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December 04, 2006

Early Vista Tip #3: run the CMD line as an Admin

I didn't think I would ever need to do this but thanks to Vista's overly-protective security, you might need to run a CMD line as an Admin. In true Vista fashion, the approach to circumvent security isn't very intuitive (a good thing) and thanks to Paul's wonderful Zune hack on Vista, we now know how to do this.

Click your Start Orb and type "CMD" but don't press Enter and don't click on the search results that Vista will return. Instead, hold down CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER. If you have the Vista User Access Control (UAC) enabled as it is by default, you will be prompted to continue before you gain Admin rights. Click "Continue" and you're all set! Instead of seeing this:


You'll see this and have full Admin rights:


56 days, 4 hours, 8 minutes and 50 seconds left....49.....48....47....

December 04, 2006

Samsung Q1P finally has a product page

Q1_video_6The Pentium-based Samsung Q1, known as the Q1P, has finally appeared on the Samsung Q1 product page. This more powerful model of the original Q1 UMPC has previously appeared at retailer sites, so there isn't much news here. CDW has carried the unit for some time for around $1,250: you'll get the faster processor (1 GHz) along with a Gigabyte of RAM and a 60 GB hard drive, all increases over the original Q1. Interestingly enough, Samsung's product page indicates that the 3-cell battery will provide up to 5 hours of battery life; the Celeron-based Q1 is rated at 3 hours and while the Pentium can "speed-step" the processor to save battery life, I'm leery on the claim, but if someone has a Q1P and can share their typical battery usage, please set me straight. Also, we heard in September that the Q1P would have an option for embedded HSDPA, but there's no mention of that on the official product page.

Thanks to jkOTR reader Tom for the heads up!

December 04, 2006

What's after HSDPA? HSUPA, of course

Wow, we don't even have HSDPA 3G close to rolled out and the next level isn't that far behind. If HSDPA and HSUPA sound like funny acronyms, they are, so let's give you the 40,000-foot view to get you up to speed (literally!). HSDPA stands for High-Speed Downlink Packet Access and is a cellular wireless technology that provides speedy upload and download speeds to the tune of up to 3.6 Mbps down and 385 Kbps up. HSUPA is the next-step and promises double the download speed (7.2 Mbps) while quadrupling the upload to 1.5 Mbps.

Now that you don't have to buy a vowel to understand the two technologies, this tidbit might make sense: Qualcomm will be demonstrating HSUPA technology at the ITU Telecom show in Hong Kong. None of the U.S. carriers have committed to HSUPA, but Cingular is currently rolling out HSDPA; it's a safe bet that if any carrier will bring HSUPA to the U.S., it would likely be Cingular in the next few years.

Parallels adds "coherency": can you spot Windows on this Mac?

Parallels_1I'm beginning to wonder if someday we'll all have Apple hardware running Windows software. If the folks who build the Parallels software have anything to do with it, I'd say it's a safe bet. The latest beta version of Parallels adds several new features, but the one standout from a productivity standpoint has to be new "coherency" mode.

Coherency allows Windows apps to float right in the Mac workspace, appearing as if they were native Mac apps. This means you don't need to keep Windows-based windows in the Microsoft workspace on a Mac running Parallels. You can even share and move data between Mac and Windows apps using shortcuts. Essentially, the new coherency mode makes the OS boundaries disappear and that can have a profound effect on computing choices. You have to see this for yourself in a video at Michael Verdi's site; if you can spare two minutes, this is a must see.

MacBook Pro slimming to 12-inch widescreen?

Blueapplelogo_1When the MacBooks got the Intel Core 2 Duo refresh, I wondered what was next for the Mac notebook line and MacRumors might have the answer. Word is that Apple is readying a 12-inch widescreen version of the MacBook Pro that would be "ultra-thin". Since I'm on the run quite a bit, I prefer my notebooks & Tablets to be 12-inches or less, so this would be in my "sweet spot". There's no mention of any Tablet functions, but if Apple could get MacBook Pro functionality in an "ultra-thin" form factor like the Fujitsu ST 5112 slate I have under review, they would have a very appealing package. Here's hoping! Thanks for the tip, Dave!

