Oldskool Wacom

At Aligent all our workstations are on CentOS 7, which is fine & dandy except for one thing. I couldn’t get my Wacom tablet to work.

Ever since I started using computers I’ve used a graphics tablet as my preferred input device and after 20 odd years I can’t stand using a mouse.

Why? Aside from the issue of RSI it just feels so slow and inaccurate. Using a mouse there is another step in the chain between brain and screen. You look at  the screen and know where you want the mouse, then you move your hand and the cursor moves closer to the target. Then you repeat those steps until the cursor is in the right place and THEN you can click. With a tablet, the pen is mapped to the screen. Your body is clever enough to quickly learn the exact position to move your hand  and touching the pen to the tablet is a click. Much quicker.

For the past few weeks I’ve been unable to get my latest Wacom tablet to work with linux. Today I found a solution. I dug out a 20 year old tablet I stole from a company I worked for in London back in the 90’s. Sure enough I plugged it in and bosh – it worked first time. Happy days.

I just love oldskool solutions to modern tech problems.

The meta refresh

This is a trick from waaaaay back in the olden days. You wouldn’t want to use it for much, but there ARE times when it’ll come in handy. It works in every browser ever made and simply forwards a user to a chosen page. Possible uses of the humble meta-refresh might be;

  • On an index.html file you want to redirect to a working version of your software.
  • As a final fallback in case none of your fancy stuff has worked.

    <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="5; url=http://example.com/">