Support SaysBrad
  • (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    Anker

    This thing, you need. Run your smartphone for days.

  • Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen

    I use this cleaner for my iPhone, iPad 3, iPad mini and MacBook Pro. It’s great all-around and won’t mess up the oleophobic coating on iOS device screens.

  • Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Artic Silver

    If you’re having problems with your Adonit Jot capacitive touch stylus or Hex3 Jaja, you can improve its performance and reliability with careful application of thermal paste! For more on this, check out my capacitive touch stylus how-to fix-it guide. Months later (Sep 2013), my styli are still performing great!

  • Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot with Pixelpoint, works with a lot of new drawing apps on iPad.

  • Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen

    The stuff I use to keep my iPad screen nice and clean!

  • Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Studio Neat

    Awesome capacitive touch stylus created by Studio Neat. Great guys, great product. I use mine every day! Bradtastic Approved.

  • Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot Pro is an awesome capacitive touch stylus for iPad & other tablets.

  • Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    FiftyThree

    Even if you consider yourself a casual doodler or note-taker, you’ll love this well designed stylus. Built for Paper by FiftyThree, the iPad app — however, many other apps support Pencil.

  • Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Sportsman Supply Inc.

    Playing Cards for your password creation or poker game!

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Entries in capacitive (7)

Sunday
Mar242013

I'm alive, I think

Just wanted to let everyone know that I'm not dead, but I haven't been well. I am trying to catch up on contacting people but it is very difficult and I've been relying on a lot of help from people, for everything — including this update. I am trying to get back into a normal routine as quickly as possible without injuring myself or making things worse. It's still very hard to talk and I've been needing a lot of sleep.

Thanks for the kind words and support. Also, I'm glad that my previous blog entries were helpful for some people.

Thursday
Nov082012

Fixing Adonit Jot and Hex3 Jaja Stylus

Adonit Jot not working properly?

Adonit claims that only 1% of their capacitive touch disc tip styluses have issues with skipping and contact. I've found that to be wholly inaccurate. Every Jot I have has had an issue.

The problem is likely a design flaw that they don't want to admit to. Capacitive touch styluses essentially trick the iPad into recognizing it as your finger. The way the iPad screen works is somewhat difficult to explain, but essentially, a conductive surface of about 6mm is what the iPad looks for.

Instead of the typical soft rubber tips, some styli use discs, like the Adonit Jot series: Mini, Pro, Flip, Touch. Other manufacturers use disc tips as well. The disc is plastic with a metal piece that touches a metal pen, with a small enough surface area to offer precision, and just barely large enough to be detected. In theory, this is great. In practice, well...

If your Jot isn't working properly, Adonit may send you new tips or a new pen. But you will probably have the same problem again.

The most common issue is skipping, where a continuous line drawn on the screen with the capacitive stylus, in this case Jot Pro, is broken into segments and dots. In addition, the stylus may not start a line where you intend, appearing several millimeters after you thought you were touching the screen.

Fear not. There's a cheap fix!

Conductive grease or thermal compound will most likely solve your problem. I improved my HEX3 Jaja the same way. I ordered Arctic Silver Ceramique 2 from Amazon. [Order yours! There's also a link in the sidebar. I get a small credit if you use it. Thanks!] Another brand may work just fine; electronics stores should carry it, places like Radio Shack — or a store that sells motherboards and processors should you want to pick it up at a retail location. Other Jot owners have tried this as well; I actually found this solution on the Adonit forums.

Step 1: Simply remove the disc from the Jot.

Adonit has a guide to replace a disc. Make sure the disc is clean!

Step 2: Place a dab of thermal compound paste on the disc.

You only need a small amount. Just take a tiny dab and put it in the hole where the Jot's ball tip inserts into the disc. You can also rub a thin coating around the ball tip. Afterward, reinsert, and make sure the disc is clean.

And that's it! Your stylus should work 100% better!

I hope I just helped you save your $25-100 stylus, and/or a month of dealing with customer service getting nowhere. I'm sure many frustrated Jot owners have given up on their styluses, so let them know about this!

Problems with Hex3 Jaja pressure sensitive stylus?

