Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

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Technical Junkie

I have always hatred recognition systems for things like typing. Speech recognition, at least, isn't all that slow, but handwriting recognition is pretty doable, but so SLOW compared to just typing. But I've noticed that when I get the Dragon Naturally Speaking fired up and running, I actually speak quite differently than I type. My language is different. It's why, when I write sermon parts, I have to read them aloud before they're finalized to make sure that they actually fit spoken language rather than written.

Sometimes it just cleans up the language, really.

I was looking at the simplest Bamboo system from Wacom on Amazon and contemplating that they would send it to me without any shipping costs when I thought "What the hell?" and checked Craig's List. I'd checked after Christmas, assuming that someone would want to get rid of them after getting a bigger one for The Day; but there weren't any for the next month or two... so I'd stopped checking.

But reminded by various other things, including trying to paint someone else's line art, that a mouse really doesn't work all that well for the job, I finally looked again.

And there was a guy from Longmont trying to get rid of exactly the system I was looking for. So I emailed him, he called after work (and after a visitor had come and gone and after my massage appointment, so I was grateful) and he said he'd come by and sell it to me if I liked it. So he did. He just drove to my house and while John watched the calibacitas to make sure that they wouldn't burn, I plugged it into my system and it just flat out worked.

I paid him cash, for a good deal less than I could have gotten it from Amazon. He didn't have to ship it anywhere, and I didn't have to wait. *laughs* And it was well within my monthly budget.

Serial number's even on the back of the panel, so I could even register it.

The default Vista drivers aren't that great, so I installed the ones that came on the disk with it; and I'm like Woah, this is MUCH better, and it's easier to sketch with the thing than paint with it, at the moment. And then Vista started nudging the side of my desktop with a handwriting recognition panel and I had to try it. *laughs* Having been the daughter of a man into speech recognition for nearly his whole life, it's fun to see how the technology keeps going.

I still hate handwriting compared to typing. So, no, I'm NOT writing the whole thing, but I did do the first paragraph on it and am convinced that my keyboard is still utterly the way to go.

But GIMP works like a champ with the whole pressure thing, both for color and for the lovely pressure sensitive width of line for the ink and pen. I've now done bamboo leaves with it and I'm impressed... goodness. I hadn't thought of doing the fine line detail work of a rather different style of Chinese painting before... but now I'm starting to think this might be a fun way to do it without having to worry about ink thickness, running on paper, and with Undo. Uh oh.

Now I can actually digitally paint some stuff without getting Mouse-Arm from it. That should be very good indeed.

I'm enjoying the discovery of the thing, and I'm still not good enough that I'll need anything more complex for quite some time.

One very interesting thing is that the navigation stuff at the top is actually more touch pad like and so actually rather more ergonomic for my hand problems relating to mice than I thought it would be. Plus it's mildly programmable as to what I can do with the keys, so I'll probably make it do something it was never meant to do... *laughs*

Jet's been in school the last couple of days, and I'm gradually getting back into the swing of actually being able to write; but now I've been derailed a bit. *laughs* And tomorrow is a Late Start morning, AND I've got a consulting gig in the afternoon... so things are a'changin' again. I really do want to get the next chapter of Twin Souls done as well as Tenpou's tea and I've been tempted by a Bleach AU. Plus stark's said she might even write a short scene with Chris to match my bit with David, and it would be fun to lure her back into it.

We'll see.
Tags: art, technology
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