Tuesday, January 06, 2004

PDAs... screens are too small. Tablet PCs... too big. Can't we have a book sized computer? 5x6 screen maybe? Doesn't have to be a tablet PC, but if they could, that wouldn't be bad. But let's take a look at PDAs. I was given a Clie T665C. What a wonderful device. I carried it everywhere, read on it, played on it, tasks, dates, addresses. Even pictures, music and some short movies. It was only 66MHz and ran very smooth.

Now a co-worker has a Dell Axiom. It's a 400MHz she got after her Palm died. She moved one of her Palm Reader books over and tried to use Palm Reader for PocketPC devices... boy, was that miserable. Clicking to scroll down to the next page took 20-30 seconds.

I just read that Microsoft is dropping Smart Displays. (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1093&ncid=738&e=8&u=/pcworld/20040105/tc_pcworld/114093)
You know, I would love to have my computer's power portable. If they were already streaming image data to displays, how much easier to stream a smaller screen. A medium PDA (like I am envisioning) would not need to design the screen. The PC base would already be set up to do that. Pass it as an image with an image map. Why, for that matter, you could do that in HTML. (Hmm... maybe a pet project.) Render the screen as an image, and pass the mapping data along with it... 40 times a second... hmmm maybe not. Though, you could cache the data until something changes. And streaming video? Already doing that over the internet, it shouldn't be too hard.

And wouldn't a 5x6 body give more room for features? I wish I had the capital to invest in this design. But I am sure somebody out there could agree with me and work on it... or perhaps disagree and tell me to shut up.

E-books never took off... who wants to strain there eyes to see on a small display. And on that big bright screen, it's too much. I liked to read in a nicely lit area, with my backlighting off. If I had a 5 inch screen to read with! Wow, how nice that would be. I'd bring my word docs, and web pages. It would be a beautiful thing.

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