Michael Tsang - How does Tablet PC's digitizer work?

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Michael Tsang is the guy who writes the drivers for the Tablet PC's digitizer, so if there's one guy who really knows how it works, it's him.

By the way, if you are a developer interested in building software for the Tablet PC, you should check out the new MSDN Tablet PC Developer Center.

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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      terri
      I'm curious if you've seen many (or any) failures of the digitizer during testing?

      Is the life expectancy of the digitizer less than other components?  Is this the most vulnerable part of a Tablet PC?

      These are questions I've been asked and don't have a good response.

      I'd like to add something to the FAQs I keep.

      Thanks!
    • User profile image
      androidi
      Is there any buttons in the pen, if not, is it possible to incorporate a "button" into a passive pen (no battery etc)? How's single click separated from double click and what about right clicks on the mouse, you have to push the pen twice against the screen or what? I'd imagine the pen could have a area which is pressure sensitive, functioning as a button.
    • User profile image
      eto
      androidi wrote:
      Is there any buttons in the pen, if not, is it possible to incorporate a "button" into a passive pen (no battery etc)? How's single click separated from double click and what about right clicks on the mouse, you have to push the pen twice against the screen or what? I'd imagine the pen could have a area which is pressure sensitive, functioning as a button.


      I guess you havn't used a wacom tablet before..  The pens can get quite complex, even without a battery.  My wacom tablet (same technology that's used in a tablet PC, minus the lcd screen and the pc.. heh).. anyway, it has 2 configurable buttons - I have it set up to be right click and the other double click.  Also, there is an 'eraser' at the top of the pen, so you can flip it around and start erasing things (super cool, feels like an eraser when you use it!).

      I'm not sure if these pens would be compatible with the tabletpc's that use wacom's technology though...  it'd be sweet if they did though!

    • User profile image
      terri
      androidi wrote:
      Is there any buttons in the pen, if not, is it possible to incorporate a "button" into a passive pen (no battery etc)? How's single click separated from double click and what about right clicks on the mouse, you have to push the pen twice against the screen or what? I'd imagine the pen could have a area which is pressure sensitive, functioning as a button.


      There are several functions that can be configured for the pen.  Holding the pen rather than tapping on a highlighted area will act as a right click as will a double tap.

      The button can also be configured to be used as right click, or several other commands.  Some pens have more than one button that are configurable as well.
    • User profile image
      terri
      Some Wacom pens will work with Tablet PCs, but not all of the older ones.
    • User profile image
      Xp flyer

      My digitizer is not working

      but by understanding how it should work I might find a solution or is there anyone who has an idea?

      here the proble:

      I have a nearly new  Xplore tablet PC   iX104  with Pentium III  

       

      It runs on Windows XP tablet edition

       

      I installed SP2  recently what actually cured the problem for some time ???

       

      This computer has two screen based input modes, TOUCH SCREEN and DIGITIZER
      switch able with a click on an icon or a function button. (the only way to get back when digitizer fails, but a second small problem this function button does not work all the time) 

       

      The problem started from the beginning at windows set up. I used a USB adapter P/S2 keyboard to enter names (big mistake) it triggered multiple device entries for the same device.

       

      In the digitizer screen function the curser should and did move (without contact to the screen) but after 1-2 minutes there was a conflict and it stopped.

      (like in the old days with windows95 installing a modem and the mouse got an IRQ problem and hang up after some time)  

       

      My thinking the multiple USB devices triggered a problem:

      I deleted all of them and restarted the system; most of the devices were self detect and the drivers were available.

       

      I compared my computer with a similar Xplore unit

      The Device manager and the full System directory

       all is identically like Pen settings, IRQs, etc..etc.. 

       

      Only two differences

      Under device manager

       the eTurboTouch (WHQL LOGO) T4/T6/ Turbo Pen , USB (UPDD)  and

      the HID compliant mouse is listed

       

      the Universal Pointer Device Driver is not installed anymore (and it is not self detected hardware)  Touch base confirmed that their product has nothing to do with the digitizer function!

       

      And second difference some USB devices depending what was installed on the computers before are still in.

       

      After upgrading to SP2 both screen modes Touch and Digitizer were functioning for around two weeks  with out the additional  UPDD but then the digitizer failed again there were no system changes or modifications involved, it just happened after switch on. 

       

      I would be happy for any hind of how to get more information on the digitizer.

       

      Regarding the pen. It looks like a normal tablet PC pen. 15$ replacement. But it has a button that can be used as a right click in digitizer mode. (and this was working too)

      Could it be just a defective pen or a hardware screen problem. But it was working for 2 weeks uninterrupted. 

       

      I appreciate any commentary; just do not make it too technical.



       

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