Dan Newcome on technology

I'm bringing cyber back

Using old tablet pc as input device

with 7 comments

I have an old tablet PC lying around that I sometimes do UI sketches on.  It is pretty underpowered though, and the only app that I really use on it is Windows Journal.  Windows Journal is a very lightweight pen-enabled bit of software that allows you to do quick sketches and note taking using the stylus.

The biggest downside of Windows Journal is trying to export the drawings into something that I can send to the rest of the team.  After doing a sort of dance that involves exporting the drawings to web sites and then ripping the image files out, it occurred to me that maybe I could run Windows Journal on my main laptop, and just use the tablet as an input device somehow.

My first thought was to log in using remote desktop.  This works, but the sample rate of the input device makes it a little slow.  Drawing lines and basic shapes works ok, but handwriting doesn’t really come through.

I seem to recall seeing that Douglas Adams, creator of Dilbert has some sort of LCD screen that he uses with his regular desktop to do drawings.  Ideally that is how I’d like to use the tablet PC – like some sort of graphics tablet that has a display built into it.

Back to the drawing board.


Written by newcome

August 26, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

7 Responses

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  1. The item you are thinking of is called an Interactive Pen Display and is made by Wacom, one of the main makers of graphics tablets.

    The Cintiq range consists of a LCD screen inside the graphics tablet on to which you can draw directly, exactly the same as a normal tablet.

    They are quite expensive, but well worth it if you can afford it.

    Pen Tablet Reviews

    August 28, 2009 at 12:56 am

  2. Please email me and I can SHOW you an example of exactly what you want to do.
    The how and why is a different story but I think MS dropped the ball on this and their more flagship app One Note. I used to do exactly what you are looking for on an old Gateway tablet and still can on a new Acer laptop with a much cheaper Wacom Intuos graphic tablet/pen. It would be helpful too for me to write to a developer.


    September 14, 2009 at 12:57 am

  3. I just came into an underpowered tablet myself and was wondering exactly the same thing. Did you find an answer to your question? I’d love to hear what you came up with.


    November 17, 2009 at 10:39 pm

  4. printscreen button?


    December 8, 2009 at 10:26 am

  5. any updates three years later?

    holytrini (@holytrini)

    January 4, 2012 at 2:21 pm

  6. Superb article, well planned and constructed. Pat yourself on the back!

    look at this

    April 10, 2012 at 12:12 pm

  7. I have been browsing online more than 3 hours today,
    yet I never found any interesting article like
    yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.|
    I could not refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!|
    Do you have a Pinterest Social page?


    January 9, 2013 at 3:54 am

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