Friday, May 8, 2009

A Computer You Can Curl Up With

The next bit of new technology that I have acquired is a Fujitsu Stylistic Tablet PC. This acquisition was paid for by my Federal Tax Refund - hey just doing my part to stimulate the global economy. What I was looking for was a design computer that I could load my sewing, knitting and weaving design software on that was portable and that I could curl up on the daybed with. I tried a Dell Mini, compliments of Terry, but didn't like the keyboard, or the small size. I just couldn't curl up with it. So then Terry loaned me his old Fujitsu Stylistic and I was hooked.

It's like a heavy clipboard. It's about an inch thick, weighs about 4 pounds, and the display is not quite the size of a sheet of paper. You can use it in portrait or landscape mode and it has a special pen for input. It has a little keyboard screen that slides off side when you're not using it. There are three modes of entry. You can hunt and peck on a miniature keyboard - tedious and slow; you can write in little boxes a letter at a time - perfect for the Times crossword; or you can write on a line as if you were writing on a piece of paper. As you fill up the line, more magically appear. This latter method proved to be a lot faster than I expected, and the hand-writing recognition rocks.

It comes with every connection device you can imagine: BlueTooth, WiFi, Ethernet, even a lowly phone modem and two USB ports. It doesn't have an internal CD/DVD drive, but you can plug one in easily enough to load software, which is what I did. I also transferred over all of the pdf files that I have collected of knitting and beading patterns, and the weaving articles that I have found.

Now when I come home, I curl up with my Fujitsu on the daybed. It has become the computer that I use the most when I'm at home. I leave it on all the time and it sits under the coffee table on a magazine box, always close at hand. I find that I spend a lot more time on the computer now reading my email, the blogs that I've subscribed to, and cruising Facebook and Ravelry. I haven't spent much time with my design software, but I am getting myself more organized. This past weekend I started cataloging my bead stash - so much easier to do now that I can take the computer to the beads rather than bringing the beads to the computer.

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