Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tablet PC Software, Installment 2

This post is a continuation of our look at tablet software.

One of the first things a tablet user contends with when he makes the switch to pen-computing is the elimination of the optical drive. Well, to be precise, one of the things that the slate tablet pc user gives up when he makes the switch is the readily available optical drive. Years ago during my foray into the realm of the HP TC-1100, I can remember thinking that that was a limiting feature—a tradeoff of weight savings for convenience. Yet somehow from TC-1100 to Electrovaya’s Scribbler SC-3100 to my current Fujitsu ST-5112 twins, the elimination of the optical drive has proven to be more of an emancipating feature than that of a limiting one.

How so?

For one, I save weight, gain form factor and reduce battery use. What this means from a business perspective is that I am more apt to carry the tablet with me, and that it is more than likely going to have ample juice to perform as it was intended—outside the dock and comfortably cradled in my lap.

For two, I have ridden myself of the need to pipe software from CDs for loading large programs such as Microsoft Office or any of its complementary productivity software. Frankly, if not for my move to the slate tablet pc, I’d probably still be loading things off CDs and DVDs.

So what do I use to move ISOs onto my machines? My software of choice is Power ISO.

With a simple right-click of the mouse, an ISO is now mountable as a virtual drive in the Windows Explorer environment. The time

savings is immediately noticeable, in that files run off the hard drive, and best of all the capability is always available in the Windows Explorer environment, and yet is light and unobtrusive-the way good utilities should be.

Of course, I have managed to accumulate CDs, but those are stored safely in a physical storage container. But before stowing away those pesky CDs, I make a point of burning their ISO images, so that I may pull them on demand from my software library, as needed.

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