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NLS-REPORTS  November 2006

NLS-REPORTS November 2006

Subject:

Machines and Accessories Report no. 06-06 (2006 National Audio Equipment Advisory Committee Recommendations and NLS responses)

From:

NLSBPH <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

NLS Documents for Network Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 20 Nov 2006 14:51:24 -0500

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (428 lines)

        
        Machines and Accessories Report no. 06-06
        
        Date: November 17, 2006
        
        
        Subject;  2006 National Audio Equipment Advisory Committee recommendations
        and NLS responses
        
        
        
        Attached are the recommendations made by the National Audio Equipment Advisory
        Committee (NAEAC) members at the annual meeting held September 13-15, 2006. 
        Following each recommendation is a response by NLS.
        
        Attachment
        
        For further information contact:   
        
        Michael G. Katzmann
        Head, Engineering Section
        [log in to unmask]
             
        ____________________________________________________________________
                                 
                                                
        National Audio Equipment Advisory Committee
        September 13-15, 2006
        
        The following members attended the meeting:
        
        Consumer representatives
        American Council of the Blind                Mitch Pomerantz
        Blinded Veterans Association                 Ellsworth Sharpe
        National Federation of the Blind             Tami Dodd Jones
        Northern Region                              Howard Fox
        Western Region                               Frank Synoground
        
        Network library representatives
        Midlands Region                              William Graczyk
        Northern Region                              Kim Charlson
        Southern Region                              Fara Zaleski
        Western Region                               Brian Pendergast
        
        TelecomPioneer representatives
        Midlands Region                              Jerry Adamson
        Northern Region                              Darrel Teske
        Southern Region                              Joseph Bernal
        Western Region                               Stephen Austin
        
        GE Volunteers representative                 Robert Davis
                                    
                            
                            
       2006 National Audio Equipment Advisory Committee Recommendations from
       Consumer Representatives and NLS Responses
        
        1.   NLS should encourage the development of third-party digital talking-book
        players, especially ones that are easy to use, small in size, and inexpensive.
        
            NLS Response (Research and Development Officer):
        
        NLS strongly encourages the development of third-party digital talking-book
        players and will work with manufacturers who show a dedication to producing high-
        quality products that are affordable to the blind and physically handicapped
        community.
        
         2. NLS should explore the feasibility of developing and providing a software
        player.
        
                 NLS Response (Research and Development Officer):
        
                 The research and development officer will look into the possibility of
        providing such a product.
        
        3.  The play/stop button on the new machine should include a tactile symbol, e.g.
        a circle similar to the C-1 to signify its importance.
        
            NLS Response (Engineering Section):
        
            The position and prominence of the play/stop button signifies its importance.
        Usability testing has shown that its use is easily discovered without the need for
        tactile marks.
        
        4.  The braille labels on the play/stop key should be reduced to only one letter, P.
        
            NLS Response (Engineering Section):
        
            This will be implemented.
        
        5.  The files of downloaded books should be named with the author's name, title,
        and prefixed by db-.  If this is not possible, make it meaningful, retaining the prefix.
        
            NLS Response (Automation Section):
        
            NLS has not decided on a method for naming digital download files at the
        present time. The above recommendation will be seriously considered.  NLS believes
        that a perfect naming convention most likely does not exist.  Every method has
        advantages and disadvantages.  The issue needs additional analysis. 
        
            NLS is currently testing the following naming convention as part of the
        digital download project:  DB-author-title-DBnumber.zip.  The filename will be
        truncated at 224 characters, but will always end in .zip.  This size is somewhat below
        the maximum number of characters allowed by Microsoft windows in a filename. 
        
            The rationale for this convention is the fact that the filename should contain
        the most common searchable elements: the book's author, title, and number. 
        
            Data will be collected on the effectiveness of this naming convention during
        the download pilot project and will be used in further analysis.
        
        6.  The consumers would like to congratulate NLS on being so responsive to
        recommendations from last year and for making so much progress toward the goal.
        
            NLS Response (Engineering):
        
            NLS appreciates the thoughtful consideration that the committee puts into its
        recommendations and values its opinion.
        
    
                            
        We would like to:
        
        1.  Commend NLS for the speed and efficiency of the online parts ordering
        system.  
        
            NLS Response (Inventory Management Section):
        
            IMS thanks the library representatives for the positive feedback, comments,
        and suggestions on improving the Web Ordering and Warehousing system.  IMS is
        committed to producing an effective, efficient, and user-friendly parts ordering
        system.  We look forward to working with you on improving the system further.
        
        2.  Encourage NLS to develop a plan to ensure an adequate supply of 
        consum-able shipping materials, such as E-1 boxes and C-1 styrofoam inserts and
        boxes.
        
