Pen/Tablet Functionality Support

Posted: August 6, 2006 in Support

I have made this new page to post comments regarding the pen/tablet funtionality support. Please only comment on this page about the specific topic.

  1. gsbd41316 says:

    C Dizzle Says:
    August 2nd, 2006 at 7:31 pm e

    Have you taken a look at TabletMagic for mac os x? it brings OS X functionality to now incompatible serial tablets. I know that the digitzer is serial on your lappie, i researched it thoroughly. I was waiting for a more intrepid soul to venture out and see how compatible it is first. I can hardly imagine anything cooler than a tablet mac. Congrats. also, wacom offers a universal tablet driver, located here: it’s beta. please keep the site current and post as many questions and tutorials as possible! you stand on the precipice of greatness, my friend.

    C Dizzle Says:
    August 2nd, 2006 at 8:03 pm e

    also, does your system preferences have an “Ink” prefernce pane? there is an Ink preference pane in the /System/Library/Preference Panes/Ink.pref and in that package is an executable file called TabletFinder What happens when yuo run it in Terminal? I have an antiquated powerebook g4 and cannot try these things myself, so sorry for the backseat driver tone of these replies.

    gsbd41316 Says:
    August 3rd, 2006 at 4:12 am e

    Hey C Dizzle I tryied to load that Ink.pane and it did not work. I also tryied the Wacom dmg and it did install but nothing got detected. Hmmm….I also try something called TabletMagic but it did not detect anything, eventhough it did launch an ink panel this time. So I am out of luck so far with the pen support. Hopefully something will help me get it fixed. It would be awesome to have a fully working mac tablet. If you know of anything else that could work let me know and I will give it a try.

    C Dizzle Says:
    August 3rd, 2006 at 3:41 pm e

    okay.. i am busy dissecting those programs to see what they are looking for. Have you tried Parrallels for mac. it allows windows to be run within OS X this will come in very handy when trying to map the ports for the tablet. i will be back soon.

    C Dizzle Says:
    August 3rd, 2006 at 4:08 pm e

    I have contacted a company called Troll Touch, which makes custom touchscreens for many new mac products. I hope they can provide some information on the drivers necessary to implement the tablet screen. i also contacted a company that sells replacement screens for the m280 and I am hoping that they will provide the spec sheets to the display. In the mean time, perhaps you can collect as much information on the nature of the connection of the pc to the touchscreen (using Windoes). Getting the tablet to function in Linux will yield even more possible answers. i will forward you the information I collect. Thannx!!!

    C Dizzle Says:
    August 3rd, 2006 at 4:33 pm e

    I have found a driver set from a taiwanese company that claims they have created the first touch drivers for the new intel macs. here is there downlaod page for the drivers. The site is odd in the fact that they do not associate this driver with any specific product of theirs. My hop is that is is universal, or that it will directly recognize your screen. here is the link:
    Let me know…

    gsbd41316 Says:
    August 4th, 2006 at 4:02 am e

    I just downloaded and installed that last package and it did actually activated the ink panel on the System Preferences, giving me lot of options, and also created a new icon on Applications called Touchkit, that in my opinion will probably be some kind of calibration thing. Unfortunatelly it does not detect anything, but we are getting somewhere step by step. Let me know if you find out anything else. By the way C Dizzle, I took screenshots of all the options from all three tablet software I have tryied. Take a look at them by downloading the zip located at:

    C Dizzle Says:
    August 4th, 2006 at 5:33 am e

    Great job with the screenshots! it seems we are on to something… If you wouldn’t mind, I would ask you to delve into the Terminal application (Applications>Utilities>Terminal) to do a bit of snooping under the hood of your computer. if you would, opening the terminal app and entering

    cd /dev

    will change directories into the device tree directory, and

    ls -l > ~/Desktop/DeviceOutput.txt

    will create a txt file on your desktop called “DeviceOutput.txt” that will contain a list of the readily recognizable devices on your mac. i’m sure the tablet won’t be listed, but it’s worth a peep. devices of note may start with “cu.” On my mac the two files cu.IrDA-IrComm and cu.modem are both serial ports that the mac acknowledges. By the way, on the TabletMagic preference pane, was there any option other than “Automatic” in the drop down menu labeled “Port:”?

