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Tablet Mac Becomes Reality

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the with-a-little-elbow-grease dept.

Hardware Hacking 276

teknokracy writes "MacMod has a story about a unique Mac hack. Joseph DeRuvo Jr. says: 'As a Photographer and a Dyslexic the idea of being able to use a Tablet as a platform for showing photographs, editing, and an extension of my badly organized memory is very appealing. ... So taking matters into my own hands I cut into a Dual USB iBook and didn't look back.' It seems our intrepid hardware hacker hasn't just flipped around the LCD and added a semi-functioning touch screen - he's completely engineered a new kind of mac portable, complete with a CF reader, properly installed touch sensor, and topped it all off by properly engineering it all into an Ives-worthy design. With all the trouble these particular iBook models have experienced, why not hack one up for fun and turn it in to something useful?"

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*jizzims* (-1, Troll)

sjrstory (839289) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066424)

OMFG who's getting me one for Christmas?

Re:*jizzims* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066444)

Looks like he hosted it on that tablet to.

FWOOSH!

I misread the title... (-1, Offtopic)

Doomstalk (629173) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066430)

...as "The toilet mac becomes reality". With that kind of portability I guess it's close enough, though.

Re:I misread the title... (1)

Laebshade (643478) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066946)

...as "The toilet mac becomes reality". With that kind of portability I guess it's close enough, though.
I think you meant 'portapotty'.

*machine laughter*
Thanks, I'll be here all day.

where's the mirror? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066432)

no comments and already the server died on us \o/

Re:where's the mirror? (0, Offtopic)

FHMyles (835127) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066644)

I'm even having trouble loading it from mirrors. I've tried gcache, mirrordot and nyud. So far, Gcache took several minutes to load the text and the pictures aren't loaded still. Holy crap guys, the mirrors have all been slashdotted!

Re:where's the mirror? (1)

++CaChElInKeR++ (837077) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066797)

The mirrors aren't slashdotted. Try another Coral page like CNN [nyud.net] . At least with Coral, the macmod site was already down -- how could the system get it then? It's NOT an archive!

Mac is being held down by Republicans (0, Offtopic)

BushIsEvil (839548) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066435)

Lets put the truth out there.

George W. Bush had Michael Jackson arrested so that white men, Ann Coulter, the Christian Coalition, Republicans, and oil companies could ensure microsofts monopoly. If they had not, there would be a Mac on every desktop today, and the facist Microsoft leader Bill Gates would be working at Comp USA.

This tablet hack is just a mere distraction so you do not discover the true conspiracy.

Re:Mac is being held down by Republicans (1)

DrLZRDMN (728996) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066471)

sorry about this but W uses a powerbook [theapplecollection.com]

Re:Mac is being held down by Republicans (4, Funny)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066605)

Proof, if proof was needed, that Macs are so simple to use that even a complete idiot can use one!

Re:Mac is being held down by Republicans (1)

primalamn (716272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066845)

Rush Limbaugh uses Apple products too, and is a forceful proponent of them, and haaaaaates Windows. How Macs helps him mock people in a childish way better than anyone else, I don't know though. primalman

Re:Mac is being held down by Republicans (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066505)

What the hell has happened to slashdot? I want my slightly-to-the-left slashdot back.

In the last year, slashdot has moved just to the right of Free Republic. Slashdotters are now worse than the freepers (and those guys are fucking whacked).

What has happened slashdot? Where did all the hippies go?

Re:Mac is being held down by Republicans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066583)

They all got fired because they spent too much time reading and posting on /.!

Sweet hack! (4, Interesting)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066437)

Sweet Hack! One thing concerns me, though: he had to remove the keyboard. How in the world does he type on this thing?

Re:Sweet hack! (1)

Almond Paste (838493) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066464)

The same way one types on a pda?

Re:Sweet hack! (5, Funny)

Archon-X (264195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066561)

slowly, and with much frustration? :)

Re:Sweet hack! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066466)

It's a tablet with a touch screen.

Re:Sweet hack! (0)

prof_peabody (741865) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066470)

Maybe with a blue tooth keyboard? That's what I'd use...

