A big thank you to all who attended another vibrant ArcPad User Group meeting. This year we were gifted with an early evening time slot, which meant that those who wanted to carry on talking could, and everyone else joined the ArcPad team for dinner!
Special thanks go to ArcPad Guy (aka Phil Sanchez) for coming along, and Douglas Scott for his fascinating presentation on his work with avalanche mapping.
To open the free and lively discussions, we started with a review of the hardware survey that was taken during the recent ArcPad 10.2 beta program. The results from that survey were interesting, and were confirmed by those in attendance. The questions and results are summarised here:
1) What Windows hardware are you currently using ArcPad on?
Rugged Windows Mobile was twice as popular as all other mobile choices (rugged laptops, consumer tablets, and consumer Windows Mobile devices).
2) What Windows hardware would you LIKE to use ArcPad on?
Rugged Windows tablets, again, came out noticeably on top in both the beta survey and in the room. Explanations given in the room were that rugged was important, as was performance and memory. Rugged tablets provided both.
3) What kind of GPS do you use?
Almost half of all responses in the beta survey responded with built-in device GPS, which complements the responses from the first question. Close behind this were professional bluetooth GPS units. Again the attendees agreed with the survey.
4) What is your accuracy requirement?
Both the survey and room agreed, sub 1m accuracy was preferred. Again this finding neatly aligned with the devices chosen above. At this year’s conference, there were a few more vendors with high precision bluetooth GPS options for people to check out. Not quite as high precision, but cheap, simple to use, and offering 3m precision is the Garmin GLO, the room got quite a buzz out of this device.
5) What features are important when selecting hardware?
Again the survey and room agreed: performance/memory, screen size, battery life and GPS accuracy were important. Operating system and price were lowest on the list.
Now that everyone was warmed up, we offered a little ArcPad Therapy – share something that you like or love about ArcPad, then let it rip! What’s been driving you up the wall, stopped you from working, or just something you didn’t like? Our intention was to identify people in the room that might have had successes in the areas that other people had trouble with. What resulted was a real life forum, with solutions, sympathy, and suggestions coming from all directions! I also have a nicely long list of blog entries that will come out over the next coming weeks with tips and tricks. Well done everyone for getting involved – it was fantastic to watch!
Our final activity was to identify the Ultimate Friend of ArcPad. The intention, again, was to be able identify people in the group that had experiences with ArcPad that other users might be able to tap into or, be able to approach on a one-to-one basis after the session. While we started with everyone on their feet, and asked people to sit down as the questions proceeded (e.g., “Have you read the Help?”, “Have you answered a question on the forum?”, “Have you customized ArcPad?”, etc), we finally were left with Craig Greenwald and Douglas Scott still standing.
Our tie break question was a gem – Craig’s ultimate attention to detail easily got him over the line. Craig you are awesome! How well do you know ArcPad? – Here’s the tie break question (answer will be included our next post):
What was the release date of ArcPad 5 (the first release of ArcPad), and what is signifcant about that date?