At the November 2002 meeting, Alan Chitlik of Microsoft presented a stocking stuffer's dream of his company's hardware and software.
I understand that Chitlik usually writes the material for for Microsoft presentations to DACS general meetings in the past. Microsoft speakers have generally been very much on target, spending just the right amount of time on each of their topics, and keeping their impeccable and fluent presentations to the allotted time. Alan, on the other hand, did not seem to be as prepared as previous speakers. He did not seem to be familiar with the hardware and software, or those may have been too new for him to have time to be fully prepared.
The first item on Chitlik's agenda was Microsoft's latest digital imaging program, called Digital Image Pro. It is an upgrade of previous Microsoft programs.
The demo was on the latest Tablet PC. Alan explained that the newest Digital Imaging Pro is more like Photoshop, and may require a little more expertise in photo software than the previous edition. One feature that Alan demonstrated is how facial features on your pictures can be enhanced. He gave some examples of wrinkle eradication and removing that frown that was not meant to be when the photo was taken. He emphasized that the photographer will endear him/herself to his/her models, using those features. Photo Digital Imaging is a higher-end program, and offers additional tools. It is more professional-targeted than previous editions. Using the program, the background of pictures can be lightened all at once.
The software also adjusts lightening automatically. Another feature demonstrated was how the mini-lab works, where two photos or more can be fixed all at the same time. For example, all photos taken when it was too dark can all be brightened at once. Albums and postcards can also be designed. Alan was hesitant in demonstrating some of the software features. He did not seem solidly familiar with it.
The recent press has extensively described the new PC tablets that use Microsoft's operating system. DACS members were able to see it first hand. The kids that were with me all wanted one Tablet for Christmas because of its mobility and its easiness to use in class for note taking. The draw back, however, is that the tablets have small RAM, which excludes most games. The demo of the Tablet showed members the "to do" list, and the possibility of writing music. The two musicians in my group of kids had a good laugh at Alan's musical writing. An agenda for a meeting can be prepared. Text can be easily moved around, which is not possible with a piece of paper. Follow-ups can be done. Also the ease of transcribing information from a meeting was demonstrated. Maybe I should have one to take notes during general meetings. The tablet even has sticky notes. According to Chitlik, the Tablet is fine for general business applications, but would not be sufficient at this time for hard core gamers.
The Pocket PC was also demonstrated. Alan did not get his hardware to work right away. So I wonder if this is too new a gadget, when a specialist gets stuck with it! The Pocket PC has a supplementary keyboard. It also has a wireless capability.
The meeting was fast getting to the end and Alan did not get a chance to show all the programs he intended to demonstrate. Unfortunately, the kids with me were very disappointed not to be able to see the preview of the games that Microsoft will release next year, which would have been worth seeing. The games preview was the reason they came along to the general meeting. Games may not interest all mainstream DACS members, but we have to interest as many potential new members as possible.
The question is which hardware, the Tablet PC or the Pocket PC, will replace or complement our desktop computers. We are more and more a mobile society, especially with cell phones becoming more common. Now that we are taking our phones everywhere we go, will we do the same with our computers?
|Marlène Gaberel is a DACS board member and VP for Public Relations. You can e-mail her at: marlene_gaberel@yahoo .com.|