tablet notebooks and biological illustration

Roger J. Burkhalter rjb at OU.EDU
Tue Apr 29 08:15:49 CDT 2003

On Tue, 29 Apr 2003 09:31:15 +0930, Chris Glasby <Chris.Glasby at NT.GOV.AU>

>Does anybody out there have experience using tablet notebook computers for doing
>biological illustration and image analysis. From my fairly limited background
>reading about these devices it seems like they could be a useful tool for
>creating (and analysing) microscope digital images by :
>- tracing around the outline of an image projected from a microscope camera
>- tracing an image captured from a microscope mounted digital camera and
>displayed on the tablet;
>- digitizing point coordinate data for morphometric studies;
>- point to point measurements on captured images (provided the tablet can be
>Are there any recommendations on hardware or software? The Toshiba Portege 3500
>seems to be some reviewers choice (among those with a keyboard), but I am unsure
>if existing software developed for more traditional tablet digitizers will work
>with the Windows XP equipped Portege.

It should work. I have no experience with tablet PC's but they have software
extensions built in that allows use with the provided stylus. Resolution
would not be as good as a stand-alone digitizing tablet, but you would be
tracing over an image on the screen not tryiong the "hand-eye-coordination"
thing you do with a digitizer. I use a small Wacom digitizing tablet with
Photoshop on a WinXP computer and it works just fine. I have yet to find a
laptop that has a good enough screen to work on images in Photoshop (or
equivalent), especially grayscale images, but tracing should be fine.

Roger Burkhalter
Curator/Archivist, Invertebrate Paleontology
Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History
University of Oklahoma

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