jkOnTheRun- a typical day in the life of the HP 2710p

Jk_icon_mediumThe HP 2710p is happily inserted into my daily work and it’s time to present a "typical day in the life" article, something that I try to do with every device I use in my work day.  Yesterday is the day I am covering since it was a typical work day for me but also because it’s still fresh in my memory so I’ll get it right.  🙂

The alarm went off at 5 am, I don’t have to go into Big Oil Co. this morning so I get to sleep an extra 30 minutes.  It’s still darn early at 5 am.  I get up, head downstairs to the first cup of coffee of the day.  Coffee cup in hand I grab the HP 2710p Tablet PC from the dock where it has been happily sleeping for the night just like me.  I spin the screen around into slate configuration, something that we Tablet PC owners love to do, and head for the Man Chair in front of the TV to catch up on the news happenings in the world overnight.  I check my email in Outlook, only 25 came in during the night.  I respond to those that need it using the pen and the TIP, and then fire up Google Reader to check my RSS feeds.  Only 325 items to review.

Checking my feeds using Google Reader in portrait mode on the 2710p is great, the wide-screen becomes very long in portrait orientation and I can see a lot of items at once.  The 2710p doesn’t have a scroll wheel, something I wish HP would include on a refreshed version, but it’s not a big deal as I use MiniScroller to provide page up/down function while checking the feeds.  It only takes me 15 minutes to go through all the feed items, tapping the "Add Star" link for those items I want to save for later perusal.  Now it’s time to head up to the shower to get ready for the work day, stopping in my office to drop the HP into the dock so the battery will top off, even though it hasn’t depleted very much with this casual usage.

Clean and dressed for my day I head into the car, attaching the TomTom One to the windshield as I do every day, telling it to navigate me to my first meeting of the day.  It’s a programmed favorite so three taps of my finger on the screen have it ready to guide me to my meeting.  The meeting is in the office of a contractor that I use a lot, and while I know perfectly well how to get there I still use the TomTom.  If I run into bad traffic, something that happens all too often in Houston, I can pull off the freeway and TomTom will guide through unfamiliar terrain to get around it.  Traffic isn’t too bad today so Mandy (the TomTom voice I prefer) thoughtfully tells me everything I need to do ahead of time.  I arrive at the contractor office a few minutes early and need to wait for the arrival of the other attendees I work with so I sit down in the lobby, insert the Verizon v740 ExpressCard EV-DO modem and check my email.

I read and respond to several work emails in Outlook and then fire up Firefox to check my Big Oil Co. email via Outlook Web Access (OWA).  OWA is designed for use in Internet Explorer (it’s Microsoft after all) but since I have added the IE Tab extension to Firefox I tap on the Firefox logo in the status bar when the OWA login page appears and my entire session is rendered by the IE engine as a result.  It makes OWA look just like it does in IE which is pretty darn good.  I read and respond to those work emails and in five minutes I am done just as my cohorts arrive for our meeting.  We head up to the visualization room where we will be meeting.

Once the meeting gets going I reach into my bag and pull the 2710p out of my bag.  It is already in slate mode from my earlier work so I hit the power button and resume from sleep in about 2 seconds.  I fire up OneNote for taking my notes in ink with the pen and the meeting goes as expected.  I take a lot of notes, all of it in ink as they are fully searchable that way.  I use the search all the time, in fact I had to search for a couple of things during my note taking that I knew had been covered in previous meetings.  Having that information found in seconds made my participation in this meeting much more productive being able to reference earlier notes as needed.  My note taking in this meeting was done as I usually do.  I take my notes in black ink, using green ink when I want to note something that I need to do later (action items for me), and red ink for action items for the contractor’s staff.  Noting those in red makes it easy for me to follow up with the contractor to insure they do what they promised without having to add those little follow-up flags in OneNote.  Those flags are fine, I just prefer to stay in ink all the time.

