Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tablet PCs - Why so pricey?

Is touch screen really expensive to do or something. I've been tossing around the idea of getting a tablet PC to stick OneNote on to use for note taking, reading documents and some web surfing (including Gmail) via WiFi. I'm having to attend a lot of meetings/briefings where the ability to take notes and link them to documents and web pages would be incredibly useful.

Looking around the web the options seem to be:

  • iPad, around the £500-900 mark but won't multitask or run OneNote and from what I've heard from all but the most ardent Apple worshipper is basically crap (iPhone without the ability to make calls)

  • Tiny and low spec (more of a PDA than PC) around the £400-700 mark

  • Equivalent spec to a, non-touchscreen, laptop that currently retails for about £300-450 but costing £1500-2100

I think I'm stick with pencil and paper with printouts of docs I want to read for now.

In terms of specification what I'm looking for is:
  • 10-12 inch screen

  • Run OneNote 2007, Acrobat reader and Firefox at the same time with reasonable performance from both

  • WiFi

  • At least 64Gb available local storage after all system/application requirements are fulfilled

  • Support for external USB keyboard and mouse

  • At least 3 USB ports (2 for keyboard and mouse plus one for memory stick)

  • Price point under £500

  • Handwriting recognition

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Oracle aims to secure future of Sparc, Solaris and Sun hardware

Interesting article on about how Oracle are looking to secure the future of Sparc, Solaris and Sun Hardware. They don't mention it but I wouldn't be surprised if we see 'Database as an Appliance' coming soon with Oracle Database running on Sun Hardware with management taken out of the hands of the local DBA and automated or made accessible only to Oracle themselves. This isn't a 'Death of the DBA' thing, the sort of sites that could go for something like that are probably the ones that don't have a DBA, just a support tech who has a couple of books, the sort of sites that probably run M$ SQLServer now.

One thing they mention, as an aside, is that Oracle plan to to position it as a competitor to Microsoft Office. If they want to do that then I think the thing they really need to introduce to the suite is a desktop RDBMS to beat Access. Ideally something that can also act as a front end to Oracle with a tool that will let you take a desktop database and export it to a full blown Oracle server then use the existing database (or copy thereof) as the front end. A similar process already exists for Access and SQLServer. This might look like a competitor for their development tools arm but then there are already plenty of competitive development tools from other vendors (including Access from Microsoft) in that market.