    C Dizzle Says:
    August 4th, 2006 at 3:35 pm e

    Hey, do you Xcode? If so, then the Apple Developer Connection has some source code that may provide even more insight. This link will provide basic utilities for Human Interface Devices (HID) on OS X.
    You need to open then in Xcode annd build them from there. I would recommend the HID Utilities to be created first, even though it is not a usable app, it will be used by HID Explorer, which is the program that may pay off for us. After building and running HID Explorer, it will search your computers interface ports for HIDs. My hope is that it will somehow trigger the mac to recognize the tablet functionality. I am curently researching how to create properties for a tablet HID, but that will probably take a while and it would be handy to know more about the screen. Can you give me the tablet’s properties from Windows if this fails? I certainly hope it does not, but this road is unpaved…

    gsbd41316 Says:
    August 4th, 2006 at 6:57 pm e

    I have uploaded the Device Output text to the server, as you requested, but I did not see anything on it starting with cu. By the way, I have no idea what that thing says, but with a little help I can understand it, right? lol. Regarding your question on the drop down menu, the only option available was Automatic. The first time I run it I checked that to see if it gave me any options for manual, but thats the only choice there. The last package I installed, Touchkit, is by far the most promising. It auto-loads on startup and stays there without problem. Shame it have not recognized the tablet yet, otherwise I am sure it would work perfectly.

    Regarding the Xcode thing, I have never coded or worked with it before. After playing with it about an hour I think I was able to build both HID utility projects inside of the hid_utilities.dmg, without any errors. Now, for the HID Explorer I can’t build it, getting lots of errors. Check the screenshot. If you can email me detailed instructions on what exactly you want me to do, assuming that I don’t know any xcode practices.

    Regarding the properties of Tablet in Windows, where do I go for that. I don’t get what is it exactly what you are asking for. Let me know, i can get it at any time. Remember I have both Mac and XP installed on this machine. Check new files here:

    C Dizzle Says:
    August 4th, 2006 at 8:40 pm e

    Just a quick note, i notices you administered a”sudo” command before using commands that you are not sure of. There is no need to log into root to do most tasks in Terminal. The root shell can be exited by entering the command “exit”. Be careful, because as root, a mispelling or incorrect command could render the current install null and void. As for the Xcode, clicking the red x in the lower right of the window will yeild a more comprehensive list of the errors and their causes. cutting and pasting the code in the ADC website was how I got a working copy of the HID Explorer. go step by step. some code is the same name, just do them in order. But, better to wait till I take a look at the Xcode errors. no need to jump any extra hurdles.

    And as for the winows properties, they would be located somewhere in the Device Manager. I believe it can be accessed through the Control Panel. or search for it, i’m not 100% maybe a separate panel exists for the tablet…

    gsbd41316 Says:
    August 4th, 2006 at 9:39 pm e

    I just logged into XP and since I don’t know exactly what kind of information you are looking for here is a zip with a txt inside that contains all the information on the tabletpc. Let me know what you find.

    C Dizzle Says:
    August 5th, 2006 at 1:05 am e

    So, I did some digging, and found some answers. your screen is manufactured by finepoint technologies, they also make screens for the compaq tc1000. They offer no support for retail consumers, and no mac support whatsoever. However, all is not lost. There exists a driver for the tc1000 that enables functionality in linux using Xfree86, which is a graphical desktop environment, akin to apple’s aqua. There is a port of Xfree86 for mac (intel, i don’t know) but what appears to be the next move is:
    1) visit and build yourself an Xfree environment on the mac.
    2) visit this site,
    for the tc1000 driver, and attempt to compile it for your mac. (dont use the “make; make install” command, separate the “make” and the “make install” into two commands, cause more than likely it will have a few errors or warnings.
    3) try starting the x11 environment and testing the tablet’s functionality.

    But before all that, it may be to our advantage to check a few things:

    I had the opportunity to use a tc1000 for myself and noticed some differences from the standard tablet, like, it uses magnetic resonance, not touch contact to track the pen. So the pen doesn’t have to be touching, just close enough. Does that hold true for the m280? if not, then perhaps a different approach is necessary.

