Design Review

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*Ben Kopf
Message 21 of 23 (135 Views)

Re: DWF Composer for Handheld devices???

05-28-2004 06:20 AM in reply to: *Robert Grandmaison
Thanks for the comments all - it's great to get other peoples opinions of the issue of "the ultimate field device" for viewing and marking up DWF sheets. It's very encouraging for me to see the positive interest in DWF as well. I'll take a pass at some design ideas based on all your feedback (now you know what I do in my spare time when I'm not writing software specs - I write up hardware specs). Cheers, Ben "Murph" wrote in message news:40b631e2_3@newsprd01... > Ben, > I would like to see a keyboard some where down the line with it. Either one > of those touch screen keyboards or a foldout that they have for the palm > PCs. What I'm looking at using it for is doing field checking of maps, go > out to an area and looking at each utility pole, mark it if it has a > transformer on it along with the type and size and maybe the address to the > property that it feeds to. Maybe some type of a menu item to attach notes to > the markup, like a record link (table= Transformer,Fields= Size, type, > address) ender the same type of info but with different values to points on > the DWF. > On the size of the screen I go along with 8x11 or such (that was about the > size of an old 13" monitor with R12 AutoCAD and it worked.) > > Now, if Mark thinks he's going to have trouble with paper and contractors > wait till they start using Sharpies to mark up a DWF on the screen. > > Murph > > > "Ben Kopf" wrote in message > news:40b5fd98_3@newsprd01... > > Interesting concept Robert. I did a quick search for folding displays on > > Google because I swear I saw such a display in one of the many > e-newsletters > > I get daily, but could not find it. There is no reason with current LCD > > technology that such a device can't be built (think about those gigantor > LCD > > screens at trade shows with the overlapping content). The trick would be > to > > make it allow on screen input and to be able to sync them up. > > > > I'm curious, in your eyes, what is the ideal physical size of such a > device > > as compared to the screen real estate you need? Another question would be > > if people can really put up with handwriting markups as presented in DWF > > Composer (text input areas) or do they need some form of > portable/contained > > keyboard with the device? > > > > Thanks and Regards, > > Ben > > > > Ben Kopf > > Autodesk Product Design > > > > > > "Robert Grandmaison" wrote in message > > news:40b36396_3@newsprd01... > > > Ben, > > > > > > How about a foldout screen? As I see it the problem with handhelds is > the > > > really limitted screen size. BUT, I like the compactness of them, easily > > put > > > into a Batman Utility Belt, easy to handle and hold while walking > around, > > > etc. .. BUT, then when you have to actually read a document like a DWF > or > > > DWG, you must do a LOT of panning and zooming to see the info you want > to > > > see. But, if someone came out with a buttefly screen that would be split > > > into three panels, you could have almost three times the screen real > > estate. > > > Granted, there would have to be a minial hinge line panel between the > > > screens, but it sure would save someone a LOT of panning/zooming to be > > able > > > to see the info they really wanted. If it was a critical bit of info > they > > > would be able to "recenter" a particular portion of the DWF by hitting a > > > "zoom to center" feature that would recenter whatever was in the > leftmost > > or > > > rightmost area dead center in the middle panel. > > > > > > What do you say, should we go to a venture capitolist with a proposal? > > > > > > Robert Grandmaison > > > > > > "Ben Kopf" wrote in message > > > news:40acc7e8_3@newsprd01... > > > > Now here's a thread I can sink my teeth into... > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > I've tried dozens of Windows CE (all versions), Pocket PC, Handheld > PC's > > > > (remember the ones with the keyboards?) and Palm OS based handhelds, > and > > a > > > > bevy of the current Tablet PC's during one of our software projects > and > > > came > > > > to some conclusions. Note that I am a strong believer in what you > folks > > > are > > > > saying - given a compelling use case and large market, handheld DWF > > > software > > > > sounds great. But I find the options available to us at this time are > > > > wanting. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > 1. Tablet PC's. