How to get InkSeine to run on a Windows 8 tablet

I’ve written about InkSeine before. It’s a great little application for those of us that like inking on a tablet, but it’s an older application that was never put into production. InkSeine was never updated to work with Windows 8, either. I’ve tried, and failed, several times to get it up and running on my Windows 8 machines.

However, I finally got around to trying a workaround that a reader left as a comment on my site back in October; yeah, sometimes I’m a little slow.

Tawanda October 15, 2013 at 10:17 am –  Jerry, here’s how I got Inkseine working. I use a PDF markup software called Bluebeam Revu. Without bluebeam installed, Inkseine crashes on launch the way most users are reporting. Install Bluebeam back and Inkseine runs fine. So it looks like Bluebeam installs some Microsoft components that Inkseine requires, I just haven’t tried to figure out which ones. But it works. Install Bluebeam Revu even if you will never run it, and Inkseine runs well. Hopefully other tinkers will key out the components required so that those who do not use Bluebeam Revu do not have to install it. Hope it helps.

Works like a charm. Bluebeam Revu can be found here. I was going to purchase the software, but it’s $220. I downloaded the trial instead. Anyway, InkSeine is working perfectly on my ASUS VivoTab Note 8.

Good luck and enjoy.

Application for Wacom’s new WILL technology in healthcare

PC World: “Wacom has grand designs for a new graphical language…WILL, short for Wacom Ink Layer Language, will store pen strokes in a Stroke File Format and allow them to be streamed using its Stroke Messaging Format. The file formats capture not only coordinates and pressure, but also who made an ink stroke, and when…One of the more far-fetched usage scenarios Wang proposed for WILL involved digitally signing documents using a pen that would certify who had manipulated it thanks to a built-in DNA sampling device.”

Like it or not the human race still loves to communicate via pen and paper.1 It’s a process that’s been ingrained in us for a very long time. It’s natural, and it’s going to be quite some time before we’re able to move to a completely different medium for communication. We’re well on our way to a digital world, but that won’t replace our need to use pen and paper for a great many things for quite some time to come.
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Note taking and tablets [inforgraphic]

Here’s an interesting infographic from Livescribe that covers how users take notes with or without tablets.

Couple of things I find particularly interesting:

  • 54% of tablet owners take notes with pen and paper, i.e. not on their tablets. See my thoughts on that here.
  • Only 6% of tablet users take notes on their tablet with a stylus. I think this has more to do with the tablets that are out there and their uses, i.e. consumers are driving the tablet market.
  • Only 13% of users that purchased a stylus are happy with the experiecne. Two thoughts on this: 1) active digitizers rule, 2) the disconnect between writing on the screen and the appearance of “ink” on the screen is problematic. The new batch of tablets has improved this experience dramatically.

(infographic reproduced below with permission)
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The best inking application for Windows that you’ll never see

Recently I posted something about Project Austin, a new digital note-taking application designed specifically for Windows 8 by Microsoft.

Project Austin had me thinking about other cool inking applications. Microsoft OneNote immediately comes to mind, but it’s really not the same. OneNote is overkill for most note taking needs. How about Windows Journal? Journal is cool, but quite limited. I think Project Austin is closer to Journal than OneNote. Nothing wrong with that, just an observation.

The inking app that I think had the greatest potential of any was an application called InkSeine. InkSeine was developed by Microsoft’s Research Team several years ago, but never made it to the market. It was available as a “beta”, but never went beyond that. I put it on my Dell XT2 back in 2009. It was aging even then, but it was really cool. You can see remnants of InkSeine in the OneNote MX radial menu, but that’s about it.

I went back to the InkSeine website – still there, but in serious need of attention – and downloaded the app. I tried to install it on my Lenovo x201t tablet PC running Windows 8 a couple of weeks ago. No luck. Bummer.