Re:Sweet hack! (1)

harakh (304850) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066493)


OS X has Inkwell built in, the Legendary handwriting-recognition system known from the Apple Newtons so if he has a working digitizer it's no problem at all.

Re:Sweet hack! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Writer (746272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066506)

How in the world does he type on this thing?

Using Inkwell [apple.com] , which is part of OS X. I've read [beanblossom.in.us] that it was developed from the handwriting recognition technology developed for the Newton.

Ob. Simpsons Quote (5, Funny)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066524)

Kearney: "Hey, Dolph - take a memo on your Newton: beat up Martin."

Eat up Martha.

Kearney: "Bah!" (throws the Newton and it hits Martin in the head)

Re:Ob. Simpsons Quote (1)

Anonymous Writer (746272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066614)

I can't find a link, but I read somewhere that the reason the Newton sucked that way is because John Scully didn't understand that recognising print handwriting rather than cursive handwriting was the way to go. Print is more feasible than cursive from a programming perspective, yet he insisted on cursive.

Re:Ob. Simpsons Quote (3, Funny)

macmurph (622189) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066958)

I printed "Chris" into a Compaq iPaq and it recognized it as "Anus". I nearly died on the floor from laughing.

A true story!

In contrast, the Newton 2100 handwriting recognition is still considered awesome.

I once had a chance to play with one. I signed my name and it recognized my signature and converted it to text...I was blown away.

Re:Ob. Simpsons Quote (2, Informative)

Richard5mith (209559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066856)

That kind of rubbish handwriting recognition was only true on the early Newtons, when Apple licensed the technology from someone else. In the end, they dumped it and wrote their own, giving much better results in the later models.

Microsoft now license the original software for us on the Pocket PC.

Re:Sweet hack! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066516)

He types on it by plugging in a USB keyboard, or a Bluetooth dongle, and then using the keyboard from that.

I have to say, I'm definitely a fan of the tablet/laptop combos where the display swivels around, though. mmmm.

I think my ibook is going to settle for being black though.

Inkwell (1)

eobanb (823187) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066693)

It's a little-known fact that Mac OS X has a very good built-in handwriting recognition engine called Inkwell.

Re:Sweet hack! (1)

xpeeblix (701114) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066943)

How in the world does he type on this thing?

From the article...

Bluetooth built in for keyboard and mouse when needed

Dear Apple (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066441)

I am a homosexual. I bought an Apple computer because of its well earned reputation for being "the" gay computer. Since I have become an Apple owner, I have been exposed to a whole new world of gay friends. It is really a pleasure to meet and compute with other homos such as myself. I plan on using my new Apple computer as a way to entice and recruit young schoolboys into the homosexual lifestyle; it would be so helpful if you could produce more software which would appeal to young boys. Thanks in advance.

with much gayness,

Father Randy "Pudge" O'Day, S.J.

... and already slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066442)

Good old Mambo and its bandwidth protection features!

Google Cache (2, Informative)

Dugsmyname (451987) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066445)

Mirror of the page is available via Google cache [216.239.63.104]

Poor iBooks (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066446)

With all the trouble these particular iBook models have experienced...

Not to mention what its users have gone through.

Just curious... (5, Funny)

vidnet (580068) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066454)

Could this potentially void my warranty?

Re:Just curious... (5, Funny)

tesmako (602075) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066826)

Just the looks on the faces of the Apple repair shop workers when you bring in a completely new Macintosh model alone would be worth the effort to do this whole hack.

Tablet PC (2, Interesting)

FiReaNGeL (312636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066455)

To me the real market of Tablet PCs have always been Mac users : they love cute, functional stuff, are often designers / artists / scientists... But Apple probably doesn't think its worth it. If only they were not this expensive... I would get one in an heartbeat.

Re:Tablet PC (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066526)

To me the real market of Tablet PCs have always been Mac users : they love cute, functional stuff, are often designers / artists / scientists...

Yes yes! We scientists are real suckers for cute, functional stuff!

Re:Tablet PC (5, Insightful)

ninthwave (150430) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066536)

Having to work with engineers who do field inspections. Tablets are very much appreciated by people in many different areas. Just imagine any profession that used a clip board pre digital and you have a place where a tablet can be used.

