Genius G-Pen F350 under Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic)

I purchased a Genius G-Pen F350 for cheap last week.  I am working on translating a book from Chinese, and need to look up characters. The quickest way to do this is to draw the character and use handwriting recognition software such as tegaki. My mousing skills are subpar, so I though a tablet would help.  I picked the Genius for several reasons: it was cheap, it was thin so I can carry it to chinese class, it’s supposed to work under Linux.

Unfortunately, this table does not work out of the box on Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic).  Plugging it in recognizes it as a mouse which can be controlled with the pen.  Unfortunately, none of the buttons work, and the tablet isn’t relative to the screen (i.e., if you touch the upper left part of the tablet, the mouse should jump to the upper left part of your screen).  After digging around, I have finally been able to get this to work satisfactorally.  Some things are not working, such as the buttons or all the shortcuts, but for my needs, it works well.  Here’s the steps I took:

Install the wizardpen driver

There are two ways to do this:

  1. You can try this precompiled .deb for 32-bit Ubuntu Karmic
    1. Download the following deb: GeniusMousePen
    2. Install the .deb by double clicking on it.
  2. Or you can build the source for yourself
    1. Download the source
    2. Extract it:
      $ tar zxvf wizardpen-0.7.0-alpha2.tar.gz
      $ cd wizardpen-0.7.0-alpha2
    3. Install the necessary development packages:
      $ sudo aptitude install xutils libx11-dev libxext-dev build-essential xautomation xinput xserver-xorg-dev
    4. Compile it:
      $ ./configure --with-xorg-module-dir=/usr/lib/xorg/modules
      $ make
    5. Install it:
      $ sudo make install

Configure the driver

The install should have copied a file called 99-x11-wizardpen.fdi into /etc/hal/fdi/policy/. You will need to edit this file with your favorite text editor and change a few things. For example, in mine, I needed to change the info.product line to WALTOP International Corp. Slim Tablet. I got the name from the output of grep -i name /proc/bus/input/devices:

$ grep -i name /proc/bus/input/devices
N: Name="Lid Switch"
N: Name="Power Button"
N: Name="Sleep Button"
N: Name="Macintosh mouse button emulation"
N: Name="AT Translated Set 2 keyboard"
N: Name="Video Bus"
N: Name="Logitech Optical USB Mouse"
N: Name="DualPoint Stick"
N: Name="AlpsPS/2 ALPS DualPoint TouchPad"
N: Name="Dell WMI hotkeys"
N: Name="HDA Intel Mic at Ext Left Jack"
N: Name="HDA Intel HP Out at Ext Left Jack"
N: Name="WALTOP International Corp. Slim Tablet"

Save this file, then unplug and replug in your tablet. The new settings should be picked up immediately. You will probably also need to change the TopX, TopY, BottomX, and BottomY values. Please see the next section on calibration.


Hopefully at this point your tablet is basically working. However, for it to be useful, it needs to be calibrated. You can try to guess on these values or you can use the calibration tool that came in the wizardpen-0.7.0-alpha2.tar.gz package from above (it is not included in the .deb!). Extract the source archive and go into the calibrate folder. There should already be a wizardpen-calibrate executable. If not, run make to build it.

To calibrate your device, run:

$ sudo ./wizardpen-calibrate /dev/input/event6

You may need to replace /dev/input/event6 with the event your tablet is on. You can figure this out by running:

$ ls -l /dev/input/by-id
total 0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 9 2010-01-06 10:56 usb-Logitech_Optical_USB_Mouse-event-mouse -> ../event7
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 9 2010-01-06 10:56 usb-Logitech_Optical_USB_Mouse-mouse -> ../mouse2
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 9 2010-01-06 11:25 usb-WALTOP_International_Corp._Slim_Tablet-event-if00 -> ../event6

As you can see, my tablet points to event6. Follow the directions of the calibration tool, and it will give you the TopX, TopY, BottomX, and BottomY values you need to replace in your 99-x11-wizardpen.fdi

Changing the sensitivity

The buttons on mine did not work, and it is by default way to sensitive. By changing the pressure, you can specify how hard you must push down before it pushes the left mouse button. This means you can lightly drag the pen and it will just move the mouse. But if you push down harder, it will push and hold the left mouse button down. You can change this by adding the following to your 99-x11-wizardpen.fdi (make sure you add it next to the other lines starting with merge)

<merge key="input.x11_options.TopZ" type="string">512</merge>

Valid values are 0 to 1024. The higher the value, the more you need to push down before the left mouse button activates. I found 512 to be an acceptable value. However, if you are trying to do pressure sensitive drawing, this may not be ideal.

My entire /etc/hal/fdi/policy/99-x11-wizardpen.fdi looks like:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1" ?>
<deviceinfo version="0.2">
<!-- This MUST match with the name of your tablet -->
<match key="info.product" contains="WALTOP International Corp. Slim Tablet">
<merge key="input.x11_driver" type="string">wizardpen</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.SendCoreEvents" type="string">true</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.TopZ" type="string">512</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.TopX" type="string">573</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.TopY" type="string">573</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.BottomX" type="string">9941</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.BottomY" type="string">5772</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.MaxX" type="string">9941</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.MaxY" type="string">5772</merge>