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Pros: > > > > > > > > - full blown Windows XP OS; allows for desktop to field use without > > > > synchronization and provides more functional software support. > > > > > > > > - more powerful (read faster) than a handheld, especially for > rendering > > > > drawings (in any format); yet most are still underpowered for the > > > authoring > > > > CAD applications, so the desktop/field case isn't as solid. > > > > > > > > - real handwriting technology that works fairly well (the Lonestar > beta > > > I've > > > > worked with is a marked improvement over the Tablet PC OS version 1). > > > > > > > > - larger screen real estate so you see more of the drawing at once. > > > > > > > > - RF pen input is more accurate than a touch screen and functions like > a > > > > mouse (this is a big deal because of the way we designed our markup > > > tools). > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Cons: > > > > > > > > - high cost (although this is coming down; there are some that will > > enter > > > > the market at around 1K this year). > > > > > > > > - more fragile; unless you want to spend 5K on a ruggedized version, > > harsh > > > > environments are not the friend of the tablet PC. > > > > > > > > - too big; not as portable and convenient. > > > > > > > > - battery life is low; with the exception of the Electrovaya series > > (which > > > I > > > > have tested to 8 hours), most have limited battery life (not a work > > day's > > > > worth for sure). > > > > > > > > - uncertainty in the Tablet PC marketplace (especially for the slate > > > > versions which seem to be moving strictly into vertical markets) may > > keep > > > > costs up and could ultimately spell its demise. > > > > > > > > - you need to cough up more for an outdoor/indoor screen (my NEC slate > > is > > > > unreadable in any sunlight). > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > 2. Pocket PC's. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Pros: > > > > > > > > - they are highly portable (in the physical sense). > > > > > > > > - relatively cheap (although the gap is narrowing as more power and > > > features > > > > are added to the handhelds, and TPC's prices reduce). > > > > > > > > - synchronization techniques are improving with the introduction of > > > > Bluetooth and other wireless options (802.11); most of the high-end > > Pocket > > > > PC's support both. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Cons: > > > > > > > > - battery life is not great in Pocket PC's in my experience. The > Pocket > > > > PC's in the incarnations I tested in the last two years was terrible; > > 3-4 > > > > hours maximum life during always on use. Palms are much better due to > > the > > > > not-as-hungry OS and hardware, but are generally less powerful > (meaning > > > less > > > > powerful applications, like say, for CAD applications) > > > > > > > > - screen real estate challenges; as a UI designer I can attest to the > > > > difficulties involved developing a PPC application that has an > > intuitive, > > > > easy to navigate system for zoom/pan/view and markup. Just > "shrinking" > > > DWF > > > > Composer would not be enough. A very elegant method and set of > > functions > > > > would have to be developed to make the UI anything better than > > frustrating > > > > (although I'd love to try). > > > > > > > > - still not as seamless as pulling your "desktop" into the field to > > markup > > > a > > > > drawing, which is feasible with a Tablet PC. > > > > - the screens are now legible outdoors and indoors (even the first > > > HP/Compaq > > > > Ipaq I bought had a good indoor/outdoor screen and they've gotten > > better). > > > > > > > > - touch screens are not as good as RF input pens (see above). > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > I've left out Palm OS units and the older but still available > handhelds > > > > (with keyboard) because porting to the Palm OS would be daunting for > an > > > > application like DWF Composer, and marking up on a clamshell handheld > is > > > > just awkward. If (and I emphasize "if") Autodesk ever ported DWF > > Composer > > > > to a handheld OS, my guess is we would have to target the Pocket PC > > > platform > > > > (now Windows Mobile Software) first. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > 3. Something New. > > > > > > > > - what I continue to believe is that a hybrid size is needed; my NEC > > > tablet > > > > is too big, my Pocket PC devices are too small (just call it the "3 > > bears > > > > syndrome"). I've been thinking up a design for hardware with > something > > > > around a 5"x6" (12.7cm x 15.24cm) screen. I dubbed it the "DWF > Tablet", > > > > because if you built it for the sole purpose of our market, you could > > > reduce > > > > the functionality and hardware to specialize in just zoom/pan/view and > > > > markup DWF files. Think of it with Gameboy style controls and a > Tablet > > PC > > > > pen screen (the problem with making a Pocket PC device screen bigger > is > > > that > > > > they are a true touch screen and miscues abound because as the screen > > size > > > > increases, so does the tendency to rest your writing hand on it, fire > > off > > > > input). > > > > > > > > - true 802.11g wireless capabilities (Bluetooth is limited to 30 feet) > > so > > > it > > > > can be connected to a "command post" PC that acts as a server for all > > the > > > > markup drawings (endless possibilities here). > > > > > > > > - hopefully if you made the device functionally specific, reduced the > > > > hardware requirements (no modem, no USB ports, nothing fancy) the unit > > > would > > > > be cheap enough to see a decent ROI. And if it was cheap enough and > you > > > > dropped it, it's not as big a hit on the equipment bottom line. