My second day with the Microsoft Surface – fully loaded

Screenshot (2)One thing I did not mention in yesterday’s post was when you log into Microsoft Surface and use your Microsoft Id you get all of your cloud settings for your account. So my tablet immediately got all of my pictures, documents, and social network accounts automatically configured. It was literally like I just logged into my Windows 8 Laptop.

Today however, I spent time getting my favorite applications loaded on the tablet. Since this is a work tablet I had to get the IBM connection setup through the VPN and then of course I copied Lotus Notes to it. Lastly, I got GIMP, Eclipse, and started getting my MS Office suite over to it.

I will say if you plan to use these applications you will definitely need a keyboard and possibly a mouse. While the stylus works well, it takes a lot of getting used to, especially with re-sizing sashes and side bars. I may go and get the video adapter and keyboard this weekend. I can easily see this replacing my laptop for customer presentations, plane rides, and demo’s. I am not ready to take a leap and claim it will completely replace the laptop eventually but right now it is very close.

My first day with the Microsoft Surface – this is no tablet

surfaceI now see the attraction of the Microsoft Surface. While it has been documented, written about, reviewed, etc by many and in a sense does not get the recognition some of the other tablets get I think it is clearly getting short changed. And the reason is…

This is not a tablet, its a PC. It does pretty much everything my laptop and desktop can do and a whole lot more. The “tablet” is very thin and compares nicely against the other tablets on the market. I have the 128GB model and it seems to be so much memory when compared to my 64GB iPad.  It has the cameras on both sides, very cool. It comes with Skype, once again any PC app should install on the device – priceless. The actual tablet itself seems very stylish and sturdy. I remember when I got the iPad and thought “what a solid design”, I had the exact same impression when I first held the Surface. Since I have a Microsoft Account for XBox and I have Windows 8 on my personal laptop the instant I logged in with that account ID I had all of my cloud pictures, songs, etc. Brilliant!

Some of the key things I really like about the Surface:

  • The large screen resolution (1920×1080) is brilliant.
  • Having the option to go to “Desktop” brings back the PC experience
  • Putting a PC app like Chrome into full screen mode is a simple swipe – I am sure there are many little shortcuts out there
  • The USB stick, enough said. iPad’s clearly need this option – the cloud, network, wifi, whatever doesn’t always work and getting files to/from an iPad is difficult. Not too mention the iPad isn’t a PC

Some of the things I either don’t understand or don’t know how to do:

  • I do not have a keyboard so navigating or typing in fields is a little cumbersome today. For instance, web fields in Chrome the virtual keyboard shows and disappears quickly.
  • The stylus is a little flaky, it has a magnetic sensor it

I would be interested in hearing others reviews on this. Since I have only had this a couple of days I might end up writing a new review after some extended use.

Some other positive reviews on the net:

 

 

 

How to add swipe support to your web application

logoAre you creating a web application that you want to be able to be used on a tablet? Then you might want to check out the Dojo toolkit. Dojo provides a very simple way to handle swipe events in your web application. In this post I used the dojox.gesture package. Why would you want to use Dojo?  Here are a few good reasons from the documentation:

dojox/gesture has been designed with the following rationale:

  • Device neutral – The target is to be compatible with most popular devices(single touch gestures should also work well on desktops).
  • Compatibility and reusability – Applicable and can be used with dijit widgets, dojo core(dnd), dojox/mobile or dojox/charting etc.
  • Scalability – A modularized event processing mechanism makes it very easy to extend with more customized gestures.

As of version 1.7, here is the list of devices and browsers:

dojox/gesture is working well with:

1. Desktops – IE8+, FF 3.6+, Chrome v10+, Safari 5+
2. Touch devices – Android 2.2/2.3 – iOS 3/4

In the code below I put a listener on the entire body of the HTML where I tagged the <body> element with the id “body”.

function registerSwipeListener(){
	require([ "dojo", "dojox/gesture/swipe" ], 
		function(dojo, swipe, tap){

                        //connect the listener to the "body" element
			dojo.connect(dojo.byId("body"), swipe.end, function(e){

			if (current_view != "edit"){
                                //Check and which which difference is bigger since
                                //we only support up, down, left, right
				if (Math.abs(e.dx) > Math.abs(e.dy)){
					if (e.dx > 0){
						viewerMoveLeft();
					}else{ 
						viewerMoveRight();
					}
				}else{
					if (e.dy > 0){
						viewerMoveUp();
					}else{
						viewerMoveDown();
					}				
				}
			}		
		});
	});