Re: [opensource-62] notepad advise

From: Jeff B.
Sent on: Monday, April 23, 2012 4:37 PM
Well, I switched to Tmobile from Sprint in December.  The Data is FAST, and if you go over the limit, you don't get billed for it, but they do throttle it down to 2G speeds, which in your case would still be plenty fast for HTML forms...   I've Benchmarked 37Mbs on it on my SGSII, which is 3-4Mbs faster than my maxed out Uverse connection.  Tmobes does have the a couple of tablets for *reasonable* prices, although with the new ones coming out so soon and supposed to be around the $200-$250 price point without subsidy, I'd hold off on anything other than proof of concept.

From experience, My Kindle Fire 7" will last a few days without charging, but will only make it one day if I've been using it heavily playing games.  Add in another radio, and I suspect that would take it down to a day for normal usage.  Combine that with someone who is lackadaisical on charging, and they might be out of juice easily before the day is out.  I think 7" could work, but make sure the battery is at least 4000mah for capacity, if not higher.  4500mah would be better.  I agree with John, not that I'm brave enough to disagree.  :)   Beware of cheap.  Inexpensive is OK (like closeouts of last year's previously awesome stock), but you need to do some testing and PoC work before buying more than one of anything IMHO. 

If you are wanting to root the tablet for battery life and minimize the extraneous garbage/bloat that is unrelated to your business app, then I'd make sure to verify the hardware and read up on it. 
http://www.xda-developers.com/ and http://rootzwiki.com are very good sources of info for finding/using a custom rom without the battery/cpu sapping bloat.  If your device isn't listed, then you probably don't want it at that point.

Cheers
Jeff


On Mon, Apr 23, 2012 at 3:05 PM, mowgli <[address removed]> wrote:
wow thats some seriously useful info/links.  feedback/questions:
  • yes later i plan to be our own wufoo.  but for now, its fine.
  • regardless of who pays for the plans (me for now) i want a cost sensitive solution.
  • we can consolidate lines & go commercial later, but for now its just me.  i dont want any minutes; just data.  5GB is fine; its just 4/5 html forms/day after all.  perhaps later attach physical site images to the forms (but wufoo charges a lot to store excess data).
  • by simple i meant: no external wifi/broadband adaptors or extra parts.  basically users turn it on, go to bookmarked link in browser, fill form, submit.  repeat.  internal 3G, auto connect, shortcut to browser on task bar or desktop etc.
  • GSM/3G is fine.  that tmobile plan for $30 has unlimited web.  so how come you guys dont use that vs $45/mo for 5GB?  is there some fine print i'm missing or is tmobile that much crappier than at&t?  its even 4G for 1st 5GB.  what am i missing?  how is at&t or simple competitive w/ that?
  • what did u mean kirf needs simm?  dont they all need simm if i'm going to use someone for 3G connectivity?
  • whats the drawback to those super cheap android tablets in your link?  all i need is wifi/3G/7" screen/camera.  other than battery life, is there something lesser or inferior about those tablets vs the kirf u linked?
  • some of those tablets have android 2.2.  can i install 4.0 w/o a problem?  or does the hardware pose a hurdle for that?
thanx!

On Mon, Apr 23, 2012 at 14:34, John Fields <[address removed]> wrote:
wufoo seems reasonable, especially if the consumer is going to pay on the tablet.
You can always make your own tailored service later, without the time constraints.

Are you going to be providing the data plans for the tablets, or will the "inspectors" be liable for their own personal plans?
If you can get 5 "lines" then you can get a commercial plan from any of the big 4.  The minutes aren't as cheap as personal -plans but the data plans are better as you use more. I think we were paying AT&T $45/device for 5GB of data at my work (25 "lines" total).

Hardware is going to be hard to keep cost down... especially if you want it simple to operate.

GSM based 3G hardware is more plentiful, and therefore cheaper. ie: AT&T or TMobile. Or a reseller like Simple Mobile.
http://www.wireless.att.com/businesscenter/en_US/pdf/legal/data-rate-plans-march-2012.pdf
http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/monthly-4g-plans ($30/mo, no voice plan)
http://www.mysimplemobile.com/Simple-Mobile-Plan.aspx

If you want to go cheap... here is a KIRF tablet with internal 3G (needs SIM card).
http://www.amazon.com/VIA-points-screen-tablet-youtube/dp/B007LI3GT6/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1335208332&sr=1-3

Or more here: http://www.lightinthebox.com/c/android-tablets_4781

BUT - having used a tablet for long days I say don't go cheap.  The ASUS Transformer series gets 9hrs of real use, and if the inspector can't power up the tablet (with a soldered battery) you can't do business.  Get something relatively modern but with a GOOD battery life.  That means almost all 7" tablets are out since their battery will be physically smaller.

Example: ASUS just released like yesterday the Transformer 300, which is the plastic body version of the Transformer Prime.  $369 on Amazon, hot spec'd tablet, nice bright 10" screen, and really great battery life. Alas, no built in 3G.  And I run down the little Sprint MyFi battery in about 3 hours of use. So almost but no cigar.
JF




On 04/23/[masked]:02 PM, mowgli wrote:
i want a solution whereby users can remotely (at the physical site) fill in an inspection/questionnaire.  i think it will be a online html form made using http://wufoo.com/.  it will have check boxes, drop down lists, an open text box to type in notes, etc.  & feed the data into a db (in wufoo's case, they store the data & provide some nice analysis tools/charts/etc).

whats your opinion/advise on following:
  1. inexpensive tablet or other device for remote/mobile users.
  2. isp for the mobile device.  pros/cons of diff vendors or whichever isp/plan you recommend.
any other feedback welcome too.  i thought about doing it offline & uploading the data once users are back at the office to avoid cost of isp, perhaps using overcommitted.com app (which does exactly that for ipads) but just seems too user unfriendly/cumbersome (these are not tech savvy users).

thanx.





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