Inappropriately Touching Windows 8

5 03 2012

It’s time to dust off the cobwebs here.

I’ve got a few things to do in 2012 technology-wise and I may shift the focus of this blog so that its content better includes what I’m actually doing. Including more content like photography and shooting information in addition to computing and technology topics.

Most of my technology these days involves cloud computing and lots of data management. Photography happens to be involved or reliant upon both those things!

Onto Windows 8…

Starting with the Developer Preview, I knew that this would be something interesting. In fact, prior to its release, I bought my new Tablet PC Convertible with multi-touch, and a pressure-sensitive Wacom stylus (for Photoshop) knowing that “the future of computing” involved touchscreen computing.

(And, I have looked at the iPad for a long time. I’ve used them, and I’ve used the iPhone as a primary device, Mac OS X etc. I’ve also been watching Android tablets closely to see if they would fit my needs…)

Now, I’ve used Tablet PC’s for the past 8 years, so that’s nothing new. I know Apple says that “if you see a stylus, they blew it,” but Wacom appears to have made an OK business out of it. And now, I have a mini Cintiq that is also a computer with me (note – I would not refuse owning a real Cintiq!).

The Windows 8 Developer Preview was pretty lumpy. I did use it as my “primary desktop” for a few months. But, I used Windows 7 as my “photography OS” for using Capture One, FastPictureViewer, Photoshop, etc. while using Windows 8 for Office tasks and Visual Studio.

The current Windows 8 Consumer Preview seems like a totally new, much smoother experience. And, I will state up front, that this experience will be very familiar to me because of the following factors:

  • I have a Windows Phone 7 (going on 18 months) – but my LG is dying
  • I used the Developer Preview
  • I have a multi-touch device

That said, I use the keyboard and mouse just as much (I don’t use my tablet as a “tablet” – I just touch the screen).

You’re going to love this when Apple invents it!

If I’m in a public setting, inevitably surrounded by iPads, and I boot up my laptop, I have to touch the screen to boot into an OS… it’s a dual boot system. And the boot screen uses the Zune / Windows Phone 7 “swipe up” type unlock move which isn’t subtle on a bigger screen.

I get asked: “Did you just touch your laptop?!”

No kidding…

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An SXGA+ article to get me back into the game

25 05 2010

Yup… I should have been posting for the past few months.  Hopefully I can get back into the habit!

I don’t need a new laptop yet.  Yet… however, the screen size trend in industry really bothers me.  Wider is not better if we’re sacrificing vertical pixels!  Yet, every manufacturer is basically training us to accept low vertical pixel density by hiding behind the “HD” moniker.

Today, you will be hard pressed to find anything functional with a vertical pixel count of 800 or more.  I’m not talking about netbooks (although I have one).  I mean most new laptops in general.

We’re just taking a step backward to the 90’s… 1024×768 (VGA) is really close to 800 pixels tall!

Now, I’ve been a user of Tablet PC’s for the past 5 or 6 years now and I find them incredibly useful.  I do mainly 3 things with my tablet:

  1. Draw User Experience Prototype Sketches
  2. Take down whiteboard sketches of architectures and the usual “ideation” work therein
  3. Retouch, enhance, and correct photos I take (portraits especially)

I find the tablet’s interface to be as natural as we can get for work in photography.  For example, there’s a big difference (in my mind) in the look of a brush stroke made with a pen vs. made with a mouse.  This guys seems to agree with me about screen size and art.

I can draw something in OneNote quickly, and then go into SketchFlow and redraw the same thing and make it function.

I can retouch a photo using an airbrush that actually almost works like an airbrush.

Yes, I could use an external tablet like a Wacom Bamboo, but it’s so much nicer to see exactly what you’re doing on the screen.  Moreover, you don’t have to carry one more thing around.  I’m sure that anyone who’s seen Microsoft Research’s Project Gustav will agree that more pixels will be better!

As a backup plan, I have one of these Hantech Stylo pens that will work with any PC.  But, it’s probably not quite the same (I have yet to really try it out in earnest).

Size is everything, actually

My criteria for picking a Tablet PC has been pretty simple:

Get the one with the highest screen resolution possible!

 

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