The Jaja tips are slightly different. The disc is attached to a 0.7mm metal rod that inserts into the Jaja stylus (or any 0.7mm mechanical pencil). From my experience, it isn't that responsive, and requires uncomfortable, firm pressure and a near vertical angle to work properly.

 

You can improve the Jaja significantly by adding a bit of thermal compound. Remove the tip, and place the disc on a flat surface. Rotate the metal rod to the side, and put a small amount of paste onto the ball. Next, twist the rod and rotate it in circles, spreading the paste around the part of the tip that holds the rod.

 

The thermal compound will improve the conductivity of the tip, and your capacitive touch stylus should now work with very little pressure!

Hopefully this helps! Let me know.

 

Tuesday
Sep042012

The Best iPad Stylus and Five Touch Apps

These are a few of my favorite styluses for capacitive touch screens (for me, that's the New iPad with Retina Display). From left to right: Wacom Bamboo, Adonit Jot Pro, oStylus DOT, Studio Neat Cosmonaut.

Of these, my two favorites are the oStylus DOT and the Cosmonaut, but for different reasons.

The oStylus DOT is a highly precise, reliable tool for writing and design. It never misses. Although it's base has a vinyl pad, people have mentioned scratch anxiety due to the metal tip. Believe me, gorilla glass is fairly tough. Unless you have glass shards or sand all over your screen, you should be fine. I've been using the oStylus DOT every day for months (on the iPad 2 and my New iPad) and my screen is perfect. [Also: The Adonit Jot Pro has a hard plastic tip that some people have complained can leave a residue on the screen if you swipe too quickly.]

The oStylus DOT is a phenomenal artist's tool.

The design of the oStylus DOT offers great control at any angle. Because the tip can rotate between the wires, you can maintain perfect contact with the screen irregardless of how sharp an angle you hold it. By comparison, the Adonit Jot Pro stops at 45 degrees. As an artist, I want precision and reliability; a stylus should accurately capture every line, stroke and dot, 100% of the time. The oStylus DOT delivers, making it essential to my artwork, designs and handwriting.

The wires won't easily break, but they can bend, so some care is required. I recommend getting a good protective case for it, as the sleeve the oStylus comes in isn't great protection. If I were able to change anything about it, I'd add a magnet and make the shaft wider for an easier grip: I'd like to be able to use the oStylus to sleep/wake the iPad like the Jot Pro, and after about an hour, my hand cramps — a thicker grip would help. Also, the DOT and Jot aren't as good for tapping and typing because they make a hard impact with the screen; it's uncomfortable and makes a clack similar to that of a fingernail.

Despite any minor issues or inconveniences, I love the oStylus DOT. The DOT, $38, is hand assembled by Andrew Goss, a jeweler in Canada, and the quality is phenomenal. If you draw on the iPad, you need a DOT.

The Cosmonaut is the do everything stylus.

The Cosmonaut, unlike many touch screen stylus designs, isn't shaped like a pen. It looks like a large, black crayon. Studio Neat (with Kickstarter) created the Cosmonaut to feel like a dry-erase marker, and it does. Their logic is simple and sound; the screen surface is slick, and because you can't easily rest your hand on the screen (*I have a super simple method to remedy this, check back soon for a full explanation), the iPad is less like paper and more akin to a dry erase whiteboard.

The wide grip is excellent, although I'd prefer it slightly longer because I have large hands. Due to the wide body of the Cosmonaut, it's easy to control large movements and broad strokes — this stylus is great for anyone, and perfectly suited for children and anyone with hand control problems. If I could have my dream stylus, it would be a pressure-sensitive combo with a slightly longer Cosmonaut shaft and the oStylus DOT tip.

The tip itself is hard to understand from photos — it's similar to the nine-bazillion other styli out there, although slightly more rigid. It glides easily enough, although I have to press down harder than I'm used to for it to accurately register. It has a softer impact on the screen than the oStylus DOT and Jot Pro, but is slightly harder than the Bamboo; it's a nice balance that offers good control and feel for drawing, and more comfort for tapping and typing than the hard tipped styli.

The Cosmonaut is a great everyday, anytime stylus; it's durable, accurate enough, comfortable and stylish. It costs $25 USD but doesn't look or feel cheap. It's not quite as accurate as the DOT, but it is more comfortable, and great for tap typing and games. I like using it with card games such as Assassin's Creed Recollection, Ascension and Magic 2013, as well as RTS games like Eufloria, Autumn Dynasty and Anomaly.

