Monday, July 28, 2008

Conflicted About Whether To Drag Tablet To The Congress

With five days left before departure for the U.S. Go Congress I have yet to decide if I am going to take my Tablet PC with me.  For every tournament and Congress in the past couple of years I have used my Tablet PC to record games.  It's always been a hit, and to some extent an interesting distraction to my opponents, which may or may not offer me an advantage across the board.  But mostly, for the past four years, my tablet has just been a very important part of who I am as a go player.  I'm the middle aged gray haired woman with the incredibly cool contraption that people just can't keep their eyes off.

Recently, however, with my new found addiction to everything Mac,  I have lost patience with this aging technology.  Compared to my iMac my tablet is slow, and the only thing it has going for it anymore is that I can place it flat on the table between myself and the go board.  There is no doubt at all that it still carries an amazing coolness factor for that alone, but I am not sure if it worth lugging around for 11 hours from Philadelphia to Phoenix and on to Portland.  Of course there is something to be said for the entertainment value of having the tablet with me during those long waits in the airport and the flights.

I'll have my Palm to record games if I want.  I'm still conflicted.  

Next year I will probably have a nice new Mac Book Pro to take along once the tablet dies and I wean myself away from my PC hardware altogether.

When I come back from the Congress one of the first things I will be doing is installing VMWare Fusion on the iMac so I can run SmartGo.


Circumjacence said...

Maybe the "MacBook touch" rumor will turn out to be more than a rumor, and next year you'll have *this* to take with you:
[Gizmodo "MacBook touch" link]

Will said...

I understand your dilemma. My problem however, is that I feel like recording a game seriously affects the flow of that game. Either a) I aggravate my opponent (who would like a game that's moving more quickly than my recording allows), or b) I feel like I'm breaking my own concentration whenever I look away from the board to record a move.

Ultimately, whether or not I record depends on a number of factors including the seriousness of the game and the convenience of recording. If I'm playing a game that's important to me, I won't record it and simply accept that it's lost (unless my opponent is able to remember it, obviously).

Maybe these factors aren't an issue to you. Either way, my recommendation is to take your Palm for game recording and leave the tablet behind. Your Palm's considerably more convenient. You won't have the additional weight and security concern. And, as prolific as computers are sure to be at the Congress, I'd be pretty surprised if you were unable to find one to use.

Hope this helps with your decision.

Alexander M Zoltai said...

I've seen SmartGo before.

Can't, right now, afford the paid version but is VMWare Fusion needed on a PC?

Also, they have a free 9X9 version.
Never did ask you if 9X9 play is valuable for learning...

~ Alex

Terri said...


No you don't need VMWare Fusion on a PC. You only need it on a Mac so you can run Windows on the Mac. Since, as of now, SmartGo is only available in a PC version it will be necessary for me to install Windows on my iMac in order to run it. It is probably the only PC application I fee that I can live without on my Mac.


Terri said...


I have been waiting for the MacBook touch. I think it would be so great. My only complaint about Apple is that they don't yet have a tablet, expect one put together by a third party, so I don't count that. I do love my tablet. It's just slow, and it isn't a Mac.


Terri said...


I have no sympathy for an opponent who wants me to play faster to suit their tempo. If recording on the tablet will frustrate the impatient, then that is reason enough to lug it along with no apology.

From my own standpoint, anything that disrupts the flow of the game is a plus. The reason I say that is because each move should be made on based on careful consideration of the board, not because it is part of some flow that has taken on a life of its own. One more good reason to lug the tablet along.

The only disadvatage of recording with the tablet I have ever encountered was the time that I made a mistake on the tablet and found myself at a disadvatage about 20 moves later in the game because I had been reading from the tablet rather than the board. I do that simply because the board was is far away, what with the tablet being between me and the board.

I really do hate recording with the Palm. My ancient eyes just can't read the screen very well anymore.

So if it comes down to leaving the tablet at home there is a good chance I won't record at all.

I'm still conflicted.

And I really don't care about using the computer at the congress except when I am recording. I can live without the web and email for a week without a problem.