Tablet Computer Set-up and Hints
Not having a mouse or a keyboard presents some challenges on a tablet PC. Here are a few suggestions to improve the usability of your tablet computer. Some are specific to the Xplore tablet, but most will help any tablet computer.
Let’s reference a screen shot from my Xplore tablet computer:
Functionality has been improved by the “Event Scheduler” and “My-T-Touch” soft keyboard. Additionally, cleaning up the Start menu and “pinning” the most used applications to the Start menu makes getting things started very easy.
Event Scheduler: How to Right-Click
Using the tablet stylus or the tip of your finger works well, but pretty quickly you discover many functions require a right mouse click. At the least, in Windows many things can be done more quickly or easily with a right click. Turning the stylus around just doesn’t do it…
In the screen shot above, you will notice and small mouse icon in the system tray (lower right) and a small window with a larger mouse icon in the upper left hand corner of the screen. Clicking on either of these changes the highlighted mouse key (from the default left button to the right mouse button). Once this is done, the very next mouse click (stylus tap) will be interpreted as a right mouse click.
I find the Event Scheduler window to be more useful than the system tray icon because often clicking on the system tray icon will close the menu you are attempting to access with a right click (for example, try right clicking on a program in the All Programs folder under the Start menu. You will immediately see the problem to which I refer).
I “pinned” Event Scheduler to my Start menu and added it to my startup folder so it runs automatically when the tablet boots.
Pinning Event Scheduler to the Start Menu: You will first have to run Event Scheduler from the Start Menu/All Programs/UPDD folder. Next, reopen that folder. Tap the Event Scheduler window to toggle the mouse switches, then tap the Event Scheduler name under the UPDD folder, and finally select “Pin to Start Menu”.
Adding Event Scheduler to Startup folder: This is a little trickier… Go to the UPDD folder once again. Initiate a right click by tapping the Event Scheduler then tap on the name Event Scheduler under the UPDD folder. Select “Send To”/”Desktop (create shortcut)”. This will place a short cut on the desktop (it might be hiding under the Event Scheduler window). Next open Windows Explorer (Start/All Programs/ Accessories/Windows Explorer). Follow the tree down to Startup… My Computer/Local Disk (C:)/YOURUSERNAME/Start Menu/Programs/Startup Once the Startup folder is open, simply drag the the Event Scheduler shortcut from the desktop to this folder. The next time Windows starts, Event Sheduler will run automatically.
A Touch Keyboard
Often you need to type entries into your tablet computer. Rather than dragging along a USB keyboard, the My-T-Touch application provides a very extensive keyboard functionality. On the screen shot above, I show the keyboard partially expanded (it offers even more functionality than shown there). Placing the My-T-Touch shortcut in the Startup folder (see above) will launch this tool each time Windows is started. The “keyboard” can be quickly minimized by tapping the large key which displays the underline character. Now here is where it gets really neat. Every window will now display a small keyboard icon in the upper right hand corner. Tapping on that icon will bring up the My-T-Touch keyboard. To learn all about the My-T-Touch keyboard, run the welcome and utility software that comes with the application.
Quick Start Applications
When Windows is first installed, a lot of relatively useless applications (for our purpose anyway) are left in the Start menu. I recommend cleaning them out by right clicking them and selecting “Remove from this list”. Once cleaned up, you should add your key applications to the Start menu by right clicking on the application name and selecting “Pin to Start menu”. I find this better than having a bunch of shortcuts on the desktop as you can always access the Start menu without having to move any windows out of the way. (Not having shortcuts on the desktop also conserves system resources) You can see my short list of applications on the Start menu in the screenshot above.
Another approach is to assign the soft keys of the tablet specific functions (such as launching VNC), but I find the Start menu to be more than adequate and much easier to set up.
OH NO! The Stylus is Not Working!
If you ever turn on your Xplore tablet and find the stylus only moves the cursor for a few seconds, don’t waste a half an hour trying to figure out the problem as I did… The Fn key pressed in conjunction with the P2 key will turn the touch screen back on.
Now let’s go sailing…