) in-place ink recognition as IE does. So I have to use the frozen UI at the bottom of the screen for text input into Firefox requesters. Skype, AIM, and Windows Messenger clients support in-place, and Messenger supports ink directly, which shifts my IM traffic to Scoble from the terse to the illegible. I love Robert trying to decode my scrawl--world's fastest typist reduced to smoke signals.

Rojo in portrait mode with the sidebar turned off is fast and slick. I wish Joshua Schacter would respond to Chris Alden and work out a Rojo flag-to-del.ico.us bridge so I can autopopulate my del.icio.us feed with items. Skype's PC interface is slicker than the OS/X one, but I can't figure out how to retrieve chat transcripts yet. I've used this transition to convert 100% to Gmail, while using Outlook on the Tablet and Entourage on the Mac via POP3 as an offline store and calendar. I invite myself to events from either app to sync across the machines.

The most striking aspect of the Tablet 2005 is the speed with which I can move through information. GMail and Rojo still take as much time as before, but I'm absorbing a lot more of both streams. I could (and will) move to an offline newsreader and mail store (probably Thunderbird) but could be convinced if FeedDemon on the PC and NetNewsWire on the Mac take advantage of attention.xml's sync opportunity (are you paying attention Brent and Nick?). I await an RSS-based calendar implementation, most likely from the attention-enabled Firefox/Thunderbird hybrid Brendan Eich has promised.

Speaking of attention, I just did a radio show with Corante's Alex Williams, Dave Sifry, and some folks from YouSoftware who are buidling what sound like interesting attention tools. Many oars in the water pulling in the same direction. Next up, the Tiger install. Automator Ho!

 


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