Subject: Graphic tablets?
To: None <>
From: Richard Rauch <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 03/20/1999 20:14:24
I've thought a little about getting a graphics tablet.  It's not a strong
interest, but I thought that I'd investigate what is supported by NetBSD
(1.3.3).  There are 3 distinct questions (or question-groups) following;
because they are interrelated, I am posting them together; however,
replies might best address each in a seperate message.


After some poking around, the most useful thing that I've found is tb(4),
which tells how one can read a tablet, apparently through a tty.  However,
I had the impression that a ``tb'' device node ``should'' exist; there is
none such in /dev/MAKEDEV, and it's not clear how to manufacture such, or
whether it is even desirable to manufacture a device node.

(Well, I also turned up a system include file, in /usr/include or
/usr/include/sys, for tablets.  But that only told me that tablets were

If this is answered in a man page, or the like, a simple pointer to the
relavent spot would be appreciated.  (Would I have to reconfigure X to use
a tablet instead of my mouse?)


That aside: Is it NetBSD's responsibility, or is it the responsibility of
the application (or X?) to grok the tablet protocol being used?  Or do we
have something like the mouse situation, where the kernel makes one mouse
type look like another, and then X has to grok the kind that the kernel
pretends is there?  (E.g., with PS/2 mice, one has to tell X that one is
using a busmouse---on /dev/pms0---as I recall.  Do tablets get futzed in
the same way by the kernel?)


Third question: Suppose that I'm running the Gimp under XFree86 and NetBSD
1.3.3.  What tablets should I expect to have supported?  (I ASSUME, from
what I _have_ been able to find, that the tablet has to reside purely on a
serial port.  Is this correct?  My brother has a tablet that he got for
his MS-WINDOWS box recently, and it has both a PS/2 and serial connector
(though I can't clearly remember if it requires both connectors to be used

...or should I just get a NetBSD version that supports USB and look for a
USB tablet?  (^&

...or would I be out of luck trying to use a tablet with the Gimp, at all?
(Or would I be inbetween, able to use it as a mouse, but not have the Gimp
recognize pressure control?)  (Well, I suppose I could attempt to hack
some kind of support into the Gimp.  A minimal such inclusion would
probably be about within my abilities, but it would have to ``take a
number'' on my personal list of projects.  *grin*)

Thanks in advance for any help.

  "I probably don't know what I'm talking about."