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Re: [vox-tech] Fwd: Re: [OT] Electronics & hardware geek sought
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Re: [vox-tech] Fwd: Re: [OT] Electronics & hardware geek sought

On Mon, Jan 05, 2009 at 11:35:13PM -0800, Bill Kendrick wrote:
> Check out this (from Wikepedia -- but you will also find other about the same topic:

Thanks, Lee...

> If it would be helpful to you, I could try to find that name of a student who several years ago cleverly used such devices to automatically document patient positioning.

My immediate interest is in the pressure or tilt sensing on a board that
you'd stand on (like the Balance Board that you use with WiiFit on the
Nintendo Wii -- think mini surfboard, or wobbly bathroom scale).

In the _meantime_, I just got an Atari Touch Tablet (similar to the
Koala Pad of the era, and Wacom Tablets of today).  It's 25 years old, and
was new, in box... I got to be the first to ever crack it open and use it. :)

It's a nifty device because it simply acts like a pair of paddle controllers,
reporting the X/Y positon of wherever you're pressing on the tablet
(either with the stylus, or your finger).  It's not pressure-sensitive,
like modern Wacoms, of course.  And the resolution is about 200x200.
But that's fine for drawing on a typical 4-color screen on an old 8-bit
computer... usually 160x192 or there'bouts.

SADLY, I plugged it into Stelladapter and ran 'jstest' on my Linux laptop
just now, and while it recognized it as a pair of axises (axes?) and
some buttons, it didn't seem to sense when I pushed on the tablet.
I was seriously considering jury-rigging it as an input device for Tux Paint.

In the meantime, it came with a fairly nice paint program (on cartridge)
for the Atari, and since it just looks like paddles, it's _insanely_ trivial
to program for, even in BASIC.  (Unlike a mouse or trackball, since those
require listening to the controller port constantly, for bits getting flipped
as the ball rolls around.)

Oh, and the paint program is normally in what you'd call "absolute mode"
on a modern system (that is, top left corner of tablet is top left corner
of screen).  But when you zoom in with the Magnify mode, it's in
"relative" mode.  (Meaning the cursor moves and the zoomed-in image pans
based on how far you move the stylus each time you press it back down onto
the pad.)  Very clever, especially for 1983 ... pre-Macintosh!

"Tux Paint" - free children's drawing software for Windows / Mac OS X / Linux!
Download it today!  http://www.tuxpaint.org/
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