Salt_in_onenoteDuring the meeting, which is covering a complex seismic imaging project that is attempting to image a complex salt structure over 3 miles deep in the Gulf of Mexico, we spent a lot of time covering one particular part of the image that is very complex and giving the image interpreters a hard time.  In OneNote I made several little sketches of this image in ink because I find that doing so makes it easy to job my memory about the discussion when I refer to these notes in the future.  I am also able to quickly sketch in details as the discussion progresses and at the end of the meeting I am confident that I have very good notes that reflect a complex technical discussion in detail that will be useful later.  It was very simple to capture this discussion in hand-sketched images and the Tablet PC has simplified my work as usual.  A time and date for the next meeting is proposed and I confirm in Outlook that it will work for me and it gets entered into Outlook right then.  Nothing could be easier having my entire computer in my hands for these meetings.

The meeting over, I decide to get an early lunch as my afternoon meeting starts at 1 pm across town.  I drive to the area close to the next meeting and then tell TomTom to find me a restaurant nearby which it does.  I head in and have a quick lunch, checking my email on my RIM BlackBerry 8830 while I eat.  I get email all day to my two main email addresses and the RIM makes it a breeze to keep up with it whenever I have some time to do so.  It is a BlackBerry after all so when I read an email on the phone it is instantly marked read in Outlook, a great time saver for me.  I don’t believe that duplicating effort is ever a good thing which can happen too easily when you use multiple devices as I do.  The BlackBerry insures I never have to do that with email which is why it is on my belt.  I know, the belt clip makes me a total geek, but the magnet in the holster puts the phone in Standby when I holster it, a great thing.

Having fed myself I have plenty of time to head to a local coffee shop (as planned) to get some work done and do a little blogging.  I head for Starbucks and sit myself down at one of the little tables they are famous for.  The 2710p is so small and light that it fits these little tables with no problems, and I pull out my Stowaway Bluetooth Travel Mouse to use wirelessly.  Blogging often involves cutting and pasting and as much as I like the trackstick on the 2710p that is easier to do with a mouse so out comes mine.  I turn it on and it instantly connects to the HP and I am working in less than a minute.  Can you tell I hate waiting for stuff to happen?  That’s why I love the HP, everything happens quickly with no down time.

I process my email again, something the HP makes easy to do countless times a day when I am mobile like this.  The EV-DO also makes that easy to do and since I get a couple of hundred emails a day (easily) this is important to keep me from getting overwhelmed by the volume.  I also check my RSS feeds again with Google Reader, and I discover that the F11 key no longer toggles full screen mode.  I blog that which has a happy ending and do some web surfing until time to head to my next meeting.  I arrive a few minutes early so I sit in my car in front of the office and check my email again.  I love the Verizon BroadBand Access.  I get very fast bandwidth with the EV-DO Rev. A and in five minutes I get so much done sitting in my car.  I love mobile technology!

I head into the meeting which is taking place in another visualization center.  I should describe what these are as they play a big role in a lot of the meetings I attend.  Since these are all complex seismic imaging projects we have to analyze a lot of images at these meetings and this particular visualization center is built for that very purpose.  It’s a lot like the one at the meeting this morning, a screen on the wall about 10 – 12 feet wide, powered by Linux workstations, and it makes it easy for all of us to follow what it being demonstrated.  I take notes in OneNote as usual and the meeting goes as expected.  I once again reference earlier recorded ink notes and make the most of my session in OneNote.  The beginning of the meeting was spent doing some background from previous meetings for an attendee who is just joining this particular project and while they filled him in for fifteen minutes to bring him up to speed I as able to respond to several emails as I connected via the EV-DO connection.  The technology I use is geared toward making sure I have no wasted time during my day and this is a good example of that.  I catch up with my email totally until the meeting takes off in earnest and it’s back to note taking on the HP.  This meeting produced several action points that needed to be taken care of via email and I do that at the end of the meeting.  I leave this meeting with everything taken care of and nothing hanging over my head for this project.  Woot!

I headed back to my home office with my mobile day concluded and pop the HP into the dock.  I have the ultra-slim battery attached to the 2710p and the dock will charge both batteries this way.  The quick charge of the adapter will charge them both in about an hour, even if both are completely discharged.  They aren’t today, the internal battery still has about 20% free and the ultra-slim is sitting at 80% full.  This recharge will only take about 15 – 20 minutes.  As the evening progresses I pick up the HP off and on to do some email and check some RSS feeds.  Oh, I started writing this too.  🙂