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

19 Comments

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.

19 Comments

Flug

I ask´ed myself the question: Which bidder is the best on the market!?
And thouse features give me the answer…Hp rulez! I hope they will keep it on.

markp

A little bit of post necromancy, but it may help someone who has googled for such info and ended up here (as I have)
I’m typing from a TC4200 and it’s refusing to even see my brand new 2Gb SD card; however a 512mb SD, plus 64mb and 1Gb mobile-MMCs fire up pretty much instantly (and the situation is exactly the same for my Samsung Digimax A5 camera). There may be updated drivers for it, but the standard ones and released updates as of about january 2007 (whenever it was i last updated…) only seem to support up to 1Gb.

Still, just how much Outlook data do you have?! My large-ish mobile phone PIM data runs to only a couple hundred kilobytes – could fit it more than a thousand times over on a 512mb card, and the QL operating system is probably 4mb or less.

Doc

I’ve discovered that if you have Outlook open when you install QuickLook, you’ll need to restart Outlook to see the icon on the toolbar

jk

BassMan, there should be a QuickLook icon in Outlook once you install it. You can set an option to manually sync only or you can set it to sync everytime you start Outlook. You can also configure how much data to sync each time.

BassMan

You mentioned the ability to manually sync Outlook data with QuickLook. How do you do that? Is there a readme file or some kind of documentation with this program?

Thanks!

plevyadophy

I think I have the answers to the main questions being asked above.

QuickLook and cards larger than 512MB
==============================

If you look at the QuickLook Utility you will note that it was released in November 2003. Rather stupidly HP have not bothered to update it since then.

At the time of the release of the utility the Tablet TC1xxx series only supported CF/SD Cards up to 512MB.

Then later over a year later, in October 2004, HP provided a driver that allowed the SD slot to support SD Cards of 1GB in size. If the description of the driver update is to be taken literally, it appears that the Tablet is now limited to 1GB i.e. 2GB cards are not supported. I don’t know whether the driver for the new HP TC4200 Tablet would enable the SD slot to work with cards over 1GB.

There also seems to be a problem with some SD Cards. Users have reported problems with QuickLook but have found that when they change the brand of SD Card everything works fine.

If you go to the Business Support Forum, and look for the thread started by “roserast” and entitled “QuickLook for Tablet PC 1100” you will find a detailed discussion of the problem. The url is:
http://forums1.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/bizsupport/questionanswer.do?threadId=511691

Solutions
=========

I have installed on my machine the very latest BIOS. I am not sure whether the problem rest with that, perhaps
an oversight by HP.

Alternatively, the problem could rest solely with the QuickLook Utility.

A solution maybe to, if possible, partition the SD so that one partition is no greater than 512MB. I don’t have a
tool that can partition flash drives/SD Cards, so if someone else does they may wish to experiment and let us
all know.

2GB SD Cards
============

I am not sure whether the HP TC1100 supports such large cards. If as some users report, the brand you use makes a difference, then maybe if someone has access to a few different brands of 2GB cards they could try them all out and see what happens. It is interesting to note though, that HP don’t sell any HP branded SD Cards larger than 1GB.

As I suggested above, maybe a workaround could be to use the drivers for the TC4200 to enable support for large SD Cards.

Hope my info was helpful.

Good luck

.

Donald

trouble for me is the quicklook icon on outlook stopped showing up and i have tried reinstalling and can’t get it back. I think the program is great but it doesn’t work for me anymore. Anyone able to fix it?

VinceDee

Thanks for this great information guys!

I’d like to know if anyone got the Phoenix program working with a standard Tablet PC (such as a Litepad)?

Vidge

What a shame! This would be extremely useful on the U750. I’m giving more & more consideration to getting a Tablet but I really love the size of the U.

jk

Phoenix is the only program like this as far as I know. I really tried hard to get this to work on the U as it would be awesome on that device as you know. I worked with the Phoenix technical support staff but no go. It might be the small screen that was giving the trouble. Note that with the lack of a dedicated h/w button it must be invoked by the keyboard, and the included USB keyboard would not work, only a “real” keyboard would trigger it, after which it would error out. This on a U750.

Vidge

JK – I figured I’d download the Phoenix program and see if I can get it to work on my U anyway. Is there anything else like this out there? A program like this would be awesome.

jk

Vidge and Frick: I tested the Phoenix First Assistant software and it worked fine on a laptop but it would never work on the Sony U, even with a keyboard attached. It is essentially the same program as this HP Quicklook program and it’s a shame all mobile PCs don’t ship with this enabled.

Frick

Another user on the tabletbuzz site noted that there is software from Phoenix that does the same thing, except the startup is grounded to the “F” key. That does not do any of us with slates any good, but I have sent an email to support asking if it were possible to let the user map the start up key. Keep your fingers crossed. The link to the software is http://www.phoenix.com.

jk

Rodney, the limit may very well be 1 GB. I’ve never tried one bigger in the HP, the one I’m using is 512MB which works fine. Search the HP site, they should admit that somewhere if true.

Rodney Jackson

James, is the maximum sd card size permitted on the tc1100 1G? My 2G card can’t be read on the tc1100. Is there a new driver that allows >1G? Thanks, Rodney.

philip copeland

Fantastic application. I wish Toshiba had something like this!

To Kevin Tofel: What is the Deal with the Toshiba SD? Mine stinks; I usually plug in a USB adapter to access my SD card.

Kevin C. Tofel

Sounds great; I wish other OEMs would work on applications like these. Other than grabbing photos from my SD card, I don’t get much use out of the SD slot on my Toshiba Tablet.

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