Author Topic: Tablets  (Read 51498 times)

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Offline Hamish Seggie

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Tablets
« on: September 22, 2013, 16:13:27 »
Is there any move to procure a tablet style computer for the field?

The reason I ask is that all the trg pams needed to conduct ranges could be on one tablet instead of packing a mish mash of books that may be out of date or worse.
It does not need wifi capability nor messaging softwar, Internet access etc as it is for reference only.
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Offline Cyrius007

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Re: Tablets
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2013, 16:17:36 »
there is a few companies with tablet integrated military products. The idea will probably make it's way.
Sorry for my English, it's my second language :) I try to write correctly, but I will surely do mistakes.

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Re: Tablets
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2013, 16:31:05 »
Only thing I've heard is they're working on a replacement for the CDT in the LAVs. If you want something for training use only, you may be able to get one procured through your local ASG or your unit's budget. We had 15 Playbooks bought for Op Attention to keep all of the lesson plans and reference manuals, they were a life saver in the classroom mentoring.

Offline s2184

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Re: Tablets
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2013, 17:18:43 »
iPad is not a possibility or no good/too expensive?
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Re: Tablets
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2013, 17:48:40 »
iPad is not a possibility or no good/too expensive?

Specifically with my example? We went with a quote for Playbooks because the CF already uses Blackberry devices, and they were far cheaper. They did what we needed with no bells and whistles, and we got very limited pushback from CEFCOM when we put the request in.

Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: Tablets
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2013, 18:31:15 »
iPad is not a possibility or no good/too expensive?
It's not Canadian and it runs on a different OS.
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Offline Ludoc

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Re: Tablets
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2013, 19:53:27 »
Tablets are, generally, quite fragile. Also, they don't run well in the cold, can not be subject to wet conditions and do not have the battery life to sustain long term use. The ones that do all these things are quite expensive.

Besides, why spend money buying tablets when the CF already spends a tonne of money on ruggedized laptops.

Drop by Sig stores and sign out a CF 29/30/31. As PD task one of your Private/Corporals with downloading the PAMs onto it. I'll bet you a beer, they won't know where to look at first but by the end will be able to use DWAN for more than just surfing the Chive. Everyone wins: the bean counters are happy we aren't buying more equipment; the Sig storesman actually got to do his job and support the unit; the Private/Corporal learned to navigate the DIN; and you have electronic PAMs.

Edit: Grammar

Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: Tablets
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2013, 21:37:30 »

Drop by Sig stores and sign out a CF 29/30/31. As PD task one of your Private/Corporals with downloading the PAMs onto it. I'll bet you a beer, they won't know where to look at first but by the end will be able to use DWAN for more than just surfing the Chive. Everyone wins: the bean counters are happy we aren't buying more equipment; the Sig storesman actually got to do his job and support the unit; the Private/Corporal learned to navigate the DIN; and you have electronic PAMs.

Edit: Grammar
Speaking as a PRes CWO, the advice "Drop by Sig stores and sign out a CF 29/30/31" ain't the solution. Our Bde is spread out over three provinces and three time zones and laptons that were recapped have not been replaced, never mind ruggedized ones.
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Re: Tablets
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2013, 22:04:16 »
Speaking as a PRes CWO, the advice "Drop by Sig stores and sign out a CF 29/30/31" ain't the solution. Our Bde is spread out over three provinces and three time zones and laptons that were recapped have not been replaced, never mind ruggedized ones.

That's not just a PRes issue, my unit has less than 6 CF29/30s.

If you can ruggedize a laptop, you can do it (I'd say even easier) to a tablet. It should be a capability the CF is looking into, but I doubt they are.

Offline Ludoc

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Re: Tablets
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2013, 23:35:57 »
Speaking as a PRes CWO, the advice "Drop by Sig stores and sign out a CF 29/30/31" ain't the solution. Our Bde is spread out over three provinces and three time zones and laptons that were recapped have not been replaced, never mind ruggedized ones.

Seen. Sometimes, I forget that the PRes operates under different constraints than the Reg Force.

I imagine you guys are even more budget constrained than we are. So I'll bet it is hard to get your hands on the few pieces of IT resources allocated to the Bde.

You might try talking to your local Reserve Comm Sqn. Unfortunately, I don't know enough about the reserves to know if they will be assigned any laptops. I suspect they may be focused on TacRad due to a lack of resources to do much else. However, I am getting outside my lane, so it may be worth reaching out just to ask.

You may just try to circumvent the CAF's lack of IT equipment by just loading the PAMs on your phone. I know a lot of them are available online, and I have loaded a bunch on my own phone just so I have a quick reference on Ex.

Offline Shamrock

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Re: Tablets
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2013, 00:45:46 »
Is there any move to procure a tablet style computer for the field?

