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Other Electronic Copyboards

Mimeo Capture Board

What does it mean that mimio can "record and playback" presentations?
When using the mimio system, you actually record information as it is written and drawn on your existing whiteboard. Unlike other systems, mimio doesn't merely capture a "bitmap" image of what is on the board. mimio captures the motion of your pen and eraser strokes over time. The power of this recording metaphor provides immediate value. For example, suppose that you are writing a long formula on the board, but scribble over it believing it to be incorrect. With a copy board system (or with a whiteboard without mimio), your record of this formula could be gone forever. With mimio, since it recorded all strokes of the pen and eraser, you use your PC to "rewind" to the point in time that the formula was visible and print that point in time, or tag it for later retrieval. mimio's capture of time as a factor in a presentation allows you to distribute recordings of whiteboards with more information. Instead of merely reviewing the end-result of notes, future audiences can choose to follow the thought process by viewing a "playback" recreation of the notes as they were written, or at preselected points in time that were "tagged" by the presenter.

How does mimio communicate with the PC?
Basically, both the mimio eraser and the styli that house the EXPO® markers, are transmitters. The mimio Capture Bar's technology triangulates the position of the eraser or stylus and sends the information through the serial cable to the mimio application.

What are the minimum system requirements for mimio?
i486 100MHz or higher (Pentium® 100MHz recommended) Windows® 95, Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0 16 MB of RAM (32 MB recommended) 10 MB of available hard-drive space Available 9-pin DB-9 serial port (If you only have a 25-pin serial connector available, you will need to purchase a 9-to-25-pin serial port adapter. These are available at most computer supply stores/catalogs.) PS-2 style keyboard or mouse port (If connecting to an older style PC that only has a DIN (not a mini-DIN) connector, you will need to purchase a DIN-to-mini-DIN converter. These are available at most computer supply stores/catalogs.) To use mimio and NetMeeting requires: Pentium 166MHz 32MB of RAM TCP/IP network with support for 32-bit apps NetMeeting® 2.11 or 3.01 (NetMeeting 3.0 not supported) Each participant must have the mimio freeware application installed.

What type of serial cable does mimio use?
Mimio ships with a special 10-foot serial cable that uses the Electronic Industries Association (EIA) RS-232 standard for serial communications with the PC. What makes the serial cable special is that instead of containing two connectors (one connector on each end), it actually has three: One end of the mimio cable has a 9-pin connector that attaches to the mimio Capture Bar. On the other end of the cable, are 2 "heads" that connect to the PC. The first "head" has a 9-pin connector for attaching to the serial port. If your PC only has a 25-pin serial connector available, you will need to purchase a 9-to-25-pin adapter from a computer supply store or catalog. The second "head" is a PS-2-style mini-DIN pass-through connector that attaches to either the keyboard or mouse port for power. If your PC only has a DIN connector available, you will need to purchase a DIN-to-mini-DIN adapter from a computer supply store or catalog. For users requiring a longer cable, a 25-foot cable may be purchased. In addition, users can daisy chain onto the mimio special cable, a standard, shielded serial cable and extend beyond 25 feet. The maximum serial cable length tested and supported is 100 feet. Please note, that if an extension cable is used, and the Capture Bar light is not lit, the extension cable may not support all of the pins required. (The end of the cable that attaches to the Capture Bar needs pins 1, 2, 3, and 5.

What is mimio's resolution?
A mimio is a vector-based system. A vector image is not an array of pixels like a bitmap, but rather, a mathematical representation that "remembers" where you draw and stores that information as a set of individual lines called "strokes". The advantages of vector-based graphics are that they are resolution independent. If you scale a bitmap image, the image usually becomes fuzzy and "jagged". In general, a vector-based graphic will scale easily and look as good scaled as it did in its original size. In addition, a vector graphic printed on a 300 DPI printer will print at 300 DPI, while the same image on a 600 DPI printer will print at 600 DPI. When you draw on a whiteboard that has mimio attached, the data positions are captured at approximately 87 points per second in a vector format. While you are drawing on the board, the mimio Capture Bar is checking your stylus location and reporting it to the computer approximately 87 times every second. A variety of variables including temperature, humidity, and physical distance the stylus is from the mimio Capture Bar, all factor into the "resolution" of the image (i.e., how much raw data is captured). Users are generally concerned about resolution because of "jagged" edges. When users export to a bitmap (.BMP) file, they are outputting to one of the lowest resolution graphics formats. A Windows metafile (.WMF) on the other hand, is a higher resolution graphics format because it also stores information as strokes, not pixels. Stroke data will appear far less "jagged" when stored and translated because the lines are actually redrawn when the file is opened. Since the vast majority of the mimio virtual whiteboard is usually empty, a metafile is also a much smaller representation of the data as well. One other note regarding resolution, the mimio software can actually help "adjust" the resolution of an image to some degree through the modification of the stroke thickness. For example, because you are using chisel and bullet tip EXPO® markers that produce somewhat thick lines, it is very possible to write small enough that the letters run together and are indecipherable on the physical whiteboard. If you change the pen thickness within the mimio software application however, the writing will become legible on your screen and when printed.

