I have this habit of bringing home strays. I have a hard time seeing perfectly usable equipment hit the recycling pile and go out the door. (That is not to say that I cannot abide it, but it does give me a pang when still-functional-but-very-old gear goes away.)
The latest refugee is a ViewSonic V1100 TabletPC. These were not particularly well-liked machines when we got them in 2003 – as evidenced by the fact that the appearance of this one on the recycling pallet was the first time I’d seen any of it’s kind in a couple of years. Their 866 MHz PIII processors were not quite up to the task of handling “Windows XP Tablet Edition” and responding crisply to the motions of user’s stylus. So of course I had to give it a shot.
I spent a good chunk of Saturday getting the machine up to date with XP SP2 and 96 patches from Windows Update. It runs OK, but it’s still boggy. I realized that the V1100 came with only 256MB of RAM standard – and this is a stock unit. 256MB is the minimum I would consider for Windows 2000. For XP you really want to be at 512MB or above. I tracked down a 512MB add-on from Kingston. We’ll see if tripling the RAM to 768MB helps. (Yes, not only do I rescue old technology from the junk heap, I even invest money in it.)
Perhaps this is a last geeky hurrah before the baby arrives. Who knows. But for the moment I am having fun tapping and scratching. I am just dumbfounded by the fact that its handwriting recognition engine has an easier time with my grade school cursive than my block-printing. I figure that it has more to do with tracking the motions that form the letter than the look of the finished product. So, we’ll see what becomes of this odd little information appliance. Maybe I just have Kindle envy.