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Advice on conference/blackboard tools

  1. Dec 3, 2014 #1
    Hello guys,

    Haven't posted in a long while, but I need some advice. Not sure this is the proper subforum, but here it goes:

    My PhD advisor is currently in another city (and will be there for a long while). Since we interacted frequently when he was around, we started using the phone or skype very frequently. One thing is missing however: we cannot easily draw equations/drawings/graphs for each other. I was wondering if someone has good advice on how to solve this problem.
    I did some research on google (skype with yugma is an idea), but I thought some of you might have some experience with something like this and might know what the best tools for doing physics are. I wouldn't mind spending some money on some kind of drawing board that I connect to my PC (as long as it's not super expensive).

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2014 #2


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    Gold Member

    I have no idea as to whether or not this can work, but:
    I have a program called "The Ultimate Pen" that allows you to draw on your screen on top of any application that you have running. (It opens an invisible window on top of the current one.) If you had that, maybe you could just draw on your Skype and send a screen capture. I really don't know, though. I haven't activated the software because I don't need it and therefore see no reason to pay for it.

    edit: Come to think of it, maybe you could have a simple graphics program like "Tux Paint" going in a second window and screen-cap that.

    2nd edit: You can get a really good graphics tablet through eBay for not much money. Stay away from the famous names like Wacom Intuos. They're priced far beyond what they're worth (usually over $200). You can get one with exactly the same capabilities and reliability for $75 or less. I think that I paid about $60 (Canadian) for my Monoprice unit, with maybe another $5 or so for shipping. The one that I had before that was a different brand and looked different, but cost about the same and the old pen from that even worked on the new one. Unfortunately, I can't use either one any more for the same reason that my current mouse works only sporadically and its predecessors are totally kaput; something about the way that I use them keeps causing the cords to break where they enter the unit. I've tried mending them, but the individual wires are too thin for my soldering equipment to work on. I'm seriously thinking about applying a good thick coat of hot-glue at the junction point as a strain relief on future equipment. The one that I have on order now is a Huion that cost about $70 US with free shipping. It's way overdue, though, so I'll have to check into it. (I bought it with PayPal through eBay, so it's insured by both.) These are ones with 10" x 6" drawing areas, dedicated hot keys, and hot corners. The one that I'm waiting for also has a Lion battery in the pen that can be recharged by plugging it into the tablet.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2014
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