Monthly Archives: September 2009

Booklet computer

<div style="font-family: Cambria; font-size: medium;"><div style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); padding-top: 5px; padding-right: 5px; padding-bottom: 5px; padding-left: 5px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;"> <p>It&#39;s almost a week later. How did I miss <a href="http://gizmodo.com/5365299/courier-first-details-of-microsofts-secret-tablet">this</a>?</p><div><img title="500x_courier4.jpg" src="http://cache-foo-08.gawkerassets.com/gawker/assets/images/4/2009/09/500x_courier4.jpg" height="181" alt="500x_courier4.jpg" width="250" /></div> <p>It&#39;s a tablet computer done as a booklet, and with an interface that looks surprisingly very non-Microsoft. Assuming the hardware is solid -- a readable screen, doesn&#39;t scratch easily, responds to both multitouch finger and stylus input -- then the clincher is going to be the software. On a historical basis, Microsoft hasn&#39;t done this particularly well. By all accounts, Apple has its Mac tablet in late R&amp;D, so this will be the next shoot-out arena: the tablet.</p> <p>And it&#39;s about time too. He were are in the 21st century still using pen and paper (or pencil in my case) because there is no really decent way of capturing good notes (and crucially: pictures, sketches, and block diagrams) electronically. Of course, I blame Microsoft for holding back people&#39;s imagination with Windows for so long, but I admit the personal bias, and of course Apple hasn&#39;t exactly escaped the &quot;Windows&quot; paradigm either, even if it executes better on the interface.</p> <p>Apple hasn&#39;t traditionally gone head-to-head with Microsoft, although the reverse hasn&#39;t been true, so I expect Apple&#39;s tablet to be a different proposition, more iPhone in its look-and-feel, and that&#39;s fine. Bring it on, and let&#39;s see how the market responds. The world needs tablets.</p> <p /></div></div>

A weapon of beat destruction

From you-know-where, the MIDI gun is a credible answer for every electronic producer that feels the need to defend their musical freedoms from bleeding-heart liberal folk musicians. A “weapon of beat destruction”. To be followed by the intercontinental ballistic audio warhead, and the space-based country-and-western defence system. Bring it on.

midigun

Thanks to Mr Bower.

Subway Shuffle

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I don’t play a lot of games, but I get good value from the ones I do. One that gets a bit of use on my iPhone is Subway Shuffle. It’s simple to learn, looks good, and is quick enough to play when I have that 10-minute wait for the wife to turn up, or at least for the levels that require under 50 moves. A couple of levels still have me stumped. That or I can’t work out how to get them in the “optimum” number of moves. The concept is very similar to the parking lot games where you have to remove your car by moving all the others around. In fact the disused mathematician in me suspects the games to be isomorphic.

In case you’re wondering, the aim is to move the red train to the destination with the big red circle. You can only move each piece along a line with the same colour. Deceptively simple.