    C Dizzle Says:
    August 5th, 2006 at 4:40 pm e

    So, i’ve done some digging… The tablet screen is manufactured by FinePoint Innovations. They also manufacture the screens for the Compaq TC1000. They offer no drivers or support, but a driver does exist for the TC1000 to operate in the XFree86 environment. XFree86 is available for the mac, it’s a graphical desktop environment like Aqua, and it’s free. By the way, in windows, what are the characteristics of the tablet? What i mean specifically…
    1. The compaq TC100 uses magnetic resonance to track the pen, does the m280? you can test by dragging the pen closely over the surface of the tablet screen WITHOUT touuching it! Does the tablet track the pen? or do you have to contact the screen directly. This neeeds to be answered before we can break through any further. here is a link to XFree86,

    and here is a link to the tc1000 driver, but itt probably wont come in too handy just yet.

    let me know!

    C Dizzle Says:
    August 5th, 2006 at 4:55 pm e

    Okay, I believe I submitted a comment a monemt ago, but it will not show up… If you did not get it, than basically it states:
    Don’t worry about Xcode for now. Native OS X Aqua support may have to wait, but that doesn’t mean progress is not being made. Check out XFree86,
    XFree86 is an alternative Graphical Desktop Environment, like apple’s Aqua.

    I did some research, and the txt you uploaded revealed that the touchscreen is manufactured by FinePoint Innovations. They offer no support or drivers, btuthey do make the screen for the Compaq TC1000.
    The compaq TC1000 has a magnetic resonsnce screen so to see if it would be compatible, tell me: in windows, how does the pen track? can you use it by placing it CLOSE to the screen WITHOUT touching the screen? or do you need direct contact? Magnnetic tracking is better, so let me know!!
    an XFree86 driver exixists for the TC1000, so if you feel like installing and runnning XFree86, you may want to give this driver a try.

    let me know! we appear to be making progress by leaps and bounds!

    C Dizzle Says:
    August 5th, 2006 at 4:57 pm e

    You should create a new category of Pen Support. This wil make it easier to separate comments, and will certainly catch the eye of any ambitious OSX86′er.

  2. TomOB says:

    Hey guys,
    Nice site— I came looking for progress on the pen support before I plunked down the cash for my own mac tablet. Anyway, excuse me if I’m completely wrong, but I believe you guys are going in the wrong direction here. My research has indicated that the main problem is the fact that TabletPCs use a serial interface for the tablets. No new mac comes with serial ports, so this may be a problem of support in darwin. Many people have been looking for a “setserial” equivalent for darwin, but none seems to exist. The wacom drivers for mac, universal or not, will most likley be for their line of graphics tablets made for mac— using USB. In fact, I would go as far to say that any driver you find that is for Mac OSX that does not specifically say it is a hack to enable serial tablets will never find your tablet. It will look for a usb tablet instead. This may require a kernel extension or something– maybe some kind of layer can be added to abstract the serial interface as usb.
    Once again, I don’t know if you guys addressed this already– if you did, sorry.

  3. C Dizzle says:

    Okay, so I just finished up salivating at the newest offerings from Apple, and I am disappointed/relieved to hear that apple does not have a tablet mac in their lineup. Disappointed ’cause I would have bought one, and relieved because that means we can still be number one!!
    Okay, Have you installed XFree86? You should, as far as I can tell, there is no reason that it wont work on intel macs. Or, maybe you could get yourself an application like Q ( and see if you can map a path to the tablet screen that way. The method described for linux requires a kernel extension that is incompatible with OS X. I’m sorting something out…

  4. C Dizzle says:


    thanks for the input, but it seems we are one step ahead of you on that one. We recognize that apple has no recent support for serial devices, but that support does exist in the underlying layers of OS X. “setserial” is not supported in the command line of os x. “stty” seems to be the route to follow, and I will update withwhat i can find.


    Useful information on the LinuxWacom project and how they support TabletPCs. . .

  6. gsbd41316 says:

    Thanks for the links (Sam I Am (Not)), they look interesting. Hey C Dizzle did you get my email with the stty attachment? Is it of any use? Also if you can take a look at the first two links posted above this post. They look kind of interesting, and maybe a good start too.

  7. Stollentroll says:

    I wonder that nobody seems to know about the OSX Tabletmagic Driver Project. This is an Open Source Driver for Wacom Tablets … with Serial Support. I tried a older hacked IntelMAC UniBin but It didnt recognize the Panel on my TC4200. At the moment I dont have OS X on my TC4200 to test the new and now official UniBin Drivers.

