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This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

This is a project to create a product for students. You could look on it as a stripped down laptop. Its only function it to let a student take legible notes during class. It is essentially just a quiet keyboard with a tiny display, perhaps just one line. You can download what you have typed into it, perhaps with a USB (Universal Serial Bus) port or via an Ethernet LAN (Local Area Network). The keyboard does not need a numeric keypad. This will help shrink the entire device.

Your job is to design the software for it to let the student create notes, edit, download. Your task is to build a prototype than runs on a desktop PC (Personal Computer), with a specification for the hardware. You probably want to restrict yourself to one of the subsets of Java used on cellphones or handhelds. Make sure you test it out in a realistic environment on a notebook computer.

Another way to tackle this is to use a stylus to scribble on pad, without a keyboard, like the defunct Apple Newton. The scribblings are immediately converted to text.

To make the project more challenging, allow wireless communication between units. During notetaking the unit takes hints from other users. So if you missed something, you may still catch it via some other student. The unit prevents cheating. If you don’t contribute, you don’t get help.

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