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Very curious to see opinions on my opinions, and about any feedback on > a > > > > "DWF Tablet". > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > !Note that this is strictly an investigatory post from me personally > and > > > > does not reflect any ongoing investigation at Autodesk - we are in the > > > > software business, not the hardware business! (I have to say that so > I > > > > don't mislead anyone.) > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Regards and thanks, > > > > > > > > Ben > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Ben Kopf > > > > > > > > Autodesk Product Design > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > "Mark Douglas" wrote in message > > > > news:40abd4ef$1_1@newsprd01... > > > > > Robert is totally right. Composer would be prefect for little things > > > like > > > > > this. > > > > > > > > > > Mark > > > > > > > > > > "Robert Grandmaison" wrote in message > > > > > news:40abbe13$1_1@newsprd01... > > > > > > No- we haven't tried because we haven't SEEN anything out there > that > > > > would > > > > > > be most suited to our use: > > > > > > > > > > > > 1. We don't want to have our engineers write to dwg formats- > they're > > > not > > > > > CAD > > > > > > operators. > > > > > > 2. We want something SMALL in footprint size that they can take > out > > > in > > > > a > > > > > > handheld device that won't require a lot of hardware overhead to > > make > > > it > > > > > run > > > > > > DWF would fit this bill. > > > > > > 3. We want something that has some useablity when they return to > the > > > > > office > > > > > > with their field notes in the marked up DWF. Composer suits this > > need > > > > > > perfectly. CAD operators could then overlay with the Markup manger > > the > > > > > field > > > > > > notes taken while out on site, and make revisions as necessary. > > > > > > > > > > > > No other sofware gave us all of the above. DWF Composer would. > > > > > > > > > > > > Robert Grandmaison > > > > > > > > > > > > "Doug Look, Autodesk" wrote in message > > > > > > news:1510146.1084762131577.JavaMail.jive@jiveforum1... > > > > > > > Robert, > > > > > > > > > > > > > > OK. Thanks for the heads up on the Tablet PC response. We've > > heard > > > > > this > > > > > > request from a "hand" ful of customers. You're saying that it > would > > > be > > > > > > great if Autodesk ported applications like DWF Composer to the > > > handheld > > > > > > platform? Have you been able to deploy other solutions to the > > > handheld > > > > > > platform in your office? > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >
*David Metcalf
Message 22 of 23 (135 Views)

Re: DWF Composer for Handheld devices???

05-28-2004 09:17 AM in reply to: *Robert Grandmaison
Reality is that the ipaq is lousy with screen resolution. And the conversion process to get dwg files into a Ipaq was cumbersome. I will stick to a Tablet PC w/ a twist and fold back screen for this any day. Ask Shaan Hurley how he likes his Tablet PC. "Ben Kopf" wrote in message news:40b73c98$1_3@newsprd01... > Thanks for the comments all - it's great to get other peoples opinions of > the issue of "the ultimate field device" for viewing and marking up DWF > sheets. It's very encouraging for me to see the positive interest in DWF as > well. I'll take a pass at some design ideas based on all your feedback (now > you know what I do in my spare time when I'm not writing software specs - I > write up hardware specs). > > Cheers, > Ben > > > "Murph" wrote in message > news:40b631e2_3@newsprd01... > > Ben, > > I would like to see a keyboard some where down the line with it. Either > one > > of those touch screen keyboards or a foldout that they have for the palm > > PCs. What I'm looking at using it for is doing field checking of maps, go > > out to an area and looking at each utility pole, mark it if it has a > > transformer on it along with the type and size and maybe the address to > the > > property that it feeds to. Maybe some type of a menu item to attach notes > to > > the markup, like a record link (table= Transformer,Fields= Size, type, > > address) ender the same type of info but with different values to points > on > > the DWF. > > On the size of the screen I go along with 8x11 or such (that was about the > > size of an old 13" monitor with R12 AutoCAD and it worked.) > > > > Now, if Mark thinks he's going to have trouble with paper and contractors > > wait till they start using Sharpies to mark up a DWF on the screen. > > > > Murph > > > > > > "Ben Kopf" wrote in message > > news:40b5fd98_3@newsprd01... > > > Interesting concept Robert. I did a quick search for folding displays > on > > > Google because I swear I saw such a display in one of the many > > e-newsletters > > > I get daily, but could not find it. There is no reason with current LCD > > > technology that such a device can't be built (think about those gigantor > > LCD > > > screens at trade shows with the overlapping content). The trick would > be > > to > > > make it allow on screen input and to be able to sync them up. > > > > > > I'm curious, in your eyes, what is the ideal physical size of such a > > device > > > as compared to the screen real estate you need? Another question would > be > > > if people can really put up with handwriting markups as presented in DWF > > > Composer (text input areas) or do they need some form of > > portable/contained > > > keyboard with the device? > > > > > > Thanks and Regards, > > > Ben > > > > > > Ben Kopf > > > Autodesk Product Design > > > > > > > > > "Robert Grandmaison" wrote in message > > > news:40b36396_3@newsprd01... > > > > Ben, > > > > > > > > How about a foldout screen? As I see it the problem with handhelds is > > the > > > > really limitted screen size. BUT, I like the compactness of them, > easily > > > put > > > > into a Batman Utility Belt, easy to handle and hold while walking > > around, > > > > etc. .. BUT, then when you have to actually read a document like a DWF > > or > > > > DWG, you must do a LOT of panning and zooming to see the info you want > > to > > > > see. But, if someone came out with a buttefly screen that would be > split > > > > into three panels, you could have almost three times the screen real > > > estate. > > > > Granted, there would have to be a minial hinge line panel between the > > > > screens, but it sure would save someone a LOT of panning/zooming to be > > > able > > > > to see the info they really wanted. If it was a critical bit of info > > they > > > > would be able to "recenter" a particular portion of the DWF by hitting > a > > > > "zoom to center" feature that would recenter whatever was in the > > leftmost > > > or > > > > rightmost area dead center in the middle panel. > > > > > > > > What do you say, should we go to a venture capitolist with a proposal? > > > > > > > > Robert Grandmaison > > > > > > > > "Ben Kopf" wrote in message > > > > news:40acc7e8_3@newsprd01... > > > > > Now here's a thread I can sink my teeth into... > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > I've tried dozens of Windows CE (all versions), Pocket PC, Handheld > > PC's > > > > > (remember the ones with the keyboards?) and Palm OS based handhelds, > > and > > > a > > > > > bevy of the current Tablet PC's during one of our software projects > > and > > > > came > > > > > to some conclusions. Note that I am a strong believer in what you > > folks > > > > are > > > > > saying - given a compelling use case and large market, handheld DWF > > > > software > > > > > sounds great. But I find the options available to us at this time > are > > > > > wanting. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > 1. Tablet PC's. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Pros: > > > > > > > > > > - full blown Windows XP OS; allows for desktop to field use without > > > > > synchronization and provides more functional software support. > > > > > > > > > > - more powerful (read faster) than a handheld, especially for > > rendering > > > > > drawings (in any format); yet most are still underpowered for the > > > > authoring > > > > > CAD applications, so the desktop/field case isn't as solid. > > > > > > > > > > - real handwriting technology that works fairly well (the Lonestar > > beta > > > > I've > > > > > worked with is a marked improvement over the Tablet PC OS version > 1). > > > > > > > > > > - larger screen real estate so you see more of the drawing at once. > > > > > > > > > > - RF pen input is more accurate than a touch screen and functions > like > > a > > > > > mouse (this is a big deal because of the way we designed our markup > > > > tools). > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Cons: > > > > > > > > > > - high cost (although this is coming down; there are some that will > > > enter > > > > > the market at around 1K this year). > > > > > > > > > > - more fragile; unless you want to spend 5K on a ruggedized version, > > > harsh > > > > > environments are not the friend of the tablet PC. > > > > > > > > > > - too big; not as portable and convenient. > > > > > > > > > > - battery life is low; with the exception of the Electrovaya series > > > (which > > > > I > > > > > have tested to 8 hours), most have limited battery life (not a work > > > day's > > > > > worth for sure). > > > > > > > > > > - uncertainty in the Tablet PC marketplace (especially for the slate > > > > > versions which seem to be moving strictly into vertical markets) may > > > keep > > > > > costs up and could ultimately spell its demise. > > > > > > > > > > - you need to cough up more for an outdoor/indoor screen (my NEC > slate > > > is > > > > > unreadable in any sunlight). > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > 2. Pocket PC's. