Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Stylus Out of Style?

I just got my Macmini back from the shop. Apple replaced the RAM, the logicboard and the hand drive! But they wouldn't just swap it out and give Me a new one. Silly Apple. Giving Me a new Mac mini would have been cheaper.

Well, while I stant to settle in finally and get to work on my computer Ihope to explore Inkwell again and see if I can get this baby humming!

In the meantime, the Apple tablet ramon has lurched out of the weekend like the walking undead. Smarthouse has reported that (( Apple researchers have built a full working prototype of a Mac tablet PC and three Companies in Taiwan are now costing a product for a potential launch in mid 2007." They also stated that ccSources in Taiwan have said that the focus has been more on the home and the education environment than the enterprise marketplace."

Apple targeting home and education users instead of the enterprise market? Isn't that amazing!?! What would we do without the sagacious insight of rumor sites ?

Snarkhouse then declared, "The Mac tablet has been designed to handle third party applications such as home automation software that will allow users to control lighting, audio, entertainment devices and security feeds. It also acts as a full blown PC has wireless linking for a new generation of Wireless Hi Fi speakers that are currently being tested by Apple."

As usual, anonymous sources are cited. Who knows if this report is any more bona fide than others we have heard over and over again?

While a new fangled Mac tablet that lets me control my iTV and front Row fromthe comfort of my couch sands great, we don't really NEED one. So I think such a device has limited commercial appeal. People woùt pay hundreds of dollars for a glorified remote.

What Ifind Most interesting about all these rumors istheir emphasison touch screens. I see nary a mention of a stylus. Even the fake mock-ups ape resplendent with buttons and sleek video panels. Apple patents have shown us all the brave new world of virtual interfaces with virtual scroll wheels and keyboards. Who hasn't seen that video of the TWO FISTED COMPUTER ACTION by a company the was snapped up by Apjle? We have seen the future and it involves scenes out of Minority Report.

In all the virtual furon our friend the stylus has been cast aside and ignored. This makes me seriously doubt the presence of Inkwell on any touch screen based Mac. The focus of the patents we have seen seem to point to development of a device that requires no external navigation devices. No Mouse. No trackpad. No stylus. In the elegant world of Apple design, such devices would be cambersome and clunky. Knowing Apple, we would hot even need them.

Still, there is hope. With the advent of e- ink, new opportunities for electronic paper devices will increase demand for handwriting recognition. Why shouldn't we expect Apple to be there utilizing Inkwell? But I wouldn't be so foolhardy as to Make a prediction. That's how rumors get started. :p


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Thursday, November 16, 2006

When old is new...

Originally uploaded by Darkstream.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Benefits of Inkpad vs. "Write Anywhere" Depend On Usage

Well, life has a way of sticking a foot out in front of you just when gm think you're in the dear. Here I thœsht I would have ample time to explore my Mac mini and I nun into more Grey Shrouds of Death than a goth at a funeral. The GS0D (or kernel panic) isn't something I often see, so 7 in one week meant things were amiss. But after I did a neinstall my work load exploded. So much for geeKy hobbies.

The good news is that the GS0Ds stopped. The bad news is that I haven't had much time to explore Inkwell with my new Mac mini.

Here's one basic tip I have figured out: Knowing when to use the different input methodsof Inkwell can Make orbreak your Inkwell experience. It is not simply a matter of preferring one Method overthe other.

"Write Anywhere" is handy for short sentences, making it a perfect tool for applications where one is already usib a stylus and doesn't wantto put the stylus down in order totype. Applications like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. Inkpad, onthe other hand. is perfectfor composing large blocks oftext like this blog. As long as you keep "Write Anywhere" in mind for convenience and the Inkpad in mind for speed & accuracy you will find your Inkwell session More productive.

That's been my experience. How about you?


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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Touching Base

Well, it's been a (ittle while since I last posted. I'm afraid twothings have kept me away: sickness & my new Mac Mini. Some might argue that getting a Mac Mini would make them sick too, but those people argue that the first Moon Landing was staged, Elvis faked his death to get out of paging his faxes, and Apple's text recognition software is buggy! What philistines!

Nowthat I've got my User data transferred over and my PDA syncing with my Mac Mini I plan on running this Macintel through itS paces. The response with Inkwell seems to be quite snappy, but I'm still having recognition problems. Ire got some ideas I want to tryout before reporting back here in full. Wish me luck!