Here are a few apps you must try with an accurate stylus.

Some apps are custom designed to work with high-precision capacitive touch styluses.

Here's a list of apps designed to work with the Adonit Jot styluses. They work great with any stylus, and some have pressure sensitivity features for styli such as Jot Touch, Jaja and By Zero Studio Pen. This list includes many of my favorite art apps, such as Autodesk SketchBook Pro, ArtRage and Procreate.

Paper by FiftyThree is a fantastic sketching app for anyone. It makes your notes look good. Here are some of my thoughts on paper.

Remarks is my new favorite note taking app. It's wonderful; it has most of the features I'd ever want, it's stable, and when I got it, it was on sale for $0.99 — but it isn't the most simple note taking app. Write, draw, type, add photos, record audio, it does it all, and can automatically backup to Dropbox. Super.

Noteshelf is a simpler notes app, but equally amazing. It is beautiful on iPad 2, and the clarity is stunning on the Retina display.

Infinite SketchPad is a remarkable vector drawing tool that offers an incredible canvas — zoom in or out, for incredibly large or complex notes. You have to see it to believe it. Best of all, you can export your notes/art or publish it online in its full glory. This app is perfect for mind-mapping, diagrams ideas, thought webs and all kinds of brainstorming. I use Infinite SketchPad almost daily, and the developer is really cool and friendly.

Sketch Rolls is a super simple, utilitarian sketching app that acts as the successor to the now defunct Drafts by 37signals and drawthings apps. It isn't for everyone, however and it costs $4.99 — there are cheaper apps out there that do more, but some people will like the style of this app. Presently, I like it more than Penultimate.

I hope that this list helps you to get more out of your iPad; the iPad is the single greatest thing in my life due mainly to great apps and a great stylus, and I want everyone to experience it.

I'm putting together an entry on palm rejection (wrist protection) on the iPad, and how to use the iPad more like a notepad without pesky software solutions, as well as a review of the new Adonit Jot Touch Bluetooth Pressure Sensitive Stylus for iPad (what a name!). So if you like my blog, please help me out and tell a friend! (Or Facebook friends, or Twitter followers.) Thanks!

Sunday
Aug122012

Awesome iPad Stylus

There are 46.1 million capacitive touch styluses (styli maybe) on the market. Approximately. Most are the same with a different name. Many of them suck.

The Cosmonaut by Studio Neat is a wonderful iPad stylus for just about anyone. Don't let the odd looks dissuade you. Check out Studio Neat's product video.

Below is something that I wrote using the Cosmonaut stylus and Noteshelf on my iPad.

 

Thursday
May032012

Paper by FiftyThree actually awesome!

If you sketch, doodle, jot, draw or paint, you will love Paper by FiftyThree.

That's what I think, anyway, especially if you use an oStylus (Bradtastic Approved, of course!) the world's best capacitive touch stylus. Of course, you need an iPad.

Download Paper by FiftyThree (from the App Store)

They've announced on their blog that Paper has been downloaded 1.5 million times, an impressive number, especially for an app that isn't a game (and even for a free app). They also announced the number of pages that have been created, though I don't know how they know that without spying on people's usage… a scary thought. I will have to ask them.

Initially, I didn't like Paper.

I thought it was overpriced form over function, more style than substance. My opinion was formed using the one free tool, and though I'd like to think that the App Store reviews did not influence me, I'm sure that that was a factor as well.

I was comparing Paper to "pro" drawing and painting tools. In doing so, I missed the beauty of Paper — simplicity. I saw its minimalist interface as a negative, something between crude and kitschy. I thought of paper as one thing trying to be something else, and decided to dislike it on that alone. Throughout, I still acknowledged that custom ink engine and crisp feel were special — noteworthy… good.

Discovery.

About a week or so ago, I downloaded The Essentials (the $7.99 USD IAP) after discussing it with several people, reading reviews and emailing FiftyThree. I decided that it made more sense for two reasons:

  1. The Essentials may include other features or tools in the future.
  2. it's a hassle to download each individually at a savings of 3¢.

