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Input Devices Linux

Ask Slashdot: Digital Pens On Linux? 74

Posted by timothy
from the pen-envy dept.
New submitter Gonzalez_S writes "There are many digital pens out there, but none of them seem to work on Linux; unless you combine them with a tablet. I have contacted many vendors (Lifetrons, Dane-Elec, ApenUSA, IntelliPen..) and only Intellipen responded that there is very limited support for Linux. Do any of you know of a digital pen that works fine using Linux on normal paper? Some options to explore: can the pen work in real time on my PC screen? Can it function as a mouse? Can the pen work offline? Do I need a tablet (preferably not)? I would be happy if anyone shares a success story here, as they seem a great tool."
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Ask Slashdot: Digital Pens On Linux?

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  • by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @10:54AM (#41842101)

    In standard Slashdot fashion, I'm going to suggest something that ISN'T what the author requested, but it is something I found very useful.

    In our office, we have an HP digital 'sender'. It is little more than a glorified sheet feed scanner, but it is VERY useful for me. I take a lot of handwritten notes in meetings, and I'm never using the same notepad or pen. The result is that while I'd love to automatically digitize my notes on the fly, there would be many times in which I would forget the digital pen and be stuck with 2-3 sheets of paper that required extra effort to digitize (if it was possible).

    Relying on the scanner station is actually VERY simple. I just grab my notes, drop them into the sheet feeder, and press the button (preset for me). in about 2s/page, the machine scans my notes, converts it to a PDF, and either emails it to me or stores in my LAN receiving folder. I'm not sure if the station can do OCR on the fly (I'm sure some do), but a simple script can kick off an OCR job whenever a file is received from the document scanner.

    The entire process can be unattended, and for me, I just grab my notes and drop them right into the shredder. (It took me about a month of notes before I trusted the machine not to mess up).

    However, it works pretty well once you get it going. My notes get stored as a PDF, and I don't have to worry about compatability with a pen/tablet or batteries, or losing the pen, or buying special paper.

    It's not a perfect solution, but I've found it very useful, and if you don't find a compatible digitizing pen, this might be a fallback option, albeit a non-portable option.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"