I have to say that on the whole I've been very impessed with www.spamnet.com[^] from Cloudmark. I can't help thinking that the feature they've put together, while very effective, is also pretty simple to implement and will undoubtedly be added to a future version of Outlook however.
I have to say though if you only need a Desktop SPAM solution that a software based system is great. In my opinion nothing beats hardware SPAM Firewalls to get rid of all the junk. I deployed a couple of Barracuda SPAM firewalls in parallel and SPAM have never even been thought of sense. The military liked Barracuda so much they are a licensed user as well.
Well, after a year of seriously looking at them, I've picked up a Toshiba m200 Tablet PC. So far, I'm pretty impressed. The fit and finish of the machine is absolutely top notch and even that factor alone is making me very happy.
Tablet PC's offer a number of enhancements over standard laptops, such as a pen based system for mouse-like navigation, handwriting recognition, and voice recognition.
I do a fair amount of air travel these days, and so the form factor of the Tablet will, I think, actually improve my in-flight satisfaction. It's a royal pain when the guy in the seat in front of you reclines his chair into your beautiful 15" laptop display. It becomes pretty much useless.
The m200 has a 12" display, which I thought I was going to find really small, but in truth I find just fine. The resolution on the display is very high (1400 x 1050) so I can fit in everything I need.
I've played around with the voice recognition and handwriting stuff, and while I'm impressed with what it can do, it still doesn't replace my keyboarding as a preferred entry mechanism. I can see however if applications were more accepting of these alternate formats the whole thing would work pretty well I think.
The one really big thing however is the advancement in power saving technology. I've been working on the machine for 4 hours and it's telling me I have about 2 and a quarter hours of life left to go. When you go into the standard Windows XP power management utility to configure your preferences, a little warning box pops up from Toshiba imploring you to use their refined utility rather than bludgeoning their machine with the XP standard one. Theirs offers things like progressive display brightness depending on remaining battery life, and trade offs between processor speed (and therefore performance) and battery life. There's even a setting that allows you to reduce the power output of the 802.11b network if you're in the presence of a strong single from the base station. No need to broadcast more signal than you need. Nice.
I'm on day 3 and have yet to see something I'm not happy with. Fundamentally I don't have much expectation from voice recognition or handwriting analysis, so it would be hard to disappoint me there. The machine though, is beautiful and I highly recommend it.
I've spent the better part of the last three months negotiating a series of legal agreements, and it always amazes me just how finiky the work is, and how long it takes to wrestle through the negotiations and put everything on paper.
And, no matter how much effort, and how many reviews you put the documents through, you are never able to tie up all the loose ends. Amazing.
Sound like writing software and swatting bugs?
Lawyers aren't my favourite people in the world, but amazingly contract law doesn't seem to me to be all that different from software design. As I work on these agreements I find myself using the same logic skills, workaround skills and accumulated design skills that have served me so well historically in software development. I just find it curious.
As Troy Marchand in my office often says: when a software development project reaches 90% completion, you're almost half done. Feels exactly the same way pounding out legal contracts.
If I see the "Would you like to merge xxxx.doc into c:\documents\xxxx.doc?" dialog one more time I might go postal.