A question for mac nerds

Has anyone used Inkwell, the handwriting recognition built into OS X? Does it work? I assume it’s descended from the one that made the Newton a -talking stick- -bathing dress- -poodle farm- for a fortnight in _Doonesbury._ But if it worked, it might help overcome my mother’s hatred of keyboards.

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4 Responses to A question for mac nerds

  1. Yes, it’s from Newton.


    I’ve had no experience with it, but for the price of a cheap tablet (Wacom is the obvious choice, and I can’t see how the fancier models would be a big improvement for this purpose), why not give it a whirl? I’d be curious to hear your reaction, and your mother’s.

  2. Rupert says:

    This is not an answer to your question, but my mother’s claviphobia has been bypassed by a Tablet PC. She’s just finished an OU online creative writing course by handwriting onto the thing, and seems very happy with it.


  3. Ian Hobson says:

    I understood it was from the Newton – a machine before its time (or not, please debate!). The first Newton was so-so, and for many people, the Doonesbury sketches were appropriate. However, I do think that Newton 2.0 as on the MP2000 series machines was hugely better handling many different styles.

    I particularly remember writing (in cursive joined-up style) a sentence to demonstrate to my other half (scientist), which included words such as alpha and polymerase, and it got it 100%, and before any training. Of course it just might have been my handwriting beauty!

    As Jonathan suggests why not give it a go (perhaps BEFORE you give it to your mother). Even if it gets the handwriting, it may be more of how it works in relation to the GUI of the computer that is the issue. I remember a few people telling me how good the spoken interface was (IBM software in Windows) then finding they’d given up after a couple of weeks.

    I recently gave my 70 year old mother an iBook + broadband, and she is happily getting on with it – family trees etc. It just takes a bit of persistence (hers) and cajoling (mine)

    I’d be interested in hearing the results of this.

    just another macnerd!

  4. acb says:

    The answer to thepeople asking “hy not give it a whirl?” is that I don’t have a mac myself to test it with. And I am reluctant to drop it on my mother just like that, even though I’m sure it’s what she wants. Really. But if Ian is right, it will read old-fashioned regular handwiriting like hers very easily, which would speed up her interactions no end. Of course, I like playing with toys, and she hates it 🙂

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