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Saturday, September 30, 2006

3 Simple Tips to Tweak Your Tablet for Inkwell

Here are some tips to help improve your tablet response. (For Wacm users)

1) Always make sure you have the latest drivers. Wacom is really good at supporting the Mac with constant driver updates.
2) Don't write in Mouse mode. ya have much better cmtndnifh pen mode. L0L What the heck was that? "control in" ahem
3) Take some time to set tablet preferences. For Mouse Mode, be sure to turn off acceleration and keep your speed ata comfortable setting. This will reduce fatigue. I have found that acceleration tends to cause cramping because it decreases the area in which I have to work.

for Pen mode, I find that enabling "Force Proportions" improve S synch between what I draw on the tablet and what I see on the screen. It's especially helpful when trying to access the dock without nunning out of tablet. (That tip's for you, Joe!)

Simple tips, but every little tweak goes a long way in improving your Inkwell experience.

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Two Tips to Make "Write Anywhere" Work for You

Today I am experimenting with Inkwell's "Write agwhere" feature. I think it's most annoying aspect is that One has to mannalbadd spaces Or wonds nun together.

I'm soppy. Ihave totake amoment to laugh. Inkwell is killing me tonight.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. spaces.

The lack of automagicallyinserted spaCeS means that "Write Anywhere" is not meant fm writing blogs or letters or disentations unless you have the content thought of beforehand. Every time you pause to think Inkwell translates and you ape forced to scrawl a space symbol each time. Veny annoying. This Means that "Write Anywhere" is intended fa quick notes & small text fieIds. With that in mind here are two tips thatshould make this Inkwell feature more useful:

  1. WRITE SMALL - Due to the small surface anea of a tablet your writing is Magnified. Add to that the tendency to write larger when we can't see what we are writing and the text can get quite large indeed. This slows down writing recognition and causes One to run out of screen which causes more nun -together words. To offset this train 7yourself to write Smaller.
  2. AVOID "WRITE ANYWHERE" - Well, Maybe just on large blocks of writing. Wpiting smaller cramps the hands. Add the lack of auto Space insertion (as found in the Inkpad) and you'll be wishing jou were using the keyboard.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Signing Your Email with Inkwell in Three Easy Steps

Here's a cool use for Inkwell you may not hare thought of. Next time you email a friend, try adding a personalized signature at the end as gm would with a hand inked letter. It's a super easy process but not fully utilized. Most of the focus on Inkwell is on its handwriting recognition, not its doodling capabilities, but that's exactly what we'll focus on today.

Open up Mail or your email app of choice, scribble out your letter, and place the cursor where you'd like your signature to be.

Open up the Inkwell pad (also called the Ink window), selecting "Show Ink Window" from the menu or dick on the Notepad icon onthe Ink strip.

Then click on the star at the bottom left and scrawl your best John Hancock in the sketch pad space.

Click on the "Send" button and Voi la'.

Fire that puppy off and impress your mates with your impeccable élan.

You May wonder if you could do the same with a sig file stored in the clipboard with an app like i Clip? Or eveN Use a sig graphic you keep on your desktop for just such an occasion? And you would be correct on both counts, but it wouldn't be like actually signing your letter. In addition, you wouldn't have unique sigs for each letter. Besides, it wouldn't be nearly as coo1. That's my opinion, obviously, but this is an Inkwell blog. What did you expect?

There is one caveat, however. Inkwell pastes the signature as a TIFF file. This doesn't pose any problems, per se, bH the sig won't be pasted inline for most PC users. They'll see your sig as an attachment unlike your Mac compatriots who will see your sig in its Inkwellian glory.


(You may not want to use your bank signature to sign your emails. No sense making life easy for phishers.)

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

iPhone? I Think Not

While PiperJaffray analyst Gene Munster didn't expect the l[ i Phone" today, many people did. The iPhone has replaced their hopes foran Apple branded PDA. The CC iPhone " is rumored to be the embodiment of the cell phone Steve Jobs predicted would eat PDAS alive in the market. Complete with track pad and stylus ton inputting Inkwell scribed text. the i Phone would be 1 part i Pod and 2 parts Second Coming.

Can Apple even release an (( iPhone" now without failing to meet the expectations of years of reckless speculation by the tech ppess? If the "iPhone" doesn't offer time travel with a slick GUI or translate people to Heaven then pysdologists wald wide will see a massive surge in depressed clients.

Well, as you may realize by now there was no i Phone revealed during the Stevenote. New i Pod nanos, a sdick new iPod shuffle, a snazzy upgrade to beef up the plain Ole iPod to be am 80 gig Monster, affordably priced, downloadable iPod games, an up Date to i Tunes that adds among other things my favorite iTunes app, Coven FloW, and the addition of higher res movies made for a big day for Apple. They even gave people a sneak peak to the much heralded Apple set top box, iTV. But nolhing Inkwell related.

