Wacom bamboo drawing tablet on mac – review


20 January 2017

This great little tablet cost me £50 in 2009 = probably the best £50 I’ve ever spent/best £50 product ever! Bravo Wacom for this little black wonderful tool, thank you!


I bought my laptop Mac in November 2009 in Brighton and saw this, I bought it because I knew that if it worked I’d use it loads (fed up drawing on touch-pad). I bought a very early version of a tablet for my very first Mac (oooh: a whole 160 MB hard drive and 8 MB Ram = best I could afford then) at Mac expo in London with D. I gave up trying to use it, a waste of money, so I drew with the mouse. My very first cartoons were drawn with Apple mouse (not cordless in those days, original one, I HATED trying with silly round imac one!) and then friends gave me a Kensington mouse which was far better.


Dunno what Wacom logo is trying to say? Trumpets? Telescopes? At first I thought the word wacom could be read the same either way up = I was wrong, derr.


I remember I was worried when I bought it that it’d be hard for me (with damaged brain/bit thick now = ‘cognitive impairments’) to get it going. I can’t remember exactly now but think I put the CD in and installed it then plugged the tablet in and YAY: off I went, easy peasy. I know it was easy and I was very relieved = thanks Mac & Wacom.


It says it works on windows too but I’ve never tried. What about android and (I’ve forgotten name, friend partitioned old PC to give other option than windows which I HATE!) or open source operating systems?


Above: I did this summer 2015 using the tablet.

The old fountain here in La Garde has a notice on it saying ‘not drinking water’ – well why ever not? It’d be so easy to provide water and in the summer heat we must drink lots. The water at Les Orsinières (le Pradet) tasted great and I expect others’ water here does too (nobody will ever taste/experience what I have to put up with, neighbour in Shoreham UK refused to taste salty water in my place) but they never check what actually arrives INSIDE where we live = piping is supposedly landlord’s responsibility = even when our HEALTH at stake!



I never use the button on the side of the pen, maybe it’s useful? I don’t think mine is pressure sensitive, unsure? The only bit of the manual I read was how to change the plastic point (stylet/stylus?) and WOW: I was SO relieved, simple and clear. I was fretting it’d be tricky to do because I’m rather cack-handed when doing fiddly stuff like that (odd, isn’t it, when I can often draw/scribble but washing up hard and after recent POP in front brain MORE shaky = another story).


So, again, THANKYOU Wacom: I managed and easily = less stress! BUT: I’m now using the very last plastic point bit that came with the tablet and how do I get more please?


Lots of questions: is it just plastic? Can I use any bit of plastic? There aren’t any magic bits in that surely? Who stocks them near me in La Garde, France? Do you still make them? I’m worried because using old Mac system (Snow Leopard) and new stuff often needs new system, loads doesn’t work properly for me using system from 2009 and no income = can’t buy new/upgrade = excluded, why?


The tablet is now very scrateched (how many miles of scribble?!), especially edge nearest Mac. Silly Mac only puts USB ports on left, why? So Wacom had to allow extra wire to cope with that, thanks.


The plastic tip/bit, getting worn down fast = on my last one now = HELP!

I’d be lost and incapacitated without this necessary tool. My creativity would be even more hindered – or is is hampered? Put in a hamper and carted away?


Above: this is how/where I mostly work, on a mattress (2nd hand) I bought from Magpie co-operative in Brighton (who sadly refused my application to work for them when they first began). The mattress is now on a slatted base somebody had left by the bins near where I live but the mattress is 140 cms wide and the base is 160 cms wide so I have to try to remember to be careful not to injure myself on the sharp wood that isn’t covered by the mattress.


This is the only room I try to heat in winter. 7.5C (brain doesn’t work properly at this temp = even slower, more stupid) the other day when I got up in kitchen/elsewhere and only 4C in loo, brrr, I try not to go = unhealthy. Bit better today: 10C when I got up and 11C rest of day. This room gets up to 19C by the time I go to bed in different room = otherwise I’d ALWAYS be in bed. Disabled people need day bed and night bed = docs say (sleep hygiene) must ONLY use bedroom for sleeping and sex! But they also say that if you wake at night/can’t sleep = get up = oh yeah when it’s 10-11C out of bed = do what exactly in the extreme cold when very exhausted and hurting and eyes hurt bad even when closed but worse when open because muscles use to hold eyelids open are weak/damaged and muscles that move eyes/their nerves = damaged? Ha ha they laugh: between a rock and a hard place. Funny? Nope, hell.


It’s a terrible position to work in but sitting at a desk is bad too: damaged deformed right foot hurts all the time and worse when down sitting at desk. My left hip got injured when I walked too far in March 2016, it burns bad, feels like it’s grinding when I walk.


