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Author Topic: Vista x64 - Frustrations and work arounds  (Read 8269 times)
Claymonkey
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« on: February 20, 2009, 10:45:48 PM »

So part of why my personal Cintiq build went on hold is Vista x64 and the sheer lack of drivers for Serial Wacom tablets for it. I understand this is old tech and they have no good reason to build drivers for these old systems but still...

Has anyone had any luck with this? Let me lead you through all the ....fun.... things I've tried.

At least once a month I've tried google searches looking for different options.

- tried the old pre-SP1 x86 hacks in all their variations:http://imbmd.blogspot.com/2008/01/getting-gd-wacom-tablet-working-in.html has most of it in one place.

Tabletworks - http://www.gtcocalcomp.com/supportcalcompsoftware.htm I've kind of gotten it to work at times... but the lines it makes are jaggy at best.

Which led me to learning a little about WinTab which seems to be the basis of a lot of tablet functionality. http://www.logicgroup.com/WintabDriver.htm I then emailed them about the $99 drivers you can buy for Wacom but they directed me to another site I had stumbled upon in the past....

...Vtablet - http://www.vtablet.com/ this one seems to work pretty well but its $75 after the 30 day trial and if I ever rebuild or move to a different computer I'm suppose to buy it again... obviously I haven't bought it yet to find out if it calls home or not. The interface is also not everything I'd like... I can best explain what I mean in how the old UD Wacom control panel feels like XP/Vista in ease of use when compared to this seemingly 90-98% functional software that you have to configure like mad, but in the way that the old Linux GUI's did....its all there.. but where? or is it there?  All joking aside this seems like a solid product and I don't begrudge him making money off his hard work... but TabletMagic which does the same thing for Mac OS X which is Open Source with donations suggested.The whole point of this project is to find an economical alternative to buying the snazzy Cintiq we all really want.

Keyboard/Mouse sharing programs: Synergy, Input Director, at least one other whose name escapes me. The hope with this method was to have the tablet attached to a XP box that would see the Vista rig (with photoshop) as another monitor. I could either not get this method to work due to Vista issues, or only get it to work with the drawing tip without pressure sensitivity and no eraser/button support.

Vmware Workstation 6.5 w/ Unity - http://www.vmware.com/products/ws/new.html- If you've used Vmware Fusion on the Mac you know this allows you to have an XP computer virtualized inside your desktop and you can run programs within it and they look like they are just running in your OS X or Vista computer natively. Sadly.. this doesn't translate over to drivers (at least not Wacom serial tablets).

Which led me to the only thing that mostly works:

Vmware Workstation 6.5 full screen with XP x86 installed - If you install XP in a virtual machine on your Vista machine and then let it control you serial port or USB-Serial adapter the wacom drivers work perfectly.

A few problems, or at least things you have to be aware of.
- Do not have your tablet plugged into the USB/Serial adapter when the XP system first sees it.. The Tablet and the adapter (whether the tablet is on or off) will basically both respond with their Vendor ID's (this is how your computer knows if a device came from AMD, Wacom, Intel, Logitech....) and they will merge into a new vendor ID that doesn't exist, and will NOT work with your USB/Serial drivers.
- The power state you had your tablet in when you suspended or minimized your virtual XP machine seems to matter and your tablet will not work until you reboot the XP computer (with the tablet on at this point seems to work best).

All this makes you want to run screaming back to XP 32bit.. but then you only get 3gb of your ram available.  Versus the 4-6GB you might have installed. At least with the vmware method you can then have that virtual XP computer have 3gb of ram and it will only use what it needs leaving the rest to Vista (and Vista can take it back if it needs it).

So has anyone had any luck? 

Possible directions:

- The Wacom penabled technology is actually the UD base with a hardware key build in so the drivers know its a tablet PC.  If there was a way to hack the drivers so the UD tablets worked that would be ideal.

