Telxon and PenRight! customers and VARs had difficulty learning the PenRight! programming environment. They also found the current documentation on Pen-Based Computers (PBCs) difficult to follow. These customers placed numerous calls to both PenRight! and Telxon for programming support. We would often spend man-days supporting these accounts and guiding them through their programming questions. Telxon also did not have a convenient repository for all the various software function and tools used in programming the Pen-Based Computers.
Telxon Corporation (Seattle, WA)
I created a generic test program that incorporated nearly all of the functions and tools used in programming PBCs. These functions include scanning (wedge, polled, and RS-232 mode), Ethernet (read IP address, router IPs, MAC address, etc.), WAN radio (read MAN#, test radio), printer output (serial, IrDA, parallel), COM port tests, screen rotations with signature capture, and object functions (press and hold button, list double-tap, radio buttons, lists). Code from various stand-alone test program was consolidated into one program and the source code was thoroughly documented. Each function was placed in a stand-alone C++ class to make the components easier to reuse.
The entire test program project was sent to VARs and customers when they had programming questions. Customers could compile the project and extract the source code required for their task. Customers could also use a C++ object-based programming style for their project rather than the non-object-oriented code generated by PenRight!.
The customer’s PenRight! learning curve was severely shorted when they used this program as a base for their applications. Providing the complete project and source to the customers also reduced the amount of support time to get customers up and running. This was a win-win for Telxon and their customers. Telxon spent less time supporting customers and customers spent less time learning PenRight! programming techniques. The Telxon manufacturing plant used this program to component test the new 1124 PBCs. It was also used in the Telxon Advanced System Test (AST) lab for component and unit testing. We also used in the field to test and validate terminals.