mac modbook 04

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Some disconnected notes:

• Some users may be put off by drawing on a slick surface. The screen is a slightly frosted piece of glass- frosted enough to diminish the spread of fingerprints and goo but not enough to soften the image or provide much real "tooth." The work-around some use with a standard tablet is to place a piece of paper on it. Obviously, the same thing wouldn't work here. I'd suggest diving in and getting used to it. Won't take very long.

• I'm growing more accustomed to the miniature on-screen keyboard provided by the Modbook software. I'm getting faster, and I've discovered that quite a few of the two-key shortcuts that I thought were off-limits are actually usable: the command and option keys both stay down when first clicked and allow a second key to be clicked. That means when I usually hit command-j to float a selection to a new layer, I can hit the command key then the j key for the same effect. Sweet epiphany!

• Currently there's a small but growing on-line community in the Axiotron Forum. There are 41 posts under "Arts", 38 under "Healthcare" and none under "Architecture and Design."

• There are a number of Psychologists interested in modbook notetaking. Some have mentioned iDictate. Though still imperfect, they claim it's much better than iListen, ViaVoice and MacSpeech. I believe iDictate is a PC app, and they may be referring to Dictate. Obviously there's some name ambiguity that needs to be sorted out later. These aspects of the tablet's use are not really something my background would lend any insight to.

• Architecture and design may be somewhat confounded by the difficulty of making straight, precise strokes. I've tried a padded ruler and the cursor offset makes it very difficult to get good results.

• The pen buttons can be programmed to a limited degree. I've added the side button's upper end as a "modifier" then chose the "Shift" key. When I start a stroke then click the button, it's like holding the shift key down and strokes are constrained to horizontal or vertical. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to use the shift functionality of connecting click points with straight strokes. There's a problem invoking the shift key with the side button before the pen makes a click.

• Programming the pen, like building surfaces and brushes in a graphics app are important points of exploration. Neither are limited to just the modbook, but are important to standard tablet users as well.

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