After unpacking a Monoprice Creator 22 graphical pen display and installing its driver software, Windows 10 detected a pen input device and activated a few inking tools. One example was a digital sticky note I could use to jot things down. These tools were enough for me to verify that position and pressure information is getting into the system. I also noticed that whenever there is pen activity, one CPU core is completely consumed with kernel-level tasks. This is a hint the Bosto driver is spinning a CPU polling for input data whenever the pen is active. It is certainly a valid way to maximize pen input responsiveness, but not the most efficient. On the upside, we’re now living in era of multicore processors. So I guess it doesn’t matter too much if a CPU core is entirely occupied with pen input.
Sticky notes are fun, but I wanted to use a more powerful tool. Since I’m unwilling to spend significant money until I have more experience, I will start with the free option: GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP). Loading up the current public stable release (2.10.32 as of this writing) I found it did not respond to my pen. Rummaging around the internet eventually found that GIMP only added support for Windows Ink compatible pen input devices about a year ago, in development version 2.99.8. Uninstalling the stable release and installing the development release (2.99.12 of this writing) allowed me to select Windows Ink as GIMP’s input API and draw using my new graphic display.
GIMP is a lot more powerful than a digital sticky note, and its user interface is infamously hostile to beginners. There are official documentation and online forums, of course, but I think a guided tour might be a good idea as well. I considered The Book of GIMP (*) by Lecarme and Delvare, but it was written almost ten years ago in 2013 for GIMP 2.8 so many details will be outdated. I might still skim through this book for the major strokes, or I might find a different book.
Last but not least, I need to put some effort into learning to draw. I’ve been doodling random things since I was old enough to hold a crayon, but I’ve never put any rigorous effort into developing the skill. I’m starting with The Fundamentals of Drawing (*) by Barber. Not because the book is great (I don’t know enough to judge yet) but because Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature got far enough for the first exercise: practice hand control by drawing basic shapes. Can I stay focused enough to practice these drills and get good at them, so I could contemplate actually buying the book for the rest of it? Time will tell.
(*) Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.