Slightly different field of use for the Slate. Possible Review?

Discussion in 'HP Slate' started by HaDeZs, Mar 15, 2011.

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  1. HaDeZs

    HaDeZs Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I just got my slate in last week. Wanted to throw a slightly different scenario at you all because I haven't seen the slate really used in my field of work. Maybe get some good tips or recommendations for programs and tools and maybe provide insight for those from my end looking at the slate. I do custom cabinetry for Manhattans upper east side clientele so I get to play with expensive hardware, woods and all the cool machinery that comes with that territory. Im running the millwork shop with about 18 guys under me that do everything from start to finish and install and another 20 or so in field doing the construction end of it. With that comes alot of organization and planning because we usually have 3-5 large jobs running and things get messy quick. The price of the slate isn't in a typical contractors/millworkers projected tool budget. Rarely do you see any laptops or netbooks in the field and I have already had alot of weird looks from everyone when I carry it around.

    Anyways, I got myself a slate to help out with organization and so I can digitally record all of my notes and sketches. Works like a charm so far although I haven't really made use of it as we have a week or two of quiet time before we start our next jobs. I usually have 2-3 notebooks full of sketches, scheduling lists and notes every month or two. Just having that digitally recorded and filed saves me a ton of headaches and time.

    I've been using Acrobat to mark up PDF's and either onenote (which im still trying to get used to) or autodesk sketchbook for sketches and notes and scheduling. Calculated industries makes a downloadable construction calculator that works perfect with finger touches. I've yet to install AutoCad on it but im sure it will be too sluggish to make any good use out of. I have to find a simpler less memory intensive Cad program to install that works with AutoCad files. Im also holding back from installing solidworks 3d rendering on it as well as it probably won't run efficently enough especially without having a good usable keyboard on screen. Quick 3d mockups help tremendously alot of the time when trying to get info across to people. MyWi on my jailbroken iphone takes care of my tethered internet on field and when im away from the office so emails and internet browsing are taken care of anywhere I have a phone signal.

    The only problem I have now is getting over the interfacing learning curve. Its alot easier getting used to a touch pad with a pen than I thought but its still a steep curve do deal with trying to make daily work efficient. From stories I've read on the touch interface and how the slate handles with windows I can easily say people are being stubborn, silly and lazy in dealing with it. Its not horrible and once you realize that there is alot going on on screen you adjust and fix it to be usable. Im sure there are plenty of better touch interfaces and devices out there but none have the usability as the programs out there for windows. If anything you can always program your own.

    Another thing I ran into is that I work in a very dusty enviroment. With the felt backed case I easily get a sawdust present every time I put the slate down. I started carrying around one of my notebooks just to keep the slate on which actually makes carrying it around easier and lets me take notes and sketches for the guys. With the dust in the air my screen gets covered from the static as well and I need to wipe it down when I use it. Both are more of getting used to small nuisances but if I could get a different case without felt it would be great. Also, because I put the pen in and out of the holder alot during the day it gets awkward to put back where it is and with the flap folded back sometimes hard to get back in with the tension on the elastic hold for the pen.

    Think thats it. I ordered the mini bleutooth keybard and need to pick up a small bluetooth mouse from staples next time I stop by. After that I need a good backpack or carrying case. Let me know and i'll keep everyone updated if they are interested on how it fairs over the next few weeks.
     
  2. TWACK

    TWACK HP Addict

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    You might be interested in the case project that I performed. I work in a dusty environment also. The Franklin Covey Classic sized binder worked perfect. Anyway, here's the link:

    http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/220820-post1.html

    Sorry no help on you're other points.
    TWACK
     
  3. purplepeopledesign

    purplepeopledesign Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Rhinceros 3D is very very fast and unlike most other CAD apps, it has an option to use DirectX drivers for 3D shading. FWIW, on my M400 with a Core 2 Duo and GMA950 graphics, I have used it to design a custom murphy bed and a pedal powered generator. Prior to my tablet, it ran on an old Athlon 2500 and was used to create a custom cargo bike projects.

    :)ensen.
     
  4. TheWerewolf

    TheWerewolf Care for a bite?

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    I use Strata Studio 3D CX 5 on the Slate - but the UI really isn't designed for 1024x600 and it gets a wee bit wonky from time to time.
     
  5. rockface

    rockface Scribbler - Standard Member

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    What about doing quotes on the slate? you could create an application to collect dimensions, material types, calculate costs, profits, generate materal lists and even take pictures of the current kitchens. The app could email the quote back to the office.

    I know there are some easy-to-use form tools to build such a thing without needing to hire a developer to write you an actual custom application.
     
  6. telecomgeek79

    telecomgeek79 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Would you be so kind as to mention life w? I would "search", but I don't know what to search for. THXS
     
  7. AmbiDextrose

    AmbiDextrose Scribbler - Standard Member

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    You might also want to consider MoI3D for your 3D modeling needs:

    MoI, 3D modeling for designers and artists

    It's very light-weight in terms of requirements but is a full-featured NURBS modeler designed for non-technical users. It was also designed to be used on tablets so the UI can be customized. I've already used MoI (on an old Toshiba M4) on a number of personal projects including the fuselage of a custom RC plane.

    I would encourage you to browse the forums and even post your questions there. The residents are all very responsive and even the developer (Michael Gibson) spends a lot of time interacting with the user community.
     
  8. HaDeZs

    HaDeZs Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for the replies everyone =0)

    I recently found google sketchup Pro 8 and it does everything I need and more. Still gotto get used to the interface because it does things a bit differently than everyone else. Its expensive for pro though although I didn't pay for it ;) It does all the 3d I need and quickly, even renders it and I'm able to use layout to throw down quick shop drawings for my workers when needed. Plus the icon sizes and interface so far seems very touch friendly. I'll let everyone know how it goes the next coming weeks.

    Pricing/quoting is handled differently. Nothing in field needs to be calculated for pricing, no quotes. Its all done in the office off of the pricing drawings and linked with the associated proposals and estimates. Thankfully that's mostly out of my hands. If I knew a bit more about programming that would be something I would be very interested in doing though. All of the programs I've seen aren't even close to touch friendly.
     
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