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Inkwell possibilities...
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
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May 17, 2002, 06:42 PM
Ok, I don't know about anyone else, but one thing that has gotten me really excited about future products is Inkwell.

A few things about Inkwell:
-Technology from the Newton era of devices. I don't think Apple is interested in licensing this technology to other companies since Apple likes to make the "whole widget". This is disappointing, IMHO, because if you could just imagine a HandSpring or a PalmPilot with Inkwell built in -- Yummy!

-It is now built in to the OS. Imagine, if you will, a PowerBook that fits easily into a extremely cramped coach class flight... Imagine, if you will, a Powerbook without a keyboard...

I mean, what if MS got it right... Sort of. We want a Tablet PC... Just not like how MS envisions it. We want portablity, but we don't want a "central server" streaming the GUI to a LCD screen. We want it as the whole widget. If I'm going to have a LCD screen with input, I want the whole computer, not the screen just Timbuktu'ing or VNC'ing to my "Tablet".

Imagine, if you will, a Powerbook, but no keyboard (you'll have to excuse those that cry blasphemy to this), implement a "touch screen" (but only for pen input, not actual finger touching ), with all the inputs on the side, as per the Powerbook right now.

How do we get around the "how does the computer know if I'm using the mouse or the "handwriting" recognition? Easy:
We all have seen pens with the notch at the top of the pen that bring the point in, and out. That could work. Tip is out, your handwriting, tip is in, your using the mouse. "BUT" you say, "what if I don't want to always click the top of the pen?" Easy, say the pen has either a 2nd button on the side, ala mechanical pencil, for switching of the pen tip input/output. Quick, fast, easy. "BUT" you say, "what about the 2nd mouse button!? I there isn't a control key I could use anymore!" Easy, the pen should be able to dicsern between "holding the pen button down" as left click, as opposed to "retract tip bit". Say a less than 1 second click = retract bit, longer than 1 second wouldn't retract the bit, but would act as a left click.

Granted, this isn't meant to replace the entire keyboard, but the majority of the functionality. If you absolutely need a keyboard and mouse, that's what a USB port is for

"But I'll loose the pen!"
--No worries, just have a optional thin steel cord attachment you can hook up to the pen and the powerbook, but have it detach, ala XBox (and you thought no innovations came from MS )
You won't loose your pen, and your Powerbook won't go flying if you put the pen in your pocket and take off down a flight of stairs.

Of course, heat is an issue, but I guess that's why I'm not a engineer.

But what do you all think? Possible this could sound like the next Powerbook?
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction.
E. F. Schumacher
Mac Elite
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Up north
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May 17, 2002, 09:45 PM
Maybe not the next new power book, but maybe another line of portable computers.

Cool idea there though!!! When I got my LCD I kind of wished I could do what you are describing, but alas, I don't travel with my tower and LCD and keyboard, and mouse, and dsl modem, and printer and switch, and soundsticks... ect... ect..
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
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May 18, 2002, 12:32 AM
Actually, I do want a central PC. I'd rather go the opposite route. A very dumb terminal. $100 a shot. I can place them thoughout my house. They would be frontends to a central server. My wife can write emails, look up recipes and phone numbers while I hook up with playhousedisney in my living room with a dumb terminal, a pen and my kids on my lap.

All with a pen, all with Ink. That would be cool. Very cool.
Dedicated MacNNer
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May 18, 2002, 12:46 AM
More immediately, it might be neat if Apple enabled the trackpad on all the powerbooks as a means of pen-based input.

They could offer an expanded trackpad with writing capabilities on an iBook --> would be very attractive to students taking notes in a class setting. This would include being able to *draw* diagrams and figures, not just handwriting recognition.

(Has Sony VIAO already tried this?)
Sharky K.
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Join Date: Oct 2001
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May 18, 2002, 05:37 AM
Apple just should get rid of the RSI creating, small and useless trackpad

Instead of a trackpad they should put a tablet in it. The area should be bigger but i do not think that is a problem:
- no mouse button
- borders could be much smaller
- because tibook has widescreen the tablet in the tibook also coold (must) be wide (just a copy of the screen but smaller)
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