So, as you know I have a 21UX, a Fujitsu Lifebook T902, and a Cintiq 24HD Touch. Why Do I buy these tablets if I know they have, in my opinion, horrible driver support? Ergonomics. I am 6' 4" with long legs and a short torso. When I sit down in a chair, my forearms rest on my thighs. There is no space to put a desk, keyboard, or mouse. When I relax my hands, the plane where my fingers rest comfortable is below my legs. This means I have to hold my arms up to be able to type in a proper fashion. If my arms get tired, or I try and use a keyboard rest, I end up subconsciously transferring the weigh to my wrists. Because of this, I can't type for extended periods as my wrists start to get inflamed. But that isn't the biggest problem I face. The biggest challenge for me is using a mouse. There is virtually no way to use a PC/Mac without using the mouse at some point. This causes the most pain, inflammation, and distraction while I'm working. I can only buy wireless mice--they have a larger outline and my hand fits more naturally with it. If the mouse is too small, I end up gripping it with my thumb and pinky/ring finger and then irritating my carpal tunnel. In an effort to solve my ergonomic problem, I ordered a Graphire 2(?) and tried it for a while. Initially, it did wonders for my wrist problem, but after a while, I noticed that my wrist was still getting inflamed. Eventually, I figured out why: the external pen tablet is designed for graphical artists, but I was trying to use it for fine GUI work (with one screen). When I would aim the stylus at the tablet, suspended in air, I would have everything lined up. When I would go to contact the surface, I would miss what I was aiming for when I triggered the tip switch. So, to compensate, I started gripping the pen tighter so I would control it better. I basically wrote off digitizers at that point, and decided to limit my mouse usage.

That all changed when I decided to go to music school, and had to do Aural Skills assignments on the computer. I had to use a mouse, and it took me forever to do one assignment because it was so painful. I knew I needed a tablet, but the Graphire & Intuos didn't work--it caused the same problem. What would solve my problem would be the ability to see & click on the screen without having to suspend my arm & wrist while I waited. I looked again at those 'overpriced' Tablet/Monitors and instantly knew that's what I needed. I figured it would be better to spend $1000 now, than getting surgery later. When I received the Cintiq, I set it up, and worked on one of my Aural Skills assignments. It was so much easier! I wasn't in pain trying to line the mouse up to get the right staff line/space, I didn't cringe in pain when if I had to do extra work. In fact, I wanted to do extra work! I was finally learning, and not just checking boxes!

I went to music school to learn music theory to help make arrangements, but I then started composing my own music, and realized that the 12WX just wasn't going to cut it. I sold the 12WX and bought a 21UX. It was great, but as much as it helped, is also got in the way. Clicking in various notation programs didn’t always work, or there would be a lag due to a large amount of Virtual Instruments being used. And if you’re wondering it was all three: Finale, Notion & Sibelius. In Notion’s defense, it was actually a plug-in I was using to allow me to use 64-bit VSTs so I could load more samples. In the end, I had to compromise by using the keyboard to enter notes (which feels more like data entry, than composition) and use the tablet for engraving. Which is, to a large degree, how I use my tablets: They are used when I have a lot of mouse work to accomplish. I use them for making PowerPoint Charts, Visio Drawings, GUI design in Visual Studio, staff alignment, and minor phrase editing in Sibelius. One of the hardest things for me when writing music is being able to see all of my music, so I can make sure my music and musical thoughts are aligned. It’s easier when writing by hand, but when I’m using a screen with the music zoomed out enough, I can see all the music, but, I really can’t see it. The notes get so small, it’s hard to tell what line a note is on, if that error is just because of rendering at that small a level. Well, it turns out that NVIDIA & AMD are big into multi-monitor technologies—NVIDIA calls it Mosaic Technology and AMD named theirs Eyefinity.

I will freely admit that I am a biased graphics card snob, so I bought two entry level NVIDIA Quadro cards (K600s) and tried to use it the Mosaic Technology with my 21UX (DTK-2100) and the 1600x1200 monitor I was using as a secondary monitor. The Wacom driver worked great with the monitors in landscape, but when I used them together in portrait, the Wacom driver suddenly only detected one screen. What was strange is that the OS only reported one screen for both orientations. I brought this up to Wacom support, and I was told flatly by the Support Manager that “This is something we’re not going to support.” On another occasion I asked about why they don’t support multi-monitor technology, and the support person responded: “It’s too hard!”

It’s too hard?

Challenge Accepted.

Last edited Feb 27, 2014 at 2:48 AM by DigitalExegete, version 1