February 5th, 2011

Tablet usage in Ubuntu

Having just received a Thinkpad X201 Tablet, and installing Ubuntu 10.10, I decided that I should try the tablet function. There are some packages available for Ubuntu that work well: Xournal, which allows you to draw and write on the stylus, CellWriter, which recognizes your printed letters (one at a time, each in a box), and Magick Rotation, which rotates the screen from landscape to portrait. when you flip the cover to tablet mode. The first two are regular Ubuntu packages; Magick Rotation is downloaded from Launchpad and has a somewhat odd installation; it appears that you download a script that then wgets the real application.

They all work quite well. I particularly like xournal's feature that can read a PDF and save the written-on result to a PDF; even apart from the tablet functionality, just being able to fill in a PDF form and save it is nice (you can use the keys to write, so you don't need a stylus and touchscreen). Of course, you're not really filling in a form in the PDF sense, you are creating an image on top of the old one.

The buttons adjacent to the screen don't work, I'm not sure how to make them work.