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Equations and sketches on a computer

  1. Sep 16, 2010 #1
    I have been helping my daughter over the phone with first year physics and have run into a problem with communication(insert your favorite joke here). It is difficult to describe a diagram that has vector, angles, notations and also associated equations. I would like to be able to freehand sketch a drawing or write an equation that would appear real time on her computer screen or alternatively could be written on a digital sheet of paper that could be easily and quickly sent as an email attachment or in some other manner.

    Has anyone here had this situation before and know of some relatively inexpensive solutions.
    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    We both use Mac's.
    I have looked at Wacom's Bamboo Pen as an input device but have not tried it yet.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 16, 2010 #2
    Not immediately. We could approach this strictly from a tech perspective. For example, what precisely do you wish to have for the input interfaces? Do you mean a writing-tablet that you write free-hand with a pen of sorts, and that input appears real-time on a similar writing-pad at the other end? That sounds like a fun coding problem, hardware and interfaces too.

    What would be the best way of searching the internet for this type of interface? I'm not even sure how I would describe it effectively.
  4. Sep 16, 2010 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    A relatively low-tech, non-real-time solution is to draw the diagram on paper, then scan it and e-mail the image as an attachment. If needed, you can usually reduce the file size a lot by manipulating the contrast in an image-editing program, to make the background perfectly white, then saving the image as a GIF instead of a JPEG.

    For a real-time solution you could use a webcam focused on a sheet of paper that you write on. If necessary, you can scan the paper and e-mail the image later as a permanent record.
  5. Sep 16, 2010 #4


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    Gold Member

    Isnt Google Wave capable of this in real time. Text and audio chat
  6. Sep 16, 2010 #5

    Dr Transport

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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I think Skype has a feature that has a white/black board for drawing....
  7. Sep 17, 2010 #6
    Thank you for your responses. I am going to look into your suggestions. I will let you know what ends up working for me.
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