Wacom mollifies legacy punters

Inside a bid to placate concerned legacy users, Wacom has described why it’s abandoned ADB and serial support because of its Mac OS X graphics tablets.

Graphics professionals used Wacom’s solutions for a long time, and you will find many legacy tablets still being used that connect via Serial or ADB connectors. USB versions can also be found, states Wacom nevertheless its decision means legacy users need to purchase another new graphics tablet, or remain associated with OS 9.x. Apple no more offers serial or ADB system support, Wacom stated.

Wacom professional products product manager Guido Moeller stated: “Some affected products have enjoyed free tech support team for eight years. USB adaptor problems are among the greatest causes for tech support team calls to all of us worldwide.

“An adaptor may go fine on Mac OS 9.1, and can fail after upgrading to Mac OS 9.2 on some Macs. A number of our customers then call Wacom for support. This is an ongoing burden for Wacom’s development and technical support teams.

“Commercially accessible ADB-to-USB adaptors are low-speed USB devices, initially designed for rodents and keyboards. To allow them to make use of a Wacom tablet on OS 9, they push the boundaries of USB. This works reasonably well in Mac OS 9 but Wacom thinks OS X won’t accept the unnecessary data rate of those adaptors.”

He added: “Apple has indicated it won’t resolve any OS-level issues regarding serial or ADB.” Resolving such problems would break the specifications Apple implemented to make the operating-system stable. OS X won’t accept the information rate from over-clocked adaptors.

“Similar problems plague serial-to-USB adaptors on OS X, as a result adaptors are enhanced for implementing with modems. While great for modems, this cripples tablet performance.” Conceding that Keyspan provides the only serial adaptor that actually works “Comfortable with tablets under OS 9”, Moeller stated that “this performance is unacceptable, and applying driver support for it doesn’t seem sensible”,

Wacom is focusing its developmental sources on optimizing USB integration for OS X. The organization has labored carefully with Apple introducing USB tablet functionality to OS X, but “Apple isn’t prioritizing any efforts towards legacy support,” Moeller stated. This reflects Apple’s technique to convince its people to migrate to OS X.”

“We do hope that discussing the reason why for that decision could make it simpler for purchasers to know and accept the choice,” Moeller stated.

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