April 24, 2008#

Useful and fun-to-use Tablet PC applications (1)


I’ve been planning to exchange my current notebook for a Tablet PC for quite a while. Few weeks ago, I finally got it over with and now I’m a proud owner of a HP 2710p convertible Tablet PC.


Needless to say that during the last weeks, as always with new toys, I spent an excessive amount of time configuring my new device and installing and trying out every application I could find out there. So why not share a few of my discoveries?!

OneNote 2007

clip_image001[10]My favorite application for Tablet PCs absolutely is OneNote 2007. I’ve been using this application even on ordinary computers over the last months and it’s still a whole lot better on Tablet PC. Take (handwritten) notes, organize stuff, capture web pages, screenshots, … and all with just a few easy clicks with your stylus. Fantastic!



inkseineAs said before, OneNote can also be used on ordinary PCs which means  there’s has to be a certain compromise regarding its interface to be usable by both stylus and keyboard / mouse users as well. For the heavy stylus users among you, I found another application called InkSeine at Microsoft Research. It’s not an actual product but as one might guess an application with the purpose of research and testing of new techniques in mind. Nevertheless it’s user interface is designed for heavy pen use and even better, searching the Internet or documents on your computer and linking or inserting the results is completely integrated into this interface. This application is really worth a shot. Nevertheless I should mention the lack of textual input and support for non-Microsoft applications such as Firefox or OpenOffice. Besides, there is a problem with the integrated search functions not being compatible with the current Windows Search 4 Technology Preview.

Having said that, I’d like to make a short side note: You should definitely try out the tech preview of Windows Search 4 (available for Windows XP and Vista). It’s just so much faster and more responsive than former version that I wouldn’t wanna live without it anymore. But remember: InkSein’s integrated search functions won’t work anymore after installing the tech preview of Windows Search.

Ink Desktop

clip_image001[12]Another note taking tool by Microsoft. Ink Desktop allows you to take handwritten notes directly to your desktop. That’s a really handy thing for stylus users. Now you won’t only put recently downloaded files or documents you’re currently working on on your desktop but important notes, too. Handwritten, quick, easy!

Now the last tool for today, finally a non-Microsoft application:


clip_image001[14]The Vista Snipping Tool, OneNote 2007 and InkSeine are already doing a good job on taking screenshots quickly and easily, nevertheless there’s an even better way. SnagIt allows you to easily take screenshots not only of your whole desktop, a single window or a certain region of the screen but also of webpages, preserving links (if you wish so) and windows with content that requires scrolling. SnagIt’s the definite standard when you’re talking about screen capture. Try it out!

More tools coming soon … Ink Crosswords, Tic-Tac-Toe, Sudoku, Calculator, Inking Math Formulas, Physics Illustrator and personal fonts

Stay tuned!

April 24, 2008#

Hey Microsoft – I’m so annoyed! At least a bit!

Since quite a while Microsoft is pushing 64-bit operating system versions. In fact, talking about most of Microsoft’s current server products they’re even exclusively producing x64 versions. Now I’m a Windows Vista user since November 2006 and for half a year now I’m using the x64-version.

clip_image001[10]I’m quite satisfied with it as almost all of the hardware manufacturers of my devices provide the necessary drivers BUT I’m quite disappointed by Microsoft itself regarding their 2007 office series. I’m ok with its not being available as a 64-bit version, but I’m definitely not ok with messages like "Internet fax services are not available on 64 bit operating systems" which comes up when you click the Send as fax button in Word 2007. Same thing with Groove 2007 Filesharing Workspaces: "Filesharing workspaces are not supported on 64 bit operating systems". Neither is the Send to OneNote printer driver and as far as I remember the office problem solution assistant.

For months I’ve been waiting for a fix to this now, as none of the issues have


been addressed with SP1. Today I found a note on this blog stating that Microsoft isn’t planning to take care of the Send to OneNote printer driver in the current 2007 version of Office at all. It’ll probably be fixed in the next version of OneNote but there’s not gonna be any patch, update or fix for the current version.

This really disappoints me! It’s not just that Microsoft is taking care of those things very slowly, seems they’re not even caring about them at all. Considering that Microsoft Office isn’t exactly the cheap or free open-source office suite this makes me really hate MS a little bit. It’s just not ok like this!

Although the blog post mentioned above doesn’t say anything about the Groove Filesharing Workspace and Internet Fax service issues with 64-bit operating systems, I’d be surprised if they were facing a brighter future than OneNote.