- TabletMagic - http://www.thinkyhead.com/tabletmagic/ works awesome for the Mac OS... I've thought about emailing him to see if he'd be interested in doing similar for Vista.. or at least point me in a direction to a programmer that might be.

- giving up and buying a Cintiq or scrounging on ebay for a usb tablet.



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Drewid
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2009, 02:32:42 PM »

I'm currently running an intuos2 with vista at work, so that might be another alternative, though they i2 works on a frequency all of it's own and seems more prone to interference from the monitor.
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Claymonkey
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2009, 04:47:41 PM »

Right... I've thought of that and that might be the road I go down.

Honestly, I have the parts to build one currently and if I ever find a good LDS board I have the parts for two of them using the UD1212.  'IF' I finish that and there isn't, and will never be, a good Vista workaround for the Serial tablets it won't be that difficult to migrate the innards to a Intuos2 in the future. I also know several artist friends that would not say no to this as a gift, one of which now teaches art at a High School and is interesting in how my project turns out since he just setup a new Digital Photography class and lab (running XP, CS2 and Canon Rebels).

Still... If anyone figures this out, or wants to work on it with me let me know.
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Drewid
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2009, 09:40:49 PM »

Might be worth a try>

http://www.anotherblogger.com/2007/03/31/vista-hacks-making-my-wacom-serial-tablet-work/

edit -just noticed, one of the posters has done a lil' exe to do the registry hack. about halfway down.
(Adrian Tysoe 10.28.08 at 9:16 pm) 

I've also heard of someone using XP drivers, though I can't find a link.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2009, 09:50:02 PM by Drewid » Logged

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Claymonkey
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2009, 09:49:29 PM »

Oh I've seen that post... The link I started with in the thread either links or mentions that Com1 registry key. I will however give it a try just for giggles. There looks like there is some new traffic dealing with 64bit in there too. If I can't get this to work I'll probably link this thread in the hopes of broadening the chances.

Hrm.. I didn't even bother trying synergy in mouse mode like the last comment in that thread suggested.... but I'm not sure if the extra buttons worked for him and I'd still like to be able to map sections of the screen (see my build thread for the info on that... I'll put a link in here later when I'm not taking five at work).
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Drewid
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2009, 09:54:32 PM »

Yeah the synergy thing sounded a bit extreme Smiley 

I want to get mine back in to work, but I'm running vista64 there. 


I'm also thinking of trying it with one of those usb->svga boxes.   With a bit of reboxing and a USB minihub I could get my cables down to one USB and the power lead, which would be great.
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Claymonkey
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« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2009, 03:47:50 PM »

Seeing some traffic in this thread. If you don't have a solution but if you've tried any of the above or anything I haven't listed without success a post would be appreciated.

Either a workaround will be found for UD tablets in Vista or we'll all have to suck it up and move on....

Either way I'll start updating the first post with a more complete list of what has and has not been tried so this thread can become a useful resource eventually.

Thanks all.
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Fantas-tiq
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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2009, 04:50:53 AM »

Have you guys tried the Serial to USB Cables? I've used them for my applications and they've worked really well. Here's one of them...
http://sewelldirect.com/usbtoserial.asp
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Drewid
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« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2009, 08:36:18 PM »

Yeah. The problem is with the Wacom driversa for the older tablets
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bernard
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« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2009, 08:49:30 PM »

Well, the guy that did TabletMagic for the Mac OS X got his initial information directly from wacom -- http://www.wacomeng.com/devsupport/  Also he got in touch with them to help out.

I am about to build a UD-based DIY cintiq and this thread got me worried -- I have XP 32 bit at home but plan on switching to Windows 7 in a few months. I have heard you can have it either 32 or 64 bit.  Normally I would have picked 64 bit and this thing would be the only reason I would have to stay 32 bit (with 3.4 gig RAM max). If there is really no solution for a 64 bit system (that supports pen pressure + eraser + side switch), I might give a try and hack something up.

Wacom has a SDK for their penenabled technology and some special driver software for Tablet PCs.
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