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Re: OT [but very interesting] Coimputer design]

On Tue, 2009-12-08 at 08:31 -0600, Aaron Konstam wrote:
> How does this computer design strike you?
> Video:  Amazing Computer portable computer 
> http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=7H0K1k54t6A

Since you ask...  One thing that immediately struck me as being
obviously dumb, when you consider they must have put quite a lot of
thought into that, is running a cable to the centre-front of the thing.
My laptop does the same thing, and it means that if you actually sit the
computer on your lap, and plug headphones in, you're in grave danger of
snapping the plug off.

When it comes to portable computing, you need to avoid things projecting
out the front and back, much more than the sides.  And what does project
out the sides needs to avoid the front (my USB port is right-hand-side
at the front, right where you smack into it with the mouse).  And what
does project out needs to be recessed so that only the cable sticks out
(ever seen bent USB dongles?).  Wireless is all very well, until you
have to contend with batteries in everything, and other adjacent
wireless equipment.

I have seen one or two laptops where they've had the sense to make it
possible to fit the whole of a USB device into the chassis, but they're
few and far between.  Not to mention other stupid designs (crappy tiny
little power plugs, plugs jammed far too close together, things labelled
by impressing an unreadable symbol or text into black plastic, etc.).

In this day of graphical interfaces, I'd like to see touch screens more
widely available.  But that means another redesign:  You want the screen
closer to you, so you're not reaching out far, nor holding your arm up
in the air.  The simple answer to that is to not waste space with the
keyboard (most users could live without a row of function keys), nor put
a trackpad in the way, either.  There also needs to be thought put into
a screen design that doesn't show fingerprints smeared all over what
you're trying to look through.

My background includes electronics engineering, and right at the top of
my list is making something convenient and practical to use.  So many
things just aren't.

[tim localhost ~]$ uname -r

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored.  I
read messages from the public lists.

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