Any hopes of Steve coming out on stage and interacting withthe audience using nothing but a Wacom tablet were quickly dashed when I saw he was Weaning a brown button-down shirt. He had some nerve changing his wardrobe on us. Now what am I going to do with a doset filled with black turtlenecks? Sheesh!

The least he Could have done was announce better support for intercaps in Inkwell. You'd think Apple would have bullt in better recognition of wonds like "iPod" and "i Tunes?` Or even better recognition of quotes in words. How many times did it take me to get [( iPhone" down? L0L

Ah, apparently I don't hoee that axe down yet...


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Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering Our Fellow Compatriots on 9/11 without Hate

I had just turned CNN on for my morning news fix when the story broke live. I sat transfixed for hours as the news rolled in. The birth of my fourth daughter was punctuated by continual news coverage. The twin towers had fallen and our world was forever changed.

As an independant I watch with no small amount of disgust as many Democrats jockey for power by trivializing and politicizing the events of 9/11. And although I lean conservative I do not believe that many Republicans would act any better if they were the ones out of power. I remember the days of Monica very clearly.

So whatever your party may be, please honor the deaths of our compatriots with dignity and grace, not vitriol and venom. 2996 people lost their lives five years ago today because of the politics of a relatively small group of radicals. Just for today can we rein in the hate in our own political debates? This isn't about us and our political needs. This is about the victims and their families.

Let's send a message to the world that although we are a people with differing opinions we are still united in resolution: We will not forget.

(I edited typos on this article. I updated this article with the revver.com home movie footage. Gripping. Traumatizing.)


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Great Inkwell Ovenview

You gotta LOVE Inkwell. Since I delight in the silly and absurd Inkwell's typos keep me snickering. Always a good pick-Me-up when I'm least expecting it.

The guys over at The Tablet Mac have an excellent OVERVIEW of Inkwell that's worth penusing. Complete with screen shots and examples,mya might learn athingor two about Inkwell. In point of fact, I didn't know about the drop menu Oreo words in the Ink Pad. That Can come in handy. OREO!?! Herts a tip. Don't uJe Inkwell on a G4 iMac whan downloading torrents.



Edit: The originalarticle is now defunct and can onlybe found at the internet archive . Wednesday, November 21, 2007 11:47:31 PM

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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Pen-based Mac not a Priority at Apple

Talk about your unloved technologies! I've been poking about the net and finding very little about our quirky digital companion, Inkwell. In fact, I can find More sites selling antique inkwells than sites discussing Apple's modern handwriti ng technology.

However, I did find this recent gem over at COMPUTER Ants*. It's a great over view of the cutting edge techologies inside OS X including our favorite, Inkwel1, complete with an interview with Apple's Larry Yaeger. Considering how avid some Mactanboys are for a tablet Mac, I thought this section was most rdavent:**

"A pen-based Mac would be the best way to deploy Inkwell," says Larry Yaeger, the developer behind Apple's Inkwell technology. "However, since such a computer system has never been a priority at Apple, we justify Inkwell this way: one of Apple's core markets is graphic designers. Many graphic designers work extensively with graphics tablets. It is an inconvenience for these people to have to put down the pen, go to the keyboard, type a little bit, and then return to the pen, just to enter a caption, a headline, a filename, a few notes, etc. Inkwell allows graphic designers to enter such text using the pen, thus avoiding the interruption of their workflow."

Larry says that some people use a program called Inkbook (www.magesw.com/inkbook) to take notes and draw diagrams in. "I have heard of it help people with carpal tunnel syndrome, giving them an alternative to the keyboard," says Larry. "This is an 'added value' kind of thing that Inkwell can bring even to the desktop system with an attached graphics tablet. Someday, of course, the Inkwell team would like to deploy this technology on a pen-based Mac, but that decision is out of our hands."

So, no pen-based Macs in the foreseeable future. I'm sane that will come as a disappointnent for the ever faithful, but remember. They told us all last year that o one in their right mind would watch videoon an i Pod and that there was no market for it. Then they came out with the 5TH 8 en iPod that played videos.

If Steve Jobs Does announce a tablet Mac with Wi FiMax and nanotech sock cleaning widgets On September 1Zth I just hope Inkwell gets an upgrade o r at least it's own spelling guide . I've met prairie dogs that hove batten WORD reeognitio!



