Outside the Bowling Alley

September 12, 2007


Outside The Bowling Alley
Just chillin in one of the chairs
outside the bowling alley. I’m in
the shade with full brightness and
it’s easy to read. I’d like something
a lot brighter though.
Just took this
pic w/ Blackjack
and sent over bluetooth.
I’m trying not to use
the keyboard today. Just use
the tip or ink 🙂


Vye S18+ Review

September 3, 2007

pugleon, a member of the UMPC Portal site, posted a review of the Vye S18+ in the forums.   It is a rebranded version of the Kohjinsha SA1 series with the touchscreen.  He is very happy with it and summed it up nicely.

Everything. Light. Well constructed. Sleek looking. Good battery life. The improved keyboard. Fast enough to do what you want it to. Price is right. Logo can be covered with a nice transfer. Plenty of good sites doing made to measure high quality vinyl transfers if the logo bugs you. Looking for an SH1…. this is the one to get”

Check out the post.  He put up some photos and a youtube video of the device.



I reinstalled XP Tablet Edition on my Samsung Q1 a few days ago.  Since I’ve owned the Q1, I probably went to Vista and back to XP at least 3-4 times starting with RC1 and now saying bye to Vista Ultimate. 

I’m glad I’m back.  The main reason I went back for the final time (I keep saying that), is stability.  Everything just works in XP.  The final straw was when my iPhone was stuck in Recovery Mode.  The Q1 with Vista Ultimate refused to see the iPhone in recovery mode and didn’t install the drivers.  My work laptop with Vista Business tried to go through with the recovery process but iTunes crashed.  That’s when I started to panic and turned on a Mac and finally got my iPhone going again. Two possibly unrelated problems happening in Vista just pissed me off.  I had to have at least one ‘stable’ portable device, so back to XP on the Q1 since I use it the most.

Now, what have I gained back since going back to XP?

  • GeckoTIP – I can open up a floating TIP while using Firefox.  The latest release isn’t compatible with Vista.
  • Bluetooth Tethering – For some reason, Vista bluetooth can’t see my Blackjack phone as a Bluetooth PAN device.  It’s most likely the phone, but still, fact is it wouldn’t work.  The only way I could tether in Vista was through the USB cable.  Now I have both options back.
  • Performance – Programs are loading up faster.  Videos are playing smoother.  I can play a 720p high definition WMVHD file again.  No disk thrashing.  Overall snappier experience.
  • Battery Life – I’m getting slightly more battery life.
  • Screen Brightness w/ hardware buttons – With Vista, the combination of the menu button + volume rocker only worked for reducing the brightness.  With XP, I can use the same combo for both brightness up & down.
  • Robogeo – For some reason, I couldn’t get this to install with Vista.
  • Stable drivers – I feel better not using, for example, beta drivers for my webcam.

What have I lost?

  • TIP – The TIP in Vista is much improved.  It’s undocked by default and swoops on the screen.  Character recognition is excellent now and learns as you use it.
  • Start Menu – I miss the search from the new Start menu.  Very useful.  I also like how the programs are arranged.  Always sorted and in one scrollable row.
  • Security – Probably didn’t make much of a difference since I turned off most of the security features due to performance.
  • Better NHC – Notebook Hardware Control gave me more options in Vista.  Allowing me to control the CPU speed for each profile.
  • Origami Experience – Never used it.  It’s slow and felt bloated.  VLC played videos much smoother.  CarPC frontends made more sense.
  • Media Center – Ran too slow, I never used it.

 So I’ll say it again, I will never go back to Vista on my Q1.  Doesn’t mean my next device won’t have Vista, just not the Q1.

I found the Vye USA site which seems to be a US distributor of Vye Computers in the UK.  They recently rebranded the Kohjinsha PC’s.  Snave of My Kohjinsha was able to get a hold of one and posted his impressions.

What’s interesting are the specs on the site:


The differences from the SH6:

  • 800Mhz A110 processor instead of the 600Mhz A100
  • 120GB hard drive instead of 100GB
  • USA Keyboard
  • Extended 6 Cell Battery

On the products page, it’s being listed for $1349.  With shipping, add an extra $42.