            NLS Response (Equipment Control Officer):    
        
            The Equipment Control Officer plans to review more frequently these stock
        item usage rates and quantities requested for stock replenishment by the multistate
        centers, and encourage the network to only use these items for their intended
        purpose.  In addition, NLS has requested that when machines are approved for
        disposal, they should not be shipped to Lodestar in the standard shipping carton and
        styrofoam, but rather, in a nonstandard carton with no packaging material.  A
        Machines and Accessories report asking the network not to misuse or waste shipping
        material will be sent out as a reminder.
        
        3.  Encourage further implementation of the pilot program to screen machines
        going out of MSCW.
        
            NLS Response (Equipment Repair Officer):
        
            This is in process.  A contract has been let and equipment delivered to the
        contractor.
        
       
        4.  Recommend that NLS implement a machine inventory rotation protocol for
        all cassette machines at MSCW.
        
            NLS Response (Equipment Control Officer):
        
            The Equipment Control Officer will coordinate with the Network Division,
        multistate centers, and Materials Development Division on the need for and
        implementation of a machine inventory rotation process.  On September 26-28,
        2006, the Equipment Control Officer will be visiting the director of the Multistate
        Center West to talk about machine stock rotation and other related machine matters.
        
        5.  Recommend that NLS supply guidance about whether machines should be
        stored long-term with or without batteries.
        
            NLS Response (Engineering Section):
        
            An M&A report will be issued for guidance on this matter.
        
        6.  Recommend that the DTBM have an option for the user to disable voice
        commands if desired.  Some patrons may not want to hear the voice commands after
        learning the keys.
        
            NLS Response (Engineering Section):
        
            The design team will consider a suitable way to implement this feature.
        
        7.  Recommend that the DTBM have tactile markings for the headphone jack
        and USB port.
        
            NLS Response (Engineering Section):
        
        This will be investigated, although the molding complication that this would
        require might preclude tactile markings on the side of the case.  Tactile marking
        within the connector over-mold may be possible.
        
        8.  Recommend that NLS revise the individual and institutional applications,
        including the removal of references to obsolete equipment. 
        
            NLS Response (Reference Section):
        
            The Application for Free Library Service: Individuals and the Application for
        Free Library Service: Institutions are scheduled to be reprinted in 2007 with the
        obsolete references removed.
        
      
        9.  Recommend that NLS develop specifications for hardware and software for
        network libraries that may wish to duplicate digital talking books. 
         
            NLS Response (Engineering Section):
        
            NLS will issue recommendations and provide guidance on local duplication.
        
        10. Recommend that NLS ensure, when determining the size and capacity of the
        Digital Talking Book download server, that many Network Libraries as well as
        individuals will want to download Digital Talking Book files.
        
            NLS Response (Engineering Section):
        
            The download server will have sufficient capacity for this.
        
        11. Recommend that NLS adopt a file-naming protocol for digital download files
        utilizing the format <DB-title.zip>.
        
            NLS Response (Automation Section):
        
            NLS has not decided on a method for naming digital download files at the
        present time. The above recommendation will be seriously considered.  NLS believes
        that a perfect naming convention most likely does not exist.  Every method has
        advantages and disadvantages, and the issue needs additional analysis. 
        
            NLS is currently testing the following naming convention as part of the
        digital download project: DB-author-title-DBnumber.zip.  The filename will be
        truncated at 224 characters, but will always end in .zip.  This size is somewhat below
        the maximum number of characters allowed by Microsoft Windows in a filename. 
        
            The rationale for this convention is that the filename should contain the most
        common searchable elements: author, title, and book number. 
        
            Data will be collected during the download pilot project on the effectiveness
        of this naming convention and will be used in further analysis.
          
                        
                         
    
        12. Recommend that all Network Libraries receive at least one Digital Talking
        Book Machine for training of staff as soon as feasible and before they are available
        to our patrons.
        
            NLS Response (Engineering Section):
        
            Machines from the preproduction lot will be distributed to network libraries
        as part of the training plan.  Required machine inventory accountability and control
        procedures will be coordinated with the equipment control officer.
        
        13. We would like to thank the NLS staff for the excellent accommodations and
        abundant information during our stay.
        
            NLS Response (Engineering Section):
        
            You are welcome. 
                                    
                            
                            
                        
        WOW system
        
        1.  Put links in the pictorial representation of the parts list (exploded diagram) to
        allow parts selection by clicking on the part in the drawing.  The user should also be
        offered an icon in the parts listing that will show that part's location in the exploded
        diagram.  These functions were aptly demonstrated in Raouf Amin's ad-hoc example
        one year ago demonstrating the ease of implementation.
        
            NLS Response (Inventory Management Section):
        
            As reported in the Machines and Accessories report #06-03, August 25, 2006,
        Volunteer Repair Representatives Recommendation no. 2, copies of the manual
        including diagrams were posted at a test site http://rs21.loc.gov:
        7776/pls/imsd/test_parts_pdf.  The comments were positive and the Network
        Division will proceed to post the manuals with schematics on the web parts main
        order page at http://www.loc.gov/nlsparts.  Direct ordering by selecting parts from
        the schematic drawings was researched and found to be unfeasible in the WOW
        system. 
        