Re:Tablet PC (2, Interesting)

pben (22734) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066652)

The first thing that Steve Jobs did when he returned was to kill the Newton. We all know that Jobs never makes mistakes, so if it uses a "pen" it will not have a Apple logo on it.

Re:Tablet PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066992)

Mac users : they love cute, functional stuff

As opposed to Windows users who love ugly, non-functional stuff? Or Linux users who love eye-candy-heavy, non-usable stuff?

/,ed? (0, Redundant)

kflash15 (252578) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066456)

Slashdotted already? Does anyone have a mirror?

Site already down... (5, Informative)

AtOMiCNebula (660055) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066457)

The site is already down. Using the NYUD cache [nyud.net] of it shows a message that the site is down...MirrorDot [mirrordot.org] has it though.

Re:Site already down... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066535)

This thing totally kicks ass.

And I just noticed this... the MirrorDot cache doesn't actually cache the images... So really, how useful is it?

Re:Site already down... (1)

wwwillem (253720) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066626)

They do mirror the images, you just have to be VERY patient.

Re:Site already down... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066666)

No, they really don't. check the properties of the images or view the page's source and you'll see that the images, css, pretty much everything are still linked from macmod.

Re:Site already down... (1)

aurb (674003) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066824)

Oh my god! We slashdotted mirrordot!

Id hit it!! (5, Informative)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066459)

If Apple released a tablet computer (oops sorry, can't use the English word 'Tablet' anymore its owned by MS) i think they'd take the market - make it a little bit smaller tho and im sure they would manage to fit a slide-out keybord in there too!

Re:bluetooth (1)

Spydr (90990) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066724)

why not just bundle it with a small portable bluetooth keyboard? (the current apple bluetooth keyboard is a little big to carry around)

then you could take it with you if you need it, or leave it home if you don't.

Re:Id hit it!! (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066900)

As long as they don't overprice them like Toshiba does (tablet notebooks), they'll dominate. I so want one for when I go to college.

In Soviet Russia (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066461)

In Soviet Russia, Mac hacks you!

Re:In Soviet Russia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066846)

>In Soviet Russia, Mac hacks you!

In United States of Jesusland, Microsoft gets hacked!

TabletPC = Bad idea? (2, Interesting)

elh_inny (557966) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066472)

I don't how many will agree but I'd never buy a TabletPC if I had other options.
What I like about laptops is that when it's closed, the LCD screen is protected.
Whether it's coding or writing a novel keyboard is still the way to go.
TabletPC is a Microsoft marketing strategy, but to me it's in beta stage as the technology such as handwriting a voice recognition is simply not ready yet, it works sometimes but not good enough for production environment.

Re:TabletPC = Bad idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066537)

Did you not even read the hack? He created a nice LCD protector which, when closed, puts the machine into standby mode.

Re:TabletPC = Bad idea? (2, Interesting)

embsysdev (719482) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066569)

Toshiba has one with a swivel screen. Thus, protecting the screen and it has a keyboard.
http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/cmo d.to?coid=- 26373&sel=0&rcid=-26367&ccid=1291021&seg=HHO&sel=1 &src=AMEM&WT.srch=1

Judging from the specs, I bet Linux would run fine on it. I don't own one (yet) but they appeal to me because it would be great for graphic editing and web browsing -- especially when used in the laptop configuration where you can type and touch hyperlinks on the screen.

Re:TabletPC = Bad idea? (4, Informative)

Reverberant (303566) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066570)

I recently bought a Tablet PC off eBay (Compaq TC1000) for use in a data acquisition system. I can see how the Tablet PC might be useful for certain vertical applications (like my own), but IMHO it's not a very good platform for general computing.

Suprisingly, the handwriting recognition is not that bad (with SP2). The biggest problem I've found is that the OS is simply XP with a few "tablet" features bolted on. The Tablet PC really needs an interface developed from the ground up to make use of the pen-based interface.

