tablet notebooks and biological illustration

Toby Marsden lists at TOBY.ORG.UK
Wed Apr 30 19:42:15 CDT 2003

> > I am unsure
> > if existing software developed for more traditional tablet digitizers
will work
> > with the Windows XP equipped Portege.
> Traditional tablet digitisers under Windows 9x interface with the
> operating system through a dynamic link library known as WinTab. WinTab
> does not come with Windows and is usually installed along with the
> hardware. Normal tablet software checks for the presence of WinTab, and
> won't work if WinTab is not present.

For those tablets using the Wacom active digitiser (AFAIK, that's all
tablets except the HP/Compaq TC1000 -- to be avoided for this work anyway
due to its use of the Finepoint digitiser that doesn't provide pressure
sensitivity), you can download a Penabled-branded enhanced graphics driver
from Wacom which will allow the tablet screen to be used with pre-tablet
software via Wintab. This provides full 256-level pressure sensitivity to
legacy apps. It is not required for software developed for WinXP TPCE.

See for more details.

As to hardware, I would wait for the Centrino-based 2nd generation tablets
to hit later this month. In the UK, RM is marketing one of the first models
(a Tatung machine), with a price tag some 40-80% lower than that estimated
for similar spec Centrino tablets from other manufacturers. See
for full details. In Australia, both Acer has announced a Centrino version
of its TravelMate tablet, and Toshiba is expected to follow suit shortly. I
would expect Centrino machines to be far more suitable for the type of work
you suggest due to their improved chipsets supporting more RAM, the higher
power of their CPU compared to the current PIII-M models and the longer
battery life.

Kindest regards,

Toby Marsden

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