10-26-2012 07:49 AM
OS Version 220.127.116.112 Build ID 328132
I'm using the PlayBook as a handy substitute for a netbook for mobile form filling:
I work around hospitals testing medical devices.
I load up a set of basic MS Word 2003 forms listing the test steps for each make/model of device around the particular hospital. When I see an item due its annual test I open the blank form for the particular type of device using the default BlackBerry word processor app pre-installed on the PlayBook. I then make the required checks and type the test results into the form. When I want to save the test results I press "Close" and from the options "Discard", "Save" or "Save As" I then choose Save As and name the file with the 6 digit Asset number for that medical device.
Nine times out of ten all goes well and the file is saved.
One time out of ten it will repeatedly refuse to save the file. If I instead choose "Save" it will overwrite my master copy of the form which is useless. If I choose "Discard" it will indeed discard my typing which is of course even worse.
If I then start testing another device of another make/model using one of the other master copies all will go well and the results will save with the new item's 6 digit file name. If I then return to the original item, open its form master copy again, enter results and Save As with the original 6 digit Asset number it will save it after all.
It is not a fault therefore either with the form or with the file naming used. The file Managers "Save As" function is simply erratic and unpredictable. It will fail then succeed in an entirely random manner, sometimes I can complete well over a dozen tests with no glitch then two docs in a row will utterly fail to save.
The PlayBook is a brilliant gadget that fits the bill exactly for portable note taking in such a situation but at present its unreliability is rendering it useless.
Can you please advise?
10-26-2012 03:10 PM - edited 10-26-2012 03:10 PM
I.nteresting. People using PB heavily often pick up new bugs. As a fellow sufferer with tampered-with saveas (I have a Mac!) i suggest not fixes but workarounds.
1 do the saveas before entering data then if it goes wrong you dont bugger up the master.
2 have spare masters you can copy
10-26-2012 07:03 PM
A workaround: you could try copying the whole document to the clipboard, then pasting it into a blank one and saving that... Woudl at least prevent having to type it all again.
10-27-2012 04:27 AM
Thanks for the advice "Troy".
I've resorted to immediately saving a result with only the Asset number entered in case a Save As fail occurs. I've never so far had a basic Save fail, so once a save process is started I'm safe. If the Save As fails I discard the new entry with no damage to the master and minimal time lost.
All results are downloaded from the PB and safely stored on a hospital server so if a master on the PB gets overwriten then after downloading results to the server I reload a clean blank form up into the PB.
I use two PBs one at each hospital and they both had the exact same problem from new despite several software updates.
As an engineer I've tried a number of approaches to identify the problem's source including:
Loaded only MS Notepad versions of the files to eliminate hidden formatting blocking the save (since the PB will save a particular design of form several times before finally refusing, this was never really likely).
Reverted to short file names to eleminate any potential file naming problem.
Avoided contacting any parts of the front touch sensitive surface other than keys being touched while doing the Save to eliminate hardware blocking the save.
Refridgerated the PB to eliminate a potential thermal problem caused by my heavy use.
All to no avail.
Consequently I'm confident its a PB software bug so I'm hoping that an Update will eventually fix this. It's a shame because it has undermined my ability to convince other hospital engineers to use mobile IT. Surprisingly many are still wedded to paper sytems because, as they say, paper can't have a flat battery, a bug or a virus.
The word processor in these units is very good and the whole package in terms of features, size, robustness etc is bang on what my mobile application needs. As it is, without a fix, I will soon be compelled by management to abandon their use.
10-27-2012 05:25 AM
Well at least Playbook can't have a virus so that's one out of three.
If only there was a bug registering system we could tell RIM, but a letter to your country's RIM HQ on your headed paper may help. This forum isn't routinely scanned by Rim, so we are told.
11-02-2012 01:07 AM
Thanks for that Innovatology but sadly my usual BlackBerry ID wont let me into that site despite its login screen promising it will.
I have that problem sometimes. Clear your browser cache & cookies. Or try with a Chrome Incognito window.
11-02-2012 12:30 PM - edited 11-02-2012 12:31 PM
I got in. That system asks for errors by project. Which project would a live OS bug be under?
It would frighten off the average user. What they need is a simple web message screen to report bugsm they could filter out the profane and spam and still get a feel for trending. Maybe there's a twatter or faceache page for it but I don’t go there.