For example: As we all know, Windows uses the second mouse button for contextual menus - some of these menus are not easily accessible (or accessible at all!) using left-clicks. Left clicks and left double-clicks can be done by tapping the pen, but right-clicking is done (on my machine at least) by holding the pen to the screen for a few seconds. This is pretty kludgey; the contextual menu pops up at unwanted times, like when I'm trying to drag-and-drop icons, or maybe when I'm thinking for a moment and I'm letting the pen rest on the screen.

That's one example, but their are others. Like I said, the handwriting recognition isn't too bad, but it's awkward for entering things like URLS (despite some helpful tools such as ".com" buttons). My model is "convertible" tablet, and I find that 90% of the time I'm using it in laptop mode.

YMMV

Re:TabletPC = Bad idea? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066799)

The RF stylus our Compaq tablet PC had made it impossible to get the context menu at all. The locating system the tablet used was not precise enough to locate to a single pixel where the stylus was resting, so the pointer would jump back and forth between two pixels and never rest long enough in one to get the menu. The problem got worse over time, and eventually we gave up on using tablets for our particular application.

I'd disagree ? Smart Phone Integration Link (1)

DelawareBoy (757170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066577)

I own a Tablet PC. I think the Handwriting recognition is remarkable. And I use it in a production environment. Mostly for note taking, but for other things as well.

I have found that the handwriting works great if and only if you use cursive handwriting. If you print, I notice a few quirks show up on those similar characters. But if you put them into a sentence, even that isn't bad (It's smart enough to figure out what you mean, even if it's not recognizing things 100%).

I cannot speak for voice recognition yet, as I don't use it.

One neat thing that MS is doing with tablets involves integration between Smart phones and tablets, since they are logical complements of each other. An Interesting Link follows.

http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=29 85 4

Re:I'd disagree ? Smart Phone Integration Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066620)

Robert Scoble? Is that you?

Re:I'd disagree ? Smart Phone Integration Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066651)

> I cannot speak for voice recognition yet, as I don't use it.
Get it? "speak"?

Re:I'd disagree ? Smart Phone Integration Link (1)

Reverberant (303566) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066785)

I have found that the handwriting works great if and only if you use cursive handwriting.

Agreed.

One neat thing that MS is doing with tablets involves integration between Smart phones and tablets, since they are logical complements of each other.

As pointed out in the discussion in your link, everything described in that video is possible today on Mac OS X using Sailing Clicker [salling.com] . I'd be surprised if there wasn't equivalent Windows software.

Re:TabletPC = Bad idea? (1)

Rolo Tomasi (538414) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066703)

How is this flamebait? If anything, history has shown us that since the days of the first typewriters, the keyboard comes very close to the ideal data input device. Even if you only type a URL every now and then, anything but a keyboard is inconvenient, slow and clumsy. The recent handwriting and speech recognition products actually work very well, yet all this stuff never really took off. I think the reason for that is simple: typing on a keyboard is still the best way to enter text, and likely always will be (well, until we get working thought recognition maybe).

Re:TabletPC = Bad idea? (1)

donutello (88309) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066859)

You have no idea what a TabletPC is, do you? Most TabletPC's out there are basically just laptops with the ability to flip the screen over and lay it flat to make a tablet. So there is nothing you can do with a regular laptop that you can't with a TabletPC.

Boooooooo (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066475)

MacMod - Your Mac Modding HQ
This site is temporarily unavailable.
Please contact your System Administrator.
2


anyone got a mirror?

Re:Boooooooo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066615)

Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who is the most Slashdotted of all?

It's not unique (4, Informative)

Reverberant (303566) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066478)

It's been done before [archive.org]

Re:It's not unique (3, Funny)

Almond Paste (838493) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066503)

That thing looked more like an Etch-a-Sketch.

Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066483)

it's hardly any smaller than a laptop

Not: consider work size [Re: Stupid] (1)

j.leidner (642936) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066539)

It would seem that a fair size comparison between two different types of things (like apples and peaches) must involve a more abstract metric to do both justice.

In the case of laptop v tablet PC I suggest size comparisons to be based on the surface are of the opened/unfolded laptop, which is after all its working size (the surface it occupies when it's actually used).

--
Coolbeans! The patent-pending Nuggets [mynuggets.net] , SMS search engine -- text your questions, get your answers from the Web.

