9 Replies Latest reply on Feb 23, 2015 3:46 PM by John Stewart

    Omega P 200's end of life cycle

    John Siegel Guide

      This is one I forgot to ask during all the excitement about Beacon. What does the future hold for the Omegas? We currently use the PS200. I'm curious going forward how much longer they will be around, and if\when a new model is released what potential changes may occur. The decision to no longer support remote card swipe interaction with the PS200's was almost a deal breaker. Hypothetically, if someone were to bid on for example a 60 month contract, what are the odds that the Omega PS200's will still be supported through that time frame?  iMFP is an option for the Multifunction devices, but not for the printers.

       

      Just curious as we move into the cloud, what we can expect from the "grounded" part of the solution. 

       

      Anyone else thinking along the same lines?

       

      Regards,

       

                    John

        • Re: Omega P 200's end of life cycle
          Bill Kasper Guide

          John, sorry not to have met you at the conference.

           

          Can you tell me what you mean by saying "The decision to no longer support remote card swipe interaction with the PS200's was almost a deal breaker."?  What decision is this, and what do you mean by "remote"?  We have Magtek swipes on our PS200s.

           

          Thanks,

          Bill

            • Re: Omega P 200's end of life cycle
              John Siegel Guide

              Hi Bill,

               

                         Ah yes the Banana Slug  . I meant to track you down, my uncle lived in Santa Cruz for 25 years. We used to go to the Crow's Nest, and hang out down in Capitola!

               

               

                         In the web interface that the PS150's have, you have a tab labeled remote (see attachments). It allows you to connect to the Omega device via a VnC type connection. You can see the actual Pharos Omega screen with this utility. That means I can attach a card swipe to the device I'm using to connect to the omega and literally print the job by swiping my card. I can also observe users interacting with the device. This capability is extremely useful in remotely testing a device, especially on a large campus with printing locations spread out across multiple campuses as well as off campus sites. I can send a print job, swipe my card to see the job and then print it. The only thing I can't do is tell whether not the screen at the location is functioning.

               

                         The Omega PS 200's do not have this capability, so now when a user reports that the Print Release Station isn't working, if it's a PS200, someone ( thank goodness for student staff ) has to physically visit the site. 99 percent of the time it's user error involving the card swipe, so being able to observe others using the Omega via the remote connection, or testing it all the way through to print means being able to resolve a case almost immediately. We still have quite a few of the Omega PS 150's onsite, but as they die off they get replaced by the PS200.

               

                          So the question was: Do we continue to buy Omegas that do not have the remote functionality or switch back to small format PC's potentially hosted via VMware. In the end we decided to stick with the Omegas, but moving forward there has been some concern on the part of the university that future versions may be less robust. Looking into the future, a potential long term commitment to the Omegas would be based in part on the devices being available through the life of the contract. Hence the question about life cycle.

               

              Regards,

               

                           John

               

                               

                         Omega 150 1.jpgOmega 150 2.jpgOMega PS 200.jpg

            • Re: Omega P 200's end of life cycle
              John Stewart Guide

              We have no plans to end of life the PS200 any time soon.  The current hardware platform will continue to be available so we have no plans to change anything. It will continue to be our flagship terminal offering in the HE space.

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              • Re: Omega P 200's end of life cycle
                Ricky Johnson Tracker

                Just an additional question to John's original question of lifecycle support: we've only had PS200s on our campus, so seeing this Remote Control with the PS150s was a "That would be useful" moment.  Are there any plans to provide that in another firmware release (currently running 1.0.1 revision 11257)?

                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Omega P 200's end of life cycle
                    John Siegel Guide

                    Hi Ricky,

                     

                                   We asked that same question several years ago when the PS200's came out and were told it was a possibility, unfortunately it hasn't happened.

                     

                    Regards,

                     

                                   John

                    • Re: Omega P 200's end of life cycle
                      John Stewart Guide

                      The root of the difference lies in the X-windows implementation used on the two different platforms.  The PS150 kernel provided first rate implementation of a VNC server which was used for the remote access feature.  For the PS200 we utilize PICO Gui.  This provides us with a superior runtime GUI environment but the associated implementation of the VNC server has proven to be inadequate.  Implementing our own VNC server on the platform has not proven feasible.  So at this juncture it is a technical limitation of the PS200 kernel's implementation of VNC.  We were hopeful that, with time, the issues might be resolved, but no luck so far.