I used to be able to lie down here with head on pillow and mac balanced on my knees with tablet to right and work but now my neck is even more injured than before I can’t do this any more. So my poor lumbar takes the strain and that’s more injured too, both neck and lumbar hurt terribly, sometimes I cry in utter despair with the pain and constant pain shows in my face too, I HATE catching sight of my  face in the mirror.


The Mac rests (when eating/watching/very tired – but BAD for my neck, impossible to get comfy to watch videos) on 2 books (Roget’s thesaurus and Wordsworth dictionary of proverbs) on top of a box full of CDs of my work+, it’s very heavy and has various notes scribbled on it. Because sometimes the fan in Mac goes on overdrive and Mac gets very hot (needs internal clean? Up to 33C inside here in summer = no insulation). I think air under it allows better cooling.


Below is (I think) the only cartoon I’ve done since I bought the tablet in 2009 that I drew NOT using the tablet. I was living (existing mostly, not living) in a tiny studio flat at La Pauline in La Garde summer 2012. I had boxes with my stuff in piled up on the floor and even used one to rest my right foot on = trying to stop it hurting as I sat at WAY-too-shrp-edged horrid built-in furniture. This ‘desk’ had such sharp edges that I had to rest my wrist on a small towel otherwise the edge cut into it and left big marks/hurt.


I really hated living there: had to carry stuff from car through to lift (which I hate: I’m claustrophobic) up to my floor then lug it along to my hutch/box (‘studio flat’). It was total 18m2 (I think), sleeping with micro, cooker and fridge was AWFUL, as was the 3 months before in same building trying to sleep on 80 cms wide ledge (‘bed’), I had to wake up to turn over.


Stupid nonsense about no smoking in room (I never did) but it STANK of fags day I moved in and bits of tobacco left on floor = a joke? Stupid. And people above me clonking in heels on tiles (SO loud) and threw their still lit fag over balcony and burnt my sheet out there drying after a wash.


TBI = Traumatic Brain Injury (‘head injury’) = a subset of ABI = Acquired Brain Injury = silly: we all share many of the same problems = divide & rule?


the brain injury charity = needed because the NHS/state does not give us the help/services brain-injured people and our families need. Support Headway please!


Above: it’s OK, but it’d have been bit better if I’d used the tablet rather than the touch-pad on Mac. I was very tired and needed to do this fast so for some reason I decided I was way too tired to unpack tablet from box (boxed-up for moving from other flat in same block) so did it all on touch-pad. Several times I thought I should unpack the tablet but I was WAY too exhausted to do that plus draw it – I thought, maybe was wrong? But I was incapable of doing it at that time/on that day = sounds mad huh?


Above: when I started doing cartoons about brain injury and then for Headway I wanted to be anonymous so I used the nom-be-plume (or brush/tablet) Abi because it’s short, a woman’s name and also ABI for Acquired Brain Injury – which is one of the injuries I was given as a gift 20 Nov. 2005 by the NHS during an unnecessary and very bungled op.


My mac is such a mess I’m not sure where my other cartoons are. Some used to be up on this site but are now not visible – it was a chaotic mess before but lots more up.


I’m huddled in this room on mattress because I can’t heat my open-plan kitchen-living room. I tried to put bits of cardboard


in the gap under the flimsy front door. NO porch = stupid, they’re so great for storing coats, brollies and shoes AND keep wind out of living area = BRING BACK PORCHES (and bumpers on cars)!

*Sans abri (paper upside-down here) = no shelter = homeless = me soon? TERRIFIED, unbearable stress. SDF in french = sans domicile fixe – no permanent home = me = always temporary, get moved on, can’t ever settle nor be secure. Thought I was secure in my house but mortgage and BAM: no job, benefits don’t pay enough to live on nor whole mortgage (far less than rent) = cruel and wrong. And the bailiffs can steal my Wacom tablet and Mac and anything they think has any monetary value (sentimental value to me etc. means nothing) and sell them for peanuts = how crazy and cruel and mad is that?!


I desperately need the BASICS: insulation v. hot & cold, heating if that isn’t sufficient, a cooker, NO stairs, sealant between basin and wall, etc… PLEASE… but it’s too late: I’m FAR more injured than before I moved into this place, can’t EVER undo injuries and I have to live with the EXTRA pain day in day out and every night, 24/7.


I also really need a desktop mac (for my neck & back), a comfy chair (not ever possible now?) and although this tablet is just right for working on mattress and has been eVERYWHERE with me on my travels = maybe just slightly bigger tablet IF desktop (but will always use this for laptop I think = perfect!) and easy-peasy intuitive open source (?) programmes to use (with easy keystrokes, not 3 keys at same time, ever) = am I greedy?


I love my little Wacom tablet = GREAT value, I’d recommend it to EVERYONE!