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    Libretto is back!

    August 9th, 2010

    I recently talked about how the age of mobile is now. In that post I talked about how I once had a Toshiba Libretto (long since sold on eBay).

    Netbook News have posted that Toshiba have announced the release date of a new Libretto.

    Toshiba have finally given a solid release date for the Toshiba Libretto W100 dual screen notebook “thing” over in Japan. Last we heard it would be arriving late August but the official word now is that the W100 will go on sale and ship on August 11 next week, so it’s certainly ahead of schedule

    So currently Japan only, and no news if it will ever get to Europe. Lots of nice Sony devices have never arrived despite sucess in Japan, so I am holding out no hopes for the Libretto. The price is quite expensive too, about $1100.

    What’s interesting about this device is that it has dual screens. One main screen like any other laptop and a touch screen that is used instead of a keyboard. Not sure how that would work in practice though.

    I quite like the look of this, don’t think I will get one even so.


    Oh, very nice, new Nokia Laptop

    August 24th, 2009

    This looks very nice. The Nokia Booklet 3G.

    Wonder how much it will be? Probably tied into a contract of some kind.

    After more than 25 years as a pioneer and leader in the mobile industry, Nokia will bring its rich mobility heritage and knowledge to the PC world with the new, Windows based, Nokia Booklet 3G.

    Powered by the efficient Intel Atom processor, the Nokia Booklet 3G delivers impressive performance with up to 12 hours of battery life, enabling people to leave their power cable behind and still be connected and productive. Delivering the rich experience of a full-function PC inside an ultra-portable aluminum chassis, the new mini-laptop weighs 1.25 kilograms, measures slightly more than two centimeters thin, and has the features one would expect from the world’s leading mobile device manufacturer.  A broad range of connectivity options – including 3G/ HSPA and Wi-Fi – gives consumers high speed access to the Internet, including Nokia’s broad suite of Ovi services, and allows them to make the most of every moment and every opportunity.

    The mini-laptop also comes with an HDMI port for HD video out, a front facing camera for video calling, integrated Bluetooth and an easily accessible SD card reader. Other premium features include the 10-inch glass HD ready display and integrated A-GPS which, working with the Ovi Maps gadget, can pinpoint your position in seconds and open up access for a truly personal maps experience. The Nokia Booklet 3G also brings a number of other rich Ovi experiences to life, whether its access and playback of millions of tracks through the Nokia Music Store, or using Ovi Suite to sync seamlessly from your Nokia smartphone, to your mini-laptop, to the cloud.

    The Nokia Booklet 3G will widen the Nokia portfolio, satisfying a need in the operator channel, and bringing another important ingredient in the move towards becoming a mobile solutions company.

    Further information, including detailed specifications, market availability and pricing, will be announced at Nokia World on September 2. For more information on Nokia World, visit: http://events.nokia.com/nokiaworld/home.htm

    Please turn off your phones and close your laptops

    November 5th, 2008

    This week I am blogging at the JISC Online Conference. At an online conference it’s almost given that you will be using a computer, maybe even a laptop!

    What about at a non-online conference?

 Do you now pack your laptop, extra battery, power cable? Or do you use a PDA, an iPod touch to make notes? Or do you still prefer to use that trusty old pen and paper?

    Please turn off your phones and close your laptops

    I remember the first time I took a wireless laptop to a conference (a JISC programmes meeting as it happens) and the hotel had wireless access and I had a wireless laptop. Some of the older people out there may remember a time when laptops did not come with wifi cards as standard.

    It was a real enabler.

    When a link was shown, I could there and then check the site out, add it to my bookmarks, or ignore it.

    Whereas before I would scribble it down and try and remember to check it out later which would take up time – and there is never enough time. Often I would forget to check it out, or lose the piece of paper.

    If someone said something I didn’t understand or couldn’t remember, a quick internet search saved me having to ask a question. I could remind myself of previous projects, previous presentations.

    Today I will use Web 2.0 tools such as Twitter or Jaiku to correspond with remote colleagues and ask them the questions the presenters are asking me. Sometimes with interesting results. I will also blog about the keynote or presentation too.

    Having said all that, I will also admit that at some conferences I will with my laptop check out my e-mail or check a few websites, usually during a conference keynote. Though I will also take notes or scribble actions.

