Monday, June 9, 2008

The Cintiq Arrives

The Cintiq arrived on June 5th at John’s work. He sent pictures of it from his phone as soon is it got there. I was all pissy because work wasn’t going well and it looked like I was going to have to stay late instead of getting out early like I’d hoped.

I got home first and straightened up my office for the impeding arrival. I didn’t feel terribly excited – I guess I didn’t want to get my hopes up and then be disappointed when it didn’t do what I thought it would do – make detailed drawing easier and faster.

When he brought the Cintiq home, it was larger (and heavier) than I expected. We carefully unpacked it, and carried it into my office. It takes up almost all my desk space when laying flat at about 15 degrees. Anything larger and it would have been too big.

I took a look at the manual because I didn’t want to break the thing the day I got it! It specifically said to get it set up as a monitor first, then as a pen device. So, we plugged everything in and turned it on. So far so good – we got a mirror image of my desktop picture (me and my nephew, Spencer!). When I moved the mouse around, the default set up was computer monitor on left, Cintiq on the right. Meaning, when a pushed the mouse off right side of my screen on the computer, it would show up on the left side of the screen on the Cintiq. Well, I needed it to be the reverse. Because I’m left handed (yeah lefties!), I needed the computer on my right so I could use the keyboard and mouse functions while holding the pen tool with my left, and thereby not loosing my place on the drawing!

We went into the System Settings dialog box for the Mac, and in the monitor setup preference, we were able to find where to dictate what monitor goes where and how. In truth, it took a bit of swapping this and that with this and that, so I’m not exactly sure how we got it to work. But, after a few moments, both monitors were set up in reference to each other perfectly.

Then came the time to plug in the usb cable, and activate the tablet aspect of the Cintiq. We turned it off, plugged it in, and I went to install the drivers only to discover the drivers I had downloaded for my baby Intuos tablet were newer than the once on the CD! I balked, and asked John what I should do. He recommended to leave it, and use the drivers I had. So, I left the CD with the message ‘you have nothing to install’.

I then turned the Cintiq back on. With a flicker, and a glow, it came to life. Just like a monitor laying on it’s back! Needless to say I wasn’t that impressed. I played around a bit testing the pen tool and its sensitivity. I tried to calibrate it to my iMac monitor and got it pretty close. But other than that, I didn’t do a whole heck of a lot with it that first day.

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