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zwmiked
August 22nd, 2008, 04:22 PM
I have searched the internet, and looked up installations for my Lenovo X61T tablet. And i've seen articles about how to make this hardware work or this graphic driver work.

But i never see articles written about the various tablet pc programs out there to compare with OneNote or what uses tablet pc's have in linux. I know this is such a young field (or i should say exotic ha ha) that there are not many people developing for it. But surely we have good contenders for applications!

How does GIMP work with a tablet? Can i airbrush using height of pen to control strength? how about erasing? can I use that like a real eraser?

How about handwriting and note taking? Is there any good full screen writing mode similar to transcriber for windows mobile??

Thats what I want to find out first before even digging into how to make active rotate, bluetooth and other functions work on my new X61T.

Currently I'm running Kubuntu 8.04 with KDE4. I'm a pretty big linux newbie - i've had my hand in linux for over 2 years, but i never really went much beyond the standard configuration or popular programs for linux.

Thanks for the help guys!

rob.webinator
September 16th, 2008, 05:01 PM
zwmiked,

I'm interested in following this topic and your foray into the Ubuntu on a tablet world. I'm a bit of a linux zealot and only boot Windows to use Garmin Mapsource. Anyway, I also hate paper because it is not convenient for filing and searching. Dilemma. I am an atmospheric (space) scientist and graduate student. I will probably buy an X61t within the next 3 months for professional (C, Matlab, IDL) and student needs (note taking). For note-taking, I will most likely boot or VMWare into Windows due to the better user experience for that process. However, I hate proprietary file formats. A deal breaker for me would be the lack of handwriting / note-taking software which can export to something more widely recognized and suited for archiving (and Google Desktop) like Adobe PDF. Can you comment on this?

Other thoughts so far?

zwmiked
September 16th, 2008, 05:23 PM
Rob,

I agree, I too WANT to be a linux zealot, but I am stuck with vista due to the tablet pc functionality. I HIGHLY recommend the Lenovo Tablet - but they are about to EOL them and release a new tablet in the near future - meaning you can get some great deals on this bad boy if you want. few buyers tips:

unless you REALLY want the touch screen and a super low resolution/brightness - get the stylus only screen (SXGA+) - i regret getting the multiview/multitouch display because of the resolution and the brightness
Get the extended life battery, its worth every penny


As far as filing and searching. I am a database developer and a marketing director for an international IT company. And i'm an entrepreneur on the side, always working on new company ideas and such. I HIGHLY recommend you check out www.evernote.com - while it does not have a native Linux application yet, they do have web access and the windows application can be run in WINE (though i do not know how well the stylus input works in WINE). Evernote allows you to sync your notes in the program with an online server. Its free up to 40megs a month, and X number of pages of notes. The system organized based on tags and 'notebooks'. You can also use the search bar which searches handwritten notes, text, and even TEXT WITHIN IMAGES!!! Thats right - take a picture of someones business card, add it to evernote, and you can search for that name to pull up the card! VERY nice application. The best alternative to MS onenote out there. Evernote has a way to go - but it is still the best program out there I have yet to find for the niche market.


In terms of note taking all together, M$ OneNote still has the best application out there.Its really hard to explain without writing a multipage paper on the subject, but basically it comes down to the little details that they added. Evernote is close - but it does use a proprietary database format - you can export data by emailing notes to other places or simply copy and pasting out of the program. The windoze application also allows you to sync with a folder although i have not tested this feature.

For Linux, the only program I've heard everyone recommend for note taking is Basket, but i have yet to try it out.

For Linux, I also will say that there is JACK for tablet pc handwriting recognition software. Take a look at the vista input screen. You can write whole sentences then press input, or do letter by letter like and upgraded old palm pilot input, or you can use the onscreen keyboard. Terrific software application - even had a special set of buttons next to the handwriting input to let you move the cursor, hit enter/delete, etc.

There is NOTHING like that input panel for Linux that i have yet to find. I have found only one program that lets you input text on a letter by letter basis, called "Cellspace" or something. I have also found another onscreen application that looks like it was made in a laboratory. Supposedly lets you enter text using everything from a stylus to ocular implants.....

Linux has a long way to come before it can be considered a player for Tablet PC use.


(On a side note, Owning a Lenovo tablet PC has been my dream for 4 years now. I spent over 2 months researching tablet pc's on the market with unlimited budget, only to confirm my dream to own a Lenovo. I've had it for around 2 months now, and LOVE IT!)

My blog is out of date, but I will be posting articles to it - please check out http://www.MyMobileMusings.com (New articles will be coming out soon about my tablet pc experiences so far)


Anyone else have any input on software suggestions for me??

I am desperate to break away from vista (although i will admit Lenovo does a good job of not installing bloatware in this lenovo - haven't had to uninstall one program they installed yet!)

McLogic
September 17th, 2008, 04:33 PM
For Linux, I also will say that there is JACK for tablet pc handwriting recognition software. Take a look at the vista input screen. You can write whole sentences then press input, or do letter by letter like and upgraded old palm pilot input, or you can use the onscreen keyboard. Terrific software application - even had a special set of buttons next to the handwriting input to let you move the cursor, hit enter/delete, etc.

