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Axiotron Modbook D2

DAY 2 Stories of 'books gone 'bad By Ko Maruyama
I've been around computers for  a while, so I know that there are quirks, beeps and bumps in every hardware device, but it's always nice when there's an easy, accessible button to correct error when they go wrong.  Especially when the magic button isn't the "power button".

I've booted, shut down, slept and done a bunch of stuff to the modbook that might simulate how I might use it (or abuse it) in a real world environment.   I hate to admit it, but it's held up pretty well.  There are a few times where the stylus hasn't responded, but there are a few fixes for this.  The first is a simple button.  At the upper left corner of the modbook, where the on/off switch is, there's a tablet reset switch (which also serves as a GPS toggle).

Resetting the screen's board usually does the trick to make the pen active again.  Unfortunately, the restart doesn't necessarily make the pen line up with the cursor (or is that "the cursor lined up with the pen").   Frequently, this  step was necessary on startup when the machine was not plugged in.  Other times, the button is necessary after the machine has been woken up from a sleep.   It appears to be connected to the amount of power available.   The active screen area does seem to be a little more power hungry than a standard LCD.

I ran into a snag which couldn't be corrected by the special button.

I've said that I don't use a mouse.  I don't need to when I have the tablet built into the screen.  However, it'd be nice to have a keyboard for a few of things - - oh like when writing an article about the performance of the machine.

Unfortunately when attempting to connect the Apple bluetooth keyboard to the modbook, the bluetooth services dialogue box has locked up both the finder and the pen.  NOTE: be sure to have a USB device ready, or just be willing to restart the machine.  You'll have all of the same ports that the macbook has available for use.

Honestly, I don't think that I'd want to use the bluetooth keyboard on the machine if I didn't have one handy.  I think I'd rather carry around an Adesso flexible keyboard (if it works with the OS).  I don't have one to plug into the modbook.  The websites that sell the flexible keyboards note that it is a PC keyboard.  I can't believe that it'd be a PC-only USB device, but maybe there's a strange driver that activates it.

Still, the great part about the Axiotron Modbook is the fact that I don't generally need a keyboard.  It turns out I could tweet from the book if I really wanted to using Inkwell, but mostly, it's about using the tablet Mac's mobility feature.  Look I'm here.  Now I'm here.  And I'm still drawing... now I'm walking and drawing... THUD.. good thing this is made out of aircraft grade metal.  And I'm drawing and walking....

Taking the tablet out to the sculpture garden and sketching within Corel Painter; anyone would quickly forget about the coarse task of typing, and consider the forms and strokes that this mobile freedom allows.

NEXT: DAY 3....

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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
Related Keywords:product review, mac, modbook, macbook, tabet, ciintiq, wacom, ko maruyama


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