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Quartet Ovonics  FAQ's
What are PC Whiteboards?
PC Whiteboards are an electronically controlled digital PC whiteboard with productivity software designed for use in the context of a personal office, conference, or training room. The 2'x3' whiteboards weigh less than 18 pounds, the 3' x 4' whiteboards weigh 30 pounds, and the 4' x 6' board weighs 50 pounds. They are designed to mount on an office wall, cubicle divider, or on an optional easel. The software portion is a 32-bit application for use on any i486Ă 33Mhz PC (or better) running WindowsĂ (Windows 3.1x, Windows 95, and Windows NT 3.51 & 4.0). PC Whiteboards use standard dry erase markers and are powered from a small plug-in "brick" 7.5v power supply. A custom eraser is supplied.

How Do PC Whiteboards Work?
PC Whiteboards use resistive sensor technology to "feel" the location of your pen or an eraser.

Who are PC Whiteboards ideally designed for?
PC Whiteboards are applicable to anyone who uses a whiteboard and PC, and therefore has a broad-based functionality and user target. From engineers, architects, and MIS personnel to executives, lawyers, and physicians, anyone who works with a whiteboard, collaboratively or alone, will benefit from PC Whiteboards' ability to capture, display and transmit hand-drawn information in real time.

How do PC Whiteboards communicate with the PC?
PC Whiteboards use a standard RS-232 serial cable to communicate with the PC. The whiteboard controller generates up to 192 touch points per second, which are transmitted at 9600 baud to the PC. On the PC side, a driver runs under Windows and checks the designated serial port 200 times per second for incoming data. If data is available, the PC Whiteboards Dynamic Link Libraries (DLL) validates the data, saves it to a file, and updates the application screen. In Windows 3.1x and 95, PC Whiteboards do not use an Interrupt Request (IRQ) or require that one be available for the designated serial port. However, PC Whiteboards cannot access the port if another driver has opened the port and/or taken an IRQ resource for that port. With Windows NT, an available IRQ resource is required.

What file format do PC Whiteboards use and can I export the data to other applications?
PC Whiteboards use a proprietary, compact vector-based format. Each snapshot image can be exported directly to a disk file either through the "export" command or by dragging the snapshot to the desktop. Ibid can export snapshot images as both .BMP and .WMF formats. Ibid can place snapshots onto the Windows clipboard for use by other applications that can accept .BMP and .WMF formats. A third approach to working with images involves dragging them, one at a time, directly to an OLE-aware application window such as Word or PowerPointĂ. PC Whiteboards also support moving multiple images between PC Whiteboards files, either directly from within the application, or through the clipboard. PC Whiteboards do not support moving multiple images into another application in a single operation.

Will PC Whiteboards work with Microsoft« NetMeeting«?
PC Whiteboards should work with most conferencing software that can "share" applications. In this manner you can transmit whiteboard images over Internet, LAN, or modem-to-modem connections. At this time, the whiteboard has been tested with NetMeeting« 2.1. To use PC Whiteboards with the conferencing software, you would "call" the participating parties through the conferencing software's connection facility. In NetMeeting«, you can "call" users modem-to-modem, via an IP address, or via their "computer name" in a LAN environment. Once the users are connected, you would start the Ibid application (if it is not already running). Identify Ibid to the conferencing software as a "Shareable" application. Please note that with NetMeeting« version 2.0+, users running Windows«NT cannot support sharing applications unless they have installed Service Pack 3. Depending on the conferencing software you are using, you may need to turn on the "Collaboration" option, allowing others to take control of your PC Whiteboards session. At this point, the NetMeeting« parties can view what is being drawn on the whiteboard. With the 1.0 and 1.5 versions of Ibid software, if a remote user wants a printout of the whiteboard snapshot(s), the snapshot file(s) must be electronically sent to that user from the host PC. If the remote user is not running the Ibid application or the Freeware Viewer, make certain to export the images to either a bitmap file (.BMP) or metafile (.WMF) format. For more detailed information regarding using Ibid & NetMeeting«, click on the following link to read our PC Whiteboards & NetMeeting«Quick Start Guide.

What size are the .WBD files when doing a real-time transfer over the Internet?
Not to be vague, but the size of the .WBD file depends on the size of the drawing you are doing. The initial size of a blank .WBD file is approximately 70KB. Typical file sizes for 10 snapshots range less than 150K. Files can grow to several MB if you use the board for many days and put all of that activity into the same .WBD file. In addition, with the 1.5 Professional Series software, you can embed .WMF overlays into your file. Your file size can grow quite large depending on the complexity of the .WMF overlays.

Will PC Whiteboards work on a Macintosh« PC?
At this time, there is no native Macintosh« PC Whiteboards product. However many customers have had success connecting PC Whiteboards to a Power Mac« running Virtual PC.

Does the PC Whiteboards software modify the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files?
Neither file is modified during installation of the PC Whiteboards application.

What type of serial cable do PC Whiteboards use?
PC Whiteboards use the Electronic Industries Association (EIA) RS-232 standard for serial communications with the PC. A 9-pin female connector is provided under the whiteboard tray and a 9-25 pin adapter is included in the accessory kit. Only three wires are needed: transmit, receive, and ground wires (pins 2, 3, & 7). There is no support for handshaking. The maximum length of cable that is supported is 25 feet

Will PC Whiteboards work on UNIX?
At this time, there are no plans to make this product available on the UNIX platform.

How can I get technical support?
Technical assistance is available Monday - Friday 7am-1am EST via phone, e-mail, and our Web KnowledgeBase. Please remember to register your PC Whiteboards product for prompt warranty service, technical support, and software upgrades.

Do PC Whiteboards come in multiple sizes?
At present there are four size configurations of PC Whiteboards available. They are the PC Whiteboards 100, the PC Whiteboards 150, the PC Whiteboards 300 & PC Whiteboards 400, and the PC Whiteboards 600. The 100 and 150 have approximately the same active area (36" by 24"). The PC Whiteboards 100 is landscape format, while the PC Whiteboards 150 is portrait format. The larger format PC Whiteboards include the PC Whiteboards models 300 & 400 which provide an active area of 3' x 4', and the PC Whiteboards 600 which provides an active area of 4' x 6'.

Can PC Whiteboard snapshots be displayed back on PC Whiteboards?
No. Other than rear projection, no technology is known for displaying computer-stored data on a surface such as a whiteboard.

 

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