There is NOTHING like that input panel for Linux that i have yet to find. I have found only one program that lets you input text on a letter by letter basis, called "Cellspace" or something. I have also found another onscreen application that looks like it was made in a laboratory. Supposedly lets you enter text using everything from a stylus to ocular implants.....

Linux has a long way to come before it can be considered a player for Tablet PC use.

Yes, it looks like Linux has ceded this 5% of the market to Microsoft, and is not even trying. Microsoft wasted the customer's money for a few years with buggy and hard-to-install Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC.

Linux could catch up faster, but it would require a large well-funded development team. This is what all the big changes have. Openoffice had a company, and now has Sun. Firefox had Netscape/AOL/Mozzilla Foundation (Google money).

Without a big project and a big donor, good handwriting and touch will never happen. It is too big and monolithic, it involves the development of too much IP in too short a time.

Needs full-time pros: $$$$$




I am desperate to break away from vista (although i will admit Lenovo does a good job of not installing bloatware in this lenovo - haven't had to uninstall one program they installed yet!)

I think it might be better to just run Ubuntu in a VM on Microsoft Windows Vista. I really hate to say that, but it will give you the best of both.

I currently run Microsoft Windows in a VM, but I do not have a tablet.

zwmiked
September 17th, 2008, 05:11 PM
Yes, it looks like Linux has ceded this 5% of the market to Microsoft, and is not even trying. Microsoft wasted the customer's money for a few years with buggy and hard-to-install Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC.

Linux could catch up faster, but it would require a large well-funded development team. This is what all the big changes have. Openoffice had a company, and now has Sun. Firefox had Netscape/AOL/Mozzilla Foundation (Google money).

Without a big project and a big donor, good handwriting and touch will never happen. It is too big and monolithic, it involves the development of too much IP in too short a time.

Needs full-time pros: $$$$$




I think it might be better to just run Ubuntu in a VM on Microsoft Windows Vista. I really hate to say that, but it will give you the best of both.

I currently run Microsoft Windows in a VM, but I do not have a tablet.

All completely valid points. To me it all comes down to demand. There has been relatively low demand for Gui applications for tablet pc and touch screen devices. This is due to the lack of users expanding into the linux world with these devices.

We touch screen users do not have any sort of funding now to really push tablet pc use. However I'm willing to bet that will all change when Google's Android is released and sold on phones. More open source projects will result.

Sigh, its a sad realization about tablet pc's and linux. I'm glad I held out to purchase a new tablet pc with great specs, instead of buying a used tablet pc with the 100% intention of running only linux on the system! That would have been a huge waste of money sad to say!

wooppssy
September 21st, 2008, 11:17 PM
I have a X61t thinkpad and am running an only ubuntu, Its really great once you've configured it correctly. If u have config questions ask.

zwmiked
September 22nd, 2008, 01:30 PM
I have a X61t thinkpad and am running an only ubuntu, Its really great once you've configured it correctly. If u have config questions ask.

Please do tell,

How is your active rotate working?
Thinkvantage buttons for accessing configuration settings when in tablet mode?
what do you use for handwriting recognition?

How about notetaking software?

TheCarNinja
September 23rd, 2008, 04:59 PM
Please do tell,

How is your active rotate working?
Thinkvantage buttons for accessing configuration settings when in tablet mode?
what do you use for handwriting recognition?

How about notetaking software?
I love my X61t under ubuntu. Let me just say that first.

CellWriter is at current the best you're going to get with handwriting recognition in Linux. It does not do free flowing hand recog but its still pretty good.

Xournal is the best one I've used so far. Some like Jarnal but on first glance it isn't really that great. I experienced pixelation and it couldn't read my handwriting. Looking at it you could configure it to read it, but I don't have the time right now. Xournal just works.

Autorotate can be done a number of ways, just do a search on the forums and thinkwiki (look for it on google) as well. If you like I can try and compile a list of sites for you, just let me know.

Personally I never bothered with the thinkvantage button, everything is pretty much accessible from my desktop so it didn't seem necessary.
The amusing thing is that right now I'm using Windows XP because of the resume bug. My job requires that i be able to start up my tablet in about 5 seconds. Hardy ... well I need to take time to upgrade my kernel from what I understand. :(

zwmiked
September 23rd, 2008, 05:42 PM
I love my X61t under ubuntu. Let me just say that first.

CellWriter is at current the best you're going to get with handwriting recognition in Linux. It does not do free flowing hand recog but its still pretty good.

Xournal is the best one I've used so far. Some like Jarnal but on first glance it isn't really that great. I experienced pixelation and it couldn't read my handwriting. Looking at it you could configure it to read it, but I don't have the time right now. Xournal just works.

Autorotate can be done a number of ways, just do a search on the forums and thinkwiki (look for it on google) as well. If you like I can try and compile a list of sites for you, just let me know.