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Pros: > > > > > > > > > > - they are highly portable (in the physical sense). > > > > > > > > > > - relatively cheap (although the gap is narrowing as more power and > > > > features > > > > > are added to the handhelds, and TPC's prices reduce). > > > > > > > > > > - synchronization techniques are improving with the introduction of > > > > > Bluetooth and other wireless options (802.11); most of the high-end > > > Pocket > > > > > PC's support both. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Cons: > > > > > > > > > > - battery life is not great in Pocket PC's in my experience. The > > Pocket > > > > > PC's in the incarnations I tested in the last two years was > terrible; > > > 3-4 > > > > > hours maximum life during always on use. Palms are much better due > to > > > the > > > > > not-as-hungry OS and hardware, but are generally less powerful > > (meaning > > > > less > > > > > powerful applications, like say, for CAD applications) > > > > > > > > > > - screen real estate challenges; as a UI designer I can attest to > the > > > > > difficulties involved developing a PPC application that has an > > > intuitive, > > > > > easy to navigate system for zoom/pan/view and markup. Just > > "shrinking" > > > > DWF > > > > > Composer would not be enough. A very elegant method and set of > > > functions > > > > > would have to be developed to make the UI anything better than > > > frustrating > > > > > (although I'd love to try). > > > > > > > > > > - still not as seamless as pulling your "desktop" into the field to > > > markup > > > > a > > > > > drawing, which is feasible with a Tablet PC. > > > > > - the screens are now legible outdoors and indoors (even the first > > > > HP/Compaq > > > > > Ipaq I bought had a good indoor/outdoor screen and they've gotten > > > better). > > > > > > > > > > - touch screens are not as good as RF input pens (see above). > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > I've left out Palm OS units and the older but still available > > handhelds > > > > > (with keyboard) because porting to the Palm OS would be daunting for > > an > > > > > application like DWF Composer, and marking up on a clamshell > handheld > > is > > > > > just awkward. If (and I emphasize "if") Autodesk ever ported DWF > > > Composer > > > > > to a handheld OS, my guess is we would have to target the Pocket PC > > > > platform > > > > > (now Windows Mobile Software) first. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > 3. Something New. > > > > > > > > > > - what I continue to believe is that a hybrid size is needed; my NEC > > > > tablet > > > > > is too big, my Pocket PC devices are too small (just call it the "3 > > > bears > > > > > syndrome"). I've been thinking up a design for hardware with > > something > > > > > around a 5"x6" (12.7cm x 15.24cm) screen. I dubbed it the "DWF > > Tablet", > > > > > because if you built it for the sole purpose of our market, you > could > > > > reduce > > > > > the functionality and hardware to specialize in just zoom/pan/view > and > > > > > markup DWF files. Think of it with Gameboy style controls and a > > Tablet > > > PC > > > > > pen screen (the problem with making a Pocket PC device screen bigger > > is > > > > that > > > > > they are a true touch screen and miscues abound because as the > screen > > > size > > > > > increases, so does the tendency to rest your writing hand on it, > fire > > > off > > > > > input). > > > > > > > > > > - true 802.11g wireless capabilities (Bluetooth is limited to 30 > feet) > > > so > > > > it > > > > > can be connected to a "command post" PC that acts as a server for > all > > > the > > > > > markup drawings (endless possibilities here). > > > > > > > > > > - hopefully if you made the device functionally specific, reduced > the > > > > > hardware requirements (no modem, no USB ports, nothing fancy) the > unit > > > > would > > > > > be cheap enough to see a decent ROI. And if it was cheap enough and > > you > > > > > dropped it, it's not as big a hit on the equipment bottom line. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Very curious to see opinions on my opinions, and about any feedback > on > > a > > > > > "DWF Tablet". > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > !Note that this is strictly an investigatory post from me personally > > and > > > > > does not reflect any ongoing investigation at Autodesk - we are in > the > > > > > software business, not the hardware business! (I have to say that > so > > I > > > > > don't mislead anyone.) > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Regards and thanks, > > > > > > > > > > Ben > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Ben Kopf > > > > > > > > > > Autodesk Product Design > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > "Mark Douglas" wrote in message > > > > > news:40abd4ef$1_1@newsprd01... > > > > > > Robert is totally right. Composer would be prefect for little > things > > > > like > > > > > > this. > > > > > > > > > > > > Mark > > > > > > > > > > > > "Robert Grandmaison" wrote in message > > > > > > news:40abbe13$1_1@newsprd01... > > > > > > > No- we haven't tried because we haven't SEEN anything out there > > that > > > > > would > > > > > > > be most suited to our use: > > > > > > > > > > > > > > 1. We don't want to have our engineers write to dwg formats- > > they're > > > > not > > > > > > CAD > > > > > > > operators. > > > > > > > 2. We want something SMALL in footprint size that they can take > > out > > > > in > > > > > a > > > > > > > handheld device that won't require a lot of hardware overhead to > > > make > > > > it > > > > > > run > > > > > > > DWF would fit this bill. > > > > > > > 3. We want something that has some useablity when they return to > > the > > > > > > office > > > > > > > with their field notes in the marked up DWF. Composer suits this > > > need > > > > > > > perfectly. CAD operators could then overlay with the Markup > manger > > > the > > > > > > field > > > > > > > notes taken while out on site, and make revisions as necessary. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > No other sofware gave us all of the above. DWF Composer would. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Robert Grandmaison > > > > > > > > > > > > > > "Doug Look, Autodesk" wrote in message > > > > > > > news:1510146.1084762131577.JavaMail.jive@jiveforum1... > > > > > > > > Robert, > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > OK. Thanks for the heads up on the Tablet PC response. We've > > > heard > > > > > > this > > > > > > > request from a "hand" ful of customers. You're saying that it > > would > > > > be > > > > > > > great if Autodesk ported applications like DWF Composer to the > > > > handheld > > > > > > > platform? Have you been able to deploy other solutions to the > > > > handheld > > > > > > > platform in your office? > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >
*Mark Douglas
Message 23 of 23 (135 Views)

Re: DWF Composer for Handheld devices???

05-28-2004 10:17 AM in reply to: *Robert Grandmaison
Murph- Good point...It wouldn't surprise me if a contractor used a Sharpie to draw in some comments..... Mark "Murph" wrote in message news:40b631e2_3@newsprd01... > Ben, > I would like to see a keyboard some where down the line with it. Either one > of those touch screen keyboards or a foldout that they have for the palm > PCs. What I'm looking at using it for is doing field checking of maps, go > out to an area and looking at each utility pole, mark it if it has a > transformer on it along with the type and size and maybe the address to the > property that it feeds to. Maybe some type of a menu item to attach notes to > the markup, like a record link (table= Transformer,Fields= Size, type, > address) ender the same type of info but with different values to points on > the DWF. > On the size of the screen I go along with 8x11 or such (that was about the > size of an old 13" monitor with R12 AutoCAD and it worked.) > > Now, if Mark thinks he's going to have trouble with paper and contractors > wait till they start using Sharpies to mark up a DWF on the screen. > > Murph > > > "Ben Kopf" wrote in message > news:40b5fd98_3@newsprd01... > > Interesting concept Robert. I did a quick search for folding displays on > > Google because I swear I saw such a display in one of the many > e-newsletters > > I get daily, but could not find it. There is no reason with current LCD > > technology that such a device can't be built (think about those gigantor > LCD > > screens at trade shows with the overlapping content). The trick would be > to > > make it allow on screen input and to be able to sync them up. > > > > I'm curious, in your eyes, what is the ideal physical size of such a > device > > as compared to the screen real estate you need? Another question would be > > if people can really put up with handwriting markups as presented in DWF > > Composer (text input areas) or do they need some form of > portable/contained > > keyboard with the device? > > > > Thanks and Regards, > > Ben > > > > Ben Kopf > > Autodesk Product Design > > > > > > "Robert Grandmaison" wrote in message > > news:40b36396_3@newsprd01... > > > Ben, > > > > > > How about a foldout screen? As I see it the problem with handhelds is > the > > > really limitted screen size. BUT, I like the compactness of them, easily > > put > > > into a Batman Utility Belt, easy to handle and hold while walking > around, > > > etc. .. BUT, then when you have to actually read a document like a DWF > or > > > DWG, you must do a LOT of panning and zooming to see the info you want > to > > > see. But, if someone came out with a buttefly screen that would be split > > > into