What software do you use to learn with your tablet PC?

Discussion in 'The Tablet PC Life' started by Frank, Apr 10, 2009.

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  1. insomniac

    insomniac Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I'm starting my course in Computing in September and I would love to hear your responses to this question also!
     
  2. bmorison

    bmorison Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I'm also in the middle of a computing course and I have decided to try using my tablet to take notes. I have downloaded the powerpoint lecture notes and loaded them into onenote.

    I am still not familiar with onenote, so I would like to know how others use it. I have loaded each lecture into a page in a section which I plan to open at the beginning of the lecture/tutorial. Is this the best way ?

    The institute I am studying doesn't provide many power outlets and no internet connection points for laptop/tablet users. They provide a desktop for each student in each class. These get infected with viruses and the teacher can observe each screen and remotely control what is shown on each computer which is a bit too much big brotherlike, but I know many students go surfing in class so I understand why the teacher wants to know who is paying attention.

    The teachers put notes, tasks and sample work up for these computers to download. I will have to download this from their site to my flash drive and move it over to my tablet ( this is reminiscent of the old floppy net days in the first days of PCs before LANs ).
    I will have to move the tablet between classrooms. Should I power down my tablet or just put it into sleep mode ?
    Thank you for your ideas.
    Cheers,
    Bmorison.
    ____________
    T4220 with 2Mb. on Vista SP2 with ON, MS Word, Visual Studio, NetBeans and Java 1.6.11
     
  3. Dev1ant

    Dev1ant Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Well, I can answer one thing. You can just put it in sleep mode. Saves time and probably batteries too considering CPU usage is quite high starting up/shutting down.
     
  4. drvenom

    drvenom Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I use Onenote and PDF to learn. Unfortunately, I have to switch between both the programs which is really annoying. Then again, it is better than having to take notes on regular paper or using the actual textbook. For this reason, I have been really tempted to buy a slate for my pdf books. This way, I can have the slate next to my tablet pc and view both my notes and textbooks simultaneously. I think I'm going to hold off until I find a slate that costs $300-$400 and that has a battery life of 8+ hours.

    My girlfriend uses Onenote, PDF, and ink flash cards from MS. She also hates having to switch back and forth between her PDF textbooks and Onenote. She has been tempted to take notes directly on the PDF. However, we would have to buy REVU for her to do so. Unfortunately, $75 seems a bit steep at the moment, especially if we can only use the license on her tablet and not mine.
     
  5. kirin

    kirin Pen Pal - Newbie

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    At first I tried to avoid PDF revu, because I thought it would be more simple using one program (OneNote) to handle both my scanned textbooks and in class-notes without having to alt-tab between two programs.

    After struggling for one month, I realized trying to navigate textbooks within OneNote was hell. Also, importing my textbooks (PDF to begin with) to OneNote's format killed my eyes for any sustained reading due to OneNote converting it from PDF to a blurry image file.

    One forum poster said the solution was to zoom in 500% and it's very clear, but that is not feasible since my work space is tiny at that magnification.

    Now, I use both OneNote and PDF revu to learn.

    My solution to minimizing the switch between programs is illustrated in my screen shot below. I work in portrait mode on my 12-inch screen and keep all programs in view by manipulating window sizes and using a program called Deskpins (v1.30).

    The program allows me to select any window to always be on "top." OneNote has that option natively, and I use it just for my calculator as evidenced by the red pin.

    So when I click on PDF revu to pan to my next-homework problem, neither OneNote or my calculator becomes minimized, and to switch, I just tap on the program I want instead of hunting for it on my task bar.
     

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  6. NamelessPlayer

    NamelessPlayer Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Thus far, I've only used OneNote with no problems whatsoever. I'd try PDF Revu, but even with academic discounts, it's just too much money-and I don't really have any PDFs to mark up. (I have OneNote 2007 just because it happened to show up on an Office 2007 Enterprise disc my former university mailed me, completely unexpected. Pretty nice gesture of them given their high tuition prices...)

    The textbooks I had to get were physical ones, of course-looks like I still can't ditch that one aspect I hated from high school, that being several pounds of textbooks I had to have on my back running from class to class with only six minutes in between, though the issue is very much minimized in college/university with fewer, longer classes and less books in general. (I hate working with paper. Can't really stand it, especially after high school, when I didn't have a Tablet PC when I needed it most.)

    However, because they're paper textbooks, I can easily have them open right next to the Tablet PC instead of a PDF eating into my limited screen space (at least until I can afford two Tablet PCs and dedicate one of them to being an e-document viewer). This makes it easy for me to cross-reference things and possibly refine my notes if I originally missed something during a lecture, but find it in the book.

    I don't think I use any special tricks or anything per se just to learn something. I go ahead, read the notes I took, and if something doesn't quite make sense (maybe missing a detail from a lecture or I forgot something), I look it up in the appropriate textbook and go over it until it clicks in, refining the notes as needed so that I don't have that issue next time. (That's one of my reasons for preferring Tablet PCs to paper-editing is much easier for me!)

    I'm sure that if more of my textbooks were PDFs, then I'd probably use a split-screen setup as shown above, only with PDF-XChange Viewer instead of PDF Revu since the former is completely free, fast, and even has a few markup tools.

    Oh, and while I never used the "print to OneNote" feature, one thing I loved to do was use the Snipping Tool to make a screengrab, then paste the image right into OneNote. (I prefer the XP Tablet version's interface, though...the Vista/Win7 Snipping Tool just doesn't look right to me. Any way to change it?)
     
  7. kirin

    kirin Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Nameless, I feel you on the ability to flip through my textbook and have that tactile feedback. That's the one thing I miss the most that will not be replicated.

    The main reason I decided to scan my books and read them on my tablet, is due to how I learn from textbooks. I hi-lite the hell out of things, and put 30-40 post-it notes in the textbook as "bookmarks" for formulas that I need to review. I'm a chemistry major so I often have to flip back to review how to use a formula, and with so many post-it notes, it was becoming difficult to find what I wanted.

    With OneNote, I am able to tag formulas, and with PDF revu, I am able to add bookmarks.

    When I get more cash I have considered purchasing another tablet, just as you have mentioned.

    I am going to tell you something you're really going to be excited about.

    OneNote 2007 has an ability to create "screen clippings" and it works with ease!

    On your system tray, there should be a OneNote icon, and if you right click it, you can set it so that when you left click on the icon (in the system tray) it automatically creates a "side note" or initiates "screen clipping" mode.

    I set it to "screen clipping" and "copy to clipboard" only, therefore I can paste it where I want, as opposed to OneNote creating a new page for my screen clipping.
     
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