Okay, so there's no interest here, but perhaps an anthology anyway.
Yes I've been gone a while; another computer packed it in (this time without my own personal brand of assistance), I've been off to India (usually 5.5 hrs difference from Sydney, but we worked the night shift - 10pm to 4:30am in theory, we made it to 3 one night and faded otherwise - for a few days there before rotating back into pseudo-reasonableness of 1pm to 10pm IST, and have been jetlagged for the two weeks since returning... I know, a tough life).
Anyway, quick mentions:
Touch Ain't Just For Tablets
Mary Jo seems to think Touch is for Tablets only... Not quite. Perhaps Microsoft agrees, but why is Touch considered a Tablet feature only? It's brilliant anywhere, if you can get it.
Is it really that expensive to add to a regular laptop? Shouldn't it be a standard feature?
After having the p1610 for a year now (they grow up so fast!), I'm thinking that the tablet form-factor novely has utterly worn off (it only ever gets converted by eager demo-seekers, I use it in clamshell style only).
So, upgrading and replacing it might be on the cards sometime - an ultralight, say a 10.4" to 12.1" wide screen would be fine. Small keyboard is fine, I've adapted perfectly to the 1610's 3/4 size keys. Give me long battery life and light weight, and I'm happy, mostly.
But, mandatorily, any future laptop I buy must have a touch screen.
I don't care if it's landscapo-portraito-tableto-converto-capable, or if it does handwriting recognition (I have issues recognizing my handwriting; how's a computer ever going to get it?), or any of the other (actually very cool) Tablet-ty features; it just needs that if-you-push-a-spot-on-the-screen-something-happens capability.
I made my last purchase decision based on the device being one of the few that had a touch interface (as opposed to a Special Pen interface, which not only makes the pen sound challenged, it's a challenge to fish the pen out and cause of repeated heart-stopping "I forgot the pen at the client site!" moments, before you discover it's in your other pocket, or caught up in your belt, or whatever) and it was, in retrospect, a winner.
Both long-time readers will know that I don't put a lot of faith in my gut feelings (without lots of testing), but this one panned out brilliantly.
Jabbing at the screen with one finger is brilliant.
As an LCD purist that actually puts a "THIS IS A FLAT SCREEN NOT A TOUCH SCREEN - FINGERS MAY BE LOST" label on his precious (fingerprintless) LCD monitors, I can honestly say I'd convert every single one to a resistive touch screen covered in finger goop, if it got me proddability. It's the very definition of intuitive. You see a button, and you push it, physically, no mouse-hand-translation, no infinite widths or screen edges required.
Your finger is the original pointing device. (Er, arguably. Let's not go there.)
If every laptop came with a touch screen (not an active digitizer, remember), just imagine how much less frustrating plane trips could be? Instead of scratching like a chicken at the pad, or nudging nervously at the "pointing stick", you'd poke your way through dialogs and drag your scrollbars down directly.
Happy sigh. So as you can probably guess, I'm very interested in any laptop sporting a touch screen (active digitizer too for bonus marks, sure, but it's primarily about the convenience - having 1024 pressure levels is a secondary concern to me, most of the time). But I want my fingertip (or pen, or ice cream stick, or knuckle, or tightly-coiled tissue) interface first.
Laptop makers: you know it makes sense! Make it so!
You Know It Shipped When...
So: installing 3.5 doesn't just do a bolt-on installation, it does actually upgrade the core 2.0 and 3.0 binaries. The SP releases are available individually too.
Have a great holiday season!