# Monday, 13 September 2010

DSC00402[4]

As I mentioned previously, I would attempt to FULLY use my Asus T101MT in slate (that means without keyboard access for those unfamiliar with the term) mode and now here are the findings from my little adventure.

Know The Shortcuts And Gestures For Using Windows Without A Keyboard :- Everyone who uses an iOS device is familiar with the various gestures such as swiping, pinch to zoom, rotate, etc. etc. As I mentioned in my Windows 7 Touch Optimization article, do read the help about what kind of gesture are available for Windows 7 Touch. It's also important to note any useful shortcuts that might help you when you're using your apps, for example :- Most Windows web browsers don't have a way to easily clear the address bar and get it ready for a fresh URL like Safari on the iPhone, instead of having to try to select the whole address bar by using your fingers you can also just hit the ESC key on the virtual keyboard when the address bar has focus, that usually selects the full address which you can then easily clear and replace.

There's An App For That! :- That's one of the primary tag lines which the iOS crowd likes to use. To which I can just ask "Is there an app to watch a 720P Soft Subbed MKV video file LOCALLY on your device without the need of any form of encoding?" Or I guess I can just ask the simpler "Does it play RMVBs then?" On a REAL PC, be it Windows, Linux or Mac, there IS definetly an app for that! But...

The Apps Aren't Touch Friendly :- Most apps on the PC were not made to be touch friendly, they were meant to be operated via keyboard and mouse. While the Windows 7 Touch features can make interacting with these apps possible it's less than ideal in some cases, and downright impossible in others. This is a classic Chicken and Egg problem, there aren't that many Windows 7 SLATES out there to call it a viable market, and thus developers don't really concentrate on this niche category of applications for now. One of the worst/best examples of apps that just expect a keyboard and mouse to be around is Adobe Reader, once in full screen mode, left click goes to the next page, right click goes to the previous page. To exit full screen mode, press the ESC key. If it wasn't for the fact the Tablet Input Panel bar is always floating around at the side of the screen my little keyboardless experiment would have ended right then. Smile with tongue out This of course means most fullscreen games are totally unplayable unless they can work without the use touching the keyboard at all.

Windows Resume From Stand By Works :- One of the primary arguments about Windows 7 as a UMPC is that it takes too long to boot up, when I ask those people why don't they just standby or hibernate they tell me the system crashes on resume. Well... go complain to your hardware manufacturer and ask them to make drivers that sleep and wakeup properly! My Asus Tablet PC wakes up from standby in less than 10 seconds, just like the old UH900, just like the old U1010. Proper drivers ensure proper sleep operation. How long does it take to go from waking up from standby to normal operation? Well... that depends on what password you use to lock your system then. Winking smile

Microsoft OneNote ROCKS! :- I've known this since the first time I booted up OneNote, I don't know which was the first note I created, but the oldest note I have in my OneNote notebook is dated July 2003. If you haven't yet experienced Microsoft OneNote, you should give it a whirl. My executive summary of what Microsoft OneNote is would have to be, You know that notebook/legal pad/scrap book you carry around to meetings? The one where you put down your ideas, circle off problem points and other tasks? THAT's what OneNote is, a flexible notetaking application. It indexes your text for easy searching, and it indexes the best guess of your HANDWRITING for easy searching too!

I'm still using the Asus in slate form most of the time, I'm growing more and more comfortable to being keyboardless and Windows 7's touch features do make it very much possible to use it that way. As I've said before, a Windows 7 Tablet PC will never be better than an iPad. You can't even compare them as Apples to Apples since they can't be categorized as the same thing as much as Steve Jobs would want to. (in the sense that an iPad can be used as a NetBook) But taken on it's own merits, can Windows 7 be used purely driven by touch? Yes, there might be some bumps here pertaining to some usability issues with some apps, but yes it is possible.


