Sunday, January 09, 2005

My TabletPC's Accessories

Since my TPC regrettably did not come with an IR port (don't do this again, ViewSonic!) I purchased a USB-to-IrDA adapter. With that little darling, I can synchronize my Dell Axim PocketPC and my Nokia PM-6225 phone with Microsoft Outlook.

Found this tiny USB mouse at a friend's house. I thought it was the cutest little thing; he thought it was a pain in the rear. I offered to buy it from him, and he said I owe him dinner. My friend had purchased it to use with his ThinkPad, but found it impossible to use. I guess there ARE some disadvantages to being over six feet tall and some advantages to being a little over 5 feet tall (if you grow your hands right, anyway). I'm sure the little guy will come in handy for playing the games that freak out when a digitizer pen comes near.

Unlike with some convertible TabletPCs, my dear didn't come with a CD drive. I expected to purchase one eventually, and when I found a heck of a deal at (and when I saw that their customers had given them good ratings at, I jumped on it. I paid approximately $30 (and that included shipping) for a TEAC USB CDRW drive. It isn't fast, and it doesn't play DVDs, but it's slim, it functions, and I can boot from it, so I don't have the problems many Tableteers have with trying to locate a bootable external drive. An added bonus is that it almost perfectly matches the silver top and black base of my V1250, so, while I don't know or care if bolero jackets are still in style, and while I'm gauche enough to wear white pants after Labor Day, I can still tell my mother that I do know how to accessorize.

When my mother asked me last month (on MSN Messenger) what I wanted for Christmas, I sent her a link to the Wacom site and told her any one of these pens would do, so I did get a spare pen for my baby. I have now stopped using the ridiculous scotch tape and twine tether I contrived to ensure that I no longer left my pen on a user's desk, or at home, or on my desk. The old one goes in the bag or a pocket, if it´s not in my hand; the new one almost constantly hides in the pen well on the bottom of the device.

My USB Flash drives are more than just accessories for my TPC; they are, for me, essential tools of my trade. The drive with the lanyard on it is 256mb in size. The pen is 128mb; it unscrews in the middle to reveal the top half is the drive. Having small hands, I'm not really a fan of fat pens, but I just love having a writing implement and storage drive in one device! On these drives, I carry installer files for malware removal as well as other applications my users might need. Occasionally, I use them to back up data when re-installing a user's OS or upgrading someone to a new computer. Sometimes, it just isn't convenient to use the server we have for said backups; being the road warrior for my group, I probably run into these situations more often than my fellow techs. I've actually purchased at least 5 thumb drives (a 16mb one fell off my keychain, never to be seen again; a 32mb one was given away, and a 64mb drive should be with me still, but I wouldn't know where to find it).

Finding the right bag has been an adventure. I want something small and innocuous, something that doesn't scream out to evildoers everywhere that this little geekess has a valuable toy. I want something to hold all my accessories, my Advil and my wallet. It needs to be easy to slip my hand in and pull out my Tablet (which is why I gave up on the backpack I bought last year for my stuff). I'm on my second Targus slipcover, now. I split the zipper on the first one within a month. This one has an external pocket, which to me makes it less likely that someone will dismiss it as an oversized purse, but at least I haven't split the zipper yet... maybe if I used it half the time...

My flexible USB Notebook light has come in handy when I was under a user's desk trying to see into the innards of his or her computer, or read serial numbers, or any myriad of things my job demands. If I remember correctly, the light was packaged with my USB-to-IrDA adapter.

I used to make my own screen protectors from glossy self-adhesive laminates, but the screen is so beautiful without it, that I didn't have the heart to put another sheet on in November, when I peeled the last one off. Vendors do sell some nice screen protectors, I've read, but I've also read they're quite pricey (but much less than a replacement screen). I'm sure they are worth the cost. A lot of Tableteers say they don't use protectors; many claim they have never had a scratch. I do have one, but it is impossible to see with the display lit, and EXTREMELY hard to find with the display off. As a matter of fact, the screen has to be cleaned first. Speaking of cleaning, I've bought a couple of types of cloth microfiber wipes for getting oils and spots off my LCD. I can't remember exactly what the V1250 manual says, other than absolutely NO SOLVENTS, but the going wisdom is that you never use paper products to clean a screen; and it's easy to see why rubbing with wood fibers might not be a good idea.


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