When I tried to go through the checkout,  it redirected to Pal Pal for payment.

I emailed Vye USA on availability and I hope to get an answer soon.

UPDATE (9/3/07):
vyeusa.com has updated their homepage. The Vye Mini-v S37 will be available September 17th in the US.

Dynamism.com has the S37 listed on the site.
There is no price set. The dimensions and weight are a bit smaller/lighter than the SH6 which is odd. The specs show it has the Japanese keyboard instead of the USA keyboard.

From Dynamism.com:

Vye S37

8.58 x 6.42 x 1.0 [inch]
218 x 163 x 25.4[mm]
2.17 lbs / 985 g
Standard Battery: 5.0 hours
84 Key QWERTY Japanese

Kohjinsha SH6

8.58 x 6.42 x 1.0 [inch]
227 x 170 x 25.4[mm]
2.2 lbs / 993 g
Standard Battery: 3.5 hours
Enhanced Battery: 7.0 hours
84 Key QWERTY Japanese

UPDATE (9/3/07):
So I email dynamism.com today asking about the Vye S37 availability, price, keyboard, and extended battery..
I haven’t received a response which has been typical of vendors, but, I just noticed a change in the website.

  • $1349
  • Shipping mid to late September
  • 6-cell extended battery included
  • 84 key QWERTY keyboard (English) – Not exactly sure what that means but hoping it’s a USA keyboard

UPDATE (9/4/07):
I received an email back from Jeff of dynamism.com. He confirmed the Vye S37 will come with the extended battery and have an english keyboard. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a USA keyboard so we shall see. He doesn’t know if the Vye logo will be on the back of the screen since they haven’t received a demo unit yet. I’m very happy I received a reply. Brownie points for dynamism.

Kevin Tofel posted an interesting topic on jkOnTheRun. He has made it clear the past year he’s an inker and uses the Samsung Q1P mostly with the pen. He also carries a bluetooth keyboard in case he wants to do some typing.

“Although I use multiple devices, my primary mobile device continues to be the Samsung Q1P. If had to guess about my own usage, I’d estimate 80% of the time is spent using it as a slate Tablet while 20% of the time, I use it with a Bluetooth keyboard. Actually, this post was entered in ink with the TIP, so make that 81/19. ;)”

What’s really interesting is the comments in the post.   Andrew has a convertible but uses it 100% in slate mode..

While Jenn of pocketables has a slate with but uses the keyboard 100% of the time..

As for me, I’m split.  I like using both.  Just that I’m not a fan of using the TIP & handwriting for character input.

It just goes to show, each and every one of us uses PC’s differently and I’m glad there’s such a variety of form factors to choose from.  Choosing a computer is a personal choice and there will never be one computer perfect for everyone.


10% Off Lenovo Laptops

August 20, 2007


Found a nice deal on Ben’s Bargains. Enter the code USXNARTRIPLE at checkout and you get 10% off.
I just tried it on a X61T Tablet PC and it worked.


It’s up! He did an excellent job going over the device and voicing his concerns. A must see if you are thinking of purchasing the SH6.

Here’s a reply I posted in the Origami Project forums:

Just watched it. Very nice.
I’m sold. Very surprised how responsive the system was loading apps. Must be a combo of the 2GB RAM and fast hard drive. I was even more surprised how Media Center performed. Much more responsive than my Q1.
It’s too bad the thumbstick is hard.., but to even have 3 ways of controlling the mouse (touchscreen, track stick, and touchpad), it’s really flexible.
Too bad there’s no HSDPA/EVDO option. That’s one thing I really want. I can probably deal with a USB solution. Or if I’m really daring, replace the wifi mini PCI express card with a HSDPA/EVDO module and see if a SDIO or CF wifi card will work.

I’m sold but will wait until the end of the month. If an 800Mhz version comes out by then, we shall see, but I’m sure I will be satisfied with 600Mhz just from the video. I’ll email Data Evolution and ask if they will be carrying a US version of it. Maybe the battery life issues will be solved and I can use a US keyboard.

Anyway, here it is.