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What’s the Best Digital Pen to Buy?


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They say that the pen is mightier than the sword, but what about a digital pen? I’ve seen these products for awhile, but I’ve never really used one much. Since I use both OS X and Windows, I have to be careful about what hardware I introduce. I have to make sure it will be compatible with both systems! I was excited when I heard recently that LiveScribe is getting ready to release drivers and software for their Pulse Smartpen.

The Pulse smartpen records audio and links it what you write. Missed something? Tap on your notes or drawings with the tip of your Pulse smartpen to hear what was said while you were writing. The Pulse smartpen automatically captures everything as you write and draw. Transfer your notes to your computer, organize them, and even search for words within your notes. Find what you want in seconds. Transform your notes and audio into interactive movies. Upload your creations online for everyone to see, hear and play.

I ended up hooking this up through VMWare in my XP install. I had to run through a few steps, such as updating firmware. It seemed to work fine, but I did have some problems. I noticed that things I had recorded weren’t getting recognized by Windows. I know the material was there, because I would hear it. The firmware just isn’t there yet. Hopefully, they’ll keep working on it.

Once it started working right, I was seriously impressed. I can ‘play’ a piano, and it will play. I can write a sentence and tap them, and it will play them back. It’s just way cool. It comes with “3D” headphones. I did have a stero experience with them, yes. But I just didn’t feel the whole 3D thing. I think that part might be a marketing gimmick. However, the headphones do work well.

When you sync the pen back with the computer, it indexes them into a searchable data file. As it plays the words back, it highlights the words I was saying. It’s supercalifragilisticexpialidocious cool!

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