Re: [NTLK] Safari Pad - Apple's Tablet Computer

From: Ryan Vetter <>
Date: Tue Apr 21 2009 - 13:21:22 EDT


I think I should clarify a few things. I am basing my comments on some things already rooted in technology that would allow for/make possible a resurgence. Inkwell in OS X for instance. Also, Wacom has two tablets out, and pen driven 'true' tablet market, albeit small, is in place. I used one of them for about half an hour. The only thing I did not like was the fact it had to be plugged into a computer, but other than that is was cool and using a stylus to navigate was generally faster than a mouse.

And by pen computing I don't just mean a device meant for taking notes like a computer, I mean having an option to use a stylus, which will be good for animators, graphic artists, and the like. Offering just a touchscreen device is too limiting in terms of input. I guess you could use a keyboard as an add on, but that takes away from the portability of the device.

When speech gets perfected it will help touchscreen devices but speech is impractical and undesirable in many settings.

My 'prediction' is a bit of a hyperbole, but I just think that true, slate/tablet computers will eventually be mainstream, and styluses as well, so we can draw and do other inputs into these devices. It will/should be coupled with multi-touch to give the user a choice, so we can have the best of both worlds. The reason people don't want styluses on smartphones, etc. is that the screens are far too small to really make use of them, so they are sort of superfluous, get ignored, and then get lost... On a larger device with say a 9"+ screen it makes more sense.

Some uses of true slate/tablets with stylus that would be difficult and unwieldy on a touchscreen, finger driven device:

-Mark up PDF with your own handwriting
-Sign electronic documents
-Draw and create Art
-Take notes
-Edit Photos and Video
-Navigate an Operating System (the precision of the stylus wins out, unless the OS is custom for the device i.e. iPhone OS)
-Write 'real' Emails

One interesting note. I was at a Cafe the other night, and there was this man who looked like a computer programmer from the 60s: long hair, small glasses... while everyone was hunched over the laptops, he had his shoes off, and had kicked back on one of the couches. He was using what looked to be a Scribbler 4000: a true slate/tablet computer. I think that while laptops will still stick, that kind of mobility is going to catch on, and that multi-touch and pen computing combined is inevitable.


----- Original Message ----
From: Jon Glass <>
Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 2:03:38 AM
Subject: Re: [NTLK] Safari Pad - Apple's Tablet Computer

On Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 10:32 AM, Ryan Vetter
<> wrote:
> ust don't understand why pretty much every computer maker, even Apple, aren't jumping on what I predict to be a coming of the resurgence of pen computing: where processors, designs, materials, batteries, screens and software have finally come far enough that a slate/tablet computer can truly be a no compromise device. That the keyboard and mouse will finally be married to the screen: a total convergence, and we can drop the whole era of using pseudo-typewriters.

Not to slight you, but your predictions don't carry much weight by
themselves. ;-) As to pen computing.... well, stylii get lost and
break. The beauty of a touch device (finger) is that you don't have to
worry about a stylus. I most _certainly_ can see the point to that.
Every time I have to take the stylus out of my Treo's silo, I find it
irksome, and wish I could just use my finger, but, sadly, the
interface wasn't made for finger touch, and I need the stylus
sometimes. The Treos were wonderful phones, but there are lots of
compromises in them. The Newton was a wonderful device, but the stylus
_is_ an issue with it, too. Yes, you can do a lot with that finger
nail, but writing is out. On-screen keyboards are also a major
compromise, so I guess it's a wash. Except for one fact, with a
genuine querty keyboard, I can type far faster than I can write, and I
can write as fast or faster on my Newton than I can on paper, so it's
not like the Newton's HWR slowed me down (and yes, I did test this
myself, timing everything). At issue is what compromises are people
more willing to live with? A stylus or on-screen keyboard. At the
moment, people are voting for on-screen keyboards (or Treo pads) ;-)
Will stylii* come back? I am not going to predict either way. ;-)

*Disclaimer: I use that word lightheartedly, not pretending it's the
correct spelling. ;-)

-Jon Glass
Krakow, Poland
The new Internet Explorer® 8 - Faster, safer, easier.  Optimized for Yahoo!  Get it Now for Free! at
The NewtonTalk Mailing List -
The Official Newton FAQ     -
The Newton Glossary         -
WikiWikiNewt                -
Received on Tue Apr 21 13:21:58 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Apr 21 2009 - 14:30:00 EDT