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Axiotron Modbook D4

DAY 4 Inked Up, Linked In By Ko Maruyama
I've always had a keyboard, so there has never been a need to use the Ink Utility that comes with the Mac OS, but since using the modbook - I realize that there is a very good use for it.  There are some limitations to the application, but it adds a lot of functionality to the modbook which otherwise only has a floating software keyboard.

The modbook came with Inkbook which is now out in beta as 2.0.  InkBook takes advantage of the ink utility in the Mac, allowing you to write your notes directly into a software notebook.  While you can use Ink alone to export to TextEdit, inkBook allows you to go out to TXT and RTF formats as well as exporting to PDF directly.  inkBook also has spotlight support.   Admittedly, there are many features to inkBook that I'm only just starting to learn about.  While my handwriting isn't necessarily the neatest, I generally haven't had much trouble with recognition unless I draw continuous lines between letters.

I'm just getting the hang of inkBook as the tablet goes back to Axiotron
You can find more about inkbook from MageSoftware (

If you're like me - you probably haven't really needed a practical use for Ink/recognition on your Mac OS.    Until now.

I've been using the modbook for several days now, and the one thing about this hardware is that it doesn't come with a keyboard.  It's like a "slate" computer.  You write on the screen, and have access to all of the software installed on the macbook guts, but the keyboard has been removed to make space for the drawing surface.  At first this bothered me, but as I become more adept with the stylus and drop down menus again, I not missing the shortcut keys as much as I did on the first day. (There's a bluetooth wrist-keyboard: I refuse to wear. (famous last words)).   

But now that I have the Mac Ink settings where I like them, the lack of a hardware keyboard is not a big deal.  I suppose, I don't even really need inkBook - - although there may be some functionality that I have yet to discover.

Without the InkBook software, you could use the Ink window to send your scribbles to a text document.  (see movies below).

So if you're online and need to write up some brief emails - you could create some very quick responses using the ink features.  Of course, you'll probably need to edit the message a bit more (depending on your ability to type).   If you're up around the 80-120wpm typing range, you'll bemoan the stick.  But it's better than having to carry around additional hardware. 

I'm finding little reason not to get a modbook.  Especially for the simple tasks it can handle and the portability it offers.  I haven't particularly clocked it, but the battery life and wishing for a MacBook Pro (15") undercarriage are the only things holding me back right now.

You can use Ink while linked up to just about every situation you'd want to use a keyboard for.  Although I'm not logging this story using Ink, I suppose I could.  hmmmmm....

You can find out more about Ink from Apple's website of course.  If you want to find out more about the modbook - specs and sales and the obvious stuff, check out AXIOTRON's website.

For rants, ramblings and general announcements - check out a chaotic blog in the BlogZone:

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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
Related Keywords:product review, mac, modbook, macbook, tabet, ciintiq, wacom, ko maruyama

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