Mac OS X on a UMPC: first ink, some thoughts and challenges

MacumpcI should probably start out by clarifying what I’m doing. Or rather: what I’m not doing. I don’t intend to create a step-by-step guide on how to install Mac OS X on a Samsung Q1 Ultra Premium. I also won’t be running the OS on the device for long. I simply want to get a feel for what it would be like to carry and use a UMPC with Mac OS X. Many readers have clamored for a Mac Tablet and aside from the Axiotron Modbook, this is the closest you can get today. The Q1 Ultra Premium has enough oomph in the 1.33 GHz Core Solo and the 2 GB of RAM I installed to even make this viable. I don’t expect everything to work but it should prove an interesting experiment to see how usable the full Mac environment will be on a device with small keyboard and a 7-inch touchscreen.

I’m still plugging away at getting things to work so it’s far too early to make judgments. As some folks mentioned in the comments, people have been doing this for some time on the Sony UX series. What’s interesting to me is that when I looked into how they fared, I found an immediate difference in how the Q1UP is working. The touchscreen actually works on the Samsung. Yes, the calibration is a little off, but it’s usable.This surprised me because I was under the impression that Mac OS X only supported inking with a Wacom digitizer tablet. Yet last night, I saw the Ink option in my System Preferences and then realized I could do this:Inkinosxonq1upIs the ink usable? Too early to say but I suspect not likely. Could it be if Apple spent some development time in this area? I think so.In any case, I have plenty more work do to and again, I suspect I’ll never get everything working. I was having issues upon rebooting but some fiddling with the active partition setting through Terminal now has it booting up just fine. I do have sound and it’s interesting to note that the touch volume controls on the Q1UP do control the volume just fine. The dual-function stick also works well: I can use it as a cursor with the left and right mouse buttons, or I can hit the Mouse button and put the stick in joystick mode for scrolling. The keyboard also works but the Ethernet jack and WiFi card don’t just yet. I thought was I without connectivity when I realized that my EV-DO modem would likely work. Sure enough, after installing the VZ Access software, I was able to get online. Here’s a sticky wicket: where’s the Apple (command) button on this thing? ;)

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