The reason I ask is that all the trg pams needed to conduct ranges could be on one tablet instead of packing a mish mash of books that may be out of date or worse.

Perhaps I'm out to lunch, but why wouldn't the range pubs be up to date and reviewed prior to the range beginning?  They're all available on the DWAN at publications.  Yes, updating electronic copy is faster and ostensibly more convenient, but if RSOs and OIC Ranges aren't exercising due diligence, this is just another way to cut corners.

Incidentally, is not the decree that hard copy be brought to ranges?  Been a while since I ran a range, so wouldn't this need be addressed before local purchases made?  Incidentally, if it's only for pubs, I'd recommend an e-book reader.  Much cheaper, comparable durability, much longer battery life.  I keep various open-source manuals on mine.

Edit:  In a pinch, one can e-mail a pub to himself on hs BlackBerry.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 00:49:58 by Shamrock »

Offline Baz

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Re: Tablets
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2013, 03:00:22 »
Tablets are, generally, quite fragile. Also, they don't run well in the cold, can not be subject to wet conditions and do not have the battery life to sustain long term use. The ones that do all these things are quite expensive.

Besides, why spend money buying tablets when the CF already spends a tonne of money on ruggedized laptops.

Drop by Sig stores and sign out a CF 29/30/31...

It's too bad more people:
A) didn't understand how the call-up system works (http://computer.pwgsc.gc.ca/index-eng.cfm?af=ZnVzZWFjdGlvbj1idXlfbWljcm8ucHJvZHVjdHNfbm90ZWJvb2tzJmNtZHR5PTImUmVxdWVzdFRpbWVvdXQ9OTAwJmxhbmc9ZW5n
B) didn't look at their requirements more

It seems that the CF-19, available for $3000 on call up, is far better for your need.  It's a convertible so it will work like a little laptop or a thick tablet.  It's pricey, but tough.  By the way a Rover 5 kit comes with a CF-19, so it can't be all bad.

It's also too bad the GETAC V100 and V200 aren't available (yet) on call up, I find they are better than the equivalent Panasonic products, and both are convertibles, just different sizes.

I have lots of experience, including coding for, CF-19s, CF30s, CF31s, V100s, and V200s, and related docks; I prefer the GETACs.  Unfortunately, I think I need to move away from them as getting bandwidth through the docks can be a problem.

Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Tablets
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2013, 08:01:47 »
I had all my relevant pams in .pdf format and loaded on my KOBO reader.

Worked fine for anyone needing a quick reference and you couldn't play any stupid games on it.
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Offline Lightguns

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Re: Tablets
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2013, 08:53:23 »
Recce has the right idea.  Alot of ruggedized laptops spend more time at home with the usual suspects writing papers for MA courses than doing army stuff.  There is a move to limit access and pool such laptops as a result of restraint measures.  I have a Kindle White, it holds every pub on artillery, small arms and individual training I need, plus 300 books to read on bushcraft, 19th century chicken farming and assorted novels on UFOs and all the other strange stuff my mind wanders about (yes, I mean wanders).

No spell check possible due to the freakin' DWAN hating pop up windows more than usual today.
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: Tablets
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2013, 09:02:43 »
Baz, regardless of the requirement, units are not permitted to acquire computers to meet their needs.  The centralized Gods must decide what to buy on behalf of the people with the requirement and when (or whether) to deliver.  It was bad enough when the IM/IT sections were part of DND/CF; now that SSC is its own little dysfunctional empire, I think we'll be able to measure service response time in years...

Alternatively, buy a cheap tablet from dx.com (7" Androids go for under $80, shipped); burn the PAMs to a CD, take the CD to a home PC and transfer them to the tablet.  (Since officially you can't use the same flash drive on the DWAN and at home)

When in doubt, ignore the system and make things work.
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Offline s2184

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Re: Tablets
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2013, 09:59:04 »
Puckchaser, the resolution of your playbook is ok? I bought a playbook from BestBuy for $229 last year & it was a garbage. The resolution was bad and the power section was terrible.

Jim, I understand your concerns about iPad, but in case if you use it for professional things (pilot) you will not live without it.

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Offline Baz

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Re: Tablets
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2013, 10:28:39 »
Baz, regardless of the requirement, units are not permitted to acquire computers to meet their needs.  The centralized Gods must decide what to buy on behalf of the people with the requirement and when (or whether) to deliver.  It was bad enough when the IM/IT sections were part of DND/CF; now that SSC is its own little dysfunctional empire, I think we'll be able to measure service response time in years...

Alternatively, buy a cheap tablet from dx.com (7" Androids go for under $80, shipped); burn the PAMs to a CD, take the CD to a home PC and transfer them to the tablet.  (Since officially you can't use the same flash drive on the DWAN and at home)

When in doubt, ignore the system and make things work.

