I see the BBC have a report on what Oaklands College are doing with eMentors.
A college is harnessing the power of students’ technical knowledge to teach their lecturers a thing or two about information technology. The college has appointed 35 “eMentors” to help staff with everything from laptops to interactive whiteboards. The scheme works on the premise that students are more technically adept.
Quite an interesting and innovative approach to getting staff to get familiar with the technology.
I am guessing I had quite high expectations about Sony’s UX1XN. I do like the UMPC format and I also like the Tablet PC edition of Windows XP. So with all the bells and whistles (two cameras, flash hdd, etc) I was really looking forward to getting my hands on it and seeing how it would pan out.
The keyboard is taking some getting use to, it is quite small, and I guess if you use a Treo or similar smartphone you would find it quite familiar. The only other UMPC I have used is the Samsung Q1 and that didn’t have an integral keyboard, but a USB one which you attached and as a result the Q1 was quite bulky (it also had a much larger 7″ screen compared to the 4.5″ UX1 screen). I am suspecting that I may well get a USB (or Bluetooth) keyboard for the UX1 if I am going to do any serious typing on it. What I am missing is the Tablet PC interface, I was under the impression that Tablet PC was an integral part of Vista, but I can’t seem to find the text input that you have under Windows XP (post a comment if you know how I can access it). I quite like using stylus input, but at the moment I don’t seem to be able to do that, however I have only had the UX1 for just over a day so it may just be that I can’t find it yet.
EDIT: I’ve found it! I’ve found the Tablet PC Text input and it works. Excellent. However if I try and use it with the Sony built-in “zoom” function I can blue screen the device, less good.
The camera(s) are also going to get some getting use to. The photographs I tried to take today were very blurred, but I suspect the dark conference room I was in was a large factor in that. The photographs I had taken yesterday were much better.
It is quite nippy though considering the low voltage (hence slow) processor, but I suspect the 1GB of RAM is also helping. One of the issues I had with the Q1 (and the HP TC1100 for that matter) was the lack of RAM. Windows (and Windows Vista especially) needs a lot of RAM.
I do like the form factor and it is a very neat and small laptop. I haven’t had a chance to really try out the battery life (another thing I found that I didn’t like with the Samsung Q1) so it will be interesting to see how that works out in the real world.
Still early days really.