Even as a kid I hated handwriting. It was the only subject in which I received a “D.” Teachers used to tease me that I should become a doctor because my script was so illegible. I preferred to “print” my letters instead. It looked much neater to me, but it did take longer. Letting me use a typewriter was the real answer, but that wasn’t allowed in the fourth grade.
These days I can barely complete a grocery list without my hand cramping up. In my mind this demonstrates what an unnatural act pen writing is because I can type all day without a problem. Occasionally, I use my Palm stylus to input a new address or jot a quick note. It’s fine for odds and ends like that. But once when I tried to take class notes at a seminar with my PDA, I gave up in agony after only 20 minutes.
I realize that these examples are different situations than using a Tablet PC. But for me, the result would eventually be the same. Sooner or later I’d screw up because I scribbled some notation wrong. Ironic that Tablet PCs are being touted for healthcare. Don’t doctors have the worse handwriting of all?
To be honest, I don’t want a Tablet PC anymore than I want a headache. I could be totally “out to lunch” here and underestimating the “next big thing.” But what I really think is that Steve Jobs was correct when he said, “It turns out people want keyboards.”
I’m not wishing ill on Tablet PCs. But unless there’s a potential for them to flourish outside of niche markets such as healthcare, I’d just as soon Apple not waste its time on them.
I’m much more interested in the evolution of smart phones, the iPod, wearable computers, and yes, the laptop. If I want to draw a picture on my computer, I’ll buy a Wacom tablet for $99. But even then, chances are that my sketch of the neighbor’s dog will look more like a cow, or an antelope or something different all together.