Bamboo Fun

I got an early Christmas present today. It's a Wacom tablet. I was looking at one a year ago, but got a new cell phone instead. I have to say that I can't wait to get better at using this thing. At first I thought it would be impossible to learn write on one surface while looking at a screen, but by the end of the day, my handwriting had cleared up and I could draw fairly accurately. Below is a picture I played with in Photoshop.


You can use it as your only input device if you want. It's capable of it. A little bar floats in and out of the left side of the screen. Click a form and then click the bar and you are given an input screen. Just write on the tablet and click insert when you are done and the software translates it into text. Of course that's in a perfect world. You have to train the software. You can do this as you go. It will learn from your corrections. Or you can go through the training steps of writing 50 sentences that the software gives you.

I played around with voice recognition software to write faster a few years ago. It sucked back then. You could train it, but it took forever. I eventually used it to write surreal poetry. It's about all it was good at. I haven't tried any of this type of software since.

But the handwriting recognition software is surprisingly good. I would actually give it a chance. I am still having trouble writing as fast as do on paper, but it's getting better. I was going to write this post that way, but I gave up and typed it.

The set also came with a mouse, but the pen is just as good. It will do everything the mouse will. It has two buttons close to where your thumb would be.

The only thing I would do differently is get the bigger model because the pad represents the computer screen. A size closer to the size of my monitor would be nice.

Stephan Miller

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Kansas City Software Engineer and Author

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