Project Austin: A new not taking app from Microsoft designed specifically for Windows 8

Microsoft Blog (Visual C++ Team): “…For the past few months I’ve been working on a Windows 8 app along with a small team of developers from the Visual C++ team, we call it Project Code Name Austin.

Austin is a digital note-taking app for Windows 8. You can add pages to your notebook, delete them, or move them around. You can use digital ink to write or draw things on those pages. You can add photos from your computer, from SkyDrive, or directly from your computer’s camera. You can share the notes you create to other Windows 8 apps such as e-mail or SkyDrive.”

When I saw “Project Austin” start showing up on tech blogs over the last couple of days I have to admit I got pretty excited. I’m a tablet PC guy to the core, and one of my favorite things about tablet PCs is their inking ability, i.e. I can use them in place of pen and paper for a great many things. No other tablet OS – iOS, Android, webOS – has been able to give me the same experience; not even close.

According to the Microsoft blog Project Austin is “a very simple digital replacement to the real paper notebooks people carry around to meetings at work, to school, around the house, where they scribble things and take quick notes.” That’s all I want. That’s what I’ve been waiting for. The blog post goes on to say “Austin doesn’t aspire to be a full-featured note-taking app such as OneNote. It doesn’t give you a way to organize your notes other than by their position in the book, it also doesn’t enable typing or searching.” Perfect.  I have nothing against OneNote. OneNote is fantastic, and I use it all the time, but it’s overkill for most things. And Microsoft Journal, while good for taking quick notes, just doesn’t always cut it.

Two other things that really made me take notice of Project Austin were: 1) it is supposed to be deeply integrated with Microsoft SkyDrive, which is getting better and better everyday. It’s still not on par with many other cloud based storage/syncing/sharing applications out there, but it’s gaining ground; and 2) “ [Microsoft is] making the majority of the source code available for download here.  We also plan to publish a series of blog posts here in the Visual C++ Team Blog talking about our experience building it, and some of the technologies we used.” I’ve been hammering on my brother, Robert, for a few months to build me a better note-taking app for Windows 8. He and I have talked about it a couple of times and I’ve even gone as far as to start sketching out the design and requirements for “my note-taking app“. Microsoft apparently read my mind. Scary and cool all at the same time.

What can I say, I’m excited. I’m newly energized about the potential for the host of new Windows 8 tablets hitting the market over the next year. It’s a great time to be a tablet PC guy.

Shareable Ink plus EHR equals interesting alternative

EMR Daily News: “Shareable Ink®, an enterprise cloud computing company that transforms paper documentation to structured data, today announced three new partnerships with leading EHR vendors that will further the company’s reach in delivering a reliable, portable and easy to implement electronic data capture solution that works with existing physician workflows. The agreements with Greenway Medical Technologies, Inc., NextEMR, VoiceHIT, and an existing partnership with Allscripts, signal the demand within the physician practice marketplace for a flexible technology that can be used in any care setting to help compliance with Meaningful Use (MU) requirements.”

I think highly of Shareable Ink. I like the concept and think it provides a nice bridge between where we are today and where we need to be. I first mentioned Shareable Ink back in November 2009. It was a good idea then, and it’s a good idea now.

“What’d I miss?” – Week of November 22nd

Turkey_cartoonWelcome to the Thanksgiving edition of “What’d I Miss?”. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time that marks the beginning of my favorite time of the year. It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump until the New Year.  Squeeze Christmas in there and you have the best 6 week span of the year. Good times, good times.

As usual there were a lot of things that happened during the week, and not all of it was pharmacy or technology related. Here’s a quick look at some of the stuff I found interesting.
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Cool Technology for Pharmacy

While not specifically related to pharmacy, this is very interesting. Stephen S. Hau, the founder of PatientKeeper in the 90’s, has created a new product called Shareable Ink. The product uses a digital pen on paper forms to capture handwriting. The information is transferred, via wireless connection, to a server where the information is digitized. The technology is not new per se, but the application to medicine in this way is.
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