Tag Archive | "carrypad"

Welcoming Jerry to the Carrypad Team

cpTo make sure you’re getting the latest news and insight, we’re adding an additional member to the Carrypad team. Please join me in welcoming Jerry!

Jerry has already contributed several stories to the site and it’s about time we give him a proper introduction! I’ve asked Jerry to share a bit about himself so we can all become better acquainted; here’s what he has to say:

Hey, everybody! The Carrypad team has been gracious enough to allow me a bit of space to share some of my thoughts on tech. It is an amazing time to be part of the technoratti. The pace of announcements in mobile technology this year alone has been nothing less than staggering. I am both excited and humbled by the opportunity to share a brief opinion or two on the various devices, services, and companies that are forming and changing the world’s digital infrastructure. A little about my background is included below.

As a kid, I was a dreamer. I spent hours looking into the Radio Shack window, always dreaming of what I would do with a Tandy TRS-80 and all the peripherals I would buy. We were never able to afford that stuff then, so I kept myself busy learning BASIC (on my school’s Commodore 64s), Assembly language (on our Magnavox Odyssey 2), COBOL, and Pascal. By the time I got to undergrad, I was burnt out and had lost interest in computers and programming. When I went back to grad school 5 years later, and I had to buy a PC, that little kid from Radio Shack came out again. It’s been some 11 years, 26 laptops, 15 smartphones, and 13 Tablets/TabletPCs/UMPCs later. I have gladly joined the Carrypad team and hope that at least a little of my commentary is worthy of consideration.

Like a lot of you, I have gadgets that are long gone that I am very fond of. I wrote the majority of my grad school thesis on an NEC MobilePro 880. I was in full-time grad school having the time of my life. I also discovered the joy of getting out to a local coffee shop and doing some writing, so it is no wonder that after grad school was done, I still wanted that experience. That was about the time that blogging took off and, like a lemming, I joined the crowd. My exposure to mobile OS’ really took off when I picked my Palm Pre in the initial launch window. I already had some time with Blackberry OS and Windows Mobile; adding a third flavor to the mix gave me a little more depth perception on just what was going on in mobile. Of course that experience did not end well, but I have remained intensely interested in productivity on the go.

Some of my other favorite devices have been the Dell Inspiron 7500 (my first laptop), the Samsung Q1 Ultra Premium, and the Fujitsu Lifebook P2000.

What do I want to see in the next 5 years? I want to see companies, or at least one company, focus on mobile devices as productivity tools. I want robust office and creative apps made available for mobile devices in the 7 to 12 inch range. I want to see Microsoft Office deployed across multiple mobile OS’ with near perfect document compatibility. Oh, and I want to see a retail-available, central-hub, cloud server device for the home that requires little to no configuration. Yes, I know, I can spin one of those on my own by re-purposing an old laptop or desktop. But I want to see it as an out of the box experience that is secure and does not require loads of effort to administer it, and has hooks for Android, Blackberry OS, Windows Phone, iOS, and WebOS.

I currently live in central Virginia with my wife and our dog, Bones, where I work as a Systems Engineering Manager for a local company. I have an undergrad in History, and a graduate degree in Financial Management. I am also enrolled in a Software Engineering Masters program at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey.

I look forward to hearing from everyone in the comments and hope we have some great dialogue about tech and the things that make it happen!

Current gear: Asus G73 (Best Buy version), HP Pavilion dv6-3052nr, HP Envy 14 (Febuary 2011 edition), HP EliteBook 2730p (on its way out),System76 Starling, Motorola Xoom 3G, Acer Iconia Tab A500, Apple iPad 64GB 3G+WiFi, Dell Streak 7 4GAmazon Kindle WiFi, HTC Evo 3D,Samsung Nexus S 4G, Novatel  MiFi 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot

You can find Jerry’s personal blog here, and if you’re interested in micro-updates, find him on twitter @GearWERKZ

Welcoming Damian and James to the Carrypad Team

cp logoAs the sector of tech that Carrypad covers continues to increase at a rapid clip, we’re bringing two great guys on board to afford you more coverage and more expertise.

