The iPad is, admittedly, a neat little device. It does lotsa shit. It’s portable. And the first tablet PC. I’m sorry, what? Someone actually said that the iPad is the FIRST tablet PC. Really? Okay, then what is this?


That, my friends, is the HP/Compaq TC1100. MY TC1100. Yes, you see a keyboard and cry “Hey, that’s not a tablet”. Oh but it is. That keyboard comes off, turning it into a pure slate computer. True it does not have touchscreen input but instead uses a pen. Even cooler? The pen has an eraser. I can write with the pen stylus and erase my input. It’s neat! It’s great! I get questions every time I use it! It’s also slow as molasses in Christmas in Minnesota. I have a fiend who has an Acer netbook. He was amazed that his netbook was faster than my tablet. Yes. Yes it is. Why? The TC1100 was discontinued in 2005. Yes, a 5 year old tablet is gonna be a bit slower than your 6 month old netbook. Surprise, surprise.

Anyway. My little guy is showing it’s age. In fact, the picture above is my 2nd one. I managed to mangle the user serviceable memory slot on my first one and couldn’t handle the blue screening every half hour. Every time I think of selling it (oh yes, there is a very active fan base of the TC1100), I find something to stop me. First it was Windows 7. I am running Windows 7 pro 32-bit on a machine with a 1.0 GHz Pentium M with 1.5GB of memory. No aero of course, but it is functional and the pen input is greatly improved over XP Tablet Edition. After a while of that (and shit going wonky with One Note), I thought of selling it again. Then I saw that there was a Kindle app for the PC. Ooooh…. Ever since the Kindle went down in price I thought “Oh god, I don’t need a Kindle but I totally fucking want one for no real reason.” So hey, why not use my tablet buddy as a kindle? It has WiFi just like the $139 version. And I can do some real (slow) surfing on it. Granted, the battery life is only a bit over 3 hours and gets hot enough to keep my tea warm, but hey. I save $139. I just installed it today, so I dunno how well it will work just yet.

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