Electronic Sketch Pads Offer Alternative for Mouse-Haters

The Florida Times Union, August 25, 1996 | Go to article overview

Electronic Sketch Pads Offer Alternative for Mouse-Haters


Afraid of mice? If you're new to computing, you may become

frustrated trying to get around the screen using a mouse.

Artists may find it awkward to draw with a mouse, and for

those suffering from repetitive stress injury, mousing around can

be downright painful.

That's where an electronic writing pad can come in handy.

These devices consist of a plastic tablet that connects to your

computer. Instead of using a mouse, you use an electronic pen to

move the cursor around, draw or edit text.

We tried out a new product called MacHandwriter, from

Communication Intelligence Corp. The company also makes a version

for PCs, Handwriter for Windows.

Times-Union staff artist Desi Aragon put MacHandwriter through

its paces. Here are his conclusions:

It didn't take long to get used to using the electronic pen

rather than a mouse to move and click around the screen. To move

the cursor, you hold the pen just above the surface of the pad;

to click, you hit a button on the pen or tap the pen on the tablet.

Aragon found the device surprisingly sensitive and accurate

for sketching.

Using the pen required fewer hand movements and was faster

than using a mouse. Aragon said the pad was comfortable to use

for long periods, with less strain on hid wrist and forearm

compared with a mouse.

Using the device was simple. …

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