Re:Stupid (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066553)

...except of its tablet form.
A laptop to be usable has to have the lid opened and then practically doubles in size, or more. This thing doesn't need to be opened, it has the neat "closed laptop" dimensions all the time.

Here is a suggestion for a "software hack" ... (1, Troll)

xdesk (550151) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066521)

Step 1: recompile Mac OS X for x86
Step 2: install it on a good-quality TabletPC (like a Toshiba)
The final result will be FAR more interesting :)

Re:Here is a suggestion for a "software hack" ... (2, Funny)

someguy456 (607900) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066598)

Step 3: Profit!

Re:Here is a suggestion for a "software hack" ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066611)

Step 3: Stop being an OS X on x86 troll and get a life

Re:Here is a suggestion for a "software hack" ... (1)

norkakn (102380) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066616)

Step 2: install it on a good-quality TabletPC (like a Toshiba)

HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH

you're kidding right? I've yet to see a good tablet PC. And yes, I know two people with brand new toshibas. Both have horrible problems with them and I had to help one fix his. (both are computer engineering profs)

Re:Here is a suggestion for a "software hack" ... (3, Funny)

Steve Cowan (525271) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066912)

Hey, great idea! I've got a business proposition: You do the recompile, I'll install it on the Toshiba!

He could have saved a lot of bulk! (2, Insightful)

Ben Jackson (30284) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066545)

I'm amazed at the interior shots. He didn't even take the plastic cases off of things like the flash card reader or the firewire hub he added. He didn't even solder the new USB cables directly to the devices -- there are entire molded plastic plugs in there!

Re:He could have saved a lot of bulk! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066969)

He did it where he had to...

"I also came to the (frightening) realization that to get the hubs to fit and not have their cables running from the outside I would have to de-solder the USB and Firewire ports and solder the hubs directly to the mother board. "

You have to make a trade off between following your anal engineering mind, and being confident the thing will work at the end of the day.
Messing around soldering onto multilayer boards with lots of SMD components leads to a flaky computer. (I've made that mistake myself!)

What trouble? (1)

ggambett (611421) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066594)

With all the trouble these particular iBook models have experienced

What trouble is that? I have one of those and I'm quite happy with it (although I use it as a second system only). Can someone explain?

Re:What trouble? (1)

jxyama (821091) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066635)

the logic board is known to fail quite often. apple has an extended repair program.

http://www.apple.com/support/ibook/faq/

Re:What trouble? (1)

Steve Cowan (525271) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066902)

Um, it doesn't fail "quite often", and only affects models within a certain serial number range.

I got my 'Book in October 2001 and it has been flawless. Besides, a problem is only really a problem if there is no fix, and the link you posted details a quick, free fix.

Seriously, Apple's white iBooks have been rock-solid for everybody I know who has one. Because of its value and durability it's one of the best-selling laptops of all time. Just because a batch has been identified with a specific (potential) fault hardly means it's plagued with problems.

Re:What trouble? (1)

FuzzzyLogik (592766) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066654)

I'm not sure because i can't read the article due to slashdotting.. but i believe the G3 ibooks had logic board failures up the wazoo ... In typical leo laporte fashion his died and after sitting on it for awhile he threw it away and bought a 12" powerbook, a day or two after he did that Apple had a logic board recall notice or warranty extension of some kind... ;) kinda funny how that man always gets burned by apple some way or another... typically he buys a model, and the next day they release an update. poor planning on his part mostly :-P

Old iBooks would be good for the car (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066608)

They should have fairly low power consumption and the LCD panel is about the right size to fit in most people's center console. Plus, you can put wifi on them trivially. Just add USB GPS and some navigation software... woops! You can only get nav software for windows. (You can get map software for Mac or Unix...)

Re:Old iBooks would be good for the car (1)

Mordant (138460) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066885)

Untrue - Route 66 [66.com] works just fine on my Mac with a USB GPS receiver, thank you very much.

Re:Old iBooks would be good for the car (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066920)

First of all, Route 66 is the name of the company, not the product. What product are we discussing? If it's Route USA for Macintosh, it doesn't appear to be navigation software, but map software, just like Microsoft Streets and Trips, but unlike (for example) Delorme Street Atlas, which will announce to you (verbally or using ideograms) when a turn is approaching and which way you need to go.

