Estudante de Engenharia Informática apaixonado pela área; algures em Portugal.

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Computer Science student, passionate about the field; somewhere in Portugal. instance administrator.

  • 5 Posts
Joined 3 years ago
Cake day: September 10th, 2021

  • Make sure to check the return policy for Wacom or whichever reseller you end up going with. Some allow you to return electronic devices (if in good state, of course) up to 30 days or so after the purchase. If that isn’t possible, you can always try to resell it in the second-hand market and make most of your money back, there are plenty of websites for that (from global ones like ebay to regional platforms; I tend to prefer the latter). But if your friend has one of these (or similar) give it a try!

    And yeah, feel free to reach out to me via Matrix or e-mail! You can also try other platforms listed in my website, but I don’t check those as often.

  • (sorry, clicked Enter by accident and ended up posting this half-way 😅)

    So this is a tablet without a display. I never used one, it’s difficult to start using it?

    Yeah, it isn’t a tablet in the usual sense of the word (i.e. it isn’t a smart tablet), it’s more like a tracking surface. The idea is that you use the little pen on it and the whole surface is mapped to your screen. There are differently sized devices, for different precision needs, much like A5 Vs A2 vs A3 etc. I have the medium one and I’m quite satisfied by it, but I had a professor that made class notes with the smaller model and it worked wonders too. Had mine not been offered to me, I’d would be more inclined to buying the small one.

    They may be a bit weird to use at first, but I find that with you get the gist of it fairly quickly. I’ve had some colleagues try mine and while some got it faster and some had to spend a bit more time with it, they all got decent at it in a relatively short amount of time. I’m so used to it now that I make no conscious effort beyond what I’d do for traditional writing. I loose on a non-backlit surface and some of the physical pleasure of writing with true pen and paper (though the pen tip and tablet surface have a nice texture), but I gain incredibly productive superpowers in the form of undo, copy-paste, scaling and rotating, theming (love the white on near-black gray handwritten notes) and more (xournal++, for example, lets you embed images and even voice notes!). The pen even has nice pressure sensitivity, so you don’t loose much expressiveness with your strokes.

    A lot of flaws, right?

    Yeah, for this purpose, I’d say that device is not very well suited. The small version of One by Wacom is $40, which I consider fairly cheap for its quality and the value it can provide. In case that’s too expensive, you may try the second hand market, I suppose.
    Your Acer tablet may still be useful for other purposes, like a Plex/Jellyfin client or similar. For good note taking, even if the device functions decently well with Windows, I’m unsure if the touch sensors are good enough (even if they were originally, they may have degraded performance now, not sure) for a proper experience. Before I tried this pen tablet, I was quite skeptical of digital note taking, but now I love it, and it’s mostly due to its incredible responsiveness.

    So my other question is: what distro do you use on your computer?

    I use Manjaro (based on ArchLinux) with KDE Plasma (now on version 6.1), though I use no touch interface, it’s just a regular laptop onto which I connect this pen tablet via USB. For good touch support, you should look for the mobile variants of GNOME and KDE, namely Phosh and Plasma Mobile, as those are more optimized for that sort of devices. You should still be able to connect Wacom tablets and similar (there are drivers in the kernel itself).

    Overall though, I agree with your last sentence, I think having the note taking tablet separated from the laptop may be better because you can just keep using your daily driver computer and, when needed, plug a fairly cheap but quality tablet and get a good handwriting experience and improved posture (very crucial to me)!

    Happy to discuss this further!

  • Never owned a Surface, so can’t comment on that, but I’m very happy with my One by Wacom (not to mix with Wacom One :p). It’s fairly cheap as far as these types of tablets go, it’s very responsive (I have 144Hz displays and it’s so nice to use), has a nice sueface roughness, it’s plug-and-play on Linux and has 0 maintenance (no batteries to swap).

    What I like with my setup is that, contrary to traditional writing on paper, I can sit properly, looking forward, avoiding some bad neck and back pain I usually get otherwise.