Today I’d like to officially welcome Damian and James to the Carrypad team. Both members of this tag-team are seasoned tech experts with years of IT experience and both are located in Australia.

I’d been following James and Damian for a number of years at their Viliv Boys blog and eventually over to their Out of the Office blog. When the time came to add a few members to the Carrypad team, James and Damian were happy to come on board, and we’re extremely happy to have them working with us.

Keep and eye out at the byline of our articles as you read them to know who’s who!

I asked both a few questions to help us all get acquainted:


What is your personal background?

I’m an IT Project Manager residing in Melbourne, Australia with a love for shiny new gadgets! I’ve been an avid tablet user for many years, owning and playing with a plethora of tablets as part of my journey to find the ultimate device that provides the perfect yin and yang for both work and leisure.

What is your tech background?
I have been using and been exposed to mobile technology such as tablets, MIDs and UMPCs for the last decade as an effective productivity project management tool.

Having struck up an internet gadget friendship with Damian after a successful eBay sale of a Samsung Q1P tablet, we proceeded to setting up the Viliv Boys blog where we discuss our experiences and adventures road-warrioring with our Viliv devices.

We subsequently started the Out of the Office blog when we switched over to Android devices.

Are there any memorable gadgets that you miss?
I miss the portability of the OQO 02… this is still the most
productive and pocketable ultra mobile PC that met all my mobile computing requirements.

What are you looking forward to in the technology world 5 years down the road?
Hopefully not Skynet! How about a world where carrypads become as common as the smartphone.

You can follow James on twitter @jamesfongster


What is your personal background?
I am a producer of new media which basically means producing and directing multimedia for TV, interactive DVD’s and the web. I have worked in IT and film production for many years and travelled extensively for work and play. That’s probably what got me interested in light weight, connected travel gadgets.

What is your tech background?
I’ve been using mobile devices to keep productive while travelling for many years mainly with a focus on being able to digitise, edit, and upload video from remote field locations. This is even easier now with solid-state cameras and lightweight yet powerful laptops, however, connectivity remains a problem. I have experience in lots of different IT disciplines but regard myself as a usability and user experience specialist.

Are there any memorable gadgets that you miss?
My favourite device of all time was my Libretto L series. Light, functional, punched above its weight and lasted all day. I also miss my Samsung Q1 Ultra and my Toshiba R400 tablet, but the one other device I’ve looked at longingly over the years since I sold it was my Vaio U101 — one of the best designed, best thought out, ultra light, fully functional devices I have ever owned.

What are you looking forward to in the technology world 5 years down the road?
True convergence and one device to rule them all. I love the concept of carrying one device that can be used for all purposes, allow access to all your files, allow you to be productive and connected and work in all situations. Portable storage, a phone, a laptop, a tablet and a media centre – all in one. I feel we’re getting closer to it all the time.

Carrypad is 5 Years Old Today

Yes, Carrypad wasn’t a product of the iPad boom. It started on paper in late 2005 as my phone contract renewal time was approaching. I had a boring job and I spent quite a few hours thinking about what I really needed. I was already using Internet data over GPRS on a daily basis and was wanting more. More screen, more flexibility, more battery life and more processing power. There wasn’t a phone on the market that could satisfy my requirements. Convergence wasn’t happening.

The first line of my first Carrypad blog entry:

The simple fact is that you’ll never get everything on one device. It wont happen until we evolve better eyes and smaller fingers.

I’m still no fan of all-in-one convergence.

My first posts were written in Open Office and transferred as a set of 11 posts covering the convergeable technologies, device categories, physical constraints and other aspects of hendheld mobile computing including the hardware and software specifications of a Carrypad which are interesting to read today. My favourite post, and one that I’m very proud of, is the one titled – “New Locations and a New Device. inch

There’s the third device requirement popping out now – Sofa, Bed, Car.
I tell you – this is mini-tablet/micro laptop territory. The product group with no definition. We need a new definition here:
sofapod, stylepod, stylepad, lifepad, lifepod, midipod, midipad, intermidi. Mmm. Those names are all to obvious. Lets try Carrypad. Yeah we’ll call it the carry-pad.

