Tuesday, June 21, 2005

TechEd 2005 @ Chennai

Volunteer at the Tablet PC Section
Got a first hand feel of what a Microsoft Student Champ,is supposed to do by getting to co-lead teh volunteers team at TechEd Chennai 2005 .At this point of time,I have the last day of the hands on lab to look forward to.Right now,im back after two days of the delegates conference and its been truly an amazing experince to say the least. Be it interacting with the loads of the developers (actual coders from the tablet pc team like Kamesh divakar or michelle )or the company representatives at the booths, or the delegates from an impressive array of companies .Also helped out in the quiz questions with Reza ,coz no one seemed to prepare the questions for it.The breakfast ,lunch,and dinner servings dint hurt either.

Also got to see all the high profile executives and developers from Microsoft ,Redmond as well those in India.[ The days hightlight ,at the bottom of the blog entry ;) ]

Meanwhile ....ive come up with a few suggestion,tips for next years TechEd volunteers or any person for taht matter to realise the "potential" of the XP Tablet PC 2005 Edition .

1.Make a powerpoint presentation
Take images from the tablet pc section on microsoft site,to answer basic questions so that they dont need to ask them.I ve attached a ppt that ive used here at Chennai and also a few images that you can whereever needed.

2.Make an offline version of the site
So that users /you will be able to browse the tablet pc info and details.I used httrack-3.33 (an offline site browser software) that downloads the site from a particular address ( microsoft.com/windowsxp/tabletpc/ ) onwards, so that it parses all the links,info .And even sample application setpup files wil be included.

3.Take sample tablet applications exe's
I prefer to take them on a usb drive,but basically you want to showcase how ppl can use 1.7.1 .crowd fav's would ones like the inkmaze app , the handwritin analysis one , the text animation app , etc . You can get them at .http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/tabletpc.mspx

4.Must show examples (that had the crowd hooked on )
--->Real world examples
Start off with the powerpoint file, say you wanna change /add a comment , use the ink tool ,comment something and save.So say the companies can do a attendance signin ,or a word doc of a project documentation that needs a verification and comments which that it'd be there even after you close and reopen later when saved.
--->Media intgration through 'OneNote'
Show typed text + scribbles + pictures all in the same doc in OneNote. talk bout the ease in storing diff media under the same file.and handwriting that is also searchable.You could also insert into outlook and other offcie products to show the portability .
Start with the conventional way we pass around some good info on the web.exhange links. then say how youd use the free hand,other snippet modes to take the info u want, and paste in a doc or even outlook and mail it.
--->Windows journal note's title
real intersting drill . open a new note ,scribble a title and save it. then close it. Then go to 'view recent files' under the file menu and notice the title in ur handwriting itself,and explain u can even have symbols that mean diff levels of importance like a cross , tick etc along with the title .
--->Character recogntion,Conversion to text
talk bout how every potential place where we could type being replacesd with the tip option where you scribble, i tried it out on start_run ,then scribbled notepad .also showed a simple file ->save as ,etc .Basically show them familiar territory users can associate with whee they would "usually" simply type in. also while stressing the advantage of storing scriblle data,show how u 'can' convert it to text if needed. also tlak bout the 20 min experince pack to familirize the handwriting initially.With that in mind ,talk bout the acceptance of the 'slate' model that does away with the keyboard all together. however,since they're going to be lot of coders out there, we have to suggest the fact that since there would be lot of documentaiton,coding,typig for certain roles, it makes sense sometimes to go in for a hybrid laptop version .Again show that the keyboard,mouse an stylo can all be used at the same time ,and also is ignorant of ur palm,fingers moving around on the actual screen surface.

5.Thought Provoking Questions
----> Does character recogntition have local/multi language support ? = No, but has 7-8 othr language (mostly european,latin based)
----> What if u want to transfer OneNote docs to older xp systems = talk bout the inkreader addon , and the .mht extension ,bitmap layout etc
----> What are the specs/ cost of a tablt = microsoft donesnt endorse any particular hardware /mftr ,so you can talk bout the 30 odd models from various brands ,located at
----> Can u transfer normal xp files, apps into the tablet = basically its an xp with added dfeatures ,so no legacy problems.
----> Can u print the scriblled doc = yes
----> "Why does the banner say 'anywhere ' ",came a question .The answer would give a clue for the delegates quiz form as well .... :P

6.Other common links
what is a tablet pc :http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/tabletpc/evaluation/about.mspx
Products :
top benefits : http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/tabletpc/evaluation/toptenbenefits.mspx
xp media centre : http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/mediacenter/evaluation/hardware.mspx
case studies for tablets : http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/tabletpc/evaluation/bymarket/default.mspx

But perhaps the highlight of the day,or rather past two days must have been Sheila Gilati ,Director -Microsoft India pat me from behind while i was at the Tablet Pc stall and ask me to adjust the volume for Pink Floyd's - "comfortabaly numb" ...!! I mean where else can it happen....

Also check out my review on the Windows XP TabletPC 2005 Edition on TechEnclave.