Referencing your PIM data on a HP tc1100 with the power off- QuickLook

Tablet PC owners who come from the world of PDAs often lament the ability to hit a button and reference the PIM data immediately. While Standby and Hibernation speed up the process of firing up the Tablet and getting to Outlook it is still far from immediate. Wouldn’t it be great if you could hit a button and see your Outlook data in a second, even if your Tablet is powered off? If you are the owner of the HP tc1100 Tablet PC you can, and it’s a totally free solution.

I was traipsing around the HP support site as I do from time to time to make sure my drivers and software are up-to-date and I ran across a program called QuickLook (QL). I read about the program and discovered it is a program that lets you view your PIM data without turning on the tc1100. All you need is the program, a tc1100, and a SD memory card for QuickLook to store its browser and compressed Outlook data. Once I saw this program I knew it would be a big boon to me in my mobile lifestyle and according to the HP web site it is only available via download. I checked all the DVDs that came with my tc1100 and this program is not on there, so you have to know about it and download from the web site. This program was originally bundled on the tc1000 but HP decided to unbundle it for the tc1100.

QuickLook is a small program that is powered by a Phoenix Technologies engine and is activated when the computer is either powered off or in hibernation mode by pressing the QuickLook button. What’s the QuickLook button? The sunken button next to the power button that is used to change monitor layouts is also a QuickLook button when the power is off. When you press it the power LED turns red which means you are in QuickLook mode, if the program is installed and a properly initialized SD card is inserted.

QuickLook is installed as a plug-in for Outlook that will pull in Outlook data onto the SD card for use with QL. You can customize exactly what data you want available in QL through the button installed on the Outlook toolbar. QL is set by default to automatically pull Outlook data every time Outlook is started but you can change that to be manual sync only if you prefer. It only takes a few seconds for QL to pull the data and write it to the SD card. Once your data is in then the next time you are on the run and need to look up an address or phone number just hit the QL button and you get a landscape screen like the one below:

QL Today screen

From the Today screen you access the rest of functions like Calendar, Contacts and Tasks. Each blue entry on the screen is a link that will display the individual item in the yellow sidebar to the right. There are on-screen instructions for creating a personalized Today page in simple HTML.

QL Calendar

QL Contacts (intentionally blurry for privacy)

QL Tasks

Power button turns red when QL is running

I am getting a lot of use from QuickLook and really wish HP had bundled it or at least referred to the program with the included documentation. The program is no overhead since everything is on the SD card and is lightning fast and there is just something cool about looking at Outlook data with your computer off.

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