December 2005

Another one bites the dust -- Seagate buys Maxtor
Industry leading disk drive maker Seagate is buying rival Maxtor in a stock transaction. Despite disk drives being used everywhere, from every computer to game consoles to digital music players, the disk drive business seems a tough one. Seagate has annual revenues of less than US$8 billion, Maxtor less than half that. Those are decent numbers, but peanauts compared to the likes of Microsoft or the relative importance of the disk drive industry, which seems to be in a state of perennial distress. Anyone remember CMI, Microscience, Micropolis, Rodime, Quantum, Conner, or Miniscribe? Or for that matter IBM (which sold its drive division to Hitachi) or Fujitsu (left consumer markets years ago). With Seagate's acquisition of Maxtor, we're essentially left with Seagate, Western Digital, Toshiba, Hitachi and, of course, Samsung, which makes everything. Let's hope this was a good move. [read Seagate release] -- Posted Wednesday, December 21, 2005 by chb

Windows Mobile and Windows XP in the same device
It's become somewhat of a Holy Grail of mobile computing: how does one get all of Windows into a device small enough to carry in your pocket, yet with enough battery life to also use it as a PDA and smartphone? The OQO (see our OQO review) took a respectable crack at it, but it's not a phone. CNET now reports of DualCor Technologies' impending release of the cPC, a little box that combines full XP with Windows Mobile 5.0. Supposedly a 6.5 x 3.3 x 1.2 little thing with a 5-inch screen, the cPC uses a super-low-power 1.5GHz Via chip, a gig of RAM and a 40GB disk to run Windows XP (the Tablet PC Edition no less, despite a lack of an active digitizer) for a respectable 3-4 hours. The cell phone side of the cPC uses Windows Mobile 5.0, shares the disk but has its own 128MB of DRAM, a gig of flash and a PXA chip, and can truck along for 8-12 hours in that mode. Sounds a lot like a Hybrid car, doesn't it? The DualCor website doesn't have any info yet, so we'll have to wait and see. [see CNET report] [see patent app] -- Posted Friday, December 16, 2005 by chb

HP beefs up tc4200 Tablet PC convertible
Customers can now order the HP Compaq Tablet PC tc4200 with a 2GHz Intel M 760 processor, an 80GB drive and, most importantly, an outdoor-viewable version of the awesome BOE Hydis wide viewing angle display. [see HP news and offer] -- Posted Thursday, December 15, 2005 by chb

New StayinFront CRM 9.3 optimized for Tablet PCs
StayinFront, a global provider of enterprise-wide customer relationship management (CRM) applications, decision support tools, data services and eBusiness systems, today announced its latest release, StayinFront CRM 9.3. This release is designed to improve the user experience on Tablet PCs by meeting the highest Microsoft pen-perfect standard of integration within the Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 operating system.

-- Posted Wednesday, December 7, 2005 by chb

Paper displays make rapid progress
According to DigiTimes, Plastic Logic will show a 10-inch SVGA plastic display at the 12th International Displays Workshop in Japan this week. The thickness of the laminated display is not even 0.4mm (less than 1/60th of an inch). The display can be flexed and rolled. At this point, the display can only show four levels of gray, but that may change soon. According to Plastic Logic, the flexibility of the display allows pressure sensors to be placed under the screen, which means plastic displays could have touch screens without compromising the optical performance of the display. Our take: if progress on ultra-thin foldable screen continues along the same trajectory, the term "display" as we know it may well morph into something different entirely as any surface, flat or not, can become a display. -- Posted Tuesday, December 6, 2005 by chb

Mi-Co celebrates 3rd anniversary of Tablet PC
Mobile Data Capture specialist Mi-Co celebrates the 3rd anniversary of the Tablet PC: "A new era in digital ink solutions began in the fall of 2002 with three major events: the launch of the Tablet PC; the launch of the Logitech io Digital Pen using Anoto functionality and forms automation software that supports both major handwriting capture platforms by Mi-Co, the mobile data capture company. To observe the 3rd anniversary of the these milestones, Mi-Co has a number of activities underway including the publication of a white paper by James Clary, CEO of Mi-Co, entitled Modern Mobile Data Capture Technology for Government and Enterprise Applications. "Mi-Co welcomed the launch of the Tablet PC and the Logitech Digital Pen," stated Clary, "because this marked the point where the hardware and software for capturing and recognizing handwritten data came into synchronization. Prior to November 2002, many companies, including, Mi-Co, utilized Pocket PCs and other handwriting capture platforms, including signature capture pads. Similar to the introduction of the IBM Personal Computer, the new Tablet PCs and Digital Pens legitimized and accelerated the use of handwritten input like nothing that had happened before. The result is that industrial strength solutions are showing up in successful mobile forms automation implementations for an increasing number of enterprise and government applications." [Mi-Co Mi-Forms info][View White Paper on Modern Mobile Data Capture Technology for Government and Enterprise Applications] -- Posted Monday, December 5, 2005 by chb

Agilix InfiNotes 2.0 support .NET Framework 2.0 and VS 2005
Agilix Labs, Inc., released a new version of InfiNotes that works with the new .NET Framework 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005, both recently released by Microsoft. InfiNotes 2.0 is a suite of .NET controls that dramatically simplify building ink note-taking applications for Tablet PCs. The new version of InfiNotes enables developers to now build ink note-taking features in their applications built on the .NET Framework 2.0. InfiNotes 2.0 integrates its toolbox and help features into Visual Studio 2005, the most popular development environments for .NET Framework 2.0 developers. In addition, it adds new ink classes for new note-taking applications to provide greater flexibility in how the controls are deployed. [see InfiNotes page -- Posted Monday, December 5, 2005 by chb