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
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.