Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Linux driver for old serial Wacom tablets (Intuos and Intuos2)

So I bought an old Intuos1 tablet from eBay. I knew that USB tablets were perfectly supported, and that there was some difficulty getting serial tablets to work. Sadly, I misread the description (it said "connects via USB adapter"), interpreting it as an USB tablet, while it actually was a serial tablet with a serial-to-USB adapter included. (note to self: Properly read eBay descriptions next time!).

Now, support for old serial Wacom tablets was dropped from xf86-input-wacom quite some time ago due to a large refactoring and the lack of developer resources to keep this part of the code maintained.

However, literally only a couple of days ago, an initial driver was released by Julian (tokenrove) that supports old serial protocol IV tablets. Right now it has tested support for Digitizer II tablets, and it should also (untested as of yet) support Cintiq, Cintiq2, Penpartner and Graphire serial tablets. The initial announcement and code can be found here.

I created a fork of this driver to implement support for my (protocol V) Intuos tablet. Currently, all features are implemented and working (pen and eraser movement, pressure, tilt; mouse movement and buttons). The driver is still a work-in-progress at the time of writing, but it should already be sufficiently stable and functional for every day use with an Intuos tablet.

I still need testers with an Intuos2 tablet to test that part of the code and/or testers with an Intuos tablet with extra tools (eg airbrush, ...).

The code can be found at my github repository wacom_serial5. Development discussions can be followed in this thread on the ubuntu forums and the linuxwacom-devel mailing list.

Monday, July 4, 2011

DIY reverse ring for macro photography

This is my take on making a reversing ring for high quality macro photography on the cheap. It is based on an old UV filter and a small M42 extension tube segment.

I'm using an extension tube instead of the more custom method of using an old body cap because
  1. I did not have an M42 body cap and
  2. the extension tube is made of metal, whereas pretty much all body caps are plastic -- this is a plus!

Full details and a tad of theory after the jump.