three panels, you could have almost three times the screen real > > estate. > > > Granted, there would have to be a minial hinge line panel between the > > > screens, but it sure would save someone a LOT of panning/zooming to be > > able > > > to see the info they really wanted. If it was a critical bit of info > they > > > would be able to "recenter" a particular portion of the DWF by hitting a > > > "zoom to center" feature that would recenter whatever was in the > leftmost > > or > > > rightmost area dead center in the middle panel. > > > > > > What do you say, should we go to a venture capitolist with a proposal? > > > > > > Robert Grandmaison > > > > > > "Ben Kopf" wrote in message > > > news:40acc7e8_3@newsprd01... > > > > Now here's a thread I can sink my teeth into... > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > I've tried dozens of Windows CE (all versions), Pocket PC, Handheld > PC's > > > > (remember the ones with the keyboards?) and Palm OS based handhelds, > and > > a > > > > bevy of the current Tablet PC's during one of our software projects > and > > > came > > > > to some conclusions. Note that I am a strong believer in what you > folks > > > are > > > > saying - given a compelling use case and large market, handheld DWF > > > software > > > > sounds great. But I find the options available to us at this time are > > > > wanting. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > 1. Tablet PC's. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Pros: > > > > > > > > - full blown Windows XP OS; allows for desktop to field use without > > > > synchronization and provides more functional software support. > > > > > > > > - more powerful (read faster) than a handheld, especially for > rendering > > > > drawings (in any format); yet most are still underpowered for the > > > authoring > > > > CAD applications, so the desktop/field case isn't as solid. > > > > > > > > - real handwriting technology that works fairly well (the Lonestar > beta > > > I've > > > > worked with is a marked improvement over the Tablet PC OS version 1). > > > > > > > > - larger screen real estate so you see more of the drawing at once. > > > > > > > > - RF pen input is more accurate than a touch screen and functions like > a > > > > mouse (this is a big deal because of the way we designed our markup > > > tools). > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Cons: > > > > > > > > - high cost (although this is coming down; there are some that will > > enter > > > > the market at around 1K this year). > > > > > > > > - more fragile; unless you want to spend 5K on a ruggedized version, > > harsh > > > > environments are not the friend of the tablet PC. > > > > > > > > - too big; not as portable and convenient. > > > > > > > > - battery life is low; with the exception of the Electrovaya series > > (which > > > I > > > > have tested to 8 hours), most have limited battery life (not a work > > day's > > > > worth for sure). > > > > > > > > - uncertainty in the Tablet PC marketplace (especially for the slate > > > > versions which seem to be moving strictly into vertical markets) may > > keep > > > > costs up and could ultimately spell its demise. > > > > > > > > - you need to cough up more for an outdoor/indoor screen (my NEC slate > > is > > > > unreadable in any sunlight). > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > 2. Pocket PC's. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Pros: > > > > > > > > - they are highly portable (in the physical sense). > > > > > > > > - relatively cheap (although the gap is narrowing as more power and > > > features > > > > are added to the handhelds, and TPC's prices reduce). > > > > > > > > - synchronization techniques are improving with the introduction of > > > > Bluetooth and other wireless options (802.11); most of the high-end > > Pocket > > > > PC's support both. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Cons: > > > > > > > > - battery life is not great in Pocket PC's in my experience. The > Pocket > > > > PC's in the incarnations I tested in the last two years was terrible; > > 3-4 > > > > hours maximum life during always on use. Palms are much better due to > > the > > > > not-as-hungry OS and hardware, but are generally less powerful > (meaning > > > less > > > > powerful applications, like say, for CAD applications) > > > > > > > > - screen real estate challenges; as a UI designer I can attest to the > > > > difficulties involved developing a PPC application that has an > > intuitive, > > > > easy to navigate system for zoom/pan/view and markup. Just > "shrinking" > > > DWF > > > > Composer would not be enough. A very elegant method and set of > > functions > > > > would have to be developed to make the UI anything better than > > frustrating > > > > (although I'd love to try). > > > > > > > > - still not as seamless as pulling your "desktop" into the field to > > markup > > > a > > > > drawing, which is feasible with a Tablet PC. > > > > - the screens