I first got the full Paper experience first on the iPad 2, and was immediately struck by the difference. The trial versions (called "Try it!" in the Store) do not do justice. Paper instantly transforms (think butterfly) from dull to dangerous. This wonderful sketching app delivers a rich, satisfying experience, perfect for doodlers and serious designers alike.

Some ways to use Paper

Paper can be used to make masterpieces — I've seen some — but that's not its strength. Here are a few ideas.

  • mind-mapping
  • visual notes

Both of these have dedicated apps, but the simplicity and aesthetics makes Paper a good choice for concepts.

  • doodles, scribbles
  • diagrams
  • graphology (handwriting analysis)

  • telephone notepad

good for phone numbers and jotting quick thoughts while on the phone; also great for idle moments and rants (while you're placed on hold)

  • logo ideas
  • conceptual design
  • scenery
  • symbols

artists of all skill levels and types will likely find that Paper's tools are a great balance between speed and control.

Four stars, work in progress.

Paper isn't perfect — it's WIP. FiftyThree is still adding features. If you have suggestions, contact them; I did, and got a very sincere reply. Being critical of an app and offering constructive feedback early on will help to shape the direction of this tool.

Some people just don't like Paper, and that's okay. There are a lot of drawing apps on the iPad, and many great professional tools such as:

  • Procreate
  • ArtRage
  • SketchBook Pro
  • Layers
  • Brushes

And there are inexpensive alternatives with wonderful functionality as well:

  • Sketch Club
  • Infinite SketchPad
  • Noteshelf

There's also fun, social stuff like Clibe.

I created an Infinite Sketch discussing key points of Paper, pros and cons, and additional features that I'd like to see.

Check out a web version of the Infinite SketchPad outline that I made. I would love to hear your ideas as well, so don't hesitate to comment or message me!

Coming soon: more detailed thoughts on Paper, including comments on specific tools and the UI.

(btw, I love being able to set auto-post times for blog entries, allowing me to write when I'm feeling okay, yet stagger the entries. I know this isn't a new or revolutionary feature and that many people use it, but still… it's brilliant!)

Tuesday
Feb142012

Touch Tablets & Muji Notebook Inkblogging

The iPad 2 really is a marvelous thing. Even though I can't sit at my desk for more than a few minutes (without tremendous pain), I can write, draw and read on a computer that feels as fast as any notebook or desktop I've used. However, recently — not so much — crazy back-and-forth, sunny-cloudy weather has been giving me migraines, keeping me down, eyes-closed.

Note: (Though it isn't unique to Squarespace) I really love Squarespace's scheduled post feature. When I'm feeling okay, I can write a few blog entries and let Squarespace automatically post them at preset times. That's what I've been doing... I think it's a worthy tip to pass along. (I remember using a similar feature with WordPress; Tumblr has it as well, and I'm pretty sure post major blogging tools/engines have the ability.)

iPad & Tablet Thoughts

iPad capacitive multi-touch is stellar for just about everything except art and design; without a pressure-sensitive digitizer (something like Wacom Penabled or N-Trig), variable line weight (thickness) can only be determined by speed. For artists, dual-input slate tablets are ideal, (active digitizer and capacitive touch) such as Windows 7 devices: ASUS Eee Slate EP121 (or B121) and the Samsung Series 7 tablet. I really want one; even with Windows 8 and the iPad 3 on the horizon.

Art makes me happy. I like creating; designing, doodling, sketching, illustrating, composing. I love mixed media; ink and watercolor, charcoal and paint, handwriting and blogging! Drawing helps my mood and writing helps my memory, and the iPad 2 is like my (virtually) unending, lightweight note/sketchbook. If sharing is caring, why not share what I care about?

To be continued — second part in three hours!

Thursday
Feb022012

Note Taker HD & Adonit Jot Pro Stylus

Another inkblog post for your enjoyment. Took a while to finish; spent a few minutes here and there when I was feeling slightly better. Got my Jot a few days ago... thanks! Really cool.

I don't know about Note Taker HD however, as stated in the post. If I continue to ink, it will be with something else, I'm thinking, unless I drastically change my handwriting style or technique. It's much harder to ink on iPad versus WACOM Penabled Tablet PC.

Also, join me at Zurker!