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Do I need special pens or erasers?
Four patent-pending Stylus marker jackets are included with mimio. These styli house four standard EXPO dry-erase markers (black, red, green and blue). When a marker dries up, simply replace it with another EXPO marker. The eraser supplied with mimio has both a 4-inch and 1-inch circular felt surface that also uses the patent-pending Stylus Tracking technology. If the eraser surface wears out, a packet of additional eraser pads may be purchased.

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What types of batteries do the mimio styli and eraser use?
Five 1.5V AAA batteries are included with the mimio hardware (one for each styli and one for the eraser).

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Is mimio Y2K (year 2000) compliant?
The mimio application has been tested and shown to be fully capable of manipulating dates and times after 12:00 AM January 1, 2000. Y2K compliance on the mimio Capture Bar is not applicable as the hardware does not process dates. If you currently have the mimio software, you can verify compliance by setting the system time beyond the year 2000, draw something in the Virtual whiteboard using the mouse annotation tools, and select Tag Board. You will notice the date of the Tagged Board is correct in the thumbnail list. Also, when you preview or print the image, the date will be correct there as well. This test does not ensure that your computer is year 2000 compliant. If you do not get the results indicated above, it may be because the BIOS of your computer is not configured to handle the year 2000+ dates correctly.

What file format does mimio use and can I export the data to other applications?
A mimio uses a proprietary, vector-based format (INK). Images can be exported in a variety of ways and formats including .BMP, .EMF, .WMF, JPEG, and HTML. Images can be exported through the "Export" command Images can be copied and pasted MAPI compliant clients can e-mail images from within the mimio application Images can be dragged and dropped to the desktop or an OLE-aware application. mimio's OLE compliance allows you to embed an entire .INK file into another Windows® application. For example, if your entire team has installed the mimio freeware and Microsoft® Word®, you can distribute a Word document with an entire mimio file embedded within it. When the user gets to the embedded mimio document, mimio navigation controls appear in Word so they can navigate through the tagged boards. When you export one or more mimio boards to HTML, you can then publish the files created in the HTML folder, making the tagged boards available for view in any standard Web browser. In addition, information regarding who the participants were and any typed Notes recorded in the board images will also be published.

Can I use a Y-mouse connector to connect mimio and a PalmPilot® to the same port?
No. A Y-mouse connector allows you to connect 2 devices that use a similar driver. For example, you could connect a mouse and a tablet because they both use a pointing device driver. Because mimio and PalmPilot use dramatically different drivers, you would not be able to share one COM port using a Y-mouse serial connector. You can however, use a serial port switch box to alternate between the two devices. But you must reconfigure the PalmPilot HotSync Manager® so that the COM port is released when the PalmPilot is not the active device. (Please refer to the information on reconfiguring a PalmPilot.) If a switch box is not available or something you would like to work with, another option would be to purchase and install another I/O (Input/Output) controller in your PC. The I/O controller will physically provide you with another serial port.

Will mimio work with a configuration that has a digitizing tablet such as a WACOM® product?
Yes, mimio will work with a PC that has a tablet connected to a COM port instead of a mouse. However, if you decide to move the tablet to a different serial port to install mimio on the COM port the tablet is on, you must uninstall the tablet software first, move the tablet to the new COM port, then reinstall the tablet software. If you do not run the tablet uninstall program, the pen driver will not release the COM port, and the mimio application will be unable to communicate with the Capture Bar.

Will mimio work with USB?
A mimio will work on a USB port providing you have an optional 3rd party adapter that makes your PC's USB port appear as a serial port. Currently the Peracom® USB serial converter and the Belkin® F5U003 serial converter have been tested with mimio. Both of these converters are very small, "inline" designs supporting one serial-to-one USB converter thereby keeping cabling simpler. In addition, the Belkin converter has indicator lights providing the user the status of the unit. These adapters can be purchased through a computer supply store or catalog. In the future, mimio will have native USB compliance as an option.

