If you didn't already see it on Not The User's Fault, here's the preview video for my HTML 5 -based, multitouch-interface, comic-drawing webapp. (Now called "Pencilbox" - thanks Googleshng and Ben!)
Not shown in the video: the fact that it's got unlimited undo/redo history; you undo by making a counterclockwise circle gesture with your thumb, and redo with a clockwise circle. Also, your history is backed up to a database on the web server, so you can close the page, reopen it, and not only still have your picture, but still be able to undo stuff.
Because back in January when we were moving, this happened to my touchscreen Fujitsu lifebook:
Oh man. It got bumped or squished the wrong way or something got dropped on it, I don't know. But the touchscreen features don't work anymore. Everything else still works - the LCD itself displays fine, all the software still runs, but because of the crack through the glass, the screen no longer responds to touch. It's good only for generating spurious random mouse events.
I emailed Fujitsu and they told me that physical damage wasn't covered by the warranty, so it would be $750 to fix. Screw that. For that much I might as well buy a new laptop. So I went to Fry's and talked to a very helpful guy named Gin who had his wrist bandaged up due to repetitive stress injury. Gin said it would be about $200 - $250 to fix but it would take a couple months for them to order the part they needed. Then he told me whoops, actually there was no way for them to order the part at all. He recommended trying to do it myself instead.
So I took the screws out...
and peeled away the touch-sensitive glass...
As you can see, there's no damage to the LCD layer. Everything except the glass is fine. And here's a part number, so let's go online and search for that...
$189, and free shipping! Boy am I glad I didn't pony up the bucks to Fujitsu. The new part should get here in a few days and then we'll see whether I can fix it myself.
It worked! I was able to fix my broken touchscreen laptop using the replacement Passive Digitizer that came in the mail. Held my breath while starting up. Slowly reached out a trembling finger, ET-like, to touch the screen... and it works again! Pencilbox works! I can finally finish developing Pencilbox and make art with it!
One thing I didn't expect from this process: how much of the inside of a modern Fujitsu laptop is held together with tape. It's a thousand-dollar piece of hardware, you would think maybe it used a more solid construction method than a second-grader's construction paper valentine. But no. It's tape all the way.
Thanks to Sushu for plugging in one of the teeny tiny connectors that I kept fumbling with my fat chubby fingers.
Alright, my number of hobbies is out of control so it's time to get some focus here. I'm going to focus on just two things for now, and I've decided that those two things are studying Chinese and finishing Pencilbox.
Sushu said the christmas present she wants from me is for me to study Chinese for ten solid weeks. How can I say no to that? I think if I can make a concerted effort for ten weeks (now until the end of October roughly) then I can reach a level of conversational proficiency where things will get a lot easier.
And Pencilbox is tantalizingly close to done, or at least close to a 1.0. It seems like nobody else is writing the drawing app I really want, so I might as well do it myself. I want to knock this sucker out. Then I can resume my original plan of using it to draw comics. Then my two things can be learning Chinese and drawing comics.
Tonight I put the Pencilbox source code on GitHub so that it will be easier for other hackers to look at and maybe contribute to. Soon I will put up a beta version of the webapp and start looking for beta testers (beta testers will need a device with a multitouch-enabled touchscreen; an alternate UI for mouse/keyboard is a low priority feature for me currently.)
Oh, and pencilbox.com is taken, so I will need a different name for the public website, maybe something a little more sexy and exciting instead of descriptive and utilitarian (although pencilbox will remain the name of the underlying software project).