Remove cord-clutter with Belkin's UWB hub


If you're a heavy-duty notebook or Tablet PC user that owns many USB devices, you might appreciate Belkin's Cable-Free hub due here in the U.S. in the next few weeks. The $200 device is a wireless USB hub that supports UWB, or Ultra-Wideband technology, so you can cut the cord to your USB printer, keyboard, mouse, web-cam or digital music player. The hub isn't quite a full docking-station replacement: if you want to pipe video to an external monitor, for example, you'll still need the dreaded VGA or other video cable. Still, the ability to remove cord-clutter is a bonus in my book.

EverNote Software Featured on All New Fujitsu Notebooks and Tablet PCs

Sunnyvale, Calif., Dec. 4, 2006 – EverNote® Corporation today announced a new partnership to distribute EverNote software on the Fujitsu Computer Systems Corporation line of high-performance and reliable LifeBook® notebooks and Stylistic® Tablet PCs shipping in North America.

In addition, the LifeBook P1610 pen-enabled convertible notebook will include both EverNote Plus and EverNote ritePen®, an advanced handwriting recognition software.

EverNote Corp. is a leader in information capturing technologies. From best-of-breed digital ink and handwriting recognition technologies, to its popular personal content management application, EverNote provides a single place for capturing, categorizing, and instantly locating any kind of notes, including text, web and document clips, handwritten notes and images, and accessing them on multiple platforms and devices.

“People appreciate software that works with them to make their job easier,” said Paul Moore, senior director of mobile product marketing, Fujitsu Computer Systems. “EverNote, whether it is used with a pen or keyboard, delivers on this with a clear, easy-to-use, searchable notepad.”

A leader in mobile computing, Fujitsu offers a complete line of LifeBook® high-performance notebook PCs, ranging from powerful desktop replacements to ultra-portable and convertible notebooks, to fit the needs of every mobile user.  Fujitsu Stylistic® Tablet PCs offer unsurpassed levels of flexibility, productivity, and performance with both pen and keyboard inputs.

“The popularity of Fujitsu notebooks and Tablet PCs gives EverNote more exposure to a growing base of mobile users,” said Leonid Kitainik, executive vice president of EverNote. “We are excited about the partnership with Fujitsu that helps business users and consumers manage the myriad of content that they interact with every day. Additionally, we are positive that LifeBook and Stylistic users will enjoy the forthcoming version 2.0 of EverNote, which includes our new Search in Images (AIR-Search) technology.”

About EverNote Corporation
Headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., EverNote Corporation is a provider of note management, digital ink and handwriting recognition software and technologies for the PC, mobile and wireless markets. Please visit for more information.

ritePen and EverNote are registered trademarks of EverNote Corporation. Fujitsu, the Fujitsu logo, and LifeBook are registered trademarks of Fujitsu Limited. Stylistic is a registered trademark of Fujitsu Computer Systems Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners

December 03, 2006

Dynamism now shipping Asus R2H

I just received word from Raphael Salgado that Dynamism is now shipping the Asus R2H UMPC.  These puppies are hard to find so if you've got to get your hands on one fast you should check them out.


Early Vista Tip #2: independent volume control


I absolutely love the independent volume control in Vista; it's something that I think we should have had in XP, but no matter: it's here in Vista and it works well if you're into multimedia. In the screenshot above, I'm viewing "The Three Stooges" (not to be confused with Matt, James and I) in Windows Media Center. I'm really just prepping to watch some high-def football games later today, where I'll want to mute the sound of the game and listen to music on my Zune Pass. Oh, but that's a problem, because in XP if you mute Windows Media Center, all sound is muted from your sound device. There goes my music listening while watching football and getting some work done, right?

Not in Vista: you can see at the bottom right in my full window shot as well as the detailed Volume Mixer pic below that volume for different apps on the same sound device can be volume adjusted or muted independantly! In this shot, I've muted sound from Media Center so I can just watch the TV while listening to my Zune music. Most folks might miss this very usable feature, so be sure to click the "Mixer" link in your volume control within Vista for even greater control.


Zune Pass: playback on multiple PCs allowed


I got bored this morning. And when I get bored, I read things like license agreements. You remember those: the lengthy items you click "Next" on as quickly as possible? Yup, those license agreements. So over my coffee earlier today, I read through the Zune license agreement and was intrigued by a few positive bits o' news.

Check out section 14 in the license agreement, the Content Usage Rules, as it covers all of your "multiple device" playback options. In there I found out that Zune music can be played on up to five authorized computers, much like Apple's iTunes music. That's good (and expected), but it gets better for those of you pay for a Zune Pass music subscription like myself.

