Home          Contact

ScribeVision TechNews:
Web Developers

Webmaster Tips

XML & MetaData

Website Owner News


Before ScribeVision There Was Active Desktop
by Rodney Hammack

Briefing Active Desktop

Maj Patrick Martin, Division Automation Officer, briefs a VIP while Maj Brian Attaway (Deputy G6) looks on.



The groundwork for what would become ScribeVision was begun long before it's 'birth' at the Mission Readiness Exercise at Fort Polk in the fall of 1999.

Some of the basic concepts were experimented with as far back as the summer of 1998, during a Warfighter exercise at Brownwood, Texas. When the Division Management Office (DAMO) was tasked with setting up a tactical local area network (TACLAN) for the exercise, I proposed creating an intranet and sharing information in a html format.

The resulting web page was successful enough to demonstrate the potential of using a web based approach to sharing information within the division.

I was later asked to create a new public internet site for the 49Ad.  Among the requirements for the 49th AD web site was the ability to update news and announcements quickly.  To accomplish this, I utilized a Java applet that would display information read from a simple text file.  The intent was to allow the division PAO (Public Affairs Officer) to update the text file using a simple text editor (such as Microsoft Notepad).

The following year, when the 49th AD began intense training for its impending deployment to Bosnia, the TACLAN web reemerged.  This time, I blended elements from the Warfighter web page with the division's internet site.  The scrolling text applet became the centerpiece.

The resulting web product came in two formats - a traditional intranet web site and a scaled down version designed to utililize the 'Active Desktop' features of Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser.  The former was intended to be utilized as the TacLan's 'start' page while the later was created to be installed on all of the laptops on the TACLAN as the machine's 'wallpaper'.

Active Desktop allows any html document to be set as the desktop wallpaper.  The result is a web page easily accessible by users.

Although initially skeptical of the active desktop approach, the Division quickly adapted it once they saw it in operation during early training exercises.

The active desktop web utilized elements that were later incorporated into ScribeVision - the scrolling text applet, phone listings and the ability for users to easily browse network folders within the web browser.

Back to Top


Click Text to Pause

SFOR 7 On-Line Museum

Experience the history of the SFOR 7's historic peacekeeping mission to Bosnia.  Learn why it truly was "History in the Making"!


Balkans News