Oh how I wish I had thought of that earlier.

I’m still talking about the Out-Of Box Experience, and how the way we deal with it can have long-term effects on the way we use our devices.

You can jump straight over to the some thoughts on Investments you want to consider in those early days of ownership, or read on as I explain the playful acronyms in the title.

See: Investments

More about the acronyms:


Out of the Box Experience. I am taking a wider interpretation of the term than you will find in Wikipedia. I want to consider the fugue state that for some is that odd, out of the norm, out of place mindset that ensues from the moment you receive your new machine until it becomes an almost transparent part of your life. For some, that state starts in the early stages of desire, and never completely passes.


(NewBie alt. Newbie). I prefer the Newbie spelling as it is not necessarily an insult as much as an acknowledgement that someone is naive in the context of a new field.

But don’t wander away now, having discerned that as a seasoned computer user, I am not talking about you. Your prior knowledge and experience is probably the reason why you will ignore, overlook, or dismiss some of the most interesting aspects of your new machine.


Things to do now upon opening the box. For relatively mundane, routine tasks see: OOBE Things to Do NOW.

Now it is time to think about Investments. These include unlearning the workarounds you learned to cope with other (less capable) technologies, applying these to your favourite applications, and rethinking the way you work.

See: Investments

The OOBE Made Me a NOOBE (Newbie)

Or, “How can a 3 pound device render me powerless?”

This is not endemic to the technology experience, but it is fairly prevalent. Someone with seemingly relevent prior knowledge, opens the box (the OOBE) (Out of Box Experience)  and is shortly thereafter, reduced to a mumbling, angry, disconsolate shell of his/her former confident self: a Newbie (something we would call the new kid in school).

When people approach new machines (computer related or something else), sometimes the worst enemy is prior knowledge. Some of us have spent decades learning the finer points of overcoming – no – defeating – no pommeling into submission – the faults and indiosyncracies of the technololgy we adore and hate, and hate to adore. This leads to some serious traps. One is …

Stating our problems in the language of old solutions

I type faster than I write. Writing is too slow

What is the problem here? Maybe it is the assumption that you must have type (managed) text.  If you are a fan of inking, you already know the answer to this statement. (Explore this in Compared to What)

I have too many processes running at startup

What is the problem? If you are relatively new to computing, or simply a pragmatist, you could look at that, perceive that somebody thinks there’s a problem – and then get back to work.

Now I’ll give you a real problem “The machine doesn’t work at all“. And then to add insult to injury… “It was working before I fixed it“.

We could talk about this forever – but let’s not.

There are some articles over on TabletWiki to help you through the OOBE. You can read

  • The OOBE Made Me a Newbie (the rest of this mini editorial)
    or skip that and get to some practical things that deserve your attention
    “right out of the box”

  • OOBE/Things to Do NOW
    This sets out some pretty simple things you can do to save yourself hours, days or weeks of grief later.

  • Tablet PC Edition Processes
    While I don’t agree that the first thing you should be doing is deleting things from what should be a stable machine, if you want to do it, you can start here.

PS – I am aware that OOBE is also an acronym for Out of Body Experience, and won’t that be fun to explore at some point in the future.

The Eyes Have It!

click to see full sized version and articleOf all the ways that Tablet PCs have changed over the last 12 months, one of the most visible changes has been in the screen sizes. It was not quite 11 months ago that we saw the first Wide Screen Tablet PC from Gateway. At 1280 x 768 (and about 7 pounds) it was something of a mind and arm bender to look at and use.

Here’s a link to  my updated Screen Resolution Chart. That thumbnail is at 50% (in each direction) of its normal size just in case you were wondering.

Look up the machine you have now on the chart. Look at the right most column and find the dots per inch. Then look up another resolution that you might be considering and compare.

The values that are circled in red are resolutions higher than 144 dots per inch. Probably the borderline beyond which most of us cannot do prolonged immersive work.

So click the picture to see the article.


Over at http://TabletWiki.com I’m finding out about the 1% Rule

“It’s an emerging rule of thumb that suggests that if you get a group of 100 people online then one will create content, 10 will “interact” with it (commenting or offering improvements) and the other 89 will just view it.”  – Charles Arthur

Just for fun, take a run over to the wiki at http://TabletWiki.com and try the Search engine. If you have a Tablet PC, you probably will try terms like:

  • Tablet PC
  • Digitizer
  • Wacom
  • FinePoint
  • Screen Resolution
  • OOBE

Okay – Have I whet you appetite?

How about writing an article?

 In the main navigation bar you will see a Link to New Article. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just accurate and informative. There are several outlines that you can try. You don’t have to use them, but it might give you some ideas.

Somewhere along the way, you will be asked to Create an Account – hmmm – probably about 30 seconds to do that.

Please leave a comment on the wiki. To do that, go to the main TabletWiki page and  hit the discussion tab (top of the page) You can read what’s there, and then to add a comment look for the small tab that has a plus (+) sign on it. You can leave a comment on any page the same way.

But perhaps the most interesting thing is that on all of the content pages – you can just go ahead and add more information if you want.  

Hope to see you there.