If you pay $14.95 for unlimited music from the Zune Marketplace, you can play that music on three authorized computers and up to two Zune devices. Now that's something that Apple simply can't offer at this time since they don't have a subscription service. It's also something the Microsoft Zune marketing team might want to start highlighting. My incorrect assumption was that my Zune Pass was good for a single computer only, but my $14.95 a month gets me unlimited tunes on up to three PCs, which comes in handy when the kids steal the Zune! The way I see it: my subscription price just dropped to $5 per PC for all the music I can listen to.

2006 Ink Blot Awards announced!

Blotties_logoWarner Crocker has published the Second Annual Ink Blot Awards and we are honored and humbled to see that we have received numerous awards for 2006!  Warner started the tradition last year on his LIfe on the Wicked Stage: Act 2 blog and has continued it in fine fashion.  Warner has a great knack for coming up with some rather esoteric award categories and if you have few minutes read through the entire Blotties Awards list.  There are too many awards to list here but here are the awards garnered by Kevin and I:

Wow!  No fewer than 11 awards and Kevin and I are blown away by the awards and thank Warner for his astute observation of the Tabletscape and we look forward to next year.

December 02, 2006

Using the Fujitsu P1610 port replicator

Fujitsu P1610 in replicatorI have been very pleased with the usage of the Fujitsu P1610 Tablet PC, as you can see in the video review of this marvelously portable Tablet PC with a touch screen.  I have been using it in my daily routine and it has performed very well and I have no quibbles with the performance nor the usability that Fujitsu has packed into the little Tablet.  I have also been using the Fujitsu port replicator (part # FPCPR56AP) and this article will focus on that extension of the P1610.

Continue reading "Using the Fujitsu P1610 port replicator" »

December 01, 2006

Free 60-day Office 2007 trials now available

Office_2007_1If you didn't get in on the free Office 2007 DVD offer, no worries: everyone and anyone can download a free 60-day trial of Office. The OneNote Extensibility blog points us to the magic download page: just click here and choose the Office 2007 product or suite of your choice to test drive. I've been using the beta version of Office since May and it's much improved. See for yourself over the next 60 days!

Early Vista Tip #1: mod the shutdown button

Vista_shutdownAlthough Vista's consumer release isn't expected for two months there's no reason not to build up the Vista tips now. Actually, I should hurry as I have a Windows Sidebar Gadget running a Vista countdown clock; looks like I only have 59d, 9h, 35m and 10 get, find, and share some useful tips.

First up is a nice little shutdown configuration tip from Kristan Kenney. The default shutdown action for the red button I've circled in the pic is to put your computer to Sleep. I personally like that option and not just for my Tablet PCs, but my desktop too. What if you don't? Well, you can navigate around in the Power Settings and mod the default action from Sleep to Hibernate or to Shut Down:


Kristan has the simple navigation steps, so head over and check 'em out. Don't wait too long, just 59d, 9h, 30m and 50 seconds left!


Sony Reader: compelling review but too pricey?

Sony_reader_openMobileTechReview turns the pages, er page, of the Sony Reader in their latest review and gave the device a solid four out of five stars. While reading the review, I was drawn to many of the features and functions of the device:

  • Relatively small size at 4.9 x 6.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Only 9-ounces in weight
  • Enough juice for 7,500 page "flips" on a single charge
  • 5-way directional pad for navigation

Unfortunately, I can't see a need to spend $349 for the device for two reasons: first, it's pricey for the functionality and second, the same functionality is available in my UMPC. Even if fairly compare the technology and say the Sony's battery will last much longer (a very true statement), it's much cheaper for me to carry a spare battery with my Samsung Q1 UMPC. I also prefer to switch navigation between a D-pad and a touchscreen, depending on my mood an environment; something you can't yet do with the Sony.

While I applaud Sony's effort here, I see limited success at best. I want to see standalone eBook readers for the masses, I really do. Let's face it: not everyone wants to spend $500 to $1,500 on a laptop or Tablet PC to read eBooks because they don't need all of the computing functionality that comes with it. I do need that functionality so I'd rather read my content on devices that can do more. Here's hoping the next generation of Sony Reader comes in at or under $200. I can live without computing features, but not for $350. How about you?

Additional Sony Reader reviews we've read recently:

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