Thursday, March 17, 2011

Google Mail/Calendar & iPad Testing

Email and Calendaring is still being reviewed to build a list of all available options and ideas. We had our first high level conference call with Google to see their product and get their pricing. There is no silver bullet with running email in the cloud. It solves some problems and gives you new ones. One example is that our users have a large set of available ICS files available to them on our intranet. If the calendar UI is running in California, that means we have to put them on the Internet. And that also means we have to push them over our circuit upstream to appear in the UI. So there are a lot of issues like this being discussed and reviewed. More testing and meetings to come, I'm sure. Other products are being reviewed too.

As I have mentioned previously, we have some cost savings ideas in regards to using iPads to display documents and provide some remote connectivity. These savings would come in the form of reducing printing and replacing some laptops that are used in City vehicles which are higher than the 500 dollar price tag of the iPad.

We were kind of waiting for the release of NX 4, but delays in that area have required that we look at other technologies. So I enabled VNC on our new GNOME server and have started using a vnc client on the iPad to at least simulate this work flow. All of our custom screens and UI popups have been designed with 1024x768 in mind and everything is working fine. Now that I have logged into a full GNOME desktop, I'll spend some time testing the custom iPad Glade UI that I built to expedite file management and for use in meetings. I'll post a summary of that analysis in my next blog.

So the shots below are:
- Logging into GNOME, avant-window-navigator and custom MIME UI all fitting in footprint
- Opening Firefox from the GNOME session. What's interesting about running Firefox from a server is that if you are in the field with a EVDO card you will have access to a much faster 50Mb pipe inside our building. EVDO is then only used for screen repaints.
- GNOME Activity Journal running, thanks to Cando for a quick fix in trunk to allow it run correctly on the Xserver that is used by Vnc-server.


Cando said...

Oh my God!!!! That's awesome!

Swapnil said...

iPad? What's wring with Android tablets?

Anonymous said...

Can I ask which VNC client you used on the iPad? This would be awesome to do :)