I lost yesterday to the unexpected arrival of my new Lenovo ThinkPad X60 Tablet PC.
It’s a rockin’ little machine. The build quality is outstanding, particularly the keyboard and display. The touchscreen experience is fantastic. Handwriting is a refreshing, effective way to input information.
Unfortunately, the hardware is wrapped around what continues to be, for me, the most negative software experience around: Windows XP.
Amongst several, two problems I’ve had particularly stick out in my mind.
First, there is a software package pre-installed called the “Education Pack for Tablet PC“. This consists of a few applications that are meant to showcase the unique capabilities that a Tablet offers students (such as myself). The application I’m particularly interested in is called GoBinder.
Unfortunately, when I tried to use this application, Windows presented an error message that stated GoBinder couldn’t be found. Within the interface for the Education Pack I found an option to “Change which programs are installed.” I ran this, thinking I could reinstall GoBinder. The installer complained that it couldn’t find the file “edupack.msi” on network drive “C:\”. Now, I’m no Windows genius, far from it, but I know enough to realize that the C drive is sitting inside my computer right in front of me. I wish somebody would tell the OS that.
I even downloaded a fresh installer for the Education Pack from Microsoft’s web site and ended up with the same error message.
Another problem I had was with the demo installer for Microsoft Office 2007 Business Edition. I downloaded this massive file and ran it. The first message I get is that I need to “install Outlook from CD 1” before I can proceed any further. Could somebody tell Windows that this is a downloaded installer, please?
Stuff like this would never happen in the Mac OS, especially not with an expensive system right out of the box. I’m not performing any unusual function on this laptop, I’m just using it, and it’s already causing me grief. But that’s the OS.
Conversely, I’ve been using a miraculous application called Microsoft OneNote that very nearly puts every Mac-based note-taking application to shame. It’s a truly ingenious environment that runs flawlessly and integrates media, including hand-written notes, seamlessly. I’m completely in awe of it.
I sort of wish Microsoft would let the team that designed OneNote have a crack at Windows. Maybe they could clean that mess up a bit.