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There are many things we take for granted in the modern world. We expect to have running water. We expect to have electricity. We demand personal motorised transport, to be able talk to people on the other side of the world without having to pay too much, and to be able to get in a plane and fly across the Atlantic Ocean in less time than it takes to walk 20 miles.
In the world of computers the equivalent is the much-ignored human interface. The humble mouse in particular is a tool without which the interaction with our computers and the Internet would be a much less easy to handle experience. Incredible to think that before 1964 the mouse had yet to be invented. No one had ever heard of one being used to control a computer, much less go shopping, draw pictures, edit photographs and play games with.
Despite the enormous success of this humble input device, though, there are some tasks that it isn’t well suited to. If you’ve every tried signing your name with one you’ll know what I mean. I’ve tried and tried and, after years of practice, I still can’t draw properly with one or write neatly. Now some who know me might point out that I can’t do either particularly well anyway, but that’s beside the point. Pen and paper is still the ultimate tool for taking notes, drawing maps and creating drawings. Which is why graphics tablets like Acecad’s Acecat Flair were invented.
Graphics tablets like this used to cost an arm and a leg. They were the preserve of professional computer artists so most home users gave them a wide berth. Now they’re almost as cheap as a decent keyboard and mouse set and worth considering as an addition to, or even a replacement for, trusty old Mr Mouse. The Flair costs just £39.95.