And at that point in writing the draft posts I registered the domain and set up the blog. The Carrypad Journal went live 5 years ago today.

I wasn’t the only one thinking about this category though. There were other bloggers around and, unknown to me, a project within Microsoft called Origami was about to go public. The Origami team, led by Otto Berkes, had been tasked with putting forward requirements for the next generation of personal computer. They came up with a social, location-focused sharing device proposal and a demonstrator called Haiku. [See this article for a retrospective.] It was so ahead of its time that it beat technology by about 4 years. When Microsoft  tried to implement it they had no operating system, no processing platform efficient enough or powerful enough and radio technology was too power-heavy.  The mobile devices – Origami UMPCs – were dismissed as ugly, useless ‘tweeners.’ Many, many journalists missed the point of the project, called it a complete failure and ignored the space. What actually happened is that Microsoft hit the nail on the head with the project and should have kept it secret for another 4 years while they developed a matching operating system. They still haven’t done it even today, 5 years later.  Instead, others have stepped in and are making a success of it.

Other significant mentions need to go to Pepper Computing – Their PepperPad was a concept that was also far too ahead of technology.  Nokia had the Linux-based 770 too. They recently lost their way with that one!

Despite the negative press that the sector was getting, I carried on blogging and found a niche, a big niche of pro-mobile passionate users that enabled me to leave my job and go ‘pro.’  These users and fans still exist today and not just in vertical markets for transport, health, ‘blue-light’ and other industries. You’ll find them over at UMPCPortal which was the detour I made with Carrypad to keep up with the buzz of the UMPC. I’ve learnt a lot from these people over the years and despite falling viewer and story numbers there, find it difficult to focus completely on the consumer tablets without going back to UMPCPortal for a ‘pro’ chat every now and again.

I would have gone bust in 2008 had it not been for the netbook though. Thankfully, the wave of real sales, millions of sales, helped advertising revenues and propped me up. It also helped that many netbooks were being called UMPCs in Asia. 2008 was a big year for traffic.

Late in 2009 it was obvious that the market was starting to change. More and more ARM-based products were reaching the market in tablets, phones were becoming super-phones and Android was taking off as the slim, consumer internet/sharing operating system I had been looking for in 2006. I started populating Carrypad again with stories about the Nokia N900, Dell Streak and Motorola Droid. On the 1st Dec 2009, Carrypad re-launched. Just 30 days later, Apple announced an event for the 26th Jan and it turned out to be the iPad.  Carrypad was back on its original track – but not for long…

Two days before the first person started queuing for the iPad my wife gave birth to my Son Nicklas and my world was turned upside down. I wanted to write 24/7 about tablets and consumer tech. I wanted to go to every meeting and event possible. I had more plans than ever for Carrypad. I also wanted to spend time with my family. It was a hard time trying to get the balance right and the last year has been the toughest yet as I try to balance my passion for ‘Carrypads’ and give time to my Family. Funnily enough, the products I cover have helped and there’s one product that, more than any other, tells me that I was right. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is the Carrypad!

I won’t dwell on how much I’ve used it over the last 4 months but if you pay attention to other mobile bloggers, you’ll also hear them praise it too. Yes, there’s a space for 10 inch in the home but no other device has ever been more personal to me than the Galaxy Tab. It’s hard to imagine how it could be improved! [Although I have tried]

So that’s where I am now. I’m at a point where family life is getting easier to cope with, where I’ve got a device that satisfies my original requirements and where I need to start thinking about the next big thing. I’ve got the wrist in my head right now but disruptive technologies like foldable screens, solar power, voice control and superphones will all put a spin on it. I’m also looking closely at operating systems that could potentialy span the fun, app-centric and location-aware mobile space to the pro-focused desktop space.