If it does navigation, it certainly doesn't say so on their webpage. Sounds to me like you have only provided me a supporting statement.

Re:Old iBooks would be good for the car (1)

gabebear (251933) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066915)

I haven' t actually tried Route 66's Route 2004 [66.com] yet but it looks nice and I've heard very good things about it. If you are looking for GPS road navigation software for OSX I'd give it a shot, it's only $40.

If you are looking for maritime navigation only then there are lots of options out there.

Re:Old iBooks would be good for the car (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066929)

Route 2004 is not a navigation package. Route 66 does have a navigation package for PowerPC but they don't appear to have one for Windows or MacOS. This is why I mentioned map and navigation software separately in my comment. Route 2004 seems to be the same thing as Microsoft's Streets and Trips, though they have a Mac version. It's a map program; it does route planning but no route tracking which makes it pretty useless in the car. I'm not going to be peering at the screen trying to figure out what my next turn is. Delorme Street Atlas (Windows) will tell me verbally and I believe show an arrow (I don't have an LCD yet so I haven't tried this, I may be getting a laptop soon.)

Look at the new iMac. Look at a tablet. See the .. (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066621)

problem. Everything that would be needed in a tablet PC doesn't fit in a tablet PC. Almost but not quite.

Hence, no practical (read $ paying) market place for it.

Maybe as a wireless remote to a server, the thing would be okay, but you then need the kind of wireless environment to support it. (Love to work there.) PARC probably has something like that set up already.

Uh, what? (1)

eobanb (823187) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066736)

Or, I could just say..."look at a Dell desktop. Look at a tablet. See the problem. Everything that would be needed in a tablet PC doesn't fit in a tablet PC." Right?

Basically, comparing a desktop to a tablet is BS, dude. Look at a PowerBook G4. Look at a tablet. Everything that would be needed in a tablet PC DOES fit in a tablet PC.

Besides, PowerBook G5s will be coming soon...

Re:Uh, what? (1)

FuzzzyLogik (592766) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066767)

Soon? 6 months at the earliest... AT THE EARLIEST... even then.. that's a pipe dream.. so... expect another year of G4's .... sheesh

Re:Look at the new iMac. Look at a tablet. See the (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066772)

'Maybe as a wireless remote to a server, the thing would be okay, but you then need the kind of wireless environment to support it. (Love to work there.) PARC probably has something like that set up already.'

Yes, they do [parc.com] (or did) and called it ubiquitous computing [google.com] .

mod doWn (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066706)

Here's a picture of it, at least (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066715)

Until the site comes up again:
http://www.engadget.com/entry/123400065302 3255/

Smaller Touchscreen for an iBook? (1)

stibles (708899) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066721)

This is AWESOME. I have an ibook sitting around for just this purpose, but I was hoping to use a smaller lcd. Which is why it's still an ibook. Props to this guy for getting it done. I agree some bulk could have been removed, but the final product looks GREAT. If anyone knows ANYTHING about adding a smaller touchscreen to an ibook, holla.

Re:Smaller Touchscreen for an iBook? (1)

devnevyn (837682) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066966)

TouchSTAR slipCOVER [trolltouch.com] , touch screen slip-on screens for Powerbooks. Only the 17" version available atm, but they're coming for the 15" and 12" too. The iBook 12" and PowerBook 12" have almost the exact same form factor, so the one for the 12" should fit nicely on an iBook too.

Damn you, /. subscribers! (1)

Civil_Disobedient (261825) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066743)

Didn't even bother to mirror the pictures, huh. Somebody else's problem. Thanks a bunch for the text mirrors, though, so I can read how cool this must actually look.

What in the hell good is Google, MirrorDot or NYUD without pictures!?

Need Voice Input (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066761)

Now all we need is a proper voice input and networking with central servers. Shrink the size a little, just a little, and make it thinner. Then we will have one just like on the Star Trek programs. This is really a possibility with our present technology!

Faking it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11066779)

"As a Photographer and a Dyslexic..."

Shouldn't it have been as a gophoratpher and a slicdysic???

