Cursor Insanity: Windows 7 and Wacom Intuos 2

Since I updated to Windows 7, I’ve noticed a strange bug with my aging, workhorse Intuos 2 tablet (I know, I should update to Intuos 4 – or at least 3). The bug causes the Windows mouse pointers to change from the normal-sized Aero cursor theme to the Large or Extra Large theme. Small bug, but very annoying!

Here’s the Quick Fix

If you’re experiencing the same problem as me, the fix is to disable the menu strip at the top of the tablet’s work area.

  • Open the Wacom Tablet Properties application from your start menu (or from the Control Panel).
  • Select Functions from the Tool panel.
  • Select Tablet Menu from the tabbed interface.
  • For each of the 18 Tablet Menu Buttons, choose Disabled as the function.
  • Enjoy using your tablet without the strange mouse cursor bug.

Wacom Intuos Settings Wacom Tablet Properties application – aka – Wacom Driver Preferences

What about Intuos 3 and Intuos 4?

Other tablets in the Intuos line are apparently affected by this bug as well. Some in the Wacom forums have suggested that tablet buttons, touch strips and the new touch ring may cause the bug to appear as well. The updated driver released a few days ago may help solve the issue, but may not. I didn’t dig any further after fixing my own problem.

If you are affected and can’t find a fix, to change your mouse cursor back to the normal size, open the Mouse settings dialog from the Control Panel (simply called Mouse), select the Pointers tab and click the OK button to reset to your normal cursor theme.

Are there other solutions out there?

If any of you have any other solutions to the issue, or notice that the updated driver fixes the issue, add a comment to let everyone know.

Painter 11 Service Pack 1 Now Available!

Corel has released a service pack to users of Painter 11 on both Windows and Mac. The service pack addresses issues that some experienced with the initial release of Painter 11. To install the update automatically, open Painter and choose “Check for Updates…” from the Help menu (manual download link at the end of this post).

The areas of focus in the release include:

  • Copying & Pasting
  • Transformations
  • Color Management
  • The Eraser Tool
  • General Performance

For full details of what the update includes, check out the Release Notes from Corel.

Download the Update

CSS3 Metallic and Glossy Buttons Without Images

CSS3 support in browsers is bringing some exciting changes to web design and what is possible without jumping into Photoshop to make images and gradient backgrounds. During the redesign of studio|chris, I decided to take advantage of some of the new techniques for some of the buttons around the site.

The most prominent examples in the visual design for regular readers are the drop and inset shadows in the comment sections and also some of the buttons throughout the site. Of the buttons, the most complex are the glass (in Firefox) or metallic (in WebKit-based browsers) buttons in the mini-editor used while posting a comment or over in the support forum.


These little beauties use progressive enhancement with CSS3 for rounded corners, gradient backgrounds and stacked shadows to create their background effects – no images! Well, almost no images, CSS isn’t magic and can’t draw icons easily.

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Delivering Advertising to Adobe AIR Apps with OpenX AdServer

OpenX + Adobe AIR

For AIR applications that have access to an internet connections, delivering ads via OpenX is very easy with just a little code. For this basic implementation, we’ll use AIR’s built-in WebKit browser, which accepts JavaScript delivery perfectly, by using an instance of the HTMLLoader class. This is the same approach I’ve taken with my own AIR application, Brush Manager, which is authored in Flash CS4 Professional. Being completely ActionScript based, the same code should be able to be used in the Flex environment (maybe with very few modifications for public and private identifiers). HTML/JavaScript based applications should be able to use a similar approach, if the ads aren’t already integrated completely into the code base for the app.

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Brush Manager Poll #1

[poll id=”2″]