03/12/13
Windows 8 Dual Boot Screen

Changing the default OS Partition on a dual boot computer

I’m dual booting on my laptop between Windows 7 and Windows 8. You know how it is, you get comfy with one operating system and then another version comes out, and you’re like “Is it going to be any good?”, “I’m going to have to reinstall all of my stuff, again…”, etc…

My default was set to Windows 7. Now that I’ve been using Windows 8, I hardly ever go back into my Windows 7 partition. So, now I have a problem…

How do I change the default boot OS in the dual boot menu?

Its actually quite simple; use msconfig.exe – the System Configuration Utility. Its already on your computer.

After launching msconfig.exe;

  • navigate to the Boot tab,
  • select the new preferred OS,
  • click on the “Set as default” button, and
  • finally click on the OK button (see below).
msconfig.exe Boot tab options

System Configuration (msconfig.exe) Boot tab options

You may need to restart your computer for the settings to take effect (as was my case).

03/12/13

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03/7/13
Wacom Digitizer Tablet

Hooking up my old Wacom Digitizer II Tablet to my MacBook Pro

In this post I explain what I had to do to get my old Wacom tablet to connect to my MacBook Pro.

Hardware

The Wacom Tablet

I purchased this a long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away. I used it a lot with my Windows 95 PC, and then with my Windows 2000 PC, and then with my Windows XP PC, I finally ended up putting it away back in 2005. Its been lying in a box ever since.

I recently wanted to draw again on my PC, as I was thoroughly disappointed with my iPad’s drawing abilities – it wasn’t fine enough for my liking, it was also missing a stylus. I ended up purchasing a Lenovo x220 Tablet Laptop which had a stylus and it was pretty neat. But I noticed that it couldn’t detect the angle of the stylus, not to mention I had to turn off finger input and only allow stylus input (as the screen could take both, but wasn’t smart enough to ignore palm presses when using the stylus). I could have sworn that my good old wacom digitizer could. So, I went digging for it.

The Dreaded Serial Port Dilema

When I finally unearthed it from the depths of my ancient technology museum, I quickly noticed a problem; it had a 9-pin serial port! My MacBook Pro’s never heard of a serial port, its all USB nowadays. There had to be some solutions out there.

Luckily for me there are solutions a-plentiful; well, for the Serial to USB interfacing part anyway. I ended up purchasing the Trendnet TU-S9 USB – Serial Adapter from Amazon.

Where have all the Wacom drivers gone?

But I still had one more problem; getting the digitizer to work with the MacBook; where are the drivers? The Wacom website was a disaster, there was no mention of my old digitizer tablet anywhere; talk about planned obsolescence.

Open Source to the rescue!

The guys over at ThinkyHead.com have an open source driver for Wacom digitizers. Music to my ears. I really love the Open Source community, its really a passion, why else would you write something for free?

Setup and Installation

Once I received my adapter, I had to install a driver for it. I found it on the Trendnet site here. Installation was reasonably straight forward.

After installing the driver for the serial port, I installed the driver from ThinkyHead.

I then connected the wacom digitizer to the adapter (screwed it together to hold tight), plugged in the power, and then plugged the USB into my laptop.

Amazingly it all worked without a hitch. I could see that the tilt data was being picked up by the ThinkyHead driver! WooHoo!

I then installed Photoshop on my laptop to check out the tablet… <to be continued>