Skip to main content

Microsoft Courier Booklet, An Artist's View

There's been a lot of buzz lately in tech circles about tablet computing, in particular the Apple Tablet which is either a soon to be released product or a whole lot of geeks speculating on a fantasy.

Possibly the most exciting thing I've seen in this space is the Microsoft Courier booklet, which, like the Apple Tablet, is a potentially soon to be released product or just some one leaking ideas that may never come to pass. For the purpose of this article let's suppose this product is really in development.

The Microsoft Courier Book (illustrated in the picture from Gizmodo top right) is a tablet computer with two screens that folds in half like a book. It's about the size of your average journal or diary and is operated with a combination of touch screen motions and a pen/stylus.

Gizmodo has also discovered a video of how we'll actually use the Courier (follow the link to see the video).

From an artist's perspective I'd have to say it all looks very intuitive and very much in line with the way many visual artists would interact with their traditional Visual Diaries (for non-artists that's the A4 or A5 size ring bounded sketch books you sometimes see us carting around and scribbling in).

Based on what I know here are some thoughts I have on this device:

  • The two screens, fold in half like a book concept is genius. Devices like this will need to be robust and what better way to protect the screens than to fold it in half so the outer cover gets all the scratches. Does it really annoy you when your mobile phone screen gets scratched? Me too.

  • This device has a built in camera and presumably Wi-fi connectivity as it is internet capable. One hopes it will also have a built in microphone and that the camera will also be capable of filming video. With that combination artist types like myself can use this device to record the things we see in images (moving and stationary) and sound. Given that this device is also intuitive enough to allow sketching with the stylus pen you've pretty much got me hooked.

  • Beef up the RAM and make sure it has some kind of removable storage medium (such as SD cards for example) and this will be on my Christmas list. Heck I'd even consider spending all the money I was going to spend on Christmas gifts for everyone else on getting me one of these!!

  • The proposed user interface (i.e. the software) looks well thought out. I particularly like the use of the hinge/spine to 'tuck' items that you want to hold and move to other pages of the book (wonder how that works for text?).

  • There's nothing particularly ground breaking about the software - you could easily use the same software on a single screen device divided into two regions (which they demonstrate in the video by downloading your Courier Book to a laptop computer). Oh and that 'tuck' feature - you could do the same thing just with a standard 'cut' and 'paste' feature and an infinite 'clip board'. However visually it looks fun to use and more like how people work rather than how computers work.

  • It's more like using an actual book than a computer.

  • If they manage to eliminate the use of a keyboard altogether the art of 'hand writing' may just see a resurgence. I just hope they don't over do the hand writing recognition to the point where everything you write turns into a nice, clean, readable font like 'Times'.

So that's just a few of my thoughts on a product that's supposed to be in development but who knows for sure if the Microsoft Courier Booklet will ever see the light of day (or the inside of my back pack).

Comments


Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET
20% off holiday gifts yule (and they’ll) love. Use code ROAR

Popular posts from this blog

The Star Wars Saga: Episode 1, The Phantom Menace *All Spoilers*

One of my local TV stations is showing every Star Wars movie in order, every Saturday, for the next six weeks leading up to the release of Star Wars, Episode VII, The Force Awakens in theaters this Christmas.

I plan to watch each film, at least two of which I've never managed to watch all the way through. Then I thought I'd blog about each movie here. Not so much a review but more my thoughts about the film, ranging from what I like, to what I see as a problem and maybe my thoughts on original trilogy re-releases and updates.

This post I'll start with Episode I, The Phantom Menace but first, a little history of my fandom.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - Shop Online and Support Independent Art!

For those of you who celebrate the Christmas holiday, whether it be a religious event and/or just a time to reconnect with family and swap gifts, you'll no doubt have noticed Christmas decorations starting to appear in stores.

If you're like me you probably leave all your gift buying until the last minute, making it near impossible to shop for gifts online (unless you have access to that sweet Amazon Prime two day shipping option).

