A fortnight on new SCN with a cheap tablet
With really bad timing, I had planned a short conference followed by personal time off, immediately after the SAP community site upgrade on October 10. Making matters worse, the house needed to be turned upside down for replacement doors and windows, because when the contractor says you are on their schedule, you tend to touch their feet. As the coup de grace, Google announced that their Panoramio site was going read-only on November 4, causing me to scramble both to figure out how to preserve years of uploads, and squeeze as many new shots up before the end.
To lessen the weight of my road warrior armor, I planned to carry only an Android tablet and my phone. And a camera. But no Windows laptop, which I would normally tote on a business/pleasure trip for VPN and MS-land tools. The question at hand was whether I could contribute and be productive on the new community platform without excess aggravation (because that seemed a given in the migration, for most of us).
I dealt with the multiple target subdomains (answers, blogs, messages, people, etc. etc. dot sap dot com), and the top-level oddball sap JAM site by preloading tabs on the Chrome browser. Once in a while I’d end up closing one I needed. Thankfully, password management stayed mostly out of the way.
The change to the moderation tools meant I didn’t have sufficient experience after the site change to be much help, and the less said about that the better.
Other than site navigation, what I needed to blog as I hoped was image management, both from live camera shots and from screen shots. The cheap tablet I procured has an easy screenshot button on the detachable keyboard, but editing images was a different story. Transferring shots from my external camera to the tablet hit a snag when the OS offered to “format” the micro SD card instead of showing me the existing content. The phone images would upload, but the camera wifi app wasn’t worth the pain.
First issue: the built-in google image edit would not save cropped files:
I tweeted for help, and @steverumsby came to the rescue. Mostly. [ https://people.sap.com/steve.rumsby1 ]
He warned me off the cheap tablet, too late.
Without the standard app, I went through a couple not-up-to-spec apps before lighting on Fotor, which does the job handily. I would prefer the resulting screen images be saved as PNG where they started rather than JPG, but given the compression and use here it’s good enough.
I even played with contrast and color enhancement, to experience what the kids do today with their snappy chatty filters. Very serviceable.
On to the community work, then, enough about my tool box.
I tried Moderation, both as an alerter and an actor. The one below I think was still in flight during my trip. If it was released, it still needs a tweak, if you follow me. From the Android tablet perspective, the new site worked well enough.
Search, on the other hand, is not where I thought it should be. As an experiment, I searched for “license key management.” My view is there aren’t 27,000 blog posts on this topic. Oddly, the answers hub returned 410 questions, which seems more accurate, but perhaps lower than reality.
Then there are the bad moments, where an image copied onto the tablet was visible on the download site first, then when an edit was attempted, showed as a corrupt file. Just the modern day jolly roger pirate flag, and poof, your priceless moment thrashed.
In transferring images from both the camera and phone, I found certain meta-data missing. During one attempt to backup dozens (ok, hundreds) of shots, I got them onto the tablet via the phone, but they ended up with the timestamp of the copy, not of the original. And the latitude/longitude that was recorded by the camera’s GPS did not make it thorough the copy.
Finally, a gratuitous animal image, taken with my phone on New Orleans Jackson Square and cropped on the tablet.