Okay, I've had the idea to integrate a Wacom tablet into the screen of an iBook. I'm sure you can imagine why I'd want an iBook with a touch-screen. The resistive touch-screens, which are just about all that I could find, are just unsatisfactory, and I don't think they're worth the money. Mouse-click emulation is not what I want for my hard-earned US$659.00 But I thought that since the Wacom pen stylii will work up to 1/4 inch off the tablet, that should allow plenty of room for a monitor. I could then add a sheet of plexiglas (a thin one, if necessary) in front of the monitor for a hard surface on which to use the pen. I have two questions about this:
1. Will the tablet even work with the screen in the way? It doesn't seem to work through metal.
2. How much space is available inside the case of a clamshell iBook (single USB w/ colors)? I don't mind removing support with my Dremel, or cutting away the case of the tablet, as long as everything fits and is functional.
I don't have the iBook or the tablet yet, but I've been looking around eBay for them. I'm open to other suggestions, though.
What a cool idea. Thing is, it will be a tough one. From what you say, I think you are going to pu the waucon behing the screen cause it will recieve input from 1/4". Well that is probably not with an lcd in the way. I doubt that would work. There probably is not enough room for it in the case anyway. What about making a custom plexi case with the waucon in place of the keyboard. Come to think of it...what about removing the keyboard and cutting the case for the waucom. Now if that could be done... :evil: :side: -maestro
If you hadn't guessed it already, I'm turning it into a tablet, which means the keyboard is going. The Wacom will sit where the keyboard used to, which will create some extra room. Then I'll just have to cut a whole in the lid, attach it all, and hope it closes well. But like I said, I can always chew out part of the case with my Dremel.
The thickness shouldn't be a problem, I don't think. How thick is the LCD on that iBook? I've been looking for measurements all over... I may have to actually touch the screen (well, the plexiglas) for it to read the pen, but that's fine. It won't read as a click unless I press it down.
Edit: Oh, and just to clarify, I did mean to put it behind the LCD. Sorry if I confused. I just don't know if it will work. I've been testing my tablet with the few metallic objects I have available. The stainless-steel ruler stops it, but coins do not (most aren't magnetic). I've also been told that higher-grade stainless steel is not supposed to be magnetic. I guess the ruler is a lower grade or something. A friend tested with two rulers, both magnetic, and one stopped it while the other didn't. The only thing I can guess is that the alloys are different and one is more dense than the other. Anybody else?
Sorry for the double post, but I have another question. Does Ink work with tablets not made by Wacom? Ink would definitely be a very nice thing to have after I remove the keyboard, but I could save a lot of money by going with a different brand. I looked at Apple's page on it, and it just referred to graphics tablets without specifying any brands. I guess I should also point out that the machine in question is running OS 10.2.8, but that may change since I don't actually have it yet. Thanks in advance.
well here I sit running some tests on my wacom tablet. After reading about your idea, I was skeptical about the distance from the actual tablet that you can be for it to recognize the stylus. I was surprised to actually get about 1/4 inch,but with noticeable decline in smoothness. I currently have a cardboard sheet from the back of a picture frame, a piece of glass from the front of the frame, one DVD out of case (Van Wilder), and one iLife 05 in a paper sleeve. These are staked on top of one another in that order. This is 1/4 inch from the surface of the tablet which also has a 2 centimeter removeable plastic cover on it.
Test #2 involved just a 1/16" WOODEN ruler and It did pick up
Test #3 involed a pair of scissors. 1/8". It did not pick up through the scissors closed, but did pick up when I tested the scissors open, so about 1/16".
Its worth noting, that neither the ruler nor the scissors worked when stacked on top of the cardboard and glass.
These tests are pretty useless so take them with a grain of salt :blink:. I would say that an LCD will have much different materials that will do a much better job at blocking the RF signals. :pinch:
On the bright side, removing the tablet internals and mounting them directly behind and LCD mean that you'll get another 4 centimeters closer (the case and the clear cover). Also, you can shave another 1-2 centimeters off by modifying the stylus or creating your own. You have absolutely no need for the pressure sensitive tip on the stylus unless you plan on using it for graphic work.
I'd do a little research into the Sony pen-based computers. They have several out there on the market and its worth seeing how they do it. In fact, its also worth a call to a sony service dept to see if they'll sell you parts for it.
Thanks! I did some similar tests, but I didn't have much to work with. I noticed it wasn't as smooth at a distance (through a 1/4 in notebook--the paper kind =]), but I think it's okay.
But before I buy a very expensive tablet, I think I'm going to do a test using the screen from the iBook I'm bidding on now (If I win it) and the smaller tablet I've already got. If that works, then it's good to go. If not, I'll at least have a nice iBook.
I really wasn't optimistic about it working through glass, but I was planning on using plexiglas or lexan anyway. Still, it's a little encouraging. I just hope the LCD works.
And actually, I was hoping to keep the pressure-sensitive tip. I'm a fine art major, and I do a lot of digital art, so it would be nice. But if I can really cut down 4cm (or did you mean mm?) by removing the case of the tablet, that will leave plenty of distance available--about 1.6 in (4 cm) from the screen. Adding the thickness of the plexiglas/lexan and the length of the pen tip should be just fine. It would still have a greater distance than the tablet alone! Of course, I could always shorten the tip without removing it entirely, if necessary.
Well, I finally bought an iBook a couple days ago. It's not especially nice, and it needs some more ram, but it should do the trick. Now to wait for the USPS to get it here.
And as I'm waiting, I'm beginning to fear that my crazy ideas and my compulsion to build things are going to cost me a lot of money. More ideas keep coming. Firstly, there's the issue of only having one USB port, which will be necessary for the tablet. So, I thought I might try to find a very small USB hub that would fit inside the case. That would be helpful, but maybe not necessary. The only reason I'd really need the USB is to move files to my flash drive, and I can just transfer them over ethernet. So that's an option if it doesn't look like a hub will fit.
Aside from that, I thought there are a few keys that would be nice to have on hand, without having to use an on-screen keyboard. Specifically, the return and escape keys would be very useful, and the F keys would be nice as well. Would it be possible to move some of the keys to the lid beside the display?
But this got me thinking that I could simply stick a few keys there (in whatever configuration fits) and make a sort of a reduced keyboard. To save space I could create a layout with which common characters could be typed with a single keystroke, and less common characters with combinations, similar to a stenotype machine (sort of...). This would only require about 8 keys and could be used with one hand while the other holds the iBook. I don't know how I'd do this, but it's one more idea. My brother suggested just getting a FrogPad. Easier, but not as cool.
Does any of this sound feasible, or am I too crazy for my own good?
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