  • Yeah Xournal++ is probably the best hand-written note taking and PDF annotation program available on Linux, it’s pretty well known. The system settings permission is to honor some global settings you might have enabled, and the file system access is so you can save and open stuff from anywhere, I assume.

  • I carry my things in the front pockets of my jeans: on the right, just my bare Pixel 4a; on the left, my keychain (with 3 keys and 2 small tools, no car keys), my small leather wallet I bought at an artisan market many years ago and occasionally my trusty Edifier X3 earbuds.
    Then, in case I make purchases and people hand me tickets (which I’ve been getting into the habit of refusing in advance, no need to waste paper), I stash them in one of my back pockets, typically the right one.

    The layout for my left front pocket is almost always the wallet to my right, the keychain to the left and the earbud case on top of the wallet.

    Additionally, I typically wear my analog wristwatch (smallish, very simple and non-flashy, matte grey metal core with lightish leather band) in my left arm and, in sunny days, wear my aviator-style glasses.

    In winter, I may use a scarf and/or gloves, but it’s often not necessary where I live.

  • Here in Portugal, most display useful info like date, time, outside temperature (with varying degrees of accuracy), as well as services provided by the pharmacy or some general (often season specific) health recommendation.

    The use of a bright green sign is, of course, to seek attention, but it’s also useful to quickly spot an open place at night, when most are closed and only a few remain opened longer in each town/city neighborhood (called “farmácias de serviço”, i.e something like “pharmacies in service”; they usually rotate between themselves each week). Nowadays you can check which places are available at night through a nice website, but the signs remain a useful thing, nonetheless.

    The animations are just a culture thing now, I’d guess. Different pharmacies employ different animations, some wackier, some less, though there are very common animations for sure, such as the one where a 3D cross is animated rotating on multiple axis at the same time, making a nice spin back to its original position.
    Why? I dunno, they break up the usual info display and help grab attention? I dunno, you get used to it and it mostly gets filtered into the background hehe

  • I’m not sure how they are less usable than Discord. “Everyone” (using quotations here because it’s not an absolute thing, but it’s almost so) knows how to e-mail, it’s one of the most fundamental Internet skills. Using Discord, however, is not, for a large amount of people. Sure, most developers either have had contact with Discord at some point or are capable of figuring it out just fine anyway. But seeing as FLOSS really shouldn’t just be about developers (as Drew points out too) and as end users should also be accounted for, e-mail as a basis for coordination and support is a very valid choice.

    It’s pretty much account-less (in the sense that you don’t need to create yet another account), it’s easily indexable (there are plenty of web UIs for mailing lists), it’s convenient and highly asynchronous, not to mention it’s a mature and well established open standard and decentralized protocol, with lots of open tools that fit the spirit of FLOSS in general.

    Discord, however, is closed, “unindexable”, doesn’t work offline at all (with e-mail you can read and compose e-mails totally offline, it’s heavier (both in terms of computing resources and data transfer) and full of intrusive pop-ups and whatnot (and has arguably distracting money-seeking features). That’s fine and maybe desirable for certain types of communities, specially the instant aspect of it, which is a strong and harmless difference between the two, but it’s not fit for the base space for contact between developers, contributors and users.

    In my opinion, of course.

  • I’ve been finding Zulip quite helpful. It’s threading model is great and they overall focus quite a bit in the project coordination use-case. You can either self-host it or pay for their managed hosting (which is free for open-source projects), and you can add a plugin to make static HTML pages of streams (aka channels) in order to make stuff indexable and searchable (and iirc this is getting polished and built into Zulip’s core).

    If you care about accessibility, email is still the best choice — it’s mostly text-focused, doesn’t need an account (besides what is universally seen as the most basic Internet identity), truly decentralized and has mature tooling. I just haven’t found a really good mailing list archive web UI. HyperKitty is good, but isn’t quite there for me. is neat, but lacks a lot of features. Above all, indexability and searchability (from inside the UI itself) is key.