Tablets and stylus pens

2021-05-17 @Technology

I normally praise analog methods in achieving the desired end; or the simpler, retrograde technological means of minimal constraints and dependencies.

And though I write this on a tablet, and one recently upgraded from a much older model, I still strip down the operating environment to the minimal (without ‘rooting’ or other crafty machinations). I still desire no more than a blank console and the VIM editor.

Now I tend to nearly forget that also exist these cute stylus pens as means to interface with the display. I’ve had no need for one, as I mostly appeal to a BT keyboard. Any occasional fondling of the screen I can bear with the tips of my bony fingers.

However, while exercising along the periphery of the lake, I noticed a chap resting on a bench, a far larger tablet and stylus in hand, engaged in some meditative act of composition.

As I virtually never witness the tablet-stylus persona out and about, I presume this mode of operation still represents a tiny minority of smart-device users. Or perhaps they mostly extract their mischief at home.

Fed by mild curiosity in that peculiar gadget and his practiced usage, I appealed for a brief exposition. (Though more likely, I looked for an excuse to chat with a being beyond the usual suspects, those being geese and algae.)

The engineer (as I quickly discovered) uses the device for nearly everything: for hand-sketching models, taking notes, drawing caricatures at daunting meetings, making vocal annotations and reading Die Zeit.

As the workflow involves an entire imaging suite, similar to what digital graphics designers might use, he has an inexhaustible supply of pen types, colors and manipulative operations to perform with that stylus.

And in contrast to the analog pen and paper, he has the freedom to reposition, redirect, manipulate or eliminate the existing in a far cleaner manner.

I totally bought the fact that after his one year of usage, he feels as swift and dexterous with the device as with the pen and paper. It all seemed interesting and plausible.

Yet I still prefer the pen and paper: with its static nature, with all the scratchings and the blotchings.

The idea of engaging a smart device outdoors for such involved work, doesn’t inspire me much appeal. I dread taking anything along beyond a basic dumb-phone (and quiet often don’t take even that).

The paper stack of index cards works perfectly fine. Though as I’m not an engineer (in the formal sense of the term) or a graphics designer, neither am I impelled to the means.

I don’t really even feel the need to experiment with the stylus system indoors, involving unnecessary complexity and more resource-intensive applications.

However, some of you may find merit in such a system. If anything, it would present a sight differing from the pervasive and the hopelessly obsessive immersion in the typical 5-inch smartphone.

Questions, comments? Connect.