Personally I never bothered with the thinkvantage button, everything is pretty much accessible from my desktop so it didn't seem necessary.
The amusing thing is that right now I'm using Windows XP because of the resume bug. My job requires that i be able to start up my tablet in about 5 seconds. Hardy ... well I need to take time to upgrade my kernel from what I understand. :(

Cell writer may be good - but does it offer the quick access buttons on the left hand side of the menu like vista? these make it easy to write and do stuff without switching to an onscreen keyboard to perform several tasks - see below for a what i'm talking about:
http://i.msdn.microsoft.com/ms704870.679a5180-4416-4926-b95b-248f5b835947(en-us,VS.85).jpg

Lol - wow - 5 second startup - I do notice that my standby to resume on vista is quite fast.

What about basket? How does basket compare to Xournal?

Cell writer is a big problem to me - if thats the best they got - we're in trouble! I want to see some real handwriting recognition software! Sigh, if only I could still program (and had the time!)

TheCarNinja
September 24th, 2008, 02:59 PM
Well something like 5 seconds you understand. Waiting 1-2 minutes to jot down some notes is simply unacceptable. Give me a pad and pencil at that point.

I've been looking like crazy for free handwriting recognition. Honestly I can't find it. The closest I've found is penRight but it doesn't seem to be for linux anymore.

I know what you mean zwmiked about how Vista looks. XP looks very similar and it can actually recognize my freehand for the most part. Cell writing is a pain in the butt but it does work to a degree. Someone really needs to come up with the software. When I was looking on google this was something that was apparently promised on linux 4-5 years ago.

Like I said, I love me my linux, but on a tablet PC without its writing functions and proper resume... i hate to say it but I'm going to stick with XP... at work anyway. It still dual boots Ubuntu. :)

Oh and I've never used Basket, I'll look into it later.

SaintDanBert
October 30th, 2008, 04:48 AM
I too tried to gather and config the parts for a vanilla X61. It was so tough that I parked the vanilla and bought the Raven.

My X61 Table runs Hardy v8.04. I bought it from Emperor Linux -- their Raven Tablet. Emperor has some custom kernel patches, but their support folks tell me that almost everything else is out-of-box ubuntu from the net.

I can tell you what is installed for whatever features you are struggling with. I can also tell you about configuration details for those features. I would welcome whatever other "using Linux" information that you might share.

~~~ Saint 0;-D

SaintDanBert
October 30th, 2008, 05:09 AM
Please post your list of tablet-supporting and tablet-related application packages.

~~~ Saint 0;-D

zwmiked
November 3rd, 2008, 04:54 PM
I too tried to gather and config the parts for a vanilla X61. It was so tough that I parked the vanilla and bought the Raven.

My X61 Table runs Hardy v8.04. I bought it from Emperor Linux -- their Raven Tablet. Emperor has some custom kernel patches, but their support folks tell me that almost everything else is out-of-box ubuntu from the net.

I can tell you what is installed for whatever features you are struggling with. I can also tell you about configuration details for those features. I would welcome whatever other "using Linux" information that you might share.

~~~ Saint 0;-D


I remember seeing Emperor Linux before, How do you like the software? I was thinking about contacting them to see if I can purchase the configuration from them, But now with Intrepid Ibex, I don't know if its worth staying with Hardy, or upgrading to Intrepid.

SaintDanBert
April 18th, 2009, 03:50 AM
I use my EmperorLinux Raven Tablet (lenovo X61) as a tablet all the time and quite successfully. Xournal provides similar features to M$ Journal, and CellWrite provides per-character stylus input. I've used both Gimp and Inkscape with the stylus. I'm no artist, so any artistic nuance is lost on me.

Don't write off linux and tablets just yet. As I understand Xorg is going through major changes as is input device and pointer and related configuration in general. That might sort out during 2009 sometime as I understand things. At that point the angst of tablet config drops dramatically and more folks will have stylus features.

In my experience, the stylus is fine as a pointing device and CellWrite will input small items. Sadly a large number of X11-apps are particular [read, "picky"] about their input mechanics for reasons that escape me. Once you have stylus click, double-click, right-click and friends working well enough, you get a resonable tablet behavior from ubuntu linux.

For example, I recently attended a conference. Made notes using Xournal, saved them to PDF and shared with colleagues. Received PDF and used Xournal to mark-up and share. Received M$-doc, used OpenOffice and made PDF then used Xournal to mark-up and share.

Could there be a better experience. Of course, but
not bad for "mostly free" as in beer.

bcw
May 3rd, 2009, 09:41 AM
Hi,

Please have a look at my handwriting input projects:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=7203261#post7203261

Cheers,
Bret

beke
July 27th, 2009, 09:29 AM
For a nice, but slightly out of date collection of useful tablet applications, check out

http://wiki.informatik.hu-berlin.de/nomads/index.php/X61t_Erfahrungen#Tablet_Anwendungen

it's in German, but basically it's a list of links.

What I would really love to see in Linux is

http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/inkseine/index.html

http://graphics.cs.brown.edu/research/pcc/research.html (lineogrammer looks nice...)

One can always hope, right? ;)