So... this post is a friendly reminder to get your online shopping started NOW and save yourself the rush to find gifts, in the week before Christmas, by actually going out into retail stores.

Of course my ulterior motive is to point out that my art is available on numerous gift items in my Redbubble store... and who doesn't like receiving gifts that support independent creators to keep making cool things for you to enjoy.

Plus it makes for a cooler gift experience if your gifts come with a story about how much you enjoy a specific artist's…

Nuclear Power Won't Reduce Your Electricity Bill Like You Think - Australia's Energy Crisis

Australian energy consumers are currently in a crisis, receiving some of the highest power bills in the world, making us a prime target for the nuclear energy vultures who claim their industry will bring the cost of electricity down.

It's a smoke and mirrors argument when you consider the cost of actually producing electricity isn't the main reason for Australia's ever increasing consumer electricity prices. Hypothetically, even after the cost of installing nuclear power plants, the actual cost reductions won't be as dramatic as the nuclear energy industry would have you believe.
According to this article, A high price for policy failure: the ten-year story of spiralling electricity bills by David Blowers, published in January 2018, the two biggest factors are the cost of the network (transporting electricity), and the retailer margins (cost of billing and servicing the customer). These are followed by the wholesale cost (actually generating the power), and the enviro…

Stan Lee - Ideas That Changed the World

As someone who really enjoys the Marvel movies, and has written about them quite extensively in previous posts, I feel I should make mention of the passing of Stan Lee last week.

I wouldn't say Stan was a hero of mine, or that I grew up with him (though unknowingly I did to a certain extent). I really only became aware of who Stan Lee was when he started making cameos in Marvel films.

Then I really got to know him through the various online web shows he had, interviews, and his own work promoting Marvel at almost any opportunity.

He seemed like a great guy, and by all accounts he was.

I never really bought comic books. Most of the ones I had were given to me. My avenue into the superhero world was Saturday morning cartoons through the 1970's and 80's. Marvel got me with reruns of their, kind of animated, more motion graphic, cartoons from the 1960's. They weren't great but boy did they have catchy theme tunes.



For me Stan serves as an inspiration somewhere along t…

Porn Site Blackmail Scam - That Time a Scammer Contacted Me and What I Did

Have you received an email with a subject line or content that contains an actual password you use either currently or at some point in time (likely it's one you've been using for a few years)?

The email claims that the sender has footage from your webcam of you visiting a porn site for some 'fun' and threatens to release that footage to all your contacts unless you pay a specified amount to a supplied Bitcoin account.

It also mentions your password was obtained by installing malware on a porn streaming site that basically gave the sender access to your keystrokes, desktop, and webcam.

I've received such an email twice now. I've posted the second below. The first email requested a deposit of US$7000 to said Bitcoin account. This time that number has gone down to $1000 (Rude! are they saying I can't afford $7000? Spoiler, I can't but, rude!).


Unfortunately I was kicking myself for deleting that first email because, shortly after, I realized it was a gre…

Movie Review: Avengers: Infinity War (2018) *Spoiler Free*

Ten years in the making and Marvel finally releases part one of the Avengers versus Thanos, A.K.A. Avengers: Infinity War.

After seeing all 18 films in the MCU prior to this, and liking most of them, I was pretty confident this movie would not disappoint.

Other than a few minor issues - that are all my personal taste and in no way reflect on the quality of the film - it really delivers. Thanos is indeed the big, bad villain of the MCU that we've been antcipating.

Creating a Mobile Independent Artist Business - Part 10: Opportunities to make money (Part A)

In my last post I looked at What to Create and Finding Your Market. This post is something of a natural follow on from finding your market as many of these money making opportunities include their own market places that you can research to see what kinds of themes and subjects sell best.

It's worth doing this research to find out if the art you're already creating is a good fit for that market place - which is ideal - or if you may have to consider expanding your interests to cover popular themes in order sell in a particular market.