Happy 40th Birthday, mouse.

On 9th Dec 1968 Doug Engelbart demonstrated what was to become a mouse.
Now, as I look round my desk, I have:


A kitkat mouse (ball)


Trackerball (which I prefer)


Wacom tablet & wireless mouse (all 3 of these are connected to my PC)


Tablet – trackpad & pointer – fingers also work (it generally has a minature mouse attached, but not today)


OLPC’s track pad (not generally on my desk, but I’ve been using it recently)


OLPC’s “joystick” in reader mode.


The N85 – with a trackpad. I used the N-85 to take the rest of the photos – and am incidentally VERY impressed with their clarity!

So, what do I use the most often?

  • PC – it tends to be the trackerball
  • Tablet – mixture – the trackpad is quickest, the pointer more accurate – the miniature mouse is my preferred choice – but can’t always be bothered to get it out (e.g. today!)


Ivory towers will fall to digital land grab

A new approach to learning?. Bill Gates has visions of a $400 tablet (wonder if that will end up as £400 in the UK …?)
He suggests that

“Within four or five years, instead of spending money on textbooks,” he is quoted as saying, “they’ll spend a mere $400 or so buying that tablet device and the material they hook up to will all be on the wireless internet with animations, timelines and links to deep information. But they’ll be spending less than they would have on text books and have a dramatically better experience.”

Sutherland, however, has a rather different view point, suggesting that it would be rather like the massive impact Stevenson’s Rocket had an Stage Coach travel (the horses just couldn’t keep up), rather than the more minor change from steam to diesel trains.
He suggests that whereas at present the University owns the knowledge – which is passed to the students, that model will change and …

The “mere” $400 will, of course, be a gateway – not the remote archive it gives the customer access to. Students will be billed for learning material as they are now billed for mobile phone calls. And, for much of the time, they will be buying what was once public domain material, or material freely provided by their institution. The university itself will cease to be a repository of learning, and will become a service provider

Tablet PC

Up and running! I’m so pleased, I’ve got it up and running, following the ideas on this thread at TabletPC Buzz (site down at present, but was there before!)

Given that most of the sites I’ve read about the M200 discuss the fact that you can’t use the restore CDs if you don’t have an external Toshiba CD (I have a Freecom one), then I’m quite glad that I’ve managed it. Luckily a colleague has the same Laptop, so we were able to copy the relevant folders (I386 & CMPNENTS) to a CD, and from there build the install one with SP2 integrated.

So, now just putting on the million and 1 drivers that it seems to need – then it will be AntiVirus, much of the security software mentioned in a previous thread, and the many MS updates since SP2…

New Year – and poorly tablet PC.

I seem to have been getting rather behind with keeping this upto date – I have got a heap of useful links that I want to comment on, though at present they are just sitting in the “draft” tray.

One of the things that I have been trying to sort out is my tablet PC – which needed reformatting (not sure what it had wrong with it, I hope it wasn’t a virus, as I had the University recommended McAfee on it, and updated it when ever I used the tablet).

However, when the crunch came, and the guys in Merc decided that I needed to reformat it, we then discovered that it’s not possible to use the Recovery CDs in a non-Toshiba external CD player. And we hadn’t got a Toshiba one. I now have a regular copy of XP on it, so can’t do the tabletty things, however, Tablet PC buzz, has some useful pointers to setting it up to boot from a network, there are other useful posts there too. Another useful forum is Tablet questions– where again I’ve found some useful handy hints.

I’ll hopefully have it up and running again soon.

I’m also going to try to get a few things updated here too!