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Old 04-08-2010, 10:27 PM   #1
sordie
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IREX DR800SG 2.0 Beta feedback to IREX

I just spent some time playing with the 2.0 Beta, and here is my feedback to IREX:

1 - Zoom functionality is a nice effort, but right now it gets a D. Here are the reasons.
- If the page is zoomed so that it does not fit the screen, now the user is required to toggle between pan mode for seeing the rest of the page, and page mode to move between pages. More over, these modes can only be toggled through a sub menu. So the operation becomes something like this:
You just switched to a new page,so you are at the top of the page (which means you are in page mode). You read the top half, and you now want read the bottom half. Tap menu, then tap Zoom then tap Pan. Then use pagebar to move to the bottom half. Now you want to go to the next page. Tap menu, tap zoom, tap pan to undo pan mode, now tap pagebar. Total of EIGHT( that's right, 8) taps to read a page. This is clearly NOT what you'd call a well designed interface. Shaggy's suggestion in another thread clearly and simply solves the problem: let the pagebar tap move you to the bottom of the page, then to the next page. I don't understand the logic behind the current implementation. It actually took a greater effort to program it, and makes the usability worse.
-The selection zoom is not an effective method of replacing crop margins. Unfortunately, the WACOM digitizer is not very sensitive. Accordingly,when you select the text to zoom into, it either does not cut out all of the margins, or cuts off some of the text. This, regardless of how hard you try to position the stylus precisely. It takes several tries to get it right,making it far too cumbersome to be worthwhile. Either improve the digitizer sensitivity (is that even possible through software), or bring back "remove margins".
- The Landscape mode still defaults to "fit page". Why? I think everyone in this form has provided sufficient feedback to make the point very clear that this is utterly useless. No text is readable in this mode. So why even have it? (can't figure out a reason except some project manager thinks it is cool for some reason). The landscape mode needs to default to fit width. Then of course, the whole PAN/Page turn mode switching needs to be fixed, because really,having to do EIGHT taps to read a page is simply not doable.

2 - The note taking functionality is again a good effort, and would get a B+ if it worked:
- The writing functionality is messed up around the edges. About 2cm from each edge, the pen strokes are not clearly registered and show up elongated, compressed, and displaced. At the top of the device, the scribbles show up as a very faint gray. They sometimes darken once the page is refreshed (or the note reopened).
- The pen/eraser switch needs to be an icon at the bottom that can be toggled - menus are really cumbersome to use for touch devices. They are a legacy of keyboard/pointing device inputs of computers.
- The eraser,while erasing turns the annotations into gray, rather then actually erase them. They are gone after the next page refresh.
- The device froze several times while using the note application

3 - Go To (get an A)
- Way to go. It works

4- PDF Scribbling (would be B+ if it worked):
- Please see all the comments under note taking. All the bugs are present here as well.

5 - Other bugs
- sometimes the menus do not display properly. Only a frame is drawn,but the elements are not displayed
- When doing the selection zoom, the zoom happens while I am in the middle of selecting. I guess the software thinks I have lifted the stylus,even though I am still moving the stylus to select. This is particularly problematic while moving the stylus from the top-left corner to the bottom-right corner. Haven't noticed it as much while moving the stylus in other directions.

I am looking forward to seeing the software improve. The device has lot's of potential and I can't wait to see the software bring that potential out to its fullest.

Last edited by sordie; 04-08-2010 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:43 PM   #2
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There is a pen/eraser toggle icon on-screen in the Notes application. Hm, and I don't have any problem drawing right up to the outlined boundary either. No distortion or fading. Is yours not showing the boundary a little out from the left, right, and top?

I also have no trouble selecting zoom. The only hassle is finding a completely full page to select from so I don't set it for an incomplete page and have it cut off text when I hit the truly full pages.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:57 PM   #3
sordie
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Thanks for pointing the pen/eraser toggle - I was looking at it from PDF scribbles, and there is no toggle there. In the notes app,I do see a 0.75cm border. The problems occur within this border. It may be that I have a bad unit, but I am not sure. Scribbling on the XJournal app worked fine right up to the borders (though I couldn't test the top,since there were two layers of menus). I clearly have an issue with selecting zoom properly as I describe above. Would love to hear if others are having problems.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sordie View Post
- The eraser,while erasing turns the annotations into gray, rather then actually erase them. They are gone after the next page refresh.
That's because it is doing a partial refresh while you're erasing. Partial refreshes are much faster than a full screen refresh, but they leave behind ghosting of the eInk. The "gray" you're talking about is the ghosting effect. It's a limitation of eInk technology, not something iRex can really do much about.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:11 PM   #5
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Ah, I wasn't thinking of the PDF scribbles. It would indeed be good to have a pen/eraser toggle there too. It shows the pen icon but won't toggle to eraser when selected.

I get some positional weirdness on the left side in PDF. The fact that it won't draw all the way left and right I attribute to the PDF itself not being that wide.

