[Translation of the above text image: This story was written on a notepad...a Real One! In the early 1990s, my brother gave me an Amiga 500 Computer. For the first time, I had real computing power at my fingertips...and thus began a life of computer keyboarding and my abandonment of paper.]
Ever since that time, Iíve been wishing that I could get back
to using a pen and clipboard. Clipboards were always a convenient way to make a
note wherever you were and then have your notes available to you whenever you
needed. At last, there is a convenient, portable computer accessory available
which has liberated me from lugging laptops around, worrying about greasy hands
making a mess of my keyboard.
Now, make no mistake. The poorest grades I received in school
were for handwriting. Using a pen or pencil is not natural to me, yet writing
is so fundamental that I had to develop some skill at it. The intro paragraph
should be proof of my poor penmanship. Itís quite a problem for me to read my
own writing, let alone expect a piece of software to parse it into intelligible
Still, I pined for the convenience of a clipboard again. The
recent spate of Tablet PCs just havenít thrilled me (although they finally have
an upgrade cycle thanks to Windows Vista) and PDAs like the Blackberry, Palm
Pilots, Windows(CE)(Pocket PC) and the Newton have always left me cold with one
or many incredible shortcomings that destroyed their utility.
So when I ran across the Adesso CyberPad I was completely
ready to be underwhelmed by yet another poorly done analog to the clipboard.
I WAS COMPLETELY WRONG!
First, the price. Adesso retails it for $199.00 but you can
shop around and find it for around $150 US. Thatís almost insignificant
compared to the cost of a new Tablet PC. Consider that if you have any version
of Vista which includes the Tablet PC tools, merely adding this devices gives
you the handwriting features of a Tablet PC at a lower cost. If you donít have
Vista, donít worry. There are enough tools included with the CyberPad that you
can get along without your system being enabled as a Tablet PC.
It wouldnít be accurate, though, to characterize the CyberPad
as a mere I/0 device for turning your computer into a Tablet PC . If you use
the CyberPad disconnected from the PC, it becomes a standard clipboard but with
the capability of recording your pen strokes just as you write them. By adding
an SD memory card, you can supplement the internal memory allowing you to store
a whole notebookís worth of written pages as BMP images. Need to depict a
network connection but donít want to struggle with Visio? No problem! How about
sketches? Here, for example, is a very rough dimensional sketch I made as I was
making a part for a vacuum cleaner.
Itís amazing to me that the CyberPad can record my pen
strokes through 130 pages of paper! Since the CyberPad can use the tablet PC
features of Windows Vista, Microsoft Office Ink will also work with the device.
The CyberPad comes complete with software
(Windows only), rechargeable batteries, a battery charger, ink cartridges,
stylus, paper and a USB cable. If I were to make any complaints, they would be
few. Amongst them, the pen is fairly ugly. Sometimes, the device doesnít read
my strokes if the pen leans too far. It would be nice to have a button for
right-clicks. Finally, the fact that the pen requires a battery and doesnít use
standard ink refills means inconvenience is just down the road.
The long and short of it all is this: for
less than a couple hundred dollars, you can finally bring the utility of a
legal pad to your PC. It doesnít matter if your computer is the simplest
available on the market. I'm thrilled with the Adesso CyberPad and Iím sure you
will be too!
Tools Used in This Story
- Free Notes (included)
- Office Ink (included)
- Pensoft Pro (included)
- MyInk/MyForm (included)
- Microsoft Office Ink 2007
- Windows Paint Windows Vista Pen Training