Independent blogging is getting hard though and it’s tough to see a future where I can continue as I have done over the last 5 years.  Twitter has cheapened the process of cross-linking and getting friendly traffic, large blog organisations are increasingly working inside their own walls and spammers and content copying add another challenge. The plan right now is to put more effort into my white-labeled product database on which I can build a blog that doesn’t rely on advertsing. I want create a new  forum on Carrypad and will continue to arrange unique content through my contacts. Running two websites (actually three or more if you include my minor projects) is also inefficient and so it’s likely that I will combine the two soon, maybe under a new, generic name which would release the domain Carrypad.com for a sale. To be honest, now that the ‘pad’ market has taken off, I don’t want to be confined by it. The market will evolve and so must I. Where could we be in another 5 years?

Thank You

Thank you to everyone that has contributed to the success of my web projects over the last 5 year. From Paceblade for trusting me with my first review device through VIA Technologies who sponsored my solarumpc tour. Thanks to Jeff Moriarty for reaching out when he worked at Intel. That relationship continues today.

And thanks to the readers. Thanks to the people that correct my terrible spelling. Thanks to the people that challenge my opinion. Thanks to the people that add knowledge and thanks to the people that help others via comments and forum posts. Thanks to other tech bloggers that have been so helpful, generous and friendly.

Most of all thanks to my Wife for putting up with my long and unpredictable working pattern and supporting my pro-blogging career. One day, my love, I promise I’ll earn some money ;-)

Carrypad Facebook Page is Live

There are people that visit the site directly, there are people that discover us through search and there are people that keep tabs on us through RSS, Email and Twitter. It seems silly to leave the 5 gazillion Facebook users out in the cold so if your go-to site for a personalised feed is Facebook, you can now add us in and keep track of the latest consumer tablet, pad, MID and superphone news there.

facebookpgClick to go to the Carrypad Facebook Page. Don’t forget to ‘Like’ us!

All news items will flow through and we’ll also make sure to announce extra events and link in relevant content from our sister and partner sites, UMPCPortal and MeetMobility. We’ve enabled the ‘Discussions’ feature so if you have ideas and thoughts about the site, please don’t hesitate to raise the point.

Feb 2006 – Sofa ‘Pads’ and the Carrypad Name. (Thanks Pepperpad!)

pepperpad1 How does this sound?

  • ARM CPU at 600Mhz
  • 256MB RAM
  • Tailored Linux-based, finger-driven OS
  • 8.5 inch touchscreen
  • 20GB storage
  • 2lb weight.

It’s the specs of the original, 2005, Pepperpad and a hat-tip goes to Len Kawell who was way ahead of the game in this space. In this interview he’s talking about how the Pepperpad is tailored for web applications, home usage, kicking back and checking facebook with a tailored ipadlegsuser interface. ‘An alternative to a laptop for couch computing.’ It took four years until someone, Apple, came along to focus solely on the same market again.

Sofa, bed and car were usage scenarios I highlighted in my first weeks postings at Carrypad and from that, I chose the name Carrypad. (The first 5 or 6 posts on Carrypad were written weeks before I got round to setting up a blog.)

There’s the third device requirement popping out now – Sofa, Bed, Car.
I tell you – this is mini-tablet/micro laptop territory. The product group with no definition. We need a new definition here:

sofapod, stylepod, stylepad, lifepad, lifepod, midipod, midipad, intermidi. Mmm. Those names are all to obvious.
Lets try Carrypad. Yeah we’ll call it the carry-pad.


I’m so happy to see Apple moving into this space. It’s been too quiet for too long so lets hope that the OEMs and designers feel confidence from the iPad and lets hope that the market breaks out with new form factors, prices, operating systems and features. This is ‘personal’ computing space and the more designs we see here, the more customers will be happy.

The original Carrypad ‘journal’ started here.

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