I need a Dynabook

Here we are in 2007, and there’s still a computing device I need that doesn’t exist.

I need something shaped roughly like a notebook. Not a laptop; a notebook.

I need it to be big enough that I can write fairly long text compositions – like blog posts – on it, with a stylus, not a keyboard.

I need to be able to carry it like a notebook.

I need to be able to upload pages from it to something with a network connection – preferably wifi, not Bluetooth. (To paraphrase my father, “I need Bluetooth like I need a gold-plated asshole.”)

I don’t necessarily need handwriting recognition, although that would be nice. I could deal with page images, as long as they could be compressed to a size not much bigger than ASCII text.

If I had a thing like this, I could make practical use of all the neat hypermedia tools – what the hipsters call “Web 2.0” – currently being developed for Web browsers, like Google Notebook, Writely, Tiddlywiki, Zoho, etc. etc. etc. I could probably even quit carrying a pen and paper around. The requirement of a keyboard-driven web browser makes these impractical for someone with a truly mobile lifestyle.

My PDAs are too small; my laptop is too big, too fragile, too much of an encumbrance, and that would probably still be true of a Tablet PC (if I didn’t object to using Windows); my Windows CE mini-laptops are too old and too limited.

I need something like Alan Kay’s Dynabook. I need something like a fourth or fifth-generation Newton (oh, by the way, Apple: thanks for canceling the Newton and replacing it with the iPod, which is absolutely useless as an application platform).


One Response to “I need a Dynabook”

  1. thebarefoot Says:

    You’re not running Linux on your iPod? For shame.

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