Full article text (3, Informative)

4-D4Y (825020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066781)

Contributed by Joseph DeRuvo Jr.
Friday, 10 December 2004

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Close to 12 years ago I caught wind of an Operating System called PenPoint. This was one of the first pen driven operating systems out there. I had contacted them and spoke of how so many people had been left out of the technological revolution and I had thought it was due to the awkwardness of the current state of hardware and software design. At that time I would have hoped Apple would have risen to the challenge to develop a Tablet but as it turned out it was Microsoft who took the chance.

Working with a computer all day long, I have to say that there is nothing quite as pretty as OS X. It is by no means perfect, as a Photographer running 4 Epson printers and depending on the quality of output, it is a continuous frustration and I am afraid the fault lies with Apple not Epson.

As a Photographer and a Dyslexic the idea of being able to use a Tablet as a platform for showing photographs, editing, and an extension of my badly organized memory is very appealing. I had purchased an early QBE, which I was happy with, except for the problem of going between the QBE and all my other desktops which are Apples, it was always the odd man out, in addition to the frustration of finding cross platform software. So taking matters into my own hands I cut into a Dual USB iBook and didn't look back.

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The first thing to consider is what I needed it to do. As a Wedding Photographer I needed something that would serve me in the field, so it needed to have:
-A built in Compact Flash Card reader
-Firewire (USB would be to slow)
-Two built in hard drives (so that the flashcard could be written to both at the same time)
-Extra Firewire ports for external hard drives and DVD burners.
-Bluetooth built in for keyboard and mouse when needed
-touch screen and the driver board for it.

Some functions I wanted to keep intact:
built in mouse click
on off switch
built in CD burning
good air port reception
mic for voice recognition
ability to put it into sleep mode when I close the cover

Putting it all together I have to thank God wasn't so bad, miracles happen everyday.

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The first problem was how to make it touch sensitive. I obviously had thought of going with Wacom but, using their technology would require a different screen configuration which would make it more difficult. Thank God I had found out about Troll Touch, they were a pleasure to work with. Troll Touch are makers of touch screens for Kiosks. They were one of the few manufactures that had a driver written for OS X, the digitizer sits in front of the screen and is touch sensitive, while the driver board runs through a USB port. A resistive digitizer is good and bad, it means you can use your finger to navigate and click, even ink will recognize your hand writing, but you do not have the full functionality of what a Wacom tablet will give you.
The second problem was how to fit all this inside. I had acquired the shell of a dead iBook so with that I took the top plate and used it as a spacer. Recognizing that I had no need of a keyboard I pulled that out making room for the extra hard drive and slot for the flash card reader. I also had to make room for a USB and Firewire hub in the shell. Not to make light of all this but it is a creative process, like baking bread, there is a recipe but, there is also some room for making it up as you go along. After opening the thing up and figuring out where everything will fit, I started to look into removing the screen and hinges. I also came to the (frightening) realization that to get the hubs to fit and not have their cables running from the outside I would have to de-solder the USB and Firewire ports and solder the hubs directly to the mother board.
Next I needed to figure out how to get the screen in place, thinking of a picture frame, I took the original cover from the iBook and cut a window into it, and in essence reverse mounted the screen into the cover. I built up a frame that would allow me to attach the cover and spacer to the bottom unit where the bulk of the workings are. In all that's about it, nothing really that high tech, more prayer and patience than anything else.

Once again the idea of a Tablet Slate is a good one. I believe that people need to be made aware of all that can be done with them. To recognize that the Tablet opens the door to a level of creative and collaborative computing that will look very different than what we have been use to seeing. I am not talking about another appliance or gadget I am talking about a technology that will change how teachers interact with students how artists interact with their canvases, how people will communicate with each other. This is not an issue of inventing technology that does not yet exist, this just is a matter of having vision and a willingness to show people that things can be done differently.
We do have to give Microsoft credit for making that effort. Their website makes information available for teachers who want to integrate Tablets into the classroom. I know we all like to bash Windows (and for many good reasons) but let us look objectively and give credit for what has been done well. I for one am praying that Tiger will correct some of the printing problems. Better support for EXIF info and sorting at the OS level would also be greatly appreciated.
In all honesty, doesn't it seem that Apple should have been at the forefront of this? Isn't it time that Apple offers something to give us a choice? I know they say that the person who is at the cutting edge usually has bloody fingers, but PLEASE Mr. Jobs! We're all waiting...

