In a meeting earlier this week, I wanted to take some notes. Since there were not many folks the meeting, I knew if I typed on a keyboard the sound of my typing would disturb the meeting (this actually happened to me once at an internal training session. I was taking notes in OneNote on the desktop in the classroom and the fellow next to me asked me to quit typing. He had a good point and I learned to always have a backup note taking plan.) so I flipped my old Thinkpad into Tablet mode and broke out the pen. I went into portrait mode to make the tablet easier to hold while writing.

I tried to click the New Page command to start a page for notes, but as the cursor would near the command, it would "veer away." I've written before about how testers can easily be distracted from other tasks when they notice bugs, but I needed to get a new page going for notes. I figured I was on the trail on some obscure bug in which the cursor was not following the pen pointer in OneNote correctly. I flipped the tablet back to landscape notebook mode to check to see which pen OneNote was set to use and all seemed well. I double checked the pen and now it worked well. I then figured this was a temporary glitch that I could follow up on later, so back to portrait mode. And again the behavior was the same.

I tried to see if it was only the New Page command causing me problems, and that's when I noticed that the horizontal and vertical behavior of the pen had not changed when the tablet rotated 90° into portrait mode. Moving the pen left caused the cursor to go up and down caused the cursor to go right. It was also not a problem unique to OneNote - this happens always.

So now I suspect this a driver problem. I checked to make sure the pen, touch and display drivers were all up to date, and they were, but they were all Vista drivers. I have updated my tablet to Windows 7 and I think I will need to roll back to Vista to get proper driver support. This notebook is now 4 years old, has given me its fair share of problems in the past, has a battery that lasts only about an hour nowadays and may be needing to be replaced.

On the plus side, I love the keyboard and this machine has given me more than its fair share of blog fodder.

Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,

John