HP TouchPad – In my hands!

Chris Brooker
July 7, 2011

A week or so ago I get an email asking if I want to come to an exclusive blogger event with not a lot of details, I checked my calendar and had nothing so I said sure. A few days after that I got an email that said it was for the the HP TouchPad and I got excited! I’ve been dying to play with a WebOS tablet for a long time. I was thinking kewl, I get to play with it, see how it feels, and see how WebOS behaves on a much larger screen.

The event was at the always wonderful Marben Restaurant on Wellington in Toronto. I got there and headed downstairs.


Get downstairs and am greeted by the lovely ladies from Hill and Knowlton; Courtney and Rachel. Get my name tag and chat for a bit (cuz they’re wonderful ladies), then head on in.


The food at Marben is just fantastic. These little burger quarters are so unbelievable that I had to ask about them, they’re braised beer ribs wrapped in ground beef. All the food was amazing but these really stood out.


After a grabbed a quick bite and a beer, I found someone showing off the TouchPad, as I really wanted to see it in action pulled him over and finally got some hands on time.


I had to end my demo short as the event was getting started and I needed to take my seat.

Then they dropped the bomb, everyone gets a TouchPad!!! I was seriously shocked and super excited.


I tweeted “#TouchpadTO pulls an Oprah, everyone gets a touchpad!” and my phone blew up with replies. This is a hot commodity in Toronto.


We unboxed them and started booting them up, we were told we needed them setup and activated for some of the events later in the evening. Here’s mine turning on.


Created a WebOS account and it’s setting itself up and rebooting. Time for a few more mini burgers and some beer.


Sorry about this photo Erin, I’ll just assume you were thinking about kissing the TouchPad.DSCN2101

After we all got the TouchPads unboxed setup and running they did a quick demo so we all had an idea on how to use it. Which is good cuz boy did we need it for the next part of the night.


Up came Marty and Kirk from Brass Facts who run a super kewl trivia night at Brass Facts at The Ossington. This was by far the best and most brilliant way to get people to engage with the new device of any event I’ve ever been to. Kirk and Marty had a series of very difficult trivia questions and we had to use the TouchPad to do research to come up with the answer. First prize was a $100 gift certificate to Marben Restaurant. This was so much fun and I used the TouchPad constantly during the entire contest.

One of the awesome things I discovered about the TouchPad during this quiz was it runs flash!! Yes, flash! The questions was “On the website for the company who’s slogan is ‘Impossible Is Nothing’ there is a pop star, name her husband”.

The company was Adidas and of their website is in flash. (So it doesn’t drive you crazy, it’s Katy Perry and the answer is Russell Brand, you’re welcome).


You can see the answer sheets on the table. I came in 3rd, argh so close.



I’d been pawing at it, it’s now all finger printy. You can see my quiz sheet open on the table.




Some rocking top Toronto people, Casie Stewart, Wes Bos (or WebOS 😉 ), Raymi the Minx, in the back OakleyInc. I also see a nice Louis bag.

Wow, what an incredible night. Thanks to everyone at HP, Hill and Knowlton and Brass Facts you guys really blew my socks off.

I used the TouchPad for most of the night when I got home and a bunch today. I’ll do another post about the device and my impressions a bit later when I really have it as part of my life. Looking forward to trying the WordPress App!

OrbLive for the iPhone is a fucking $10 piece of shit!

Chris Brooker
March 22, 2010

Hey, I know, strong title, well that’s how frustrated I am. Get it Orb? You clearly don’t.

OrbLive Website

For everyone else, let me explain.

Orb has been an application that’s been around for a while, I’m talking 3 years or so, that’s a long time in the computer world. That installs a piece of software on your computer and allows you to stream your media collection where ever you have internet. Which is great for people like me who have a shit ton of music and no portable device big enough hold it all.

OrbLive is $10 app in the iPhone app store that extends this functionality to the iPhone. You can stream your music and video to your iPhone on 3g or Wifi, which is awesome. If it WORKED!

Here are the problems;’

The dealbreaker: When listening to music on 3g or Wifi when you get about 2 mins into a song it stops, pauses for a second, and goes to the next track. You might think, oh I lost my connection or oh, my home computer must not have enough bandwidth. You’d be wrong. I have ass tons of bandwidth and solid connections. Every 2 mins song skips.

I’m not the only one with this problem. Here is the thread on Orb’s website with tons of people with the same problem for MONTHS! How can a $10 app that’s sole purpose is to stream music NOT do that 1 thing?


Other lesser complaints, but they all add up;

1) When you exit the application to answer a call, send a txt, etc. It doesn’t resume from where you left off. You have to start from scratch finding the files, playlists to start playing music again. Waste of god damn time.

2) It doesn’t gracefully adjust to your connection type or speed. I use the SiriusXM iPhone app all the time to stream music on 3g and Wifi it works great! Never drops the sounds. Go from wifi to 3g you’d never know. Phone drops to edge you notice a sound quality drop but the music still plays. OrbLive, you go from Wifi to 3g and the app stops! brings up a popup telling you it lost connection and makes you click “Ok” to resume on 3g. Or if it loses the signal, it start beeping like crazy in your ears over and over again for every song in your playlist.

There is a slider in the settings that let’s you “Optimize the Stream” for certain connection types but it doesn’t really do anything. And why do I have to set it? This should be handled automatically. HANDLE THIS FUCKING SHIT! IF I HAVE A SIGNAL PLAY MUSIC EVEN IF IT’S MONO AND SOUNDS LIKE ASS.

I’d probably have more but I can’t really use the app right now as it skips songs every 2 mins. Which is more frustrating than you can imagine.

<rant />

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