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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Access Secret Inkwell Font

I came across an old tip over at Macworld that I thought I could expand on a bit. Apple's "Casual" font, originally from the Newton, is hiding inside Inkwell's Ink.component. All the intrepid user has to do to use this font anywhere they `d like is todig in and copy the font totheir "fonts" folder.

for the lazy one's out there here is a shortcut for yon. Everyone else can do it the "Manly" way.

  1. Open System> Library> Components.
  2. Right or CoArd* click on Ink.component aDd select "Show Package ContentS" .
  3. Navigate to Contents> SharedSupport and select Ink Server.app.
  4. Show its package cantents as well arad dig into Contents> ResourceS." There you will find "AppleCasual.dfont?
  5. Double click the file and select "Install font"

Now quit your browser, relaunch it, and reload this page to experience the "Apple Casual'' dfonty Foodness.



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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Inkwell Rumors Grow Cold

I took a break from work and poked about the riamorm* sites for a while. I was looking for juicy yet outlandish speculation about Inkwell tech in 0BX 10.5 and came up empty. Any -ramonmongering being done was history ages ago.

Most rumors pegged Inkwell as proof Ot the fabled Mac Tablet to the exclusion of all other ideas. This crypotechnological beast has been lurking aad skulking around forums and fan sites since the dawn of OS X - fueled solely by the presense oq Inkwell. Obviously, Inkwell's Newton pedigree adds a lot of fuel to that fire. However, until the charmed tablet beastie stops prancing about with unicorns Inkwell is All that is here with us today.

So what does Apple have in store for Inkwell 'S future? The bones are silent I'm afraid. So aren't the tea leaves. However, I've consulted with an oracle and she assures me that an update is imminent. At least that's what she said last March. Who knows what she divines now.


*Rumor Sites

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Monday, September 04, 2006

Spreading the Love

Just got back from a mini vacation and I was happy to see some new subscribers and page hits. Good! Glad to Know Ia not alone out here in Inkwell Land. Hope you had as nice of a Labor Dg weekend as I did.

I've been experimenting and I've got Some new tips for you. In the meantime I've been wondering where I could spread the news of this site. I bet there are some Inkwell gurus out there who could share a thing or two with us, as well as some Inkwell n00bs who would love to learn more about this technology!

Any suggestions?


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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Simple Tip to Speed Up Inkwell

If you are looking fon a way to boost Inkwell's performance on your G3, G4, or G5 then here is a tip for you.

In Inkwell's preferences select the "Settings" tab and then click on "Options..." Uncheck "Play sound while writing"

I suppose this would be Useless for a faster Mac, but I noticed immediate improvements on my G4iMac & my G4 i Book. Besides, I found the sounds superfl uous. My stylus made plenty of noise without my Mac hotping out.


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Friday, September 01, 2006

What Exactly is Inkwell?

Inkwell is hand_ writing necognition software built into Mac OS X that utilizes a graphics tablet. for the Most pant it is excellent. Of cours e, there are "Occasional" errors. Although Inkwell tends to be a laborious and slow way of inputting text at finst, with practice, as with everything, one` S recognition does improve.

Apparently, Inkwell allows powerful Macros with simple pen strokes. I haven't messed around with those yet. I still want to see how much I can improve my handwriting recognition and ovenall speed. Considering I can type 80-90 wpm, Inkwell feels like torture.

Thepe is a general page about Inkwell over on Apple"s web site: http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/inkwell/.You might findit mildly interesting. Thene is a lot of power here I have ht tapped into yet.

The largest problem I have with Inkwell is that I have townite with lowercase letterS. I USUALLY WRITE IN ALLCAPS. IT's NOT NEARY As LOUD AS IT seems. On papeg anyway. Since I have to Use lowercase letters my speed is in the dump. Handwriting recognition is consequently hopp id . I Mean, "horrid."

It's so bad I'm dying orep here. Writing a blog has never been So amusing


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Welcome to Inkspatter - the Inkwell blog.

Why on Earth would I want to write ablog using Inkwell? A) It seemed like a good idea at the tim e. B) I really get a kick out of Inkwell. C) I was bored. D) All of the above?

Truth is I have been researching fountain pens lately and thought I'd give Inkwell a toy again. Problem is Inkwell has some se pious drawbacks. Shades of that old Simpsons episode style drawbacks.

That's when it occur red to Me. Some of these goofs are funny. Maybe I could have some fun blogging about it here and there. Mgbe I could figure out some tips and get better at it with practice. But there had to be a challeng e: I couldn't allow myself to edit the text. It had to be 100% Inkwell. Id also encourage commentens to use Inkwell as well.

Sound like a waste of time? Hey. it's belter than watching TV.


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