    This is more down to the conference speech being either not applicable or totally boring! You will know what I mean, some keynotes deserve to be ignored. I  remember going to one keynote at a conference  and they had a minister speaking who was so obviously reading a prepared speech he pronounced JISC, J I S C (spelling out the letters), rather than JISC (as rhymes with disc). Rather then walk out, I could get on with other things using my laptop.

    I think part of the issue is that a lot of conferences are very passive experiences, and we are now all more active learners then we may have been in the past.

    At the ALT conference back in 2006, most of the workshops I went to were 90% listening and 10% activity. The conference had a wiki and I think six of us contributed. It didn’t help that there was no wifi and very few places to charge a laptop.

    In 2007, ALT-C had good wifi and a good preponderance of bloggers and this was the medium of choice, lots of blogging and lots of contacts made.

    This year, Crowdvine (which I had first used at the JISC Conference) was the conference success story (though Twitter had its place too I think).

    I am making an assumption that in this year’s online conference we will see a similar level of discussion and debate that has happened in previous years. The depth and breadth of discussion is something that you never really see at a non-online conference, well not during the presentation or workshop itself.

    What I would like to see during a non-online conference, is an online area to enable further discussion and questions relating to the conference speech or workshop. Just to get a little of the depth of discussion we will see next week.

    I tried this out myself at ALT-C at the two workshops I ran, I used a blog and got the workshop participants to blog their experiences and thoughts, it seemed to work quite well. Made life easier for me as in my Web 2.0 workshop there were about seventy delegates…

    I have read that this hasn’t always worked when tried, but if there was full and proper wireless access and online delegates as well as attending delegates this could enable more discussion and debate.

    Finally at any e-learning or learning technology conference would you believe that there are still people who object to delegates using their laptops during keynotes and presentations? The main complaint that was given was lack of attention and the noise of typing. At any other conference I would expect that kind of attitude, at an e-learning conference I expect everyone to be connected, either via their laptop or mobile device.

    What do you think?


    Dell enters the fray

    May 29th, 2008

    From BBC News

    Dell is joining the burgeoning ranks of companies offering cut-down laptops, called netbooks, aimed at the developing world and general consumers.

    The laptop was shown by Michael Dell to the editor of website Gizmodo at the All Things Digital Conference.

    Read more.

    Dell enters the fray...

    Dell is the biggest PC maker in the world and the fact that they have entered the market shows how big and how serious this market is to PC makers.

    For a lot of consumers this is their second computer, their main computer is a desktop machine which sits at home. The micro-laptop (umpc) format allows them to have a second computer which is very portable. Though similar or slightly more expensive “proper” sized laptops are available, it is the extreme portability of these laptops that are one of the main attractions. The fact it has a proper keyboard is another feature which other UMPCs and portable devices lack and it would seem people like a proper keyboard – even if it is on the small side.

    From an e-learning perspective this is a device (format) which I know learners like (from our MoLeNET experiences) and I would suspect that a lot of learners in FE will start buying (or will be bought) these computers. At a price point not much more than a gaming console (or even less) it might be seriously considered as a present for someone attending an FE College.

    Also with the growth of student wireless networks in FE, this will allow internet connectivity which turns it from a “dumb” computer to a connected internet device. Even in those institutions without the bandwidth for a student wireless network, those learners may consider getting a 3G USB dongle.

    Already I have “caught” a learner in our Library, using an Asus EeePC with a Three 3G USB dongle for learning!

    Thanks Gary.


    This is the age of the train….

    October 8th, 2007

    I wish I was back in 1976…

    Sometimes I wish I was Sam in Life on Mars, stranded back in 1976, well I know it was 1973, but what’s three years between friends?

    Why?

    The High Speed Train is now over thirty years old, introduced in 1976, they have been travelling at 125mph across the UK for over three decades (except when I am in a hurry and then there are speed restrictions which means we crawl along at a walking pace).

    High Speed Train

    First Great Western, now I know on this blog I have thrown a lot at First Great Western, and when I say throw I mean in words via this blog and not literally throw physically at the train as that wouldn’t be very nice (and is probably illegal as well) and is something I wouldn’t do and you shouldn’t either, no matter how many times you find the train going nowhere or really slowly. So where was I, ah yes, so I have whinged and moaned about First Great Western a fair bit, but compared to some other train operators, naming no names, cough Virgin Trains, cough, First Great Western travel for me has on the whole been pretty good. Being a typical consumer, I write when I have something to complain about, not when everything is going well.

    Read the rest of this entry »