Monday, 13 September 2010 00:38:51 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 11 September 2010

Even before my little keyboardless adventure, I've always known that a Windows 7 Tablet PC's biggest disadvantage is that not many apps are optimized to be run by touch. So I guess I need to start writing some myself, here's the first thing I finished a while back for my UH900, An extremely simple RSS reader. EXTREMELY simple, mainly because I wrote it just to help navigate through some feeds on the UH900. Also because I wrote it while waiting to see the Doctor one day.

It's a Silverlight 4 based application, so you'll need to grab that runtime to try it out.

Marauderz Simple RSS Reader


Saturday, 11 September 2010 02:33:53 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 07 September 2010

So I've been greeted by this message when I tried to login to Facebook.

image

So... ok I tried to add my phone and I see this.

image

Maxis not being in I picked the My Mobile Service Provider Isn't Listed link. And I eventually get to this window.

image

Since I didn't get me code, I decided to let them know. But....

image

WHAT THE HELL !?!?!?!?


Tuesday, 07 September 2010 21:25:59 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 05 September 2010

I’m a heavy user of Microsoft Onenote, Since it’s very first version, on my very first Tablet PC. Well,  times have changed now and I now have 2 machines instead of just one Tablet PC. My main workhorse system (currently a Dell XPS 13), and then there’s my meeting/ideas Tablet PC (Currently the Asus T101MT). The OneNote notebook is stored in the Dell, whereas the Tablet syncs the files from the Dell using a password protected fileshare.

You might ask why I didn’t make use of the excellent sync to web feature by putting my notebook on Skydrive? Well that’s a GREAT feature, I just found out that it doesn’t end well when you have audio/video recordings in your notebooks cause it obviously tries to upload those as well.

Recently I was looking through my Tablet PC strategy and realized that it is pretty much an expandable system. In the sense that, if I ever lose it (knock on wood) The data should be replaceable, and I need to try and protect the data as much as possible. (My Onenote holds… well… a LOT of information that can’t fall into the wrong hands)

My first thought was obviously to set OneNote to sync to a BitLocker To Go secured SD Card, but then I saw this under Options -> Save & Backup –> Cache File Location.

onenotecache

Oh crap.. they specifically mentioned that you CAN’T toss the cache file location into a removable drive. thought that was it, and my dreams of having a protected storage were shattered. That’s when I remembered a command I learnt when I was hacking some Windows Protected Files. MKLINK.

In short, MKLINK allows you to make one folder point to another folder. And then to any program that access it, it’ll be seeing the stub folder instead of the real one.

Given that piece of information, all I had to do was run the command in the command prompt as such

MKLINK /J C:\MYFOLDER\MYSTUBFOLDER F:\SDCARDFOLDER

So now c:\myfolder\mystubfolder  can be used to refer to the sync folder on my BitLocker’ed SD Card, and I can happily set that as the Cache File Location in Onenote and it’ll not complain. Yippee!!!

But there’s a few gotchas for this scenario, first of all, since this is just a dirty ugly hack. Starting Onenote when the SD card isn’t mounted, not unlocked, or mounted in the wrong drive. OneNote throws up.

onenotecrash

So, try to make sure you are familiar with how to adjust your SD Card’s drive letters, or are prepared to recreated the junction with MKLINK so you can make sure that OneNote can find the cache folder without any problems.

The other gotcha was that, I didn’t realize that BitLocker To Go doesn’t relock on resume from standby. Hmmmm.. I guess that was for convinience sake. I do have a user password to login from standby so I guess it’s not like someone can just access my system if they find it in standby form. Though it is something to note when using BitLocker To Go.

UPDATE: This will not work in Onenote 2013, so you will need to make a VHD on the external media instead, you can check it out here.


Sunday, 05 September 2010 23:39:36 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 01 September 2010

I'm ready to throw in the towel and just decline any form of Windows Client application if the client has their mind set on creating the worlds greatest application and decide that they should have full control of the OS.


Wednesday, 01 September 2010 21:56:40 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  |