    I think the only Problem with that Driver could be the detection of the internal Serial Port. It would be nice if somebody could test that driver in the newest version :

  8. Stollentroll says:

    Sorry I didnt see that TabletMagic was already mentioned in the beginning here …

  9. Paringas says:

    hey, guys, any progress???…

  10. gsbd41316 says:

    😦 Nope, I have not heard any more from that person that was helping me on it, plus I unistalled osx86 from my laptop too. I still keep this site up so that anyone willing to try it can have it as a reference.

  11. Paringas says:

    well, here’s an interesting link:

    it all pretty much comes down to getting the serial port to be exposed to TabletMagic.
    This can’t be too much of a drama.

    The guy who’s written TabletMagic agreed to add support for tablet pc digitizers – you’ll see it if you read through that thread.

    Hope we soon figure it out 🙂

  12. Kyle says:

    Holy crap. Some progress. I just downloaded the newest TabletMagic (2b7) on my M275 running OSX86. When I started it, I selected the port “built-in serial1” and it detected a tablet “SD-Fallback (SD Series) V1.2”. After I clicked “enable” I put the pen to the screen and it detected it!!! Unfortunately, it was going wacky and all over the place, and I’ve yet to find out how to calibrate it. Touching the pen to the screen made my windows “expose”, probably because of the hotcorners I have set.

    Please, more people try it and calibrate it!!!

  13. Paringas says:

    Hey, Kyle
    Interesting news…
    Was the Jaguar version that you tried or the standard 2b7?
    P.S. I’ll try again to make sure mine really doesn’t work.

  14. gsbd41316 says:

    Hey Kyle, I just tried the new version but my tablet pc did not even botthered to say hi to the pen =(. So nope, doesn’t work on the M280E yet.

  15. paringas says:

    How were you able to select any other port except Automatic.
    Mine only gives me that option and that’s it.
    Is there a way to to control the daemon manually through a command line???

  16. Kyle says:

    I’m using JaS OSx86 10.4.6 as shown on this site. I don’t know if it this has anything to do with is, but I installed an ApplePS2Controller kext to get my keyboard to work. Maybe something in there helped out?

  17. Kyle says:

    And yes, sorry. The version I tried was the 2b7 version.

  18. Hi, this is the author of TabletMagic. Kyle, I’m curious to hear more about the “built-in serial1” port on your computer. Yours is the first non-Apple system I’ve heard of whose serial ports are visible to the kernel. Perhaps your laptop uses similar hardware to the new Intel Macs…?

    Beyond that, I should inform you that “SD-Fallback (SD Series) V1.2″ only indicates that TabletMagic can’t identify your tablet or your tablet doesn’t answer when queried, so the daemon “falls back” to SD mode. The reason for this behavior is that – as I have seen – some older SD model tablets don’t reply when queried.

    I have a logging version of TabletMagic you can try out at that captures all I/O with the tablet. You can examine the log file (/Users/Shared/tabletmagic.log) yourself and you can forward the log file to me. If I’m able to decipher the messages coming from the tablet, and find information about the tablet protocols, I will add support for it in the next release of TabletMagic.

    Contact me at my email, scott AT, and we’ll see what can be done.

  19. Stollentroll says:

    Great great!

    Thanks for working on this subject, I will also try the new version on my HP TC4200 with logging enabled.

  20. Graham Simpson says:

    You are COMPLETELY barking up the wrong tree.

    TabletMagic will work with some configuration, as far as I can tell. There is NO application on OS X which will find your tablet, you need to modify the plist file inside of /System/Library/Extensions/Apple16X50Serial.kext with the port address etc. of your Digitiser, On the Fujitsu T4210 for example it’s Port 0x220 IRQ 4.

  21. paringas says:

    Hey, Graham
    Had a look through your post on but it doesn’t seem to say anything about what entries need to be added to the kext’s plist to get vendor/device is, irq and port number configured.

  22. gsbd41316 says:

    Miguel Says:

    February 14th, 2007 at 7:05 pm e

    Just to let you know that tablet is not a dream is working and Gateway M275 is working with Pen and everithing fully Functional Tablet with Mac OS X.
    and you will see that is possible

    Just read and search for this driver in this link

    PS: I just Change 2200 by a Broadcom 56G

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s