Clone's Dream

Tuesday and Thursday

Commentary, Literary Agency, a Car Accident, and a Tech Toy Review.

Yes indeedy, we're taking frames simultaneously from two places that (so far anyway) have little to do with each other. Someone has requested that I relieve tension by telling you whether or not Wiley is the one they're getting ready to arrest. I won't. Muhahahaha!

The WAIF project is coming along; I should have a first draft of a complete (down to bytes) spec within a week.

I'm also looking for a literary agent to help me sell a novel I've written. And it's looking like that quest could take some time.

Another car crashed into mine from behind this morning on the freeway. I'm pretty sure the repair estimates will exceed the bluebook value of my vehicle. That means the insurance company will decline to repair it, and instead give me money to buy off the policy. Dunno how I'm going to handle that, I sort of depend on that car and I don't have much savings to just rush out and buy a new one. At least after the tow-truck yanked the bumper out of the rear tire, it's drivable. So this afternoon I'm dealing with insurance people.

Oh, and I have a review for a nifty new tech toy.

I recently acquired a Pen-Z "pen mouse" - which is essentially an optical mouse in the shape of a pen. It's a 3-button mouse, and what is logically the "main" button (the one that, on a standard mouse set up for right-handers, is the left button) has two physical buttons attached to it. One is a standard button on the pen barrel, and the other is a tiny nub in the point that detects when you put writing-or-drawing type pressure on it. So you can move it around with its point close to the pad, and the pointer will follow your movements around on the screen. But when you press down, it's equivalent to pressing the main mouse button and you can drag, or draw, or whatever the current application does when you have the main button down.

I have to say that it gives me substantially better control (line drawing, etc) than a standard rodent, so that's good. But it still suffers from a "rotation of frame" problem where, if you turn your wrist while writing (usually I move my arm every few words, and turn the wrist to reach correct absolute locations for individual letters as I write), it doesn't translate the rotated movement correctly onto the screen. "up" on the screen is always the direction the top of the pen is pointing on the pad, and if that direction changes, then your writing gets distorted. Acceleration also defeats writing-type control, because with acceleration you move the pen the same distance, and if you happen to move faster the pointer goes considerably further.

So in order to use it for writing, etc, I have to turn acceleration off and practice a writing/drawing style where the angle of the wrist never changes. It's clumsy compared to the ease of a standard pen. But it's ten times better control (for drawing, etc) than a standard mouse.

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Ray Dillinger ||   

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