Today I had to install Ubuntu (yay) so I can use it for some site testing – important to test things in all operating systems, not just Windows / OS X!
While I was waiting for some development tools to finish installing, I browsed the software available in the repository…
Which by the way is extremely easy to use – I’m amazed at how far Ubuntu has come since I last used it – it’s only been about a year and half since I went back to using OS X almost exclusively.
So anyway, I was browsing through the software and I came across this little application – Tegaki. It’s a Chinese / Japanese handwriting recognition tool. I’ve only played with it, but what I’ve seen so far is pretty cool. I don’t know how I would use it though, I’m perfectly comfortable using SCIM / OS X’s Pinyin input systems… Whatever, it works well, even with my terrible writing-chinese-with-a-mouse skills. It recognized what I meant most of the time, but after successfully writing something it took me a little while to figure out how to get the characters from the program into whatever program I was trying to write Chinese in. Turns out that I’m a moron – one just ensures the textarea in question is selected, alt+tabs into Tegaki, write, then click the ‘enter’ button. The characters will be dropped into the text field. Magic.
Cool idea, works really well, but I’m sticking with the traditional pinyin based methods. Writing characters by hand, with a mouse just doesn’t do it for me.
What could work is writing with my Bamboo Fun tablet – I’ll try that as soon as I get some free time, and report back. I think it could work MUCH better, and have the added effect of forcing me to actually remember the characters, instead of just Pinyin.