        2.  We endorse establishing and distributing a paper version of the recent
        revision of parts drawings and lists corresponding to WOW system listings.  This
        package should include a fax-compatible ordering form.
        
            NLS Response (Inventory Management Section):
        
            IMS will work closely with the equipment repair officer and the engineering
        section to include a paper version of parts drawings, WOW system order parts
        listings, and along with a fax-compatible form.  We still encourage repair groups to
        use web-parts ordering or as email to [log in to unmask] as a more dependable order
        communication media.  U.S.P.S. mail should no longer be used for parts orders.
        
        Parts and equipment
        
        3.  We endorse the concept of a "power cord assembly," consisting of the new
        power cord, strain relief, and storage wall, preassembled.  This will alleviate the
        problems most repair technicians have with attaching the new strain relief.
        
            NLS Response (Engineering Section):
        
            The feedback received by NLS from repair groups was a major driver of this
        design feature.
        
        2006 National Audio Equipment Advisory Committee Repair Committee's
        Recommendations and NLS Responses
        
        4.  Please issue a Machines & Accessories report detailing the washer used by
        Telex to protect the amplifier shield.
        
             NLS Response (Equipment Repair Officer):
             
             This will be done.  The ERO is currently investigating the details
        of  this  arrangement in order to write a report.
          
           5.         Please issue a Machines & Accessories report detailing the washer used 
         by Telex with the thrust spring.
          
                 NLS Response (Equipment Repair Officer):
            
            This will be done.  The ERO is currently investigating the details of this    
         arrangement in order to write a report.
          
           6.         Please pursue a solution to the problem seen in the recent rash of case bottom
          failures.
          
                      NLS Response (Equipment Repair Officer):
            
            This is already being done.  The problem has been studied to determine the
          source, scope, and depth of the problem and NLS will be negotiating with Telex
          for a long-term resolution.  In the short term, two thousand additional case bottoms
          have been ordered,  received, and shipped to repair groups, and  another two 
          thousand are en route.
          
           7.         Thanks for buying the fifty battery analyzers for the repair network   they 
          are badly needed and proven to greatly improve the quality of the finished product.
           Please allow for additional purchases.
          
                 NLS Response (Equipment Repair Officer):
          
            You are very welcome.  NLS has budgeted for another purchase of analyzers
          in FY07.
          
           The Digital Talking Book
          
           8.         Well done!  We are glad to see tangible evidence of the good work put 
          into the DTB.  We were very impressed with the maintainability considerations 
          taken in the design and the use of modular parts for ease of servicing. 
          
                      NLS Response (Engineering Section):
          
            Ease of maintenance was an important requirement that we are pleased
          was achieved by the design team. 
           
      
       
           9.         Please consider the possible economic/technical feasibility of separating the
          power and audio sections from the processor board to enhance maintainability.
          
                 NLS Response (Engineering Section):
            
            The projected reliability of the audio and DC power electronics are
           extremely high.  Surface mount electronics preclude the repair of the
           printed circuit electronics in the  field and so an integrated design was                   
          chosen to lower cost. 
          
            10.   We were impressed with all aspects of the machine such as controls,
           ergonomics, size, and the attention to detail.
         
                  NLS Response (Engineering Section):
         
             Many iterations of usability testing has verified this.
         
            11. Regarding the cartridge design   putting grooves in the case to facilitate label
            changing is very innovative.  Moving the grooves to the long edge of the               
            cartridge might help prevent peeling due to handling.
         
                NLS Response (Engineering Section):
         
           The design team does not expect the label to detach in normal use. 
         
            12. Some key-press sequences cause the DTBs to crash   reminding us that this
            device includes software.  Please make sure that reset instructions are clearly
             included in instructions that accompany the machines to prevent excessive returns.
         
                NLS Response (Engineering Section):
           
           Machine lending agencies and libraries will be provided with detailed
            instructional material and staff will undergo training to ensure that they are        
            familiar with DTBM operation. 
         
            13. Please provide training for repair technicians in advance of the initial 
            DTBM release and also provide samples for familiarization.
         
                NLS Response (Engineering Section):
         
                A comprehensive training plan is being formulated and the repair network 
            is an integral part of this.
         
                             
            The NAEAC Committee Meeting
         
            14. Please send out the responses from the NAEAC meeting as soon as they are 
            available.
         
                NLS Response (Engineering Section):
         
           This will be done.
         
           15.  Please continue to hold the NAEAC meeting in mid-September.  
         
                NLS Response (Engineering Section):
         
           This will be done.
         
            16. To Carolyn Proctor and Nancy Smith   Thank you for another wonderfully 
             successful NAEAC committee meeting.  
         
                NLS Response (Engineering Section):
         
                Carolyn and Nancy's excellent work is also appreciated by their NLS 
            colleagues.
         
         
         
         
         
         

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