A week with Portia

I've had my new tablet PC for nearly a week now. I got it from Max after advising him to buy it. So far it has worked fine. I've loaded a bunch of software on and I have had no problems at all. Love it. In fact I've decided to call her Portia the Portege. The docking station I am going to call "The Devil".

It is as if at Toshiba they had a meeting and asked the engineers to line up, smartest on the left, dumbest on the right. All the engineers on the left went off to build Portia. All the engineers on the right went off to build the docking station. When Max was showing me how horrid the docking station was I noticed that he had to roll his sleeves up prior to beginning the process of putting the machine onto it. You do. The process goes like this:

  1. Shut the tablet down.
  2. Close the tablet so that the screen is not facing you; i.e. it is in the position where you would not want to use it on a docking station.
  3. Remove the dangly bit from the docking station.
  4. Insert the left hand docking fitting into the left hand peg on the dangly bit.
  5. Insert the right hand docking fitting into the right hand peg on the dangly bit.
  6. Notice that the left hand peg has now come out, so return to step 3 and repeat a few times.
  7. Now that you have got both pegs lined up and are fairly confident that the things are sort of lined up, apply sufficient pressure to force the tablet onto the dangly bit. You have to push hard to get all those tiny gold pins to fit together, more than hard enough to bend one or two of them I suppose.
  8. Assuming your nerve has not failed, and you now have the tablet clipped on to the dangly bit, attach the dangly bit to the main base, making sure to line it up carefully or the whole thing will crash to the floor, smashing the tablet and pulling the cable off the end of the dangly bit. Oh, and be careful not to accidentally twizzle the thing into the landscape mode as this makes it hard to handle and, if the tablet is not properly fitted, will also cause it to plummet to the floor.
  9. Remember that you really wanted to see the screen, so get the dangly bit back off the base station and turn the tablet round and then put it back.
  10. Turn on the power and wait for the tablet to boot, all the while hoping that the connections are good.
  11. Note that the display is now the wrong way up but the tablet pen has X and Y transposed. Spend a mind mangling two mintes trying to press the correct button to log in and have the screen sort itself out.
  12. To remove the tablet, first press the special release button and wait for it to go green before continuing or Bad Things (tm) will happen. Then pull the mystery lever, just like the one that lets you rotate the tablet around but on the other side, to have the precious device catapulted into your lap.

This is in sharp contrast to my previous docking station for the Fujitsu tablet, which had a fitting procedure which went like this:

  1. Put the tablet on the docking station.
  2. Pull the lever.

The good news is that I am going to practice on this until it I've beaten it. The better news is that with Portia having a keyboard of her own there is no particular need for the docking station at the moment. Perhaps I could sell it on eBay to people who've never seen one...