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Project Meeting August 5th 1997

10am at Bristol University.

Present: Phil, Paul, Henk, Stewart, James, Jim, David, Tom, Alex.


Phil brought along six batteries, an recharging unit, a touch sensitive overlay and a second PC104 SoundBlaster card.

1. Review Progress

Phil: Following up mobile phone issues. Either Nokia 502 - but if this relies on a software modem in the host computer then we will be hard pushed to develop our own under Linux, or the Ericsson GS18, but these are not offered by Orange - who does offer them. David and Phil will attempt to understand the two mobile phones better over the next couple of days. If no new insights emerge then Phil will buy the Nokia phone, we will test them and then if need be buy a PCMCIA modem card in order to avoid having to develop a software modem.

Stewart: Has been developing a release control system for the system software. Still awaiting a connector for the display. Would like another LCD display to match what we have at present.

James: Hacking software with Al. Has completed first prototype application - this senses location using GPS and then outputs long. and lat. using speech synthesis. Have also developed demons and a "server whiteboard" to marshall information from sensors.

Jim: Announced that funding from HP is tight for the next three months - basically until the ERP comes through. We are capped at a further 650 - unless we make a special case. In the meantime have added a plethora of new bits and pieces onto the web: papers about the Bristol Tourist Jacket from a while back, a list of ideas for improving the initiative, a bought and sold list, a place holder for medium term plans for the BWCI and a house style sheet. Apparently the Toward Situated Computing paper is still not readable in from Unix so Jim will repost in HTML. Feedback regarding James' CyberJacket specification - good stuff but we need to connect the Summer programme into our longer term ambitions to have a platform suitable for research issues - in short Jim would like Alex and James to speak with Richard Hull at HPLB and add a SitComp server component - see Towards Situated Computing paper. Jim to arrange this meeting. Jim will also add a web page to collect together proposals for fourth year student projects.

David: Has made contact with both Lucent Technologies (Inferno OS) and Sun (Java OS). Lucent sounds keen and might conceivably offer free support. Sun would need us to have some research impact on their Java programme, for them to be interested in working with us - our GSM needs would not make us interesting to them - this kind of area is already farmed out from Sun. In any case we agreed that for the meantime we just wanted to keep Sun and Lucent warm. After the Summer depending on students we may revisit the OS issues. Other stuff, we need to start thinking about how we will start making more CyberJackets in advance of the student projects (argh!). David will start thinking about RAs ahead of the BWCI ERP being approved. David has been frustrated by the just-in-time requirements for Summer and PhD students that have arisen on occassion from HP - more notice is preferred! David will follow up the non-disclosure and copyright issues for the initiative with Hugh Aldridge - (outstanding from an earlier meeting).

Tom: Working on power issues. This led to a discussion of connector, fuse and recharging issues. Batteries will be mounted in the jacket using special adapters. Phil to order a further five of these adapters and another recharging unit. The output of the batteries will be need to be fuse protected for safety. This moved on to a discussion about chosing and buying the jacket - David will do this with University funds, mounting the display in a plastic box - Paul will do this and wiring up batteries, fuses and switches - Tom will do this, handing over to Stewart when he leaves at the end of the week. Phil and Paul discussed the possibilty of replacing the PC104 connectors with ribbon cables and slowing down the bus - this would make the components more flexible and thus the jacket could appear slimmer. After this (and once Phil has received the power management evaluation boards) then we should be able to make the CyberJacket mobile.

Alex: Working with James. First application is working (see above). Now moving on to develop diagnostic utilities (eg for hard disk performance while on the move). Also considering looking at second application for CyberJacket- what this is depends on what hardware turns up next. Also starting to look at some of the issues to do with directing GUI events to appropriate applications. Henk raised issues such as sharing control of resources such as the audio output channel amongst applications. Jim emphasised the need to add support for managing sensor data and presenting it cleanly to applications (Situated Computing Server issues). David raised issues to do with sharing situational data from other CyberJacket wearers - ie letting other Jacket wearers know where you are. David also reiterated the importance of having a rigorously tested CyberJacket. Alex and James to develop some kind of informal test plan for the CyberJackets. Given all these things to do Jim questioned whether we should perhaps delay CMOS camera until after the Summer -this was agreed. Alex suggested that we should think about adding a portable CD ROM drive to the jacket at some point since this may be required to hold map data for the GPS apps. Perhaps this data could be squeezed onto the CJ hard drive. Downloading over GPS could be a tricky challenge. The group decided to wait and see on this CD ROM issue.

Action summary

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