Would like to have a menu selection to Clear all scribbles from a page.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:27 AM   #6
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Better to have the continuous page layout for the pdf reading. Or in the single page layout, if you use pen to shift to next page, the default position for the next page should be the beginning of the page, not the bottom of the page. I think this should be so natural. Is the current rendering way intentional to make it harder for pdf for DR800SG to differentiate it from DR1000?
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:04 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the feedback, this is exactly why we're doing this BETA release.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sordie View Post
-The selection zoom is not an effective method of replacing crop margins.
It was not meant to replace crop margins. Actually, the DR800 firmware never had that functionality. Crop margins is non-trivial to implement using the Adobe RMSDK, so we didn't find time to do that yet. Doing it the 'dumb' way that DR1000S v1.7 did will slow down page flipping speed considerably, which is not something we can live with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sordie
- The Landscape mode still defaults to "fit page". Why? I think everyone in this form has provided sufficient feedback to make the point very clear that this is utterly useless.
We completely agree, but it's not a matter of changing one line of code. This has our attention and we hope to find a fix before final release.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sordie
- The device froze several times while using the note application
We have identified and solved an issue that could cause this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sordie
- sometimes the menus do not display properly. Only a frame is drawn,but the elements are not displayed
Do you see this in both portrait mode and landscape mode? I can explain landscape, but it should not happen in portrait.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sordie
- When doing the selection zoom, the zoom happens while I am in the middle of selecting. I guess the software thinks I have lifted the stylus,even though I am still moving the stylus to select. This is particularly problematic while moving the stylus from the top-left corner to the bottom-right corner. Haven't noticed it as much while moving the stylus in other directions.
This (and also above comments on the stylus) suggests you may have a worse performance than expected. Can you try to re-calibrate your stylus?

Quote:
Originally Posted by overdrunk View Post
Better to have the continuous page layout for the pdf reading.
We'll look at enabling Continuous Mode for the DR800 (ref. DR1000), that should indeed solve some issues people have with zooming, panning and page turning.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:05 AM   #8
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One weird thing with stylus calibration locking up:

I was doing a crossword puzzle using a zoomed PDF document. I noticed that my scribbles on the last three columns on the right side of the page were not inside the boundaries in which I drew them. The offset (to the left) increased as the distance to the right increased, so that characters drawn in the rightmost column appeared in the column left of it.

So, I tried to recalibrate the stylus. I successfully tapped the first three crosshairs, but the fourth crosshair would not register, even with repeated tapping and holding and pen angles. I could not activate the menu to cancel calibration, so I had to reboot the device. I tried three times with the same failed result.

The bottom left area of the screen seems to work perfectly; menu items and drawing in the notes application are fine, but I cannot actuate that area in calibration.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:57 AM   #9
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Would it be possible to have the pen/eraser, zoom and pan icons docked to the bottom bar permanently? It seems like there is plenty of room and they are tools that will be used frequently by frequent PDF users such as myself. It seems clunky to have to go through the menu to change to pan once zoomed in.

Thanks,
Paul
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drop Bear View Post
Would it be possible to have the pen/eraser, zoom and pan icons docked to the bottom bar permanently? It seems like there is plenty of room and they are tools that will be used frequently by frequent PDF users such as myself. It seems clunky to have to go through the menu to change to pan once zoomed in.
On their blog they have written:
Quote:
The Toolbar is not configurable anymore but hard-coded. We aim to fix this in a future software release.
So when this is implemented, you can choose which icons will be in the toolbar (bottom bar). Lets hope that this functionality will be implemented soon.
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:31 AM   #11
sordie
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Matthijs said: " This (and also above comments on the stylus) suggests you may have a worse performance than expected. Can you try to re-calibrate your stylus?"

I re-calibrated it several times. It was no help. I'll take some pictures tomorrow and post them to show the issues.

Dellaster's comments re the PDF weirdness also points to some problems - in other rendering software, if you could see the space, then you can draw on it. Perhaps the IREX implementation is different?

Also, you are right re the menu display problem; it only does happen in Landscape.

Finally, I really appreciate that you are following this site; it does show interest in your customers, and it is one of the reasons I chose to buy an IREX device.

Last edited by sordie; 04-09-2010 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:22 PM   #12
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So there is no possibility to erase with the opposite end of "professional stylus", as on standalone wacom tablets?
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:36 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by penartur View Post
So there is no possibility to erase with the opposite end of "professional stylus", as on standalone wacom tablets?
None of the iRex devices support that (as far as I know). I don't know if it's a hardware issue, or just hasn't been implemented in software.

Remember that there are several flavors of WACOM technology. Does the "Penabled" tech support that, or is it something that you only find in the other WACOM products?

For example, I don't think the WACOM screen in the iRex devices is the same thing as in a Cintiq, Intuos, or Bamboo tablet... etc.

Last edited by Shaggy; 04-09-2010 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:47 PM   #14
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The PDF zoom is still a headache.
Have IREX guys ever try Sony daily? Sony daily has a pretty good user interface. Lots of people still like it even it has a such a bad screen.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:28 PM   #15
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A few comments on the beta build:

1. I've noticed that it sometimes takes two tries to get it to come out of sleep mode. I'll slide the power button as normal, the led will flash as normal and then nothing happens. If I slide the switch again, the device turns on. I didn't see this behavior prior to the update.

2. I'm also seeing some incomplete page rendering on occasion as noted elsewhere in the thread. A page forward or back fixes it.

3. Seems to be a little slower at times, but this just might be my imagination
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