Simplicity and a Tablet PC

image I’ve been evangelizing Tablet PC technology from the very beginning for one reason: I believe in the power and flexibility of the platform. That belief has been reinforced to me in some very practical ways the past week and a half.

My daughter has been back in the hospital dealing with ramifications from a brain tumor removed 5 years ago. With the constant going back and forth between home and the hospital, I’ve learned something very valuable: in the midst of crisis, simplicity reigns. The ability to keep technology at arms length in order to focus on the crisis at hand, but close enough within reach to stay in touch with friends and take care of the critical needs, is very important.  As such, I’ve been working with the bare essentials: Latitude XT Tablet PCVerizon EV-DO card, basic phone, iPod Shuffle, and a Moleskine. Notice what is missing: extra mice, portable keyboards, companion PCs, my MacBook, and the other stuff that just seems to clutter things up.


Just this morning, we took an early morning ambulance ride from the hospital to a testing center, and my Tablet PC played a critical role. While at the testing center, I received a call from an out of state hospital needing some important papers signed to pave the way for a medivac transfer to their hospital. The hospital told me they needed them signed right away, so I told them to email the PDFs to me and I’d get it taken care of. I whipped out my Tablet, plugged in my EV-DO modem, and got on line. The PDFs came to me via email, I signed them using Bluebeam PDF Revu, and then quickly emailed them back – took me all of 5 to 10 minutes. Without the connectivity, a great PDF annotating solution, and a built-in digitizer on my Tablet PC, the process would have been much more complicated and time-delayed.

I always tend to whittle things down to the bare necessities when I’m in crisis mode, or otherwise need to focus like a laser beam on a task at hand. It is amazing how little we really need to get stuff done. I love how a Tablet PC allows me to stay simple, but never sacrifices flexibility.