are now legible outdoors and indoors (even the first > > > HP/Compaq > > > > Ipaq I bought had a good indoor/outdoor screen and they've gotten > > better). > > > > > > > > - touch screens are not as good as RF input pens (see above). > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > I've left out Palm OS units and the older but still available > handhelds > > > > (with keyboard) because porting to the Palm OS would be daunting for > an > > > > application like DWF Composer, and marking up on a clamshell handheld > is > > > > just awkward. If (and I emphasize "if") Autodesk ever ported DWF > > Composer > > > > to a handheld OS, my guess is we would have to target the Pocket PC > > > platform > > > > (now Windows Mobile Software) first. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > 3. Something New. > > > > > > > > - what I continue to believe is that a hybrid size is needed; my NEC > > > tablet > > > > is too big, my Pocket PC devices are too small (just call it the "3 > > bears > > > > syndrome"). I've been thinking up a design for hardware with > something > > > > around a 5"x6" (12.7cm x 15.24cm) screen. I dubbed it the "DWF > Tablet", > > > > because if you built it for the sole purpose of our market, you could > > > reduce > > > > the functionality and hardware to specialize in just zoom/pan/view and > > > > markup DWF files. Think of it with Gameboy style controls and a > Tablet > > PC > > > > pen screen (the problem with making a Pocket PC device screen bigger > is > > > that > > > > they are a true touch screen and miscues abound because as the screen > > size > > > > increases, so does the tendency to rest your writing hand on it, fire > > off > > > > input). > > > > > > > > - true 802.11g wireless capabilities (Bluetooth is limited to 30 feet) > > so > > > it > > > > can be connected to a "command post" PC that acts as a server for all > > the > > > > markup drawings (endless possibilities here). > > > > > > > > - hopefully if you made the device functionally specific, reduced the > > > > hardware requirements (no modem, no USB ports, nothing fancy) the unit > > > would > > > > be cheap enough to see a decent ROI. And if it was cheap enough and > you > > > > dropped it, it's not as big a hit on the equipment bottom line. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Very curious to see opinions on my opinions, and about any feedback on > a > > > > "DWF Tablet". > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > !Note that this is strictly an investigatory post from me personally > and > > > > does not reflect any ongoing investigation at Autodesk - we are in the > > > > software business, not the hardware business! (I have to say that so > I > > > > don't mislead anyone.) > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Regards and thanks, > > > > > > > > Ben > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Ben Kopf > > > > > > > > Autodesk Product Design > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > "Mark Douglas" wrote in message > > > > news:40abd4ef$1_1@newsprd01... > > > > > Robert is totally right. Composer would be prefect for little things > > > like > > > > > this. > > > > > > > > > > Mark > > > > > > > > > > "Robert Grandmaison" wrote in message > > > > > news:40abbe13$1_1@newsprd01... > > > > > > No- we haven't tried because we haven't SEEN anything out there > that > > > > would > > > > > > be most suited to our use: > > > > > > > > > > > > 1. We don't want to have our engineers write to dwg formats- > they're > > > not > > > > > CAD > > > > > > operators. > > > > > > 2. We want something SMALL in footprint size that they can take > out > > > in > > > > a > > > > > > handheld device that won't require a lot of hardware overhead to > > make > > > it > > > > > run > > > > > > DWF would fit this bill. > > > > > > 3. We want something that has some useablity when they return to > the > > > > > office > > > > > > with their field notes in the marked up DWF. Composer suits this > > need > > > > > > perfectly. CAD operators could then overlay with the Markup manger > > the > > > > > field > > > > > > notes taken while out on site, and make revisions as necessary. > > > > > > > > > > > > No other sofware gave us all of the above. DWF Composer would. > > > > > > > > > > > > Robert Grandmaison > > > > > > > > > > > > "Doug Look, Autodesk" wrote in message > > > > > > news:1510146.1084762131577.JavaMail.jive@jiveforum1... > > > > > > > Robert, > > > > > > > > > > > > > > OK. Thanks for the heads up on the Tablet PC response. We've > > heard > > > > > this > > > > > > request from a "hand" ful of customers. You're saying that it > would > > > be > > > > > > great if Autodesk ported applications like DWF Composer to the > > > handheld > > > > > > platform? Have you been able to deploy other solutions to the > > > handheld > > > > > > platform in your office? > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >
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