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Macbook Pro Setup

New Workstation Setup

I really enjoy documenting my computer setups, I imagine much like people enjoy taking pictures of their family as they grow and age. Seriously though, it’s just such a big part of my every day life, I think it’s interesting to be able to review the way that the tools that enable my workflow change over time.

For as long as I’ve owned a computer, I’ve always had a desktop as my primary machine. At times, I’d augment this with a secondary desktop (I kept a Windows desktop in my design studio for a couple years) and my 12″ Powerbook which served as a mobile workstation for web/communication/photography duties. I experimented with several tools such as Continue Reading

Dell Adamo Images at Engadget

Dell Adamo from EngadgetI have to say, I really like what Dell’s design team has been up to. About 5 years ago I was shopping for a laptop, and the only companies putting out sleek and high build quality hardware were Sony and Apple (I consequently bought a 12″ Powerbook), while it seemed like all the units put out by HP, Dell, and Compaq were complete clunkers. Fast forward to today, and it looks like the major players in the laptop market are finally getting it. There’s more to a product than specs and cost. Fit, finish, texture, and materials create an experience that can weigh heavier on a purchasing decision than a few hundred megahurtz of processing speed, or a few flopps of GPU power.

Engadget got a chance to look at a unit from the new Dell Adamo line of notebook computers. They weren’t allowed to turn it on but they did get to poke around the hardware, which is my favorite part anyway. I love the all-black asthetic, and there’s something about the hinge setup that really appeals to me. I think it’s just how it’s a departure from the current trends, and it looks very sturdy.

Dell Adamo Hinge

Check out Engadget’s image gallery for more images, and the original Engadget post for a video. Apparently more details about the Adamo line of notebooks will be announced tomorrow (on the 17th of March).

Eee Keyboard

Asus Eee KeyboardIn the last gdgt podcast I found out about the announcement of the Eee Keyboard, one of the newest additions to the Asus Eee line of lower power computers and netbooks. The Eee Keyboard has several features that make it particularly interesting. First of all, if it’s not obvious yet, the entire computer is housed inside of a keyboard casing. To the right of the keyboard there is a reasonably sized, and vertically oriented, touch sensitive LCD display that doubles duty as the trackpad and secondary display. Of, if you’re not connected to an external display, the built in screen will serve as the main display. The “Keyboard” has wired ports for USB, VGA, and HDMI connectivity, but most notably the unit has wireless HDMI built in, letting you use the computer as a MediaPC or mobile workstation without having to physicaly plug up to your TV.

At the moment it is a prototype, but should be coming to retail in the near future. I can’t tell if it has a battery built in or not… If it has a battery I think it could be a really interesting gadget. This concept isn’t new. When I first saw it I instantly though of the AlphaSmart Dana PalmOS device.

You can see more photos at both Gizmodo and Engadget.

Axiotron Modbook Pro

modbookpro3-737507Via: Develop3D

You may remember Axiotron from when they released the Modbook, a portable tablet computer built around a hacked up 13″ Macbook. With a professional quality pen tablet screen the Modbook became a subject of lust for many designers and artists that have been forced to turn to Windows systems for a portable tablet.

Now that Apple has released the new line of Unibody Macbook Pros, Axiotron has stepped up to release the Modbook Pro, another portable tablet built around the guts of a 15″ Macbook Pro. The system is more powerful and has a bigger screen, but that’s not what has me most interested in the unit.

A major downfall of traditional tablet computers is that you lose many of the keyboard access you need for shortcuts and modifier keys while working in applications like Painter, Photoshop, Illustrator, Rhino, etc. Axiotron is trying to overcome this with the Modbook Pro though, touting their new Synergy Touch technology. This technology lets you use the pen while also using your fingers for touch input at the same time. System software overlays keyboards, numpads, or shortcut keys in floating transparent panels so that you can hold down modifier keys while giving input with the pen. If this works as well as they say it does I believe it could change the tablet industry. I’d love to see them license the technology out to other tablet manufacturers or even Wacom for use in the Cintiq line of displays.

As far as how they’re accomplishing these two input methods at once… I’m assuming it’s a capacitance touch setup for the hand input, and the typical RF Wacom technology for the pen. They must have a threshold set on the capacitance input to ignore a surface area much larger than a couple fingers, otherwise the palm of your pen-hand would be delivering all sorts of false input while you operate the pen.

The Modbook Pro is a pretty hefty investment at $5,000, but I imagine there are a few professionals who will see the pricetag as a bargain for such a mobile workstation. It will be interesting to see how Axiotron does with this product, and what else they’ll come out with.