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Decision review: Got the Lenovo battery slice for my X220 tablet

| decision, geek, laptop

I’ve been thinking about getting an Android tablet so that I can draw more at conferences and around town. My laptop’s fantastic for drawing and writing, but it doesn’t have the battery life to get me through a day of conference sessions.

Before taking the plunge, though, I considered the different options. If the main thing I want is the assurance that I’ll be able to draw and write for a full day, there are a few ways to do that:

  • Learn how to draw on paper. This is somewhat scary, but it’s useful, so I’ve bought myself another sketchbook for mindmaps, sketchnotes, and other sketches. I filled the last one over two years or so, and maybe I’ll fill this one faster!
  • Get another battery for my Lenovo X220 tablet, and swap out batteries when needed.
  • Get the extended battery slice for my X220 and enjoy way more battery life for some extra weight.

I decided to get the extended battery slice. More precisely, my business decided to get it, because I’m using it for sketchnotes, illustration (I do that professionally now, too!), writing, business correspondence, client meetings, and so on.

The battery slice is a large, flat battery that attaches to the bottom of the laptop. It extends my battery life by quite a bit, and is hot-pluggable so that I don’t have to interrupt my work. I haven’t tested its limits yet, but this power icon is pretty neat to see:


With this, I think I’ll be able to spend more time in libraries, cafes, parks, or conferences. Might be fun. =)

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On a Lenovo X61

| geek, sketches

imageI’ve been saving up for a Lenovo X61 for a while. Drawing had turned out to be tons of fun, and l wanted something more portable than my much-enjoyed Cintiq 12WX. So when l came across a Craigslist ad offering the X61 at a decent price, I went for it.

It’s the computer I thought it would be. And it understands my handwriting! So now l get to experiment with my workflow to figure out what works for me…

By golly, the future is actually here.

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Industry showcase at U of T

| toronto

Via Greg Wilson: Check out the computer industry showcase at the University of Toronto from 4 – 6 PM on Tuesday, September 5. Confirmed attendees:

I’m looking forward to the showcase and to the pub night afterwards!

If you want your company to be part of the event, you might be able to
get in touch with Greg Wilson through his blog.

By the way, gotta love the tagline for Greg’s blog: “Data is zeroes and
ones — software is zeroes and ones and hard work.”

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I heart ultraportables!

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The power adapter for my Fujitsu Lifebook P1110 gave up two days ago.
With the funny way my life works, an inconvenience like that turned
into a great opportunity to try out the Sony Vaio U1.

My dad used the Vaio as a wearable computer, strapping it into a
customized belt bag during his aerial photo shoots so that he could
preview pictures on an 8″ screen. When he bought a camera with a
better built-in preview, the Vaio languished on a bookshelf. The
Japanese version of Microsoft Windows didn’t make it easier to use,
either. I installed Ubuntu on half of the disk and for a short while
toyed with the idea of making it my main computer, but I found the
Lifebook’s size made it better to typing. Still, my parents felt I’d
probably find some interesting way to use the Vaio, so I packed it in
my carry-on when I moved to Canada last July.

With the Lifebook out of commission, I needed some other way to
compute, and I thought I’d dust it off and try it again. Besides, I’d
been meaning to use it as the VPN machine for IBM anyway, as it’s the
only gadget I have that still runs Microsoft Windows. ;) I spent all
of yesterday just getting back up to speed and setting everything up
the way I liked it.

The Sony Vaio U1 turns out to be a totally sweet ultraportable that’s
just perfect for reading blogs in transit and even writing a few
entries along the way. My thumbs are just a little bit too short to
use the keyboard as a thumbboard, but I can type with one or both
hands even while walking around. The scroll wheel is well-placed, too.

It’s just transformed the way I think of transit time. Now, transit
time is blogging time—and I can even be more productive doing that in
transit than sitting at a desk.

Now there’s technology for you. =)

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Secret knocks

Now that’s a cool application of technology. Seen on Slashdot: “Knock” Some Sense Into Your Linux Laptop describes how to set up Lenovo Thinkpads to respond to a series of knocks on the computer case. I’m sure someone will turn that into a totally small-scale authentication system (“What’s the secret knock?”) or maybe a totally hacked up drumming system… ;)

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Getting my own domain name

I want my own domain name. Can anyone recommend a relatively cheap but
reliable domain name registry for .com addresses? Thanks!

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