Will mimio work on a Macintosh® PC?
At this time, mimio will not work on a Macintosh PC.

Will mimio work with UNIX, Linux, or AIX®?
At this time, there are no plans to make mimio able to connect to hardware running any UNIX platform.

Will mimio work with Microsoft® NetMeeting®?
System requirements. Using Microsoft NetMeeting, you can establish a point to point or multi-point IP call over an Intranet or the Internet (based on proper NetMeeting and firewall configuration). Then, you can start the mimio application and use the established T.120 data channel to connect two or more mimio applications. What is written or drawn will be seen by all of the data conferencing participants (as long as they are also running mimio). Here are some specifics about how mimio integrates with NetMeeting: mimio to mimio communication. In this mode, mimio does not use the NetMeeting generic whiteboard at all. mimio uses NetMeeting to place a T.120 call (either point-to-point or to an MCU server). Then, the mimio application piggybacks itself on NetMeeting to communicate .INK information to all of the other mimio applications currently connected in the NetMeeting call. With this methodology, you get all the benefits of how the mimio software approaches whiteboard recording, as well as the network collaboration benefits of NetMeeting (including, IP audio and video, ILS services, and 3rd party T.120 and H.323 servers such as those by DataBeam®, PictureTel®, and White Pine Software®). In addition, this is not NetMeeting application "sharing" like most companies implement. mimio uses the NetMeeting data channel to establish the data conference. After that, mimio is in control of the data communication between participants. What this means to you is a huge boost in performance over applications that are shared through NetMeeting. mimioMouse as an input device into the generic NetMeeting whiteboard Using the mimioMouse application and an LCD projector, a mimio user can "draw" into the NetMeeting generic whiteboard using the mimioMouse stylus.

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What sizes boards will mimio work with?
A mimio can retrofit any existing cube, office or conference room whiteboard or flat surface from 2' x 3' to 4' x 8' in size.

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Can I use my whiteboard as a "touchscreen" when mimio is attached?
Yes. The mimioMouse application (included on your mimio installation CD) allows you to convert your whiteboard/flat surface into a touchscreen. What this means is that when you use an LCD projector with the mimioMouse application, a stylus housing the mimioMouse insert will control the mouse cursor from the board. The mimioMouse insert is included in the package and is a piece of plastic shaped like a marker pen but with no ink. After a simple calibration process, the mimioMouse stylus can point, click, drag and drop, and otherwise control many of the PC operations directly from the whiteboard to which the mimio Capture Bar is connected. You don't have to constantly go back and forth between board and PC, or have a second person drive the PC

How do I "right mouse" click when I'm using mimioMouse and a projector?
Touching the mimioMouse stylus to the board immediately following the pushing of a Capture Bar button, is recognized as a right mouse event by the mimioMouse application.

Does mimio support rear projection?
Typically, the mimio Capture Bar retrofits and attaches to the front of an existing whiteboard or flat surface. However, the mimio bar can be mounted on the front of a rear projection display system. Using the mimioMouse application you will be able to control the PC without the "shadows" typically seen on front projection systems. Also, using the mimioMouse insert will allow you to "draw" without leaving any marks on the rear projection display panel.

Is there a Software Developer's Kit (SDK) or API available for mimio?
At this time, we are working on developing ways for partners and third party developers to integrate with mimio.

What power supply output voltage does mimio require?
The mimio Capture Bar draws power from either the PC's mouse or keyboard port by way of the keyboard pass-through connector on the mimio serial cable. No special power bricks or country kits are required to use mimio in another country.

What is the mimio warranty?
The mimio hardware warranty is one year from date of purchase. The mimio software warranty is 90 days. Please remember to register your mimio product to validate your warranty.

How can I stop mimio from launching when Windows® starts up?
Mimio is placed into the Windows Startup folder so that mimio application is a background task waiting to capture the data when you write on the whiteboard. If the mimio application is not running when you begin drawing on the whiteboard, no data will be captured. Note: If you remove the mimio application from Startup, you will have to manually launch the application whenever you want to write on the whiteboard. To remove mimio from the Windows StartUp folder: 1. Right click on the Start button, 2. Double click the Programs folder, 3. Double click on the StartUp folder, 4. Select the mimio icon and press the Delete key. If you would like the mimio application icon on your desktop, simply drag it out of the StartUp folder onto your desktop.