Greater Lafayette Information Technology Society

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April 17, 2012
Bob Verplank, Computer Visions


The program was opened by our president, Bill Ooms, at about 6 PM at Puccini's. The subject was pads (iPads and other tablets).

Our opening speaker was Shane Rogers of Harrison Steel Castings Company in Attica. Shane has more pads in his possession than any other one person on the planet. His company asked him to do a study on which one was best. So he went out and bought just about one of each.

He started with a Blackberry pad partially because his company uses Blackberry in much of their communications. He found that the browser did not work very well until he added the Android operating system. He found that to be better, but the system was rather complicated to operate.

He then tried a Motorola Xoom tablet. He still felt that the browser was extremely slow.

He then obtained a Hewlett Packard webOS pad when it was being sold at a distressed price. He thought that perhaps the HP had the fastest operating system of all. But, you can no longer purchase the unit.

He then tried out an Acer Iconia tablet running Windows 7. It has good security and a good connection to their internal network, but as delivered only produced a four hour battery life. He tried that system with Windows 8 and thought that produced a better battery life.

He tried a Kindle Fire and thought that it was extremely slow.

He tried and iPad 2 and found this had a battery life of six days which was the best battery life of all products tried. They now have 12 of these in use. The new iPad (3) has lower battery life and for their purposes it offers few additional features.

They use them to repair equipment, show diagrams, packing, and lists of instructions for equipment maintenance. They have not been used very much for management but that may change with the availability of a new operating system.

In terms of security, they would like to have a unit that, if it "walks off", could be wiped clean from afar. He notes that cell-tower triangulation could give an indication of where a unit is located, but in a city with one cell tower, he just knows whether it's in the city or not. Not all iPads have GPS and so location is an inexact science.

He notes that sometimes they use a case which has metal dust on it and in his factory setting may find it easy to scratch the face of the Pad. This is made worse by the fact that many of the motions on the surface of the pad are repetitive for both location and direction. New cases are coming out which may affect both the durability of the case and the glass. He would like to see the durability of the unit exceed two years. Right now, that may not occur. Cor comparison, he believes that the durability of a PC would be three years.

Earle Naye asked whether a unit like this could control proprietary hardware for an audio system. (Is there an app for that?) He then told us that he was writing C+ code or symbolic code to control audio systems. He observed that hardwiring for such units was very expensive and that a remote control would be a great addition. It would be a great system if you could control audio, video, lighting, HVAC, garage doors,and security in homes, houses, and hotels. Shane noted that he was considering controlling his home with four devices similar to a pad. That project was a plan and so far not completed.

Steve Belter told us that he had a Slingbox for an older father to control his TV program in Maryland. He also had similar boxes he could control in Chicago and in Lafayette.

The subject for the May 15th , 2012 meeting is "Managed Print Services". Kraig McConihay from Copiers Plus will be presenting on the changes in the copier and document industry. These changes include managed print services and how Imaging Vendors are positioning products and services for business process optimization.