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*Mark Douglas
Message 11 of 23 (186 Views)

Re: DWF Composer for Handheld devices???

05-19-2004 02:46 PM in reply to: *Robert Grandmaison
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? > >
*Ben Kopf
Message 12 of 23 (186 Views)

Re: DWF Composer for Handheld devices???

05-20-2004 07:59 AM in reply to: *Robert Grandmaison
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? > > > > > >
*Robert Grandmaison
Message 13 of 23 (186 Views)

Re: DWF Composer for Handheld devices???

05-25-2004 08:21 AM in reply to: *Robert Grandmaison
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? > > > > > > > > > > > >
*Murph
Message 14 of 23 (186 Views)

Re: DWF Composer for Handheld devices???

05-25-2004 12:41 PM in reply to: *Robert Grandmaison
Sounds like an another good idea. Maybe even having one screen for toolbars, menu items, property dialogs and etc. There were fold up digitizers a few years ago why not fold up display screens. Murph "Robert Grandmaison" < wrote in message... > 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 >
*Mark Martinez
Message 15 of 23 (186 Views)

Re: DWF Composer for Handheld devices???

05-25-2004 02:05 PM in reply to: *Robert Grandmaison
Ask and you will receive. http://tinyurl.com/yt6zd Mark Martinez The D.C. CADD Company
*Ben Kopf
Message 16 of 23 (186 Views)

Re: DWF Composer for Handheld devices???

05-27-2004 07:31 AM in reply to: *Robert Grandmaison
Thanks for the link Mark. Yes, I've been keeping tabs on OLED technology for some time and ideally you could envision E-size and larger "sheets" of this material that would be wireless linked to your drawing server. Add on-screen controls and some form of input and the paper world of nice larger "see everything at once" drawing sheets becomes one single sheet that could run DWF Composer like markup and transmit corrections to the drafter for update. The technology is several years away from reasonable cost and performance unfortunately, and I'm uncertain what balance of physical portability (convenient size) versus ease of viewing (see the whole drawing) would be - if you could just roll up a full-size digital screen, would that be better than a small handheld, or the folding screen design that Robert G. mentioned earlier in this post? (A sci-fi show I occasionally watch has the crew using 8" x 11" pieces of semi-flexible plastic as their viewing and input screens; I thought this was a great viewing size to portability ratio.) Great thread folks - thanks! Keep the ideas coming. Ben Autodesk Product Design "Mark Martinez" wrote in message news:37d7b0lc7llplmee70psve4jnsgm5docnk@4ax.com... > Ask and you will receive. > > http://tinyurl.com/yt6zd > > Mark Martinez > The D.C. CADD Company
*Ben Kopf
Message 17 of 23 (186 Views)

Re: DWF Composer for Handheld devices???

05-27-2004 07:39 AM in reply to: *Robert Grandmaison
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 18 of 23 (186 Views)

Re: DWF Composer for Handheld devices???

05-27-2004 08:13 AM in reply to: *Robert Grandmaison
Ben- I think that the basic markups would be great!!.In the field you go out to inspect a beam or something like this. You open the DWF in the Handheld Composer. You zoom into the detail showing the Beam Connection. If something is missing in the field that's not in the Detail you can Cloud it. Add a couple words for reference and move on. I don't think a keyboard would be needed. I suppose it couldn't hurt. What I really wish is a way to view and make a couple comments on a DWF. Rather than the huge DWG files. DWF are the format everyone will be using in the future. I get phone calls every day with clients telling me they accept DWF's now. Once they all get on board with Composer. Out with paper....,, >>>>>No how do we get contractors to stop using paper?...Hmmmmmm...I don't think were going to win on this topic..... J/K Mark "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? > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >
*Robert Grandmaison
Message 19 of 23 (186 Views)

Re: DWF Composer for Handheld devices???

05-27-2004 08:25 AM in reply to: *Robert Grandmaison
Ben, I too have been spoiled by watching too much SciFi. I get envious of fictional characters that have 3D displays holographically projected onto a screen that hovers invisibly over their desks! I think the size of a screen would ideally be in the range of 8x10- but a butterfly panel screen could be smaller than that and still be highly effective. What really needs to happen is that you have to be able to SEE the info at REAL WORLD sizes for the viewing window one would typically use when looking at hardcopy. In other words, I would want the screen to be able to show the area on a "plotted sheet" that the typical human eye and brain takes into consideration for primary focus and content absorption (does that make sense?). When I work on a drawing- and I'd be interested in hearing your opinon on it as well, my brain takes in about an area of 5 x 8 inches...of course, my "peripheral" view sees a LOT more than that, but if I need to look outside that primary area, I need to shift my primary target focus point. So a triptec butterfly panel that could fold out to 3.5" x 10" would, for me, be ideal. A double butterfly design (i.e. three by two array of panels) would be really sweet. I don't think one would need a keyboard to input information in a DWF in such a device. HOWEVER, it would be really slick to combine it with voice recognition, or at the very least a way of inputting words from a menu driven AI glossary of dropdown words. Imagine a device that came with a standard working vocabulary of say 2000 words (more than most people use in a day probably!)...and then it was intelligently organized not only alphabetically, but by most commonly used words as well. You could easily assemble sentences and phrases to drop into you DWF Composer text fields by quickly pointing to a few tree branches to find your right words. If it works for Stephen Hawkings, it should be adaptable to other uses! Robert "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? > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >
*Murph
Message 20 of 23 (186 Views)

Re: DWF Composer for Handheld devices???

05-27-2004 11:25 AM in reply to: *Robert Grandmaison
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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