Well written Jeff. Attached are my thoughts on the card reader from around January.
One really good point you raised here though is that you needed to reboot the system to get the card out of the reader. Could you get the card out of the reader with a paperclip instead? Every reboot of the system in the field makes me “uncomfortable”. It’s not that there is a specific problem with rebooting, but if we are going to corrupt the system some day, I bet it is going to happen with a reboot, so I would like to see operating procedures keep that to a minimum.
Sorry, I meant the new R-6 AVTS units.
--- Begin Message ---
- To: "Green, Pat" <GreenP@diebold.com>,"'Tab Iredale'" <email@example.com>
- Subject: RE: Card reader update
- From: "Ken Clark" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 15:01:10 -0800
- Importance: Normal
- In-reply-to: <B56CDE69406ED211844700A02461EDDE0468F7C5@a09devlab.diebold.com>Pat,Just so that you are in the loop on the history... The original prototypes did not have the locking reader that is in the units today. They had a simple slot like the desktop card readers and the Jornada. Here was the theory. The on-screen instructions and pollworkers would instruct voters to leave their card inserted into the ballot station. If a voter were to remove their card during voting, the screen would change to instructions telling the voter to reinsert their card to continue voting. Though there might be some possibility of voters inserting and removing their card (like at a gas station), seeing a screen that says "insert your card and do not remove it" a couple of times would not leave a lot of room for confusion. The beauty of this design is that it is light, cheap, has no special power considerations, and has no moving parts.Enter Frank Kaplan who insisted that the reader have a locking mechanism. About the same time, Jeff Dean took over research and development. Between the two of them they decided to change the design. Jeff and Ian found the locking reader we are using today, and changes were made to the housing to accommodate it.It is obvious to me that the current locking reader won't work. I have told this to anyone who would listen for about a year now. The mouth takes too much manual dexterity. It is non-obvious to people used to bank machines that you have to push the card with force the last quarter inch. The locking mechanism is too lightweight to be reliable in a hostile environment. In short, I don't think it can be fixed with a torque screwdriver. Beware of those who do, or be willing to send them into the field when the weather changes.That all said, I think finding a solution moving forward is going to be very "challenging". We are probably too far gone at this point to return to the non-locking concept. Perception alone will probably prevent that, even if it is the best solution in my humble opinion.The alternative is to use a proper bank-machine-esque reader that "sucks" the card into the machine and provides the required reliability. Unfortunately this is going to be large, heavy, and expensive, in a machine that is already too large, heavy, and expensive.All just my $0.02.Ken
--- End Message ---
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Green, Pat [mailto:GreenP@diebold.com]
> Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2002 2:11 PM
> To: 'Tab Iredale'; 'Ken Clark'
> Subject: Card reader update
> The likely cause of the card reader problems in manufacturing (see this
> morning's emails) is mechanical mounting. Any stress placed on the reader
> seems to inhibit the operation of the release mechanism. This
> isn't proven,
> but it's the best guess as of right now. ...Pat