One last note

This whole post was done on the i-Tablet

I have been walking around class while teaching, having coffee with my wife and children, and getting much assistance from the fine people here at MacMod.

Ever see people with laptops trying to balance the machine in one arm

while typeing and mouseing with the other

Enough said thank you all for your time

Joseph DeRuvo Jr.

Think this stuff is always cool (1)

CrypticSpawn (719164) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066914)

If they don't make it built it yourself. I saw someone do a Mac Tablet before. I wish I had the time, and desire to just spend my free time and money designing shit like that. I will just stick to the coding side of things, I'm cheap so sue me.

Tablet + Mac OS X = WINNAR (4, Interesting)

sabNetwork (416076) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066933)

Mac OS X would be much better on a tablet than Windows.

  1. the system is designed to be used with a one-button mouse, so the "right-click dilemma" doesn't exist
  2. everything is huge-- the fonts, the icons, the buttons--and hard to miss with your pen
  3. the menus at the top of the screen would require very little precision to access

Apple should license Mac OS X to a tablet PC manufacturer. (Producing it themselves would be too risky.

Rehashed to the death, but.... (5, Interesting)

theolein (316044) | more than 9 years ago | (#11066985)

I know that the idea of a tablet Mac has been discussed to death and even rebirth, it's been around so often, but the sheer amount of interest in a tablet mac, one with that special Apple touch and attention to detail garners such an enormous amount of interest every time it's mentioned that I seriously wonder why Apple hasn't decided to take a risk and Just Do It(TM).

The fact that not only is TFA's server /.'ed, but also the mirrors and the fact that almost every second user created prototype on Mac fan sites is a tablet or PDA style device shows that the interest certainly is there. An Apple Tablet could have a design and features that would finally make the tablet concept kick off, since it's an utter niche product on the Windows side of things.

Think about it. What could Apple do to make people want a Tablet and what would its target market be? My ideas, by no means perfect, would be:
1. A device that is bigger than current PDA's but smaller than current Windows Tablets, i.e. somewhere around ISO A6 size, or just a bit bigger than the old Newton. This would make it easier to hold (current Tablets are too heavy and too big to hold in one hand while writing with a Pen) and at the same time have enough space for a useful interface and space to sketch on for artists.
2.Very good handwriting recognition. This is important. I think they were getting there when they killed the Newton.
3.An OSX variant with a simplified interface which is more geared towards using a Pen. This would mean perhaps larger controls and a Dock replacement, perhaps a sliding Dock so that necessary apps are within easy reach.
4.A touch screen that enables users to use their fingers as well as a pen. (Therefore the larger controls)
5.Wireless videoand audio streaming. I know Apple has been working on a protocol that is supposed to be good for video streaming. This would or could perhaps tie in with other Apple products such as the iPod and Airport Express where this Tablet could be used as a remote control. This is why being able to use it with one's fingers would be important.
6.Other software and hardware tie ins with Apple products and software, such as the ability to use it as a monitor on movie sets with firewire or usb connectivity, or a cut down version of FCP or iMovie that allows one to cut small video clips. Perhaps a small paint application as well, or a sound editor.
7.It should be shipped with applications that leverage the platform such as a simple sketching application for students and artists, a Apple writing application that makes taking notes as easy or easier than WinXP TE's note taker. Perhaps make the sharing of sketches and notes and media simple via Rendezvous.
8.Apple should make Frameworks for this OS variant available in XCode in order to allow developers to come up with nifty applications as they have for the classic OSX. Java should be included as well to make it interesting for current mobile developers.
9.The target market would be students for artwork and note taking, home consumers for its tie in with Airport Express and iTunes and the iPod, industrial users for use as a digital notepad and checklist, and enterprise users for its note taking and sketching abilities and the ability to make presentations.

This is all a wet dream of course, but I think I'm not alone in wishing for a Tablet with that special Apple touch.
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