Our dog Oshi loves to chew things. Especially things he’s not allowed to chew. He’s:
- gnawed a large chunk out of a library book ($30 replacement fee)
- destroyed various ballpoint pens
- scoffed a birthday package of handmade chocolates (a close call — chocolate can literally kill dogs)
- eaten countless sticks, potatoes and sundry other ‘garden’ items
- destroyed several kitchen sponges
- scooped up and swallowed numerous unidentified ‘things’ while out on walks
- chewed through the hardwired cable from my Wacom Intuos 3 graphics tablet and destroyed the stylus.
We try to stop his chewing, but can’t seem to get the upper hand. We now mainly keep ‘chewable’ items in places where he can’t get to them, but sometimes forget.
My graphics tablet was by far his most expensive chew. The stylus was done for. The cable has been chewed through, exposing the fine wires inside. So much for my carefully using a USB extension cable to avoid the problem of fraying at the plug end.
The trouble with the Intuos 3 is that the cable is hard-wired into the tablet. Once the cable’s ‘broken’ the whole tablet’s no use.
My insurance company’s going to hear from me about the now defunct Intuos 3.
These tablets are pricy, but I’m lost without one now and would never go back to the awkwardness of using a mouse.
Intuos 4 has a removable cable
A couple of days ago I invested in the Wacom Intuos 4. This is a later model tablet, with an even more gorgeous surface, and a bunch of extremely handy physical buttons and scroll wheel. One huge factor in its favour is the replaceable cable. It even comes supplied with 2 USB cables: one for left-hand and one for right-hand use.
The whole tablet, and pen, are black rather than the grey of the V3 model.
While the V3 model had 4 Control Strip ‘buttons’ that I never quite came to grips with, the V4 has 6 buttons and a Touch Ring, that together allow almost infinite programming.
The Touch Ring
The Touch Ring scrolls, though press the centre Toggle button and it switches by default to various settings for use in Photoshop, such as Cycle Layers, or Change Brush Size. I no longer use Photoshop so haven’t yet experimented with those settings.
The Touch Ring settings can be changed in the Wacom Preferences, to allow more choices than I actually know what to do with.
I love the Touch Ring for regular scrolling. It’s easy to tuck the pen across my palm, rest my hand on the drawing surface and scroll a document I’m reading.
I’ve set the other 6 buttons — the ExpressKeys — after some experimentation, to what seem most useful for me:
- Radial Menu (brings up a sort of programmable heads-up display shaped like a wheel)
- Page Down
- Up Arrow
- Down Arrow
- My 1Password keystroke
The Radial Menu
I really only ‘discovered’ the Radial Menu while writing this Post. Call up the Radial Menu with an ExpressKey and then choose from various ‘layers’ of functions.
I’ve now added a couple of my most-used applications as ‘buttons’ at the top level. Below the
Command button is a sub-level of items such as
Find and the like.
I’m a dedicated graphics tablet user
I first started using a graphics tablet years ago, as a replacement for both mouse and trackpad. I began with a ‘cheapie’ and thought it was pretty OK, once I got used to it. The first few days were a big struggle, but once I grew accustomed to the whole different way of doing things I loved it.
I like having my hand and wrist in a straight line, as if writing with pen and paper. I love the speed and accuracy for choosing menu items, not having to scroll across the screen to get the cursor into the right place. When I edit photos the graphics tablet is light-years beyond trying to use a mouse.
After my first tablet no longer met my needs I graduated to a more expensive and much better quality model. I could immediately notice how much better it was to use. Now I stick with the high-quality tablets, even though the cost is high.
However, I use this thing all day long — I seldom use my MacBook Pro without the tablet attached — and the cost is worth it.
I’m still exploring and setting up this Intuos 4, but love it more each day. And when I’m not using it, the tablet and stylus go to a place that Oshi shouldn’t be able to reach, though you never know, with him!