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My new toy and Visual Studio 8
November 22nd, 2005

Wacom Graphire 4x5As Chris is leaving for the US soon, he’s getting rid of some of his stuff. I was lucky enough to score a Wacom Graphire (4×5). First impressions, it’s pretty spiffy. It has 512 levels of pressure sensitivity so drawing with the brush (rather than pencil) in Photoshop really resembles painting. I’m still trying to determine how useful its going to be for pixel art, but I’m sure I’ll soon figure that out. This would have to be the first product that was quicker to get working on Windows rather than on the Mac. Dang Mac drivers did that hideous thing of popping up a box telling me I have to restart my computer immediately. No opportunity to close things down properly. I’ve only seen this box once before and I was when I was trying out a crufty PS2 emulator. Never mind.

Some first impressions… the drawable surface of the tablet matches the screen, which is sensible. What is not sensible is that when I connect a second monitor, the horizontal sensitivity of the tablet is effectively doubled. Very annoying. I can’t find any obvious option to correct this. I would much prefer to have to pick up the mouse in order to move the cursor to the second monitor.

Now then, onto Visual Studio 8. Why don’t things just work the way they’re supposed to? Don’t get me wrong, so far it seems like a great product, but already I’ve noticed 2 or 3 things that I would classify as bugs. For example, the linker flags for a Pocket PC 2003 app do not include ccrtrtti.lib. I was getting a bunch of link errors about vftable. This page solved my problem, but you would really expect the IDE to say something to the effect of, “hey, you specified the /GR flag. You’re probably gonna need RTTI.” Humbug.

Another thing, in keeping withe MSVC way of building projects, all objects get compiled into one directory… not a problem. So why is it that when linking, it is trying to find them elsewhere? It was looking within the objects directory in a structure that matched my source tree. Grr.

To end on a positive note I will point out that I was quite happy to see an assert go off in the standard library when I tried to dereference a std::string::iterator that had progressed to std::end. This sort of thing is not on. On gcc, it just returned a 0, which, given the circumstances, was good enough.

That’s enough cruft for now.

  • You should be able to fix your daul screen / horizontal sensitivity problem in the Control Panel in Pen Tablet Properties (Might need the latest drivers?)
    You can select to just use one montior, or across two like you have now, or do a kinda letterbox style thing where it’s proportionate but the bottom part of the tablet is useless.

    I’m hanging out for one of those new dual screen / widescreen Wacom Tablets, built with better proportions.