I'm not suggesting they are allowed to purchase them, although in certain cases they are (ie to support pre-approved projects).  I know because I've done it quite a bit.  You are right, almost everytime the IT world tried to step in, but most times they were pushed back when it was pointed out that it was project buy, not a national infrastructure buy.

What I am suggesting is that if it is a requirements, justify it and spec it properly, and then the computers will get brought into the system.  Ironically, there is money in the system to support requirements like this (we gave back almost $2B last year!), and my point is that there are good matches to the requirement in the system.

As a matter of fact, because it is on call-up, and it already has a LCMM assigned, this is a perfect match to an MR buy.  No overhead of bidding and/or sole source, and support already in place.

Unfortunately, when you ignore the system and just make things work, they don't work for very long, normally just til your next APS.  Which doesn't actually fix anything.

Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: Tablets
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2013, 11:24:46 »
Basically all we would need is a Kobo reader type thing for the ranges.
The stuff we'd need on it are all weapons pams for a PRes unit (Small Arms basically), Ranges & Trg Safety, Inf Pl/Sect in Battle, RSOs for Shilo, Wainwright, Dundurn (for 38 CBG), Unit SOPs etc.

It doesn't need to communicate on wi fi, just plug it in to a desktop and download what you need.
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: Tablets
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2013, 11:37:44 »
Baz:  Fine in theory, lousy in practice.  As a part-time Reservist, I have ~40 days a year to do things.  The full-time staff i nthe unit are already overloaded.

So either the Higfher HQs do their job and enable their units, or people do workarounds because the system is not repsonsive.

Or maybe we pay attention to that Mission Command thing, and when a commander says "I need a tablet to conduct unit operations" that is sufficient - no more G6 farting around looking for the 17 pieces of paper that they think is required.
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Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: Tablets
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2013, 11:41:21 »
Baz:  Fine in theory, lousy in practice.  As a part-time Reservist, I have ~40 days a year to do things.  The full-time staff i nthe unit are already overloaded.

So either the Higfher HQs do their job and enable their units, or people do workarounds because the system is not repsonsive.

Or maybe we pay attention to that Mission Command thing, and when a commander says "I need a tablet to conduct unit operations" that is sufficient - no more G6 farting around looking for the 17 pieces of paper that they think is required.

Our G6 is having a look at it. I'm not sure where it will go.
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Offline Bzzliteyr

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Re: Tablets
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2013, 11:50:21 »
There were e-readers on sale at Costco last week.  Of course, we can't spend government dollars there.
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Re: Tablets
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2013, 11:59:22 »
Puckchaser, the resolution of your playbook is ok? I bought a playbook from BestBuy for $229 last year & it was a garbage. The resolution was bad and the power section was terrible.

Was absolutely fine for what we needed it for, could even zoom in on diagrams and see the details.

Offline MOOXE

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Re: Tablets
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2014, 00:26:53 »
So where did this go?

This is more a less a plea for convenience vice capability, a want more than a need. If the guy keeps the manuals up to date on the device, what stopping him from providing a printed copy for the field? Lets be honest, as soon as this device doesn't work (dead battery, broken) someone is going to say, "You should of printed it." Right?

The easiest, most convenient, cost effective and proven reliable method for the OPs scenario is hard copy.


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Re: Tablets
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2014, 00:36:57 »
The easiest, most convenient, cost effective and proven reliable method for the OPs scenario is hard copy.
Unlike the OP, I'm going to guess that you're either unfamiliar with how many pubs are out there (and their page count), and/or you've never worked with light infantry and know the weight limits of a ruck -- we don't all have library-sized vehicles for support.

Offline GnyHwy

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Re: Tablets
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2014, 06:23:28 »
The easiest, most convenient, cost effective and proven reliable method for the OPs scenario is hard copy.

Hard copies are junk.  Far too many pages, can't quick search keywords, likely always out of date unless you dedicate a person to reread and pull and insert pages on a daily basis.

Also, the intent of AEL and other Sharepoint sites is to standardize pubs so that everyone is reading the same thing.

I'm relatively old and know that e-copy is the way to go.  To hear a Sig say hard copy over e-copy is a bit of a surprise.  :o

Two real COAs and a throw away COA:

1.  E-reader - (preferred for field ranges) for its cheap (yes cheap is good some times), simplistic, light, power conscious ability to manage many pubs.  Draw back is that is all it does.
2.  Tablet - good if you want growth potential and the ability to run other software, apps and other type files.  Draw back is that it is expensive, IT dependent, relatively complex and power hungry.
3.  Hard copies - look great on a shelf, organized for the once in a blue moon someone needs a quick peek at something that likely didn't change in the last week and isn't logged into a computer.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 06:29:10 by GnyHwy »
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